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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 May 24th, 2016, 10:42 PM   #1
Asteropaeus
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Default beginner ordered speed-skating inline skates, could use advice

I used to do ice skating as a kid. I struggled, but at some point I managed quite well, for a clumsy child that struggled for a long time. I had proper speed skating ice skates, like the inline skates I ordered. Sadly, there were no more cold winters and I didn't practice and then I didn't have any ice skates that fitted. A few years ago, I tried ice skating with someone else's skates, and I couldn't even stand up straight and I quicky gave up.

I am 1.93m, very fit and no ACL in my left knee. I used to have a lot of troubles standing straight with my ankles not bend.
I had some balance issues when I had my growth spurts, but I hope that's decent now that I am an adult.

So my romantic interest, she is a very skilled inline skater. I saw her with 110mm wheels and when I google her name, it's filled with results of skating matches.

So we kind of have endurance sports in common, but I only do bicycling and running.

It doesn't seem she is that interested in me, so in that respect things right now look kind of hopeless. But just in case, if she changes her mind, I had this idea I should be able to inline skate.

So I ordered a pair of Powerslide R2s. I think I am not supposed to use those kind of skates as a beginner, which I probably am.

Any tips for me? I must admit, my heart isn't really into inline skating. I'd love to be able to skate on ice again, but when the weather is nice, I'd rather take my bike.
But I either have to get this childhood frustration out of the way and relearn so I can skate on ice one day. I just want to be able to do it, and do it well, which is not going to go fast. Then, take them out if at one point she does decide she wants to skate together. Then, hopefully I look like someone who knows what he is doing.
Either way, I want to take on this challenge and the money is already spend and those things aren't cheap. This isn't me at my most rational, I have to admit.

So maybe with all the stupid already going on, I have to try to play it smart and get some good advice from this point onward.
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Old May 25th, 2016, 08:48 AM   #2
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Watch a lot of "slalom" skating videos, ice/roller hockey videos, eddy matzger has some good videos. Theres tons of stuff out there. Just make sure you watch and mimic good skaters, there are a slew of videos out there that suck, and show bad form or people learning to skate.

Skating is a lot of fun, the problem is most people dont get good enough fast enough to keep at it. My daughter at one point in time asked me "dad, i hate skating, can we quit?" I told her after she could do crossovers forwards/backwards in either direction if she still hated it we never had to go again. That was about 4 or 5 years ago.

Slaloming would be an ideal way to get her attention as skating goes. Its a very difficult thing for most people, but you dont need a lot of room to practice. It will also lend its skillset into everytbing else you do on skates.

Also once you get it down pretty well, it looks flashy
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Old May 25th, 2016, 02:36 PM   #3
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The R2 should be find for your purposes.

110s aren't the wheels of someone into slalom. While speed skaters may think the tricks are nifty, a lot of us care more about just going fast. It would take the really tricky stuff to impress a good speed skater, because anyone who spends enough hours on skates each week is going to be able to naturally do all the easy stuff.

I think your next step should be to find a group. Skating is a lot more fun if there is a social aspect. Since you're just learning it will also help to get pointers on how to overcome a lot of the missteps that aren't intuitive and limit how accessible the sport it. If there's one good speed skater in an area, there's a good bet that there's a decent group. Some of them probably cross train with bicycles, or use cyclists as draft buddies. So maybe you could ease into the sport that way.

EDIT: I'm not saying that slalom won't be fun or won't net you some useful skills. It just doesn't seem like the best focus given the goal or the skates you bought.
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Last edited by WJCIV; May 25th, 2016 at 03:48 PM.
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Old May 26th, 2016, 11:36 AM   #4
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Well, the first step will be putting those things on, putting my helmet on, and see what happens.

It should be easier than skating on ice, right?

My concern is a bit that with the high boots and high wheels, higher than my ice speed skates were when I was a teenager, it will be hard to stand on them straight.


Well, it seems she had her best results during the 50km but I see she also has sprint times on ice skating. She did international matches. But I think she quit once she got near the adult age and it was clear she wasn't going to be a professional.
We are in an intense study programme, so she probably gave up on matches altogether. But ofc she is a member of the inline & ice skating groups at our university. When I show up with my skates and zero ability, it will be odd. She actually showed interest in taking up one of the sports I do at university, but she hasn't pulled through with that.

I run a 19 minute 5k and do 150km tours on my bike. Maybe skating can be a form of cross training eventually and it would be nice to try ice skating again once, and not utterly fail.

Slalom and tricks? I'd be happy if I can keep my form for a kilometer or do a corner. Or break!

In this country, everyone knows about ice skating and how important proper technique is because the sport is on tv a lot.
I tried swimming, and I gave up before I learned the technique.
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Old May 26th, 2016, 12:42 PM   #5
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When I show up with my skates and zero ability, it will be odd.
1. Maybe not as much as you think, and
2. So what?

University is a great time to try new things. As a member of a skating group I'm happy to see and help new people as long as they are receptive to feedback and not in the way during the practices we use to gear up for the major competitions. Just talk to the leaders ahead of time to see which sessions can handle beginners or if they require a minimum competency.
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Old May 26th, 2016, 05:12 PM   #6
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It has to do with the romance-part. Not with the skating-part. I mean, it may be obvious that I am not there to learn to skate to learn to skate. It's complicated. Sorry for that.

Last edited by Asteropaeus; May 26th, 2016 at 10:03 PM.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 04:48 PM   #7
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Well, my skates arrived today. They fit and they are surprisingly easy to stand on. In my mind I have these thin metal blades on the ever slippery ice.
At least just standing on them is super easy as the wheel base is so much bigger than an ice skate blade.

Of course, that doesn't make any of the technique easier.

Just got back from a 120 km cycling ride, so Ill see if tomorrow I can see what I can still do.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 11:40 PM   #8
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I tried them on asphalt. On a hard surface, they are less stable than on the rug inside, obviously.

I didn't fall. I could roll and slowly push off. At times, I found a kind of sweet spot in my posture and the way I orient the skates. That allowed for a feeling how proper skating must feel like. But most of the times it was a bit of an awkward gentle shuffling intermixed with rolling out or some balancing.

My ankles got tired quite quickly. I remember that as a child when iceskating, my ankles would always angle outward or inward and I struggled to keep them straight. I could keep them straight now most of the time, but I could feel quite some strain and fatigue came quickly.

Despite the fatigue, I felt that over the minutes I was improving already. I think I picked up speed till 10 km/h or something. At that pace, the roughness of the asphalt already creates uncomfortable vibrations. Not really a problem, but is this a common annoyance? It must feel a lot worse at 35 km/h.

I also think that when I am about to fall I can just jump into the grass on the side of the road and hop and recover there. Not really elegant. That's also kind of my main way to stop right away, I guess, rather than rolling out and slowly and carefully squeezing the skates inward by a tiny amount.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 02:23 AM   #9
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Day 2, my Garmin says my top speed was 12.7 km/h.

I can kind of glide now on one leg. I improve fast. I wonder if it is because skating is easy in the beginning, or old ice staking instincts kicking in.

I should tell that I practice in the dark, so most of my senses are what I feel for balance. I can't see the ground.

I noticed that when you roll on two legs, you fatigue. But when you have one leg of the ground always, as you should have, it can rest.

I can't imagine how far away I am from doing a 50km race at 30 km/h, which is what my romantic interest did when she was a teenager/small girl. I mean, she did her 50km skating matches faster than I do most of my cycling training rides, which cover similar distances.
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Old June 6th, 2016, 09:32 AM   #10
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Despite the fatigue, I felt that over the minutes I was improving already. I think I picked up speed till 10 km/h or something. At that pace, the roughness of the asphalt already creates uncomfortable vibrations. Not really a problem, but is this a common annoyance? It must feel a lot worse at 35 km/h.
There are two possible causes of this (they're kind of related). The asphalt could be too rough or your wheels could be too hard. Which wheels are you using?
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Old June 7th, 2016, 04:32 PM   #11
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It says the stock wheels are Powerslide Infinity 100, 85A. As this is a speed-skating skate (at least I think it is), it probably sacrifices comform for speed, hence hard wheels?

Asphalt types differ. Would you deliberately find out roads with smooth surfaces? A a cyclist I can feel some resistance on rougher roads and I avoid cobbles. So I guess that's a think with inline skating too.


It's just something I noticed. I guess it is also less of an issue when you aren't just rolling out but making strokes.
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Old June 8th, 2016, 04:23 PM   #12
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It says the stock wheels are Powerslide Infinity 100, 85A. As this is a speed-skating skate (at least I think it is), it probably sacrifices comform for speed, hence hard wheels?

Asphalt types differ. Would you deliberately find out roads with smooth surfaces? A a cyclist I can feel some resistance on rougher roads and I avoid cobbles. So I guess that's a think with inline skating too.


It's just something I noticed. I guess it is also less of an issue when you aren't just rolling out but making strokes.
Speed skates generally have less shock absorption than your typical urban inline rec skate. You could go down in wheel durometer if you need/want a softer ride. The effect of poor surface is more pronounced with skates than it is with a bicycle, as you seem to have found out
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Old June 8th, 2016, 05:16 PM   #13
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I think the R2 is marketed as an entry speed skate. It's mostly a speed skate, but there are a few concessions toward rec skaters. Those wheels are a good example of that. 85A is not on the hard side for an outdoor speed wheel, and those hubs look like they would flex a bit more than more common speed designs.

You have a few options:
-Get softer wheels. It's fine while you learn to skate, since you'll burn up a few sets of wheels before you are truly competitive anyway. Realize that many of the really soft wheels are made for other purposes, which means they have a different profile which skates differently. There are some 83-84A speed wheels around.
-Find a wheel with less hub and more urethane. Not a great solution for a few different reasons, but I'll throw it out here.
-Find smoother surfaces. Also try going different speeds. If you're going very slowly you feel every bump. As you pick up speed some of them might blend together. It doesn't work for every surface, but you might as well try it.
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Old June 9th, 2016, 07:03 PM   #14
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I don't think the vibrations are a true problem. My lack of skill is. But it is just something I noticed and found surprising, as having only vague memories of ice skating, which is much smoother.

Maybe what I experience is very minor. But the idea about getting cheaper softer wheels, you say even these wheels aren't really competitive, but would it still be a waste of expensive wheels to use them to learn skating from zero?

I don't know how quickly they wear down and I don't know much skating I will be doing this summer. So is it recommended to buy cheaper throw-away wheels, ignoring the comfort argument? I am going like 10 km/h, that's not fast.

Doubt I'll be competitive, but it would be nice to get at some skill level at some point where skating is a workout rather than a technical challenge.
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Old June 9th, 2016, 11:24 PM   #15
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If the vibration isn't a problem go ahead and skate on those wheels until they wear out. If the vibration causes serious pain or makes your feet go numb you should reevaluate at that point. New wheels will be a very minor improvement at best for your current skill level.
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Old June 12th, 2016, 04:32 PM   #16
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I did quite a few km, slowly of course. I do notice that when the surface is smooth, it seems to reinforce more proper technique, longer strokes.
No issue of going numb because of vibrations.

But, I get blisters. Especially at the top of the boot. My ankle isn't 100% straight at the same angle all the time. It moves sideways a bit, so my skin rubs against the top of the boot. For both feet. I have 3 big blisters.

I also notice that the sounds the wheels on the left skate make is different from that of the right skate. I wondered if maybe I am doing something different technique-wise, but I can't really tell. Maybe the wheels just sound different?
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Old June 13th, 2016, 07:53 AM   #17
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I did quite a few km, slowly of course. I do notice that when the surface is smooth, it seems to reinforce more proper technique, longer strokes.
No issue of going numb because of vibrations.

But, I get blisters. Especially at the top of the boot. My ankle isn't 100% straight at the same angle all the time. It moves sideways a bit, so my skin rubs against the top of the boot. For both feet. I have 3 big blisters.

I also notice that the sounds the wheels on the left skate make is different from that of the right skate. I wondered if maybe I am doing something different technique-wise, but I can't really tell. Maybe the wheels just sound different?
Riding on a smooth surface allows you to perfect your form unhindered, but rough surfaces help with balance and versatility and can offer a nice challenge. It helps you become a better overall skater even though you may have to modify your form in order to achieve decent results.

Usually when a wheel sounds different, it's due to a dirty or impeded bearing. Check to make sure your wheels all spin freely. If any wheel spins less than the others, check if the axle is too tight and that you're using the proper spacers. You can tell because you'll feel a lot of resistance if this is happening. If it makes a weird noise like a spool spinning up, the bearing needs to be cleaned or replaced.

As for the blisters, don't skate until they've healed completely or you can adequately protect them with a bandaid, moleskin or other. It could be that you have a boot that is a bit too big or you may need to change to a thicker sock. Your foot really shouldn't be sliding around.
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Old June 15th, 2016, 05:55 PM   #18
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But, I get blisters. Especially at the top of the boot. My ankle isn't 100% straight at the same angle all the time. It moves sideways a bit, so my skin rubs against the top of the boot. For both feet. I have 3 big blisters.
What socks are you using? It might help if you use socks that come above the top of the boot a bit.
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Old June 17th, 2016, 10:17 PM   #19
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Normal socks. Cotton.

When I put them on for the first time I was worried they would be too small rather than too big. It is still hard to get in, though they don't really feel that tight. For sure tighter than some of my running shoes that don't give blisters.

Isn't it normal to skate in boots without any socks at all?


For a second I wondered if these skate boots might require heat molding, something I am not familiar with. But it seems they don't/can't be heat molded.
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Old June 18th, 2016, 02:13 AM   #20
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Normal socks. Cotton.

When I put them on for the first time I was worried they would be too small rather than too big. It is still hard to get in, though they don't really feel that tight. For sure tighter than some of my running shoes that don't give blisters.

Isn't it normal to skate in boots without any socks at all?


For a second I wondered if these skate boots might require heat molding, something I am not familiar with. But it seems they don't/can't be heat molded.
As long as the sock fits super snug on your foot it really wont matter much what type ya wear. I wear cotton crew socks (padded) for everything. Except my snowboarding socks, they are wool for insulating,

I got a size 11.5 to 12 foot, so the normal 6 to 12 range works great

Most people wear socks in their skates. If you dont, expect funky skates quickly as dead skin cells rub off into your boots instead of inti the socks.

Socks that are too thin offer no filter between your feet and the boot either. A few of my friends use ridiculously thin "no show" socks for their shoes, and often skate in them too. Guess whos skates stink?

If the fit is too tight, wear thinner socks, if it starts to loosen up get thicker ones. Also a sock can modify fitment, say if you have a slightly smaller foot, a padded sock and a normal sock could even things out. I do this for my left foot, if I have time before going to the rink, ill get one of my thicker socks for it and a thinner one for my right.

I choose cotton because my feet cant breathe in my boots, cotton absorbs moosture, and keeps it out of my boots, the thicker padded type I use keeps dead skin buildup to a non existant level. Also cotton has a great grip interface with my feet to boots, so my foot doesnt feel like its constantly sliding around like many "high end athletic socks" that are supposed to be better.

A lot of people on here hate on cotton. Not this guy.

Use what ever works best for you though.
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