Everything You Need to Learn How to Roller-Skate 2020

How to Roller Skate for Beginners?

Roller Skates

Let’s choose a pair of roller skates. A proper skates is essential and vital if you want to enroll in this wonderful sport. Roller skates are available in a variety of categories. The four main subclasses we can name here are recreational outdoor or indoor skates, speed skates, children’s skates, and artistic skates.

First of all, get the skates that suit your feet. Based on the measurement of your feet the size can be varied to fit your needs perfectly.

Gears

helmetOf course, you have got your skates but you also need good protection gear so it will keep you safe. Even the professionals never forget to wear their gears before going on the stage. Wearing protective equipment helps you focus on your skating with less fear. As a beginner, you’ll need a helmet, a pair of elbow pads, knee cushions, wrist pads, and skating socks.

You may think socks don’t matter, but we’ll show why we mentioned it. A good pair of socks acts as a cushion to keep your feet from interacting with the hard material of the boots. Moreover, socks absorb foot sweat to reduce the stink.

You can believe it or not, but when we skated sockless, our feet were torn up in no time.

Balance

You will find yourself struggling on the wheels at first, but that’s normal. You will learn how to stand on those wheels while relaxing in no time so rest assured . Preparing your stance on the skates in a proper position is always a good start. Follow these tips:

Bend Your Knees

Better to place your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees mildly and squat this will help steady your footing and bring more balance to your upper body.

Remain this squat position all the time on the wheels; you can stand up as you feel comfy while sliding forward at a relaxing speed. If you need more force to go ahead, again, you bend your knees and push your weight on your thighs, kick from one leg to another and start gliding.

Toes Out

Try to remain squat comfortably with your heels together, and toes point outward. At some time, you will feel like resting from rolling, bend your toes forward and you will steadily. You can work on the toes stoppers to the breakpoint.

Arms Front

You can raise your arms in front with elbows tucked into your sides. This position will help to keep your gravity low as your weight is focusing ahead.

The T-Position

To get your feet underneath you, your knees bent, and your core engaged, put one heel into the instep of the other skate. That way your skates won’t roll out from underneath you while you’re standing.

The Squat

Remember skating is squatting, either while rolling or standing, you need to keep the balance to take over the control of your movement successfully. You will see countless reminders of keeping squat during the whole writing. The reason to keep your body low is fundamental in maintaining the most balance when you skate.

Stopping

The Plow StopYou should know how to stop before knowing how to roll this is the first step to learn skating effectively. Stopping is one essential skill you need to know to play roller.

The Plow Stop

This technique applies for slow skating. As you roll, spread out your legs and point your toes in, try to push out on the inside edge and your weight onto the floor. The process involves weight transfer dropping the top half of your body into the bottom half quickly to ensure you a solid stop.

Try to avoid the situation where the weight goes to the outside and the inside wheels come up. Keep your shoulders straight across, chin up and look forward, this posture is optimized for you to control the skater and command it to your will . You can hear people call it the snow stop.

The T-Stop

Push your front foot forward, bend the knees, put lots of weight on that front knee and keep your core tight. The back leg is straight and pushing on your outer edge. Once you’re pushing out, the skate will slide underneath you hence you come back to the T-position.Pretty simple and when u mastered this technique it will come in handy.

Forward Skating

How do you move on roller skates? Once you’re settle everything and feel comfortable enough to move forward, get on with these steps:

  • Take one foot and turn it into a T-angle
  • Push off the back foot while transferring weight onto the facing forward foot
  • Glide on the front foot then set the back foot back down
  • Keep rolling

This simple kick off will help you to get familiar with the motion. Try to start slow and be careful.

Backward Skating

You should always keep your chest a little bit forWhen you roll backward, your toes are going to point together, knees bent, push your butt out again this is alo the most optimized proture to roll backward. Don’t forget to look back. Starting off with walking; take little steps, keep your core engaged and thigh muscles pulled together and toes inwards.

You should always keep your chest a little bit forward over your knees to avoid falling.

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Learn to Stand Or Balance On The Skates

At the very beginning, once you wear your skates, hold any object to take support, and then practice standing on the skates. Leave that object for a second and try to do balance, hold that object immediately when you think you’re about to lose balance. Do this for a few minutes and when you feel that you are comfortable standing on skates and you’re facing no difficulty, then follow the next tip.

Is Roller Skating Hard?

The difficulty of learning roller skating depends a lot on the person. The faster you are able to learn how to balance on your skates, the faster you will learn roller skating. Most people can do it within an hour or a few hours of practice. While some might take a few days. Once you’ve learned your body balance, the other stuff comes naturally.

When you’re just starting out, the learning curve may seem very high. Balancing properly on roller skates is not easy. You can lose your balance easily with even the lightest touch. Expect to fall a lot. Try to fall on your back so that you don’t get hurt. Falling face first is not a good feeling and you can easily cause bad injuries. Practice on a grassy field or on carpet till you get the basics down.

Balancing properly is the most important thing to learning roller skating. All good skaters have a really good grasp on their balance. Stay positive and be confident. Hold on a rail or wall and try moving. Don’t let the embarrassment of falling get to you. Keep practicing until you get it right.

With proper practice, you should be able to learn the basics within a few hours. Younger people tend to learn faster as with every other sport. If you want to learn all the cool tricks with your roller skates, it will take some more time. Some tricks can even take months or years of practice to master.

If you feel dizzy or any kind of muscle pain, you should take a break. Take some rest and get back to practicing when you feel better. Try to take some time off your schedule regularly and practice. Regular practice will help you learn a lot faster. If you take long breaks between practice sessions, you may have to learn some things all over again.

The main thing is to keep trying. Don’t give up, no matter how many times you fail. Practice for a few hours regularly and you will be a great skater in no time. Learning by yourself can take some time. If you can find someone who can instruct you, you will be able to learn roller skating a lot faster.

Step 2 – Identifying the Right Posture

This is something that comes with practice, but the real key is to have a relaxed attitude when roller skating. Posture only comes when you know what way you are most comfortable standing in. This cannot happen if you are stressed and worried.

T-Position

You must be thinking about how you are supposed to stay relaxed when you know you are losing balance. Here is a tip for you – Start standing in a T-position when you are not skating (obviously with your roller skates on).

In short, reduce the width between your feet such that the side-heel of one plus back-heel of the other are in contact. Now, this only helps achieve balance on posture for your lower body.

What about the upper body? Simply keep your core tight and make sure your knees are slightly bent. Take a short 20 meter round and come back to the T-position. Keep doing this with an intention to enter and exit the T-position comfortably.

Squatting Practice

As a beginner, a critical point on your checklist must be your constant squatting position. Diverting from the squatting pose will deprive you of control over speed and turns.

4. Get Good Rollerblades

Now, I see many people buying poor-quality rollerblades just because they are cheaper and they think each rollerblade is just the same, the only difference is pricing. But that’s definitely not correct. You always need to pay more for better quality. I am saying this because even I had the same mindset which was basically wrong. If you get poor quality skates, then you might see some little roughness, it might get uncomfortable at a point, its brakes may not work properly, its balancing system might be wrong, basically, there are a hundred more ways poor quality rollerblades can destroy your rollerblading experience and also make your learning slower.

What Age Can a Child Learn to Roller Skate?

Kids can technically start learning at two or three years old but their balance isn’t very good at that age so it can be a little difficult. You can start teaching kids if they’re interested when their five or six because they’re balance is much better and their attention span will be better to start following instructions.

Most kids will start off with something like a to help them stay upright as they learn how to stand and balance on roller skates.

All kids should wear the proper protection and have adult supervision at all times.

Final Advice for Roller Skate Learning

·        Always check your wheels and toe stoppers (if they exist). Make sure they are not loose, or you will for sure land up breaking your bones.

·        Do not skate in rainy weather. In case your roller skates do get wet, then do not let moisture collect. It could lead to rust and further damage the metal parts.

·        Being a beginner, never roller skate downhill. The odds are that the force would prove too much for you to handle.

. Always choose one of the best roller skate brands. (i.e: impala)

Hope that helps to learn to roller skate. Learn quickly and enjoy the momentum of skating.

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Protect Yourself – Getting the Right Roller Skate Protective Gear

The Trinity of Roller Skate Pads

Now that you have your roller skates in hand, lets talk about protecting yourself. We’re going to cover all of the protective equipment that every beginner roller skater needs to get started. Let’s go!

Knee Pads

One of the most important roller skate safety items to get is a pair of knee pads. This will protect your knees from roller derby blocking, hockey checking and, for beginners like you, general skating falls / bumps.

Elbow Pads

Next, it is really good to have elbow pads. I have broken the radial bone in my elbow before from falling while skating and I can tell you it’s a whole lot cheaper to buy a pair of pads then going to the doctor to fix you up.

Wrist Guards

Finally, get a pair of wrist pads. This keeps you from skinning up your hands when you fall and protects you from spraining your wrists.

Butt Pad (Optional)

Lastly, if you really are scared of hurting yourself when falling, you can go with a padded pair of shorts (or what I call a butt pad). These are super padded shorts that are often used by skiers. They are bulky (and pretty dorky looking), but it does keep you from getting hurt. If you want maximum safety, then go for the butt pad. I won’t snicker too loudly.

Pad Recommendations

There are many roller skate padding options out there but I recommend going with something that has some really good shock absorption. I really like the 187 Killer Pads and the Triple 8 brand because both offer a kit that have elbow, knee and wrist guards all together. 187 Killer Pads are really loved by derby players, so they will do great for you as a beginner.

You can read all about pads in my 10 Best Roller Skate Pads article.

Helmet

The roller skate helmet is a roller skater’s second most important piece of safety gear. It should be comfortable and fit you well, but not feel too tight or too loose.

I really recommend a roller derby helmet for beginners. It’s just a better helmet. Yes, it will set you back a little bit more money, but this is your head we’re talking about here….kind of an important body part….well, at least it is to me. 🙂

You can read all about the Best Roller Skate Helmets here.

How to Learn to Roller Skate

Roller skating is an incredible recreational sport that will keep you fit and excited. The best thing about roller skating is it can be practiced at any age. So whether you are a kid, adolescent, adult, or an aging person, it’s never to late to learn to roller skate.

Apart from keeping you fit, there are other healthy reasons why you should roller skate. Roller skating is good for the heart. It reduces body fat and most especially, cholesterol, which is lethal to the heart. Other reasons include developing your muscles and bones, fighting diabetes, etc.

We must tell you that it isn’t hard to learn to roller skate if you are dedicated and zealous about roller skating. It usually takes a person thirty minutes to few weeks learn to roller skate. So let’s teach you the basics of roller skating.

  • Go Skate Equipment Shopping

First thing first, you need to buy the tools and equipment that you need for roller skating. This includes getting a new pair of roller skates and gears or accessories. Of course, there are different types of roller skates out there and you might want to ask which type is the right one to purchase, especially if you are just starting out. Well, let’s choose that pair of new skates for you.

There are different types of roller skates – outdoor skates, indoor skates, speed skates, jam skates, artistic skates,  etc. These subclasses of skates are divided into two major ones – high-cut skate boots and the low-cut skate boots.

The high-cut skate boots are the ones that we recommend for newbies or beginners. This type gives you more ankle support because they lace up the ankles. They offer more balance and stability, and it’s the ideal type of skate boots for casual roller skating.

On the other hand, low-cut skate boots aren’t laced up like the high-cut skate boots, which means that they won’t offer the same ankle support as the former. However, they offer increased flexibility and they are used by intermediate to experienced skaters. You will find jam skate boots in this category.

Whichever one that you intend purchasing, make sure you don’t go for the extremely cheap ones. Skate boots aren’t something that you would want to compromise. The quality of the skate boot determines your skating performance and to a large extent, your safety because poorly designed skate boots will put your life at risk. Try the skate boots before purchasing and beware of those with plastic wheels. Those aren’t real skates.

The same goes for skating gear/ accessories. You shouldn’t compromise on quality because safety gears offer protection. Before going for each practice, wear safety gears to protect you from falling on your body directly. Start by wearing your helmet, then your elbow pads, your knee pads, and then, your wrist guard. A pair of socks is also needed because it will act as a cushion to protect your feet from direct contact with the interior lacing of the boot. Not that you won’t feel any pain while you fall, but you won’t feel the impact significantly because the gears will take the blow.

  • Check the Boots

There are some boots that come too tightened, while there are others that come loosened. As a beginner, we recommend tightening them for more balance and less speed. But if you want some freedom of performing spins and flicking the wheels, you can keep them loosened a bit.

As we previously mentioned in this post, the durometer of the wheel is important and is determined by the type of surface you intend skating on. For instance, if you want to skate on indoor floors, you will need hard wheels with a durometer grading of 90A and above. This is because indoor floors are not so hard. If you prefer skating outdoors, which we believe most beginners would, you will need soft wheels with durometer rating of 70A up until 80A. This type of wheel will give you a smoother roll over hard surfaces like asphalt, concrete, etc.

If you want to learn skating both indoors and outdoors, be ready to purchase two different set of wheels – one for indoors and the other for outdoors.

  • Find Your Balance

It’s normal to struggle on the wheels at first and at the same time, it can be an incredible feeling. Falling is inevitable and you might end up with your back on the floor more than usual. Skating is about finding the right balance. Even before you put your skates on, try your balance. This will determine your stance on the skates.

Stand with your feet and shoulder width apart and bent as if to sit or squat. Align your shoulders and hips over your feet. Lean left and right lightly while moving your hips accordingly. Shift back and forth over the ankles and do not lean forward. This hip and ankle pose will get you into position when you mount your skates.

Put on your skates, place your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees, and assume the same squatting position like you did at first. Remain in this position until you feel comfortable sliding forward at a relaxing speed. Keep your toes out and raise your arms in front with the elbows tucked to your sides to keep your gravity low.

Try to walk with it first. Practicing this on a patch of grass is recommended because it offers traction. If you are able to walk without stretching your arms, then you might have found your balance.

  • Glide

This is where the surface comes into play. Look for a smooth, even ground to practice. Put one foot forward, push it back to glide before placing the other foot on the ground. Alternate from one foot to the other. Remember to start slowly at first and increase your speed as you skate.

  • Practice Braking

Most roller skates come with a rubber brake on the front, and we recommend using this if you are a beginner. Once you are comfortable doing this, you can move ahead to stopping the skates without the rubber brake.

When you want to stop, shift your weight to the foot without the stopper. Bring the stopper foot around so that it’s perpendicular to to your leading foot. In essence, your leading foot and brake foot forms a ‘T’. Apply pressure to the stopper to stop the skate.

And if you want to turn at some point, turn your leg opposite to the leading foot in a scissors style, bend, and then, take your turn with the corresponding leg. For example, if you want to turn left, put your right foot in front of the left leg and bend the left leg into the turn, while your right leg swings out and returns to its starting position. This is to maintain stability.

Mix solo practice with social rink nights

Saige B, founder of The Orbit Collective in New York City

Vavanatasha

Saige B., founder of The Orbit Collective, a New York City-based skating community for Black and Brown queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming people and women

“About 3 years ago, I witnessed a video clip of a skate party in someone's basement. I watched this gathering of beautifully skilled black folks dance circles around one another on skates without missing a beat and I immediately thought to myself, ‘How can I make this a reality for myself ASAP?’ So, I bought my first pair of roller skates and my journey began. 

I founded The Orbit Collective as an attempt to find community of skaters like me. We host skate meetups called RVLVRs, a fancy way of spelling ‘revolvers,’ which can range from street skating sessions, skate park sessions, and always, always a dance skate session.

I recommend solo skate sessions in addition to community skate sessions. Some of the best progress I've made has been when it's just me and my skates, and my music of course, with a great pair of over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones. Community sessions can be a vibe, but if you've set personal goals of moves you'd like to master or work at, it can be difficult to practice among others. Skaters are super encouraging and love to provide tips which can be helpful, but it's also important to understand and be grounded in your own body before accepting critiques or tips from the outside world. Another tip is to record yourself or have a friend record you, ideally when you're not paying attention. It's always humbling to watch footage back when you thought you were killin' it and instead you look like a baby deer: the goal is to get your moves to look as good as they feel when you're doing them. 

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