Jumping on roller skates is an inevitable skill you’ll have to learn on your roller skating journey.
If you plan on looking cool while roller skating, just learning the basics of this technique will drop the jaws of more than half of the kids at your local skate park.
This step-by-step guide is built especially for beginners to help them become pros in the fastest way possible.
Learning to skate is all about the strategic movements, and succeeding at it is thanks to fancy words like stability, momentum, speed etc.
So, while keeping the laws of physics in mind, I will teach you how to jump in the most efficient way possible, which most coaches and trainers fail to do nowadays.
Table of Contents Hide
- The 3 Kinds of Jumps on Roller Skates
- The Basic Jump
- 180 degrees Jump
- 360 degrees Jump
- What Next?
The 3 Kinds of Jumps on Roller Skates
Where’s the fun if there are no variations in the types of jumps you’re learning, right?
That’s why, in this guide, I’ll be teaching you 3 kinds of jumps:
- The Basic Jump
- 180 degrees jump
- 360 degrees jump
If you’re ready for your epic transformation from a boring skater who just knows how to skate in a straight line, to an awesome pro, then this is the place you need to be.
This won’t be easy, so buckle up your skates and get practicing.
The Basic Jump
Everything starts with the basics. The basics might be simple but they aren’t easy for beginners.
The minimum required to learn the basic jump on roller skates is at least to be proficient in skating comfortably in a straight line.
This step-by-step guide focuses on teaching you different kinds of jumps in the fastest and efficient way possible.
Afterall, you want to become a pro quickly, right?
The 4 Steps to do the Basic Jump
We have divided the process of jumping into 4 fundamental parts to make things easier:
- Staggering the feet
- Launching yourself
- Being in air
- Landing safely
1. Staggering the feet
Staggering the feet means keeping your feet in a scissors position; one foot a bit forwards and the other a bit backwards.
Not staggering the feet is the stupidest mistake you could think of while jumping as a beginner.
Staggering your feet:
- Improves your stability by widening the base
- Reduces the odds of falling forwards or backwards
Almost every kind of jump or skating trick requires this step. So practice being comfortable at staggering your feet. It won’t only help you jump but also become a well balanced skater.
2. Launching yourself
Launching yourself correctly and safely can be a bit tricky for beginners.
Here’s a complete breakdown that will help you launch yourself like a pro.
- Quickly bend your knees before launch – This will increase your explosive power and hence you’ll jump higher.
- Use your hands to gain momentum – Move your hands up while launching but be careful not to launch them too far back.
3. Being in Air
Being in the air can be the scariest part of jumping on roller skates, but it also only lasts for a split second.
Here’s what not to do when being in the air:
- Do not straighten your legs – If you don’t want to look like a duck, that is.
- Do not panic and topple over – Imagine yourself flying through the air.
- Don’t think too much about it
You won’t probably make any mistakes while being in the air, because the human body is already accustomed to jumping on the ground.
The jump is the most enjoyable part of roller skating. The feeling of flying through the air is something you won’t get bored by quickly.
4. Landing Safely
I know you shouldn’t be too self conscious when learning to skate, but jumping and then falling into the ground face first really does make you look awkward. Moreover, it’s also unsafe.
That’s why you have to learn to land safely.
- Land in a staggered position – stability
- Bend your knees – to absorb the impact
That’s all there is to it.
You must take it slow while learning to jump. This is to avoid any serious injury. Make sure to follow the following rules:
- Wear your helmet
- Wear safety guards
Here are some on skate and off skate drills to make jumping ten times easier:
- Squats – This will make your legs strong and flexible enough to jump.
- Jumps – Follow the exact 4 steps to jump off-skate as you were to jump with skates on. This will help you to get the muscle memory for the final on-skate jump.
- Jump without launching yourself in air – Practice the first 2 steps; staggering the feet and the hand movements.
- Do small bunny jumps – Start small and then gradually go big.
How to Jump Higher, Jump over Cones
Now that you’ve got the basic technique down, you’ll have to learn how to jump higher on roller skates.
You’ll need something to jump over:
- Cardboard boxes
- Anything that comes to mind
Here’s the exercise:
- Start by jumping over just one cup, or a cardboard box.
- Stack more cups, cones or cardboard boxes on top of each other to increase the height.
- After some practice, you’ll be able to jump insane heights without even knowing it.
- Cups, and cardboard boxes are lightweight and hence won’t make you lose your balance if you fail to jump over.
How to Jump Farther
Now, if you want to do an A-tier jump on roller skates, you’ll have to jump farther.
There’s just one trick to jumping farther.
- Increase your speed – Do this by either peddling your feet harder, going downhill, or coming into the jump from a long distance
- Don’t lose balance – Make several runs and increase your speed bit by bit. This will make your body get used to the speed.
The more the velocity in the forward direction, the more the momentum and hence more distance covered. That’s basic physics.
People make the stupidest mistakes when learning to jump on roller skates.
Here’s how you can spare yourself from a few scratches while learning.
- Mistake 1: Not staggering your feet – Ladies and Gentlemen, this is precisely how you get your knee scratched. Falling on your face, knees, head or hips is also a common after effect of this mistake.
- Mistake 2: Launching your hands too far up and then back – This is also a prime way of falling on the back of your head. This can cause a serious head injury if there’s no helmet.
- Mistake 3: Not bending your knees while landing – If you don’t want to topple over and get a knee injury, you have to bend your knees while landing. This is to absorb the shock and make your landing smooth and secure.
- Mistake 4: Not wearing helmet or safety guards – It would be silly to not wear helmet or knee guards while learning to jump. Humans make mistakes while learning something new and you don’t want it to be game over in real life because you get only one try.
180 degrees Jump
After you can do the basic jump nicely and comfortably, it’s time to move on to the next level.
The minimum required is to be able to skate backwards.
180 degree jump is the technique that every skater must know. The reason is that the 180 degree jump is not just a jump in itself; it is used for various other tricks including jumping on ramps and basic front to back transitions.
I’m going to teach you the easiest way to jump 180 degrees. It’s a bit complicated, but it’s easy to do. However, if you go jumping 180 degrees on your own, you will fall. I guarantee it.
So let’s start.
The 3 Steps to doing the 180 degree Jump
The 180 degree jump is extremely easy if you’ve mastered the basic jump. I’ve divided the motion into 3 easy steps:
- Staggering the feet
- Turning 180 degrees
- Landing backwards
Here’s the full detailed explanation.
1. Staggering the feet
Again, like the basic jump, staggering the feet is the most important step to landing a clean 180 degree jump.
It helps with stability and makes the jump 10 times easier.
Bring one foot to the front and the other a bit back. Imagine making scissors with your feet.
This is extremely easy but the next part is a bit complicated.
2. Turning 180 degrees
This part may be complicated but it is the complication that makes it easy. Don’t get that? Well, read carefully.
To jump 180 degrees, you need to keep the following points in mind.
- Turn in the direction of the foot that’s backwards.
- Do not change the position of the feet.
- Just change the direction of the feet.
- You don’t need to jump really high.
- Just a little hop will do the trick.
- Keep looking where you were looking when coming into the jump.
These steps will make your jump a lot smoother and easier. But, if you don’t get them, then just jump like you would normally jump. Just remember to stagger your feet.
After all, learning to jump is just a matter of trial and error.
3. Landing Backwards
The landing is the most satisfying part of jumping 180 degrees. It is not complicated. But, you’ll need to know how to balance yourself when skating backwards.
When you land:
- Only your lower body will turn 180 degrees
- Your head will not turn 180 degrees.
- The first rule of skating backwards is to look back while skating
- If you don’t turn your head, you will automatically be facing backwards after jumping 180 degrees.
And that’s how, ladies and gentlemen, you land a clean 180 degrees jump on roller skates.
Here are some tips and tricks to progress gradually into being comfortable with the jump.
- Practice on the ground – This will make you familiar with the general motion. It will also make you feel a lot safe while attempting to jump. The human body is the most accustomed to being on the ground.
- Practice with skates on while being still – This will make your feet familiar to the jump with your skates on. Are you scared? No problem, holding onto a rail or a handle should do the trick for you. Remember to go slowly.
- Practice at slow speed – This is how you nail the 180 degree jump on roller skates. Wear your knee pads and go for it. This shouldn’t be really difficult if you’ve got the determination.
- Practice at high speed – This is how you’ll actually become a pro at jumping 180 degrees. Yes you will need guts, which you probably already have after learning so much and coming this far.
Practice the 180 degree jump till it becomes second nature, because you’re in for a lot of fun if you nail it.
We’re human beings so we make lots of mistakes. But to kick start your learning, here are some mistakes not to do.
- Mistake 1: Not staggering your feet – I know, I’ve been repeating this all throughout this blog post, but it’s just that important. Keeping your legs straight gives you the crappiest stability in the existence of roller skating. As an expert, you can pull it off, but as a beginner, you will fall.
- Mistake 2: Jumping too high – I know you think the higher you jump the better, but the 180 degree jump is different. If you jump at a normal height of about a few inches, you’ll look more elegant than ever. Tucking your feet in while jumping 180 degrees just does not work.
- Not looking the right way when landing backwards – I can’t stress this enough, but if you don’t look backwards while skating backwards, you will crash into another kid in the skate rink. The trick is to look forward while coming into the jump, and keep looking the same way after you jump, No need to turn your head.
360 degrees Jump
The 360 degrees jump is a really advanced jump. If you’ve learnt the basic jump, and the 180 degree jump, you’re no longer a beginner, so it’s time to learn the 360 degree jump.
I won’t lie saying that this jump is easy because it’s not and many intermediate level skaters consider it to be quite a feat.
But, even though it’s scary, if you follow this guide, you will succeed no matter what.
After all, you’re determined to shock every other skater in the skate park, right?
The 4 Steps to Jumping 360 degrees
Here are the steps to jumping 360 degrees like a pro on roller skates:
- Staggering the feet
- Swinging your arms
- Jumping around
- Landing safely
1. Staggering the feet
You must know by now that this is the most important step to every trick, heck this is the most important step to skating so don’t miss it.
2. Swinging your arms
The 360 degree jump involves lots of turning around and hence you need lots of angular momentum.
- Swing your arms in the direction you’re turning.
- Get enough momentum to turn.
- Tuck your arms after you turn halfway through.
This step is extremely important, otherwise, you won’t have the momentum to turn.
3. Jumping Around
Here it is; the final boss to doing the legendary 360 degree jump on roller skates.
Here are some tips to get this part down.
- Do not get scared.
- Do not hesitate.
- Jump in the direction of the foot that’s backwards.
- Do not jump up first and then turn around.
- Jump and turn at the same time.
- In other words, jump diagonally upwards in the direction of the back foot.
Here are all the tips I could give to make this jump easier for you. If you clear this, you’ve pretty much gone from a beginner to pro.
I know it feels like you’re going into suicide, but, if you wear safety guards and a helmet, there won’t be a scratch on you. So don’t get scared, pack up some courage, don’t hesitate and go for it.
4. Landing Safely
You know how you can land safely? Wear your helmet and safety pads. Because, you have really low chances of landing safely for the first time with this jump.
All you need is guts. Either you learn this jump or not, it’s up to you.
But don’t worry, I’m here to help you get it down. Because I understand how you dream about yourself doing the 360 degree jump and showing off at the skatepark.
So here are some tips to land a smooth jump:
- When you land, the front foot will automatically become the back foot and the back foot will become the front foot.
- Land in a staggered position for better balance.
- Be ready to pick yourself up when you’re about to topple over.
- Being confident is the only way to land this jump safely.
Congratulations, you’re officially one of the best skaters at your local skate park. You can now officially become one of the pros.
I can feel your fear of attempting this jump through the screen, so let’s end this with some tips from a professional.
- Practice on the ground – Yes, you would have been practicing on the ground even if I didn’t tell you to. Make your muscles familiar with the movement as much as you can because this is the only way, you’ll come anywhere near nailing this jump with your skates on.
- Practice with skates while standing– While attempting to learn anything, you should go step by step, instead of trying again and again and failing again and again.
- Practice with skates at normal-high speed – You might be wondering, why didn’t I ask you to practice at slow speed first. The reason is simple. This trick doesn’t work at a slow speed, you won’t be able to get enough momentum to pull this trick off.
- Go for it – I recommend watching every motivational video on youtube to get that adrenaline running through your body before attempting this jump.
You do not want to make stupid mistakes with this jump, because that’s scary.
So don’t waste your time making these common mistakes that people often make.
- Mistake 1: Hesitating before Jumping – If you hesitate, you won’t be able to complete this jump. This is the jump that requires every last bit of determination, will and courage that you’ve got stored in your heart. So, now it’s time to use that will power and start learning this jump.
- Mistake 2: Not staggering your feet – At this point, staggering your feet must have become a habit for you, so you don’t need to worry about that anymore. But, don’t panic and forget to stagger your feet before the jump.
- Mistake 3: Thinking too much before the jump – If you think too much, you will get scared and hesitate. Just focus on jumping and turning around. If you’ve got enough will power, you will land the jump.
- Mistake 4: Panicking after landing – Let’s say, you’ve decided to jump, you’ve jumped, you’ve successfully turned all the way 360 degrees and you’ve landed the jump safely. If you panic after the landing, you’ll fall. The whole trick to landing the 360 degree is to not panic. Just go for it.
If you follow all this advice word by word, you’ll nail the 360 degrees in just a few attempts. The only hurdle between you and this jump is your fear which you’ll need to overcome by yourself.
After learning these jumps, it’s time to spice things up a bit.
After all, you do want to get out there and learn as many things as possible to make your roller skating journey as interesting and fun as possible:
Here’s a few things you can check out to enhance your roller skating experience even further:
- Riding Ramps
- Jumping on Ramps
- Climbing ramps
- Slalom Skating
- Speed skating
… and much more.
If you want more tips and tricks to get better at skating as fast as possible, then check out our skating guides.