On Saturday, June 18th, 2022, we met once again under the warm southern California sun to celebrate another inaugural event in roller skating history: the CIB Crew Rollpocalypse roller skating competition. It felt like a huge step forward in standardizing the competition structure.
The event took place at Etnies Skatepark, a massive skate playground in the City of Lake Forest, California. Rollpocalypse meant business – the CIB Crew organizers worked hard to develop both a fair Level system as well as an easy-to-compute, transparent judging and scoring system – both of which may be applied in the many roller skating competitions to come.
The level of preparation that went into planning this event was apparent in the easy-going and gentle flow of the day. The judges panel consisted of Nick the Medic (Head of Judging), Mary Smith/Kid Ace, Irene Ching, Swampy, Haley Havick, Tarah Bishop, Duke Rennie, and Leonette Miksis and Nica Umeda as Computation Superstars. In addition to the judges, they had a fantastic support team that kept the event running smoothly, including Hal “Oliver Fist” Slaunwhite working on social media, Trisha Newman, Esq. on Registration, Michelle Cartier/Atreyu on Camera + Livestream, and Estrojen and Miguel Camina on announcing and commentating.
Standardizing competitions: Getting closer
Rollpocalypse had a wide range of sponsors and vendors from the roller-skating world. This event felt significantly more intimate than the massive Quad Cup competition. As opposed to the dizzyingly energetic joint event of Blade/Quad Cup, Rollpocalypse offered a more close-knit view into our community. While there were still amazing skaters competing from out-of-town (and even out of the country!), it felt like a more personal experience. But don’t be fooled by the more mellow vibe – this competition still had a powerful effect that will without a doubt impact all of the quad skating competitions to come. Although we still have much to iron out in the roller-skating world – like trick names and hardware compatibility issues – this felt like a huge step forward in standardizing the competition structure.
Once again, the skaters did not hold back in this competition. Skaters of all three levels, in both street and bowl, brought immense style and creativity to this very hard-to-skate park. Seeing everyone’s personal skate flavor (a synonym for style – can you tell that I’m hungry while writing this?) was my absolute favorite part of this competition. Having an entire, gigantic skatepark rather than just a half pipe and a wonky street course opened up a world of creative opportunities, and it was inspiring to see how differently each competitor used the space.
While admiring all of the different lines and skate styles, I found myself more in awe of the community as a whole rather than any particular skater. Angel’s power and grace, Bowzer’s ability to improve and straight VIBE throughout the whole bowl, Alli’s miller flip transfer, the sheer height of Mia’s flips, Chandra’s immaculate fakie flow, Max’s grinds on his phantom toe stops, Elida’s huge pom poms and rhythmic style, the list could go on forever. Although placing in a competition is a huge achievement, the idea of “podium” seems so insignificant when compared to the grandeur of our community and sport as a whole. To be a part of it at all – while also being our unique, individual selves – is truly special and magnificent enough. I’m thankful that so many people stepped out of their comfort zones to compete, and subsequently showcase all of the fun, creativity, and skill our little niche has to offer.
It would be an understatement to say that we are excited to see more competitions and events pop up in the roller-skating world. Although competing isn’t the main goal of most skaters, competitions do open up so many windows and doors of possibility on both individual and communal levels. Being a part of a sport in its infancy and toddler stages can be challenging and exhausting, but it is so worth it to see the immense growth that comes with time, effort, and love. Until next time!
Level 1 Street
Emily Zantjer Lin
Level 1 Park (Bowl)
Level 2 Street
Level 2 Park (Bowl)
Level 3 Street
Level 3 Park (Bowl)