Now Introducing Your New Skate Pal, Sutherland
I’m here to give you the 411 on rad skating events around Jacksonville and ultimately help you accomplish all of your “quadly” dreams.
Let’s go ahead and get your first burning question out of the way. Yes, I pinky promise that my first name is actually Sutherland, AKA @SutherlandSkates on social media.
When COVID hit in 2019 the world practically stopped rotating on its axis and life as we knew it ceased to exist. Suddenly we were trapped inside our houses and quickly running out of Netflix specials to binge. It didn’t take long before people began to look for fun activities to do while [impatiently] waiting to be released into society again, free to socialize to our heart’s content.
... suddenly there was an influx of people wanting to learn how to do my favorite thing in the entire world: roller skate.
You see I learned to skate as a kid and have always enjoyed the feeling of having wheels under my feet. For me skating is freedom. It’s a feeling of weightlessness and self-expression, and a great way to strengthen my body, meet incredible people, and dance all at the same time. I mean what could be better than that?
Over the years I’ve skated in 11 states and 8 countries around the world, and at this point, I think it’s safe to call my “hobby” an obsession. My wheels have rolled through towering mountains in Wyoming, over worn down cobblestones in Guatemala, and even in front of the Louvre in Paris.
You can bet your favorite light-up wheels that I pack at least one pair of skates with me everywhere I travel, and that’s one of the best things about my favorite sport: all that you need to skate is a flat area, so you can do it nearly anywhere in the world and with anyone, regardless of the language they speak.
Before 2019 when I’d tell people that I roller skated the majority thought I was referring to roller blading (*cue eye roll), and for the small handful who actually knew what I was referring to, I was met with equal parts of curiosity and confusion. Few people seemed to understand why a millennial would want to do something that was trending in the same era as the Rubix cube.
Thanks to TikTok and social distancing, roller skating is now more popular than it’s EVER been in my life time and it’s prompted me to become a certified roller skating instructor. Suddenly everyone I knew was buying shoes with wheels on them and I knew that the best way to keep these new skaters interested in their fresh hobby was to teach them as much as I could.
I earned my certification as an instructor in January 2021 and since then have taught literally hundreds of skaters in the southeast as well as all over the globe thanks to software like Zoom.
Here’s My Resume in a Nutshell
- Skate IA Certified Roller Skating Instructor
- Sponsored by Mother Kombucha (yum!)
- Roller Dance Instructor for the online skating academy, Roller State Victoria
- Roller Skating Instructor for Skate Station Mandarin
- Admin for CIB Jacksonville
- Former Jammer for the Greater Jax Heart Attacks & Tri-County Rolling Militia roller derby teams
Every single week I’m helping new friends learn how to gain confidence and balance on their skates, and I’m able to offer a variety of classes both online and in-person at local roller rinks.
Of course I teach the basics, like how to get rolling and how to stop, but I also teach roller dance (think dancing on skates - it is as awesome as it sounds) and even how to start shredding on ramps at skate parks! Remember what I wrote earlier about just needing a “flat surface” to skate? I didn’t say it had to be a horizontal one!
When Caribbean Connection reached out to me about creating a roller skating blog as an addition to their shiny new website, how could I resist? This content is just another way that I can help inspire others to start rolling and ultimately bring skaters together to help strengthen and grow the skating community not only here in Jacksonville, but all over the world. Hey, with the internet, you just never know how far one little blog post can go.
Check back monthly for motivation, tips, tricks, gear suggestions, and all of the info you’ll ever need on roller skating events happening in Jacksonville, Florida.