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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 September 19th, 2015, 10:12 PM   #1
jessicad231
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Unhappy Balance

Hi all!

I've been skating since July of this year. I have the SureGrip Fames and I'm running the Rollerbone Art Elites in a 101 hardness up from the stock 95As. I have been skating 2-3 times a week up until the start of this month due to work, but that will soon pick up once the end of fiscal year comes.

I find myself having a hard time participating in slow walking, crazy legs and other tricks and moves because I have horrible balance. Anything that involves just using my toes, I'm pretty much useless.

I was wondering if there is any advice or balance lessons/exercises anyone could give me. It can be in the form of a video, photos or a really great written explanation.
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Old September 19th, 2015, 10:34 PM   #2
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First and formost is making certain your trucks are adjusted properly, with the correct cushions, if they don't turn its hard to balance, and of course, excellent fitting boots.
But, if it's an inner ear or medical issue, I'd be weary.
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Old September 21st, 2015, 03:50 PM   #3
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Without any other knowledge about how you skate....
Possibly focus on position of everything else but your feet. Meaning are your shoulders over your hips and your hips over your skates. If you bend at the waist to look down at your toes you are now off balance. Keep it all together and over your skates. And don't forget to bend your knees.
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Old September 21st, 2015, 04:04 PM   #4
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Default Welcome first of ALL,

Hi Jessica,

Yes you can do tons of balance exercises OFF Skates, yet I recommend putting together an: ON Skates Routine that you use each session. Sometimes I just take a break and do this stuff.

I could give you my off skate stuff as well, yet I prefer from now to give you the On Skate Stuff since I use it too. Most of this comes from watching the Art Skaters in training doing the circles and then ad libbing (making up stuff)

Here is a few, yet you should get the idea for how to expand.
I am missing some things on this list yet it should get you going.

1) One foot glides. Each foot up and steady straight and then do the circles
2) One foot swizzle glides. Same yet Rock that skating foot so that you can
go around stuff in an Snake pattern.
N:You might need to adjust your action, yet it isn't really necessary.
3) Up on One Toe going straight
then up on the other
4) Up on One Heel going straight
then up on the other
H: Hold each as long as you can
5) Wobble each of the above
6) One Toe Back, One Heel Front
6a) Straight at first and spread that leg split
6b) Go around the circles in this position
6c) Snake it on the straights

Hope you get the idea, Play with each foot as it's own commander and then add in stuff that makes you comfy on each wheel and in all positions.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
P.S. Don't forget the continual Mohawk in both directions and the center spin.
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Old September 22nd, 2015, 06:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MANY_SkatingDave View Post
5) Wobble each of the above
MANY_SkatingDave: What does it mean to wobble them?

OP: I do think on-skate and off-skate balance are somewhat different things. Once rolling, skates let me "cheat" by using my edges (lean? I dunno what quad skaters call it) to correct. But that means that I'm not using my hip and core muscles as well as I could.

I've recently started physical therapy for my knees, and *most* of the work is balance related. Here are some videos that show similar stuff to what I do. One progression that they don't show is that once you can do it barefoot, then do it on an unstable surface (ie a bed, two pillows or cushions, etc).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKMOLqigD9M (hockey, but the moves are exactly the same as what my PT give me)
https://youtu.be/fOBiGv8-wp4?t=4m10s (skip to 4:10. He shows a good correction to make sure you work the hip stabilizers in a spiral position)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWuKEt96Jjs (starts easy, but gets hard!)

A fun one that requires equipment is using a rebounder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DQnMmo-HMk

When to do this? That's the challenge. I mean if I have time, I'm going to want to spend it on skates. Recently I've been doing the stuff in the kitchen while waiting for rice to cook.
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 10:46 AM   #6
Derrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajasen View Post
MANY_SkatingDave: What does it mean to wobble

When to do this? That's the challenge. I mean if I have time, I'm going to want to spend it on skates. Recently I've been doing the stuff in the kitchen while waiting for rice to cook.
I don't want to speak for Dave but I think he's abreviating; change edge back and forth.
I have skates just for the kitchen. I mounted some slippers, I use them almost daily.

I liked your videos, (too Much getting ready for workbto watch in entirely right now) but I noticed the spiral, cross roles and other skating elements that I don't know the names of.

I might use some of those at work, when no one is looking.
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 10:51 AM   #7
Derrick
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Default You can do all that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MANY_SkatingDave View Post
Hi Jessica,

Yes you can do tons of balance exercises OFF Skates, yet I recommend putting together an: ON Skates Routine that you use each session. Sometimes I just take a break and do this stuff.

I could give you my off skate stuff as well, yet I prefer from now to give you the On Skate Stuff since I use it too. Most of this comes from watching the Art Skaters in training doing the circles and then ad libbing (making up stuff)

Here is a few, yet you should get the idea for how to expand.
I am missing some things on this list yet it should get you going.

1) One foot glides. Each foot up and steady straight and then do the circles
2) One foot swizzle glides. Same yet Rock that skating foot so that you can
go around stuff in an Snake pattern.
N:You might need to adjust your action, yet it isn't really necessary.
3) Up on One Toe going straight
then up on the other
4) Up on One Heel going straight
then up on the other
H: Hold each as long as you can
5) Wobble each of the above
6) One Toe Back, One Heel Front
6a) Straight at first and spread that leg split
6b) Go around the circles in this position
6c) Snake it on the straights

Hope you get the idea, Play with each foot as it's own commander and then add in stuff that makes you comfy on each wheel and in all positions.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
P.S. Don't forget the continual Mohawk in both directions and the center spin.
I really need to skate more
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 02:53 PM   #8
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Default Wobble Defined (Best for now)

Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajasen View Post
MANY_SkatingDave: What does it mean to wobble them? o -o
Lots of words could be used like "Rock your skate position" side to side, feeling the action on front (toe) and back (heel) cushions.

It means you kind of twist your foot or position to get a kind of wobble action as you skate straight or doing the circles. More like a leg or hip twist than a foot twist. Easier to show then to fully describe.

This is also a technique to make sure you have your actions and cushions adjusted just right for you for the Now forwards and backwards. You need to control your actions just like you like them.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 03:01 PM   #9
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Default Yep a Standard Skating Dave Take a Break

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrick View Post
I really need to skate more
Hi Derrick,

Yep, I take a break on lousy songs or just take a break and do this stuff.
I feel it is always important to keep up on the talents you have learned over your skating career. The kids watch it. It is a tad Artsy.

I am no longer doing the Bent Sideways Shoot the Duck. That is a Bummer, I loved it as a show off for decades into my Knee Problem a few years ago. Maybe I will get it back, yet it will take some work.. Everyone used to admire that one as I rode around the corners in Low Limbo Position. Now the teens at Granite Skate in NH would just say Ho Hum, No Big Deal.. Yet Granite is no longer with us as a Skate Place.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 11:51 PM   #10
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So.. if your on one skate on toes going forward. What is the balance leg position?
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Old September 24th, 2015, 05:30 AM   #11
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I read all of the previous responses and there is a lot of great advice there.

Assuming your skates are correct and you don't have some medical issue...just skate. A LOT. There is no substitute for time spent on your skates. Some folks pick up certain sports a little faster than others, but all in all it is TIME spent on skates that makes you good at it.

Common wisdom (proven by science) shows that for most people, becoming an expert at almost any technical sport (or musical instrument) requires roughly 10,000 hours of practice. This would be 400+ days, 24 hours a day on your skates. If you practice 1 hour every day it will take 27 years to reach 10,000 hours. 8 hours a day will take you 3+ years to make it.

When I turned 30 I did my best to attempt to add up all of my skating time - street, rinks, commuting, hockey - everything. I came up with 3 years at 24 hours a day on my skates (conservatively!). I am 57 now. Only God knows how many hours I have on skates and skateboards. I would guess 5 years non stop.

If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. This is not to discourage you. Unless you think skating is not worth it, then you can save a lot of time and get a bicycle or some running shoes instead.

Skate, skate, skate!
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Old September 24th, 2015, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajasen View Post
OP: I do think on-skate and off-skate balance are somewhat different things. Once rolling, skates let me "cheat" by using my edges (lean? I dunno what quad skaters call it) to correct. But that means that I'm not using my hip and core muscles as well as I could.

I've recently started physical therapy for my knees, and *most* of the work is balance related. Here are some videos that show similar stuff to what I do. One progression that they don't show is that once you can do it barefoot, then do it on an unstable surface (ie a bed, two pillows or cushions, etc).
Intesting statements. I thought that it was centrifugal force making things like the spiral easier on skates than off. But it's the edges (quads uses the same term, even though it's not really on an edge) that make it easier, hmm......


I never thought of using an unstable surface to improve. I wasn't aware of the proper hip position either (from the video). Sometimes I like to turn the torsoe completely perpendicularl to the floor though (not completely inverted, I don't bend so well) just to change it up a bit. Always so much to learn.
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:17 PM   #13
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Default Wobbble Some More

Hi Again,

More on On Skates balancing moves.

Last night as I skated I did the wobble I describe above. I often have thought it would be better to write my notes from the skating floor since I am more accurate in my descriptions.

Anyway, I have spots on my floor for Derby I believe, that defines the competition circle. So I weave in and out of every other one with the other foot in the air. Right now I keep the off floor foot up front, yet I have done it to the back as well kicking back my other foot and touching it with my opposite hand. Derby by the way was going to have a practice last night, and I love seeing them. One fresh meat gal, who came early, was singing and moving to the songs which is just great "in my skate book"


Another On Skate balancing move, trying to not be too challenging, is to go a little sideways and bring up the other skate on it's heel. For me it is always less fearful to do the trailing leg, each leg, than the front leg forward. Yet when you get the back one done SHOOT for the front one to increase your balance. You can always do this on the circles if the straight aways open your hips too far.

This is the first move I did when I wanted to learn "up on the heels" side skating. (Another name for this yet I can't remember it now) OK Spread Eagle up on your heels. "Up on the Toes" Spread Eagle is also fun yet a bit harder.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:22 PM   #14
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Default More please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrick View Post
So.. if your on one skate on toes going forward. What is the balance leg position?
Hi Derrick, I think you misread my note. I am on all fours going forward in what I describe. It is just that I feel the toe part and the heel part of my skates when I do this wobble or slalom move around the dots on the floor.

In going around the cones for slalom playing, they do go up on their toes with one leg, yet I am not doing that or suggesting that for a beginner.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:32 PM   #15
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Default Off Skate Balancing

Hi OP,

OK a few of many Off Skate Balancing Stuff.

Some of this is in Old Age Books for Older People put out by our Government. I have several of these. You can always learn from the young and the older.

1)Socks on with One foot in the Air
- In the morning when first get up
N: We have a tread on this one with our WA InLiner adding
N2: I can only do this with one leg. My wife both.
2)The Star Lunge
http://strengthperformance.com/video/star-lunges
3)Walking Blind Tapping Each Knee to Center
N:Best to do this in a Hallway in case you fall to the side.
- Can't think of a fast reference for this one. Yet it is good

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old September 25th, 2015, 04:37 AM   #16
jessicad231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursle View Post
First and formost is making certain your trucks are adjusted properly, with the correct cushions, if they don't turn its hard to balance, and of course, excellent fitting boots.
But, if it's an inner ear or medical issue, I'd be weary.
Hi! my trucks are loosened and my boots feel fine. It's not a matter of my skate setup, it's more if me wanting to practice on balance with instruction. I don't have an inner ear or medical issue.
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Old September 25th, 2015, 04:41 AM   #17
jessicad231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey View Post
I read all of the previous responses and there is a lot of great advice there.

Assuming your skates are correct and you don't have some medical issue...just skate. A LOT. There is no substitute for time spent on your skates. Some folks pick up certain sports a little faster than others, but all in all it is TIME spent on skates that makes you good at it.

Common wisdom (proven by science) shows that for most people, becoming an expert at almost any technical sport (or musical instrument) requires roughly 10,000 hours of practice. This would be 400+ days, 24 hours a day on your skates. If you practice 1 hour every day it will take 27 years to reach 10,000 hours. 8 hours a day will take you 3+ years to make it.

When I turned 30 I did my best to attempt to add up all of my skating time - street, rinks, commuting, hockey - everything. I came up with 3 years at 24 hours a day on my skates (conservatively!). I am 57 now. Only God knows how many hours I have on skates and skateboards. I would guess 5 years non stop.

If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. This is not to discourage you. Unless you think skating is not worth it, then you can save a lot of time and get a bicycle or some running shoes instead.

Skate, skate, skate!
Hi Joey! Thank you for putting that into perspective for me. I skate and I've recently taking up skating in my neighborhood since the asphalt is pretty decent. For some reason, I'm more comfortable skating outdoors on my 95As. Maybe I need to bring it down to 98A from my 101s I use for the indoor rinks to assist with balancing indoors. I definitely try to get my skate time in when I can.
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Old September 25th, 2015, 04:42 AM   #18
jessicad231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MANY_SkatingDave View Post
Hi Again,

More on On Skates balancing moves.

Last night as I skated I did the wobble I describe above. I often have thought it would be better to write my notes from the skating floor since I am more accurate in my descriptions.

Anyway, I have spots on my floor for Derby I believe, that defines the competition circle. So I weave in and out of every other one with the other foot in the air. Right now I keep the off floor foot up front, yet I have done it to the back as well kicking back my other foot and touching it with my opposite hand. Derby by the way was going to have a practice last night, and I love seeing them. One fresh meat gal, who came early, was singing and moving to the songs which is just great "in my skate book"


Another On Skate balancing move, trying to not be too challenging, is to go a little sideways and bring up the other skate on it's heel. For me it is always less fearful to do the trailing leg, each leg, than the front leg forward. Yet when you get the back one done SHOOT for the front one to increase your balance. You can always do this on the circles if the straight aways open your hips too far.

This is the first move I did when I wanted to learn "up on the heels" side skating. (Another name for this yet I can't remember it now) OK Spread Eagle up on your heels. "Up on the Toes" Spread Eagle is also fun yet a bit harder.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
I will attempt some of your suggestions at tomorrow's session
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Old September 26th, 2015, 05:38 PM   #19
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If you can dance, you can skate. Same concept.

Good luck!
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Old October 2nd, 2015, 02:59 PM   #20
zcorce
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More than an issue of balance - is learning the balance needed for your maneuvers.

I lost all my balance five years ago due to a stroke.

The only way to (re)learn any of the tricks I could do before is to just keep doing them. The first couple of hundred times are horribly unnerving but eventually I learn. Occasionally I feel really good (unfortunately not often since a turned 50 a few years back) and really push it and make more progress in a night than in months of skating.

My biggest hindrances:
*) Watching my feet
*) Not using my arms (Watch people just mastering the tricks rather than ones that have been doing them for years).
*) Being too timid/not pushing. I am beginning to believe by doing this I am only training myself to do the tricks poorly. Might as well save the effort and just enjoy skating to the music.


The long term, hard core, skaters all have there preferences in equipment.

But among the newer skaters at my rink:
Most of the lightweights (under 150 lbs) who skate the SG Fames eventually consider the stock wheels to be giveaways to the little rinks rats. Few, except the artistic skaters, use Bone Elites. The wheel of choice seems to be RollerBones Team wheels. Choice when upgrading from the SG Fames is the Riedell Juice. As with the SG Fames the Radar Varsity wheels on the Juice's are typically considered giveaways.
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