When you think of spinning, you’re probably imagining something along the lines of ice skaters gracefully dancing, jumping, and twirling in choreographed routines. While this maneuver is not quite as natural on rollerblades, it is still possible to do with practice.
But why should you still do it?
Just like any other trick, spinning will add a new dynamic to your routine. Learning to spin will not only add a new trick to your toolbelt, but will also challenge you to become a better skater. If you’ve got the basics down, continue reading to see how you can tackle the spin on rollerblades.
How do you spin on rollerblades?
Spins are a big part of the rollerblading community. You’ll often see skaters incorporate this trick into grinds or over obstacles to add some style and flair to their skating.
You can spin either on the ground or while jumping, depending on the style of skating you are going for. Many of the spins on the ground will appeal to artistic skaters, while air spins might be more suitable for those interested in aggressive inline skating.
No matter what type of skater you are, it won’t hurt to try these tricks even if they are out of your comfort zone.
Before you get into the actual spins, you should get used to the motion of spinning first, especially if you’ve just mastered the basics of skating.
If you’ve ever spun around in circles, you’ll know how disorienting it can be. At first, it may seem impossible to spin without feeling dizzy, but it is definitely something you can get used to with the right mindset.
Because some of these moves are geared towards inline figure skating, they do require a toe pick to perform.
You can install a toe pick into your rollerblades or replace your front wheel with a wheel that doesn’t move. Otherwise, regular rollerblades/inline skates should work.
Spread eagle spinout
To ease you into the world of spinning, you can first try the spread eagle spinout.
It is a technique in which you change from forwards skating to a rotation to slow down and stop. While this trick is more of a stopping maneuver, it can still help you get into the right mindset when spinning because of its emphasis on correct body posture.
Your knees should be bent and above your toes. First, practice by standing on the ground and putting your skates together at about 90 degrees from each other. This is the position that will help you rotate in the spread eagle spin out.
Then, shift your weight to one leg and do a circular motion with the other and repeat on the other side. Afterwards, do the same circular motion with both legs at the same time.
When you’re ready to execute the spread eagle spin out, simply skate forwards with correct body posture and use one leg to guide you into the circular motion you practiced earlier.
The other foot should follow behind the leading leg but face the opposite way.
These are an easy way for you to not only get used to spinning but also still feel like you’re in control. All you have to do is have one foot on the toe pick and have the other foot push and skate around the toe.
Try to make a complete circle around your toe to complete the forward pivot. The same can be done in reverse for a back inside pivot. At this point, it could also be helpful for you to gauge which direction feels more comfortable for you to spin in.
There is no right or wrong direction, but finding out where you feel best will help you as you learn more advanced spins.
With or without toepick
Heel and toe/two-foot spin
The easiest spin to start out with is the heel and toe/two-foot spin.
The basic idea of this spin is that your body will be centered on a heel wheel, and a toe wheel will be helping you to spin around. Since it can feel awkward initially, you can stand in this position and get your balance first.
You can also do “wheel popping”, which is when you continuously roll one skate up to the heel wheel and simultaneously roll the other skate up into the toe wheel for one second and then repeat.
Once you’re comfortable, you want to push your toe wheel out and around your heel wheel. Continue to practice until you can do several rotations like this.
Like the heel and toe, you’ll have one heel that will serve as the pivot center, and the other heel will go around backwards.
You can start with both heels up or have one foot flat. Then all you need to do is push off and get spinning. One heel should be going forwards while the other heel is going in the reverse direction.
Also, the closer you bring your feet together and back out, the faster you’ll spin.
One heel spin
Start off with your desired pivot heel. Then, push out and around with the other foot as if you’re doing a normal heel spin. When you’re comfortable, lift the freely spinning foot off the ground.
One toe should serve as the pivot, and the other should be freely spinning in the toe spin. You’ll want to push out and in with the spinning toe.
Because this technique has more emphasis on the front of the skates, you’ll find that it can be difficult to execute if they’re strapped up too tight.
Once you’ve got the hang of the two-foot spin, you can attempt it with one foot.
You should first start out with a few pivots to get some momentum going.
Once you feel that you have enough speed, lift one foot up and spin on your dominant foot. If you’re having difficulty doing this spin for several loops, try only spinning in this position for maybe a third or a quarter of a loop. Slowly but surely, you’ll gain the confidence to spin further and further.
Again, remember to have your arms out, then pull them in as you’re spinning.
In short, the back spin is a one-foot spin in reverse. Unlike the one-foot or two-foot spin, this spin may feel more comfortable on your less dominant foot.
After you’ve reviewed the steps to do it, try it out on both sides and see how you feel.
First, start doing a backwards pivot to gain some momentum and spin in reverse. In your spinning form, your arms should be tightly hugging your chest and your free foot should be crossed over your spinning foot. Confidence is key to this spin.
Without it, you won’t be able to keep your body over the spinning foot and freely spin.
Cross foot/scratch spin
Here, you’re taking the one-foot spin and crossing your free foot over your spinning foot.
You can warm up for this spin by starting with the one-foot spin but having your free foot extended out in front of you.
After you feel like you can hold that position comfortably, cross that foot over the spinning foot. Like the back spin, you want to keep your whole body tightly together from arms to legs.
Cross foot spin to back spin
This maneuver requires that you transition from one leg to another while spinning.
First, do the cross foot spin as you normally would, and then step out and transition into the back spin.
When you’re changing spins, use a backwards pivot to help yourself gain momentum and push off into the back spin.
Just as the name implies, you’ll be (partially) sitting and spinning.
This trick requires that you “sit” as you’re spinning while also having one leg stretched out in front of you. Even though it seems like there’s a lot for you to juggle, it gets easier once you get the hang of it.
Most skaters become familiar with the sit spin position when they first learn the “shoot the duck”. For “shoot the duck”, you have to bend both knees completely and squat down as far as you can while rolling fast in a straight line. Then, stick one leg out in front of you.
Practice staying in this position for as long as possible in and out of skates and also try to work up to getting up on one leg. When you’re ready, you can try the spin out by entering it as you would a cross foot spin, then gradually bending the knee of your spinning leg.
You don’t have to squat as far down as you were in “shoot the duck”.
While you’re spinning, make sure that your balance is more on the inside. If you’re in the center, you could lean too much outside and get off balance.
If you want to take your spins up a notch, you can try air spins or jumps. While these don’t require you to do as many rotations as spins on the ground, you need to execute advanced techniques in order to do a spin in the air.
First, try jumping 180° in the air without your skates on. As with most rollerblading tricks, having proper body posture here is key and should be the one main constant throughout your jumps.
This means having bent knees over toes and staggered feet for balance. With your skates on, do the 180° in place for as many times as you’d like. As soon as you feel comfortable, begin doing the 180° by skating slowly into it.
One thing you should keep in mind is to tighten up your feet. To prevent this, you can try to grab your feet as you’re jumping. This will encourage you to jump higher, get a better feel of flying through the air, and also helps you to maintain your balance.
Gradually increase your speed when you feel comfortable doing the grab.
Fakie 180° spin
The next trick you should try is the 180° while skating backwards.
When you jump, have your body follow your head. Because your head is already looking over your shoulder, you want it to guide your jump. Try to only turn your head in the direction you’d like to move.
And before you jump off, bend your knees as much as you can and then push off into the air. Doing so will help your body gain momentum for the spin. Make sure that you’re not turning your feet while your wheels are touching the ground.
It’s important that you master the 180° forwards and backwards, since there could be situations in which you use it to avoid a fall.
When you start learning the 360°, begin again on the ground with no skates on.
As always, pay attention to your body posture, as it can be more difficult to maintain the bigger your spins get. It helps if you keep your body tight while in the air.
When landing the 360°, it’s important that your toes land straight in the direction of movement. Repeat the 360°s on skates. You’ll notice that the 360° is harder to do in place compared to while skating, but it is still worthwhile to do because it will feel easier over time.
As you increase your speed, try grabbing your foot as you did with the 180° to help you jump higher and maintain balance. Finally, also try to do a fakie 360° while skating backwards, following the same steps as the fakie 180°.
Spins are one of the many tricks you’ll encounter as you level up your rollerblading. As you saw in the article, there are many different ways for you to spin, whether on the ground or in the air.
This trick is really cool for you to learn not only to impress your friends, but to also increase your confidence as a skater. Once you’ve mastered the spin, the sky’s the limit.
You can also check out our other tricks here.