The 90’s trends are coming back strong, not only in the fashion sense but also in outdoor activities. For this reason, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that rollerblading, otherwise known as inline skating, is back with a bang!
Rollerblading is a safe outdoor recreation activity that’s fun and healthy. However, knowing how to go about it can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you’re a beginner. But, don’t be discouraged. Here we’ll cover all you need to know about rollerblading, including a multi-step guide on how to rollerblade.
Read on to find out more!
So, is rollerblading hard to learn?
Yes, but once you get the basics, you’re good to go.
Still, the time it takes for you to learn how to rollerblade relies on several variables. Firstly, whether or not you have experiences in a related sport like sliding & gliding, ice skating, or roller skating. Second, your age. If you’re a beginner, it plays a particular role in learning some moves and tricks.
Honestly, if you’re a starter, you may have a hard time learning how to rollerblade. You might begin slow, though, once you understand the basics, all you need is frequent practice.
How to rollerblade
Rollerblading can be tricky to master at first, as you need a lot of control and balance. All the same, here’s how to go about it, from finding your balance and moving, to turning and stopping;
- Wear your helmet, elbow, and knee pads to shield yourself from bruises or bumps while rollerblading. Plus, if you’re a beginner, you should wear wrist guards, as they let you break your fall safely.
- Wear your rollerblades and pull the straps across the boot’s front and via the buckles on either side. Tighten them until you achieve a comfortable yet snug fit.
- Make sure the skates don’t slide or wobble on your feet since this means that they’re loose. Again, if they’re too tight, they’ll hinder circulation and feel stiff. That said, ensure you purchase the correct size. Skates are sized the same as sneakers and other street shoes.
- Once you’ve worn your rollerblades, use a close pillar or object to help you stand up. If there’s nothing to hold onto, pull up one foot beneath you, and position your hands on the floor in front of you. Stand with one foot then the other, and take care not to lose balance.
It would be best to practice this on rough surfaces like grass or a carpet as it will come in handy in steadying the skates.
- Now that you’re up ensure your feet are standing correctly and your ankles are not resting in either direction. Also, your toes need to be pointing straight, as this helps you maintain balance while skating.
Proper balance is about consistently making minor changes with your ankles and feet to remain in control of the wheels. Plus, you’ll move in the direction the wheels are pointing.
- Next is to practice crouching, pivoting, and leaning with your rollerblades. This familiarizes you with the types of motions you’ll be applying later on to turn and accelerate. Slightly bend your knees and keep them and the ankles loose.
- When you acquaint yourself with several simple leg motions, try moving with one foot and balancing with the other.
Moving with your rollerblades
- Practice on the pavement once you’re more confident. Also, ensure there’s ample space to move around comfortably. Pavements are perfect for skating, as they let the wheels move efficiently. Besides, you can rollerblade close to a rail or wall that you can rely on for balance. Other ideal surfaces for learning rollerblading basics are garages, parking lots, and sidewalks.
- Place one foot in front of the other, then the other foot, and repeat slowly. Avoid placing a lot of weight on your feet until they’re directly beneath you. Next, you can move on to gliding. Try walking from one place to another, provided it’s a short distance, without falling.
- As you place one foot in front of the other, position it out and forward. Focus your weight over one foot to start gliding. Lift your rollerblades and lower them for your next move, as this allows your motion to drive you forward.
- To maintain your balance, hold out your hands within the first few moves, and make minor adjustments if you feel like you’re losing balance. Nonetheless, once you master how to balance yourself on the rollerblades, you can lower your arms. Also, when moving at high speed, swing your arms in a fluctuating rhythm with your legs` motion, like an overstated run.
Note: Don’t lift your hands over your head or allow them to move in front of your body.
- Now that you’ve found your balance, it’s time to accelerate. To pick up your speed on rollerblades, do the same thing, but faster. Move your torso forward, slightly bend your knees, and move your feet back and forth, sliding one skate at a time. Again, make sure your skates are moving in a V set-up.
- Move at a pace that you can handle. Avoid moving too fast at a go for your safety. Begin in slow-motion and increase the speed gradually until you’re comfortable. With every session, you’re getting more comfortable moving on your rollerblades.
Besides, you should organize your sessions to work on one technique per session. For example, you could practice turning during the first session and acceleration and balance on the next one.
- Next, it is essential to learn how to break a fall safely. When you begin losing balance, marginally tilt towards one side, allowing your body to fall steadily. Remember to keep your head from the ground. This way, your thighs and butt will take in the most impact. Don’t fall directly backwards or forward since this could result in a horrible bump.
Avoid using your hands to catch yourself in case of a fall. This is because there are plenty of small bones within your hands` structure that can break if you touch down wrong.
Turning techniques and stopping
- Begin moving, and position your legs side-by-side. Focus and lean your bodyweight towards the left edge of your skates to move to the left, and let your ankles bend. Do the same to make a right turn. The circular force generated by turning with the skates` edges will result in a smooth change of direction. This method is known as the A-Frame turn, and it’s the most popular turning technique among skaters.
Start by practising gentle turns, then move on to tighter turns as you get used to the momentum.
- If you find the A-Frame turn too tricky to maneuver, you can assist yourself by turning the skate in the direction you want to pivot and bending the other rollerblade to follow suit. While this sounds a bit awkward, it’s the best way to progress to more complicated turns under high speed as a beginner.
Lift the back wheels to turn, as it will be much easier to maintain your balance. Once you’re comfortable turning this way, begin shifting the motion to change your movement into an A-Frame pivot.
- To make sharp turns, lift one skate and position it in front of the other. Lift the back skate, relocate it to the side you wish to, and then set out with the opposite skate. Do this until you’re done making the turn. To swiftly take sharp corners and turns, overlap your feet, and avoid having your skates touch one another.
- When it’s time to stop and take a break, begin by bringing your feet together and slightly swaying them for improved stability. Next, bend your knees and lead the brake skate forward. Lean it back, allowing the brake scrapes against the surface. Stop gradually, since if you dig in excessively, you might lose control.
- To achieve a hockey stop, position one foot vertically. Place the other foot parallel from the rear foot. The swift shift of direction will let you reduce your motion almost immediately. The Hockey stop is a speedier technique of stopping, and it’s common among professional skaters. This means that to try it out, you should be good at performing typical stops and gliding.
Benefits of rollerblading
Rollerblading is not only fun but healthy, and some of the health benefits that it comes with include;
It encourages muscle endurance.
Typically, rollerblading involves various muscle groups on the core and legs. This makes it an excellent way to build muscle endurance. Even though people prefer workouts like treadmills, cycling, and running to encourage muscular strength, rollerblading eliminates the boring part of exercising.
It also comes with additional advantages over these workouts as it focuses on the muscles on the upper buttocks, hips, legs, and lower back. Additionally, it aids in having improved balance and control of your posture. This is because when rollerblading, you need to maintain a proper stance and upright posture.
Furthermore, rollerblading enhances your stamina if you do it continuously for a long time. An increase in stamina comes in handy in aiding you to do various activities for a long time.
It helps in weight management.
Studies show that rollerblading is a vigorous cardiovascular workout. For instance, rollerblading for one hour can burn over 800 calories. However, if you spend the same time jogging at 5mph, you will burn 500 to 600 calories. Again, if you walk for the same time at 3.5mph, you’ll burn 200 to 300 calories only.
It perfects your balance.
In rollerblading, balance is vital. Nevertheless, balancing while rollerblading perfects your overall balance and posture. Therefore, if you have issues maintaining your balance, rollerblading will come in handy in enhancing it. Besides boosting your posture, good balance decreases your energy on ordinary activities such as standing and sitting, thus lessening fatigue.
As seen, balancing is the first thing you master in rollerblading. You use the lower back and abdominal muscles to move back and forth. So, as you better your balance, you can maneuver fascinating rollerblading moves.
It aids in combating diabetes.
This is one of the most troublesome conditions caused by unhealthy eating, wrong diet routines, obesity, or inactivity. Oftentimes, people with diabetes turn out to have Type II Diabetes. Physicians and other health professionals recommend strength workouts and aerobics to hinder or manage diabetes.
According to research, a diabetic patient must do moderate aerobic workouts for approximately 30 minutes 4 to 5 times weekly. These workouts keep the patient mentally alert and active. And seeing as rollerblading is an excellent aerobic workout, it is one of the recommended exercises for diabetes patients.
It comes in handy in increasing your heart rate and regulating the levels of insulin in your body. In addition, it is a productive strength training workout. Consequently, it strengthens your heart, bones, and muscles. On top of that, it decreases the glucose levels in the blood and improves the levels of cholesterol. As you can see, you’ll get a wide range of health benefits from this impressive outdoor sport.
Tones legs and arms
Rollerblading engages various muscles of the body, including the arms` and legs` muscles. For instance, it involves your legs` muscles and glutes when in motion. Moreover, it involves the core and arm as you increase your speed.
Most of the time, you engage the arms when trying to maintain balance when accelerating. So, to improve the strength of your legs, arms, core, and lower body, you should go rollerblading frequently.
Why is rollerblading easier than roller skating?
Roller skating and rollerblading are somewhat similar sports. However, the main difference is on the wheels. It is much simpler for a newbie to stay upright in roller skaters since they are equipped with wheels on both sides of the center of the foot. For this reason, they are perfect for newbies as it’s easier to maintain balance on them and moving gradually feels effortless.
Also, since you require leg muscle to maintain your balance, roller skaters are more suited for younger children. This is because their muscles might strain to keep them standing on rollerblades. But it might be easier to shift your direction on a rollerblade in terms of comfort when moving in various directions and navigating hindrances. Since it has narrower wheels arranged vertically, it’s easier for you to weave blades as both skates remain on the surface. Roller skates might jam while moving straight, making it more difficult to weave them.
The rear brake of rollerblades has perhaps a more natural momentum since it needs you to use force on the heel and stretch your leg. Novices might prefer this over a roller skate’s front brake that requires you to lug your leg and apply pressure simultaneously. All the same, it comes down to your needs and preferences.
On both rollerblades and rolling skates, it is essential that you bend your knees and get used to the marginal motion of the wheels underneath your legs to maintain balance. Therefore, they both need a bit of learning and practice. However, if you want to keep things simple and slow, go for roller skates as they offer additional balance. But rollerblades let you skate for longer distances outdoors easily once you master the basics.
Is rollerblading harder than ice skating?
Ice skating is more challenging than rollerblading. This is because ice skates` blades are designed specially not to fall when skating on ice. This means they are thin, which is why ice skating is not suitable for beginners. With their slim profile, maintaining balance is extremely difficult, particularly for starters.
Nonetheless, when rollerblading, you’ll be skating on various surfaces, like pavements. These surfaces offer more friction compared to snow. Additionally, rollerblades have more wheels, making balancing more effortless than with ice skates.
Is rollerblading harder than skateboarding?
No. For beginners, rollerblading is easier than skateboarding. For one, skateboarding needs focus, consistent practicing, dedication, and a lot of courage to master. You can’t simply take a skateboard and begin skating.
However, rollerblading is more straightforward in terms of finding your balance. A rollerblade wheel features a taller, circular, and narrower base. Therefore, the major difference between these two is the shapes and size of the wheels. This is because rollerblading wheels are slender than skateboarding wheels.
How long does it take to learn rollerblading?
Typically, around 2 to 3 hours. Though this only covers the basics. For you to master them and become good at rollerblading, it will take about 30 days. Still, people are different, and this learning period relies on multiple variables such as the time you spend practicing, whether you’re teaching yourself or have a trainer, and so much more.
Finally, don’t give up.
Even though you might be an excellent athlete, you won’t perfect your rollerblading skills instantly, which is okay. If you work hard, practice continuously and believe in yourself while stopping, moving, and turning, rollerblading will be the perfect way to explore the universe. Besides, after all that hard work, it’s hard not to smile when you’ve finally done it right.