What is JB Skating

There should be no wrong answer to this but JB Skating is something very specific and very special. This is a style of roller skating that started in roller skating rinks on the south side of Chicago. The JB stands for James Brown, the style was created to his music.

The JB Skating Style

We have quite a few hallmark moves in JB. It’s not hard to recognize a JB skater when you see those moves and when you see the gear. The JB style is not just limited to the skating but we also have a pretty signature look. Most JB skaters in Chicago will sport a tall black rhythm skate boot. Chicago has some brutal winters so, you’ll surely see skaters in hoodies. Depending on the situation you may see hoodies year round as well. One of the newest styles that I like is the crossbody bags, it’s the new age pouch with style.

How to skate at JB Sessions

Here is something that we all need to know. The new age JB skaters move in a certain pattern around the skate floor. Normally, faster skaters are on the outside (on the wall) and slower skaters are on the inside. But, we group skate in JB on the outside as well, which is not normally at top speed. Solo skaters often move much faster so, we have to go around skaters a lot. As a result, you’ll see solo skaters come off the curve and go down the middle of the floor towards the far wall. This is a natural occurrence at our JB sessions.

JB Skating Footwork

You gotta have footwork. This might be one of the most capital aspects of JB Skating. It’s a key identifier and a prominent to learn, know and practice. I like to call them foot taps and ankle taps. A demonstration of this may merit a video. You may be able to see some examples on the JBGODS YouTube Channel.

JB Skating Routines
JB Skaters on BC Mondays at Glenwood Roller Rink

Skate routines will teach you the most about JB. Our different crews create their own routines. Many routines are classic and are passed on to newer generations on a daily basis. You may see classic routines like “Tap”, “5” and one of my favorites “Big Step”. Skaters form packs in two columns and perform routines in sync with one another. Some of the best skaters are able to incorporate their own signature flare and style while still remaining balanced with the rest of their crew.