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Inline secrets from the world's top skaters and coaches

This week's tip:

The Seven Deadly Sins of Inline Skaters

By Robert Burnson

skater sins

Skater sins

Inline skating looks so easy. You just put one foot in front of the other and roll. Almost like walking.

Maybe so. But remember, you weren't born walking. You had to learn how and in the process you spent a considerable amount of time on your backside.

Same thing goes for skating. It's not that hard to learn, but you're likely to bruise your backside and other sensitive parts (like your ego) if you don't avoid these common rookie mistakes:

1) Wearing Skates That Don't Fit

Maybe you don't have your own skates yet. So you are going to use Uncle Bob's size-12 skates even though you are a size 8?

Don't! You'll be swimming in those monsters. You're ankles will be wobbly, which will make it hard to stand — let alone skate. You'll be prone to fall and develop blisters from your feet rubbing against the inside of the boots.

Do yourself a favor: Start with skates that fit!

More: How to Buy Inline Skates, How to Buy Inline Skates Online

2) Going Down Hill Without a Prayer

Going down hill is such fun! All you do is point your skates in the right direction and roll. Whee! ... Yikes! ... Kaboom!

Lots of beautiful skating relationships have been destroyed by hills. New skaters must practice hill abstinence. Just say no — to hills!

More: Avoiding Downhill Disaster

3) Skating Without Protection

Would you have a serious conversation with a philosophy major without reading Foucault? Not without a shotgun!

Similarly, don't even think about hitting the pavement without your protective gear. It will save you lots of skin and might even save your life.

More: Wear Protection or Mr. Bumpy Will Chomp You!

4) Too Fast Skates

Big wheels and low-cut boots sure are sexy. But are you out of your mind!

More: How to Buy Inline Skates

5) Marathoning on Your First Day

Yeah, yeah. You're a champion. Right. I've heard the song.

But don't expect to roll 26.2 miles on your first day on inline skates ... unless of course, you like spending lots of time with Mr. Pain!

More: Outdoor Racing: The Mission Manual

6) Being a Trail Bozo

It's not always apparent, but there are rules of the road even on a bike trail. Ignore the rules and you are likely to get flattened — or turn an innocent Dachshund into a bratwurst.

Know the rules before you hit the trail!

More: Skating Safely on Bike and Multi-use Trails

7) Becoming an Unstoppable Object

You sure look hot standing there in your pretty new skates. But once you start rolling, you'll be in trouble if you don't know how to stop and control your speed.

Cars, walkers and cyclists will sometimes cut you off. Dogs will lunge at you. Invisible downhills will pull you out of your comfort zone.

To be a safe inline skater, you must learn how to brake, swerve and otherwise avoid collisions.

That SUV that just violated the crosswalk ahead of you may be unable to stop in time.

More: The Heel Stop, How to Slalom to a Stop

(Inline Planet classic)


Robert Burnson is a lifelong skater and the editor and publisher of the Inline Planet.



Related reading:

Skate Tip of the Week Archive
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing
Beginners Guide to Inline Skating




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