When the Mother City’s V&A Waterfront launched Rollercade, Cape Town’s first indoor roller skate park in December 2020, I finally felt compelled to face my fear of eight wheels. And, tapping into a disco-inspired dream, it was the most family-friendly fun I’ve had in years. Some of their offerings, however, really require a child’s imagination.
Obscured from view in the Waterfront’s Battery Park District (seriously, it’s on the far end of the underground parking lot) I spent some time locating my bearings. However, the views of Table Mountain and the Waterfront’s surrounding architecture make finding your way around Battery Park a delightful detour.
On the other side of a silver curtain of tinsel, the excessively grey parking lot has been transformed into the flurry of flashing lights, disco balls and pumping tunes that you’d expect from a roller disco in 1970’s America, with Toploader’s Dancing in the Moonlight soundtracking my entrance.
I’d checked out their website days ahead of my arrival, so I knew to make a reservation – R150 per person, for a 2-hour session which includes roller skate rental and safety gear, and R80 if you bring your own skates. After I was handed my skates, as I rolled (read: waddled) onto the demarcated skate lot in my knee pads and gloves and helmet, it suddenly looked much bigger and more spacious than when I’d initially walked in, my relationship with the ground instantly rockier, but at least the DJ hadn’t missed a beat. There weren’t many fellow skaters around, but I was told that weekends are significantly more packed.
My session had barely reached the halfway mark when I needed to take a time out. Roller-skating isn’t too tiring, but it really does start to boil down in that basement. When I asked whether they served refreshments, I was pointed in the direction of a poorly-stocked vending machine. A pity, as roller skating is both thirsty and hungry work. That being said, I can’t imagine that skating on a full stomach would be any fun.
I took off my skates for a walk around the arcade, and while they have two pool tables and a Foozball table, five arcade games (including Street Fighter), a vending machine, and two VIP sections (for birthdays and events), you won’t be getting your money’s worth unless you strap in and actually face those 8-wheeled fears. When you do, it’s a lot of fun!