Rollerblading is one of the most fascinating experiences that you could have. It is fun, exhilarating and of course great for your health as well. But roller blades can be dangerous, just like any other mode of transportation. Most importantly stopping them can be quite difficult. There are various techniques to stopping rollerblades and the hockey stop is one of them.
To properly perform a hockey stop on rollerblades, first, you need to manage an appropriate athlete’s stance. After that, you have to shift your weight to your heels. Finally, for accurately finishing the hockey stop stunt, you have to turn your hips just at the right time.
I’ve discussed the main aspects of performing hockey stops, and now I’d like to provide some valuable insights into this fascinating move. In this article, I will discuss how to do a hockey stop on rollerblades. For congruously learning this rollerblade strategy, it would be wise to read through the whole article.
How Important is the Hockey Stop for Rollerblading?
Rollerblading is a very popular hobby in the United States. People usually choose empty streets or hockey fields to rollerblade. Now knowing how to stop or decrease the acceleration of the blades is very important for the safety of the roller skaters. But, knowing how to perform a hockey stop is not a necessity for rollerblading.
It is more of a trick than a prerequisite. Performing a perfect hockey stop on a rollerblade can be very fun and thrilling. It will give your roller-skating style that will surely impress others.
How to Perform a Hockey Stop?
Before performing a proper hockey stop, it is very important to take some prerequisites. The steps of this stunt are given below:
Step One: Find a Dry and Flat Concrete Surface for Performing the Hockey Stop
Choosing the surface for performing the hockey stop is probably the most important step. It is absolutely impossible to stop on an uneven exterior. Such a surface will not only be unsuitable for performing the stunt, but it also might lead to a drastic accident. To properly perform this tactic, you have to choose a relatively smooth surface.
Most of the skaters choose empty parking lots for rollerblading. Parking lots usually have smooth and even surfaces. So, skaters can seamlessly perform various rollerblade stunts in such places. But you must check the schedule and pick a date that has a low rush. Usually, parking lots stay empty at noon. So, choose your skating time wisely.
Another great place to rollerblade is in local parks. Most of the local parks of the United States have wide-open places. They are perfect for performing stunts like hockey stops. Again, roller skating on a high rush day at such parks might not be a good idea. You don’t want to stumble upon people while rolling on your rollerblade.
There are many dedicated roller skate parks in the United States. It is estimated that more than 6,500 parks are available just for rollerblading all over America. So, there is a good chance that your area has one of those parks. But as an amateur, going to such places might not be a good idea as these parks are usually a bit fast-paced and intimidating.
Before choosing a place for roller skating, it is very important to make sure that place is permitted for such a sport. It is illegal to rollerblade in many places that might seem ideal at first glance. So, do a quick Google search about the place before going out to perform a hockey stop.
Step Two: Gear Up Properly Before Performing the Stunt
Performing a hockey stop on a rollerblade is not an easy task. It takes some particle and patience for mastering this stunt. You should not ignore the basic protocols of skating before performing such complicated feats. One of the most important steps of performing this trick is to choose and wear proper gears of skating.
Use the Proper Shoe for the Stunt
There are many shoes available in the sports shop for you to buy. Some of the common skates are speed skates, multi-use, stunt, and street skates, and cross-training special skates. To properly perform the hockey, stop stunt, you should buy the stunt or the street skates. They might be a bit pricey, but you will be able to seamlessly hockey stops in such rollerblades.
After picking the appropriate rollerblade, you have to make sure it perfectly fits your leg. A loose or tight rollerblade will make the whole stunt much more difficult to perform. One of the leading causes behind rollerblade accidents is wearing it loosely. So, always make sure it fits perfectly on your leg.
For checking the fit of the rollerblade, stand up and put some downward pressure on it. If your heels are fighting perfectly, then the blades are probably fine. Your feet should not slide inside the shoe. If you find some room behind the heels, then change the roller blades.
For performing such stunts, it is important to have extra padding inside the shoe. It specially needs a few extra layers of padding around the toe area for extended comfort. Moreover, that extra padding will prevent your toe from injuries if the hockey stop was performed incorrectly and you fall. Overlooking such small things before performing a complicated stunt would not be wise.
Wear the Appropriate Helmet
Performing a hockey stop without wearing a proper helmet is downright stupidity. Initially, while practicing this stunt, you will fall on the ground many times. So, wearing an appropriate protective helmet is an absolute must before even thinking about performing a hockey stop.
Before purchasing a helmet, you have to make sure that it has a standard mark of safety on it. Having that mark on the helmet meant it is certified by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). The helmet must have a decent amount of padding as at initial state, you might fall on the ground often.
I will highly recommend you to add some reflective tape to the helmet. It will make the helmet visible from far away. You will find some helmets in the sports store that are already shiny and reflective. But they are typically pricier. So, it would take two minutes to buy a regular helmet and put some reflective tape on it.
The helmet must contain an adjustable chin strap. You have to make sure that the helmet is tight enough and it should not toggle on the head while performing complicated stunts like hockey stops.
Use Additional Gears for Safety
You might have skated without any additional safety gear before, but while performing a hockey stop, it is very important to protect yourself from fall damages. While performing this stunt, you are more likely to get hurt. So, using some safety gear before going out with your rollerblades is a must; at least in the beginning.
Most of the safety gears that people use while performing such complicated stunts are pretty cheap. You can find these items at almost every sports store in the United States. Try to purchase the items mentioned below before rollerblading.
Wrist Guards: For practicing the hockey stop stunt, wearing a wrist guard is an absolute must. Most of the standard version will protect your hand’s top area.
But it is highly recommended to buy and use a wrist guard that has a skidpad. The skidpad will cover the palm region of your hand and will provide protection while falling.
Elbow pad: Most serious roller skate injuries happen because of not using an elbow pad. As we all know, the elbow is a very fragile part of our body. So, falling on the elbow usually leads to a drastic accident.
Wearing an elbow pad before performing a hockey stop is very important. For doing a hockey stop perfectly, you will need to make some sharp turns. So, if you fall, there is a high possibility that you will land on your elbow. The pad will protect you from having a serious injury.
Knee pad: Again, wearing a knee pad is essential before performing a complicated stunt like a hockey stop. Always make sure that the knee pad is tight and strong. There are different sizes of knee pads available. Before purchasing one, do some trails to get your exact size.
It is absolutely essential for you to gear up before performing stunts like hockey stops. Wearing a long-sleeve shirt is also recommended. Although it is not a must, a long sleeve top will protect your skin from scratches.
Step Three: Practice bending knees and flexing ankles
If you cannot bend your knees and flex your ankles, you will never be able to do a hockey stop. So, before trying the stunt, you will need to be able to flawlessly bend your knees. If you are new roller skates, it might take a while to master this tactic. On average, a guy can bend his knees without any problem within 3 days.
After you get used to bending your knees, you have to flex your ankles. This part is a bit tricky and takes more time to get used to. While bending your knees, you have to also flex your ankles at the same time. Perform this compression, decompression, and flexing tactic for a few days before going to the next step.
Step Four: Perform Compression, Decompression and flexing on the Go
This is a very tricky step. Do not perform it before mastering the previous one. After flawlessly bending knees and flexing ankles, you have to do it while rollerblading. Do not keep your eyes on your knees, keep them forward and try to bend and flex at the same time.
You have to transfer the weight of your body to your heels just before stopping. It might seem a bit difficult, but just like any other tactic, all it requires is practice and patience.
Try to maintain a circle while performing this step. If you keep on going forward, you might run out of room. Now, for maintaining a circular path, you must know how to turn. Turning while skating is an absolute basic skill. So, I presume you already know it. If you don’t, then you have to learn it before even thinking about performing a hockey stop.
Step Five: Perform Counter Rotation
Now, you will need to know the method of counter-rotation. It is basically the opposite of turning. In turning, your hand stays in front and you need to rotate them onto your side. But in counter-rotation, you will need to bring your hand in front from the side part of your body.
In this tactic, you have to properly use your hand to balance. While rolling on your rollerblades, don’t try counter-rotation. First, master this tactic while staying still, and then try it on the go.
Step 6: Practice, practice and practice
You have to practice steps 3, 4 and 5 extensively. After mastering all those tactics, do them all together for performing a perfect hockey stop. While bending your knees, slowly move forward. After achieving some speed, turn and perform the counter-rotation. Properly adjust the weight of your body, otherwise, you will fall on your back.
Safety Precautions While performing a Hockey Stop
A hockey stop is a complicated stunt to perform. So, there is a good chance that you will fall at the initial stage of practicing it. While practicing or performing this stunt, you need to maintain some safety precautions. These protocols will save you and others from being injured.
While performing this stunt, if you feel you have lost balance and will fall, try to fall forward. The chance of a severe injury will drastically decline if you fall in such a manner while wearing all the safety gear. Use your hand to carry the weight of your body. If you are wearing a wrist pad, knee pad, and elbow pad, then the fall impact will be observed by these gears.
Falling on your back might not be a good idea. In your back, there are basically no safe gears. So, if you were rolling at a high speed and then fall backwards, there is a very high chance of having severe damage.
But the best way to stay away from all sorts of injuries is by being wary. Almost every time a rollerblader gets injured, it is because of skating at an unsafe speed in an unsuitable location. So, be very careful while performing a hockey stop, it is much more important to stay uninjured than being cool in front of your friends.
Keep Your Speed Low
It is absolutely impossible to perform a hockey stop at a very high speed. Maintaining the balance at such speed is very tough if not impossible. Only professional athletes who perform in various competitions can do a hockey stop at extreme speeds.
Maintaining a low speed is essential for properly completing a hockey stop. Even if you become master of this stunt, do not raise your speed too much. You will trip, fall, and get hurt. And, if some sort of obstacle comes between your path, you won’t even be able to control the fall. So, keep it slow and steady.
Be Alert about Your Surroundings
As a rollerblader, it is your responsibility to maintain everyone’s safety while performing a hockey stop. Always remember, the circumstances around you can change within minutes. You have to keep your eyes open all the time.
Firstly, if you have chosen an empty street for performing this stunt, you have to be extra careful. Look out for pedestrians and children walking and playing around the street. In some streets, it is illegal to rollerblade. So, always check if the place is permitted for this sport before performing any stunts.
If you have chosen an empty local park, then it must contain a concrete surface. You cannot perform rollerblading on soil or grass, let alone hockey stop. The concrete should be smooth and dirt free. Be wary of the sticks and rocks that might lie on the ground. If you stumble on any of these things, you will fall right on your face.
Local parks are the habitat of small animals like beavers and squirrels. Harming them while roller skating is a serious crime and it is your responsibility to look after such wild animals while rollerblading.
Rollerblading is not just a sport; it is a tradition that is still maintained by more than 5 million people of the United States. In this article, I have discussed how to do a hockey stop on rollerblades. For perfectly performing this stunt, you first have to master the basics of rollerblading.
Here, I have extensively discussed every aspect of performing a hockey stop. I have also talked about some of the safety protocols you need to maintain while performing this awesome stunt. Hopefully, after reading through the whole article, you now have a fundamental idea about hockey stops and how to perform it properly. Until next time, bye.