Thank you for joining us on your roller skate journey. We are happy to provide support as long as you need it.
Our community has expanded so much, and it is such a joy to see so many people find the power of roller skating. The weather isn't great right now, but don't worry, keep doing what you can and celebrate the dry days when they come!
If you have bought roller skates from us, we hope that one day you can get to our shop and add your photo to our community wall! If you can't, then send us a photo of your skates and we would love to add you! #RGGcommunity
This newsletter features our team, a few new things and a whole lot of FAQs!
Thank you for being here.
Meet the team:
Hi, I'm Mel and answer your questions wherever you ask them - Instagram, email, FaceBook or directly through the website. I also make tutorials, order stock, write blog posts, teach classes and a bunch more stuff involved with running a small business. I absolutely love it and feel incredibly lucky to be doing something that brings so much joy to so many people. When you tell me that you've just got your new skates and are hooked already, you bring sunshine to my day! I'm also a parent and have been a primary school teacher for 20 years.
This is Holly. She is our sales associate at the Corn Exchange Shop and is helping to pack your orders at the moment during lockdown. She will be in the shop after lockdown and will happily assist with any skate fittings or questions you may have. Hol is also frontwoman of local band Artio.
Here is our instructor team:
Sarah, Emma, Karen, Jess, Jen and Ronké. Jen is also our website designer and tech support. Our instructor team range from teachers, student liaison officer, nurse, team leaders to mum of triplets. All of them learned to roller skate as adults (though some dabbled as kids), so they fully understand your need to learn as quickly as possible! They are here to help you unlock the techniques you need to make maximum progress. You'll meet some of the team through online classes, some through real life classes (when they resume!)
We also collaborate regularly with our friend Craig Jiggy, who is based in London. We have similar creative styles and strongly believe that roller skating supports mental as well as physical wellbeing. Check out Craig's brand JiggyCreationz. Craig is the artist who created the Black Lives Matter flyers that go in every order.
What does being a member mean?
We have made some changes to our Gangster Skate Crew membership - we feel this is really good value at just £10, forever! (We wanted to use the hashtag #gangster4life). Due to increasing running costs though, we will be increasing the membership price from 1st February to £15, so if you were thinking of joining us, do it soon to save yourself a fiver!
The main things we have changed are that our GSC members now have their own dedicated shop page in order to access new product drops first, as well as getting the full length version of all our tutorials and extra ones that are never shared publicly anywhere.
We love our members - without you signing up back in March 2020 - Roller Girl Gang really wouldn't be here now.
We don't have an official skate team anymore, as *you* are it. We invite you to call yourself a Roller Girl Gangster and use the #RGGgangster if you choose to. No matter where you are on your skate journey, if you want us to cheer you on or virtually hold your hand, just tag us (particularly on Instagram). Let's lift each other.
Subscription Box - My Roller Skate Journey
Thanks to the design skills of Irene Doom (@doom_skates) this box looks even more amazing than we ever imagined. The hardest job now will be to make sure we keep the unreleased contents a surprise! We designed a mini folder with collectible pages that will build up to create a journal of your roller skating activity over the year. You'll also get a unique patch (like the Girl Guides) each month, that will set the theme of the box. We wanted this to be accessible to skaters at all levels - so it's pretty open to your interpretation. We also send you an item for you or your skates and donate 10% of the box price to a charity or project that supports roller skating somewhere else in the world. You know that as well as supporting your own journey, you are also supporting someone else's. In January we supported Free Border Skate who support refugee families in Lebanon, and February's box will support Project Wheels in Belgium.
Our subscription box also includes access to a FaceBook and WhatsApp group. We are here to support you on your roller skating journey - we are the group you can ask questions about anything, share your successes and falls (there will be many) and we can and will talk about pets, plants and snacks if you want to. You will also receive the codes to three online Zoom calls. Always centered around your needs, these could be a coffee morning or cocktail hour, or we may invite a guest for a Q&A session - we're not telling you everything in advance!
You can still sign up to receive February's box - cut off date is Sunday 24th January - and snap up January's patch and folder pages for just £5 extra. There aren't too many left, and you will never be able to buy these individually, and did we say what a friendly group we are?
When will my skates arrive?
This is a super tricky one to answer. The delays in every aspect of manufacturing and delivery have been mind blowing. It has forced us to think about parts of the supply chain we wouldn't ever consider. Did you know that there has been a 500% increase in roller skate sales reported by most manufacturers last year? Some companies have scrambled to mass-produce roller skates (we will call it jumping on the bandwagon) or significantly increase the number of pairs of roller skates that are being produced. The extra skates being made has meant that raw materials are getting more difficult to source, making them more expensive. This has also pushed the cost of shipping containers up as they are more difficult to secure. We have heard that some companies have their product ready to ship from their Chinese factory, but are unable to secure a container! Once the containers are full, they are then subject to huge time delays at incoming ports, as the goods are held for a quarantine period before they are inspected.
If you have ordered roller skates as a pre-order, please expect a delay. These delays are outside of our control - nothing we can do can speed the process up. We simply promise that as soon as your skates arrive, we will send them to you. The short answer is, we don't know. They will get here, when they get here.
Being that raw materials are becoming more difficult to source, please ask yourself if you need another pair of roller skates? Is it better to buy better quality that will last a bit longer?
I'm just starting out -what roller skates should I buy?
As well as our first impressions blog posts of all our roller skates - we are not sponsored by any skate company to endorse their products - we have compared all the roller skates that could be considered as your first pair here.
Why don't you stock Impala / other brands?
RGG started life as classes - a place our community could come together. Over time, people who came to classes asked if we could supply them with skates. We tested roller skates and decided to only supply skates that we felt we could skate in. Some roller skates are made with poor quality components or the boot does not fit well. By testing everything before we sell it, you know we only stock roller skates we love. The skates that we tested and didn't love were quietly donated to charity shops. We found that it's harder to skate wearing a roller skate with poor quality components or that doesn't fit properly. We didn't want people buying skates from us, coming to class the next week and wondering why skating was so hard!
We haven't tested every single roller skate out there though! We usually just say, buy the best you can afford.
My feet are a weird shape - will roller skates even fit me?
You'd be surprised how many people think they have odd shaped feet. You all overshare! Most people have one foot slightly bigger than the other. The best thing to do is to try some on - we have a lot of roller skates at our shop just for that. If you can't get to us (or it's lockdown) the next best thing is to measure your feet. Measure both feet - width at the widest point and length. Use the centimetre measurement found on size guides.
Why are your size guides different to other websites?
Trying to get size right is the trickiest thing! We have fitted a lot of people for roller skates and alter with the information as needed. Our size guides serve customers in the UK. If you are based elsewhere in the world, we strongly recommend you use a local size guide where possible.
Am I going to fall over?
Yes! It is a certainty! If you don't fall over, you are never pushing outside of your comfort zone, and you won't learn new things. Falling is part of the roller skaters journey and you'll learn to embrace is rather than fear it. However, when you are learning something new, we strongly recommend you wear protective gear.
Do I really need knee pads?
Protective pads are now available in a selection of colours and sizes. We think wearing protective pads now is cheaper than new knees later. Same goes for wrist guards. And helmets.
My hands need a different size to my knees though, can I swap the wrist guards in the pack?
The biggest downfall in the protection packs is the size. They offer fantastic value, but sorry no swapsies. If you really can't make it work, we suggest you get the higher quality separates instead to get the sizes you need.
But roller skating is just for kids, isn't it? I'm too old.
We don't believe that! We believe roller skating is for everyone, and that through this activity, you will develop an inner confidence you never knew was there. Plus with lots of skates at £200+ we think they are not really intended for children.
Where do you even skate? There is nowhere to skate near me.
We skate wherever we can, and have heard of lots of projects starting around the country to support the new skate community. There are many, many people who are just as passionate as we are about making sure that the skaters who started in lockdown in 2020 don't look back in 5 years time and say, "Roller skating, yeah I did that in 2020, but I don't skate now." We want you to say "Roller skating, yeah, I started my journey in 2020 and have since connected and skated with people from all over the world." From your kitchen to a car park, we are sure you can find somewhere to get started and know that we are working to bring more places to skate.
Have you got any more questions?
Just hit reply and ask.
Moonlight roller skates.
These are coming. Just slowly. Customs decided to hold our shipment to ransom for some extra days and this coincided exactly when January lockdown started, confusing all the delivery companies. We want you to have beautiful skates! Our first impressions blog post will be coming soon.
Super shiny axle nuts for the ultimate colour co-ordinated functional accessory.
Von Merlin Roller Dance wheels
We pride ourselves in stocking products that are tricky to get hold of, or are expensive to import. We have just a few sets of these wheels, so snap them up!
At either 58mm or a tiny 54mm diameter, these are designed by skaters for skaters. Check out @vonmerlin on Instagram.
We Are Skater Booty Apparel
We are really proud to stock a selection of products created by Joy @hoophustleflow . She has everything from bags to booty shorts and her range is expanding all the time. Exciting!
If you've read this in one sitting, you deserve a medal. 🏅
We look forward to the day we can skate together, until then, stay safe.