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From Europe #3- It’s A Small World: How Many Friends Can We Meet At A Friday Night Skate?

Morgane and I participated in the Pari Roller- the Friday Night Skate that features many thousands of skaters touring through the streets of Paris.

One of the best parts of the skate was meeting and bumping into friends, including David, an architect from Los Angeles. Philippe Boulard, winner of the New York 100k who works for the Paris police’s inline skating squad and was escorting the skaters. After the skate a 1am, Morgane and I were skating under the Eifel Tower and we met up with Colombian skaters including a member of Bont’s IRD team. We also bumped into a friend from Mississauga that I first me at the Defi de L’Ile de Montreal.


Colombian friend under the Eifel Tower

I took plenty of video footage because I feel my words won’t quite convey my experiences as well as I wish they could. I’ll put the video up later.

The thing about this skate is that for every skilled skater out there, there are skaters that are just as fast but much less skilled. They are not the ones that concern me though. The ones that caught my attention are the skaters who could go fast, didn’t have the skills, and were kamikaze!


Scenery on our way to the FNS

The skaters begin to gather at 9:30pm at the base of the ‘Tour Montparnasse’, the black eye-sore of a building that dominates its part of the Paris sky-line. A mix of recreational skaters, quad skaters, speed skaters, and fitness skaters gather, and at 10pm, the group starts rolling.

A bunch of volunteers and staff control the speed at the front while police and ambulance bring up the rear. Every so often, the group stops, everyone re-groups, and begins rolling again after a 10+ minute break.

The atmosphere within the group is intense and crowded and very fun. There is very little room to navigate with skaters passing and being passed.


Skaters as far as the eyes can see

In one particular incident, the group was rolling down a pretty fast hill. A few recreational skaters couldn’t handle the speed and started to log-rolling down the hill. A few other skaters fell and tripped over the fallen skaters.

The streets were cleared of traffic and the staff and volunteers blocked cars from going onto the roads while the long never ending line of skaters passed by.

Seriously, the Friday night skate is a fantastic mix of a wonderful sport and an architecturally stimulating city. It offers a great way to experience Paris in all its colours and rich history.