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Experience is the key to years of in-line skating safety and fun. You aren't likely to stick with it for long if you're injured right away or are unable to master the basics. This article is designed to help beginners overcome common in-line skating challenges for years of exhilerating recreation.
A few important skating skills on grass or carpet to get used to the feel
of your in-line skates before you step onto the pavement: Walk around with both
toes pointed slightly outward -- that is how you'll push off once you're
rolling on the pavement. Practice balancing on one foot at a time. The better
your balance becomes, the easier stopping and striding will be for you. Make
sure to clear your wheels and frame of any debris that may get caught before
heading to the pavement.)
The best way to start in-line skating is to take a lesson with an
instructor. Many shops that carry in-line skates offer instructional clinics,
or a friend who skates may be able to teach you. Several community or adult
educational centers and local retailers also offer lessons. You may even want
to purchase instructional materials such as a book or video to introduce you to
You wouldn't play football without a helmet and padding ouch!), and you
shouldn't in-line skate without wearing a helmet, wrist guards, knee and elbow
pads. Wrist guards can prevent the most frequent in-line skating injury:
breaking or hyper-extending a wrist. Knee and elbow pads help protect those
areas and also help prevent injuries by allowing you to slide forward when
landing on the pavement. Many helmets made specifically for in-line skating
have extended coverage on the back because skaters tend to fall backwards,
while cyclists tend to fall forward. Wearing full protective gear will greatly
decrease the chances that you'll get injured while in-line skating.
Master a stopping technique before you head out to where the action is.
Rollerblade's Active Brake Technology is the most technically advanced braking
method available on the market today. Here are some tips on how to master
Active Brake Technology ABT®: It offers skaters greater speed control
and stopping power. ABT allows skaters to brake while keeping all eight wheels
on the ground -- skaters no longer have to lift one foot up to stop. The brake
is activated by moving the brake skate forward, which applies pressure on the
cuff causing the brake pad to lower. It's easy to use and provides you with a
greater sense of balance and control.
Heel brake: Bend your knees, hold your arms slightly in front of you,
tip the toe of your brake foot upward and apply pressure to the brake until you
Progress to the pavement and practice your balance before you start
rolling: Stand with your feet even and about four-to-six inches apart, arms
slightly in front of yourself and knees bent so your shins touch the tongue of
your skates. Your weight should be balanced on the balls of your feet. A common
mistake beginners make is standing up straight with their knees locked or
balancing their weight on their heels.
Avoid hills and declines when you're starting out. You can build up speed
on even a slight decline, so you should feel confident in your braking ability
before you head for the hills. Find a flat surface that's free of debris or
cracks, such as an empty parking lot, tennis court or basketball court. When
you're ready to try inclines, start on a gentle grade rather than a steep hill.
Also, skating on wet pavement is dangerous and can damage your skates.
Remember, if you skate in the streets you are considered a vehicle and must
obey traffic laws. Skate on your right, pass on your left. Announce your
intentions by saying, "passing on your left" and always yield to
Check your owner's manual for information on rotating wheels and care of
bearings, or have your skates tuned up at a service center in a local sporting
goods store. Remember, skating in water or sand can damage bearings and hurt
skate performance. Stick to dry pavement.