Inline skating, also known as rollerblading, is perfect for a full-body workout, and a great sport as well. Nowadays inline skating has its own identity. Due to its inexpensive, fun, versatile nature, people from all parts of society find this sport perfect for recreation.
It doesn't matter if you are practising inline skating professionally or for the cause of recreation. Once you decide to gain the necessary skills for skating, you will need to practice. With practice, you will undergo a thriving experience, both physically and mentally. In this article, I will discuss the necessary things related to inline skating practising. You will be informed about how to practice inline skating and where you can do these practices. So, without further ado, let's get started.
- Where to practice inline skating?
It is suggested that the practise should be done on dry and flat grounds. A flat surface with no obstruction is a perfect example. For this reason, tennis courts, parking lots, running tracks, cycle paths etc. are good options. If there is grass on the ground, it is a plus point. It would help you to balance by providing necessary friction.
For beginners, it is advised to not to start from hills or a broad highway designed for high-speed traffic. The parking lot of your apartment or the playground of your school can be the first places where you would want to start practising.
After a certain amount of training, when you move into the advanced level, you can go to the places where the real skater's practice. You can go to skating trails where you will find the natural feel of inline skating.
The trails can be any wooded trails or places where you can practice with real obstacles such as vehicles, animals etc. But to go there, you will need to follow specific rules. You will have to be patient during your practice and respect all the skating regulations.
- Safety Gear for practising inline skates
Learn to Fall is a part of practice
Falling is a part of skating practice. Even if a seasoned skater can experience falling; thus, it is suggested that you should treat falling as an inevitable component of the learning process and plan your riding according to it.
You should travel at a reasonable speed and wear all the safety gears to face this unwanted situation. When falling becomes unavoidable, try to fall on your fleshy body parts such as hips, thighs etc. If you fall forward on your knees or head, it can be a disaster. Avoid trails with too many obstacles and skate in courses which are inline skating friendly.
You must wear all the required safety gear while training. Spend your time and money to buy the appropriate safety gear. Some of the most important safety gears for the inline skaters are given below:
- Helmet– Some helmets are made specifically for inline skating. These are easy to find in local shops. Safety-certified helmetsare the best to buy.
- Wrist Guards—Sprained or broken wrists are the most common injuries an inline skater can face. This type of injury occurs when a skater put out his hand to break a fall. Thus, wearing wrist guards is strongly recommended!
- Knee Pads and Elbow Pads— These pads help you to prevent scrapes, bruises, etc. The pads with a rigid plastic shield over them should be used rather than the cloth-covered places.
There are other safety gears you can buy, such as light gloves, mouthguard etc. You will feel buying the right safety gears as a valuable investment when you fall during skating.
- Practice Inline Skatingfor Beginners
After getting equipped with gears, you will need to start the skating practice. If you are confident with your posture, you are good to start practising skating. The rest of the technicalities can be quickly taken care of. But if your stance is not up to the mark, then your skating practice will be at stake.
Stance depends on width and length. Your skates should be directly under your hips. This ideal distance between them is 10-12 inches. Beginners sometimes tend to use a vast stance which hinders their chance to make fluid and stable turns, strokes, stops, etc.
Length is vital for stability. Strength goes parallelly with long stance. If you go with a lengthy outlook, it will be difficult for you to fall in a forward or backward direction. In a different situation, the length of the view gets different. If you are standing still, 3-4 inches' separation is enough. When going in a high-speed turn, there should be as much as the length between the two skates.
Balancing while standing over skates is closely related to the stance. A skater tends to learn a better view so that he can achieve his balance. It is suggested that your knees should be a little bent. Meanwhile, your hands should be helping you with balancing. On the contrary, you should use your legs as shock absorbers. At the same time, during your ride, you need to see where you are going to avoid any accident.
3.2. Stroke and Glide
Stroke forces the skater's body in the forward direction and creates motion for him while the glide portion is used in case of steep trails such as hills. In the case of gliding, you will not need to stroke. Here, the momentum created will helps your motion.
Glide is as crucial for the inline skaters as the stroke. In the case of gliding, you should always use an extended length stance. The width of your view should remain between 8 to 12 inches. It is recommended that you both stroke and glide during inline skating.
Inline skates have different kinds of brakes. Some have brakes on both skates, some of them come with brakes (fixed or detachable) at the back of one particular skate, and some advanced skates do not have brakes at all. In skates with single brake, you can choose your preferred foot to fit the brake. Usually, the more muscular foot is selected for this purpose.
On most of the inline skates, the standard stop brake is located at the backside of the rear wheel of the right skate. You will have to lift your toe to stop the skate.
But if you are skating on a hill site, you will have to learn how to be very precise about stopping the skate. You will have to analyze your acceleration and apply the brake before the anticipated time of the killing. This should be maintained because as a beginner, you'll be unable to break down your speed.
The alternative to common stop in inline skating is the T-Stop brake. In case of this stop, the position of the skates creates a T. It is done by dragging one skate behind the other at a 90-degree angle to your movement direction. When you apply pressure to the inside edges of the wheels, it will slow you down.
Thus, in the regular stop, skate moves out in front of the skater while in the T-stop the skate moves behind him. If you know how to execute the abovementioned two types of stops, you can stop your skates in almost any situation.
- Exercises and Tricks
Now, you can move on to specialized exercises and tricks. These are discussed below:
Executing consistent and smooth turns are arguably the most rewarding parts of inline skating. In inline skating, the stance which is used for turning is called scissor. This is done by putting your one skate ahead of the other, and your weight should be on the back skate mostly.
Leaning is a must for a successful inline turn. Some skaters tend to favor turning in one specific direction, which is not so pragmatic. If you are one of those skaters, then it is high time you practice until you are confident turning in either direction.
Maintaining a proper posture is another important aspect of turning. Continue the forward bend in your knees and ankles as you make the transition from one turn to the next.
It is an impressive and relatively easy trick which can be done by the newbies. In this trick, you will use different weight balancing for both blades. During the execution of this trick, glide on the back (heel) wheel of the front skate and the front (toe) wheel of your rear skate. An extended length stance and keeping the knees bent is vital for balance in this situation.
Fishtail is the move where you lift your heel with your back foot so that you would skate only on one wheel. This can be good fun if you can execute it properly.
- Flat Spin
A flat spin is a most straightforward and most uncomplicated spin to master by beginners. The feet should be equally balanced, and there should be a distance of your shoulder. Now, twist the upper body in the direction of your preferred spin, which will then cause the lower torso to follow naturally. This will allow you to perform both 180 or 360 degrees spins.
Wavers is another fun trick for the novice skater. In this trick, the feet are repeatedly pushed out and pulled back in a rapid manner which ultimately results in a wave pattern. This trick is best done in a natural movement and a controlled optimum speed. But be aware of the fact that sudden pressurizing can result in an ankle injury.
4.6.One Foot Skating
This skating trick is not only fundamental but also help you to increase your balance. Mastering this move can lay the foundation for many advanced tricks. You can start practising this trick by putting both of your feet on the ground and then taking steps little by little.
Once you feel the rhythm lift one of your foot and try to fix your body weight on the other. With practice, you can gradually increase the amount of time and acceleration of your one-foot skating.
Slalom is both fun and great exercise. In this trick, you jiggle your body from side to side. As you already know about turning, you can easily do slalom. This can be performed by moving left and right and then repeating this sequentially.
With the help of cones or markings, you can practice this move on your own. There are many forms of slalom except the regular slalom such as backward slalom, single foot slalom etc.
4.8. The Crossover
The name crossover may indicate what is done in this trick. This trick involves performing the crossing of your outer skate over the inner skate. Crossover is a particular trick that can help you to make sharp turns around the corners much smoothly.
The motion helps you to proceed in a complete circle. The crossover is also done by turning left or right according to the skater's comfort. Balancing of weight in the inner foot is a crucial factor for a good crossover trick.
This trick is mastered by practising a technique called sculling, and it takes a lot of practice to be good at the crossover.
4.9. Practice, Practice, and Practice
We all know, for perfection, we need to practice. For inline skating, there isn't any exception. This sport requires a skater to change his speed, terrain, body position, and posture instantly. So regular practise sessions will help you to become skilful.
A certain amount of quality practice will be immensely helpful for you to gain the right skills. Thus, rushing is not recommended. Make a routine for skating.
Learning new things step by step will allow you to adapt to the unknowns and will make you confident to face any challenges that come along your skating journey.