When got my first skates I was 25 years old and I though that it takes me forever to learn to ride, but I was not right about that.
How long will it take to learn inline skating? It takes about 5-10 rides for 1-2 hours of rolling with skates. You should learn very basics such as keeping balance, turns, accelerate, stop and feel comfortable on skates.
Of course that will depend on a person, but 10 rides should be enough to start feel skates and feel a little bit more comfortable on skates for complete beginner. I am considering that myself I learned very basics in about 5 rides for about 2 hours of rolling. Keep reading to know my very first experience on inline skates.
Get comfortable with skates (1-2 rides)
First ride was real challenge for me. Firs of all I bought full protect gear for myself from helmet to knees pads (safety first). At the very beginning I wanted to feel a little my skates so I tried to balance myself on grass, just simply standing. If you will try do that you can do it in front of a tree and just touch a tree if you feel that loosing balance. I have tried to stand with one leg and keep balancing a little.
After warm up and little balancing practice need to find more quiet spot and start skate. Best would be to stand at T form this helps to keep balance and to start to ride. Push off your back leg a little and start skate. Try to skate slowly this way you will be able to keep control your balance. You also can try to walk in V-steps, but try not to bang skates to each other because if you bang you most likely will fall.
Start to push off after you feel comfortable 2nd-5th ride
After couple of rides you already start feeling skates and you can push off a little harder to get bit more speed. You should control balance and move your weight from back feet to your front feet and keep going.
After it feels normal to mowing your weight from one foot to another you can try to get even more speed this way you can try to make very simple and small turns. You also can try to skate on each leg separately (that helped me a lot to feel more balance and feel more comfortable on skates).
I wrote in depth article How to Make Sharp Turns on Rollerblades: An In-Depth Guide. It took me whole week and I wish I would know this information when I just started.
One more exercise that will help you with balance is to skate in one line with both skates. Of course o do not recommend to do it on very first ride, but after couple of tries that really helps for balance and it is pretty fun.
Learn how to stop (1st ride – till now)
As I mentioned before I put safety first so learning how to stop is very important. There are several ways to stop, but I recommend to use your brake pad – this is easiest way to learn to stop and I would suggest to learn that first before learning any other way. Most of the skates has brake pads at the back. Put one leg in front (with brake pad) bend the knees a little and try to touch the ground with brake pads. After you touch the ground tr to push harder to get more efficient on stopping.
To learn how to stop with brake pads it is not too difficult so you can succeed on your first ride. However trying to stop with brake pads not always is so easy.
If you skate pretty fast it is good to learn T-stop technique. One of your feet drag behind and turn your back feet hoes out, so the wheels are perpendicular to your travel direction. Then give some pressure to your back feet till you stop.
Common beginner’s fear is to stop when you are going downhill. This is why i wrote an article How to Stop When Rollerblading Downhill? Where i share all the techniques I know to adapt to different situations.
For very beginning those two mentioned techniques will be enough to feel comfortable when you skating. The reason I still learning how to stop is that I like to skate fast so in need to be able to stop really quickly so till now I still learning other advanced techniques how to stop.
Some tips for beginners
Learn to fall. It is important to learn how to roller skate but more important than that is it learn how to fall. You will fall not once so better to do it properly. Bend the knees a little and get your arms out and fall forward. As you have protective gear you should touch the ground with wrist guards and glide.
This is necessity necessary to learn to fall because in same situations where you will need to stop quickly (especially if you still not learned how to stop). Sometimes this can even save your life.
We have article about How to Rollerblade In The Rain And Not Fall On Your Face? This article covers safety in various weather conditions so might be helpful as well.
Watch the appling. It is really important to stay alert especially when you are not god on controlling your skates. You should always pay attention to your surroundings. If you are skating in a park make sure that you see pedestrians, bicycle riders and other. You don’t want to make quick moves or turns and threaten to their enjoyment.
Keep practicing. If you want to get better you will need to take some practice. More you skate the better you feel on skates.
Enjoy. Does not matter how good or bad you are on skates, just enjoy your skating and you will learn more with a time.
Can You Lose Weight by Rollerblading? Yes, of course. It is better choice than running especially if your knees or ankles hurts or you had an accident before.
A 155-lb (70 kg) person will burn about 260 calories if you will be skating for 30 minutes (source). Calories burned depends on your weight and your skating speed. The faster you go the more calories you burn.
Where can I get all the required items? Most of the gear you should be able to get from your local sport store; at the markets. You also can look on the internet.
What should I do if I have weak knees? First of all you need to wear knee pads. Even with week knees you can start skating but ride slowly. You will need some time to make knees stronger.