Inside London’s ‘gritty’ skate scene with rising skating star Roll Tru

The phrase: ‘don’t fall backwards’ is a universal truth, but especially poignant when skating.

An antidote to the adage: ‘The bigger they are, the harder they fall’, Harrison Peterkin, 24, suggested getting close to the ground and bending your knees when you fall.  

Harrison from Newham is building a following across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube for his skating skills.

He started skating eight years ago in Stratford after buying a pair of Ventro Turbo Pros and he quickly fell in love. 

Harrison said: “It’s a game, it’s a pass time, it’s fun. Something you enjoy. Touch wood, I’ve never been injured.”

For Harrison skating is a chance to challenge himself, he said that it’s a pleasure when you get it right.

When asked if he’d considered starting a skate school, Harrison said he prefers to keep it casual, offering tips where he can, nothing more.

However, he has been giving more tips recently, as rollerskating has boomed in the UK and all over the world.

Harrison said TikTok and Instagram are to blame, but that the boom is a positive thing, and explained that there are London skate maps being developed.

He operates Roll Tru TV and Roll Tru Magazine as well as TikTok and Instagram accounts, each of which has a few thousand followers. 

His growth strategy for the channels is two-pronged: individual and community goals.

Harrison recently featured in an Amazon advert and sees himself working on similar creative projects in the future. 

He said: “Working with pros was inspiring and the experience gave him new ideas about content creation. 

“I’m not worried about commercialisation of my talent.

“Quality matters, if it’s done in the right way, with the right skaters, at the top of their game, it doesn’t devalue the art.”

It’s clear Harrison sees skating as art and wants to showcase what’s going on in the community, whether that’s the reality of day-to-day skating or documenting change, development and growth.

He said: “Traditional skating has a reputation as colourful and cute. London’s skate scene is a lot more gritty and aggressive, rough and ready.

“It’s not cute.”

For more information, you can email Roll Tru at [email protected].

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