Roller skates made their debut initially at a fancy theatre performance in the early 1700’s in London and since then the art of roller skating has not only developed into a very popular recreational pastime but a competitive sport as well. With the passage of time, the design of these four wheeled gliders kept getting fine tuned with additional attachments and mechanisms in order to make the hobby easier and more enjoyable for skating enthusiasts.
However, to master the sport there are various roller skating tips to be considered before you can sail around the rink like a wizard.
Roller Skating Tips To Keep in Mind
Get the proper kit
The most important equipment you need to consider to skate properly and safely are your skating boots. These can either be hired or bought outright, but they should be the same size of your walking shoes to ensure the perfect fit. Get outdoor roller skates that fit those boots. If the size is too big, you are likely to fall more often than not. If the size is small, then your feet will hurt and impede your skating.
Additionally, safety items should include wrist guards, knee pads and a helmet,(for the initial stages mostly). All this is necessary because your body is certain to take many a fall and so you need ample protection. Also wearing protective gear helps you to concentrate more on the skating than on the impact of any accident. Sometimes starting out with balance boards can be easier for beginner skaters.
Adopt the right posture
The first time you enter the skating arena, you will find it extremely difficult to stand still on your pair of skates. In order to avoid this,lower the center of gravity as much as possible, it is vital to take the right stance to maintain the best possible balance. This can be done by keeping the feet apart at shoulder width length and squatting down on your knees. Then bend the body at the knees to give a bit of spring. In the beginning all this may feel uncomfortable, but be assured that with passage of time and practice you will attain the right stance.
Since you are new to this awesome sport, there will be awkwardness the moment you enter the rink or the skating arena for the first time. This may be due to the presence of onlookers and probably the way you attempt to imitate others who are adept at the game. Do not worry if you think things are getting out of control, because this is normal and just the beginning. Simply take the right stance, put your heels together, toes pointed outwards and try to walk to the right and left like a duck. Initially do this walking while squatting at the same time to maintain balance. Remember there will be many embarrassing moments when you take a tumble, but with each passing day you will be able to roll further with each stride.
Find a proper spot
Now that you have all the safety gear in place and your posture and stance all sorted out it is time to find a good place to practice your newly acquired skills. Since you are a beginner, try to find as smooth an area as possible, preferably a skating rink if there is one in your vicinity. If not then pavements and tennis courts are good alternatives.
Learn how to stop
The brakes in the skate are situated at the back of the right skate as the main power comes from the right leg. To master the art of applying brakes at the right moment the skater should apply pressure on the right skate brake at the opportune time.To become adept at this the skater should skate forward in such a way that that the right brake is slightly in front of the left toe wheel of the skate. Learners should apply pressure of both hands on the right knee, initially, to brake with confidence at the right time.
Practice how to glide
As you gain confidence, try to lengthen each stride by pushing with one foot and gliding with the other until you lose speed. Keep the other foot off the floor so as to not hinder smooth movement. Turn from right to left in a squatting posture and gain speed by propelling your body forward. Make use of the arms to maintain balance and move them back and forth in order to gain momentum.
Relax as much as you can
Once you look effortless, be assured that you will be able to skate fearlessly. So get rid of the tension, avoid any fancy speeding and ask your brain to take your feet forward skillfully. This will free up the body of all the tension and make you skate by taking the least amount of falls. Once you gain confidence, you will be able to master the game.
Remember everyone faces some kind of difficulty when attempting something new. So it is important to follow certain laid down rules. Always check the condition of the skates before you venture out to play. The wheels and toe stoppers are of special scrutiny. Check out the weather before going out. Apart from getting soaked, the moisture can rust the parts of the skate. While it is Ok to having casual conversation, avoid long talks, especially in a public place like a rink for example.
Now since you have mastered the art of roller skating, you will soon be able to glide across the rink like a professional. It is strongly advised to take help from somebody with previous experience to speed up the process of learning. In this way, not only will you avoid some of the embarrassing bumps and tumbles but will get to know the art of starting and stopping. Just keep one thing in mind, don’t call it quits even if you encounter initial hurdles. Your determination is going to be the route to your success. By practicing a few hours every day, you will become a wonderful skater in no time.
Hi, I’m Jo – A passionate globetrotter, wildlife enthusiast, thrill seeker and writer. I love to explore new places and inspire others to travel.
I like to travel far and wide (Well, Africa counts, right?) and then come back to this blog to share my escapades.