View Full Version : Learning to inline skate-any tips?

05-27-2009, 02:14 PM
I bought my first pair of inline skates today. I don't know how to ice-skate and I haven't been on regular roller skates for about 30 years. Any advice for an adult with poor balance learning to skate for the first time? So far I can skate (sort of) across my kitchen without killing myself. Not going to venture outside until I get a hang of the braking.

PS My feet are killing me! I obviously haven't used some of these muscles in a long time, perhaps ever...:roller:

05-27-2009, 02:21 PM
My advice - grab a hockey stick. THey really help with balance while you are learning and you can put the stick down anytime you want to keep you from falling over. I used to play rollerblade hockey with the guys back when I was in college. The only downside to this is I feel much better skating with a hockey stick which looks a little odd if there is no game going on : ) It beats a face-plant on asphalt any day though!

More advice: The first time or two each season, your calves and feel will KILL you. After that, it gets better.

Even more advice: Wear thick absorbent socks that reach the top of the boot.

Final advice: Find wristguards (the kind with the really hard plastic that goes from your palm down onto your arm/wrist) and WEAR THEM all the time. The will save your wrists when you fall! It's habit to throw your hands out to break your fall and these will keep you from snapping your wrists or tearing any tendons. Trust me on this one. The one and ONLY time I didn't wear them under my ice hockey gloves when we were playing ice hockey, I caught an edge while skating backwards and put my hand out to catch myself and broke my wrist.

Just some thoughts - hope they help!

05-27-2009, 02:23 PM
Wear as much protection as you can get. Especially wristguards.

When you get outside, scrutinize your route carefully. What looks flat usually isn't exactly flat, and if there's even a slight downhill, plan your strategy carefully. Personally, I liked grabbing signposts as a stopping aid.

05-27-2009, 02:27 PM
:thumbsup: Good advice so far. It looks like I did something right already, since I bought a helmet, knee, elbow, and wrist pads along with the skates. It cut into my 2010 WDW savings a little bit, but hopefully the excercise I get this summer will pay off when I get there! lol

I don't own a hockey stick, but maybe I could use a broom? I could always tell people I'm trainging for the curling team. :mickey:

05-27-2009, 02:43 PM
I don't own a hockey stick, but maybe I could use a broom? I could always tell people I'm trainging for the curling team. :mickey:

That's funny! :D I didn't think of that one!

Truthfully, though - something with a harder edge would be better - even just a broom handle with no broom head on it. You need to be able to lean on it a bit if you need too without it squishing on you...

Personally, I don't use the back brakes too much - we always took them off to play hockey. We would shush(lean/turn) back and forth to scrub off speed and do sort of a circle stop instead. More like hockey players do. Hey the Stanley cup playoffs are on right now - you should watch one for homework (and root for the Pens while you are at it). Watching their footwork can really help!

05-27-2009, 02:50 PM
Landfan, thanks for that advice it all makes sense. I didn't take into account the soft end of the broom.
As for hockey, it makes sense to watch, but I haven't had the heart since my Bruins got knocked out. : (
It makes sense about the stopping and the braking. It seems so awkward to bend your foot back to apply the brake on these things. I suppose when I get my balance, turning to a top would make more sense.
Thanks again for the tips. I'm going to go in the kitchen and practice again! :dishes:

05-27-2009, 02:55 PM
Landfan, thanks for that advice it all makes sense. I'm going to go in the kitchen and practice again! :dishes:

Anytime - if you have any more questions that I might be able to help with - feel free to PM me. Good luck and have fun!

05-27-2009, 03:32 PM
Learn "The Hucklebuck" first.

05-27-2009, 05:08 PM
Learn "The Hucklebuck" first.

The what? :confused:

05-27-2009, 07:01 PM
Oh darthmacho, I've been enjoying your posts for 9 years and I always thought you were cool. Now I find out your not a "Honeymooners" fan. :shake: ;)

05-27-2009, 07:28 PM
I used to inline skate a LOT.

My tips are as follows.

Remember that inline skating uses a SIDE TO SIDE motion. You can practice this WITHOUT your skates on:

-stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, knees bent about 30 degrees

-push off with your right foot, and straighten your right knee, keeping your right foot (toes) pointed forward and foot flexed, and shift your weight to your LEFT (you are now standing on one foot, and your right foot is about 6 inches off the ground). Make this motion as "fluid" as possible. Hold this position for about 3 seconds, then return to start.

-now, push off with your LEFT foot, straighten your left knee, keep your foot pointed forward and flexed, and shift your weight to your RIGHT. Hold for 3 seconds.

-repeat this motion, and add in your arms. Your arms should move in the OPPOSITE direction as your legs. For example, when your RIGHT leg is straightened out, your RIGHT arm should be pointed down towards your LEFT foot, with your arm straight. Your left arm should hang to your left side, slightly outward from your body, for balance. Switch arms when you switch legs.

Practicing this motion without skates on will sort of "train" your muscles in your legs to the movements.

THEN, put on the skates. It is USELESS to "skate around your kitchen" or any other small space, as you will not have ample space to do the PROPER movement necessary. You will likely end up trying to skate the way you used to on REGULAR roller skates, and you will end up on the ground. You have to remember to NOT roll your feet forward. Keep in mind, it's a SIDE TO SIDE (lateral) motion. Your THIGHS do all the work. Don't "walk" on the skates. You should NEVER pick up the skates from the ground, except to bring them back to the starting position after you glide. And then, you just BARELY bring them off the ground (think: skimming)

And, no offense to the previous poster who suggested the hockey stick, but I HIGHLY disagree. You need your ARMS for balance, and if you are going to fall, the stick will NOT stop you, and can seriously injure you if it gets in the way. You don't want to drop the stick and roll over it...

Remember also, stay low in your stance. Knees ALWAYS bent, chest aimed towards the ground. Don't try to skate in an upright position. Your back will NOT like you for that, and it makes it a lot harder. You *should* be able to reach down and theoretically grab something the size of a basketball while you are skating, without difficulty. That's how low you should be...

Good luck, and GET OUT THERE! No more kitchen!

Oh, and for stopping, instead of the brake, do something called a T-Stop:

-If you are right handed: when you want to come to a stop, bring your LEFT foot behind your right heel, in a "T" position (practice without skates first). Your toes on your left foot should be pointing LEFT). Apply downward pressure with your LEFT foot as you bend your right knee. The pressure will cause ALL the wheels on the skate to scrape the ground, bringing you to a stop. It's not necessary for your two feet to be in contact, but try to maintain them close together, to avoid injury.

05-27-2009, 07:28 PM
I will give you the same advice my old dad gave us kids when we were learning how to skate:

1. Don't fall down.

2. If something gets in your way, turn.

Simple, succinct, and absolutely useless.

05-27-2009, 08:45 PM
Don't fall into a car with a talking alarm. That's what happened to me the first time I tried in-line skates way back when in 1994. Scared the heck outta me!

Seriously, though, protection is the most important thing. I agree that skating in your kitchen probably isn't the best place to learn. Is there an area around you with a smooth-ish surface? Perhaps a parking lot that is not in use? A park with a smooth walking path?
Good luck. Just be patient and careful, you will get the hang of it!

05-28-2009, 10:20 AM
BrerGnat: no offense taken! I agree completely with everything you said. However, the hockey stick IS a balancing tool like the pole people hold when they walk a tightrope. It's just a different way of going about it. It works for some people, maybe not for others...

Darthmacho: Hope you are having fun!

05-28-2009, 02:31 PM
I tried inline skating once.

I got a pair for my birthday. First I practiced in the kitchen. When I felt confident I moved to the garage. After a few days I felt it was time to venture to the driveway. I did that a couple of more days and then wanted to try the road. I waited for nighttime so I'd have as few spectators as possible.

I put on my protective gear and headed out doors in the dark. I should have gone right but I turned left. The road slopes down on the left. :oops: After about 200ft I realized I hadn't practiced enough with braking. I tried to use the curb. I failed to realize I was traveling, oh, I dont' know, 100mph? :confused: I did a 180, maybe a 360. The memory's a little fuzzy now. My neighbors were thoroughly entertained. My skates were retired that evening.

Take from this whatever makes skating safer and more enjoyable for you.

05-28-2009, 05:01 PM
Oh darthmacho, I've been enjoying your posts for 9 years and I always thought you were cool. Now I find out your not a "Honeymooners" fan. :shake: ;)

Sorry. :(

05-28-2009, 05:05 PM
Thanks for all of the advice. I'm tired of skating around the kitchen anyway, and I hope to venture outside tomorrow. :mickey:

05-28-2009, 09:14 PM
Maybe try skating in a roller rink. It's flat smooth and lots of people will be there to cheer you on / offer you help getting up???!!! :mickey:

For me wrist guards, moleskin (for preventing those nasty blisteres that form with lots of skating), padded socks that stretch to the top of the skate and never using the rear brake (I removed mine too), works best. Like others said keep your knees slightly bent and tighten you boots so they give your foot/ankles enough support but not so much that your toes go numb. :thumbsup: