Here’s a quick guide on how to roller skate, especially for the ones who want to learn a new activity or want to stay in shape.
Skating could be a pleasurable breathing space or a great form of exercise and can turn out to be a great competitive sport. It can be a form of conveyance at times when you don’t want to walk to your destination like the grocery store.
It may sound difficult or even funny doing grocery shopping on roller skates, but it’s not difficult once you learn to balance yourself. Then you will rarely want to put your feet on the ground, and thats how your roller skating journey begins.
Skating is not just about having some gala times with your friends. It’s a new form of exercise to keep you in shape and get you rid of boredom.
Roll Your Way
Though you might think you only need a pair of skates for skating, you’re mistaken, you need a full set of safety gear, a helmet, thick knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards, and it is good to have a mouth guard well.
Never presume once you put on your skates, you will glide like butter on eight wheels. It doesn’t happen overnight. That’s not how you learn to roller skate.
Some of you might have already started roller-skating with your roller skates and have probably failed your expectations. So, you have come here to check what you are doing wrong.
While some of you are just thinking of giving this a shot, anyhow in both cases, you need to learn to fall safely on the ground without breaking your hip, and if you don’t want to fall, practice inside on a thick carpet so that the chances of injuries are less until you are ready to fall on the grounds. After learning all these, you are ready to learn how to roller skate.
You don’t have to buy a costly new pair of skates. You can start with experienced skaters or start with less overpriced skates or borrow from someone and start practicing with it.
There are two types of skates available, the ones with heeled boots that lace up the ankles are eventually meant for doing figure skating moves like jumps and spins, more preferable for doing casual skating.
The other type of skates are low-cut skates that look like sneakers, they don’t provide ankle support but are great in terms of flexibility, and these are more preferred among roller derby players.
The first step should be to get comfortable with the roller skaters. You need to train your body how to act when you have wheels under you. Doing this will give you the sense of where to place your weight on your foot as you walk around with wheels.
All these skills will serve you well when you start skating. Let’s start with the fundamentals of roller skating and see how to roller skate the right way.
9 Tips on How to Roller Skate
1. Get your roller skates ready
The first thing you need is a pair of roller skates. After getting the right pair of skates that fits, you will need a helmet that fist so that you don’t smash your head on the ground.
Everyone spills like oil when they start skating, and when we fall on the ground, we hurt our heads and other parts of our bodies. So, we need other equipment as well like knee pads and wrist guards.
If you are not concerned about getting scraped up, then you don’t need any of these mentioned things and can learn how to roller skate.
If you are doing this inside your home, get up with all gear, stand on a carpet, try not to roll your wheels yet, keep your feet parallel and shoulders apart.
In the beginning, it feels like you are ice skating as everything feels so slippery, but you have to remind your mind that it’s not ice skating but solid ground. So it would be best if you learned how to roller skate in the right way.
2. Identifying the right posture
When you are standing on the carpet or ground with your skates, have your knees bent like you are about to do a squat, lower your backside towards the ground and then lean slightly forward in a squatting position, balance yourself and prevent yourself from toppling over.
The more you bend your knees, the more stable you are, and you will not do roller rinks. If you are going to stand up and lock your knees, you are going to fall over. Make a front lunge and let your knees rest on the carpet. Be sure you land on your knees gently.
Practice these first before trying anything when you are new to skating and land with one knee. In that case, you will not hurt yourself.
While focusing on your leg work, make sure you put your hands in the air to make a steady balance for yourself and always carry your elbow pads with you even if you are practicing at home.
It isn’t easy to stand still in a pair of roller skates. Once you have attained the stability, try little movements with your leg and slightly push yourself like someone pushed you from behind but make sure it’s gentle. Don’t panic. You are still on your way to learning how to roller skate.
Now, if you are afraid of falling to the ground, let me tell you it’s not always about falling on the ground with your face. You will fall on your butt too, when you are pushing yourself.
Make sure you have the correct posture so that you don’t break your tailbone as it could cost you six months to recover from that, and while you are about to fall on your butt, make sure you fall on either side of your butts, that way you won’t hurt your tailbone.
It doesn’t sound easy, but it is. You will learn how to roller skate; you just need patience more than courage to learn this activity.
3. Getting to the roller skating rink
After following the above steps, you need to walk like a duck now. We are not kidding, but while in the beginner’s phase of roller skating, you have to walk like a duck with your heels together and toes pointed out. Put your toes forward to initiate walking forward. Put right leg first, then to the left, and so on.
While moving, don’t forget to continue squatting or quad skate and keep your heels directly under your body, making at the position, so you have a steady balance. Keep following the same procedure until you master your duck walks in the skates, and it’s completely fine if you are falling at the beginning; accept it as a fun part of skating.
Don’t get too confident. Give a little tighter push while you stride. Use your toe as toe stoppers. Remember these tips to keep your body centered over your heels, and when you have fallen enough times and got the confidence start taking longer strides to put more pressure on your wheels.
Keep your stance wide, picture yourself as a sumo wrestler and see how steady they are because they always bend and have a wide gap.
You don’t have to be conscious while seeing other people. You are a beginner, so you are supposed to bend or roll backward while you take strides, and with each stride, try to move your arms in order with your legs so that there is a proper balance between the upper body and lower body.
Whenever you feel like you are about to fall, bring your arms closer, bend your knees, and when you can’t maintain a balance, bring your arms to the front and widen them. It will stabilize you.
4. Find Your balance
Please don’t get too excited you haven’t mastered the art of skating yet, but you have made great progress in the beginner’s phase, and here we come to the most exciting part of skating.
Lengthen each stride you take by allowing yourself to roll, put pressure on the front foot, and glide with the back foot and when you are gliding, put your other feet above the floor so that it doesn’t obstruct your gliding.
While gliding, you will realize your skates need to be very smooth, so if you are not investing too much in skates, make sure they are very smooth, and your skates fit.
If you are a beginner, a slight bump will make you fall. So dont increase your speed.
While you were gliding, start with turning right and left. When you turn right, lean your body towards your right and when you turn left, lean your body towards your left and follow the same procedure every time you glide and make sure your body remains in a squatting position and your thigh muscles are relaxing.
Now it’s time to increase your speed and move your legs faster. Use more power at the same time and skate faster and gain momentum by putting pressure on the legs and using your arms to keep your balance stable and bending the elbows, and moving them back and forth just like you do while running.
It’s better to have a friend along with you while you are practicing this, or you can watch skating videos before trying roller skating, and more practice at home will give you more confidence.
As soon you find your balance, you are already halfway to learning how to roller skate.
5. Give it some flair
Hurrah! We have passed the beginners phase, and now we will make some big moves. You make a ‘V’ shape with your legs and pressure your heels when you skate forward.
Now let’s glid backwards.
Your squatting position will not change. Apply pressure to your right toe, keep the other foot lifted, and then drop your other foot and apply pressure to the other foot. Practices these steps as much as you can because you can’t see behind, so you are forced to turn around.
It might sound difficult and hectic, but eventually, you will learn this as gliding backward is a bit difficult. Lengthen the strokes you take, practice rolling, keep your foot pressure, and make an inverted ‘V’ with your foot. Learning how to roller skate is not that easy. You need to be calm and composed.
In a small space, you can try park skating by just moving around on your roller skates.
It might look like a big procedure to roller skate, but slowly and steadily, you will learn.
6. Inline skates
In this, we will align our skates and try skating on the heel of one foot. Sounds interesting and scary right?. That’s the joy of skating like ice skates.
Put all the pressure on your heels and do a few glides to get into the momentum and then lift the toe of your stronger skating foot so that you will skate on your heels and let the other foot trail behind and make sure you skate on your heels. This is called inline skates.
Inline skating is the best part of learning how to roller skate.
7. Crossover turn
Now comes the heaviest part of learning how to roller skate.
It’s time to do some intense skating. Start by gliding to gain some momentum, and when you are about to turn, do it by crossing one skate over the other and using it to push off in a new direction and put your feet shoulder-width apart.
Suppose when you are turning left, cross your right leg, skate over your left stake, turn your body in that direction and push off with your right skate in the left direction.
Repeat the same procedure by changing your direction and moving your hands along with your body so that the stability does not get affected by turning.
Turn your shoulders in the direction you go, and the balance remains steady. While doing all this, make sure your knees are bent to be more stable and confident, and there you go, you finally know how to roller skate.
8. Forward and backward skating
Here comes the most exciting part: jumping while skating. While you are gliding bring your skates together, crouch yourself and jump a short distance. Don’t overdo it, or else you will end up hurting yourself.
While you jump, don’t aim too high. In the beginning, start with little force and then come back down with less force.
When you have gained enough confidence by practicing, try jumping in a fancy way to change direction. While doing all this, remember to let your hands free and move them in the direction with your feet, so the momentum that was created doesn’t get disturbed, and you don’t end up falling.
You can bend yourself a little more and try backward-forward transitions.
Forward and backward skating techniques need to be understood well while learning how to roller skate to increase your speed.
9. Stopping your motion
When you finally understand how to roller skate, you need to learn how to stop as well. You can’t keep going all day long, can you?
At times when you are gliding, you might come across some sudden obstruction, so you need to know how to stop gliding then and there.
There are two ways to stop yourself from gliding. The first one is known as ‘T’ stop. In this, you will put your weight on one leg, pick up your other leg up, and put your skate behind. Maintain your body weight by putting your toes inwards.
Gently drag all your wheels on the ground until you slow down and stop. This one is a bit tricky, and don’t try this until you have learned full skating.
The other stop is the Plow stop, where when you are rolling, keep your legs wide apart, point your toes, put pressure on the other side of your skates, and squeeze your inner thighs, and your skates will make a triangle shape.
The only trick you need in this stop is to work on your thighs. As hard as you squeeze your thighs, the speed will be reduced, and eventually, you will stop. Plow stop will help you with increasing your speed as well.
When you slide wide and close together, your speed will increase. If you find it difficult to apply pressure with your legs, try to exert extra force to stop with your hands.
Hurrah! Now you have finally learned how to roller skate.
It would help if you also learn how to maintain your skates to use them for a long time, and skate like you are gliding on butter. You’ll need to do just a couple of things to keep them rolling smoothly.
First, when you buy yourself a pair of skates, they must be very tight. You need to loosen the nuts on your wheels and make sure they are loose enough that when you hold the skate up and flick, the wheel spins freely.
Adjust the wheels as per your requirements. If you are practicing on hard floors, you’ll need hard wheels, and if you are practicing outdoors, you need softer wheels. A thing called toe stops is used in dance moves, but if you use them for casual purposes, you might replace them with little nubs called jam plugs.
Seems like now you are all set with how to roller skate. So glid your way out.