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Beginning Skaters Forum This is the place for beginning skaters to ask questions and share their stories. We would love to hear about your experiences learning to skate. No question is too dumb!

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Old May 20th, 2012, 04:35 AM   #21
Offkilter
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DO NOT USE YOUR ARMS TO BREAK YOUR FALL...you will eventually break something doing that and wrists are complicated and delicate things..

As someone who teaches skating the first thing I show beginning skaters is how to fall.
Get LOW, if you feel your self off balance this dose three things .forces your weight forward and often you regain your balance and reduces the distance to the ground and finally curls your body up so you tend to fall on something that can take it ..ie. thighs,shoulders arms in a folded position..you tend to roll instead of put all of the force of falling on one bone..try to avoid falling back wards..this is especially bad for adults. if (as I suspect) your learning to skate for derby..then there are additional falls you need to learn- ask me about it if that is the case..also your skating position is diffrent..your always low with your skates a little farther apart..imagine you have to use the restroom in a sleazy nasty bar or gas station..you know how you hover above the seat..well that position is called ( funny enough) derby position...something that will save you much pain and injury as well as make you hard to knock down or get shoved or hit out of bounds.

artistic skating is always good to learn no matter what you want to do..because it is all about control..

the next thing is keeping your weight forward..think Tyrannosaurus Rex..(its how I explain it to young kids..but it gets the point across ..if your doing it right the balls of your feet will hurt ..at first. To show you how important this is..put your skates on and stand somewhere "soft" and lean forward..as far as you dare..then start to lean backwards..you'll understand immediately.

bend your knees slightly..never lock your knees...this allows your legs to adjust to changing everything.
RELAX!
your body is has to constantly adjust hundreds of small muscles to keep you stable and being tense doesn't allow your body to do that..also it very fatiguing..so breath deep and focus your eyes forward, not down ..your body knows where your feet are more than your eyes do.
square your shoulders to the direction you want to go..just like riding a motorcycle you go the way your head and shoulders are pointed.

stand relaxed knees slightly bent and eyes up then .point your toes outward and begin shifting your weight from one foot to the other..it will go slow at first don't try and roll your skates that will happen automatically..once you start moving things will begin to fall in place for you..but there is alot more.

when you cant skate put them on anyway, and work on standing on one skate then the other..the ability to stand and skate on one foot is a gateway ability after you get the hang of that..the rest will fall into place.

I'm sure I left stuff out..but I hope to at least give you a way forward as learning to skate without help by your self..is a daunting and difficult challenge..but quite possible. I did it.
don't get discouraged and know that the most important thing for derby players is..to get back up and skate.

good luck.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 05:28 AM   #22
slowsk8
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the next thing is keeping your weight forward..think Tyrannosaurus Rex..(its how I explain it to young kids..but it gets the point across ..if your doing it right the balls of your feet will hurt ..at first. To show you how important this is..put your skates on and stand somewhere "soft" and lean forward..as far as you dare..then start to lean backwards..you'll understand immediately.
I can go along with about everything you say until you get to this part.
This might be fine for derby indoors, but if you skate on the balls of your feet outdoors be ready to fall on your face with the first rock you hit.
See my first post in this thread on outdoor skating.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 09:30 AM   #23
Elysarian
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So... Offkilter basically said the same as me (albeit in a much better and more detailed way)?
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Old May 21st, 2012, 01:38 AM   #24
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My stance is quite different outdoor to indoor. Outdoor I still have bent knees, but not as low as derby stance. It's all about bent knees, but your upper body needs to be upright, not leaning forward or bending your back. Pretty much a squat on skates.
But definitely learn to fall onto your knees. Good quality knee and elbow pads and wrist guards and a helmet are essential for outdoor skating. The cheap recreational pad kits sold in sport stores aren't very good. Better than nothing, but they fall apart quickly and don't offer much protection. I'd at least splurge on quality knee pads. It does a lot more damage falling on cement than it does on an indoor rink.
As far as breaking your fall with hands, it is really hard to not put your hands out. It's just a natural reflex (watch kids learning to walk..usually their hands go out automatically). It's better to take the impact on your knees, even if your hands follow (known as a four point fall in derby).
But the most important thing, with everyone's advice, is it is better to fall forward, than backward, and land on your tailbone. Kids at the rink do this all the time as they skate too upright with no bend in their knees.
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Old May 21st, 2012, 01:53 AM   #25
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Talking inlines here - Weight on heels or balls of the feet, depends on the skate and purpose, doesn't it? When I have my 90mm (and now 100mm) wheels/frames on, I'm outdoors and want to keep the weight on my heels. The skates just roll better.

When I have my 76mm wheels/frames on, the back wheel is almost to the inside of my heel, so I definitely want to stay on the balls of my foot. My worst fall was a backwards fall because I wasn't used to making this transition between wheel size. And, now that I'm trying to learn to skate backwards, I find that I have better control of the skates with my weight on the balls of my feet on the short frames.

So, like the heel brake, it depends on the context.
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Old May 21st, 2012, 03:44 AM   #26
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Talking inlines here - Weight on heels or balls of the feet, depends on the skate and purpose, doesn't it? When I have my 90mm (and now 100mm) wheels/frames on, I'm outdoors and want to keep the weight on my heels. The skates just roll better.

When I have my 76mm wheels/frames on, the back wheel is almost to the inside of my heel, so I definitely want to stay on the balls of my foot. My worst fall was a backwards fall because I wasn't used to making this transition between wheel size. And, now that I'm trying to learn to skate backwards, I find that I have better control of the skates with my weight on the balls of my feet on the short frames.
So, like the heel brake, it depends on the context.
It's not to put all your weight back or lean back, just to keep a bit more weight on the heel then the toe.
Some compair it to a boat, if you put the weight forward when you hit a wave it trys to dive in and down, with the weight back it will try to climb the wave.
On a shorter frame you need to be a bit more careful how much you put. and if you come off a long frame to a short frame it will be easy to get to much back a feel like you will fall backwards, or realy fall backwards.
Around here we have some trails that cross railroad tracks (in the trail, not above it) We skate them full speed. New skaters look down at them and fall.
I know, I used to be one until I learned how to do it.
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