World renowned speed coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating every week in his "Ask Bill Begg!" column on the Inline Planet.
Should I Get a Slideboard?
Hi, Bill: We can't do a lot of inline skating here during our cold and snowy winters. So I’m thinking of buying a slideboard. I've heard they are a good way to keep in skating shape during the off-season. What do you think? - Tõnis from Estonia
Hi, Tõnis from Estonia: I’ve got to admit I’ve never been a big fan of slideboards. But that may have more to do with geography than anything else. I’ve done most of my coaching in Australia, New Zealand, Colombia and, in the summer, Europe.
In those climates, we could almost always train outside. So we didn’t need slideboards. My only real experience with slideboards came in the early days of inline skating when we were experimenting with them.
Slideboards are a popular tool for skaters in cold climates, like yours. But I do have one concern about them: the potential for injuring your ankles by repeatedly slamming them into the side rails of the slideboard at the end of each stroke.
So don’t be too aggressive on a slideboard. Focus on technique rather than foot speed or aerobics. Don’t rush your strokes or stab at the board with your feet. Maintain good form and a low skating position. And don't slam your feet into the sides of the slideboard.
Take a look at Joey Mantia's slideboard video (above). If you mimick Joey's movements, you can't go wrong.
And based on your height, I would suggest a 10-foot slideboard.
That would give you room for a nice long stroke, similar to what you get from the superior roll of today’s big wheel skates.
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