Its been raining almost everyday these past few days. Been trying to take some times to roll around the house and local mini stadium while practicing as much as I can. I’m beginning to like & getting used to my pair of Xsjado skates. The more time I spend on them, the more I’m getting a hold of the control and feel of it.
On my previous entry, I ramble about my Xsjado & a little intro of types of inline skates plus some wheel profiles. Today, let me share with you some tips on how to begin inline skating. What I will share with you are basically what I’ve learned so far. Thanks to my friend, Norman who gave me some basic and useful tutorials during our practice runs.
- Choosing the right pair of skates.
Well, before you learn how to skate first of all you really need a pair of skates. You can rent or borrow them if you like but it is best to have a pair of your own. Most of us will start with a cheap pair of skates just for the sake of learning. Not a bad idea considering that you’re still learning. However, try not to be too cheap out and get those Walmart or hyper-market types of skates. Usually these cheapo skates are painful to wear and no supportive design which can be bad to your ankle. Then, you will start to feel that the pair that you have might not suit your style and you’re looking for something more. There are several types of inline skates that you might want to choose from depending of what you’re looking for. There are aggressive skates, recreational or fitness skates and the speed skates.
If you like to grind and trying tricks in an extreme way, aggressive skates will suit your choice. Aggro skates are designed for the repeated punishment of grinding, jumping and extreme sports-style stunts. Mainly for stability and durability. Although, they are not great for traveling long distance because of the small wheel diameter.
If you like to roll around your neighborhood instead of jogging and break a sweat. This type of inline skate will best suit you. These types of skates are the Jack-of-all-trades. It has a moderate wheel diameter which are perfect for beginners. They’re designed for long, sustained-speed outings, exactly the sort of rhythmic, large muscle group exercise that burns calories effectively. If you’re daring enough, this type of skates will provide you with a great freestyle platform as well.
Speed skates are more for sport and for those wanting to move from point A to point B with adrenaline and great speed. These types of skates are for advance skaters because of the huge wheels, no ankle support design but covers more distance compared to other types of skates. Not to mention the price of a pair of speed skates are insanely expensive for a beginner. If you find this type of skate suits your style, its your pick.
- Keeping your balance
Now that you have the pair of skates that you’re looking for, its time to get the learning started. When you first time having wheels beneath your feet, your center of gravity will also increase by a few centimeter from the ground. You will feel wobbly and keep losing your balance. A little bend forward, you will fall to the front and a little tilt to the back, you’ll fall backward. So, keeping your balance if very important. How to keep your balance?
First, try to stand up properly. You may use the rail around the park or the wall if you’re sitting next to a wall. Bend you knees a little so that you can maintain your balance from falling forward or backward. Bending your knees will also allow you to correct your balance and movements really fast. Then, while standing freely without holding the rail or wall try to squat and get up again. Do this several times until you’re comfortable with your stance and confidence that you’re not falling. Do it again and again as long as you need it.
Secondly, after you’re getting used to the squat and stand stance its time to learn how to shift your balance. Basically its how to keeping your balance while shifting it from your right foot to your left foot and vice versa. On a standing position with your knees bent, try to stand with 1 foot for a few seconds and then change it to the other foot. Do this several time. Left…right…left…right. Do it until you can distribute your balance on 1 foot without falling.
Keeping your balance is the most basic and important part when learning how to skate. This also might be the longest lesson you might learn. Well, depending on your will to learn and flexibility who knows this lesson will be over in a couple of hours. On the other hand, if you found a grassy area around the park, it will be very helpful for you to learn on how to keep your balance. Grassy area will limit the tendency for your skate to roll thus maintaining your ground while you practice.
- The Duck Walk
Ok, I assume that now you already know how to stand properly and still in 1 place. Its time for the next step, the moving around. To start, make sure you’re standing with both knees are bend a little and your feet are in a ‘T’ – position. Then, select your destination. It can be a pole, a bench or a wall on the other end of the park. Now, start walking while keeping your feet in a ‘V’ position. For starter, you may use the rail or wall as your guide and gradually you may ditch the rail and keep walking.
After a few round of walking, try increasing the phase to gain some speed and when you’re ready…keep your feet together and roll~~~. Try practicing that a few more rounds and keep on gaining speed and roll.
That’s all for today folks. On the next episode, I will share with you how to turn and stop.
Before I pen down for today, I want to wish all my Chinese friends all over the world a very merry Chinese New Year! May this year of the Snake will brings more success and prosperity and peace throughout the year.