Roller skating is one of the most versatile forms of sport and it can be done by anyone who has a low barrier to entry and access to skates. Are you starting on this sport and researching how to roller skate for beginners?
Whether you want to roller skate for fitness purposes or as a new hobby, you will find that it will fit your needs perfectly.
Apart from being fun and exciting, roller skating has many health benefits, and it is a popular sport to level your fitness up and help you lose weight.
Learning how to skate can be challenging but once you master it, you will not want to stop rolling.
This article will provide you with information on how you can roller skate as a beginner so that you can get started on your new adventure.
What Is Roller Skating?
Roller skating is a competitive and recreational sport where you use skates fitted with wheels on the sole. Skating involves a combination of endurance, coordination, balance, and core strength.
The orientation of the wheels can be either positioned with two wheels in the back and two wheels in the front (quad skates) or a straight line (inline skates).
Both adults and children can participate in roller skating in a variety of ways.
You can perform casual skating or specialize in jam, artistic, aggressive, speed, roller hockey, or roller derby. Most people are drawn to roller skating because it has more variety.
How To Choose The Right Roller Skate As A Beginner?
The following are the factors that you need to consider so that you can get yourself the perfect roller skate:
Inline or Quad
Choosing either inline or quad skates will depend on what you want to get out of skating and your personal preference.
Inline skates are like ice skates and will appeal more to hockey or figure skaters. Quad skates are the best choice if you are into roller derby or dancing.
If you are not sure which one fits you, try both and you may notice that you are leaning toward one more than the other.
Outdoor or Indoor
What differentiates between outdoor and indoor skates is the wheels. Indoor wheels are hard while outdoor wheels are soft to absorb the shock caused by rough surfaces and debris.
You can buy separate wheels for indoor or outdoor if you do not want to compromise your skating.
Expensive, Cheap, or In the Middle
Expensive skates have high-quality materials, but they are not suitable for beginners. This is because as a beginner you want skates that support your feet and are comfortable.
The issue with expensive skates is that they take longer to break in before they become comfortable.
Cheaper skates, on the other hand, provide less support making you feel that skating is harder than it is.
Therefore, if you want the best skating experience as a beginner, buy skates in the middle range that offer comfort with quality materials.
Sizing in skates is different from sizing in regular shoes. The rule is to purchase one size higher than your regular shoe unless the sizing guide states differently.
However, this may not work for everyone, so ensure that the skate wraps around your feet and is not too loose or tight before buying it.
There are different skating styles such as jam, artistic, and aggressive, and each has unique skates designed to the maneuvers that they must do.
Ensure that you get the right skate for the style you want to be involved in.
How To Roller Skate For Beginners
Step 1 – Balance
As a beginner, you need to learn how to balance with less shaking while being relaxed.
- Bending the Knee
The general rule in roller skating is to always keep your knees slightly bent and ensure that you have a slight squat. This will give you a sense of control over your balance and a strong foothold on the surface.
You can straighten your knees when moving freely but bend them when you need to turn, stop, or change your speed.
- Point Your Toes Outward
When skating you need to point your toes outward but when you want to stop or reduce speed, bend them inwards.
- Arms and Elbow in a Frontward Position
This will ensure that your gravity is grounded, and your body moves forward using its force.
Step 2 – posture
Finding the right posture needs practice and you need to know which way you are comfortable standing.
To be in this position, minimize the width between your feet so that the back-heel of one plus the side-heel of the other are in contact to achieve balance on posture for our lower body.
For the upper body, keep your core tight and ensure that your knees are slightly bent.
- Squatting Practice
As a beginner, you should focus on your squatting position to avoid being out of control when it comes to turns and speed.
Step 3 – Stopping
The following routes will help you to stop:
When moving, place one foot ahead while bending the knees and ensure that your core is tightened to provide you with the force that you need to stop.
The back leg needs to be in a horizontal moving posture to create friction enabling you to stop in a T-posture that is almost perfect.
- Plow Stopping
This will work for you if you are a slow skater but if you skate fast, this will not work for you.
Begin by spreading your legs while keeping your chin facing upwards, squatting slightly, keeping your shoulders straight, and stop by pointing your toes inwards.
Step 4 – Forward and Backward Skating
As a beginner, you need to learn the right way to move backward and forward when roller skating.
- Forward Skating
Begin by moving one leg forward but in an outward direction making a T-shape. Then move the back leg in the same forward position but making an upside-down T-shape.
When you have gathered enough speed, move your back foot ahead and continue rolling. If you want to increase speed, use the same motion in both legs.
- Backward Skating
For backward skating, you need to keep your toes pointing inwards, your thigh muscles tight, and push your butt outwards.
Look back and crossover backward with your right leg followed by the left leg. To avoid falling, keep your chest slightly forward over your knees.
Basic Positions Every Quad Skate Beginner Should Know
The “T” position
It is the position you have your feet to stand still and not roll around. It is also known as the safe “T” position. Place the heel of your one foot into the instep of your other at a right angle.
Using your leg muscles, pull the skates together so they don’t roll apart. Most skaters fall when trying to stand still because they are not aware of the T position.
The” V” position
It is the basic skating movement. Make a slight ‘V’ with your skate, pizza slice shape with your heels together, and slightly turns out your toes and create propulsion by transferring your mass from one skate to the other.
It is a position for motion; therefore, you cannot stand while in this.
The ‘Ready’ position
It is an important position to familiarize yourself with. Keeping both feet parallel and one hand’s width apart, bend your knees until you can feel your weight on the balls of your feet.
This position is for beginners to cruise and rest but also a starting position for every maneuver.
Rolling while maintaining the narrow stance and keeping your weight on the balls of the feet is difficult for most beginners.
However, you practice a lot with it because it is where you relax in between your strides.
The ‘Scissor’ position
After learning the Ready position, shift your weight to one skate by bending lower on that knee. Then roll forward the lighter skate until the back wheels of the front skate are in front of the front wheels of the back skate.
Depending on your skill, weight distribution can be 70/30, 80/20, or 60/40 with more weight on the back skate.
What Next When You Get Better
The following are some things you can learn as a beginner:
- Learn to relax
When you look at great skaters, you find they do it effortlessly; you can also do that if you release your fear. Understand that you are not running for any league, and you are safe because you got your gear on.
Allow your brain to trust your feet. Convince your mind that you are skillful and that you can make it through. Once you don’t fear anymore: you can be able to loosen up.
For you to get relaxed, push yourself to practice more, build confidence and skills.
- Speeding up
As a beginner, you don’t want to keep one speed forever. Therefore, challenge yourself with faster motion.
Bend down on your waist and transfer your weight to your thigh muscles then push a bit harder moving your legs quicker and pressing on the skates to propel forward.
Lengthen every stride, push off one foot while rolling with the other until you lose momentum then switch to the same motion.
Use average speed so that you can stop whenever you want. Bend the elbows while moving them back and forward to keep your balance.
When it is time to turn, it depends on the side you want to turn to. Lean your body slightly to the side you want then turn.
- Scissor backward
It is a more advanced backward rolling which creates a scissored movement. When you can push both feet at the same time, it is impressive for you to pull that off.
Push your feet in and out consecutively till you can stop. Always remember to keep your knees bent and your chest off.
When you can survive on wheels, you can try something more advanced like dancing. Allowing some music while doing this will motivate your mood and guide your body movements.
When you are advancing, be aware of what you do with your feet.
Music will ease your work and rhythm will distract your mind from fear to allow you to skate automatically where your feet can draw different patterns.
- Obstacle is nothing
When you are familiar with approaching obstacles when on your bike or car, skating is the same. Train your eyes to focus on where you are going.
It will improve your vision and reaction to sudden things because you don’t want to bump into your fellow while paying attention to something else.
Is it hard to learn how to roller skate?
Skating may look difficult to learn at first just like in swimming or cycling. However, proper guidance and practice can enable you to master roller skating easily.
How long does it take to learn roller skating?
It will depend. You may be quick to learn through 2-3 hours of daily practice and your friends can take even a month.
If you are younger and a sports person, you can learn faster than those getting old or are not physically fit.
What is the best age to start roller skating?
You can start roller skating at any age because there is technically no best or right age to start. However, it depends on how ready each person is to handle the challenges of roller skating.
With children, ensure they can stand, walk, and balance on their own. It is okay when they are around five years because they have the proper gross motor skills to roller skate.
Roller skating has been bringing happiness and joy to most people around the world since its inception and it has grown in popularity over the years and continues its legacy.
Anyone can become a skater because of the low barrier to entry with this sport.
You need to dedicate yourself to learning the basics of skating and challenge yourself along the way if you want to become a professional.
Learn how to balance, have the perfect posture, stop, and skate forward and backward, as these are the basics of skating.
As a beginner, you should not go fast or do fancy drifting turns because you can easily fall and injure yourself. Practice more often to become an excellent skater and you can skate with your friends to make it competitive.