We decided to write the Ultimate Beginners’ Roller Skating Guide for many reasons.
The first being that we wanted to put all the information you will need to get started in one place to help make your learning journey easier.
When you’re just starting out there are always lots of questions you require answers for. I remember when I was a beginner and things got a little overwhelming, what skates do I buy? where do I start? where should I go? what are the techniques I need to know?
These are but a few of the questions that I wanted answers to.
Secondly, we want to help you, the beginner to understand the roller skating world (culture, people, fashion, etc.) a bit better. Both those who haven’t yet started or those who have just begun.
There’s nothing worse than having your roller skates there and being stuck in limbo. Not knowing where to go, what to do, or how to do it.
A skater never quits and so you have to keep trying and learning and getting better!
Hopefully, this guide will give you a better insight into roller skating and help you begin your journey into this wonderful hobby and sport.
If you have any great tips to share or recommendations then please feel free to drop us a message. If it’s relevant and important we will be sure to include and credit you for the additions.
We will also convert this guide into a free Ebook, if you would like a copy then please drop us a message, once we get your message we will send it over to you.
Table of Contents Hide
- Introduction to This Roller Skating Guide
- What is roller skating?
- Roller skating history & culture
- What is the best age to start roller skating?
- Roller skating tips for beginners
- Choosing the right roller skates for you
- How to clean your roller skates
- Roller skating terminology
- Where can I go roller skating?
- Do I need insurance for roller skating?
- Roller skating techniques
- Roller skating code of conduct
- Identifying and joining a roller skating community
- How can I improve my roller skating?
- How dangerous is roller skating?
Introduction to This Roller Skating Guide
Throughout time, roller skating has set itself apart as one of the most versatile sports out there.
It can be picked up by virtually anyone with access to skates and has a low barrier to entry. Everyone from beginners to professionals are constantly challenged to push themselves at all levels.
Best of all, it can be done anywhere. The sport is truly what you make of it.
Whether you’re looking to pick up a new hobby or fitness regimen, you’ll find that roller skating will perfectly fit all of your needs.
In this ultimate guide to roller skating, we’ll go over all that you need to know about the roller sport, from its history to how you can start yourself.
What is roller skating?
Roller skating is a recreational and competitive sport in which you use skates fitted with wheels attached to the bottom of the sole.
The act of skating involves a combination of balance, coordination, endurance, and core strength on a set of four wheels. The orientation of the wheels can either be in a straight line (Inline skates) or positioned with two wheels in the front and back (Quad skates).
Anyone, including children and adults, can participate in the sport in a variety of ways.
Skaters can do casual skating or specialize in artistic, jam, speed, aggressive, roller derby, or roller hockey. Many people are drawn to this sport because it has more than one facet to it.
Roller skating history & culture
Roller skating wouldn’t be the sport it is today without the millions of people that have shaped it over time.
Although sometimes called the “poor man’s sport”, it is actually more like “the people’s sport” because it has touched the lives of so many people and brought fun and joy to almost every corner of the globe.
When was roller skating invented?
Before roller skating, there was ice skating, which was the inspiration for many of the roller sports we have today.
Roller skates allegedly started their career on a London stage in the 18th century. People speculate that actors used the skates to imitate ice skating onstage. However, many attribute the invention of roller skates to a Belgian man named John Joseph Merlin.
In the 1760s, he first took out his clunky set of inline wheels to a masquerade party. Being the eccentric person he was, he rolled into the Carlisle House while attempting to play the violin simultaneously.
Unfortunately, his lack of balance and control led him to crash into a mirror and break his violin!
More iterations of the inline skate would come later down the line, with the first patent issued to Monsieur Petibledin in 1819. This was followed by Robert John Tyers, “Volito” which had a row of five wheels, with the center wheels larger than the others.
It wasn’t until 1863 when James L. Plimpton patented the first pair of two-by-two roller skates. The wheels were made of boxwood and attached to springs, allowing a skater to turn by shifting their weight and skate backwards.
When was roller skating most popular?
From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, roller skating surged in popularity. Roller skates and rinks proliferated across North and South America, Europe, and Australia.
People just couldn’t get enough of it! It was also during this time that roller skating niches developed, such as casual, polo, figure, and speed skating.
After taking a slight dip in popularity, roller skating was renewed once again in the 1970s to 1980s, also known as roller-disco era.
In the 1980s, inline roller skates were revamped by Scott Olson and Brennan Olson, who both founded Rollerblade, Inc. Rollerblades then became popular throughout the 80s and 90s.
Roller skating took another hit in the early 21st century but bounced right back in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Overall, roller skating has experienced its ups and downs throughout its history. No matter the circumstance, it will continue to provide all of us an easy way to have fun and exercise.
Where is roller skating popular?
While roller skating started in Europe, it has gained international acclaim with time. As it spreads to even more countries, there will probably come a point in time where there’s never a place you’ll not find roller skating.
While we have talked about roller skating’s growth in the United States, you might not know as much about how the sport has grown overseas.
- In the Middle East, you’ll find a small, but quickly growing community of roller skaters in Dubai. With newly developed skateparks and groups such as “Rolldxb”, there is no reason not to start skating in the desert.
- South Africa. Here, you will find roller skating popular among athletic women and roller derby enthusiasts. Capetown, South Africa is home to several skate spots where skaters can enjoy rolling in paradise.
- Not surprisingly, Australia has a robust skating community. Almost everywhere you go, you’ll have open and smooth spaces to skate with ease. Many Australian street and freestyle skaters like to go to Bondi Beach, which has a skatepark bowl and waterfront view.
- In contrast to the scenery you’ll find in Australia and South Africa, you’ll be flying through the streets in Shanghai, China. You can have some fun at the Bund, a beautiful waterfront area with the city line as your backdrop. Fun fact: China has also hosted the Roller Games first edition.
- While this French city may be more known for the Eiffel Tower, it is also known as a cool roller skating hang out spot. French skaters love to host roller parties and skate into the night.
Why is roller skating popular?
Despite its long history, roller skating has remained a timeless and classic sport that everyone can enjoy.
Although it has experienced its ebbs and flows, roller skating always comes back with a bang. More recently, it has become popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as a safe and socially distanced way to escape quarantine.
Generally, people enjoy it for a variety of reasons, including:
- Roller skating is a great and easy way to get active. It provides an aerobic workout without putting as much strain on your knees or having to go to the gym. That’s a win-win in our book!
- Low barrier to entry. Not only is it affordable to roller skate, but it is also easy enough for beginners to jump right in. You don’t need fancy equipment or lessons right off the bat to be able to enjoy skating from day 1.
- No matter your level, there is always something new to learn and improve your skills. You will never be bored in this sport!
- When it comes to roller skating, there really is no end to fun. Friends, music, new tricks, and many more make this sport endlessly entertaining.
- The roller skating community stands out from many others simply because of how tight-knit and welcoming they are. Most skaters are more than willing to drop what they’re doing to help you, even if you’re a beginner.
- Personal development. In every sport, you learn a little bit more about yourself as you continue to improve. Roller skating is no exception. Many skaters feel that it has boosted their confidence and provides an outlet for them to express themselves that they can’t do elsewhere.
What is the best age to start roller skating?
Anyone can start roller skating – young or old. There is technically no best or right age to start.
For the most part, it depends on how ready each person is to handle the rigors of roller skating.
With kids, you want to make sure that they are developed enough to stand, walk, and balance on their own. This usually happens when they are four to five years old, which is when they’ve developed the proper gross motor skills to take on roller skating.
During this age, you can also put them in lessons as they would be able to follow directions.
Some other factors to consider when determining if they are ready to skate are their strength, stamina, activity level, coordination, and maturity.
It is also generally recommended to start children on quad roller skates since they provide more support and stability for kids who are still learning about their bodies and developing that sense of balance. However, it is not unheard of to find young kids inline skating too.
Again, it all comes down to each person’s specific situation.
Roller skating tips for beginners
If you are just starting out, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything, and that’s okay!
In the beginning, you don’t need much more than your gear, yourself, and some drive. The great thing about roller skating is that it really is what you make of it, and there’s no pressure to go in any particular direction.
But before you start, you should first take note of some basics.
What do I need to get started in roller skating?
As far as gear goes, you need at a minimum: a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads, and a pair of roller skates.
This might surprise some who have encountered skaters with no safety gear and could encourage them to do the same.
The truth is that safety gear is recommended for all skaters regardless of their level.
While roller skating is fun, it can quickly turn into a hazardous situation. Save yourself and others from unnecessary risks and injuries by wearing your safety gear every time you skate.
For most of our lives, we have gotten used to the stability of our own two feet. When you bring roller skates into the picture, many of us immediately begin to fear the inevitable: falling.
When you first put on those skates, you’ll fumble around, trip, and fall. It’s a frustrating but necessary part of the process.
You should use this time to get used to the idea of falling and the act of it.
And yes, we do mean to fall on purpose. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should put yourself at risk just to fall. Instead, try falling forward onto your knees on soft ground like grass or carpet first.
Then, go on and fall on your sides.
Experiment with different strategies and techniques that will help you fall safely. Bending your knees will also keep you closer to the ground so that you are falling from a shorter distance.
Going through this exercise will help get you over the fear of falling, improve your resilience, and keep you safe as you continue to skate.
Learn to stop
Learning how to stop is just as crucial as learning how to fall. Stopping can get you out of many unwanted situations and are just a practical tool that you’ll use often.
There are different strategies that skaters use to stop, but some of the most common are:
In both inline and quad roller skating, people use the T-stop to reduce their speed. It is exactly as it is called.
If you want to do a T-stop, you stop with your feet in a “T” position.
As you are skating, you want to have your less dominant foot perpendicular to your dominant one and have the wheels dragging on the ground at the same time.
Quad roller skates have stoppers positioned at the toe of their boot, also known as “front brakes”.
However, it was not intended to function as a brake.
Other skating styles such as derby and artistic skating use it as a support in their forms. It is possible to still use it as a brake regardless.
To do this, you should turn so that you are rolling backwards. Then, have your toe stop drag on the ground for a few seconds. This technique puts you at a full stop.
On the flip side, inline roller skates contain a rear brake at the heel end of the boot. All you need to do is place the rear brake against the ground while you’re skating to stop.
This is an alternative stopping method that you can keep in your toolbox.
When skating, you want to spread your legs wide apart, bend your knees, put some pressure into the ground, and bring your toes together.
This is ideal if you are going at an average speed.
Position yourself for success
Many beginners underestimate the power of their posture when they first start skating.
Their first reaction to the “slippery” sensation of skating is to stiffen up like a stick. But this is just a recipe for disaster that makes you more prone to imbalances and falling.
As a beginner, it is imperative that you get used to bending your knees and keeping them about shoulder-width apart.
Your skates should be moving in a “V” position so that each skate is moving in opposite directions.
This position not only prevents more falls but can also act as a shock absorber to make your skating experience more enjoyable.
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone
You might not be a stranger to this idea if you are starting roller skating as a beginner, but it still applies long after you start.
Roller skating is all about pushing new boundaries.
Although not required, it is highly recommended that you further expand your skills outside of what you’ll learn here.
The world of roller skating has so many techniques, tricks, and dance moves that are just waiting to be expressed by someone like you.
Roller skating lessons
Self-learning roller skating can be tough, especially if you are doing it by yourself.
When following online tutorials, you might not know if you are doing maneuvers correctly or how to improve.
If this matters to you, you can consider taking roller skating lessons. With professional coaches at your side, you will speed up your learning tremendously. Usually, lessons have a set plan in which your coaches will teach you a number of techniques in a short amount of time.
Learning with a professional also means that you are getting real-time feedback in person.
You will learn the proper form and get advice from seasoned skaters that you would not otherwise have had on your own.
Choosing the right roller skates for you
While most people’s primary concern is to learn how to skate, sometimes they can get sidetracked and bogged down when it comes to choosing the right skates for themselves. And it’s definitely easy to, given the range of skates offered in the market.
To give you a better understanding of what to look for in skates, we should first go over the parts that make it possible to skate.
Roller skate anatomy
For the most part, you don’t have to worry about each of these aspects when searching for a new pair of skates.
Some of these parts, such as the wheels, boot, and stoppers, should be your main concern for now.
As you advance, you’ll find that there are things you do and don’t like about your skates, and you can adjust accordingly to your preferences.
These are the reason why you can skate, so you should pay careful attention to them.
They come in different sizes, widths, and hardness (durometer).
You’ll find that the hardness of the wheel is shown as a number and a letter “A”. The lower it is, the softer it is and vice versa.
Softer wheels are more suited for rough and hard ground surfaces that require more shock absorption.
This is the part of the roller skate that the wheel axle passes through.
Adjusting the tension of the trucks will change the amount of control you have. Usually, they are tight, but some skaters like to loosen them for increased maneuverability.
These allow the wheels to roll freely and ensure that you have a smooth ride. They can be made of different materials like metal and ceramic with oil or grease lubrication.
Cushions or bushings
These keep the trucks in place and provide suspension. You can use different cushions depending on the hardness, color, and compound.
The long piece of metal that is attached to the plate and contains the trucks and cushions.
This is a cup-shaped part that is on the plate. It is important to monitor these for any signs of wear and tear as you could risk the truck becoming loose if this happens.
This is the part that is fixated to the boots themselves. Like the other parts of the skate, there are many options you can choose from that have different bolt positions and combinations.
You can customize it based on the sizing and kingpin angles.
This is the most fun part!
There are a ton of options to choose from in terms of colors, styles, and materials. The boot is where you can express yourself and your aesthetic. However, keep in mind that various skating styles also differ in boot style.
You want to make sure you are wearing the right type of skates for the field you want to get into.
Although often overlooked, laces are one of the most crucial aspects of skating as they keep your feet in place. There are also many colors and types available.
Stoppers or toe stops
These usually come with your skates when you first buy them. However, you can change it out with other colors or compounds, depending on what you need.
If you are into skate parks and street skating, you’ll definitely need these for sliding across ramps, coping, dropping in, and staling.
These are not necessary for beginners unless you’d like to start working on ramps.
What to consider
Quad or inline
One of the first things you have to consider is whether you want to skate with quads or inlines. Check out our detailed comparison guide to help you choose.
This all comes down to personal preference and what you want out of skating.
Inlines are very similar to ice skates, so they may appeal to figure or hockey skaters more. Quads may be a perfect fit for you if you’re into dancing or roller derby.
If you don’t have an idea on which one to pick, try both of them out at your local rink and if you can see yourself leaning one way or another.
Indoor or outdoor
Technically, you can take standard skates anywhere you’d like, but you might have a better experience if you have the right equipment suited for each type of environment.
What makes the difference is the wheels.
Outdoor wheels have a lower durometer (softer) to absorb the shock caused by debris and rough surfaces. If you don’t want to compromise on this aspect of your skating, you can also buy separate wheel sets that are more fit for indoor or outdoor.
Cheap, expensive, or somewhere in the middle
Everybody assumes that the most high-end skates are the best, but that isn’t necessarily the case for everyone.
While they do have high-quality materials, they are often not suitable for beginner skaters.
Initially, you want a pair of skates that are comfortable and support your feet. The problem with high-end skates is that they take a while to break in before they become comfortable.
On the other hand, cheap skates provide little to no support.
For a beginner, you are still getting your bearings and getting comfortable with skating itself. High-end skates may distract you from that, while cheap skates can detract from your experience and make you feel as though skating is harder than it actually is.
Instead, you want to aim for skates in the middle range that offer quality materials with comfort if you want the best skating experience.
Unlike regular shoes, sizing on skates works a bit differently.
The general rule of thumb is to buy one size larger than your normal shoe size unless the sizing guide for your desired skates state otherwise.
But this doesn’t always work for everyone. You want your skates to firmly wrap around your feet without being too tight or too loose.
For some, that means going for their regular shoe size, and for others, it can mean going up a size.
As we discussed extensively in the previous section, your roller skates are made up of several parts that are customizable.
You don’t have to worry about the majority of these other than the wheels, boots, and stoppers or if you have a specific preference for some parts already. You can easily replace these later if you want to.
Artistic, jam, and aggressive skating are some of the many skating styles you can choose from.
They all have unique skates catered to the maneuvers that they have to perform. Make sure to get the right skates best suited for the style you’re looking to get into.
At the end of the day, what matters the most is what you’re comfortable skating in. What works for you will not necessarily work for other skaters. As you keep our tips in mind, you should also try on a few skates and ride in them to see how you feel.
You’ll know when you’ve found the perfect pair if it feels right. Check out our top best skates for beginners.
How to clean your roller skates
Maintaining your roller skates is important to keep them functioning well and lasting for a long time. Although it is yet another chore to add to your spring-cleaning list, you will thank yourself later for cleaning your roller skates.
Here are the main parts you want to clean:
After using your skates for a while, you’ll notice that the boots have picked up some scuff marks, dirt, and even some interesting odor.
To clean the outside, you can wipe the leather with a soft cloth to remove dirt or debris.
Any bad smells can be eliminated with the use of disinfecting spray or vinegar. You don’t need to completely soak them in these solutions, but giving them a quick spray or wipe down works well.
Before you put them on again, make sure they are completely dry. It helps if you leave them out in the sun. If you need to dry them extra fast, use a hairdryer and not the dryer.
Drastic temperature changes can mess up the leather and fit of the boot.
All you need to clean your wheels is some dish soap and water. If your wheels have a metal core, make sure they are completely dry after cleaning to avoid rusting.
To have the smoothest rides possible, you should clean your bearings regularly.
You should remove the bearings from the wheels and clean these two parts separately.
First, you will need a small tool like a paper clip to remove the seals inside the bearings. Then, submerge the bearings in isopropyl alcohol for about 10-12 minutes. Replace the alcohol if it is really dirty.
Once it is cleaned, let it sit out to air dry before placing it back in the wheels.
Roller skating terminology
Before you set out into the world of roller skating, you should equip yourself with the proper knowledge to better understand and speak the language of roller skating.
This guide is a great start, but it’s even more helpful if you learn roller skating terminology.
Here, we’ve listed and discussed some important terms that you might find helpful:
Short for Annular Bearing Engineering Committee. This group sets the standard for ABEC-rated bearings, which are 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. The higher it is, the more precise the bearing.
A style of roller skating performed in skate parks.
This is a part of the skate allows an axis rotation of the wheel.
When a skater fails to execute a trick by falling rather than going through with it.
These are tracks used in roller derby that have a slant and oval shape to them.
A skating structure that is shaped like a bowl.
A group of roller skaters in a local community that is committed to promoting and teaching others about the roller sport.
This refers to the upper part of the skate, shell, and liner.
Your own group of skaters.
Measurement of the hardness of the wheel.
Tool that adjusts the truck and wheel locknuts, truck bolt and allows you to change non-adjustable toe stops.
The ideal movement of the feet in certain forms of skating.
Also known as insoles. These are found at the bottom of the inline skate liner. It helps to improve fit, comfort, and performance.
Term referring to a hard or dangerous trick.
How much your wheels “grip”. Softer wheels have more “grip”, but harder wheels tend to slide more.
Term referring to a tight or unreliable bowl or ramp.
This refers to the axle systems and bearing spacers.
A form of skating style that involves a mix of dance, gymnastics, and skating. It is like breakdancing but on skates.
A casual meeting.
When the boots are connected to the plates.
Also known as “noob”. This term describes someone who is new to the sport or to a group.
A type of plastic used to make skate shells. It is usually softer and flexible compared to polyurethane.
Another type of plastic used to make skate shells. They are harder and more supportive.
Bearings that don’t have an ABEC rating.
How much a wheel can bounce back. High rebound wheels bring back more of the skater’s energy, while low rebound ones dissipate most of it.
Wheelbase orientation that makes a curved shape with the wheels similar to hockey skates. It allows for more maneuverability.
The plastic outside part of the skate.
Term that refers to skating in the park to the best of your ability.
A period of time dedicated to skating or another activity.
Term used to compliment another skater’s style or tricks.
Term used to describe a landing that did not go as planned or the feeling of an obstacle, surface, or transition.
When someone cuts in line at the skatepark. This should be avoided.
Refers to you or someone’s excitement for something.
The position in which you skate.
This term can refer to either the act of rotating or turning or the curved parts of a ramp/bowl.
The maneuvers that skaters perform for fun.
The length of the frame of your skates.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of terms but should form a strong basis for when you’re just starting out.
Once you’re more involved in the community, you’ll find that there are tons of lingo terms that you’ll learn as you go.
Where can I go roller skating?
Basically, anywhere with a flat and not too bumpy surface.
There are certain places that skaters tend to flock to, including the rink or skateparks. The type of surface on which you skate can also make a difference in your experience.
Indoors, you have the option of skating on concrete, wood, rubber, and plastic flooring.
Although they all seem similar, it is much easier to skate on some surfaces over others. Many skaters will tell you that rotunda wood flooring at roller rinks will give you the best experience.
This type of wooden surface provides just the right amount of smoothness, traction, flexibility, and cushioning perfect for roller skating. The grain of the wood curves at each turn, making it easier for your wheels to roll and grip the floor.
If you are more of an outdoorsy person, there are plenty of spaces available to you.
You can roll on sidewalks, pavement, concrete, and asphalt.
However, there are some precautions you need to take when you skate outside. Unlike the rink, you cannot predict changes in the terrain, which you will inevitably encounter. Rocks, debris, people, cars, and many more obstacles require you to have solid skating technique to avoid serious accidents.
This will take some time and practice, but even complete beginners will be able to conquer it in no time.
Outdoor skateparks provide a safer alternative route if you are more averse to risk.
Do I need insurance for roller skating?
Although not needed, it is highly recommended that you have some form of health insurance before you start roller skating.
You may not need it as much in most countries with universal healthcare, but the United States, in particular, has very costly healthcare.
In roller skating, a minor cut or bruise will be okay to brush aside, but anything more like fractures will send you to the emergency room. Having health insurance in the United States will help you cover those unexpected, high medical costs due to accidents.
However, if you are not in a position to afford healthcare, you should be more careful as you are skating.
Roller skating techniques
Besides learning how to stop, there are a multitude of roller skating techniques that you should learn. These are the foundation skills that you will later build off of when learning more advanced tricks.
What are the “must know” tricks?
Unfortunately, there’s no way around this one. Knowing how to balance is a core skill for every type of skating out there.
The act of skating requires some balance in and of itself.
It might seem impossible when you first start out, but that is completely normal. Learning to balance on any skate will take time and practice.
One of the first tricks you will learn as a beginner is being able to skate on one foot. You can first start by holding onto some solid support and lifting one foot at a time. Gradually come off of the support until you can stand on one foot on your own.
Once you get used to the feeling, try to throw it in as you’re skating.
We don’t skate in straight lines.
Most of the time, we’re moving around in curves and turning as we go. Learning to turn will make you more adept as a skater.
There are many strategies that skaters use to turn, but the most beginner-friendly are the eagle and crossovers.
In the eagle, your skates are on an inside edge with heels next to each other. As you are skating, you want to step out on one skate on an inside edge. The other foot then follows and meets your leading foot at the heel. Ideally, you are making a wide “V” shape with your skates.
The idea is that the curve from the inside edge will help you turn around. We will discuss crossovers next.
Going backwards is not as “straightforward”. Start in a backwards “V” position and push each foot as you move your weight from side to side.
Make sure to constantly look over your shoulder for other people or obstacles that could be in the way.
There are two types: forwards and backwards. Both enable you to go around a curve with speed and ease.
In the forwards crossover, you are stepping one foot over the other as you turn.
Here, being able to skate on one foot comes in handy. Your dominant foot (whichever one that is staying in contact with the ground) is on an outside edge, and your less dominant foot steps over it. Afterwards, you take your feet out of that crossed position and repeat the same movements again.
Backwards crossovers are pretty similar, but a different technique is involved.
You want to be putting more pressure on the front of the skates rather than the back. Instead of crossing the feet, you have to slide one foot over the other then step out.
Roller skating code of conduct
Like any other sport, roller skaters need to conduct themselves in a manner that best supports the spirit of the sport and promotes a positive environment for other skaters.
There isn’t a universal code of conduct for roller skating, but generally, skaters should abide by a few behavioral expectations, especially when skating in the community:
1. Treat everyone with respect
This should be done regardless if you’re in the rink or not.
The roller skating community wouldn’t be where it is today without the utmost respect and support for others. It goes without saying that you should be kind to everyone you meet.
2. Keep speed and course under control
As a beginner, everyone understands that you’re going to be a little clumsy.
However, if you’re practicing in a public skating area, try to practice and perform maneuvers that are within your abilities. Doing so will keep you and other skaters safe.
3. Stay accountable for your actions
If something does go wrong, you should take responsibility for it if you were involved.
4. Keep a lookout for other skaters or objects
Unless you’re skating in a private area, you need to be looking out for other skaters and obstacles that could come in your way to prevent any accidents.
5. Don’t engage in behavior that could endanger another person’s health, safety, or wellbeing
Roller skating is about sportsmanship. If you cannot conduct yourself that way with other skaters, you should disengage from the situation before things escalate.
Identifying and joining a roller skating community
Because roller skating is so prevalent, you will be hard-pressed not to find a community in your local area.
Doing a quick Google search with “roller skating” and the name of your local area is bound to turn up at least a few results.
You can also head over to Meetup, a site that allows people from all over the world to meet up based on shared interests.
Besides the Internet, you can hit up your local rinks to see how active the community is there. Most likely, there will be other skaters who will be more than thrilled to welcome you into their group.
How can I improve my roller skating?
Beginners and even more advanced skaters tend to make mistakes while roller skating. But sometimes, they aren’t aware of what or how to correct it.
Here are some corrective skills you can learn to improve your skating technique:
Stagger your feet
Beginners tend to skate with their feet side-by-side, which tends to make their stance unstable.
Staggering your feet (one foot in front and the other in back) can help you maneuver easily and be able to control your weight better.
Bend those knees!
Those new to skating tend to stand straight as they are skating. Keeping your stance bent will help you balance and shift your weight more easily.
Stop waving your arms
While it is a natural reaction to extend your arms out for balance, sometimes beginners wave their arms around in an attempt to regain balance.
Most of the time, you are already out of balance, and flailing your arms around won’t help.
To regain control, you should further bend your knees and sit into the proper posture. You don’t need your arms that much during skating, so it is best to keep them to the side.
How dangerous is roller skating?
As with any other sport, there are some inherent risks you have to take when roller skating. According to a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, about 86% of roller skating injuries in a given year were deemed serious. Twenty-eight percent of those cases needed surgical intervention.
The wrist was the most common place for injury.
This is not to scare you, but rather to show you that accidents can and do happen. It is up to each of us as individuals to ensure that we are all doing our part in staying safe and preventing future accidents.
Since its inception, roller skating has been bringing joy and happiness to many people around the world. Over the centuries, it has grown in popularity and still continues its legacy today.
The modern skater contains a whole body of roller skating knowledge, tricks, and skills that the initial roller skating founders would be amazed at today.
Because of its low barrier to entry, just about anyone can become a skater. However, roller skating is not the easiest sport. If you want to become a pro, you have to dedicate yourself to nailing down the basics and continuing to challenge yourself along the way.
You never stop learning, and that’s what continues to make it exciting.
It continues to evolve everyday in active skating communities around the world and online on Reddit, forums, and YouTube. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a renewed resurgence in the sport as a way to escape the reality of our current global situation.
Although the reality can be grim, roller skating is like the silver lining through it all. It has been and will continue to provide us with positivity for years to come.