By: Ella Rook
If you were at Rollins during lunch, you may have seen a strange sight; a group of students wearing Heelys in a conga line with one person at the front pulling the rest behind them as they roll. They call themselves the Heelys Club, and this move a “Heelys train”.
Sophomores S’nova Kayfetz-Vuong and Cammy Kurtzman started the club at the beginning of the year, but do not agree upon whose idea it was. Kurtzman claims she had the idea first, saying, “I remembered I wore them in 4th grade and broke my arm and my knee. Then I thought ‘Hey, what if we made it a new trend.’ So I told my friends [including Kayfetz-Vuong] about it, and we got them.” Kayfetz-Vuong refutes this, arguing that “My sister got Heelys, so I got them, and I told Cammy about them and she said that she would get them before me, but she didn’t, I got them before her.” Kurtzman “100% denies this.” Origin disputes aside, they agree that the Heelys Club isn’t an actual club, more of a friendship group, united by a common passion for Heelys.
Heelys Club member and sophomore Ethan Shedd describes it eloquently as “a group of people who have mutually decided to wear Heelys on certain days.” This “group of people”, however, is exclusive. According to sophomore Jasper Bull (Full disclosure: this author is Bull’s sister) the way to join the club is “if all the other members like you as a person, and then you have to do a three minute interpretive dance… oh, you also have to wear Heelys.” There was no music played for Bull’s three minute interpretive dance.
Heelys were first invented in 1999 by Roger Adams, a man who claims to have rode his first pair of roller skates at nine months. The way they work, is that a wheel is embedded in the heel, which users can roll on by simply tilting their heel back and lifting their toes. If it sounds dangerous, it is. Shedd recently broke his wrist while using Heelys. Heelys are popular with some groups of teens and young adults who enjoy the nostalgia of rolling around school or the mall in the coolest shoes at the time. To cater to this select group, the Heelys’ website sells adult sizes of the popular children’s shoe for 55 to 75 dollars a pair.
In the opinion of Sophomore Leon Kwauk, “Heelys are not a fashion statement, they are a lifestyle.”