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• Part 2

Mr. Miyagi's School of Speed

By Naomi Grigg
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lesson 2: Rocker 'n' Roll

Welcome back to Mr. Miyagi’s School of Speed: The speed boot camp. ... (What are you, crazy??)

OK, so here's today's drill: Replace the front and back wheels of each skate with wheels that are four or more millimeters smaller in diameter. Put on full protective gear if you’ve never rockered your skates before.

Now skate ... carefully!

Still upright? Good. Perhaps you are a natural-born freestyler?

OK, now try to do your regular skating routine, only make sure your heel wheels are touching the ground. (Yes, that means that you will only be skating on your back two wheels.)

Continue skating for 30 minutes. Concentrate on keeping those back wheels on the ground without falling on your arse.

You’ll find it very uncomfortable, even painful, as you use muscles you never knew you had.

But hey: no pain no gain, right? (I’m sure Karate Kid found the wax-on wax-off a bit hard on the shoulder, too.)

You’ll also find that you are having to push out in order to keep yourself from falling. ... (Ooh, was that some nice healthy heel-carve I heard there?)

Later, when you are back in your usual setup, skate normally but try to imagine you are on the same rockered setup and lift your toes off the ground. You'll feel those rediscovered muscles coming back to life.


Naomi Grigg is not only one of the world's top freestyle performers and instructors but a gifted speed skater. One of the workshops she offers is Mr. Miyagi's School of Speed. In it, she uses tricks learned as a freestyler to polish the technique of speed skaters.

Related reading:

Naomi's web page
Naomi's Freestyler column
Skate Tip of the Week Archive.
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing.
Beginners Guide to Inline Skating


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