Roller skating is a fun and relaxed activity without any age barriers. If you’ve been admiring people on roller skates for a while, there’s no reason not to learn it yourself. So, how do you learn roller skating as an adult?
Practices that can help you roller-skate easily as an adult include tightening your skates, practicing your falls, learning the ready position, remembering it while rolling, and starting slow. But you should also avoid common mistakes of first-timers, such as looking down or being afraid of falling.
Knowing how to roller skate is great because roller-skating isn’t only a great form of exercise but also a way to move from one place to another. Here, we discuss how to roller skate as an adult.
Practices To Help You Roller Skate Smoothly
As an adult learning to roller skate, you don’t require much guidance and support to get it right. What you need most is dedication and perseverance because the road could be filled with obstacles literally. Here are tips to help your master roller skating as an adult
1. Tighten Your Skates
How you wear your skates is very important as it can make or mar the whole experience. First, it’s important to tighten your skate laces till you can feel the tightness in your foot. Then, make sure your skates are firmly attached to your feet before you even get started. This helps you to control your movements better.
2. Practice Falling
The number one fear for any roller skater is falling. This is a fear that can consume you if you let it and what it does is that it makes your body rigid. Your fear of falling can even cause you to fall at times. One of the best ways to overcome this fear is to fall on purpose on a soft surface. Try grass and wear knee pads and wrist pads to prevent bruises. You can practice falling in either of two ways:
Stand in the ready position on the grass and raise your hands in front. Then bend further till you roll over your front wheels. Fall with your knee pads touching the grass first before your wrist guards follow. You shouldn’t try this exercise if you have a knee or back injury.
Kneel with your knee pads and practice banging your knees on the ground with the knee pad on. Tiny knee jumps can help you achieve this. The goal here is to get into a mental space where you realize falling isn’t so bad. It also helps you know that falling forward with your knee pads is better than falling backwards. Practising falling can help you get past your fear of falling and position you to fall correctly if you ever have to in the future.
3. Learn The Ready Position
The ready position is a crucial one for any skater. It’s where you prepare for your whole movement, recover from any wobble, and maintain stability. You should learn the ready position before even skating, and you can do this on grass or carpet. You can then try to implement it at the rink when you’re sure that you’ve mastered it. To assume the ready position, stand with your feet about a hand width apart and parallel to each other. Then, bend your knees while looking at your toes. You should bend your knees such that you can see your toes as they disappear under your knee pads. By now, you should be able to feel your weight on the balls of your feet.
The top ankle straps of your skates should support your shins. So, you need to make sure the ankle straps are tight enough. If they’re not, readjust. If the ankle straps are too loose, they won’t connect to your shin and provide the right support. But it shouldn’t be too tight either. If it is, you won’t be able to bend your knees at all.
4. Remember The Ready Position While Rolling
The ready position is a safe space for roller skaters as it helps you maintain balance. When you start skating, always remember to return to the initial ready position after a few strides to regain your stability. The ready position allows to control momentum and let the speed roll out. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet. You can tell if it is by how your heels feel a bit lighter in the skates. If your weight is on the ball of your feet, you can’t fall backwards when skating.
5. Start Slow
When you’re starting skating, fast is slow. Keeping your speed low as a beginner will help you control your movements. While keeping your speed low as a beginner seems like basic knowledge, most beginners don’t even notice they’re speeding. Likewise, most beginner skaters don’t know what causes acceleration while skating.
Acceleration comes from the V shape of your skates. The wider the shape, the faster you’ll go. So, it’s important to create a perfect V shape that’s no wider than one pizza slice allows you to stay in control. Pay attention to the shape of your feet at all times. You should also minimize your skating strides. Start with between 3 – 5 strides before getting back into the ready position and rolling out.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Learning How to Skate
When you’re learning to skate, there are certain things you should avoid if you want to learn fast and get the best experience. They include:
1. Being Too Afraid
Skating can be pretty scary for anyone, but fear won’t make you good at it. If anything, it’ll just cause you to do too anxious and make significant errors. So, while embracing your fears is normal, don’t let them consume you.
2. Looking Down
A standard tip when learning to skate is to keep your chin up. When you’re just starting, it’s perfectly fine to look down. But your speed is increasing, looking down isn’t advisable as it might make you feel disoriented and lose your balance.
Learning how to skate as an adult can be quite fun, and with the right practices, you’ll soon be coasting down the rink or block. However, it’ll take a lot of practice and concentration to learn, and you may need to get in better shape first.