Rollerblading has a variety of benefits. It is fun, does wonders for your fitness, and also gives you the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. However, if you are new to rollerblading, you will need to put in some time and effort, learning how to rollerblade and perfecting your skills, before you can start gliding around. Read on below for a step-by-step guide on how to rollerblade for beginners.
What You Need
For beginners to rollerblade, you will need to have the right gear. In addition to a pair of perfectly fitting rollerblades, you will need a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. Rollerblades come in all sizes, just like any other shoes; so be sure to choose a size that fits your feet snugly. If the pair you choose is too tight you might end up suffocating your feet; if they are too loose, your feet will slide around in them, giving you a wobbly stance.
Remember to make sure that the helmet you end up using also fits your head snugly, while still being comfortable.
Now that you have the necessary gear, follow the steps below to learn how to rollerblade for beginners.
The first step is to put on your gear (rollerblades and safety gear). Use the straps or laces on the rollerblades to snugly secure the blades to your feet. Before you go out rollerblading always be sure to put on the necessary safety gear and it should be worn the entire time you are skating.
Start by getting up on your feet using something, like a wall or even a chair, for support. Do not allow your feet to roll out from under you.
Alternatively, you can start by standing on your knees. Raise one foot and plant the skate on the ground, with the knee facing outwards. Turn your upper body halfway towards the direction of the raised foot, and with your weight leaning on the raised leg, stand up and plant the other skate on the ground.
Once you are up on your feet, assume a steady stance. Stand up, just like you normally do, with feet planted firmly on the ground and separated by the width of your shoulders. Toes should point straight ahead, and ankles held firm without any wobbling.
Remember that your feet, and entire body, will always move in the direction that the skates, and your toes, are pointing when skating. As such, you are likely to lose your balance and fall if you allow the skates to point inwards or outwards while on the move.
To help you and your body get used to some of the common movements you will be using when skating, take some time to practice leaning, crouching, and leaning from side to side, while stationary. You can even practice standing on one leg at a time.
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Rollerblades do not have training wheels; the risk of falling is always there, especially as you practice how to balance. Fortunately, you can avoid some nasty injuries (strained muscles and broken bones) with the right preparation.
Whenever you start falling, always try to land on your side. Avoid falling on your back or front as this increases the risk of suffering painful bumps and knocks. However, if you do fall on your backside, avoid landing directly on your backbone as you might end up with a bruised tailbone – a painful injury that might take months to recover from.
Furthermore, you should also avoid, as much as possible, landing on your hands as you run the risk of breaking the small bones in your wrist. With that in mind, you should seriously consider wearing wrist protection gear for added safety.
All in all, you can avoid painful falls by practicing your standing and balancing moves on a soft surface – carpeted floor or grassy patch. This way, there will be something to cushion your fall, if it does happen.
When you are ready to start moving, find a flat (paved) open space to practice – preferably one with the least amount of traffic (people and cars).
Before you start gliding on your rollerblades, start by taking small simple steps while wearing the rollerblades.
Try transitioning these steps into soft strokes, and then glides. To do this, try to push your foot forward and outwards, instead of simply dropping it to the ground – as you would when taking a step forward. You can turn the trailing foot at an angle so that you have something to push against.
As you start moving slowly, use your hands to maintain your balance. Just hold out your hands on your sides, and move them ever so slightly to avoid tipping. However, you should avoid bringing your hands too far in front of your body, or raising them over your head, if you don’t want to lose your balance.
Start by taking things slowly and only accelerate when you feel confident of what you are doing.
Learning how to steer properly will help you turn, and also avoid obstacles in your path when skating. The simplest way to turn when skating is to shift your weight to the inside skate – the foot that is in the direction you want to turn – use the outer skate to push towards the turn direction by taking small steps with it while keeping the inner skate on the ground the whole time.
Start by taking gentler turns first before transitioning to sharper turns. As you get more comfortable, you can even try the A-frame turn or crossover turn – both of which are more advanced. See below.
A Frame Turn
One, or both, of your skates, comes with a rubber heel (or plastic peg) protruding at the back; designed to be used for braking.
To brake, start by bringing your legs closer together, in a slightly staggered fashion for stability. With your knees bent and put your hands on the front knee, push the skate with the brake forward while tilting it to ensure t-That the brake scrapes the ground gently. This will bring you to a slow stop. Avoid applying too much pressure, and braking too hard, as you might end up losing control.
Alternatively, you can use the T-stop to brake. To execute this braking move, advance on of your skates forward and shift your weight on to it, and then with your knees bent position the trailing one (preferably the one with the braking pad) perpendicular to the advanced skate and then apply pressure on it so that it scrapes the ground. As you come to a stop, you can lean on the trailing/braking foot for stability.
As a beginner, use the above basic rollerblading skills as a foundation for mastering more advanced moves; and with regular practice, you will be gliding along like a pro in no time! Thank you for reading our article on how to rollerblade for beginners!