Hyde Park Roller Magic on a roll.

Pictures and Words by Marco Medrano

Personally, I’ve always had a passion for roller skating. My uncle, a former roller derby skater for the famed San Francisco Bay Area Bombers, was a huge inspiration to me as a child. This was the golden era of roller derby when the sport was more professional and less akin to the scripted WWE-like charade it currently inhabits.

For many, the nostalgia of roller skating is powerful, and their interest has never dimmed. While we’ve seen the fad come and go over time, the thrill for rolling on a set of wheels remains at an all-time high.

Hyde Park Roller Magic has been a consistent (nostalgic?) destination for all roller-skating aficionados by offering what they call “Throwback Adult SK8 Night” every Wednesday from 7:30-10pm. So, whether you’re an inline or quad skater, you’ll be among friends who share the joy of a live DJ spinning your favorite booty-shaking hits of yesteryear, with a legit roller disco vibe and spinning lights to match. It’s as close to a high school time machine I can think of. They even provide skate lessons and a store if you decide to customize a set of skates and wheels.

If you decide to make it a more regular thing, I’d consider getting your own set of skates. It’s totally worth the $150 or so, as good equipment allows you to roll longer, faster and more effortlessly. Pro Tip: Pay attention to wheel selection (indoor or outdoor) and the (contained) bearing cartridges that slip into the wheels. I was able to use the “gummy” outdoor wheels inside the roller rink without any slowdown.

While I’m a bit older these days—who isn’t?—the freedom of zooming around on quad skates is an escape that provides a thrilling alternative to my adult exercise routine. If you’re taking it slow, you can also tag along and play arcade games to the beat. Or you could just drag out that Grease meets Roller Boogie outfit hiding in your closet.

Look, Hyde Park Roller Magic is just good, clean fun. And if your fun bunch group finds themselves asking “what should we do tonight?” you now know what to say. Roll on, friends!

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