Inline skating is a popular sport among all age groups, young and old. Most beginners initiate their skating journey right on inline skates. However, many people also find inline skates equally fascinating and comfortable to start with. So, is It Easy for Beginners to Start Inline Skates?
It required a lot more balance, which you can learn with some practice. On average for most beginners, it takes about 1 to 3 hours of practice until you start to feel skates.
With a little practice and patience, even beginners can learn simple tricks with their inline skates. The article introduces the dos and don’ts that beginners must remember when they initiate their skating journey.
Inline Skating Tips for Beginners
If you are about to begin with your first pair of inline skates, here are some pro tips to consider that will help you learn effectively [source]:
- Start practicing on an empty, flat area without any obstacles. You are about to start your initial skating lessons as a beginner. Therefore, it is advisable to practice first in an empty, flat area without people or obstacles to avoid any potential accidents when you polish your skills.
Since you are learning the basics, you may accidentally bump into people or fall into hazards. You should track down a nearby empty pathway or park where you can practice on your own. Make certain that space is free of obstacles. You should seek permission if you are using private property for your practice sessions.
- Learn the basics first. The initial lessons with your inline skates should teach you how to stand and maintain balance. You can ask someone to help you, while you stand close to a wall and practice how to stay balanced on your inline skates.
Keep your feet at safe distance a few centimeters apart pointing into a V-position. Slightly bend your knees to avoid an immediate fall. Practice standing up on your skates by keeping your knees on the floor and keeping your body upright. Put your hands on the ground, slowly raise your right foot keeping the wheels firmly under the foot. Hold the wall to brace yourself and gradually stand up on your right foot until the wheels of the left skate are flat on the floor.
- Do not rush, commence with baby steps. Being on the skates for the very first time may make you excited and nervous at the same time. You may presume to slip or to fall anytime. You should balance your weight evenly on each skate to prevent a slip. Remember to take one step at a time.
You do not have to rush or move quickly as you may lose balance and tumble. Try walking on your skates maintaining a v-walk position. Keep your feet in a V position with your toes pointed inward. Move one step at a time.
- Glide slowly. You may want to glide when you have learned walking with your skates. For this, you just have to push one foot forward and glide. However, the trick for successful gliding lies in carefully shifting your weight. In other words, put one foot forward and shift your body weight on that foot. Repeat the process for the other foot. Keep your balance focused on each leg to learn when it feels comfortable.
- Always use brakes. Stopping is as equally important as balancing on skates. It is important to learn the trick so that you can stop yourself without crashing into someone or tumbling over an obstacle. Your stopping skills will prevent any potential injury.
Your inline skates are geared with brake pads. You can find one on the back to easily stop skates. All you need to do is to lift your toe while gliding and your skates will come to a stop. Alternatively, you can move one skate slightly bending forward and lift the front part to let the brakes stop you slowly. Remember to slow down before hitting the breaks to avoid toppling over or damaging a muscle at high speed.
- Keep practicing. You should continue practicing your skills until you can balance yourself consciously. Also, you can try gliding on one foot until you can maintain balance and comfortably glide on that foot. Once you can maintain balance and glide with your skates, you can learn other advanced tricks of inline skating. Remember to take it slow. Make certain that you are comfortable with the basic skills before learning the advanced tricks. Watch out for obstacles and put on your safety gear to stay safe when you practice.
Common Mistakes That Beginners Must Avoid
It is easy to make mistakes when you are starting your first skating lessons. However, it is even easier to avoid them when you know the don’ts of inline skating. Consider the following common mistakes often made by beginners to ease out your learning curve [source]:
- Not wearing proper protective gear – You should remember that as a beginner, it is easy to slip and fall when you are still learning the basics. You can avoid severe injury like a broken bone or a deep cut just by wearing proper safety gear when you practice.
- Wearing skates that do not fit – Remember to pick the right size for your skates. You may choose a larger size to save some money but you will not be comfortable during your practice sessions. You may develop blisters when they are too tight or you may wobble and have trouble standing when they are too loose. Eventually, you may give up after a few minutes of practice or you may end up falling badly. Inline skating can be absolute fun with the right size of skates.
- You purchase advanced skates – If you are just beginning with inline skating, do not buy advanced low-cut boots with big wheels. Those advanced pair of skates are ideal for competitions or a marathon, but not suitable for beginners. The advanced skates have wheels around 90-100 mm in size, which are tough to turn and difficult to maneuver. It is advisable for first-time skaters to grab a comfortable pair of skates with appropriate ankle support.
- You rush to glide – You are not expected to win a marathon on the very first day with your brand-new pair of skates. First-time learners must take it easy and start slow with a quick skating session of not more than half a mile. You do not have to try heroism without mastering your skills.
- You do not master braking skills – Brakes are there for a reason in your inline skates. It is as important to learn how to brake properly as it is to learn how to balance and glide. Mastering the braking skills help you keep control when you are moving fast and meet sudden obstacle on the way.
When you know how to hit your brakes, you can avoid barreling into someone when moving fast. It is important for your safety. Further, it keeps others around you safe. Learn how to push the brake and come to a halt before you hit your neighborhood rink or trails.
- You hit the trails when you are not ready [source] – Many new skaters try to hit the trails or skate downhill without properly learning the basic skills. The results can be nasty and scary. Do not rush into hills too soon. Practice on a flat floor first and master the basics before you plan to hit the trails. Learn hill abstinence before the idea of moving downhill crosses your mind.
Some Simple Inline Skating Tricks for Beginners
It is advisable to start with some simple but amazing tricks as a beginner before you switch over to the more advanced ones. Following are some tricks that beginners must learn to ease out their learning curve [source]:
- Heel-Toe – The trick is simple. You have to glide using the toe of your front skate and heel of your back skate. Well, it may not be as easy as it sounds, at first. But, once you learn to maintain even balance on both skates, it will be really fun to do. You should keep your feet scissored with one foot a little behind the other. Straighten your front leg to naturally elevate the toe and keep the heel wheels on the ground. Bend your back leg pushing the rear foot behind so that your rear wheels of the skate are elevated. Only the toe wheels of your rear foot touch the ground. This exercise is great at learning and improving your balancing skills.
- Fishtail – Start this trick be maintaining some speed. Gradually wiggle your trailing skate using the toe side of the wheel. Keep moving your rear skate in and out. You can cover a wider arc by putting more weight on the toe wheel when you steer your movements.
- Flat Spin – In this trick, you take 180 degrees or 360 degrees spin. For this, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and gently twist your upper body to make a spin in either left or right direction. The movement of your torso will naturally make your body take a 180- or 360-degrees spin. Keep your movements smooth and slow. Making a quick movement may disrupt your balance. Use your front skate as a pivot point and the rear skate to maintain stability.
- Wavers – In this trick, you push out, and pull in your foot rapidly. You should not try this trick at a high speed. The movement creates a waving pattern, which can easily make your body lose balance at a high pace. Go smooth and let your body movement create the waving pattern naturally.
- Backward skating – It sounds simple but can be tricky. In this trick, you push your feet alternately away from your body in the backward direction moving in half circle. One piece of advice for this trick is to always look behind the shoulders periodically to check for obstacles or other people when you are doing the trick in pavements or trails.
- One-foot skating – This trick is extremely helpful in learning to maintain balance. All you need to do is maintain balance on one skate as you tread. Get your body moving and gently lift one foot. Maintain the position for as long as you can, without losing balance. Try this trick at an optimum speed, not too slow, not too fast.
- Slaloms – Just wiggle your body from one side to another. Turn left and right and vice versa. You can also try this exercise with some cones to improve your skating skills.
- Crossovers – This exercise helps you learn to make sharp turns easily and quickly. In this trick, you cross your outer foot over the other, thereby moving in a wide circle. You can turn in any comfortable direction to do the trick. As a beginner, start the trick by walking in a circle slowly and smoothly. You will get better with a little training and time.
All these tricks will help you improve your skating skills as a beginner. All you need to do next is to have a little patience, persistence, and practice.
I have mastered the basic skills. Now, I want to hit the trails. What precautions do you suggest? One important advice is to learn the rules of the road [source] – Once you are comfortable with the basic skills, you may want to try trail skating. However, you should remember that the trails may be shared by dog walkers, cyclists, animals, children, or sudden obstacles that may cross your path. Therefore, it is important to learn the rules of the road:
- Let someone know you are headed for the trail.
- Keep yourself towards the right side of the road as it has slower traffic.
- Let other people on your left know that you are coming. Be predictable and stay in your lane. Watch out before changing course.
- Do not block the trail for bikers or other movers.
- Do not move through private property without consent.
- Do not litter and throw things when you get a chance.
- Remember to stop at intersections.
My kid is 7 years old. At what age do you think my kid will be ready for inline skating? Inline skating [source] is an extreme sport that requires physical strength and balancing skills. Small children face some difficulty in learning these tricks. If you want your child to learn inline skating, consider the following factors to decide when to start training:
- Does your child have the stamina and physical strength required by the sport?
- Is your child active enough to respond quickly in case of sudden encounters?
- Can your child maintain balance during simple activities?
- How does your child perform in other activities that require coordination of mind and body?
- What is the attention span of your child?
Answering some of these questions may give you the appropriate time to start training sessions. You can enroll your child for 10-15-minute duration mini-skating-lessons to start with or at the age of 7, you can also put your kid in beginner sessions for inline skating.
My beginner sessions for inline skating will start soon. What advice do you want me to have as a beginner? First and foremost, buy good, high-quality skating equipment that provides ample support and are durable. Make sure that the wheel-set up feature matches your skill level. You can go for a pair of adjustable skates in the beginning. Speak with your instructor before you make a purchase. Also, do not forget to get your safety gear.