If you’re on Tik Tok or Instagram you can’t help but come across videos of people effortlessly skating through streets, in rinks and roller discos and your immediate thought is how fun that looks! I, being someone very easily influenced, jumped at the chance to try out roller skating for myself at brand new roller skating rink Good Life Skates at Escape to Freight Island.
Inspired by the new generation of roller skaters, from underground Berlin to the sidewalks of Brooklyn and LA, Good Life Skates has been a welcoming addition to the city of Manchester following its opening last month. The 8,000-square-foot roller rink is located on the mezzanine level of Escape to Freight Island.
When you book in at Good Life Skates they think of everything you don’t. Everything you need is provided, such as knee and elbow pads to protect you when you (inevitably) fall and lockers to keep your belongings while you skate. But the only thing you really need is a pair of roller skates and the fabulously sparkly glitter covered skates you get to wear are a treat in themselves.
I went along with two friends for moral support, though in the end I was the one supporting them! As a child I was a keen roller blader and loved ice skating, but not having wheels on my feet in over a decade I was a bit unsure of how I’d cope, or whether I’d even stay upright long enough to get the perfect shot for my Instagram feed. Turns out that after a couple of times round the rink I’d managed to get the hang of it and was happily cruising around the rink as fast as I could like a big kid. I then of course lent a supportive arm to my pals who weren’t quite at my level of skill, think less Blades of Glory and more Bambi on ice…
All in all, we had such a lovely time. We were full of laughter when one of us fell down and cheering each other on as we each mastered the art of skating, or at least they cheered me on. But hey, we all gave it a go! I would definitely go back and would even do it regularly. I’m just going to have to find more friends to go with.
Good Life Skates will present a four-day weekly programming every Thursday to Sunday featuring queer skate session, hip-hop and RnB night, pop anthems, soul skate and skate jam as well as beginner sessions. Supervised by skilled chaperones, these beginner sessions are for adults and kids who are thinking of starting their roller-skating journey and take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-11am with a session for kids from 11am to 12pm.
If you’ve never been to Freight Island it’s an urban landscape carved from a long-forgotten freight depot, packed full of a variety of changing food vendors, bars and a packed entertainment schedule. SImply book your table and head to any bar or book in for food and enjoy everything from burgers from Burgerism, fried chicken from Lucky Foot Chicken or share a 22 inch pizza from Voodoo Ray’s all available to order by scanning the QR code with your smartphone.
Escape to Freight Island
11 Baring Street