Are you looking to try a new sport this year? Well, look no further as roller-skating and inline skating is tremendous fun, as well as being great exercise. If you are a total newbie, here is a quick guide to help you get started, safely and with confidence.
First things first, roller-skating is a fun way to stay in shape for everyone, whether you are eight or 80. To begin with, the hardest bit about roller-skating is finding your balance. However, in time, you will hone your technique and be trying cool tricks. However, before you get to that stage, you need the right equipment.
If you visit a local roller derby, you can hire skates. This is a sensible first step for newbies, as it gives you an opportunity to have a go without investing in equipment. A roller derby is great fun, especially if there is a crowd of you, so head on over and test out your roller-skating skills for a few hours.
Buying Roller Skates
There are several different types of roller skates. Some are designed for indoor use and some are more suited to skating outdoors. Outdoor skates have hard wheels; check the durometer of the wheel, as this tells you how hard the wheel is. Recreational outdoor skates are available to suit all budgets, so to begin with, buy an inexpensive pair until you find your feet.
Skates with a sneaker top are cheaper than skates with a leather boot whereas kids’ roller skates are often made from plastic or vinyl. Shop around for skates and try a few on for size. Discontinued models will be cheaper than brand new ranges.
Your extremities need protection when roller-skating. If you lose your balance and crash down onto concrete, it is going to be painful. Protective gear won’t prevent nasty bruises or even fractures, but it limits the risk of injury.
Always wear a protective safety helmet when roller-skating outdoors. You only get one head, so look after yours. Even an innocuous bang on the head can cause serious brain damage; therefore, it is essential that you take safety precautions. Invest in a good quality safety helmet from Protec, SFR, or similar.
Kneepads and elbow pads are also useful, as these absorb shocks and protect you from minor scrapes and contusions. Smaller kneepads should fit under jeans if you prefer to look street cool.
Start skating on beach paths and trails through public parks. Learn to start and stop in a safe area. Keep your posture low, as this helps with balance. Most skates have a ‘brake’ on the right skate; use this to slow down or stop. Practice gliding forward and then applying the brake to stop safely. Dragging one foot behind is another method of stopping.
Check out roller skating videos on YouTube to see how the pros skate. Once you have the basics of recreational roller-skating mastered, you can progress on to freestyle and aggressive skating.