It’s almost summertime! What better way to get outside and enjoy the day than roller skating in your local park. No skates? No problem! What if we said there is a new mobile skate-rental truck rolling through New York City this summer? (Yes, we were psyched too!)
HellaWella spoke with Gypsy Lucas, co-owner of The Skate Truck NYC about the upcoming launch of the mobile roller skate-rental truck she co-owns with business partner and husband, Tristan Pearman. The Skate Truck NYC will be stationed in three New York City parks every weekend throughout the summer starting on the weekend of June 1.
How did the idea for The Skate Truck NYC come about?
I am a third- generation roller skater and grew up in skating rinks, running skating rinks and competing in all aspects of roller sports. At the height of disco and roller skating in the ’80s, my father rented skates around a lake in Dallas. My husband and I visited the family in Texas over the holidays in December. Through casual conversations over five days the idea was planted. When we returned to NYC we went to the various departments to figure out what permits were needed to make The Skate Truck NYC happen. The most common response to our questions was ‘You want to do what?’ We finally were hooked up with the Parks and Recreation department and here we are.
Will you have a set route or will it change?
We are going to be in four different New York City Parks this summer on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 1 through October 7 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The parks include Central Park [Manhattan], Prospect Park [Brooklyn], East River Park [Manhattan], and Inwood Hill Park [Bronx]. We will provide a map of the park and once you rent the skates you are free to explore the respective park at your leisure. If you are a new skater, we offer a private learn-to-skate lesson before you head out, as well as a weekly learn to skate class on Saturdays.
Tell me about the truck that will make it all happen.
The truck is your basic ‘moving van’ with modifications made to it. We went to Texas and did all the construction there before we drove it up to NYC. Inside the truck there are three racks of skate cubby holes that hold both inline and traditional quad skates with sizes ranging from Youth 8 to Adult 12. We can hold 160 pairs of skates in the truck at onetime. The additional 40 pairs are stored and can be swapped into the truck depending on the needs of any special groups. For example, should we provide skates for a summer youth group we would swap out the larger adult skates to accommodate more youth sizes. Should we do a college group event, we would swap out youth-sized skates for more adult sizes.
How much are skate rentals? How long can you rent them for?
We have three rental prices available: 2 hours for $15; 4 hours for $20; and all day (over 4 hours up to 8 p.m.) for $25. Private Learn to Skate lessons are $20 for 20 minutes and our weekly class is $30 for a half hour and includes the skate rental for 2 hours.
In addition to renting inline and quad skates, will you rent out safety equipment?
Yes. The rental prices include safety equipment, which consist of a helmet, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads. You will receive a small bag of gear that you can put your shoes in while you skate. When you return the equipment you just put it all back in the bag.
Tell us about your launch on June 1.
The first weekend we will be hitting three parks. Friday at Inwood Hill Park, Saturday at Prospect Park, and Sunday in Central Park. We are doing a discount coupon through our website for our opening weekend. We will also have a Free Pass for a future skate rental if you take the Saturday Learn to Skate Class.
Do you have any plans to promote with other skate groups in the area?
We do. There are a lot of ideas running around our heads right now with events and cross-promotions. We hope to promote every aspect of skating through all the skating clubs in NYC from roller derby to dance, to racing, to aggressive. There are thousands of skaters in the city already and we want to help increase those numbers anyway possible.
I think it’s awesome that you are promoting roller skating. Why should people strap on a pair of skates?
It is a great way to hang out with friends and at the same time participate in a healthy exercise. Teach your children to skate and going on a family skate is a great way to connect and allows for a lot of fun and excitement; you can talk, laugh and enjoy some great scenery while skating. Skating allows you to develop movement and balance skills while giving you a great cardio workout. [Click here for more ways roller skating keeps you fit.]
Find out more about The Skate Truck NYC by visiting Skatetrucknyc.com.