Hello Hello. Stephen @whataspoon here and today I am going to give you some tricks that you could try on inline skates that are a nice introduction before trying harder skills.
So much can be done on Inline Skates and boundaries are being pushed by professionals all over the globe to push the sport further. It is possible to jump, spin, slide and much more. Today we will have a look at some moves that can get you started in this world of tricks on inline skates. When you see what can be done it may intimidate you but remember that the person you can see upside down in the air with wheels on their feet started just like you on flat ground.
Before you start
Learning tricks on skates definitely makes it more likely that you could get injured. The chance of you falling over increases dramatically when you are trying to perform specific moves rather than just simply skating along. Even I fall over pretty much every time I skate when attempting tricks that I have been doing for years so always be prepared for this.
What Safety gear should I wear whilst learning tricks on Inline skates?
- Wrist Guards
- Elbow Pads
- Knee Pads
- (For learning Aggressive grinds) Shin Pads
Get the Right Skates
Each discipline of skating will be easier if you have the correct type of skates. It’s not impossible to do Slalom with aggressive skates on but it is certainly harder.. I will explain why below.
What skates should I buy for Slalom Skating?
For slalom it is a great idea to get a set of skates which have a rockered or rockerable frame. This means that the front and rear wheel will be raised slightly to allow the skate to turn much easier as there will be less wheels touching the ground. Some frames come rocketed as standard but many beginner skates come with rockerable axles on the frames so you can choose between flat or rockered.
What skates should I buy for Aggressive Skating?
If you are wanting to get into aggressive skating then it’s very likely that you will be wanting to try some grinds. This means you will need some grinding space which is included on aggressive skates. This comes in the form of soul plates and H blocks. If you look at most aggressive skates you will see that they have plastic sticking out of the side of the skates to make it possible to lock onto objects like rails and ledges. A H block is the plastic space you may see between the middle wheels on the frame of most aggressive skates to allow you to slide on rails and ledges under your feet.
What Skates should I buy for Sliding on Inline Skates?
For slides you want support and harder wheels. You need to put a lot of pressure on your ankles to get the angle needed to perform some slides so it’s a good idea to have a plastic or carbon shell skate that has a nice high cuff for support. Harder wheels will allow you to slide easier and will last slightly longer than softer wheels. The more you slide the more the ground will eat your wheels.
What Skates should I buy for Urban Freeskating?
Urban Freeskating requires a setup that can be universal. After all, Freeskating is literally you going out and moving freely through the streets jumping on and off of objects and picking up speed on the streets. Again something with support like a Carbon or Plastic boot will allow you to have the responsiveness needed to perform tricks on the streets. Soft boots allow your foot to move around which will make you more tired easier and they will also allow for more movement above your wheels which will in turn be less efficient. I prefer to use 90mm wheels for Freeskating to allow me to be close enough to the ground to land jumps yet still have enough speed when travelling from A to B.
What Skates should I buy for Wizard Skating?
Wizard skating again requires a nice stiff supportive boot made of plastic or carbon. The carbon skates will make the wizard manoeuvres much easier as you will have more control having your foot locked in really tightly. It would also be easier with a rockered frame like the Wizard or Endless Frames to allow your wheels to turn easier. It can even be easier with 5 wheel frames as the middle wheel is lowered which allows you to pivot on the skates easier.
What Inline Skates should I buy for learning Spins?
Spins will again require support so I’d suggest something Plastic or Carbon with a high or adjustable cuff. Rockered frames will come in handy to allow less friction whilst turning by having some of the wheels off the ground.
Before learning how to do tricks on Inline Skates it would be a good idea to master some basic skills first. For example when I am teaching my students in a beginner class we would learn how to stop, how to turn, how to jump and how to go backwards. After you are comfortable and consistent with these skills you will have the keys to unlock these beginner tricks I will share with you.
What Beginner Tricks can I try on Inline Skates?
A Heel/Toe Roll is where you balance on one rear wheel and one front wheel. For this you will want to scissor your feet so that your body weight is in the middle. The front foot will be on the rear wheel and the foot behind you will be on the front wheel. To start you could try and pop your front up first before raising the back foot or vice versa until you can finally manage to pop both feet up at the same time. A little bit of speed can help with this. You don’t want to go too fast but if you are travelling slowly then you will find it hard to balance.
Challenge: try and hold the trick for 5 Meters without placing your wheels down.
For an introduction to spinning on skates you could try the Heel/Toe Spin. You will need to be able to do the Heel/Toe Roll above before attempting this trick. From standing still with your skates shoulder width apart try and use your arms and shoulders to turn 180 and as you spin rise onto one heel and one toe. If you are spinning to the left then you will use your right heel and left toe. If you are spinning to the right then you will be on your left heel and right toe. Once you are comfortable with the 180 spin. Try to extend it longer to 270 and then 360. Afterwards you can try to hold your arms like you are leaning on the side of a swimming pool whilst spinning to hold the balance for as long as you can.
Challenge: try to spin for 1080 degrees. (3 full turns)
A 180 jump requires you to jump and spin your body to land backwards. There are a few different ways to do a 180 but today we will talk about the most basic. I call this one the transition 180. This is where the upper body will stay in the same position but the legs will turn to land backwards. This allows you to look where you are going the whole time. Start with having both arms horizontal at length, one in front pointing the direction you are rolling and one behind. Simply jump and twist your legs so your skates are now going backwards but keep your head and upper body in the same position. The key is not to jump forwards and to simply jump upwards. After you have mastered this you could try to go from backwards to forwards in the exact same manner.
Challenge: Try to 180 backwards and then return to forwards again with a second 180.
The first slide I would encourage you to try would be the Powerslide. To learn, start skating backwards and then place your stronger foot behind you at a right angle (like a T Stop) but on a large inside edge. The more angle you put on the inside edge the better and easier you will slide. Keep both knees bent during this slide to allow you to push your foot through the slide. Once comfortable with this you will then want to start trying it from forwards. You can practice the turn on some grass before trying on concrete. The turn requires you to spin 180 on your toe and then place the angles foot down in the Powerslide position. It is a good idea to practice this slide on slippery ground or on a slight downhill to help understand the slide before taking it to flat rough ground. You MUST use the inside edge to allow for a slide and not an instant stop which can cause you to stumble over your skate.
Challenge: Try to Powerslide for as long as 1 meter.
A Soul grind would be, in my opinion, the easiest grind to get you started with aggressive skate tricks. Start by standing still next to a ledge. You could try with a rail but a ledge will make it much easier at first. Stand at a 90 degree angle next to the ledge and simply lift your stronger foot up and place the soul plate on the edge of the ledge. If you are using your right foot then the ledge should be on your right side. You almost want to slam your skate onto the ledge. Don’t be shy. Really kick it into place instead of lightly placing it. This tip was really helpful for me when I was first trying grinds. At the moment we are simply trying to train the muscles to remember where to put your foot when you slam it onto the ledge. Once you start to get successful at doing it most times try skating alongside the ledge and lifting one leg to slam into place as you are rolling. Get used to sliding that skate along the ledge and keep it locked in as long as you can or for the entire length of the ledge. Next is to put your weight onto the ledge after you have it in place. Depending on the ledge you may need some wax to lubricate it so you can slide and not stick. Once you get that foot sliding along, lift your other foot off the ground and onto the H block at 90 degrees and infant of your soul plate foot so you are grinding on two skates. The idea is to step on to the grind a few times to get used to the feeling before we come along and jump straight onto the grind. It is definitely easier to grind on two feet rather than one which is why I am suggesting. Soul grind rather than a Makio which would be simply sliding on the soul plate foot.
Challenge: Try to land backwards after your Soul Grind.
The first Slalom trick you could try would be the Crisscross Manoeuvre. Set up your cones slightly further apart than a standard slalom line, which would be 80cm, just to make learning a little easier. It would be good if you can already work your way in and out of the cones without lifting your feet. For the Crisscross we need to keep the speed down to a minimum as with too much speed it will be extremely difficult to learn. Start by going over the first cone with each skate either side and then turn them towards each other forcing your stronger foot in front so they cross over before you get to the next cone. We now need to pass over the next cone with your legs crossed. Keep your body straight above the cone with each leg symmetrically either side so you can pass without hitting the ones and to help you continue forward in a straight line. Once you are past the cones you can return your feet to normal before starting again for the next cones. Now when you are comfortable try placing the cones closer together.
Challenge: Try to perform the move by putting your weaker foot in front when you cross.
Forwards Stair Ride
Don’t panic! This is not as hard as it sounds. We will also only start with 2 small steps if possible. My students usually pick this up quite quickly. Practice dropping off from a curb by placing your weight on your back wheels and whilst in the scissor position with your stronger foot out in front. (We are always leaning forward even when weight is on the back wheels) Approach the curb with a little speed and simply drop off landing with all your wheels flat on the ground. Once comfortable with this you can move onto the 2 steps. Simply apply the exact same tactic and watch as your back wheel bounces over the step below and then you should land on all your wheels flat again on the ground. You don’t need to go really fast but a little speed will make it easier than going slower. The slower you are going, the more effort you will need to push down on your heels with your weight. (Remember we are still leaning forwards). This technique is used no matter how many stairs you are rolling down. Scissor, weight on heels, lean forward and a little bit of speed is all that is needed. When performing this on 2 steps you don’t really need to consider the size of the steps too much but when trying 3 or more you may need to look at how high or long the steps are before attempting them. Longer steps are easier whereas higher steps will be more difficult.
Challenge: Try to do it with your weaker foot in front once you are comfortable with your stronger foot.
A nice introductory trick to get you into Wizard skating would be a Gazelle. A Gazelle is where you skate from backwards and turn to forwards by pivoting on your wheels and not lifting them off the ground. You know when you were in school and you had to draw a seagull in the distance on a picture. You would draw a long M shape. Imagine or actually draw that shape on the ground. Approaching it from the side your wheels should follow the line. It will be easier to do this trick by turning the way that you look whilst skating backwards. You will start backwards and turn your upper body round to the front. As you do this you want to follow the line backwards to the head of the “seagull” and then go forwards along the opposite wing, using the head as the point where you change direction. Twisting your hips at the correct time is key for this trick.
Challenge: Trying learning this one switch looking over the other shoulder and turning the other direction.
So there are some tricks you can try to see what discipline is right for you. All of the tricks above (apart from the Soul Grind) can be attempted in any inline skates but like I stated above, it would be much easier with the correct skates for each discipline.