'To my knowledge, limbo skating isn't in the UK yet," says Steve Bardy, editor of Skate, the British Roller Sports Federation magazine. "But skating is becoming more and more popular here - there's roller soccer and roller basketball, and roller derby ..."
It can only be a matter of time before limbo-skating, or roller-limbo, as it is also known, takes off on these shores; photographs such as the one of Aniket Chindak, rollerskated legs akimbo, will surely prove inspirational to some.
Chindak, six, is hoping to seize the title of world limbo-skating champion by skating under 100 parked cars. Last March, he successfully skated under 57 cars in 45 seconds. He began skating at the age of 18 months, and it took three months of practice to achieve the right position for limbo-skating. Now he is training four hours a day, and skating 60 miles a week in pursuit of the new challenge.
Limbo-skating is something of a craze in India. Last September, three-year-old Krishna Kunwar Gahlo of Udaipur skated under a bus with a clearance height of 11in, and in October, five-year-old Uttam Gahlot, also from Udaipur, rolled under a car with a clearance height of just 6.75in, which his coach claimed to be a record in the boys' category.
In the United States, seven-year-old Zoey Beda earned the nickname Roller Limbo Princess when she succeeded in skating as low as 7in, while in 1999, six-year-old Xue Wang of Beijing performed the splits under a bar set at 5.75in.
"You would have to be very, very agile and loose-limbed to do that," says Joan Preston, coach of the Alumwell roller skating club in the West Midlands. Preston was herself five times British Pairs Champion, and the British National Team Coach; today she teaches skating to children as young as two.
Alas she increasingly finds that her pupils are not as agile as they once were. "It's because they don't do sports in schools," she suspects. "They're not overweight, they're quite sprightly kids, but they can't do some of the things I can do. They need to do it every day to get the suppleness, and they need core strength, strength in their thighs, deportment ... The children I teach, they're quite fit, but they would have trouble getting under something very low. I think," she says wearily, "we have a real problem."
· The following clarification was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Friday January 11 2008. Arms can be akimbo, legs can't. It means hands on hips.