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Slalom Cone Skating Forum Discussions about slalom cone skating, high-jump, and other freestyle trick skating. (Note that vert, street, and park skating discussions should be posted in our aggressive skating forum.)

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Old September 13th, 2015, 07:44 PM   #1
Joey
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Default Why Do Skaters Give Up On Freestyle/Slalom?

I have been watching too many slalom videos on YouTube and other sources and notice, of course, that only young people are skating around tiny cones. This made me wonder...why?

I guess a big part of it is because young people have TIME. Kids grow up, go to college, get careers , get married, have kids, and then I guess start living their lives through their children which sucks up all of their time. After the children are gone the body is sadly out of shape, overweight, out of practice, and likely not very flexible. So that's that.

I was really wondering about the OTHER people. Does slalom sports create a lot of nagging injuries? Are skaters driven only by competition - once the young guns start taking all the gold the older folks just quit?

The sport looks like it would take a lot of passion and persistence to get to any serious level. I am one of those people who hate to lose ground on skill I paid for dearly. And, since I was 53 before I got married and always have tons of free time to do whatever I want to, I have managed to hold on to all of my athletic skills at 57.

SO....if freestyle/slalom was your main thing, and you stopped doing it.....WHY?

If you are over 30 years of age and you are STILL twirling through the cones, how is it going? What injuries have you sustained? How long was your longest layoff? Is it relaxing, or a burden to keep at it?
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Old September 14th, 2015, 03:36 PM   #2
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Here's a thread from last year that may be helpful...

http://skatelogforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51526

Enjoy!
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Old September 14th, 2015, 04:51 PM   #3
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Thanks. I had not found that thread^^. Helpful.

I guess it is pretty boring and frustrating to learn from scratch. Since I have been skating for eons and already have loads of skating skills the beginning slalom moves have been coming fairly easily. I have not even set out cones yet. Just practicing getting comfortable on one foot forward and backward plus a few other transitions.

I generally don't like hanging out in one spot for any reason. I am a distance freak. But now and then, especially if weather is a factor, I am seeing the value in just going through some drills in a nearby vacant parking lot. It might be nice to just zone-out to some repetitive motion now and then. And I could see it being addictive to a point. I just love being on skates but get tired of dreaming up ways to get big miles in. It is quite a commitment time-wise.

On a day when my time is short I could hit the cones for an hour and be happy. Or traveling. Middle of the day hotel parking lot around the back of the hotel. A nearby park. A dead-end street. Whatever.
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Old September 20th, 2015, 05:49 AM   #4
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people who start slalom as adults (18-20+) are less likely to remain in the sport. as you have stated, typically other commitments prevent this group from practicing as much as they would like, as well as the notion that learning tricks is actually harder when you get older (you fall harder when you are older, and you also have your job/uni at the back of your mind).

in an earlier thread, http://www.skatelogforum.com/forums/...ad.php?t=50675, it was once mentioned that slalom is actually a very boring sport. upper level tricks can take years to learn. in fact to my dismay, i find that i have posted in that exact thread over a year ago, and i am STILL practicing the same trick as i mentioned back then, but with a slightly better success rate. i can do 3 cone seven on heel maybe about 50-60% of the time (up from 30%), but 3 cone sevens on toe is still a stagnant 60-70%. this makes it the second to third year i am learning this trick.

to put things in perspective, i have quite a number of tricks i have in my pool of "to-practice" tricks. even after a year of my post, i can name a few tricks i have actually gotten worse at (chicken toe and heel around one cone). i usually practice most of my tricks whenever i skate in my own pace. (i don't train on one trick 500 times for instance - but it is probably the most efficient way of learning a new trick).

what keeps me going is that, i know this trick is difficult to land, and the feeling of landing it even one time is incredible. i feel that i am just a little bit more consistent after each successful landing.

i know there is a lot of frustration and self-bitterness in this sport. also, the time taken learn versus the reward payoff is, in my opinion, one of the lowest of any sport i can think of. those who have skated for years are extremely passionate about the sport. for me, my enjoyment for the sport grew as i got better at it, so keep it up
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Old September 20th, 2015, 01:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev0 View Post
...for me, my enjoyment for the sport grew as i got better at it, so keep it up
Since I do not intend to compete there is very little pressure on me to progress. I am free to play around with a few things as time allows. And as an ex-hockey player it is really hard to make me fall, although if falling (or other injuries) becomes common I might re-think this endeavor.
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 10:00 AM   #6
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Hi Joey. I can only speak for myself. I love cones and just turned 40. I've been setting them up since I was about 20years old. I'll never be the best at it but I just don't care. It speaks to my soul. It fills something inside me. Alone or with friends I just don't care anymore. I put on my music and go into my own world. For me it's the perfect fit to my obsessive compulsive nature. I LOVE IT. Also it's helped me to find my real true passion. Ice skating. So much translates from slalom to ice only they call it Extreme skating. It's a win-win. LOVE SLALOM!!!!🌈❤️😻
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Hi Joey. I can only speak for myself. I love cones and just turned 40...
Thank you for the input.

Any advice on injury prevention? At 57 I am not really looking for extra problems. I don't mean falling injuries - I understand those and wear wrist guards and full fingered bicycle gloves, plus a helmet when practicing slalom. I know I am going to fall sooner or later. But how about knees, hips, feet, ankles, for overuse or strained injuries? Did you have to get past much of that stuff during your 20 years of slalom? Any good warnings for me?

Cheers.
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Old September 24th, 2015, 08:21 AM   #8
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I've only broken two bones in 20 years and neither of them was while going through cones. One time I fell at the skate park broke my humorous and WAS wearing elbow pads, but I was 18. I don't go to the skate parks anymore since rockering. I just started wearing wrist guards and now pads due to the fact that when I fall now I'm aiming for landing on anything but my wrist. Broke my wrist this summer on wet pavement covered with leaves. I admit that each time I have a major fall my ego and motivation get hurt too, but not for too long. This summer was really nervous and took it easy (fell with cast on too).😬 But this is all pointless. Wear whatever makes you feel safe and don't skate on wet cement. Make sure your feet are far apart so you don't trip yourself. I have scars on every part of my body, not too ladylike. What I do now is just enjoy the tricks I know and love and I'm not so driven to learn new crazy things. With that said you can't help but get better. When I'm not trying so hard I'm evolving and loving the sport more. Did I mention I love this?
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oicusk82huh View Post
Did I mention I love this?
I believe you did.

Thanks for the input.
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Old December 30th, 2015, 06:41 AM   #10
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I am one who started skating and slalom at 20, and gradually quit slalom by 22...

Slalom/sliding is relatively safe compared to skateboarding/aggressive inline/bmx, but it is also time consuming and causes stress. I had university to worry about back then and couldn't focus on getting my tricks down.

Instead I found that just skating around and enjoying the breeze helped take my mind off my worries, so I just do that now. Cheap transport too.

Of course I break out a trick or two while skating around to impress little kids or whenever I feel like it and the terrain permits it.
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Old December 30th, 2015, 02:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben K View Post
I am one who started skating and slalom at 20, and gradually quit slalom by 22...

Slalom/sliding is relatively safe compared to skateboarding/aggressive inline/bmx, but it is also time consuming and causes stress. I had university to worry about back then and couldn't focus on getting my tricks down.

Instead I found that just skating around and enjoying the breeze helped take my mind off my worries, so I just do that now. Cheap transport too.

Of course I break out a trick or two while skating around to impress little kids or whenever I feel like it and the terrain permits it.
Thanks for the insight! Just skating around makes me happy too. Learning a new move or trick now and then adds spice, but I just don't have the discipline to skate cones all day.
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Old January 14th, 2016, 10:32 PM   #12
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Looking back now, the tricks I just couldn't get were the crab, nelson and chap chap types.
They frustrated me greatly so I just stuck to crazy and volt tricks.

Now I'm going to attempt them again, any tips?

I just find it incredibly hard to do tricks involving the skates lifting off the ground.
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Old April 20th, 2016, 01:57 AM   #13
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I am yet to learn and master the off-ground tricks, the best I can do right now is one leg in a straight line (not even on the cones).

But I have found Naomi Grigg's advices and tutorials to be very helpful.

For example, her tutorial for nelson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpZ8RxamiKY


To the topic, I don't know why people quit in general, but I know why I quit at some point: a lot of life changes, less free time, couldn't get my skates with me and decided I will buy some at my new location. Then I had other priorities, then it was difficult to just walk in store and get the skates where I live, plus no people in the area I knew were doing any kind of slalom or even skating in general so as a result I was trying to convince myself that I was better off not skating at all. As you can see now, I have failed
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Old July 5th, 2016, 01:18 PM   #14
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I am 36 years old, doing slalom regularly for around 6-7 years now. At one point I was not getting much fun out of it anymore, it felt like the amount of time sunk into practice is just not visible. This got underlined by the fact that I was joining a lot of competitions to often get my butt kicked by increasingly smaller kids.

Why do I keep slaloming?

- Stress/mental relief. Kev0 said that job/uni can distract from practice. But if you have a desk job which involves an amount of stress or mental fatigue you might want to balance it with something. Slalom requires a lot of concentration so you easily forget about work/problems...

- Keeping fit. Some people like endurance/long distance sports. Other people prefer stuff which is rich in technique and things to explore. Like slalom, which is not an expensive sport once you find a nice spot where to do it.

- I love skating to music, inventing new ways to chain the tricks to match the song. I do not understand people who slalom in silence. Even if technical tricks sometimes seem out of reach, it can be very rewarding when you succeed in capturing the mood of a song or the changes in its rhythm. Because then you feel the skating is not mechanical but more... expressive?

- I still see some progress. Not all the time and not always in the high technical tricks but even the basic/intermediate stuff can be done at various levels of fluency, dynamics... If I will get better in my technicals then great but I learnt to not see them as the holy grail.

- Not all of us can follow the same route to progress. If you can not do something properly there is likely a valid reason behind and ways to improve, e.g. by off skate practice. I was not able to maintain toe wheeling and none of my friends had troubles with that, which was very frustrating. Some running and rope jumping improved it. Lower back pain can be helped by core training. Gosh even riding a bike will improve your skating.
- It feels rewarding when you finally nail a trick when it felt completely out of reach at first. Or for a couple of years...

- It feels rewarding if you inspire other people to improve their skating level.

- I like teaching skating in general, so showing up at the park regularly gives me opportunities to teach.

I made a detour into ice figure skating with a real coach. I recommend the same to any self-taught skater, to correct any bad habits e.g. in posture and learn to use the upper body, because we slalomers often focus on what the legs are doing and forget that we also have arms, elbows and hips
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Old July 12th, 2016, 05:09 PM   #15
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I like what you said and could not have said it better.

I'd say to get fresh try something new. Like skiing? Try snowboarding. Like inline? Try quads and vice versa. I'd love to try surfing someday, or borrow someone's longboard to try out.

Life is great and as we age it's the intrinsic things that count, the things we do that are difficult, and we do them just because we love doing them. Variety is the spice of life. Slalom is not for everyone, but it's the foundation for everything I do. I love it and have been loving it for the last 20 years. I don't care how I measure up.

I love it. I love it. I love it.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 02:13 AM   #16
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Great input all! Thanks. I am still keeping up with this thread I started.
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