Skate Moab, a community-focused skate collective founded by five women who met playing roller derby, is hosting a skate night — a pop-up roller rink — on Friday, July 26.
The fun kicks off at 6 p.m. at the Old Spanish Trail Pavilion, 3641 S. U.S. Highway 191. While the roller derby team is currently on hiatus, the skate nights are held monthly (weather permitting) from March through October.
Free for community members and a suggested $5 donation for out-of-town visitors, skate nights take place outside of the arena on a smooth concrete surface surrounded by grass and scenic views of red sandstone and the La Sal Mountains. Some people come to hang out, sitting on chairs set up in the grassy area.
Participants may bring their own skates, or borrow one of the pairs of roller skates or Rollerblades provided by the collective — thanks to a couple of local grants, including a WabiSabi Moab “Make a Difference” grant.
If you’re new to skating, just look for one of the matching skate shirts worn by the five female founders — they’ll be there and are available to give instruction. They also, during the evening, demonstrate “smooth skaters’ tips” in the middle of the arena.
Additionally, there are skate-mates, a type of walker with wheels that people hold on to as they roll around on skates. Both kid and adult sizes are available.
“These are wildly popular,” said co-founder Erin Trim, who built the skate-mate walkers out of PVC material with Jazmine Duncan and another volunteer.
The skate-mates came in handy for 7-year-old twins Preslie and Ace Copeland, who attended the last community skate event with their grandmother Kathryn Jackson.
“These two were able to zoom around with everyone else,” Jackson said. “It gave them a lot of confidence. It was just fun and free. It’s such a great family entertainment. We’ll definitely go again. … It’s the perfect place to skate.”
There’s always a concessionaire at community skate night events selling snacks such as lemonade, nachos or popcorn.
“We’d love to see food trucks,” as well, Trim said.
In addition to the monthly community roller rink nights, the collective (which includes Xandra Odland, Jess Dye and Kya Marienfield, Trim and Duncan) has hosted a high school field trip, a skate day for the Moab Valley Multicultural Center / BEACON After School Program girls’ club, a Grand Area Mentoring skate party with mentees, and volunteer “thank you” parties for rodeo volunteers.
Kelly Morgan’s 9-year-old daughter Kambria learned to skate when she attended her 4-H club’s skate camp last year, Morgan said. Now she looks forward to the community skate nights each month, her mother said.
“She gets so excited about skating each month. She invites her friends,” Morgan said. “It’s been really great. There are both kids and adults doing tricks, different dances together. It’s really a lot of fun.”
There’s a DJ spinning tunes from the collective’s “huge library” of songs — music available thanks to the arena’s “wonderful sound system,” Trim said.
“It’s really exciting to me to see how many new faces we see each time, as well as repeat skaters, and that more and more middle school and high school-aged people are attending,” she said. “That was one of our aims, to create a fun and affordable social space for these age groups to hang out.”