FAQ: SkateDC Weekend

How do I register?

You don’t – you show up and skate. We will have a waiver but there is no registration or fee. Skating is free.


Are we really supposed to skate wearing a mask?

Yes they really are required by order of the Mayor. While it is not required when skating alone, we anticipate a large group where it will not be possible to always maintain distance of at least six (6) feet from others (for example when passing one another in a bikeway).

DC and NYC are the only cities to have kept their skate event weekends, albeit in scaled down form, since the start of the pandemic. In fact, LA cancelled theirs yesterday. So we are pushing our boundaries with this. Let's stay safe, respectful, and (where applicable) legal. If you want to remove your mask to catch your breath (say, on a big uphill), please skate at the far back of the group while your mask is off. Unmasked heavy breathing is a threat to others nearby. Don't worry about being left behind. We have plenty of regroups. Just put your mask back on before you return to the group.

We must all do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19!


Is Safety Gear Required?

Yes! Helmets and wrist guards are required on all skates


What level are the skates?

All levels! From beginner to advanced. If you are unsure whether your skills are sufficient, please speak to a skate leader OR one of the Skate Patrol marshals (in red shirts)

All skates will have a leader at the front and a sweep at the back, so that nobody is left behind. If you feel that you cannot complete a skate, let the leader or sweep know, and ask if you need directions to a metro or bus station.

Beginner Street Skating:

If you have new skates in an unopened box, you will need a bit of practice before you can feel comfortable skating on our rough streets, with a large group in traffic.

Required Skills:

- Can stop quickly on even ground

- Can navigate around pot holes, and over speed bumps

- Can slow or stop on gentle declines

- Skate continuously, without stopping to rest for one mile

Intermediate Street Skating:

Group skates take place on the streets and trails in and around DC, which can be quite hilly.

Required Skills: (in addition to the ones noted above)

- feel comfortable skating with a large group in traffic during the day and night.

- are able to stop and turn on any surface or terrain - including moderate hills.

- are willing to follow traffic laws

- understand hand signals such as such as skating quickly through an intersection where traffic is being held.

- skate in a confined space without spilling beer

- Skate continuously, without stopping to rest for two miles

Advanced Skating:

Even hot-shot speed skaters should take note that urban skating in DC requires certain technical skills:

Required Skills: (in addition to the ones noted above)

- can balance, steer, and brake on large downhills

- stop quickly, even from a high velocity

- can hop on or off of a curb while skating

- climb a staircase while on skates

- skate continuously, without stopping to rest for four miles

What's with the pavement?

Remember that rough winter? We sure do - relative to our usual winter we had a lot of cold, ice, and snow. Some streets you will skate on are in very sorry shape, sorry about that. Be assured that there are many even rougher streets that our skate leaders are steering you away from.


What should I bring on the skates?

Water: We are not able to provide water trucks, so please bring your own water on all skates. If you run out and need to replenish your hydration, ask the skate leader for the next water stop. Water and sports drinks are widely available from street vendors, bars, and shops along the way.

Cab/Subway fare: We will not have any sag wagons. Therefore, bring money in case you are unable to complete the skate and need a ride back.

Shoes or sandals: It is a good idea to Bring shoes or sandals on each skate in case you want to walk through memorials, need to take the subway, or we visit a post-skate establishment that doesn’t allow skates.

Are cyclists welcome on the skates?

Yes! We are happy to have cyclists, runners, long boarders, spring stilts, and any other self-propelled folks with us, as long as they keep in mind that skaters kick to the side and take up some room on the road. Give skaters adequate space by riding behind or in front of a pack.

Do you skate at night, in the dark?!

Yes, but it's not really that dark! DC is highly illuminated by street lights and ambient lighting. Blinkies are highly encouraged for night skates. We also advise reflective or at least light-colored clothing