Just like with anything else in life, there are always two ways to do things. You can either do things the easy way or you can do things the hard way. Now, this might seem pretty straightforward. In fact, it might seem simple that it should not be stated but unfortunately, a lot of people overlook the obvious.
For some reason or other, they insist on doing things the hard way. In many cases, they insist on doing things in the worst way possible. It follows that the easy way is also the smart way. By the same token, the hard way is usually the dumb way of doing things. Keep these distinctions in mind because they should be fairly apparent to you when you start looking through the different top mistakes committed by beginning inline skaters.
Make no mistake about it, rollerblading is a lot of fun. Inline skates enable you to enjoy the great outdoors, exercise, meet new people, spend some time by yourself, and otherwise manage your stress. It’s a great stress reliever experience but if you commit the mistakes below, you end up settling for a fraction of the great benefits you get from this amazing sport. In fact, if you commit too many of the mistakes below, you actually cheat yourself of many of the benefits of inline skating.
Choosing Skates That Are the Wrong Size
It’s easy to think that once you’ve seen one pair of inline skate boots, you pretty much have seen them all. After all, how different could they be from each other? Provider that you’re only looking at skates that are for leisure use, it’s really hard to get excited about differences.
It’s easy to believe that there’s really not that much difference because they look pretty straightforward. Well, that’s absolutely wrong. You have to pay attention to the size. If you are going to be rollerblading for the first time, you need to be as comfortable as possible so you can gain your balance as quickly as possible.
The name of the game when you’re new to inline skating is to gain your balance so you can then figure out the rest of skating. It’s very hard to learn if your skates are either too big or too small. If you’re wearing inline skates that are too big, you’re going to wobble. It’s going to be much harder for you to find your center of gravity. It’s going to be very difficult for you to right yourself and it takes a longer time to get the hang of staying up or crouching down and speeding up.
I’m not saying that you won’t learn at all. What I’m saying is that you’re making things unnecessarily hard on yourself. The same applies when you use rollerblades that are too small. When you’re wearing skate boots that are too tight, it’s hard to get balance going because it’s too firm and too snug and your center of gravity seems pretty heavy. It’s hard for you to get up. You’re not wobbly, it’s just hard for you to stand up in the right posture so you can start pumping away and achieve speed.
If I were to choose between skates that are too tight too loose, I would go with skates that are too tight but again, since your comfort plays a big role and how quickly you pick up rollerblading, it’s always a good idea to wear skates that are just the right size.
Skating Downhill During Your First Tries
When you’re first starting out as an inline skater, do yourself a very big favor, avoid hills, seriously. Avoid anything that is similar to hills or avoid hills at all. By things that are similar to hills, I’m of course talking about inclines. We’re talking about flat surfaces that have a sloping part. As long that is has some sort of angle, it has an incline, and it’s kind of like a hill.
Avoid those types of surfaces as much as possible. Practice your first few times trying your hand at rollerblading at completely flat surfaces, this is why I would suggest that you practice in a dedicated indoor skate rink. There are less distractions.
While inline skates do a better job in overcoming road surface flaws, cracks, and other defects, they can still throw you off. Every time you feel some sort of bump under your feet, your attention is thrown off. Your attention is not focused like a laser on your center of gravity and your speed.
The more distracted you are, the higher the likelihood that you may be thrown off and this can lead to you falling. Do yourself a big favor. The first two, three, or even five times you practice rollerblading, stick to really flat surfaces. As much as possible, make sure these surfaces are completely clean so you don’t have any distractions on the surface.
Once you get the hang of finding your balance and achieving a decent level of speed, start experimenting with inclines. Don’t jump in with both feet and tackle a hill. That would be a disaster. That is a sure recipe for you falling downhill and if you don’t have the right protective gear, you might get caught up and scraped pretty bad.
Even if you did have a protective gear, you can still get banged up quite a bit so do yourself a big favor, try to leave the hills alone for a while. You’ll get to them eventually. Focus on the small stuff first. Focus on fine tuning your skating form and getting up to speed. Eventually, you should start scaling up to inclines, then small hills, and increase difficulty accordingly.
Forgetting Your Gear
One of the most common mistakes beginner rollerbladers commit is when they forget their gear. There’s a reason why wrist pads, knee guards, shin guards, and helmets are required equipment for inline skating.
If you’re just staring out, your center of gravity is going to be very delicate indeed. You only need to hit a few flaws on the ground or you only need to shift your weight the wrong way for you to start falling. The problem here is when you have reached a certain level of speed, the moment you start to fall, it’s going to be very hard to control your movement. You’re off your center of gravity and pretty much everything else pushes you forward.
Also, there’s a chance that you might fall backwards which can really damage the back of your head so it’s really important to make sure that you have the proper protection. You have to have the right knee guards, shin guards, and as much padding as possible, helmet is also non-negotiable. Consider yourself warned. It’s really a bad idea to get out there and skate without proper protection.
The Wrong Skates
There are many different types of rollerblades. Some rollerblades are actually made for racing. Now, if you’re just trying your hand for the first few times with rollerblading, it’s probably a bad idea to use skating equipment. Now, if you have no other choice because your buddy lent you racing skates, then keep the racing purpose in mind.
Try not to go too fast. Focus on more on maintaining your balance and focus on the basics. Leave speed out of the equation, at least for the first few times you hit the pavement.