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Have you been watching those cool outdoor skaters skating downhill in your city? And you want to try that yourself, but are too scared to actually do so? Well, this article has been written just for you.
In this article, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about downhill skating. I’ll also teach you everything about skating safely so that you don’t hurt yourself too badly.
After reading this article and following the guide, you’ll definitely be able to show off in front of your friends.
So without further delay, let’s get started on how to roller skate downhill safely.
For newbie roller skaters, I may as well define ‘downhill skating.’ If you already know, you can skip this part.
Downhill skating is an advanced roller skating skill that involves rolling down from long slanting surfaces like downhill roads, hills, etc. The skater keeps gaining a lot of speed while rolling. So they must be able to slow down or stop themselves efficiently.
Your wheels roll by themselves – which is the thrill of downhill skating.
Downhill skating is an advanced-level skill. This means that you need to know some other skills or tricks before you even think of rolling down a slope. If you already know these tricks, then you can skip this part. But this is a complete tutorial, so I’ll be explaining these in detail as well.
Remember that it takes practice to get comfortable with these skills. So practice, practice and practice, until you’re comfortable doing the tricks.
Here are the skills you need to know before attempting to skate on a slanted surface.
You need to have a good balance while skating forwards. Good balance all lies in the posture and weight distribution. If you’ve got that down, your balance will improve in no time.
Here’s how you get a good forwards balance.
Balance is what you’ll be learning when you’re a beginner. If you don’t have a good grasp of skating forwards, don’t skate downhill. It can be really dangerous.
Rolling backward is the same as rolling forwards. However, there are a few tiny differences in technique.
Most of the steps here are the same as forwards skating. There are just some minor differences here and there.
Pushing means paddling or pushing your feet outwards to accelerate forwards. It’s the basics of roller skating. And definitely a necessary skill for downhill skating.
Here’s what you need to do.
Congratulations! You’re able to push now. This takes time and practice. You can get the hang of it in a few weeks.
Toe stops, turn-around toe stops, and plow stops are lifesavers when it comes to roller skating, and especially outdoors downhill skating. You need to learn all the basic stopping techniques before hitting the hills.
First is the toe stop. Here’s how you do it.
Executing a perfect toe stop requires a perfect angle of inclination, the perfect balance on one leg, and perfect pressure on the dragging foot.
This braking technique is one of the most difficult for beginners. It requires a bit of practice and getting used to it. But when you get the hang of it, it becomes quite easy.
The turn-around toe stop is a must for downhill roller skating. Actually, it’s safe to say that it comprises 50 percent of backward downhill skating.
The turn-around toe stop is just a variation of the toe stop but while going backwards.
That’s it. This one’s a bit easier than the normal toe stop and it’s also extremely useful for outdoor, downhill, or speed skating.
Other roller skating stops can also be extremely helpful when hitting the streets. When you’re roller skating downhill, your speed is going to be extremely high. So when you might need to stop urgently, you would want your arsenal of stopping techniques to be up and ready.
Some other useful stops are:
Just make sure you know how to stop before hitting the slopes.
Now’s the part we’ve all been waiting for. Here’s the full method to skating downhill.
The real challenge to downhill roller skating is controlling your speed.
So you need to be able to control your speed while skating downhill. There are two ways to do that.
Believe me or not, roller skating backward is the easier and safer way to go downhill. But some people may feel the other way around.
Anyways, to roller skate backward.
There’s no need to push or propel because you’ll be gaining speed automatically.
Backwards downhill skating is where the turn-around toe stop comes into play. When you’re going backwards, you can lift up your back foot, and drag the toe stop.
The turn-around toe stop is the go-to for controlling speed while downhill skating.
To skate downhill forwards,
But you also need to be able to control your speed. A good way to do that is carving.
Now, what the heck is carving? Carving means skating in a snake-like pathway to reduce your speed using friction.
Here’s how you carve like a pro.
Congratulations! If you’ve done all the things above, you would be a pretty decent downhill skater by now.
You can’t be skating downhill on indoor wheels, right? Because that’s a death wish. Toe stops are also a crucial part of skating down a hill.
So the equipment you need is:
Let’s admit it. Even though downhill roller skating is cool, fun, and thrilling, it’s still quite dangerous. To minimize the risk, you must take all the necessary safety precautions.
Head injuries are not fun at all. So you need to be wearing a helmet at all times while roller skating. Downhill skating is especially dangerous.
There you go. These are all the reasons to be wearing a helmet everytime you go out.
Knee pads are the piece of safety gear, that prevents the largest amount of roller skating injuries from happening. When you fall at a normal angle, your knees are the body parts that face the most impact. So knee pads are mandatory while roller skating.
Suppose you’re rolling downhill. And after some amount of time, your speed becomes so high that you’re unable to control your skates. It would take a lot of time to stop using toe stop, T-stop, etc. But you want to stop urgently. What then?
Here, you can go into the knee slide. It’s kind of an emergency stop. It’s even used by roller derby players to brake.
You’ll need your knee pads on, to be able to do the knee slide. Here’s the technique to nailing it.
And there you go, skaters! It’s the knee slide.
For downhill roller skating, you need a location. Here’s how the trend generally goes.
If you’re a beginner, pick a slope or a road, that’s;
Stay safe skaters.
Ready to show off your awesome downhill skating skills to your friends? I hope this article helped you become confident in your downhill roller skating. So you too can experience the thrill of rolling on your own, without making any sort of effort.
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Good luck and have fun skating.
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