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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 August 17th, 2006, 08:42 AM   #1
morrisonhk
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Location: Canberra Australia
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Question Beginning Skater Doesn't Know Where to Start

I am looking for some help, I jut don't know where to start....

I have the blades and the safety gear but just not sure where to start. I can't find anyone in Canberra Australia who can teach me and the whole family.... well 3 of us want to learn.

Can anyone help me please????

Kathie Morrison

Last edited by Kathie Fry; August 17th, 2006 at 02:27 PM. Reason: Expanded title to encourage more people read the discussion
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Old August 17th, 2006, 09:34 AM   #2
gbo
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Welcome to the board.

There are a couple of different approaches:
1. find a flat piece of pavement without traffic like a parking lot after the businesses have closed or before they open on a Sunday morning. Make sure the pavement is pretty smooth and without loose stones. Put on all of your safety equipment (I hope you included a helmet) and skates and start skating.

2. Find a roller rink and practice inside for awhile. You won't get as much road rash off the wood floor. But, you'll want to go when there aren't many other skaters.

3. Find an instructor and take a lesson. Inside or out. Google for canberra skating instructors. I don't know the sites right off. The local rollerrink or the sports equipment store might have ideas as well.

Check out inlineplanet.com. There are several useful articles for beginners.

Welcome to the wonderful world of skating. If you find it half as enjoyable as the rest of us here, you'll be addicted for life.
gbo
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:44 PM   #3
cbeck
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I think gbo's advice is right on. Especially where she mentions the flat part!

I am still learning myself, so I thought I would mention some of what I have found helpful so far.

1) Bend at the knees a lot more than you think necessary. My natural inclination (for some odd reason) was to stick my butt waayy out and then lean over the front of my skates. A deep knee bend with a mostly straight back seems to be the way to go.

2) Nose, knees, and toes should be aligned for good balance. Trying to correct problem #1 above, I read somewhere that proper alignment is to have your hips centered over your ankles... that left me falling over backwards a lot.

3) Walking like a duck is a good way to start rolling foward if you are like me and just cant figure it out. Eventually turn the steps into a bit of a roll by leaning into the step and pushing your foot out in the direction your toes are pointing as you place your wheels on the ground.

4) Turning (I had the most problems with this). It seems there is no degree of edge pressure, or angling, or tilting that causes me to turn. This article really messed me up because it seemed to indicate pressure on an edge of a skate wheel was the turning force.
Quote:
Originally Posted by orbit newsletter
When rolling, pressure against one set of inside edges causes a turn.
I kept trying to put pressure on my edges like it said and I would just roll straight into the wall. I eventually came to realize that it is necessary to actually turn the skate/skates. While I agree it is hard to describe, I think the thing to focus on is not turning the skates, but slightly turning your body/knees in the direction you want to go. Allow the skate to pivot a bit with the rotation (and turning is easier if you have "a bit" of speed). I think the pressure part, if anything, is usefull in keeping you from falling over sideways in a turn. But I think it will happen naturally without having to think about it...

Well, that's all I can think of at the moment. If you find yourself without an instructor, I hope some of my comments might be helpful to you. They are just from my experience in learning over the last month.

Inlineplanet (as mentioned above) has been very helpful to me also and I think they have a sepcific article that mentions the order in which to learn new things. I'm sure nothing can be better than having someone show you though...
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Old August 18th, 2006, 03:49 AM   #4
ferretgrl6
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First of all, congrats on your new endeavor! You're going to love it! I've been skating for years, but still a relative beginner. I don't do anything fancy because I'm kind of phobic !

And great job on getting the gear. I'm a firm believer of pads/helmets after having broken a wrist with a separation of hand/arm that was so great and grotesque that it became a training aid for doctors performing repair surgeries!

I second (or third) finding a nice smooth flat place to roll. I also found it helpful to wear my skates around the house in order to feel comfy on them.

Rinks are great for learning not only because of the lack of road rash, but also because there are people there willing to share experience, and plenty of walls to hold onto!

Learning how to fall is very important. Go out in your back yard or some place with soft ground and FALL. Over and over again if possible. Because you will out there!

And other than all the rest of the great advice, have fun!
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Old August 21st, 2006, 06:08 PM   #5
Acidedge
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In Australia: Bayside Blades in Melbourne (say big Jim said hi), Manly Blades in Sydney and Planet Inline in Brisbane all run skate lessons for beginners. A skate lesson or two is the best way to learn the basics: falling, getting up, foward movement, heelbraking, A-frame turns. You can then practise the correct techniques. It would be worth travelling (weekend break?) to pick up said basics. Once your balance improves (one of the main things in progressing with inline skating) you can learn skills and tricks from online videos.

And I don't think you'll have any difficulty in finding an open flat spot to practise your skating in Canberra. The only hill is on Parliament house.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 04:52 AM   #6
morrisonhk
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Red face Thankyou

Well thankyou to everyone for their help.

Yes we have got all the safety gear as well, I figured if I wanted to get my 4yr old to wear it then my partner and I had to as well.....

Unfortunately I haven't managed to get a weekend to travel for lessons but I have found a few smooth places to practice, and scrape the hell out of myself....

I also found out the hard way that Canberra has more than one hill....

But it's all good.....

We are having fun now I just have to learn how to keep myself in an upright position because as you can guess rollerblades don't get you far when your laying on your belly or your back with them spinning in the air....lol

I'll keep you updated with our progress
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Old September 10th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #7
b3eyes
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Talking Welcome!

Welcome to world of skating! Everyone has given good advice so far, test them out for yourself...sometimes a good advice might work better on one, but not others; so keep an open mind and dont be afraid to try out new stuff!

I have been skating for years and am pretty much self-taught, you don't always need to attend classes if it's not convenient for you, sometimes it could be costly as well. Only thing you need is to take some time and a lot of practice, everyone here on the board are more than willing to share our experiences to help you get better =)

Here's a list of things that helped me during my years of skating (mostly street) and hopefully can be helpful to you:

*Don't be afraid to fall - Put on those pads and go at it!

*Learn how to fall (in additional to ferretgrl6's advice) - Always fall FORWARD, not backward! remember, you have knee pads AND wrist guards to break your fall if you fall forward...if you fall backwards, you have a good chance to land on your buttocks or the back of your head! although falling on your behind doesn't sound all that bad since it has more meat, you DON'T want to land on your hip bones (it really, really hurts) or worse, your tailbone (it's connected to your spine, so, yeah, it's NOT good). If you find youself falling backwards frequently, try to keep your weight more to the front or invest in "butt pads" aka "padded/armor shorts"

*Cover yourself - Even with pads, try to wear pants, not shorts; when you fall you can scrape your thighs or other exposed area very easily, a nice pair of comfortable/flexible pants will help reducing loss of skin on those unwanted contacts with Mr. Ground

*Downhills - DON'T try to stop! Stay calm, keep your feet straight, the momentum will eventually wear off when you hit the flat area. Most falls take place while going downhills is when you try to slow down or stop, but not experienced enough to control your speed or balance. If you really have to stop (ie. oncoming traffic) aim for grass or softer ground to fall on


*Trivial tips -

*Travel light, carry light or no backpack. Heavy backpack can throw you off balance and also wear you out faster, only carry what you need when you're skating

*Stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids, sports drinks and water are your best friend

That's all I can think of right now, have fun with your new found addiction and stay safe!
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Old September 10th, 2006, 08:02 AM   #8
b3eyes
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Talking Turning

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbeck View Post
4) Turning (I had the most problems with this). It seems there is no degree of edge pressure, or angling, or tilting that causes me to turn. This article really messed me up because it seemed to indicate pressure on an edge of a skate wheel was the turning force.

I kept trying to put pressure on my edges like it said and I would just roll straight into the wall. I eventually came to realize that it is necessary to actually turn the skate/skates. While I agree it is hard to describe, I think the thing to focus on is not turning the skates, but slightly turning your body/knees in the direction you want to go. Allow the skate to pivot a bit with the rotation (and turning is easier if you have "a bit" of speed). I think the pressure part, if anything, is usefull in keeping you from falling over sideways in a turn. But I think it will happen naturally without having to think about it...
From my personal experience, when you use edge of your skate it actually helps you carve a sharper and faster turn (more advanced technique, imo), but it's harder to do compare to simply moving your skate and body to the direction you want to go. One thing I always do is to look at the direction where I want to go, it seems to help with my turns. Give it a try, might help with your turning too =)
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Old September 10th, 2006, 05:27 PM   #9
cbeck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b3eyes View Post
One thing I always do is to look at the direction where I want to go, it seems to help with my turns. Give it a try, might help with your turning too =)
Man, I don't know. That was the same thing my friend told me when I was trying to learn. "I just look that way, and I go." Not me. I guess the idea is "looking" facilitates the natural rotation of the body that can help with an A-frame turn. but I suppose not when you were as tense as I was.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #10
artisan555
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actually, looking in the direction you want to go isn't as important as rotating your hips and sholders in the direction you want to go. rotating those body parts torque your skates into proper alinment and away you go! this helps your cross-overs too. but DO look where you're going hehehehe.

now, when skating backwards, the key is (as in life) point your butt in the direction you want to go, and you'll get there.
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