Impala Blog 12 April 2024 5 min read

Impala Skate Diaries ✨ Marawa The Amazing PT. 1

Impala Skate Diaries ✨ Marawa The Amazing PT. 1

Part One 

Get ready to dive into the dazzling world of Marawa Ibrahim—the hula hoop extraordinaire turned roller skating sensation. She’s been roller skating since the tender age of two, just so happens to have a Circus Arts Degree tucked under her belt and founded and leads her own roller skating troupe - The Majorettes. Marawa has a knack for shattering records - 12 Guinness World Records, to be exact and isn’t ready to spill the beans on attempting another record… yet.

Read on to find out what Marawa has to say about all those records!

Marawa, it’s incredible that you hold records for the fastest 100 meters on both high-heeled and regular roller skates while spinning hula hoops. Could you share the thrill of setting these speed records?

  • Tell us how fast you were going and how it felt?
  • The fastest 100 meters in high-heeled skates was my first record ever - I think it was 2011! This record was very special because it was not just my first record but also the first-ever record for high-heeled skates ( there are quite a few now) so it felt amazing to be part of this new skill set that was being recognised by GWR! The skating with hoop records were also a new category - my first record was actually the furthest distance skating in high-heeled skates whilst splitting 8 hoops on the body - which was much harder than some of the newer records for skating and hooping that I set. (It was for an Italian TV show - lo show dei record v funny video footage about) as rollerskating has become more popular over the last 10 years more and more performers and enthusiasts have combined their love of skating and hooping which has opened the door for some amazing skills and new records.

  • And about those high-heeled skates—what was the special pair you wore for the race? Did you customise them in any way to enhance your performance?
  • They are the same ones I used for performances. some of my high-heeled skates don't have any ankle straps - but the pair I used for the distance records had a thick piece of elastic that had been sewn into them for Britain Got Talent - when I was wearing them for the show they had me coming out of the ceiling on a hand loop 10 meters up in the air and there were lots of dancers below - they were worried I was going to drop a skate on them! a rollerskate is bad enough - but the heels are actually even heavier so they sewed this elastic ankle which ended up being quite useful for the speed records. 

  • On the day of the record, what potential challenges were on your mind? We’d love to hear about any ‘close calls’ that you skilfully avoided.
  • There are always lots of factors to consider on record day - if it's outdoors the weather is always a factor, time of day, jet lag if there was travel, making sure all the equipment is working and there are tools and supplies if anything needs fixing. I don't like doing records under pressure so I usually will only do a live record if I know it's not my full peak speed or number to break the record - having a little extra backup is good for my nerves which are always shattered if it's a live event. I don't really have any close-call stories - but I am forever mad at a record I was asked to break for a show - it was the longest time hula hooping underwater - they were going to put me in a glass tank - it would have been hilarious - they sent me off to get my scuba license and everything. but I could not for love nor money nor tons and tons of practice get the hoop to spin! I even reached out to Ashrita Furman - who was the current record holder ( he also has the world record for the most world records held) and he sent me some tips but still no luck! I know he did his record in still ocean water  - in the Florida keys - so I have always wondered if that was where I went wrong... maybe I need to try it in the ocean!

    Moving on to your astonishing feat with hula hoops—spinning 200 simultaneously is nothing short of spectacular!

  • Can you describe the weight of 200 hula hoops and how you managed it?
  • It is so heavy. Like I think half my body weight heavy. It's crazy crazy heavy. I had to do so much training outside of hooping to be able to hold, carry and spin them all. But I had always wanted to break the most hoops record and I think I have broken the record 5 or 6 times now - I remember when Kareena Oates broke into the 100's and at the time it was like woah - 100 hoops! so to push it to 200 was a great milestone for me.

  • What specific core training did you undertake to prepare for such an intense physical challenge?
  • Tons of waist hooping, both directions and lots of rocky training, jump rope, walking around listening to Pusha T carrying the hoops up and down steep hills, doing lunges and squats with the hoops to get used to the weight. I don't think I have ever been fitter. 

  • And just out of curiosity, do you know if there’s anyone out there aiming to break your record?
  • Hula hooping - and rollerskating for that matter have been growing in popularity over the last few years so I am sure there are people working on lots of the records! I met a really tall hula hooper a few years ago and I told him you should break the record! He had way more torso and longer arms than me, I still wanna train him up for it - I feel like he could do 300! haha 

    Among all the Guinness World Records you hold, which one is closest to your heart?

    I think the most hoops. It's the one I pushed the furthest and the one people find the hardest to believe - until they see it. 

    Also, are there any new records you’re currently eyeing?

    There are always a few - but I'm not telling you what they are!


    Instagram: @marawa