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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 October 6th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #1
Jennifer
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Default What skate to buy?

Hi there,

I'm a single mom wanting to buy skates for my 9 year old girl. I heard there are skates with special bearings to slow them down for beginners. Is this true? What are these bearings called?

Also, what kind of skates should I start my girl off on? In-line skates or quads? She'll be skating outside mostly, at a local boys & girls club after school and on the roads around our home (we live in a small, rural community). I guess if I'm going to be outside with her anyway, I may as well try learning to skate myself, since reading some of the posts on this site it sounds like fun!

Thanks in advance for any and all of your advice!
Jennifer
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Old October 6th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #2
fablemaker2
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I'd start her on inlines. Whatever you do, don't start her on cheap, Walmart specials. You can look at some good examples on sites like inlinewarehouse, aggressiveskate.com, etc.

If there is a skate shop near, it would be best to just visit and get her fitted. A comfy fit is the most important thing; if it hurts, it won't be fun.

...and don't forget elbow, knee, wrist, and head gear.
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Old October 6th, 2006, 08:53 PM   #3
maherwoman
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As far as either getting quads or inlines, I personally think it's up to preference. Whichever she really wants to start out in is what she should get. Ya know? Either way, it's a learning process in figuring out how to move in them properly.

My daughter and I skate in quads, so my advice below should be applied as thus. I don't have enough knowledge about the ins and outs of inlines for it to applied to them.

So, on the subject of quad skates:

I just started teaching my six-year-old daughter how to skate about a month ago, and here's what I picked up in teaching her.

Slowing her down will actually do more harm than good. You want a nice, smooth skate, as she will need to adjust to the fact that she's on something that moves, before anything. Also, be sure to remind her that she shouldn't use "walking" motions while on skates. It's a beginning skater's automatic motion, trying to use the "walking" motion while in skates.

You might also call around to rinks near you and see if any of them have classes...my daughter's been skating about a month, taking classes every Saturday morning (cheaper than you might think, btw), and she's even skating backwards now, and is doing tricks I've never attempted! It's worth it!

Another thing, you might want to find a rink that has a pro-shop type setup in it, as they'll have good skates, and will have someone there that will be able to tell you what the good skates are out there. I would give recommendations, but I went for custom-built, and my daughter's skates are hand-me-downs from the daughter of the guy that built my skates.

What area of the country (or what country, if outside the US) are you in? Someone might know of a rink near you that's perfect!

A couple other pointers, if she gets quads:

- Make sure the boot has a nice, snug fit.

- If she gets blisters on her arches, she might need insoles in her boots to fill in the space created by her foot's arch.

- Make sure to tie the skates nice and tight.

- When she starts skating, try to overcome the temptation to hold her hand the whole time. The more independant she is, the better she'll do. (I don't know what your daughter is like, but mine certainly wanted to hold my hand, and I had to encourage independence. Of course, age will create a difference in that.)

So, there ya go, on my end of things!

Like I said, though...quads or inlines are just preference. Whichever she thinks she likes best is what she should go with.

Let us know how things go, ok?
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Old October 6th, 2006, 09:19 PM   #4
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Young kids are amazing when put into a sink or swim scenario. I got my daughter and I inlines a month before she turned 5 so we could do something together. Her first experience led to a cracked root of a front tooth (we found this out later) a split lip and a abrasions. Yes, she had a full complement of pads and a helmet. She swore she'd never skate again. The next day I mentioned that I was going to go out and skate, she wanted to go as well. We started attending Sunday night session at our local rink, she'd fall every fourth step or so. We joined the rinks speed team and Madeline was named the most improved skater of the year (she was also skater of the month for one month of the season). Now at session we have to work at slowing her down.

I think a lot is how parents react to the possiblity that the child will get injured. When she is in serious pain (only four times including the first incident, and come to think of it all her nasty crashes have been with me ) I'll hold her and comfort her, otherwise I ask how she's doing.

To sum up learning by osmosis is an amazing thing.
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Old October 6th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
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it sounds like fun!
Even when skating isn't fun, it is fun. If that makes sense.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 07:02 AM   #6
Jennifer
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Hi again,

I've been looking at skates online since posting here. I checked out inlinewarehouse.com and aggresiveskate.com and jotted down the names of the youth skates there. We're looking at inline skates. I'm looking for skate shops and rinks in North San Diego County online now so we can have skates to try on and maybe sign up for lessons. It's a bit of a drive from here, but it sounds like it's well worth it to get us started.

I sure appreciate all the advice and suggestions posted here. It's given me a good place to start. I'll keep checking back here for additional tips and I'll be sure to post our experiences once we get the skates.

Thanks so much!
Jennifer
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Old October 8th, 2006, 09:57 PM   #7
maherwoman
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You're so welcome, Jennifer!

Yes, keep us posted on how you and your daughter are doing! We love to hear about it, and would love to answer any questions you may have.
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Old October 16th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #8
NightWind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
Hi there,

I'm a single mom wanting to buy skates for my 9 year old girl. I heard there are skates with special bearings to slow them down for beginners. Is this true? What are these bearings called?

Also, what kind of skates should I start my girl off on? In-line skates or quads? She'll be skating outside mostly, at a local boys & girls club after school and on the roads around our home (we live in a small, rural community). I guess if I'm going to be outside with her anyway, I may as well try learning to skate myself, since reading some of the posts on this site it sounds like fun!

Thanks in advance for any and all of your advice!
Jennifer

As far as Moscow goes, we can buy really cheap but great Salomon skates here - at half price or less, because they have quitted the business. I am not quite sure if you can do it in your place, but Salomon in-line skates are fantastic! Something to start with!
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Old October 17th, 2006, 03:39 PM   #9
Bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
Hi there,

I'm a single mom wanting to buy skates for my 9 year old girl. I heard there are skates with special bearings to slow them down for beginners. Is this true? What are these bearings called?

Also, what kind of skates should I start my girl off on? In-line skates or quads? She'll be skating outside mostly, at a local boys & girls club after school and on the roads around our home (we live in a small, rural community). I guess if I'm going to be outside with her anyway, I may as well try learning to skate myself, since reading some of the posts on this site it sounds like fun!

Thanks in advance for any and all of your advice!
Jennifer
Hi Jennifer,

inline vs quads... If you can visit a rink that has both, try both and let your daughter decide. At that age they can probablly adapt to either one quickly, but everyone is different. for outdoors inlines are more stable, indoors I think you can do more on quads, but as stated before everyone is different. Also outdoor quads are typically set up differently to help with stability. On outdoor quad skates the front wheels are placed in front of the ball of the foot, vs under the ball of the foot for quad skates used indoors.

oh... One thing you need to invest in is the safety gear, especially if you skate outdoors.

Have fun,
Bill
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Old October 17th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #10
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Outdoors, I'd start her on inlines. Indoors, you could go either way, but I'd start her on quads. Years ago I put my 2 year old daughter (she's now 31) on a cheap quads, the kind using standard ball bearings. I tightened the outer cones against the bearings so the wheels dragged heavily, and let her shuffle around the floor. She'd stumble and fall, but it was always the controlled kind of fall, with infrequent tears. As the months went by, I progressively backed the cone off the ball bearings until there was only slight drag on the wheels; just enough to keep the skates from whipping out from under her. Those little skates were so small that the front and back wheels almost touched. By 4, she was tearing around the floor, doing three turns, and skating backwards; a little rink rat if you ever saw one.
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