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Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Congratulations and welcome to the world of roller skating! You’re about to take a journey of both hardship and triumph. Learning to roller skate is not easy, but the commitment is well worth the reward. You may be taking a skate class as a new hobby to challenge yourself, get more fit, or escape from the seriousness of adulting. No matter the reason, there are some things BEFORE you walk into a skate class to prevent wasting your time or money.

Purchase a Good Roller Skate

Step & Skate only specializes in teaching roller dance (rhythm & jam skating). Other types of roller skating, such as roller blading (inline), figure skating, and roller derby, currently fall outside of the instructional parameters of Step & Skate. For our classes, an artistic or rhythm skate boot is recommended. These are referred to as “quad skates” or “quads” (two wheels in the front and two in the back). As a beginner, you will need a toe stop on the front of your boot. The toe stops will need to be switched out for jam plugs in the intermediate classes.

First thing you want to do is to invest in a good brand skate boot. As a beginner that plans to take roller skating seriously, your best boots are in the $100-$200 range (high top preferred); anything more expensive will be unnecessary for the stage you are at. Start simple. You don’t need any additional wheels or skate accessories until you figure out what type of skater you want to be. Here are some good brands to consider (tiered by opinion):

Wear Your Skates before Attending Class

One of the worst things you can do is come to a class with a pair of skates fresh out of the box! In order to learn in the most comfortable way, you will need to break your skates in. A skate boot requires 10 to 12 hours of wear to be fully broken in. This allows time for the boot to form to your foot and helps your ankle to get accustomed to bearing the weight of an additional 5-10 lbs. Breaking them in doesn’t require you to leave your home and your hours of wear don’t have to be consecutive. Don’t be too ambitious. Breaking them in could look like walking around your carpeted living room while your favorite TV show is on. By the time you read this article, it may be too late to get all of your hours in. If this is the case, just do what you can! Roller skating has a fairly large learning curve, so it is best to get a head start!

Work on Your Balance

In order to progress quickly through your roller skating journey, good balance is key! In the roller skate world, balance is the ability to stand/skate on one foot at a time. If you work on balance at home before taking a class, you’ll have a much easier time learning new moves. Try this drill on foot first to evaluate your ability. Challenge yourself to hold 5-10 seconds per leg. If holding for this long is an issue, learning new skate techniques will be more difficult for you than most, but not impossible! Once you are proficient at balance on foot, you can try balancing on roller skates. Be sure to have good posture (straight spine, bent knees, feet hip-width apart). Start with your arms straight out away from each other. Shift your weight to your right hip, lift the left knee, and bring the left foot close to your right leg). Hold for 3 seconds. DO NOT lock your knees! Try the same technique on the opposite side. Build your hold up to 5 seconds, then 10 seconds if possible.

Do Some Physical Activity

Roller skating requires the use of muscles that you may have never used before. It is a recreational activity that can be fun, but is a full-body workout. If you don’t engage in physical activity on a regular basis, you will find yourself tiring out quickly. To build the stamina for roller skating in a 2-3 hour long class, we recommend walking 2-3 times per week. Squats would also be beneficial as your knees are bent majority of the time while roller skating.

Protect Yourself

If you deem it necessary, you are more than welcome to equip yourself with protection while roller skating. Protection looks like a combination of either elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and/or a helmet. Most students do not wear the padding, but do not let this deter you from doing such! You know yourself better than anyone else. Happy skating!

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