If you are just starting with inline skating, it is advisable to learn the art and science of the sport before you even try to put on those skates. You must have seen people gliding through the pavements, town halls, and city parks performing different tricks. Inline skating techniques are not magic.
They are based on scientific understanding and ample practice that make them look like an art. The key to inline skating is to maintain proper balance throughout the session while you glide and perform the tricks.
Skate lovers often wonder what they can do to get better at this fascinating sport. But you should remember that learning any new activity takes time. Learning is an ongoing process.
You will get better with time as you practice more and more. Your focus should be on understanding the techniques and practicing them right.
Your stance may not be perfect at the very first attempt. But with practice, patience, and professional guidance, your moves and tricks will be as flawless as that of the pros.
Start by mastering your balance on skates. Learn different techniques to develop balance. Understand different stopping techniques. Remember, being a beginner, you may fall often.
Therefore, you should know how to fall gracefully to minimize damage and reduce potential injuries.
Most importantly, you should gather the right kind of protective gear. Invest in quality products when you purchase your elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and pair of skates. Buy a certified helmet. Here are some simple steps to help you get better at inline skating:
Stay Committed and Maintain Your Stance
Honestly, the most difficult step in inline skating is the first that is to stand on your skates. You may tumble or worse fall many times before you get a hold on those wheels beneath your feet. If you are a beginner, start with a grassy, soft surface.
Try to walk through the patch of grass with your skates on. It will provide you the required grip before you begin to roll. Practice balancing on skates before you take your first glide. Stand straight, keeping your feet 4-6 inches apart. Bend your knees and keep your arms slightly in front.
Learn to balance your weight on your skates, keeping this stance. Remember how to distribute your weight to keep a proper balance. Never put all your weight on your heels.
You should also learn how to coordinate different parts of your body to maintain balance in motion. The key is to balance your body weight over the top of your skates. Start with baby steps at first before you learn to glide.
Learn to Use Your Hands
You may feel nervous mixed with an adrenaline rush when you roll for the very first time. Don’t get drifted with the wave of the emotional surge.
Remember, as the toddlers need a walker to learn how to take their first steps, you will also need support to hold on to something on either side to avoid a nasty fall.
Begin your glide with both your hands on the rails. You can also glide through narrow passages with walls on either side. Once you are comfortable with the motion, you can let the hands go free.
Glide Before You Slide
Once you are comfortable with walking on your skates, the next step is to learn how to glide. Push one foot forward shifting your weight onto it and glide. Then, gradually shift your weight on the other foot pushing it forward to glide further.
Keep repeating the steps shifting your weight as required. Once you are comfortable, you can try gliding on the slant surface.
Learn to maintain your speed and evaluate your sense of balance. Then, gradually try to increase your tempo bit by bit. After hours of rigorous training and lots of practice, you will find yourself skating seamlessly over any terrain.
Watch Your Path
It is essential to maintain a proper posture for successful inline skating. For an ideal stance and perfect balance, you should keep your knees slightly bent. Use your hands by moving them back and forth as required to maintain balance in motion.
Always keep your head up and look straight ahead. It is important to stay vigilant all the time during skating to avoid obstacles.
Get enough practice up until you feel comfortable and confident in your skates. Unlike traditional skates, inline skates use coordination of 3-5 larger wheels.
This combination keeps the wheelbase short and agile and ensures better maneuverability.
Lean for Better Balance
One thing that many beginners often miss out before they ever begin inline skating is to study the required stance of a professional skater. You cannot expect to learn the tricks by keeping your body straight and stiff.
A perfect posture is essential to successful skating. You need to slightly bend on your knees and lean your body for better balance and proper stance.
Keep your body relaxed and release the pressure. Once you perfect your stance, many of your problems will eventually fly off. So, next time you hit the rink, dear skaters, try to bend forward from your waist.
Keep your knees bent and your arms in front to maintain balance. Get the basics right, and you will be able to master new tricks in a couple of weeks to follow.
I have written whole article about How To Keep Balance On Roller Skates.
Learn to Manage Your Bodyweight
For many skaters, managing the body weight is another concern. They find it difficult to create the right chemistry between their bodyweight and foot movements. Correct weight distribution is a primary art of inline skating.
It is essential to correctly align your body weight to create a perfect balance on skates.
So, try to find out your center of gravity and align your body weight accordingly to acquire and maintain balance.
Learn to Skate With the Wind
Various factors may influence your ease and speed of skating. You can either skate with the wind or glide against it.
When you skate with the wind, your forward push combines with the wind speed to support smooth skating. Just get the basics right, and you will gradually understand the different elements and science involves in inline skating.
Understand Appropriate Leg Positioning
It is essential to maintain balance and coordination between your two legs when you glide. Whenever you raise one foot to glide forwards, instantly push the other foot backward before losing your balance.
As you shift your foot, also shift your weight from one foot to the other. As you pursue the leg movements to retain balance, you will find your feet moving apart.
Therefore, you need to make an extra effort to bring your feet close by. Ideally, your feet should stay shoulder-width apart, neither less nor more. Understand appropriate leg positioning and focus on your techniques while you learn different inline skating tricks.
Understand the Art of Falling
As I said earlier, falling is inevitable in inline skating. However, the way you fall can make a huge difference to whether you will suffer minor bruises or go home with a broken wrist. If you cannot avoid a fall, try to hit the ground from the lowest height possible.
Bend your knees closer to the ground and try to land on your knee pads and elbow pads. Landing on your hands will protect your back from a spine injury. Never resist a fall with your hands.
Practice falling on a safer surface to create an unconscious memory that will save you during an unexpected fall [source].
Check this out How Can I Focus And Not Worry About Falling?
Learn Different Braking Techniques
Another common practice that many skaters pursue is to try to master the heel brakes at first. Obviously, you will need to learn how to use the heel brakes, but you should also learn other breaking techniques to come to a halt.
These alternate braking techniques can help you slow down and eventually stop until you learn to use your brakes effectively.
Make sure you checked this 8 Tips to Stop Inline Skates Without A Brake
Learn to Listen to Your Skates
Remember that your skate wheels glide against the surface, which creates friction and causes wear and tear over time. Therefore, you should periodically examine your skates and make sure they are in good shape.
If they make a grinding sound, you may need to change or clean your bearings. A rattling sound indicates a loose axle, frame, bolt, or wheel [source]. Practice proper maintenance and keep your skating tools handy so you can fix a problem before hurting yourself or someone else.
Always remember that the gist of inline skating is to maintain a proper balance. The moment you lose your balance, you are likely to stumble and fall. You can improve your balance over time with ample practice and persistent learning. Learn to adjust and maintain your center of gravity.
Gradually, as you understand the basics and keep learning new tricks, you will identify your learning curve. Analyze what’s working and what’s not. Learn the basics right under the guidance of professional skaters and trainers until you can glide comfortably without supervision.