Learning to roller skate is not a hard task but, like with everything new in life, you won't get far without having a tutor or someone teach you the do's and don'ts of roller skating.
To master skating you will first need to find the perfect skates. Once you have the skates you need to purchase protecting gear (knee and elbow pads). Finally, you should look for a place where you can go practice and become the best roller skater.
There are many methods you can use to skate, and many different ways of skating. The first things you should learn are:
- How to start rolling from a complete standstill
- To skate a short distance
- How to stop
Once you stand on your skates for the very first time you will feel a little weird, and that's normal because you will be taller than what you usually are. To give yourself some balance (and to go back to your normal height) you need to bend your knees.
After finding your balance and bending your knees you have to stroke your feet out, left to right. These movements will push you forward.
If you're already moving, you need to learn how to stop. There are many different ways of stopping but one of the most common ones is called a "T" stop. To do this technique you'll have to put one foot behind the other foot but horizontally, and form a "T" shape with both feet.
Keep in mind that at first, you'll be falling down a lot, so make sure you protect yourself and you don't give up! If you want to hire a tutor to teach you how to roller skate you can look for someone right here on Superprof.
Superprof counts with over 16 million teachers, coaches, mentors, and professionals prepared to teach you anything you're interested in. So don't waste more time and go check what our tutors have to offer.
Have you tried roller skating in a couple? Learn more about it right here.
Choosing your skates
There are different types of roller skates, some are built for skating as a sport, dancing with them, speed skating, or just skating. So before you set out to buy a pair of skates, you need to define what you want to learn. Although, if you're starting out, you should always purchase the easiest skates to use.
The classic skates or roller skates, and also known as quad skates, are designed with a wide base plate that will provide you with good stability. These skates are built for people of all ages, from kids to adults.
The market has all types of roller skates, and here are some things to pay attention to if you want to buy a new pair of skates:
- Hard boots: are built for long outdoor rides and fitness purposes.
- Soft boots: these are built for people who want to dance around or do tricks because the soft boot will provide better mobility for maneuvers.
- Wheels: roller skates come with four wheels. Harder wheels provide a longer lifespan, but less grip and shock absorption.
Softer wheels provide better grip and shock absorption, but a shorter lifespan.
- Size: the size is the most important aspect of skates because they can really hurt you if you're wearing the wrong size. Choose about 1 size bigger than the regular shoe size - unless stated otherwise in the size guide.
- Trucks and plates: skates have a truck and a plate underneath. A plate is typically made of nylon which makes the skate lighter in weight and a truck is made of aluminum, which makes it heavier.
Skates are quite expensive, but buying cheap and uncertified skates can hurt you in the long run. A pair of skates can cost between $80 and $120. If you go on Amazon you can look for cheaper options but don't forget to check for their level of quality.
There are also the inline skates, which, unlike the quad skates, have three wheels in a straight line. These skates are easier to maneuver, which makes them perfect for sports like hockey or for outdoor skating, like playing around cones and so on.
Indoors and outdoors skates are different too. If you're going to skate in a rink you'll need indoor skates, but if you want to be outside skating next to the beach, you'll need outdoor skates.
It's your responsibility to do the appropriate research before buying a pair of skates. And there are many factors you need to take into consideration before you make a decision. So, don't rush it! Take your time, look at all your options, compare and consider them carefully, and then make a decision.
Learn about roller skating events in the USA.
Finding a place to practice
Finding a place to go skate is almost as important as finding the perfect pair of skates. Since there are so many sports you can do, like roller derby, artistic roller skating, roller speed skating, jam skating, outdoor hockey, going to the correct spot in the city is important.
If you want to join a roller derby team you'll need to go to a rink to skate but if you want to roll around the city the next time you travel you'll need to skate outside. Beginners usually like to go to an open space in a park or a rink because they feel safer in these types of locations.
Another great place to go skate is at a pier or by the beach. These places are usually crowded but as long as you get in sync with the rest of the people and you don't collide with anyone in front or behind you, you'll be fine.
Skaters like to position themselves in certain areas of a city, you can always go look for those spots and practice while you make new friends. Keep in mind that really talented skaters started out as beginners, just like you! So do not feel defeated by watching someone else skating better than you.
You'll feel good once you get out there and start rolling around the city. All you have to do is start!
If you need help finding a spot or you're still not sure where to go, continue reading to find out where the best places to skate in the country are.
Another important aspect of learning how to roller skate is protecting your body accordingly. If you're at beginner level you'll need to shop for far more than just the skates.
You'll need a helmet, knee pads, shoulder pads, and skater gloves to protect your hands if you fall. The knee and shoulder pads are also there to protect your body from a bad fall, as well as the helmet.
It's important to remember that you're not a pro and you'll fall more times than you can count, which is why you need to protect your body.
Make sure you're comfortable in all of the gear because it won't work if you're protected but uncomfortable. Being comfortable will give you better control of your body and the skates!
You can look for all of this gear in an Amazon skating shop. But you can also go to a local store and shop for everything there and support local businesses too!
Practice, practice, practice!
Learning something new takes time and energy.
You need to know you won't become a pro after skating one day with friends. You can also feel like a failure after six months of practice and not improving, but that's not the case. Many people master skating after years and years of practice, and even though six months sounds like a lot, it really isn't.
You can bruise your knees, cut your arm, even hurt a toe, but do not worry, it is all part of the process of learning a new sport. You'll even sense that you are going backward, but that just means you're progressing without even realizing it.
If you want to enter competitions and do a team sport, you'll need to look for championships and teams training near you. You can play hockey, roller derby, speed skating, and more.
Practicing with a team can be incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons. You will improve much faster than if you were practicing alone, you'd have a support system for more than just the sport, and you could learn from other's mistakes.
If you're skating as a sport to lose weight keep in mind that you'll also gain muscle and muscle strength, which means that you'll probably gain muscle weight.
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