Community in Bowls, an international organization that spreads enthusiasm and encouragement for roller skaters, recently revived its Long Island chapter. With approximately 300 chapters worldwide, CIB organizes meet ups at various parks in the area, and promotes safe skating.
“CIB started as a group for women skaters in 2015 and was first called ‘Chicks in Bowls,’” said Jaclyn Silva of North Bellmore, who is a co-admin of the Long Island chapter. “It was started by female skater Lady Trample, who’s from New Zealand.”
Silva explained that groups of female skaters would gather at skate parks for safety in numbers, and after hearing other skaters say it was really cool to see “chicks in bowls,” they formed a group.
“It switched over to Community in Bowls for gender inclusivity,” Silva explained.
Silva has been roller skating since 2018, and is also a certified personal trainer. She said that admins for the organization are “the face of the chapter,” and that she began skating as a way to build strength.
“We have certain rules,” Silva said. “No promoting, you have to wear safety gear, and understand safety in numbers.”
Silva explained that skating alone, whether on the street or in a skate park, could potentially be dangerous, especially if you injure yourself and are unable to get help.
“We host drills — classes that are free,” Silva added. “Passing on knowledge to each other is inevitable.
“We offer each other tons of encouragement — give it a shot,” she said. “It’s really nice to have a reason to get out of the house.”
CIB has had a chapter on Long Island for a few years, but Silva said that it had laid dormant for over a year. Her co-admin, Erikah Kops of Farmingdale, revived the group earlier this year.
“The group originated in 2018,” Kops said. “Things didn’t go the way they should’ve — we’re very opposite of that.”
“Erikah is the one who said we needed to bring this back,” Silva shared. “She reached out to Lady Trample to get the group back together, and it’s been nothing but pleasurable since.”
“Especially since its outdoors, Covid hasn’t really been an issue,” she added. “It didn’t really slow us down too much.”
CIB’s Instagram account, CIB_li_ny, has been active since mid-March, and attracted over 2,000 followers. On the account, they post schedules of where their meet ups and rollouts will be taking place. Kops shared they normally schedule things on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, as well as weekends.
“We also have people that skateboard that’ll meet up with us — if it has wheels, you can roll us with us,” Silva said, explaining that the group is not exclusive.
Meet ups at skate parks and rollouts take place in various parks throughout the area, including Cedar Creek Park in Seaford, Tanner Park in Copiague, and the Jones Beach trail at night. The group is more Nassau-central, but they have plans to host a meet up soon at the Greenport skate park in Suffolk County.
“When we do rollouts, we try to tie into local businesses,” Silva shared. She said the group will frequently skate to shops and restaurants to support small businesses.
“Its lots of fun getting people out on Long Island,” she added. “But, there’s just not enough skate parks — they’re crowded and falling apart.”
“There’s a few that are really nice, but definitely some that need work,” Kops said. “I think they should fix them up — it’s a safety thing. Someone’s going to sue at some point,” if they get hurt because of cracks or poorly maintained ramps.
Silva and Kops have both observed that there are more people utilizing skate parks, especially in the last year, as people took up skating as a hobby or something to learn during Covid.
“Long Island is not roller skater friendly at all,” Silva explained. “We learn how to skate in these areas and pass on the knowledge so people don’t get hurt. If you go to the parks, you’ll see just how bad it is.”
In general, the group is looking to gain a following and anyone is welcome to join them at a meet up or rollout.
“We just want people to come skate with us,” Silva said. “We like to say ‘spread the stoke,’ — spread the happiness that roller skating brings.”