Content of the material
- Getting to Know Your Gear
- Having Fun Skating Relays On Inline Speed Skates
- Squat Drills With World Champion Inline Speed Skater Joey Mantia
- How to Go Uphill
- Riding the board
- How to stand on a skateboard and keep your balance
- How to ride a skateboard for the first time
- Learn how to push
- Don’t try to ollie or kickflip for a while
- Learn how to turn
- Learn how to stop
- How to Skate like a hockey player
- Where to Learn How to Skate
- Protect Yourself – Getting the Right Roller Skate Protective Gear
- The Trinity of Roller Skate Pads
- Pad Recommendations
- Drill 2: Learning Skate Motion Without Poles
- Understanding Your Edges: 6 Edge Work drills to Improve Balance and Control
- How to Throw Down aSkateboard
Getting to Know Your Gear
Your setup might vary from the description below, so be sure your gear provider shows you how everything works before you hit the trail. A typical boot/binding setup works as follows:
- Look at the boots and bindings: A typical binding has a crosswise groove at the front of it, which mates with a skinny bar at the toe of your ski boots. Pressing your toe bar into that groove clicks you into the skis. Release mechanisms vary—pushing on a button at the front of the binding, or perhaps twisting a knob, frees your boot from the binding.
- Click in and out a few times: Stand in a flat area with skis parallel and click your boots into and out of the bindings a few times to get the hang of how things work.
Having Fun Skating Relays On Inline Speed Skates
Check out the Pascal Braind video blog #307. He really puts a lot into his videos, and has fun doing…Read More »
Squat Drills With World Champion Inline Speed Skater Joey Mantia
Olympic Speed Skater and 28 times Inline Speed Skating World Champion demonstrates how to position yourself on inline speed skates.Read More »
How to Go Uphill
Though you should start out in flat areas when you’re first learning, eventually you’ll want to go up a hill. Listed below are two options for going uphill:
Slow down your V1 skate rhythm as the terrain gets steeper. On gentler hills, you should be able to V1 your way to the top.
Named for the pattern your skis leave in the snow, this is the go-to technique for steeper hills. Practice the herringbone first on flat terrain to get a feel for the movement:
- Create a “V” with your skis. (The wide part should face forward.)
- Roll your feet slightly inward, which digs the inside of the ski edges into the snow.
- Take small gliding steps, maintaining the V shape and inward ski edge as you push off. Take care not to cross the ski tails as you lift each ski up, over and in front of the tail of the other ski.
- Move using an opposite arm/opposite leg pattern; pole tips should be placed in the snow slightly behind your skis to help keep you from sliding backward.
- Keep glide-stepping up the hill until you reach the top.
Note: On steeper hills, you might not be able to generate any uphill glide; if that happens, take a series of small steps up the hill instead.
Riding the board
Ok, you got this. Relax, breath and don’t be scared. Getting on a skateboard for the first time is very awkward. It will feel unnatural and you will fall. To make this as easy as possible there are a few things you can do to get used to a skateboard without landing on your face.
The most important thing to learn is keeping your balance. I have some tips to balance without falling off or hurting yourself. After that, it’s time to ride for the first time and learn how to push. Don’t do anything you aren’t ready for, leave the ollies for now.
How to stand on a skateboard and keep your balance
You need to get used to a skateboard and make sure you position your feet correctly. Your first try will feel uncomfortable and maybe a bit scary, don’t step on a deck when it’s able to move. To prevent the board from slipping away underneath you can put your deck on a patch of grass or a piece of carpet.
This way you’ll get a bit of the feeling of balancing on a board and your skateboard won’t take off without you. Of course, you’ll stay stationary, riding a board on grass isn’t exactly what you want to do but you’ll get to know and feel the board.
Once you’ve done that, hit the street and stand with both of your feet on the board and slightly bend your knees. This will help you keep your center of gravity and you’re closer to the ground. Practice stepping on and off using your ‘push foot’, once you feel comfortable and not losing your balance all the time you should learn how to push.
How to ride a skateboard for the first time
Now that we covered the basics it’s time to ride. Try to skateboard at least 3 times a week in order to make progression. The first thing you want to do is figuring out which foot you want to put forward. Is your stance regular (left foot in front) or goofy (right foot in front)?
Neither is good or bad, it’s just your personal preference. If you use the wrong foot things will be hard and frustrating. You sometimes see skaters push with their front foot, the problem is that it takes more time to get back in a comfortable position. If you ever snowboarded you probably need to put the same foot forward, if not follow these instructions:
- Run straight ahead and imagine your heading for a slippery surface you want to slide.
- Now jump and land without thinking too much and put a foot forward, this is probably the foot you want in front.
- Another method is asking a friend to push you while standing, the foot you use to step forward is probably your front foot.
Learn how to push
So now you figured out which foot you need in front of your board, let’s start to push your skateboard. Put your foot (facing forward) over the front truck bolts (knees bend) and use the other foot to give a little push, go easy and don’t step on your skateboard.
You need to practice this a few times first.
Next, put your other foot on the deck and position your front foot sideways, turning your foot will help you keep your balance. So basically how you ride a skateboard is like this:
- Put your front foot over the front truck bolts of your board.
- Push with your other foot.
- Push with your back foot and place it on your tail.
- Position your front foot sideways.
Keep doing this until you feel comfortable, it could take a couple of days/weeks before you feel in control depending on how much you practice. If you don’t feel comfortable after practicing many times you might want to try to put your other foot in front. Just take your board to school, work or your friend’s house to get familiar with riding a skateboard.
Like anything in life, you’ll need practice before you master a new skill. Don’t get cocky once you think you have everything under control. Leave the ollies and kickflips for now. The next thing you want is to learn how to turn.
Don’t try to ollie or kickflip for a while
You see this pretty often. People completely skip the basics and start going for ollies right away. Please stop doing this. If you don’t get the basics it will only take longer to actually learn tricks. You need to get a feeling for your skateboard.
It needs to feel like a natural extension of your body. When you can push with confidence, or steer like it’s a second nature you can go on. But you still shouldn’t start doing kickflips or ollies before you can roll. At the end of this post, I have some really basic tricks that look rad and aren’t too hard to learn. Once you got that, go do your ollies.
Learn how to turn
Start by stepping with both of your feet on your skateboard. Lean to the front back and also use your feet while doing this. Your board will respond to your movements and once you get the hang of it, try it while riding.
There are two types of turns you can use to maneuver your skateboard, a kick turn, and a carving turn.
A kick turn is slightly more difficult, you’ll need to lift your front wheels off the ground by gently putting pressure on your tail with your back foot. Carving is when you lean in and use the weight of your body to steer.
Carving turns are more difficult if your trucks are tight, you’ll need to loosen them up a little (not too much!). Just lean into the direction you want to go and your board will follow.
Learn how to stop
Slowing down on your face isn’t recommended so before you start those power slides the easiest way to stop moving is using your back foot. Just drag the sole of your shoes to reduce speed. Just use the same position as you use to push and slowly apply pressure to the ground.
Angle your foot towards the front (nose) of your skateboard, it’s not that hard if you limit your speed. If you run into traffic and think you can’t make it, bail! I just hope you didn’t forget to wear protective gear.
How to Skate like a hockey player
Hockey players skate differently than speed skaters and figure skaters. With hockey the most important aspect is explosive power. Right now we will just focus on the fundamentals of skating.
Step 1 – Bend the knees and get low – Your power and speed comes from your legs, and you can’t get much power if you don’t bend your knees first. A good hockey player will have their butt dropped as if they are about to sit in a chair. Remember to keep your head and chest up to remain balanced.
Step 2 – Push out with one leg, while gliding on the other leg – When you are pushing start by pushing back at a 45 degree angle. If you push straight back you will not get very much power because you will be “running on the ice”. In order to get speed and power from your push you need to dig in with your edges and to do this you need to push at at least a 45 degree angle.
Step 3 – Recover and repeat on the other side – After finishing your push, get your leg back under your body and then push with the other leg. Repeat this motion over and over and you are skating!
Where to Learn How to Skate
A smooth, lesser-used sidewalk or bike bath, or an empty street or parking lot are all great places to learn how to ride your skateboard. If the sidewalk has huge cracks all along it, we'd recommend finding somewhere smoother. It's best to learn the basics of pushing and riding around before going to a skatepark. Skateparks can often be crowded and chaotic and isn’t an ideal place to learn. If it’s the only good place around for you to learn, try to find an area where you won't get in the way of more experienced skaters.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once you get comfortable with moving while on your skateboard as well as with increasing speeds, the next maneuver which is worth your while to learn is a trick called “tick-tacking.” So long as you have developed a comfortable sense of balance while standing and moving on your skateboard, the tick-tack should come quite naturally and easily to you. It’s a great way to further improve your sense of balance and agility while you are on your skateboard.
*Keep in mind that, while it may be slightly more dangerous and necessitating an even greater sense of caution and care, you can practice your skating down gentle slopes as well as a variety of flat grounds. Navigating gentle downward slopes helps to improve your skills and is really quite fun. So long as you do not feel like you are putting yourself or others around you in danger or disrespect, think creatively and turn whatever surface you can into a spot to skate!
Drill 2: Learning Skate Motion Without Poles
- Stand with skis in a V position. Start with simple side-to-side weight transfer as explained above. Remember to shift from your hips without relying on bending your knee.
- Next, press your knees slightly forward toward the tip of the skis as you shift your weight to the balls of your feet. Your hips will move forward as your knees bend, and your skis will begin to move forward and away from each other. Either hop or bring one ski back to center once you’ve maxed out.
Once you’ve experimented, return to starting V and practice shifting weight from ski to ski. When you’re ready, apply the above and shift weight fully onto each ski as you move forward.
When it comes to learning to skate, you can’t do anything without having the essential equipment for the job.
Once you have all the necessary gear (skates, elbow and knee pads, wrist pads, helmet, etc.), the next most important element of skating is your balance; in roller skating, balance is everything. This is why it’s important to perfect the T position, as well as simply getting comfortable and feeling stable in an upright position.
When you’re certain you can remain upright without wobbling and avoid falling, then you can begin to introduce movement into your routine. This is why starting out slow and taking your time is preferred. That being said, due to the nature of this activity, falls will happen from time to time, it’s an inevitable part of the sport.
Nevertheless, to keep falls to a minimum, remember to stay in that bent kneed squat position, as it will always help maintain your balance. This way, when you take on new moves or attempt to move with more speed, you’ll be in the prime position to land those moves more easily.
Lastly, if you can roller skate with experienced skaters, it will help you when you begin to introduce more dynamic and challenging moves into your routine. However, this isn’t essential, and works more as a means of reducing anxiety as a first timer skater. We wish you a happy skating!
*This content is under-construction so some part is missing.
The ‘parts’ of a skateboard consist of the ‘deck’, the ‘trucks’, the ‘wheels’, and the ‘bearings’. All parts come in a variety of specifications, including shape, size, softness, and flex. As each specification is geared toward a specific purpose, you should take advantage if you can of the option to customize your own setup in accordance with how it is you want to skate. You can ask someone working at a skate shop for help, or you can set your skateboard up yourself. Here are some links to the information you should have to help you choose your own preferred type of setup (The final SETUP link will show you how you connect each gears to make skateboard)!
Understanding Your Edges: 6 Edge Work drills to Improve Balance and Control
In order to be a great skater you need good balance. New hockey players are usually off balance, bow-legged, stutter stepping and some look like they just finished riding a horse for 6 hours. Why do new hockey players…
How to Throw Down aSkateboard
Learning how to throw down your board is an essential skill in skateboarding. Once you master this, you can get started with some speed without having to lay down your board and push from a dead stop. Hold the nose of the board with the arm that’s on the same side as your front foot. So if you’re regular, hold it with your left hand, and if your goofy hold it with your right hand. Take a step forward with your pushing foot and extend your arm holding the board, letting it hang in front of your front leg. As you start your next step lower the board and drop it under your front foot so you can turn that step into the first push. Try to get your front foot into place so you can just start riding without having to readjust your feet a bunch. It might look and feel clunky at first, but eventually it will be second nature and you’ll be able to throw down onto your board at a full sprint.