Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or pro at inline skating, nothing else truly tests your abilities like inline skate tricks.
The act of skating is challenging in and of itself, but tricks push you out of your comfort zone and help you learn more about the sport no matter your level. However, the “tricky” part is knowing how or what to learn. If you’re looking for new tricks, then look no further!
Here, we have compiled the ultimate list of inline skate tricks for beginners that you need to know.
Table of Contents Hide
- Safety First!
- How Skating Works
- Inline Skate Tricks for Beginners
- Aggressive Inline Tricks
Look, we get it. In your rush to get out the door to start skating, you might have forgotten to put on your protective gear. While it may not seem like a big deal to not wear your gear in the moment, one bad fall will make you quickly regret it.
Out of an abundance of caution, we highly recommend that you wear your safety gear at all times and especially if you are performing tricks. It is better to be safe than sorry.
As a reminder, you will need a helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards, and knee pads to be protected from most major injuries.
How Skating Works
Skating is motion on wheels. Similar to a bicycle, scooter or any mode of transportation. In skating, your speed depends on your ability to brake.
Skates roll like marbles on a floor. The smoother the floor, the better. The wheels are mostly made of polyurethane, not rubber, so they stick to the floor under the weight of the skater. But have zero traction when the wheels come into contact with any liquid inbetween. So you must always be careful of water and any liquid on the surface.
You must also be careful of bumps, holes in the surface and objects.
On flat surfaces, your skating can be controlled using 3 positions of your feet. These are the V, H & A shapes:
The “V” shape helps you go forward.
The “H” puts you in a neutral position and can be used to just roll or coast, without opening your legs wide. The “H” shape creates an imaginary parallel trail. Remember parallel lines never meet so the wheels shouldn’t meet, neither should you let your legs spread wide apart.
The “A” shape helps you go backwards.
Inline Skate Tricks for Beginners
Before any skater can really shine in the rink, they need to have a solid foundation of the basics. The below inline skate tricks for beginners are essential to your future career in skating. Many more advanced tricks build upon the basics, so nailing these down now will serve you well down the line.
If you are going to learn just one rollerblading trick, then it has to be stops. These are one of the most important tricks you will learn because you will not only be using them frequently, but they will also save you from any bad incidents in the future.
For this trick, the goal is for you to be able to stop with your skates in a “T” position. First, position your feet in a “T” position by placing one foot perpendicular to the other. Experiment a little first to determine which foot is better suited in front or behind. Once you got that down, try getting more comfortable with the T-stop by practicing the following exercises:
Practice #1: Push your front skate forward until you are in a lunge position. Then, bring back your front skate so that you are back in the original standing “T” position. Repeat this exercise a few times.
Practice #2: Push your front skate forward like in Practice #1 until you are in a lunge position. But instead of bringing the front skate back, you want to drag your back skate so that it meets your front one. You should be moving forward with each push. Repeat this exercise a few times.
Another way for you to stop is with the plow stop. As you are skating forward, you should spread your legs out wide apart, put more pressure down onto the ground, and push your legs together so that your toes meet.
The key to this trick is to stay low and bend your knees.
This stop is not as effective if you are going fast but will help you slow down if you are at an average speed.
Alternate plow stop
As we mentioned above, the regular plow stop is not ideal at fast speeds.
The alternate plow stop allows you to stop at fast speeds and doesn’t wear down your wheels as much.
Like the plow stop, your feet are wide apart on an inside edge, but your feet are stepping forwards to stop rather than meeting together at the toes.
Most (if not all) inline skate tricks require some level of balance. This core skill is required for inline skating and should be one of the first things you master from the get-go.
Skating on one foot
The easiest way to improve your balance as a beginner is to practice skating on one foot.
Start out on either grass or carpet, preferably next to a tree, stable object, or person you could hold as you balance on one foot. Try lifting one foot and staying in this position for a few seconds, then switch feet. As you get used to this feeling, you gradually become less dependent on the object or person helping you.
Once you’re ready, start skating on one foot on solid ground. Lift your foot as high as you’re comfortable.
If you’re up for a challenge, try swaying your body left to right and see if you can still keep balance by doing this.
Turns are super helpful when you’re skating. You can use them to avoid obstacles, go around corners, or to just turn around. Below we go over a few ways you can turn.
This trick requires that you skate on an inside edge with your skates heel-to-heel. It is almost like you are lining up your skates in a straight line, but with your heels close to each other.
You might need some flexibility for this trick, so you should consider practicing it on grass or even without your skates on.
Ideally, you want your toes as far apart as possible with your heels next to each other. When you are skating, you can turn with an Eagle by skating straight and stepping out with one foot on an inside edge as if you are turning into a circle.
Then, you bring your other skate in so that your heels meet, and together your feet form a wide “V” shape.
Alternatively, you can start the Eagle as described above, but when you bring your other skate in, you lift your front skate up.
Instead of forming the “V” shape, you are just skating on one foot at a time and still skating on an inside edge on a curved path.
Crossovers are another strategy you can use to turn that combines speed and balance. It is just as the name says. With this trick, you are stepping over one foot as you are skating on an outside edge. It might seem intimidating at first, but you will get the hang of it in no time.
On either grass or carpet, you can first practice stepping your left skate over your right and vice versa.
Make sure to move the foot that you are stepping over back into its original position. Continue to practice this movement until you feel comfortable doing this in skates on both sides. Then, transition onto solid ground.
As you are moving, lift either your left or right skate, step over the opposite foot, and bring your feet back together normally again.
4. Skating backwards
Do you want to impress your friends and family with your new skating skills? They will definitely be amazed if you start skating backwards.
Unlike regular skating, you are starting with a backwards “V”. In order to move, you will need to bend your knees and push off each foot as you shift your weight from side to side. Make sure that no person or obstacle is in your way.
Skaters often check behind them as they skate backwards.
This trick doesn’t seem intuitive from the start, but if you go with the flow, your body coordination will catch on.
We’ve written a detailed “how to” guide here on how to skate backwards for beginners, do check it out!
5. Backward crossovers
Now we’re going to combine the last two tricks we learned into a backward crossover with a slight twist. Like the forwards crossover, you are crossing your feet. However, you want to be putting more pressure on a different part of your boot.
With forward crossovers, you are depending more on the rear wheels.
In the backwards crossover, you are putting pressure on your front wheels. Start as you usually would skating backwards, then roll one skate over so that it crosses the opposite foot, and step out.
You can choose to either go in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.
6. Heel Wheelie/Heel Toe/Toe-toe
Believe it or not, the heel wheelie, heel toe, and toe-toe are not as hard as you may think.
It is true that you need to be skating on one wheel for each skate, but it is actually pretty simple. If you are not ready for it just yet, find a stable object nearby that you can hold onto, such as a tree, railing, or pole.
For the heel toe, stand on the heel of one skate and the toe on the other. Similarly, stand on both heels for the heel wheelie and on both toes for the toe-toe.
You might find the heel wheelie and toe-toe more difficult to balance, so it may take some adjustments before you get the hang of them.
The last thing you need to do is put these positions into motion!
7. Barrel Roll
The barrel roll, also known as the drunken man or windmill, is a pattern of circular sequential movements.
It goes like this: forwards right, forwards left, transition to backwards skating, left over right backward crossover, and repeat.
Try it step-by-step first. It can be difficult to visualize with plain directions, so feel free to look up videos of people demonstrating the trick. Confusing? Maybe. Lots of fun? Yes!
Slalom is a specialized style of inline skating where you perform tricks around a line of small cones.
Usually, slalom skaters have a rocker set up in which the front and back wheels are smaller than the inner ones.
This is supposed to mimic an ice hockey blade and makes the tricks involved in slalom skating easier. However, this setup isn’t necessary, and the tricks can be performed on any inline skate.
Get ready to swim like a fish, but on inline skates! For the fish trick, you are going to sway your body back and forth in a straight line with both of your feet together.
With the half snake, you are slithering around the cones with one foot while the other foot is rolling forward in a straight line.
Start with your feet in a “V” position and do the same movement as the Half Snake, but with both feet. As you are pushing outwards, make sure that your knees are bent.
You should be in a semi-squat position as you are going through this movement.
To finish off the Lemon, squeeze your thighs and move your feet together. Alternatively, the Lemon can be done backwards.
Begin by standing sideways at the end of the line of cones. Then, start rolling diagonally on your left skate and place your right skate behind it so that they form a straight line. Turn your left skate so that you create an upside-down “V” and push off of your right foot.
At this point, you should be skating backwards with your right foot in a straight line in front of your left. Again, turn your left foot so that you form a normal “V” position and push off the right foot to start the pattern again.
The crab trick above prepares you for the crab cross. Enter the line of cones diagonally on your left foot, but then cross your right foot behind the left.
As you’re rolling, the first cone is going in between your skates. Uncross the left foot and form an upside-down “V” shape.
Next, push off of the right foot, step out with your left foot while rolling backwards, and repeat the sequence from the beginning once again.
9. Crab to Reverse
To do the Crab, which is going in the same direction you are rolling, you open only one of your legs all the way so that your feet form a straight line (180 degrees angle). So when you make your 180 degrees Crab, one foot is pointing forwards and the other foot is pointing exactly backwards.
It might take a while to get this, especially if like me you are not very flexible so that’s ok.
You just have to practice getting your feet to open wide into a straight line, practicing 2 to 3 times without skates first. Open your feet fully from the V shape to a real wide and widest V where it looks like 2 straight lines.
While also bending your knees at the same time to prevent you from falling backwards.
While doing the crab, you have one leg pointing backwards, so that leg is already rolling backwards. It’s now easy to bring the other foot also to reverse – you should now be skating backwards! Reverse of reverse is forward.
So reverse the crab once and change the leg again and you should be skating forwards again.
This is so much fun.
10. Two-footed spin
Feeling adventurous? To top off our list of inline skate tricks for beginners, we will be introducing you to the two-footed spin.
Begin by standing on your two feet normally in a neutral position. Do the heel toe trick in place on whichever side you prefer.
However, you only need to get onto your heel and toe for a second at a time.
Then, turn 90 degrees to the side in which you’re on your toe. When you feel confident on the 90-degree turns, ramp it up to 180 degrees.
Keep increasing your turns until you can do a complete 360-degree turn. Soon enough, you will be able to do multiple spins in one go!
Aggressive Inline Tricks
As you progress on your skating journey, you will find that there are a myriad of skating styles suited for different types of people.
One of the most popular of which is aggressive inline skating. It is like the skateboarding of inline skating. Skaters work on tricks like grinds, airs, jumps, and ramp skating.
Below we will describe several aggressive inline tricks for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skaters.
1. Back to the basics
Before you can jump into any crazy tricks, it is essential that you understand the basics of a skate park and how you can best optimize your skating for aggressive inline tricks.
Even though posture is not something we usually think about in our daily lives, it is absolutely critical in aggressive inline skating.
Having proper posture can prevent falling, protect your joints, and ultimately help you skate safely.
To have proper posture, you should bend your knees, lean your body slightly forward, and keep your skates apart and parallel with one foot more forward than the other. In addition, the knees should be slightly over your toes.
This should be your default posture while skating unless you are performing tricks.
Beginners should first get familiar with ramps.
Get comfortable with skating up ramps, rolling off of them backwards, and going down. When skating backwards, make it a habit to look over your shoulder so as to help you avoid obstacles or potential collisions in the future.
Along the same note, you can stop if needed by falling forward on your knees (make sure you have your knee pads on) or extending one skate behind you and putting your foot on the ground a few times.
Additionally, when you are going down ramps, make sure to go down the middle to avoid catching the handrails on the sides.
Manual skate box
The manual skate box is a versatile obstacle that allows a combination of manuals, spins, slides, and grinds.
Beginners should focus on jumping onto and off the box.
To begin, skate slowly towards the box, step up onto it, roll over it, and then step off. Gradually increase your speed as you get more comfortable with this movement.
Next, start introducing jumps as you are coming onto the box and getting off. Again, start off slowly and gain more speed as you go. Pay careful attention to your posture as you perform this trick.
You want to keep a proper posture as you’re skating towards the box and upon landing from a jump.
The mini ramp will help you build confidence in skating on pipes.
Just like how you practiced on the ramps, you can first skate up one side of the ramp, let yourself roll down until you meet the other end, and take advantage of the momentum to skate forwards again.
Repeat it until you lose momentum and stop. To continue the momentum, you can swing your arms and pump your feet. As you gain more momentum, you will start to get to the edges of the ramp.
Push your feet as far up as possible over the edges.
Dropping in a pipe, bank, or ramp
This technique is one of the most commonly used to go down pipes, banks, and ramps.
The exercises you did previously with the mini ramps have paid off now. The only new step you need to add is positioning yourself in the proper posture at the top of the ramp and holding it as you skate down.
When you are doing your first drop in, it is natural to feel nervous and scared. However, you may find yourself holding onto any railing on the side as a result. Avoid doing this as it can become a dangerous situation.
Stalls are when you stand “stalled” on an object. You use stalls when you need a quick pause in between tricks and to regain focus for the next. These are scary at first but can be quickly overcome with practice.
Getting over your fear first starts with getting used to the feeling of skating on curved ramps, which you may have done extensively at this point.
Feel free to experiment a little bit, noting how much speed it takes to reach the edge of the ramp (coping).
Start touching the coping with one skate at a time and then with both skates.
The goal is to stand on the coping with your grooves. This is the point where many skaters find the most difficult. If you haven’t gotten the hang of the trick, then also try skating over the coping and stall briefly as you roll over.
Bending your knees will also help you feel safer and more in control of the process. After stalling, let your skates roll backwards off the ramp.
If you are feeling brave, you can do a 180-degree jump off of a stall rather than rolling backwards. You should be jumping upwards and not sideways. This is because jumping sideways can cause you to slide off.
The turn comes from you twisting your body and not from pushing off the coping.
Like the frontside stall, you land on the coping on the grooves of your skates but in reverse. You begin like you would typically by skating forward towards the coping.
When you are closer to the coping, you perform a 180-degree turn, land on the coping, and roll down the ramp or pipe forwards.
For further practice, you can first land on the upper surface of the ramp or pipe to become comfortable with doing a 180-degree turn and landing backwards.
In a grind, you are sliding across a curb or ledge. Every grind differs in foot position, posture, and balancing point. If you are on regular inline skates and want to perform this trick, you can take out the middle two wheels since they aren’t necessary for rolling. Here are a few grinds to take note of:
The frontside grind involves grinding with both skates on the grooves.
Starting out, you should practice jumping on your grooves using low curbs or ledges. Your toes should be straight as you are landing.
When jumping off, remember to space your skates apart and don’t keep them next to each other.
These precautions will prevent you from falling. To grind the Frontside, slowly approach your desired curb or ledge and jump onto it with your grooves. Turn a bit so that you grind a small distance.
Feel it out until you begin grinding for longer and longer distances. Further challenge yourself by approaching the grind from different directions and jumping off the curb or ledge with a spin.
The soul grind changes up the position of your feet on the ledge. One foot is grinding on the groove of the skate while the “soul plate” of the skate is gliding across the ledge. The “soul plate” is the outer part of the skate where the frame for your wheels is mounted to.
Just as you did with the Frontside grind, you will likely need to start jumping on low ledges to get a feel for the Soul grinding position.
As you get better and better, you will be able to move small distances and then eventually longer distances with the Soul grinding technique.
4. Spins/Rotating Jumps
As you may have guessed from the name, you will be spinning in the air with this set of tricks. But don’t panic! We will be guiding you step-by-step on how to achieve this feat in aggressive inline skating.
Proper posture and sequence of events
The importance of the proper posture we described earlier comes into play when you are jumping. Keeping one skate in front of the other helps maintain your balance. So even if you lose your balance on one foot, you can adjust your positioning to accommodate it.
Practice jumping from the proper posture into a 180-degree spin and landing in the proper posture without shoes.
Ideally, you want to be holding the proper posture throughout the entirety of this exercise.
Avoid turning your feet before jumping, as this is a common mistake beginners make.
Repeat the small jumping exercise we just described, but with your skates on.
Drill the sequence of events into your head and remember: always hold proper posture! Incorporate the spin into your skating by going slowly at first.
However, some beginners often don’t lift up their feet enough as they are jumping.
You want to make sure that your feet are positioned the way they were in the proper position and lifted slightly as you perform the jump.
This is the same as the 180-degree spin, but it is performed while skating backwards. The most difficult part about the trick is that you also have to be more aware of your surroundings.
Sometimes you might get caught up looking behind you so much that you unintentionally twist your body too much, causing your spin to be thrown off. Instead, you can just turn your head.
You can continue to practice your 180-degree turns by doing multiple jumps in a row.
Like the 180-degree spins, get comfortable with the 360-degree spin by jumping without shoes on. Repeat with skates on. Doing the 360-degree spin in place is more difficult than when skating, so don’t fret if you are having a hard time with it.
The more practice you have with the spin in place, the easier it will be when you skate. When you are ready, add in the skating while gradually increasing speed.
To improve your precision, practice doing multiple 360-degree spins in a row. It helps to set up a few lines of cones spaced out that will signal to you when to jump.
Take note of your speed and how long it takes between landing and jumping between the cones.
Airs, also known as “air transfers”, are tricks where you fly over an obstacle. Like many aggressive inline tricks, you might find this one particularly anxiety-inducing.
That is definitely a normal reaction in the beginning but can be overcome as you practice.
Airs can be done on several different types of obstacles, but you have to take some time to get to know each obstacle before you can do airs over them. Become familiar with every edge and surface of the obstacle so that you are not as scared if you fall.
Now, begin jumping onto the surface as far and high as you are capable.
Eventually, you should tuck in your knees as you jump to get used to high jumps. Continue skating faster and jumping higher until you feel confident enough to completely clear the surface with an air.
The above tips can be adapted to all of the different obstacles you may encounter. Flailing arms are a normal part of the learning process and will gradually decrease as you practice flying through the air.
Finally, you should be landing in the proper posture, especially with your knees bent to absorb all the force from the high jump.
From inline skate tricks for beginners to aggressive inline tricks, there are so many ways to level up your skating. Having a sound foundation in the basics will not only make tricks easier to perform, but also make you a better skater overall.
As you go on to more advanced tricks, you might become more and more intimidated by the complex motions and technical skills. But try to break them down into more achievable steps, just as we did in this article. You can achieve all of the tricks we’ve discussed in this article over time and with practice.
The most remarkable thing about our body is that it memorizes the feeling and positioning needed to perform these tricks. So once you achieve it, it only gets easier from there.
Good luck and happy skating!
Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API