The Top Seven Mistakes of Beginning Inline Skaters

And lots of advanced skaters, too!

By Robert (also does lots of idiotic things!) Burnson

It looks so easy. ... You just put one foot in front of the other and roll. Just like walking. ... Yeah, right. 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. ... Learning to skate isn't quite as difficult. But to save your backside -- and a lot of other sensitive areas (like your ego) -- avoid these common mistakes of beginning inline skaters:

1) Wearing Skates That Don't Fit

So you are going to use Uncle Bob's size-12 skates on your first day out on inline skates? ... Forget about it! You wear a size eight. You'll be swimming in those monsters. You'll be so wobbly you'll have trouble standing, let alone skating. Aside from that, you'll develop blisters and spend most of your time on your backside. Do yourself a favor: Start with skates that fit!

More: Start With the Right Skates

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! ... Whee! ... Kaboom! ... Lots of beautiful skating relationships have been destroyed by rushing into hills too quickly. New skaters must practice hill abstinence. Just say no — to hills!

More: Down Hill Danger

3) Skating Without Protection

Would you have a serious conversation with a philosophy major without reading Foucault? Not without a shotgun! So 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, low-cut boots ... sure are sexy. But are you out of your mind!

More: Buying Your First Skates

5) Marathoning on Your First Day

Yeah, yeah. You're a champion. Right. I've heard the song. ... But don't think that you are going to skate 26 miles on your first day out. ... Unless of course, you like spending quality time with Mr. Pain!

More: Outdoor Racing: The Mission Manual

6) Being a Trail Bozo

There are rules of the road -- even on the bike trail. Ignore them and you are likely to get flattened --- or turn an innocent Dachshund into bratwurst. Know the rules before you hit the trail!

More: On Your Left ... A Trail Guide

7) Becoming an Unstoppable Object

You sure look pretty standing there in your shiny new skates. But once you start rolling, you're going to look like Gumby unless you know how to stop. ... And I don't mean rolling to a stop as that Hummer violates the crosswalk. I mean stopping on a dime -- or some approximation. Short-lived skaters roll to a stop. Long-lived skaters make their brakes squeal. Burn rubber, baby!

More: Learn to Brake!


The Beginners Guide


Copyright 2006 by Robert Burnson

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