Organized roller-skating in the Upper Valley is back in the form of Rexburg Roller Girls.
The recently formed group has 10 active skaters and total of 100 in its club.
“Some are waiting for their skates. We do group skate every weekend in various places around town. We’re still experimenting on the best, flattest surfaces,” said organizer Steffany Faldmo.
The group has skated along the Sugar City bike path and at Rexburg’s Porter Park. Plans call for a group skate at 7 p.m., Saturday, at Sugar City’s Smith Park. There is no fee to participate or to join the club but those wanting to participate need to provide their own skates and protective gear. Skates can be traditional roller skates or inline skates.
Roller-skating is becoming increasingly popular, Faldmo said.
“(It’s) definitely making a comeback, and nice skates are selling out fast! Especially last year with the pandemic, I think people wanted something new to do,” she said.
In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Riedell Shoes, a Minnesota based ice and roller skates company, hasn’t kept up with orders in recent months.
“(It) is also dealing with a supply chain that is stuck in another era. With production still hampered by pandemic-driven bottlenecks and price increases for raw materials, Riedell is working overtime to catch up with old orders that have been delayed for months,” the Wall Street Journal reported
While any woman of any age and any skating ability may join the club, so far Rexburg Roller Girls is made up of moms, recently married women and single ladies between the ages of 20 and 30 years old, Faldmo said.
“Since I started this group, we’ve actually met a few other girls just skating around or that are also wanting to skate when they see us. It grows that way too,” she said.
Lindsey Rydalch has joined the group and says she loves the challenge skating provides.
“Whether it’s tricks or terrain, skating as a crew is an amazing experience because I feel invincible. (It’s) like I can take on anything the world throws at me,” she said. “I love roller-skating because I’m free from my worries. It clears my mind and lifts my spirits.”
Rydalch’s fellow roller-skater Dana Anderson said she had wanted to get back into skating for some time when she discovered the Rexburg group.
“It’s more fun with friends. I was also desperately seeking a friend group. A friend from high school invited me to the group, and I was elated,” she said.
Anderson described herself as a “hot mess on wheels,” but says she’s improving her skating skills.
“I was way into rollerblading as a kid. I spent countless weekends at (the former) ‘R’ Skating when I was in elementary school. Skates are definitely more challenging as a thirty-something year old, than blades were for a 10 year-old, but someday I hope to be whirly and fast again!” she said.
Faldmo said she had wanted to return to skating for years as well.
“When I finally bought some (skates), I figured there would be other ladies in town that may want to do the same,” she said. “I was surprised at just how many. Most of us skated or ice skated when we were younger.”
The purpose of the club is to provide a social activity that doubles as a great workout. While the focus isn’t on losing weight, the club’s Facebook page says that roller-skating for one hour a week burns 600 calories. Thirty minutes of skating produces a heart rate of 148 beats per minute. It also states that roller-skating works most muscle groups including the glutes, quads, abs, calves and arms. Roller-skating also builds strength and increases muscle endurance.
Faldmo urged any woman looking to join a club that provides both friendship and great exercise to consider Rexburg Roller Girls.
“It’s been an awesome way to get into a hobby and make friends,” she said.
Those interested in joining the club may do so via the club’s Facebook page located at https://www.facebook.com/groups/rexburgrollergirls/announcements.