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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 February 12th, 2015, 06:21 AM   #1
lectraplayer
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Default Where is the best place to practice?

I just dug my skates out of the closet which I have forgotten about. Since I never actually learned to use them, as I never found a good place to skate (primarily, a paved spot free of hills and traffic, where skating is not prohibited. What should I look for to find a decent spot to practice basic skating? The rink is too costly and WAY too much traffic.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 06:27 AM   #2
WJCIV
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Does your rink have a speed/derby team or beginner lessons? Usually that would be the best place to start because you get a discount for attending multiple sessions, some attention from a person practiced in teaching this stuff, and even when there is traffic it is organized and composed of people skilled in avoiding you.

The best outdoor places I have found are bike trails. Of course, there are no good ones where I live currently, but when I lived in Cincinnati there were quite a few good ones in the area. Some were flatter, less traveled, and smaller loops than others. Some also had parking lots that remained mostly empty on the right days. You might even get lucky and run into a skater willing to give you a few pointers.

What type of skates do you have? Are the wheels well suited to learning outdoors? Some indoor wheels are not.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 12:51 PM   #3
lectraplayer
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Right now I'm using Wally-World 2XS skates, though I would advise against those acrylic plastic rollers that come on it. (My skates kept squirting sideways) Right now, I have Hyperlite 78A wheels on it instead. I can't find "parts" for this skate, so once I put some wear on these, I will likely be in the market for some "real" skates. That's later on though...

I have not noticed lessons offered at my local rink Roller Motion, though I will check again. Again, they are usually very crowded for a fledgeling to begin. Most of the trails I see are also busy.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 03:17 PM   #4
WJCIV
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Those wheels should be fine for indoors or out. They are meant as an outdoor wheel.

Is this Roller Motion in Bessemer, AL? If so there are two other rinks in close proximity - Skateland and Skates 280. Skates 280 advertises lessons.

Another thing to consider is timing. At our rink Saturdays can get really crowded, but Wednesdays aren't (which is a significantly cheaper session anyway)- especially during summer. If you call the rink they will probably be happy to let you know what sessions are busy and which aren't. Maybe you will get lucky and it will turn out dollar night isn't well attended. If I remember correctly the bike trails were really crowded Saturdays, but weekday mornings they were next to empty. Certain weekday nights were more popular than others, and traffic peaked about when you would expect it to - between dinner and sunset.

Other people will probably recommend you find outdoor basketball or tennis courts. I'm not a fan. Firstly, most of those are on properties that don't allow skating and you are hoping to be lucky enough not to get caught. Secondly the painted concrete is a very slick surface. School parking lots are great on Saturdays if you get approval from the administrators, which is going to be hard as a beginner because they are worried about liability.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 11:47 PM   #5
lectraplayer
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Is Skateland still advertising out of Hueytown? I have not seen that place open in over 20 years! There has been a "Skateland For Sale" sign up for about the past 8 years or so.

Seems like I have heard about Skates 280, I don't think I have been. However, I often work from before sunup to close to sundown, so that would put me skating during peak times.
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Old February 13th, 2015, 05:18 AM   #6
WJCIV
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I just zoomed in to Roller Motion on Google Maps, then changed the search to "skating rinks". That would explain why there is no website listed for Skateland. If you zoom out a little farther Funtime Skate Center also shows up, as do 3 more rinks without websites. I would call around and ask what sessions are not busy.

When you say sunup to sundown, is that all year round, or do you get a few hours of sunlight as the days get longer in the next couple of months?
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Old February 13th, 2015, 10:08 AM   #7
Bunny_Hop
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I think beginner lessons are a good idea if you can find them. They'll help to get you up and skating, and then you can skate elsewhere to develop your skills.

Quote:
Other people will probably recommend you find outdoor basketball or tennis courts. I'm not a fan. Firstly, most of those are on properties that don't allow skating and you are hoping to be lucky enough not to get caught. Secondly the painted concrete is a very slick surface.
This depends on where you are. I totally agree that you shouldn't skate somewhere without permission. However, here in Australia or at least where I am, there are plenty of public council-owned netball/basketball/tennis courts that are made of the same sort of asphalt as roads (complete with gravel!), not painted concrete. They're a great flat, traffic-free place to practice, and it is fine to skate there. Well, it doesn't actually say "you can roller skate here", but there's not a "no skating" sign, or any sort of sign actually. It's just a piece of concrete with netball and/or other sports markings, that is available for people to use, presumably unless it has been formally booked by someone else, the same sort of facility as a cycle path I guess.

However, you may be pleasantly surprised at your progress - if your goal is cycle path skating, it probably won't take too many rink lessons before you're ready to pick a nice smooth cycle path and start skating there!
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