When\nI decided to buy my first ever roller skates, I had so many questions\nin my mind. Which skates are the best to buy, how to maintain\nbalance, how long will it take me to learn to balance, and so on? So,\nI did some research and testing to find out which techniques work for\nbeginners and which type of skates are best to learn to balance. \n\n\n\n\nSo, how do you keep a balance on roller skates? Well, you need to choose the right gear, learn the correct tactics, keep proper stance, and practice the modus operandi. Ideally, there are different types of skates with obvious advantages. You should choose one as per your level of expertise. \n\n\n\nTraditional\n4-wheel recreational skates are ideal for leisurely skating in local\noutskirts such as a skating rink. They have hard, narrow wheels and\nhigh-top boots. Alternatively, you can select the speed skates with\nlow-cut boots and instep strap for ankle support. These quad roller\nskates provide fast skating with appropriate balance. Dancers and\nfreestyle skaters often prefer lightweight artistic skates with soft,\ngrippy wheels and rigid, tall boots. Outdoor inline skates usually\nhave an array of soft wheels to ensure better friction and grip on a\nrough surface. Your skating gear should also include a safety helmet,\nwrist guards, and knee pads. \n\n\n\n\nOnce\nyou have the right equipment, the next step is to understand the\nfundamentals of roller skating thoroughly. Your posture plays a vital\nrole in maintaining your balance on the skates. You must learn how to\nplace your feet, bend your knees, and maintain a squat position. Your\nskating gear is equipped with brakes, which are ideally situated on\nthe toes of your skates. You must practice using them correctly to\navoid toppling over. Some basic riding techniques that you must learn\nare getting your feet off the ground, duck walk, gliding tactics, and\nessential start-stop techniques. Once you master the basics, you can\ntry special maneuvers such as back skating, heel-toe movement,\ncrossover turn, and other skillful stunts. \n\n\n\n\nRoller\nskating relies on exceptional balance. A perfect balance gives you an\neffective start off, controls your push, and limits the re-balancing\nof your energy. Balancing on roller skates involves a crisp weight\ntransfer learned through numerous balancing techniques. \n\n\n\n\nFundamentals\nof Balancing on Roller Skates\n\n\n\nRoller\nskating is not only a competitive sport but also a great form of\nexercise. Although many people do it for fun and take it up as a\nsoothing leisure activity. No matter what makes you strap those\nwheels and hit the rink, you must get the basics right; if you do not\nwant to end up with a broken leg or a strained ligament. Thoroughly\nunderstand the fundamentals of balancing correctly for a good kick\nstart:\n\n\n\nPut\n\ton your gear - Starters often begin their skating lessons with only\n\ta pair of roller skates. You can easily get one according to your\n\tstandard shoe size from a sporting store. However, you should also\n\tpick up safety gears, which include a helmet and a pair of safety\n\tpads for your knee and wrist. You may take some spills while\n\tpracticing balance. Proper gear protects you from a major injury.\n\n\n\n\nLearn\n\tthe correct stance - Place your feet at least a shoulder-width apart\n\tand slightly bend your knees. Lower your backside and lean forward\n\tinto a comfortable squatting position. You must maintain this stance\n\tthroughout your skating session. This posture not only prevents a\n\tfall but also helps you quickly regain your poise after a slight\n\timbalance. Mastering the posture may require a little practice at\n\tfirst, but once you get it right, you can administer the skill to\n\timprove your balance.\n\n\n\n\nPractice\n\tduck walk - Keep your heels together with your toes pointed out.\n\tStart small, and slowly walk forward, altering your right and left\n\tfoot. Maintain the squat posture and keep the center of your body on\n\tyour heels. Once you are comfortable walking slowly, you can try\n\tlonger strides. \n\t\n\n\n\n\nLearn\n\tto glide - Gradually lengthen your stride by rolling your wheels.\n\tTake a slight push with one wheel and glide until you lose momentum.\n\tThen switch your foot and glide again. Keep the other foot above the\n\tground. Turn left and right accordingly during gliding to shift your\n\tbody weight correctly. Maintain the squatting position throughout\n\tyour session. You can move faster by putting a little pressure on\n\tyour wheels to propel forward. Move your elbows back and forth,\n\tsustain your stride, and maintain your balance.\n\n\n\n\nUnderstand\n\thow to stop - Your right roller skate usually bears a brake near the\n\ttoe. To stop, you must maintain the squat position while both your\n\tskates are gliding in parallel disposition. Then gently lean\n\tforward, place your right skate in front of the left, lift the toe,\n\tand press it hard. If you do not press down the brake hard enough,\n\tyou may lose balance and fall to the ground. \n\t\n\n\n\n\nAnd\nvoila! Now you know the fundamentals of balancing. All you need to do\nnext is a little practice each day to master the skill.\n\n\n\nTaking\nYour Balancing Skills to the Next Level\n\n\n\nMastering\nthe basics will not take too long. With persistent efforts, you will\neventually learn the art and skill of balancing on your roller\nskates. Once you learn the basic moves, it is time to take your\nbalancing skills to the next level. Following techniques will help\nyou learn to maintain balance during special maneuvers:\n\n\n\nSkating\n\tbackward - You skate forward by placing your feet in V-shape,\n\tpropelling yourself, and applying pressure on your heels. When you\n\tskate backwards, you should place your feet to form an inverted\n\tV-shape. In other words, you keep your heels apart and toes\n\ttogether. Maintain the squat position, lift your left foot, apply\n\tpressure on your right toe, gently drop your left foot, put pressure\n\ton your left toe while lifting your right foot. Pretty confused,\n\tright! Don\u2019t worry; a little practice will get you going in no\n\ttime. Start slow, turn back time to time to look behind and avoid\n\tfalling. Do not lean backward in any case. Gradually lengthen your\n\tstrokes and maintain the inverted V-shape as you practice rolling\n\tbackward.\n\n\n\n\nPractice\n\theel-toe - In this movement, you align your skates so that you glide\n\ton the heel of one and the toe of the other. Start your stride with\n\ta few glides to gradually gain momentum. Once you do, try lifting\n\tthe toe of the stronger skating foot, keep skating on the heel. Then\n\tgently lift the heel of the other skating foot so that you are\n\tskating on the toe. \n\t\n\n\n\n\nTry\n\ta crossover turn - Start your stride with a few glides to gain\n\tmomentum. Gently cross your skates, one over the other, to make a\n\tsmooth turn and push forward in a new direction. For example, cross\n\tyour right skate over the left to make a left turn. Gently turn your\n\tbody towards left and use your right skate to push off in the left\n\tdirection. Learn to turn your shoulder in the intended direction and\n\tlean a bit to maintain balance. Keep your knees bent to maintain\n\tequilibrium.\n\n\n\n\nHow\n\tabout a jump? - Jumping in the air while skating and getting back to\n\tyour feet without falling is the real deal and the best test of your\n\tbalancing skills. You can start with some glides. Keep your skates\n\ttogether, crouch a little, and make a short jump. Practice jumping\n\thigher to gain confidence. Once you master the basic jump, you can\n\ttry fancy stunts such as jump with a turn to change direction.\n\n\n\n\nRegular\npractice is the key to balance better on your roller skates. You can\nvisit a roller skating rink once a week to polish your skills. Keep\npracticing until you find yourself comfortable with the basic moves\nas well as special maneuvers. You can also take your love for roller\nskating to the next level by joining a league. Here, you not only get\nto compete with the finest but also get to learn certain daring\ntricks. Alternatively, you can find some like-minded people who love\nroller-skating and form a group of buddies who enjoy the same sport. \n\n\n\n\nGet\nThe Right Skates to Match Your Skill Level\n\n\n\nRemember\nto buy skates, which are designed to enhance your performance\ngradually. Roller skates come in different varieties. As you get\nbetter, invest in a pair that suits your specific needs and\ncomplements your skill level. You can look for any of the following\noptions:\n\n\n\nIndoor\n\tskates - Get a pair of traditional four-wheel skates when you start\n\tyour skating journey. Buying your pair will save you from renting\n\tone every time you visit the rink. \n\t\n\n\n\n\nOutdoor\n\tskates - These skates are often designed for durability and\n\tstrength. Their wheels can withstand tough outdoor conditions and\n\thelp you skate swiftly on nearly any material surface such as\n\tasphalt, concrete, or other road material.\n\n\n\n\nSpeed\n\tskates - These sleek, super-speedy skates are designed for fast\n\tspeed and skillful performances. They are much faster than regular\n\tskates. They can eventually make you fly down the street. Inline\n\tspeed skates either have a row of wheels or a quad having two\n\twheels, one on either side. \n\t\n\n\n\n\nOff-Skate\nand On-Skate Exercises to Improve Balance\n\n\n\nNow\nthat you know how to balance your skates, you should strive for\nimproving that balance. Some simple off-skate and on-skate exercises\ncan help you sharpen your skills. Following off-skate training can\nhelp prepare your body for the drill:\n\n\n\nIdentify\n\tyour weaker leg. Your stronger leg is the one that you often use to\n\tkick, lean, or perform other one-legged activities. You can stand on\n\tone leg while the other is off the ground. Repeat with the other leg\n\tand time the duration for how long you can withstand the pressure.\n\tYou should focus on strengthening the leg muscles, which gets a\n\tshorter time.\n\n\n\n\nIndulge\n\tin yoga sessions. Yoga can exceptionally improve your foot balance,\n\twhich is fundamental to skating. Even professionals recommend yoga\n\tsession for beginners to gain stability and physical balance.\n\n\n\n\nTry\n\tsome balancing acts during routine activities. For example, try\n\tbrushing your teeth by standing barefoot on one leg. Take it a step\n\tfurther by trying the varying amount of knee bends such as speed\n\tskater bend or recreational bend.\n\n\n\n\nConsider\n\tusing wobble boards, which are wooden discs having a hemisphere on\n\tthe lower surface. You can try many different exercises on the\n\twobble boards. Start with something relatively easy, like two-foot\n\tbalancing. Gradually switch to harder ones such as balancing on a\n\tsingle foot or with closed eyes.\n\n\n\n\nRoll\n\ta broomstick, round piece of wood, or a hardball underneath your\n\tfeet. Continue by applying pressure for 5 minutes. Cover the entire\n\tsole of your foot while applying pressure. This simple exercise will\n\tsensitize your feet and eventually improve balance.\n\n\n\n\nTry\nthese off-skate exercises barefoot to maximize the benefits. The\nexercises will help you develop the sense of proprioception, which is\nof prime importance in skating. Learn to feel your ankle, foot\nmuscles, and relative movements that help improve balance. Here are\nsome on-skate exercises to help you improve your balance on skates:\n\n\n\nTry\n\tscooters in which you maintain foot balance by pushing to one side.\n\n\n\n\nPractice\n\ttoe roll drill by balancing your weight on a single foot while\n\tdragging the other foot behind on the toe to assist balance. \n\t\n\n\n\n\nPractice\n\tT-stopping where you learn to stop and balance properly by keeping\n\tyour feet in a T-shape in place of toe-roll.\n\n\n\n\nTry\n\tthe poop trench drill. In this, you first balance your weight on the\n\tleft skate following a straight line and then you hop and switch on\n\tyour right skate following a parallel straight line on the right. \n\t\n\n\n\n\nPractice\n\tthe over-carving drill in which you carve more than usual during\n\tskating. As a result, each stride turns your foot, keeping your\n\tweight on your heels. This exercise helps in perfecting your heel\n\tcarve control. \n\t\n\n\n\n\nSome\nother balancing exercises to try include grass stops one-foot and\ntwo-foot slaloms. All these exercises will strengthen your core and\nleg muscles. Further, do not forget to warm up a bit before skating.\nYou can try brisk walking or a five-minute jog to relieve your\nmuscles. Always stretch your leg muscles before entering the rink.\nThis little effort will eventually help in preventing muscle strain\nor severe injury during a fall. Again, there is no substitute for\nconsistent practice and patience. Therefore, practice often. Learn to\nunderstand the correct form and acquire the techniques. \n\n\n\n\nRelated\nQuestions\n\n\n\nI\nam over 50. Can I still indulge in roller skating? Considering\nyour age, you will be at a high risk of osteoporosis, which means\nhaving brittle bones that can easily break after an injury. If you\nwant to try roller skating, you should exercise regularly, eat plenty\nof vegetables and fruits, and get some supplements for Calcium and\nVitamin D. Wear appropriate safety gears and stay cautious all the\nwhile. Keep a person nearby who can assist when required. Also,\nconsult your physician for proper diet and further precautions, if\nany.\n\n\n\nHow\nto perform scissors?\nStand straight with your arms held out on either side. Keep your\nheels together. Place your feet in a V-shape. Bend your knees and\npush your toes apart. Then, straighten your knees and bring your toes\ntogether. Repeat the motion as your tread forward.\n\n\n\nI\nam a good skater. Do I need safety gear?\nEven professionals are advised to put on the safety gear while\nskating. A sudden fall may sometimes cause a severe head injury or\nbreak a bone for worse. Safety gear protects you from an unforeseen\nmishap.\n\n\n\nHow\nlong does it take for an average person to learn the skill of\nbalancing?\nAnybody can learn the basics in no time. However, being proficient in\nthe craft takes time, patience, and practice. The more you practice,\nthe earlier you learn to balance on the roller skates. There are no\nspecific timelines for anyone. It depends on the individual and the\nefforts he\/she puts in.\n\n\n\nHow\ncan I recover quickly from a painful fall?\nYou can always pick yourself up and keep moving after a scrape. The\nstinging will eventually ebb after some time. Apply a disinfectant\nand put a gauze if there is a cut or bleeding. Serious injuries often\nrequire immediate medical attention from a professional medical\npractitioner.