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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 March 4th, 2016, 11:51 PM   #1
Gym Kirk
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Default Controlling Speed

Well after a 20 year break from inline skating I recently purchased a nice pair of Seba skates. They came without a heel brake. I remember never needing one and descending hills without difficulty. Either I've totally lost my skills or my memory is bad... Probably both. It is much more difficult than I remember it. I'm taking it slow and am staying away from hills until I'm confident in my abilities, but I want to start practicing stopping methods. I'm working on the T Stop which isn't too difficult, but I need something better for an "oh no!" situation. What stops should I work on and what order of progression? Thanks!
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Old March 7th, 2016, 05:42 PM   #2
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Spin stops/transitions, or slalom carving. Which leads to hockey stops as progression goes.
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Old March 8th, 2016, 02:43 AM   #3
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Ditto. You could start by making sharper and sharper turns, then turn that into a spin and/or hockey stop. In the mean time the T stop will work for slowing you down or slowly stopping, but be careful not to overdo it. Knees donít bend sideways, so if you press down too hard during a T stop Ė like trying to use it for a panic stop - you can strain the ligaments and muscles around the knee. I know because I've done it. It is painful and slow to heal.
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Old March 8th, 2016, 09:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gym Kirk View Post
What stops should I work on and what order of progression? Thanks!
First, if I were skating hills regularly, I would use a heel brake. I have only owned one pair of skates in my 58 years with a heel brake. In the 70s-80s I had toe stops on my outdoor quads. A whole box of replacement heel brake pads cost less than one new set of wheels. So financially speaking, the skilled use of a heel brake can save a ton of $$$.

Ok, with that out of the way, I skate fast and love playing in auto traffic downtown and slaloming meat pylons wherever I may find them. I also skate over the occasional overpass all without heel brakes. I really only use three methods of braking, but first...keep your speed in CONTROL for the conditions and concentrating on the SPACES between objects without getting fixated on the objects so you can dodge trouble without stopping. Driver's Education calls that "Leave Yourself an Out".

1. I drag a skate (T-stop) to keep speed under control or to stop from a walking speed.

2. I slalom to go from high speed to low speed, assuming I have the space to do so. Picture a downhill skier leading with his uphill foot on each slalom. If I need to stop a little faster I dig my wheels into the street surface at the apex of each slalom - sort of an abbreviated hockey stop over and over. This is also my preferred method for controlling speed downhill (down-bridge) just like any other skier. If I am skating on a narrow walkway down a bridge I just lightly T-stop all the way down and say a silent prayer for my wheels.

3. Emergency stop is a hockey stop. I am an expert at this right or left handed. I can hockey stop causing both skates to break free with the surface, or just one skate if I can get away with it.

4. If I were skating hills regularly, I would wear the baddest-azzed knee pads made and slide gloves (designed for downhill longboarders). If all else fails, go to your knees/skates/hands all at once depending on if you are in a curve or a straightaway. When I use my sail at the lake path, I can attain speeds of 25+mph easily. My knee pads have shin guards all the way down to my shoes. The shin guards keep the knee pads from sliding down off my knees in a controlled slide stop on my knees.

Go to YouTube or Vimeo and search for "downhill inline skating". Watch how they do it. The Intertron knows all!

Hope this helps.
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Old March 13th, 2016, 06:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. For $15 the heel brake is a no brainer. Hopefully it's easy to take on and off because I would only use it occasionally. Just for those times when I know my stopping skills aren't sufficient for the the route I take.

As for me the padding, I was going to get Protec Street pads. From what I can tell they have lots of padding and stay in place. It gets super hot in the summer here, so I'm gonna opt for something without shin protection. Do the longboard gloves also have a wrist guards too? That is a great idea that I never considered. Thanks again. Any thoughts on Protec as a brand?
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Old March 13th, 2016, 10:24 PM   #6
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As for me the padding, I was going to get Protec Street pads. From what I can tell they have lots of padding and stay in place. It gets super hot in the summer here, so I'm gonna opt for something without shin protection. Do the longboard gloves also have a wrist guards too? That is a great idea that I never considered. Thanks again. Any thoughts on Protec as a brand?
Protec products are right in the middle for cost, protection, long lasting protection. I have ProTec wrist guards and a helmet, but I prefer my Bell Super helmet for all skating. Yes, some slide gloves do add wrist protection but mostly longboarders are not using the gloves for falling protection - they help them to NOT fall in the first place.

Yeah, the heat thing is an issue down here in New Orleans. Brutal. I can't help you there. Plus the padding tan lines can be brutal too (so my wife tells me anyway) which is important to more people than you might think. Actually I find that most females are concerned with tan lines and even a few guy friends of mine dress to avoid tan lines. And it's cooler (as in not so freaking hot) to minimize padding in the hot months. I prefer to minimize broken bones and road rash.
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Old March 13th, 2016, 10:48 PM   #7
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Hey Joey is there a particular brand/product you recommend?
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Old March 17th, 2016, 09:10 PM   #8
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Hey Joey is there a particular brand/product you recommend?
Sorry for the delay. Thought I responded by phone.

I just use ProTec wrist guards and whatever full-fingered bike gloves and helmet I happen to be using for cycling at the time. I also have a ProTec multiple impact helmet but it is too hot most of the year. My current helmet is a Bell Super. I never wear knee or elbow pads. I wouldn't skate outdoors for one minute without my wrist guards. Helmet...eh. I'm going to wear a hat anyway, might as well be a hat that stays put and MIGHT protect me a little in a bad fall.
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Old March 29th, 2016, 04:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gym Kirk View Post
For $15 the heel brake is a no brainer. Hopefully it's easy to take on and off because I would only use it occasionally. Just for those times when I know my stopping skills aren't sufficient for the the route I take.
You mentioned Seba - I'm just getting a pair of Sebas myself, and I'm getting a brake, as much for economic reasons (wheel$$$) as anything else. Which Sebas did you get? If you've got skates that use the one piece axles, the brake on/off is the easiest I've seen. You replace 2 axles with new ones that have holes for screws in both sides, one time only. From that point on, you just remove/replace the screws to take off/put on the brake. The new axles themselves, and the wheels, stay in place. Can't imagine it takes more than 20 seconds to do. So easy I'd potentially even consider doing it during a session.

And I know I might get flamed for this, but I really don't agree with people who say you can't stop as fast with a brake as with a T-stop. If you're good at it and can lay a ton of weight into it, which I can, you can stop pretty fast. Faster than almost any method I can think of that doesn't take up more lateral space. I also have no problem doing crossovers with a brake attached, and I have big feet. The only real reasons I can see for brake removal are fashion, stairs, and slalom/freestyle, which I acknowledge are all perfectly reasonable reasons. I mean, people drive cars all the time that aren't as safe, but look really cool, right? I just wouldn't kid myself and say that actually, it's safer.
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Old March 29th, 2016, 07:40 PM   #10
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T stops are horribly slow, and really only good for minor braking.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 05:00 AM   #11
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...I really don't agree with people who say you can't stop as fast with a brake as with a T-stop.
I can stop faster with a heel brake than a T-Stop. I only use T-Stops to reduce speed in tight quarters (like crowded sidewalks) so I can hold a straight line. Heel brakes allow for holding a straight line while braking as well. My hockey stop is faster than either a heel brake or a T-Stop. Often I will also use a T-Stop to come to a complete stop from a very low speed.

Quote:
I also have no problem doing crossovers with a brake attached, and I have big feet.
Speed skaters do crossovers easily. Should be roughly the same experience with a brake attached.

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The only real reasons I can see for brake removal are fashion, stairs, and slalom/freestyle, which I acknowledge are all perfectly reasonable reasons....
If you skate through crowds a lot, a heel brake is just one more danged thing to trip you up. Also, at slow speeds, your heel brake can catch the sidewalk on small drops (like uneven concrete at the expansion joints). As your back wheel drops off the edge, the heel brake can hit and throw you down. This is a bigger problem if you have heel brakes on both skates.

My speed skates and hockey skates did not have heel brakes and I used those exclusively for 10 years. Then I bought some recreational skates with heel brakes and used those for 10 more years. Now i have freestyle slalom skates that I use as rec skates and slalom skates - so I am back to no brakes. I am not affected either way other than the increased wear/cost of wheels going brakeless.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 06:37 AM   #12
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I can stop and shed speed 100 times better than a heel brake, also save money by doing so. When your in control of your edging, you greatly reduce the amount of wear your wheels will take for a given stop. Basically you can establish a foothold with your wheels and allow your legs to slow your movement while you are on that established edge. So long as you dont carve hard or slide your wheels, wear is virtually non existant. I can do this at a pretty good clip and come to a complete stop in 1 fell swoop by using both feet. Kind of like a hockey stop without the slide.

Ontop of that, I'm on my edges, which offer an abundance of control beyond what someone using a heel brake has.

I can also use lateral stepping and step to a stop much faster than a heel brake. As long as im not going over 20 mph. Usually 3 steps and im stopped. No slide, almost no wheel wear at all.


IMO.
Heel brakes suck.

I used them when I was a kid, didnt take me long to realize how bad they were at stopping and maintaining stability.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 04:37 PM   #13
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IMO.
Heel brakes suck.

I used them when I was a kid, didnt take me long to realize how bad they were at stopping and maintaining stability.
Heel braking is an advanced skill. Had you stuck with it a while you probably would have gotten used to it after your skating skill had progressed.

I live in a city that is flat as a pancake except for a few overpasses I sometimes skate over. Heel brakes are unnecessary. Same with hockey - rinks are flat. I have skated in some hilly locations and a heel brake was like a gift from heaven. Likely the skates I have used with a heel brake are a lot better quality than your kiddy skates too.

IMO...the whole braking issue for inline skates contributed to the failing of that industry in the USA. If stopping is an advanced maneuver, many people either got hurt or frightened before they ever became skilled enough to stop adequately. I never even tried a heel brake my first 5 years of skating - speed and hockey. But once I got one, I loved it for certain situations.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 09:00 PM   #14
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Hi,

Well Mort hit it fast. Now I wouldn't think the spin stop would slow down your speed on hills, yet Carving similiar to a Ski move is Fantastic. Both legs parallel and you go to the left and then the right.

A guy from Australia posted a video of him doing this years ago. Can't remember his ID any more

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Originally Posted by Gym Kirk View Post
Well after a 20 year break from inline skating I recently purchased a nice pair of Seba skates. They came without a heel brake. I remember never needing one and descending hills without difficulty. Either I've totally lost my skills or my memory is bad... What stops should I work on and what order of progression? Thanks!
Quote:
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What stops should I work on and what order of progression? Thanks!
Spin Stop is my first choice, mainly since I don't want a heel brake.
Besides when I started on my inlines no one told me how to use the brake.
It also helps you stop faster and in more control.
- Someone did post his video on SLForum and it was pretty nice.

Heel Brake after some carving if at speed. You don't want to burn those things up.

Grab something and stop

Fall Down and Slide Stop. Kids actually do this one. Like sliding into first base

T-Stop is kind of my last choice. Since I didn't know how to use my brake in the 1980s I used it yet only lightly and when going slow.

NOW you got many other stops to graduate to
The Hockey Stop
The One Skate Forward Sideways Stop (Ok forgot the name)
^ - Now that is a cool stop and all the kids under 14 love it.

Yours in skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old April 8th, 2016, 07:14 AM   #15
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IMO...the whole braking issue for inline skates contributed to the failing of that industry in the USA. If stopping is an advanced maneuver, many people either got hurt or frightened before they ever became skilled enough to stop adequately.
As a noob having difficulty learning to stop I agree. When crashing into things feels like the safest option it's discouraging. And scary. I suppose I could limit my neighborhood skates to trash pick up day so I'll always have something to hit. It's worked so well in my garage.
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Old April 9th, 2016, 07:23 AM   #16
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Heel braking is an advanced skill. Had you stuck with it a while you probably would have gotten used to it after your skating skill had progressed.

I live in a city that is flat as a pancake except for a few overpasses I sometimes skate over. Heel brakes are unnecessary. Same with hockey - rinks are flat. I have skated in some hilly locations and a heel brake was like a gift from heaven. Likely the skates I have used with a heel brake are a lot better quality than your kiddy skates too.

IMO...the whole braking issue for inline skates contributed to the failing of that industry in the USA. If stopping is an advanced maneuver, many people either got hurt or frightened before they ever became skilled enough to stop adequately. I never even tried a heel brake my first 5 years of skating - speed and hockey. But once I got one, I loved it for certain situations.
I live in the only state entirely composed of mountains, West Virginia. Even on higher end heel brakes its not got a hope in the world against edging for stopping power/potential. The only advantage is that you can stop in a straight line a little faster than a T stop.

People just have to train stopping skills, which is almost never. I do it quite often since I skate at the rink ALOT. Theres always sprinting and stopping going on at everything from low speed to balls out drifiting sideways through groups.

If you really want to see some power stop /hockey stop skills , check out some of the top level slalom skaters doing slides. They're pretty damn good.

Stopping is harder as the hills incline increases, it basically pushes you and it makes stopping unsettling for most. Bauer made some really nice high quality rubber heel brakes long ago for their inlines. Once we started playing street hockey on the regular and turning alot to get the edging skills built up we ditched the brakes.
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Old May 14th, 2016, 08:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gym Kirk View Post
Well after a 20 year break from inline skating I recently purchased a nice pair of Seba skates. They came without a heel brake. I remember never needing one and descending hills without difficulty. Either I've totally lost my skills or my memory is bad... Probably both. It is much more difficult than I remember it. I'm taking it slow and am staying away from hills until I'm confident in my abilities, but I want to start practicing stopping methods. I'm working on the T Stop which isn't too difficult, but I need something better for an "oh no!" situation. What stops should I work on and what order of progression? Thanks!


The basic TWO stop skills for EVERY situation are the T-stop and the A-stop (Or H stop is you prefer). T sop is universal basic and you addressed that you know it, so I will not talk more.

The next one is A-stop, or say H-stop. Basically you push/force BOTH of your feet outward (to left and to right, which look like H letter) giving the deceleration force side way (I am NOT talking about hockey stop, so please do not be confused). If you can push more on the heel wheel making the feet look like toes inward and heels outward, your feet will form like the letter A and it decelerate much more. A stop is the basic and safer stop method used in speed skating, which is the best and most efficient way to stop in any skating situation. Because from A/H stop, you may also shift your weight to change the direction safely to avoid any unexpected situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VtOqBNWzdQ


Name of this stop can be vary. I say it is "A stop" simply because it was the name people used when I learned it. It may be called differently in different region or groups. But it is the same thing.
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