South London skaters seek a new home
South London skaters are looking for a new permanent home IMAGES: @ Kreative1988 @OceanDaCosta and Andrew Cleminson
Written by Andrew Cleminson
It’s a sunny Saturday, the crowds have taken to Clapham Common, the music is playing and everyone is having fun.
With the easing of restrictions, surely there is nothing unusual to see? In fact, there are, because @ Wavyon8 has invited hundreds of skaters to come and party.
Shakeel Kidd-Smith, 25, law graduate and member of the @ Wavyon8 core team, said: “We are pushing a movement to reconnect with South London skateboarders.
“The local rinks have been destroyed and we need a new home.”
There used to be ice rinks at Vauxhall and the O2, but now they are gone and the local skate parks, for surfers, are not suitable for roller skaters.
During the pandemic, rollerblading really took off.
Ayisha Alli (@ayyskates), 23, a self-taught software engineer and core team member at @ Wavyon8, said: “People started skating as a form of therapy during Covid-19.
“There’s an angle around physical health, but it’s also good for mental health because it breaks down barriers. It keeps people from wandering around and messing around.”
This explains why the skater movement has grown so rapidly since its revival in late 2019. Allowed to exercise once a day, people could skate, maintain social distancing, and greet and smile at other skaters. .
Online communities have grown on Instagram and new trends have emerged around jam skating where dance and gymnastics come together.
Back in Clapham, the excitement is tangible and inclusive.
Shakeel added, “As soon as you put on the skates, you are part of the community. Everyone is welcome.
He is right. There are people aged three to over 60, and although there is no dress code, some have dressed up for the occasion.
What’s next for skateboarders? They will continue to organize one-off events until they have a new permanent home.
Shakeel said: “Yes, we have another event planned. It will be Saturday June 26th. We have DJs, food and drink lined up. We also have a few other things up our sleeves.
To find out where you can have fun with your skates, search @ Wavyon8 on social media.