photo by Greg Mirzoyan

For the 46th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Sofi Carreras. Sofi is a 35-year-old inline skater living in Cancun, Mexico. She is a Rollerblade Ambassador, the General Manager of Infinite Shop Cancun, the Marketing Manager for Rollerblade Mexico and an ICP Skate Instructor. A little over a year ago Sofi decided to leave Barcelona, Spain and relocate to Mexico to work. After collaborating with Rollerblade Mexico for three months and traveling all over the country, she met many people involved with inline skating. Sofi realized that while the skating market in Europe was saturated, there were still many things that could be done with the sport in Mexico. She packed her things and with her cat she moved to Cancun to open a skate shop. According to Sofi “It was the best and most challenging project of my life.” She misses Barcelona a lot, but today is living here life 100% dedicated to skating and Rollerblade. ” It is a dream come true!

What is the current situation with COVID-19 in Mexico? 

In Mexico things are always complicated, since the beginning of the pandemic confinement has been voluntary, while the government suggests that everyone should stay-at-home. All of the shops, restaurants, schools and business have closed, including my store which has been shutdown since April 1st. Face masks and gloves are mandatory anywhere you go. In Cancun 80% of the population live off of tourism and the entire hotel zone is closed, leaving those families without jobs. Here the situation is most critical on an economic level rather than health.

Are you still skating? If so what precautions are you taking to stay safe?

Yes I am still skating. There are some activities that can be done outside as long as you maintain responsible behavior, such as keeping distance from other people. However there are very few people here that go out running or bicycle riding so many of the paths are empty. The truth is I don’t take many precautions while skating, like wearing a mask or gloves, since there are no people where I go skate. After skating I jump in the pool (no one else is there either), leave my skates outside the house and wash my hands a lot.

photo by Greg Mirzoyan

Where are you going out to skate?

In front of my house there is an avenue with a flat and boring straight bike path. I skate 20km (12 miles) there almost everyday, when the wind and the heat of the Caribbean allow me to! It gets very hot in Cancun, a normal spring day is around 30°C (86°F) with a lot of humidity. For part of the year the wind blows very strong, making skating against it everyday unpleasant. Sometimes the heat beats me and I have to stop skating altogether. But hey, go big or home!

If you haven’t stopped skating, what would make you stop?

Without a doubt I would only stop if I was physically unable to skate. Wow… I hope that never happens to me! For me skating has always been the best psychological therapy, the best physical training, the best company, my ticket to travel the world, a language, a lifestyle and many times my answer to everything. On the day I stop skating… I think I will be very grateful for everything that skating has given me.

Are you doing any cross training?

I do some exercises at home to complement skating and I swim a little. I’m learning to jump rope, it’s a super intense cardio activity!

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time?

I continue to work a little bit everyday on social media and the shop website. I’m also handling online sales for my store and Rollerblade. I’m really good at decorating and gardening, so I have dedicated these weeks of quarantine to remodeling my house, painting walls and making plants beautiful. I get many of my ideas and designs from Pinterest and thanks to Pinterest I was able to design my skate shop! I’ve also been watching many movies, but that is something that I’ve always been doing.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life?

It gets very boring not to see anyone and being unable to go out because everything is closed. I miss leaving my house for an afternoon of shopping and although the beach is beautiful here, you cannot go. I am used to doing a thousand things in one day and now I do everything from the computer. Although the store is closed, I still work from home and that takes up a lot of time, but the economic situation here in Mexico is critical. Sales are very low and everything here is on standstill until June. On the other hand, I usually spend most of my time traveling and many hours away, so being able to spend time at home doing things that I usually never have time for is great. Also being able to call and see family and friends through Skype has undoubtedly been the best part of this quarantine experience.

What are your major concerns right now and looking into the future?

Here the economic crisis is much worse than the health crisis. There are too many people who have become unemployed throughout Mexico. The state does not give any type of financial aid and that makes small companies the ones that suffer the most. In Cancun, we mainly depend on tourism, so the economic recovery will be very slow since tourists will not come on vacation after a pandemic. The culture of skating here is very small and we are working hard to grow the skating scene in this area. I am always thinking about what I can do for skating, my store and for Rollerblade, so I am already thinking about what we can do to improve things by time this is all over and we can return to normality.

How is your local skate community responding?

Here in Cancun the skating community is very small and less diverse. Most skaters here are recreational, families and children, but now they are all at home.

photo by Greg Mirzoyan


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