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Tony Chen

Sep 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/20/96

Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: sports/skating/inline-faq/part1

_r.s.s.inline FAQ: General Q and A_

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Frequently Asked Questions for

(last changed Monday, 19-Aug-96 09:44:30 MDT)

This Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) file is Copyright © 1995 by
Anthony D. Chen and is made available as a service to the Internet
community. It may not be sold on disk, tape, CD-ROM, packaged or
incorporated with any commercial product, or published in print,
without the explicit, written permission of the copyright holder.

License is hereby granted to redistribute on electronic or other media
for which no fees are charged (except for the media itself), so long
as the text of this copyright notice and license are attached intact
to any and all republished portion or portions.

Disclaimer: This file is presented with no warranties or guarantees of
ANY KIND including correctness or fitness for any particular purpose.
The author(s) of this material have attempted to verify correctness of
the data contained herein; however, slip-ups can and do happen. If you
use these documents, you do so at your own risk.

This FAQ may be cited as:

Chen, Anthony D. (1995) " Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ)" Usenet, available via
anonymous WWW:


Table of Contents:
* Q: What is the difference between in-line skating and
* Q: What are the origins of in-line skates?
* Q: I'm interested in getting a pair of in-lines for outdoor
skating. I want to get decent stuff, but I'd rather not spend a
lot of money. What do I need to get?
* Q: Are buckles better than laces?
* Q: I want to get good in-lines, but I can only afford $150.
* Q: I'm considering getting used skates. What do I look for?
* Q: How do I stop on in-lines?
* Q: I've learned how to slow down. how do I go faster?
* Q: How do I learn to skate backwards?
* Q: What sort of maintenance do I have to do on my in-lines?
* Q: How do I handle dogs chasing me while skating?
* Q: What can I do to help prevent skating bans?
* Q: What other information is out there to help me with in-line

* Glossary of Inline Skating Terms

(Compiled and authored by Tony Chen, Phil Earnhardt, and George

_Q: What is the difference between in-line skating and

_A_: In-line skating is the official term for the sport
commonly called "rollerblading" or simply "blading". The
commonly misused term of "rollerblading" is due to the company
called Rollerblade. Rollerblade wasn't the first to produce
in-lines, but managed to popularize in-lines faster and farther
than anyone previously (in the States anyway). Rollerblade was
the only company in the in-line market for a long while, so
they became the marekt leader. This lead to the generic use of
the term "rollerblade" to stand for all in-lines, even if made
by different companies. This is similar to the use of
"kleenex", "coke", "Q-tip", "xerox", and other products.


_Q: What are the origins of in-line skates?_

_A_: (Merged paraphrased text from Wheel Excitement, The
Complete Blader, and Blazing Bladers)

The first in-line model was developed in the early 1700s by a
Dutchman who wanted to simulate ice skating in the summer by
nailing wooden spools to strips of wood and attaching them to
his shoes.

The next version appeared in 1760 when a London instrument
maker, Joseph Merlin, decided to make an entrance to a
masquerade party by skating in on metal-wheeled boots while
playing a violin. He ended up skating into a huge mirror at the
end of the ballroom, not having learned to stop or steer.

In 1823, Robert John Tyers of London designed a skate called a
"rolito" by placing five wheels in a row on the bottom of a
shoe. The rolito was not take seriously at the time.

In 1863, an American, James Plimpton, found a way to make a
workable skate. He came up with a four-wheel skate with two
pairs of wheels side by side, and so the modern four-wheel
roller skate was created. Roller skates allowed turns, and also
forwards and backwards skating. The invention of ball bearing
wheels in 1884 helped the sport even more.

Tyers' design did not go entirely unnoticed however. In the
Netherlands, after the canals had melted, "skeelers" (5's) were
used as a means of dry-land cross training, competition and
transportation for over two decades.

Finally, in 1980 when two brothers from Minneapolis were
rummaging through a pile of equipment at a sporting goods
store, they found an old in-line skate. Scott and Brennan Olson
were ice hockey players and so they realized the cross-training
potential of the in-line skate.

They redesigned the skate, using a hockey boot, polyurethane
wheels and adding a rubber heel brake, and found they could
skate as they did on ice. Soon after, they began selling skates
out of their home and eventually Rollerblade Inc. was born.

_(end paraphrased text)_

There were also some Soviet in-lines from around the same time.
These in-lines were being developed for Speed Skating dryland
training. Besides having inferior wheel material, they only had
a single bearing cartridge in each wheel.

The first mass-produced Rollerblade skates had two-part metal
runners. The smaller skates had more overlap between the two
metal parts; the large skates had less. The "bushings" were 4
plain vanilla washers per wheel; they were cumbersome to
assemble/remove and mechanically flawed: dirt/sand would get
between the inner washer and the bearing. Also, there was just
a washer's worth of clearance between the rail and the wheel:
it was very easy to trash a wheel by rubbing it against a rail.
The holes along the side of the runners were oval; the rock of
the skate was determined by how much you slid the bolt up or
down when you tightened it. Finally, the brakes were old roller
skate toe stops -- they were not very efficient.

The first massively successful Rollerblade skate was the
Lightning. It had a robust fiberglass runner for each size of
skate. The bushings fit into oval holes in the runners -- rock
was set by whether you put the bushing in up or down. The
linkage between the wheel and runner was far more mechanically
efficient and there was no way to rub wheels on the runners.
Wheel removal/insertion was far easier. And Rollerblade's
brake, while far smaller than the old "toe stop" brake, was
much more efficient and lasted longer.


_Q: I'm interested in getting a pair of in-lines for outdoor skating.
I want to get decent stuff, but I'd rather not spend a lot of
money. What do I need to get?_

(See the Buying Guide for Inline Skates for more in-depth

_A_: First off, your budget should include protection: knee
pads, wrist guards, and a helmet. Elbow pads are optional.
These "pads" should have a hard plastic shell -- they should
slide on the asphalt when you fall. Good brands of protection
are the Rollerblade TRS or the Dr. Bone Savers (DBS) set of
accesories. For helmets, any well-fitting ANSI/Snell approved
bicycle helmet should be fine.

The in-line industry is a lot like the bicycle industry --
specialty shops generally sell and support more expensive
functional skate brands and department stores generally sell
inexpensive lines that will never work well. Also, there's
usually a much greater chance of getting spare parts and
service from a specialty shop than a department store.

Rollerblade is the best-known brand of in-line skate; they make
a whole family of different in-line skates. Any skate in
Rollerblade's line at or above the Lightning skate should work
well and last a long time. Other reputable manufacturers are
Ultra Wheels, Bauer, Roces, and K2.

You may wish to rent a model of skates before buying. Some
shops will discount part of the rental from purchase price if
you buy skates later.

The fit should be comfortable but snug. Unlike hiking or
running shoes, it's OK for your toes to be loosely in contact
with the front of the boot.

Unless you have a background of speed skating, beginning
skaters should avoid the 5-wheel skates. The problem with isn't
the inherent speed of the skates, but since manueverability and
flexibility are sacrificed for the sake of racing performance,
so turns and other maneuvers require more commitment. The
5-wheelers are great fun, but master the fundamentals on a
shorter wheelbase first.


_Q: Are buckles better than laces?_

_A_: If you're looking to buy skates nowadays, you'll notice a
wide variety of support systems: laces only, laces with one
buckle, one buckle (rear-entry style), two buckles, three
buckles, or maybe even a multitude of straps like in K2 skates.

Hockey skates are usually laces only. 5-wheelers come in
various types: laces only, lace and one buckle, or multiple
buckles (typically recreational 5-wheelers).

The issue of buckles vs. laces is still a fairly often debated
subject, and the bottom line is whatever works for you. Anyway,
here are some good and bad points of each support system
(recreational skates only).

o PROs
1. Faster to put on.
2. More durable.
3. Adjustable on the fly.
4. Allows for vented shells.
5. Maintain their hold, no loosening.
6. Possible to adjust support in separate areas.

o CONs
1. More expensive (in general).
2. Can cause too much pressure on parts of the foot.

o PROs
1. Cheaper (in general)
2. Much less prone to point-loading pressure on
specific spots, pressure is distributed evenly.

o CONs
1. Slower to lace up than to buckle up.
2. Prone to breakage.
3. Cannot easily adjust tension without stopping and
re-doing the whole thing.
4. Laces don't allow for much venting in the shells.
5. They eventually loosen while you skate.
6. Not very easy to adjust support in sparate areas.

Laces & buckles:
o PROs
1. Support adjustment is easy (if you normally only
adjust the ankle).

o CONs
1. Laces don't allow for much venting in the shells.

1. Mid-range pricing.

Buckles may seem like they've got a lot of good points going
for them, and they do. However, the two bad points can be big
ones. Cost is the most obvious factor. If you can't afford
buckle skates, you'll likely have to settle for laces only,
and/or add your own. The other factor is fit. If the skates
don't fit you quite right, the buckles can cause over-pressure
on certain parts of your feet. Fit is one of more important
aspects of choosing a skate, and while liners of most skates
eliminate this point- loading problem to a good extent, it may
not be enough for some people.

So what can you do if you've got lace-only skates and want to
have the convenience of buckles but can't afford to buy a new
pair? You might consider adding buckles. Either adding one
buckle at the ankle or doing away with laces altogether and
adding two or three buckles. Many ski shops will be willing to
do this for you. Or you can add your own.

To retrofit buckles onto your skates:

From: (James A Holroyd-1)

1) Buckles: can be obtained at ski shops, snowboarding shops, or
from an old pair of ski boots. I got mine from a snowboard shop,
sold as an extra buckle kit for snowboard binding ankle straps.

** NOTE ** Make *sure* the mounting surfaces of the buckle are only
slightly curved. Too much curvature in this area (the bit that
touches the boot) will pull your boot out of shape and be very

2) Drill with various bits.

3) Mounting hardware for buckles: you can rivet them, or use
T-bolts. I used T-bolts with loctite on the threads, and they stay
on well.

Step 1.
Put your skates on and figure out where you want to put
the buckles. I would recommend leaving the eyelets for
the laces accessible. This way, you can still lace up
your skates, then tighten the cuffs with your buckles The
laces sit behind the strap, and don't loosen up as much
as if you leave them tied off below the cuff. Remember to
place the buckles far enough apart so you can tighten
them, but not so far that you can't get the tongue into
the ratchet.

*** IMPORTANT *** The buckle levers go on the *outside*
of the skate :) This is very embarrassing when you get it
wrong (I did, first time), as every time your skates get
close together, they either catch on each other or
unlatch the lever, or some combination of the two. Not

Step 2.
Mark where you will have to drill holes to mount the

Step 3.
Take the liners out of the boots and drill the holes.
Start with a small, sharp bit (that boot plastic is
*tough*, it could take a while) and work up to the size
that accomodates the mounting hardware you're using.

Step 4.
Mount the buckles. If you are using the snowboard
buckles, the mounting hardware that came with them should
work. Just make sure that nothing sharp is sticking into
your liner, as it could chew up the liner and/or your
ankle. Don't forget the loctite (although it's really not
critical until you've got the placement right, or until
you're 10 miles from home :) )

This method works great with my lightnings. I got a pair
of skates that, IMHO, are as good as those costing a lot
more. However, I would not try this trick with any of the
skates with flimsier liners. The Zetra's are pretty
uncomfy after a while, as the edges of the cuff do tend
to dig in. I ended up putting extra foam padding
(ensolite) around the ankle area before I sold them to a
friend. He took it out, and apparently has no comfort
problems. Your mileage may vary.

Buckle add-on kits are now being sold in skate shops
specifically for in-lines. They run about $20 or so per
pair of buckles. Ask your local skate shop or call up one
of the mail-order shops in the FAQ.


_Q: I want to get good in-lines, but I can only afford $150._ (See
also the Buying Guide for Inline Skates)

_A_: At this price point, you'll have to be pretty resourceful.
First, note that the in-line "season" begins somewhere around
the end of March. You'll probably find some good bargains in
stores in the Jan-Mar time frame. Like many sports, the in-line
market is style-oriented: you may find last year's style at a
huge discount.

Even at this price level, you should avoid "department store"
skates (unless you want to buy skates that you won't use).
You're far better off buying a pair of used Rollerblade
Lightning skates. If you don't see anyone selling your size,
consider putting an ad advertising that you want to buy skates.

Make sure to get pads too. Don't skimp on protection! A knee is
a terrible thing to waste. Used protection in good condition is


_Q: I'm considering getting used skates. What do I look for?_

See the Buying Guide for Used Skates

_Q: How do I stop on in-lines?_ (see also, the stopping file, for more

_A_: Good question. You've taken the most important step --
realizing that there is a need to be able to slow down. The
rest is just practice.

There are several general techniques for stopping while
remaining on your skates: generating friction by dragging your
brake pad, generating friction by sliding your wheels laterally
against the ground, jumping onto grass and killing your speed
by running out, and pushing against a slower-moving or
stationary object with your hands.

I finally learned how to brake well when someone described this
image: your brake foot has just slipped on a banana peel.
Whoops! Your brake foot will be about a foot in front of your
body. The leg will have a slight bend. The rear wheel and the
brake will be in contact with the ground.

At first, your non-brake foot will be bearing almost all your
weight. That leg will be directly under your body, and the knee
will be bent. The amount of bend in your knee will determine
how much braking force you can apply.

Your feet should be very close to your centerline. This should
help keep you going straight forward when braking (pretty

There should be a slight forward bend in the waist. It may also
help to keep the hands at waist height or so. This keeps your
center of gravity lower. Try to keep your hands (and your whole
upper body) loose; clenched fists do not make the brakes work
any better! Relax.

After you've tried a dozen or so stops, add one more
refinement: drive your back knee into the back of the front
knee while braking. This creates a triangle with your lower
legs and the pavement between your skates. As all the
Buckminster Fuller fans out there know, triangles provide
structural stability. This triangle should enhance your braking
power and ability to run smooth, straight, and true while

As you master braking, begin to shift more of your weight to
your front foot. The Masters of Speed Control can actually
decelerate while standing only on their front foot. Good trick,


_Q: I've learned how to slow down. how do I go faster?_

_A_: First off, keep learning how to slow down! Learn new
techniques; refine the ones you already know. Until you master
slowing down, your mind will limit how fast it will let you go
on skates.

Watch good skaters. Notice that they rarely have both skates on
the ground at the same time. This independent leg action is
something you'll master over time; you can practice by seeing
now long you can glide on a single skate. When you can glide on
a single skate for more than 30 seconds (both left and right
legs!), you're well on the way.

Notice that almost all of the side-to-side motion is happening
below the waist. Eliminate any twisting motion in your
shoulders -- keep your shoulders square to your direction of
travel. If you want to move your arms, move them forward and
back -- crossing patterns may have you twist your shoulders.
Relax the muscles in your lower back to allow your upper body
to remain quiet.

Watch your stride. Are you pushing more to the side or to the
back? Shift your stride to be pushing almost exclusively to the

Where do you set your skate down at the start of your stride?
Shoulder width? Start setting your skate down on the centerline
of your body. After you're comfortable with that, start setting
your skate further in beyond your centerline.

Do you flick your toe at the end of your stride? If so, stop.
Instead, flick your heel -- drive your heel out at the end of
the stroke. This will feel very strange for the first 10,000 or
so times.

Relax. Then relax some more. Discover levels with levels of
relaxation. Travel fast while moving your skates slowly -- your
body is swimming through air. Consider beginning to practice
T'ai Chi Ch'aun postures daily. Relax some more.


_Q: How do I learn to skate backwards?_
See part 2.1 of the FAQ

_Q: What sort of maintenance do I have to do on my in-lines?_ (See
also: part 4 of the FAQ)

_A_: Things that need maintaining are the wheels, bearings, and

Wheels sometimes need rotating to keep the wear on all the
wheels even. To rotate a set of wheels, you simply move wheels
to different positions. The swapping scheme you use it ups to
you. Some people have a set rotation they always do (wheel #1
-> #2, #2 -> #3, #3 -> #4, etc.) and some people just try and
place the wheels so that the wear is more evenly distributed.
Do what's best for you.

For your bearings, practice preventative maintenance: avoid
sand, dirt, and water as much as possible. These nasties are
what cause bearing failure. If you want bearings to last,
vacuum in/around your runners with an upholstery accessory
after every skating session. If you do want to (or have to)
skate in sand/dirt/water/mud, get a set of sealed bearings.

Buy a Rollerblade "Y" tool to remove bearings from spacers, or
buy one of the aftermarket bearing spacer kits. These make
bearing removal much easier.


_Q: How do I handle dogs chasing me while skating?_
(From George Robbins)

On the physical side
Many people recommed a bicycle style water bottle, dogs
tend to be confused/diestressed by getting a spray of
water in the face. Since you can spray from a distance,
this is generally safe and the bottle is also useful for
you own refreshment.

On the psych-warfare side
Threaten back by either skating directly towards the dog
or making some kind of striking/throwing motion with your
arms, preferably with a stick or some kind other sort of
safety extension. Dogs generally thtreaten potential
territorial invaders and become more or less agressive
depending on the response.

On the chem-warfare front
Some people recommed mace or other chemical deterrents.
These will cause the animal severe pain, so be sure that
the dog is really threatenting and not just putting up a
noisey territorial display. Also don't rely on these
100%, since while skating you may miss or the dog may
attack anyway, so be prepared to strike and run. Some
folks also recommend ammonia in the water bottle, but
make sure you don't get confused and take a sip.

On the legal front
Take note of what property the dog seems to be defending
and it's description, especially collars or tags. If
you're in an area with an enforced leash law, don't
hestitate to report the animal. If not, you can still
report the dog to the police, sheriff or animal control
authorities, especially if it did physically attack
and/or bite you. This may or may not get a positive
response, but the owner *is* legally responsible for
keeping his animals under control and one that attacks
you today may attack child skater or cyclist tomorrow.

On the other side
Be prepared to sprint through or away from the dog's
territory. Motions or sounds will attrace the dogs
attention, but they usually won't chase seriously beyond
a predetermined territory. Keep your arms up/close to
your body, so that if the dog does try to bit it will
probably and up with a mouth full of boot. If the dog
does bite an break your skin, clean the wound immediately
and seek medical attention.


_Q: What can I do to help prevent skating bans?_

Some Common Sense Approaches For Avoiding Skate Bans

A Letter For Skaters (from Dave Cooper at IISA) As more and
more in-liners take to the roads and paths of this great
country, encounters between skaters and the civilians (any
non-skater) become more likely. Cities, parks and educational
institutions are taking a second look at in-line skaters and
asking whether they can abide by wheeled beings plying their
pavement. In large measure, their decisions to give in-liners
the green light are formed by the image they have of the local
skate talent. Here are ten common sense things you can do to
get out in front of the restrictions in your community. By
presenting the image of a sane and reasonable collection of
carbon molecules you might avoid future unpleasantness:

1. _Skate Smart_ - Build the image of the in-line skater as a
safety conscious individual.
2. _Align With The Bicyclist_ - Bikers are pursuing a legitimate
sport, let this rub off.
3. _Sponsor Family Days_ - Any time Grandma and the kids do must be o.k.
4. _Skate With Community Leaders_ - Most have always "wanted to
try it" Educated them.
5. _Offer The Law Enforcement Community Help_ - Extra eyes for
the police, our friends.
6. _Sponsor Safety Clinics_ - Who knows, you might even get
7. _Attend Regulatory Meetings (Traffic, City, School)_ - Wear
your nice clothes.
8. _Sponsor A School Program_ - Get the educators behind the
9. _Visit The Rental Shop_ - Help them have safe customers.
10. _Police Yourself_ - Organize (or don't), but make sure
skaters obey the right laws at the right times.

Remember that the sport of in-line skating is very cool, very
fun and can be quite wacky, but as a role model for the
beginner we all have a responsibility to execute our stranger
and more dangerous maneuvers out of eye and camera shot. By all
means, push the sport, make the best of your skate, but also
Skate Smart, Skate Polite and, when appropriate, skate stealth.

For more information on specific programs that can help your
area - please contact the IISA,

Dave Cooper
International In-line Skating Association
Government Relations Committee

_Q: What other information is out there to help me with in-line

Here's a list of inline skating magazines out there: InLine
Subscriptions Dept.
P.O. Box 527
Mt. Morris, IL 61054
or call customer service at 1-800-877-5281, Inline Magazine, Natalie Kurylko, editor,

Speedskating Times
2910 NE 11 Ave
Pompano Beach, FL 33064
(305) 782-5928

Daily Bread
280 Highland Rd.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(714) 497-2636

Box Magazine
818 Lincoln Blvd.
Slab 103
Venice, CA 90291

Roller Hockey Magazine
12327 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 202
Los Angelas, CA 90025
phone 310-442-6660
fax 310-442-6663
9 per year @ $20

Inline Skater
4099 McEwen, suite 350
Dallas TX 75244-5039
6 per year @$17.95

Global Skate
PO Box 8400-361
Westminster, CA 92683
E-mail GLOB...@AOL.COM
4 per year @ $8

Inline Retailer
2025 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
fax 303-440-3313 12 per year @ $30, or free to qualified

Inline Skater ( There are several videos
that are marginally good at training. One of these is the
Rollerblade/Ski Magazine Skate to Ski video. Your local Rollerblade
dealer should have training videos available for viewing in the store
and/or rental.


_Reading list:_ (mini-reviews by George Robbins)

See also George's Skating Book FAQ which covers books for all
types of skating (roller, ice, inline).

Blazing Bladers by Bill Gutman
A Tom Doherty Associates Book, 1992.
Cover price: $6.99 ($7.99 CAN)
ISBN 0-812-51939-6

One of the two easier to find books, this provides a reaonsable
overview of the sport, but suffers somewhat from "generic how-to"
publishing. The author tends to recite what "experts" have told him
without much conviction and some of the photographs don't fit well
with the text. Still has a good section on "street tricks".

The Complete Blader by Joel Rappelfeld
St. Martin's Press, NY, New York, 1992.
Cover price: $8.95
ISBN 0-312-06936-7

This book is nearly as good as _Inline Skating_, but is more oriented
towards fitness/health aspects. There seems to be as much space
allocated to stretching and conditioning as skating. One useful
section describes construction and use of a slide-board for off season

The Complete Guide and Resource to In-line Skating
by Stephen Christopher Joyner
Betterway Books, Cincinnati OH - 1993
Trade Paperback, 176 pages, $12.95
ISBN 1-55870-289-X

As a resource guide, this is a useful book, the appendices list
Magazines, Manufacturers, Retailers, Organizations, Roller Hockey
Leagues, IISA certified instructors and also a rather eclectic
bibliography. The rest of the text is OK and has a few interesting
features, but either of the first two in-line books (The Complete
Blader and Inline Skating) mentioned above would be more useful,
especially for the beginning skater. Some Specific irritations are
only the briefest mention of roller hockey where I would exepect at
least an information presentation of rules, equipment and game play,
and a strong anti-quad bias including a history of skating which leaps
from Plimpton's error (a steerable truck quad skate) to Scott Olson's
Rollerblade as if no-one enjoyed skating in the interiem.

Inline Skating by Mark Powell & John Svenson
Human Kinetics Publising, 1993
Trade Paperback, 134 PP, $12.95
ISBN 0-87322-399-3

Of the recent rash of in-line skating "how to" books, this is probably
best and most balanced one. It has good coverage of equipment and
basic skating skills, mention of dance and fun skating, and doesn't
suffer from any fitness obsession.

Laura Stamm's Power Skating by Laura Stamm
Leisure Press, 1989
Cover price: $17.95
ISBN 0-88011-331-6

Wheel Excitement by Neil Feineman with Team Rollerblade(R)
Hearst Books, New York, NY 1991.
Cover price: $9.00
ISBN 0-688-10814-8

At one point, this was the only book on in-line skating and it still
serves as a decent introduction to the sport. Lots of pictures of
California kids having a good time. The actual text is a little thin
and any of the above books are better if you can find them in your



Stands for Annular Bearing Engineer Council. The ABEC-1,
ABEC-3, ABEC-5 ratings you see for bearings are supposed to be
indications that the bearings meet the stated ABEC
specifications of a certain precision level. ABEC-5's are
supposed to be fastest but there is yet no hard evidence that
in real world situations that this is true.

These are those metal things inside the hub of your wheels.
There's two per wheel. Inline skates currently use bearings
that were already standard in the bearings industry, before
inlines were popular. They are "608" bearings, indicating the
inner (6mm) and outer diamters (8 mm).

_bearing spacers:_
These are those small parts that go in between your bearings so
that the axles can go through your wheels. Most stock spacers
are plastic, some may be metal. Hop-up kits provide metal ones.
Some spacers may also be threaded (so that axles screw directly
into the spacers instead of just passing through).

This is a wheel configuration used by many rail-sliders which
has the larger wheels on the toe and heel positions, and the
smaller wheels (like Lil' Roxx or Midgets) in the middle to
allow the sliding to take place without the wheels being in the

_bashing (stair bashing):_
A synonym for stair riding. Also sometimes called "stair

Skating crossovers is simply skating along a curved path while
still stroking. To do this, you have to cross the outer skate
over the other one and hence the term "crossover". Done
properly, a crossover will not only let you maintain your speed
going into the turn, but also let you increase it to an extent.
The turns that ice speedskaters do during the Olympics are all
crossover turns. Figure skaters will often do backwards
crossovers during their routines, and hockey players do a
variety of both during games.

Durometer is an industry hardness rating for polyurethane,
which is the primary wheel material. Ratings such as 78A or 85A
are usually seen on wheels. The higher the rating the harder
the wheel. 100 is the highest (although no skaters probably go
beyond 92 or 95).

_frame spacers:_
These are those small parts on your skates that go between your
wheels and the runners. Many skates have eccentric, oval shaped
frame spacers so that you can flip them 180 degrees to rocker
your skates.

A prefix used for any trick done backwards, as in a "fakie

_grind plates:_
These are flat metal or hard plastic plates that are bolted on
to runners for grinding and rail slides so that the original
runners won't get shredded to pieces.

_hop-up kits:_
Hop-up kits are simply upgrade kits that include frame spacers,
bearing spacers, and axels. They're made of aluminium or brass
or some other metal. Some incorporate threaded spacers too. The
advantage in using hop-up kits is that you can crank down real
hard on your wheels without compressing the spacers. The stock
plastic spacers on most skates will compress or even crack if
you do this a lot.

This means the entire skate (boot and runners) is
manufacturered in one solid piece. This can produce a lot more
stiffness in the skate, which may or may not be good, depending
on your skating style and purpose.

_rail slides:_
This is a skating trick where you slide along a rail in various
stances. Most often an anti-rocker or all-small-wheel setup is
used in order to let the runners slide along the rail. It wears
down plastic runners fairly quick so rail sliders usually put
on grind-plates on their runners.

_road rash:_
Any scrapes, gashes or other injuries incurred from wiping out
and sliding on pavement.

Rockering your skates means to arrange the wheel heights to
approximate a curved (ice skate) blade. Normally this is done
by raising the front and rear wheels slightly by flipping the
frame spacers, or by lower the middle two wheels, or by doing
both. Rocker provides for much more responsive turning at the
cost of some stability.

Skitching comes from "skate hitching". Skitching is simply
hanging on to some moving vehicle and letting it pull you
along. Potentially dangerous of course.

_stair riding:_
This is a common skating stunt where you literally ride down a
set of steps. It's bumpy, but with the proper stance and
balance it's pretty fun. Always use protective gear when doing

_wheel rotation:_
Polyurethane wheels eventually wear down, but you can often
extend the life of your wheels by flipping and/or rotating your
wheels amongst themselves so that you can skate on the
less-worn areas of your wheels.


_General Info_ _Techniques_ _Marketplace_ _Where to Skate_ Index
Quotable rssi Posts
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Copyright © 1991-1996 Anthony D. Chen (

Tony Chen

Sep 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/20/96

Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: sports/skating/inline-faq/part2

_r.s.s.inline FAQ: Techniques - Stopping, backwards skating, etc._

[LINK] -->


(last changed Monday, 03-Jun-96 07:22:58 MDT) Table of Contents:
* Stopping Techniques
* Skating Backwards
* Skating Downhills (and surviving)


The In-line Stopping Techniques File

(originally written February 1992)


Copyright notice

NOTE: This list is arranged in order of increasing difficulty as per
my experience. Your experiences WILL undoubtedly vary from mine. This
list does not purport to be the definitive list of stopping
techniques, but it does strive to be as complete and descriptive as

It is not expected that everyone will learn, or even want to learn,
all the methods discussed in this file. It is simply a catalog of
techniques to choose from. Some techniques require more flexibility,
some require more finesse, and some require more guts 8-)

Good luck, and skate smart.

_-Tony Chen (

List of stops:

Beginner level
* runouts
* wall stop
* windbraking
* the brake-pad
* V-stop/snowplow

Intermediate level
* advanced runouts
* (regular) spinout/lunge stop
* spread eagle spinout
* crossover stop
* slaloming/parallel turns

Advanced level
* T-stop (includes a picture tutorial)
* toe drag
* backwards T-stop
* Stepping stops
+ backward stepping stop
+ forward stepping stop
* reverse stop (forwards snow-plow)
* backwards heel drag
* toe-drag spinouts
* heel-drag spinouts
* curb ramming
* power stop/power slide (includes a picture tutorial)
* chop-stop
* New York stop
* "Wile E. Coyote" stops

Combination stops

Related topics:
* falling
* collisions with stationary objects


The basic repretoire of stopping techniques includes the brake-pad,
the T-stop, spinouts, and the power slide. This file should help you
learn those basics and more. The basics should always be learned
first, but once you progress beyond them, you'll likely want to learn
different and/or more advanced techniques. This compilation should
help guide you through this progression.


Most beginner skaters should be able to handle the following set of
stopping methods. These techniques keep both feet on the ground
throughout the stop, and don't require fully independent leg action.

If the path you're skating on has grass or packed dirt you can
just skate off the path onto the grass/dirt. This will reduce
your speed somewhat but watch out for the sudden change in
speed! (hop-hop-hop-hop-hop). If you are truly out of control,
at least you'll tumble in the grass and not on the road.

To do this stop, simply skate towards a wall (or any reasonably
stationary object, really) and use your arms to absorb the
impact. At low speeds, this should be quite safe (make sure you
turn your head to the side so as not to smash your face).

You may or may not bang your skates, depending on your speed
and how you hit. The key is to use your arms as cushioning
springs (like doing a standing push-up.) One way to practice
this is to stand a few feet from a wall (with your skates on).
Now fall forward on your hands against the wall. You should be
able to bounce slightly, while still avoiding banging your
head. The faster your approach, the less bounce you can expect.

A variation on the wall stop is the billiard ball stop. Instead
of stopping against an object, use a fellow skater to push off
and transfer your momentum to them. To be safe, warn the
receiving person about your approach. It works well on flat
surfaces and at low to moderate speeds. It's not recommended at
high speeds and especially on people you don't know 8-)

See the collision section for more extreme cases.

Wind-braking is more for speed-control than outright stopping
(although on windy days, wind-braking can stop you). Just stand
up, spread your arms out and catch the air like a sail. You'll
probably need to lean forwards slightly, to counter the force
of the wind.

The brake-pad is subject to much debate amongst skaters. Many
people with ice skating and rollerskating backgrounds find the
brake in the way, in the wrong place, or simply ineffective.
However, for those of you who actually take the time to learn
it properly, the brake-pad becomes a very versatile piece of
equipment. Here are some of the benefits:

1. you can use it to stop, even at very high speeds
2. it allows you to keep both skates on the ground while
stopping (good for keeping your balance)
3. you can maintain a narrow profile (good for high traffic
areas where cars or bicycles might be passing you)
4. you can still steer
5. the sound of braking can often alert others to your presence
6. the brake-pad is the most cost-effective technique there is
so far for in-lines

To learn how to use the brake-pad, first coast with both skates
shoulder-width apart. As you coast, scissor your feet back and
forth a few times to get used to the weight shift. To apply the
brake, scissor your skate so that your braking skate is out in
front. Lift the toe of your brake skate and press with the heel
too. Your body weight is centered and even slightly on your
back skate when you're just learning it. The key is a straight
back and bent knees.

If you have trouble balancing or find your braking ankle a
little weak, you can try the following trick: form a triangle
with your legs (from the knee down to your skates) and the
ground. This means putting your back knee either right behind
or next to, the brake-foot knee to form that triangle.

Eventually you'll want to be able to stop at high speeds.
Basically, the more pressure you use on the brake pad the
faster you stop. Maximum stopping power is achieved by putting
your entire body weight onto the brake by lifting your back
foot, and leaning onto the brake. This takes some practice but
is very effective. It is possible to stop within 15-20 ft even
when going over 20 mph. You may still want to keep the other
skate on the ground for balance, however.

Note that the amount of leverage (the amount of stopping power
you have), is partially dependent on how worn your brake is. A
half-worn brake will provide better leverage than either a new
brake or a worn-out brake. Some people saw off part of the
bottom of new brakes to avoid the annoying breaking-in period.

One important point to keep in mind when using the brake-pad:
You can still steer while braking. Just keep the brake-pad on
the ground and pivot on your heel wheel slightly to go the
direction you want. This is very useful while going down a very
narrow and curvy path or while trying to avoid curbs,
pedestrians, parked cars, trees, and the like.

A brake-pad generally runs from $3 to $6 depending on what type
you buy. Compare this with wheels which are $5.50 or more each
and the freebie stops: runouts, wind-braking, billiard ball
stop (freebies since you're not wearing anything down). Wheels
are expensive, and the freebie stops are infrequently
available, if at all, for the large majority of skating
situations. The brake should be your standard stop, provided
that you learn it well. (see "Wile E. Coyote" stops for a
rather interesting variation)

For a low-speed rolling stop, point your heels inward (for
backwards) or your toes together (for forwards) and let your
skates bang into each other. This might throw you in the
direction you're going (depending on your speed), so take care
to be prepared to lean forward or backwards to compensate.

You can do a more exaggerated snowplow by spreading your legs
out past shoulder-width and pointing your skates inward or
outwards as before (and you won't bang your skates together.)
Here, use leg strength to press your inner edges against the
ground, and you'll slow down appreciably. This can work even at
very high speeds.



Skating off pavement onto grass. You can weave from pavement to
grass and back to pavement to control your speed, especially
when going downhill. To stop completely just stay on the grass.

As you hit the grass, knees are kept bent, and one foot is
ahead of the other. Nearly all weight is distributed on the
foot that will hit the grass first, and you keep that leg real
stiff, as if plowing a path for the trailing leg to follow.
Very little weight is on the trailing leg. Muscles in the
trailing leg are relaxed. The only function of the trailing leg
is stability and balance. The leading leg does most of the

Beginners are often intimidated by this procedure, but it is
really a very simple physical feat. The hard part, if any, is
simply understanding mentally what it is you are trying to do,
as I explained.

This is a lot of fun, too. I like to hit the grass full speed,
and then skate as far down a slope as possible before the grass
stops me.

One important requirement is that the ground should be dry. Wet
dirt or grass will clog your wheels and your skates will also
sink into mud (yuck).

This is where you skate into a spin to transfer your linear
momentum into angular momentum. To do this, you sort of
stop-n-hold one skate at an angle to act as the pivot foot and
the other traces a circle around it (and you). It may help to
think of having each skate trace concentric circles, with the
pivot skate tracing the much smaller inner one. The pivot skate
will be turning on its outside edge, while the outer skate will
be on its inside edge.

A spinout with your skates in a bent spread eagle position
(i.e., heels pointed towards each other, skates at slightly
less than 180 degrees). There is no pivot foot here, instead
both your skates trace the arc.

There are inside and outside spread eagles, where you skate on
both inside or both outside edges. The above paragraph
describes the inside spread eagle.

A sustained outside spread eagle is more of an artistic skating
move than a practical stop, although I use it occasionally to
stop on flat surfaces.

NOTE that all types of spinouts require a fair amount of room.
Your forward motion is quite suddenly changed to angular motion
so I'd recommend this mainly for low traffic areas where you
won't have people running into you from behind when you do the

This stop works both forwards and backwards at higher speeds. I
call this the crossover stop because your feet are held in the
position of a spread-out crossover. In this stop, you're going
to be arcing to one side. The harder and sharper you turn, the
faster you stop. If you tend to trip on your skates, spread
your skates farther apart (forwards-backwards).

The braking pressure comes from the turn. The harder you press
with the outer edge of your back skate, the faster you stop. So
if you're turning left, your right skate is in front, the left
skate is almost right behind it (so that all your wheels are in
line). Press on the outer edge of your left skate (your back
skate) and on the inner edge of your right skate.

There is also the inverted crossover stop where your feet
positions are reversed: so you turn left with your left foot
forward and right foot back (and vice versa for right turns).
Watch ice hockey players just after play has stopped. More
often than not, the circle around in the inverted crossover

Both crossover stops are good for high speed stops but make
sure you have plenty of open space.

For skiers, this maps over very nicely. This is more of a speed
control technique rather than a stop, but it's very useful to
know. Explaining slalom turns can take an entire book in
itself, so I will merely suggest that you find a skier or a ski
book to show you how.

One way to practice this is to find a nice gentle slope with
plenty of space at the bottom, set up cones in a line, and
weave through the cones.



This next set of stops require good independent leg control. These
advanced stops will require you to be skating only one foot for some
portion of the technique.

This stop uses your wheels as a source of friction. To do the
T-stop, place one skate behind you, nearly perpendicular to
your direction of travel. Bend a little in both knees to drag
your wheels. You should think more of dragging the heel than
the toe. Apply the braking pressure to your heel. If you drag
the toe too much, you will end up spinning around. Keep your
weight mainly on your skating (front) foot. As you learn to
stop at higher speeds you will apply more downward pressure to
the back skate (but your weight is still on the front skate).

If you have a World Wide Web (WWW) browser, Check out Scott's
picture tutorial on T-stops.

NOTE: One particular phenomenon to avoid in the T-stop, or any
wheel-dragging stop (such as the toe drag) is the "flats". If
you T- stop or toe drag such that the wheels do not roll as
your drag, you will end up with a flattened wheel which will
not roll smoothly at all. In effect, ruining your wheel(s).

Similar to the T-stop except you drag only the toe wheel
instead of all four or five wheels. Unlike the T-stop it's not
critical to keep the skate perpendicular to your line of
travel. In fact, you're free to drag the wheel anywhere in a
180+ degree arc behind you. Also, your toe can be pointed into
the ground at pretty much any angle. (If you have old wheels,
the toe position is a good place to put them if you want to
avoid shredding your good wheels.)

The toe drag is better than the T-stop in that you wear down
only one wheel, and more importantly, you are also allowed much
better control over steering, since you can still stop
effectively even if the drag wheel rolls too much. The toe drag
can stop you even when at cruising speeds, although at
significantly longer breaking distance than the brake-pad or
the T-stop since you are dragging only one wheel.

This is a T-stop when you're rolling backwards. There are two
ways to perform this stop. The first way is to stop by dragging
the outside edge of your skate (i.e., toe pointed outward). The
harder way is to point your toe inward, much like a reverse New
York stop (see New York stop).


These three stepping stops are essentially advanced low-speed stops
("advanced" since they require good independent control over
each skate). They could also be called "pushing" stops, since
most of the braking action is done by pushing a skate against
your motion. Many advanced skaters will do this intuitively,
but I will detail them here for completeness.

This is like when someone pushes you from the front while you
are wearing shoes. One foot automatically steps back to keep
you from falling backwards. On skates then, while rolling
backwards, you simply put one skate behind you, 90 degrees to
the other skate, and hold it there so that your body doesn't
roll any further. This is basically a very low- speed power
stop/power slide, but without the sliding and scraping action
of the wheels (see the Power Stop).

The faster you are moving, the closer you are to doing a true
power stop. This may be a good method to learn the power stop,
gradually building up speed.

A low-speed stop very similar to the backwards stepping stop
except you're rolling forwards. This time you plant your skate
90 degrees out in front of, or right next to the rolling skate.
Your front heel will be pointing inwards (it's probably easier
for most people to keep the toe pointed outward here). This is
especially useful at curbs, like just before you accidentally
roll into an intersection, in crowded indoor places, or if you
just want to get a little closer to people you're talking with.

This stop should halt you immediately. Once you plant your
foot, your body should stop moving forward. You may find it
easier if you bend slightly at the waist and knee to give your
skate a better angle to grab.

You can also use this stop in a sort of shuffling fashion:
stop, roll a little, stop, roll a little, etc., until you get
to precisely where you want to be.

While rolling, point and lift one skate inward, and set it back
down. Roll on it and push off slightly at the heel. Now lift
the other skate, and do the same.

Essentially you are skating backwards even though moving
forwards. Keep doing it and you will eventually start skating
backwards. This can be done even at high speeds.

This is for rolling backwards. Similar to the toe drag except
you drag your heel wheel. If you find your drag skate rolling
sideways, apply more pressure to your heel wheel.

Now that you can do toe-drags, heel-drags and spinouts...

This is a one-footed spinout with an accompanying toe-drag on
the other foot. The toe drag will be in the inside of the
spinout. So for a right-foot toe-drag spinout, you will be
carving a right turn. It takes a bit more balance and strength
and will shred your toe wheel a lot. The more pressure on the
toe, and the sharper/harder you carve your turn, the faster you

At maximum effectiveness, it can stop you very quickly. The
skating foot will be nearly doing a power slide (see Power
Stop) and the dragging foot will be doing a very hard
toe-drag. Done correctly at low to medium speeds, it takes up
at most a sidewalk's width. At downhill speeds, expect to take
up most of a car lane.

NOTE that hitting a crack or rock during this stop really bites
since you've got most of your weight on one skating foot. Look
for any debris or holes ahead of you and be prepared.

For this spinout, just plant one of your heel wheels on the
ground out in front of you and spin around it. The only tricky
part is that the pivot heel wheel may roll a little, so keep
some downward pressure on it. It probably helps to keep your
pivot leg straight and slightly locked to help stabilize the

A variation on heel-drag spinouts is to use your brake-pad as
the pivot.

This stop looks pretty neat when going backwards, although you
should be careful to protect your knees if you have to abort.
To perform this backwards, start a heel-drag stop (you're
skating backwards), carve the skating foot behind and to the
inside, and you should spin around the heel wheel/brake.

You approach the curb at around 90 degrees (i.e., straight on)
and lift your toes enough to clear the curb. This should jam
your wheels and runners into the curb. You should be prepared
to compensate for the sudden change in your motion.

An alternative curb ramming stop is to do a spinout near the
curb and ram the back of your skate into the curb.

Both these techniques cause quite a bit of shock to your skates
(especially at high speeds) so if you really love your skates
you may not want to do this stop too often 8-)

This is one of the most effective stops, and also one of the
hardest. To do this stop, you should be able to skate forwards
and backwards well, and also be able to flip front-to-back

There appear different approaches to learning the power stop.
The end result should be the same, or nearly so, but both are
detailed below. It is left to the reader to decide which one is
easier to follow.

One way:

You can piece the power stop together by combining two things:

1. flip front to backward.
2. place one foot behind you and push the entire row of wheels
at a very sharp angle into the ground.

You can practice this by skating backwards, gliding, and then
with nearly all your weight on one foot, bring the other foot
behind you, perpendicular to your direction of travel (see the
Backward Stepping stop).

You should start out doing this while traveling slowly. Your
wheels should scrape a little. If they catch, you need to hold
your braking skate at a sharper angle. Once you get this down,
you can practice flipping front-to-back, coast a little, and
then stop. Eventually, the combination becomes one smooth move:
just get the braking leg extended as soon as you flip.

You can use any flip (mohawk, 3-turn, toe-pivot, etc.) for this
stop. This stop is good for hockey, and a good stop when going
backwards (especially at higher speeds). A power-stop using a
jump turn is called a chop stop (see following section).

The other way:

The second method involves one continuous motion instead of
two: Skate forward on an outside edge, while extending the free
leg to the side. All weight is on the skating leg. The free leg
is dragged along the ground. Now sharpen the turn on the
outside edge of the skating leg (with its knee greatly bent),
and swing the free leg in front. This continuous transition
causes the skating leg to turn, so it's now skating in reverse.

The key is to have all the weight on the skating leg. If you
place any weight on the free leg, you will go into a spin and
lose control.

Some prefer this method because you do not need to go into a
complete power slide to stop. At any point in the continuous
motion, you can abort if something is going wrong. Only at
higher speeds is it necessary to completely turn the skating
foot. There is less risk of catching the free leg on an uneven
surface because it is already extended and dragging before you
swing around.

If you have a WWW browser, check out Scott's power-sliding
picture tutorial.

For skating forward or backward at low to moderate speeds. This
is much like the hockey stops done on ice except, since you
can't shave asphalt, you need to jump and turn both skates and
hips perpendicular to the direction of travel. Land with the
skates at an angle (like in the power stop) and push your
wheels against the ground. To maintain balance you can keep one
skate mainly beneath you, while the other goes out forward to
stop you.

Most of the shredding will be done on the lead skate, where the
inside of your lead leg should make a sharp angle against the

Basically what this is, is a power stop using a jump turn.

The jump isn't so much for air time as for lifting your skates
off the ground so you can reposition them sideways. The lower
the jump you can get away with, the less off balance you should
be when you land. However, if you don't jump high enough you
may not be able to place your lead skate at a sufficient angle.
Caution should be used even more so in this stop than in

The particulars of the jump aren't crucial. You can lead with
one foot followed by the other, and land in that order; or jump
and land with both feet at once. Pick whatever style you're
most comfortable with.

Harder than even the power stop, the New York stop is mainly a
power stop but you don't turn your gliding foot! It doesn't
appear that just anyone can perform this stop, since it seems
to require quite a bit of knee flexibility. L = the track left
by the left skate, R = ditto by the right skate

------ direction of travel --- >

L---------------------- |
This stop requires your knee to be twisted inward (not a natural
position, by far), so if you can't do it, I wouldn't say it's a big loss
since it seems to have above average potential to cause injury if
done wrong.


This stop requires brakes on both skates and is very reminiscent of
cartoon charaters, Wile E. Coyote in particular 8-), when they stop
on their heels after going very, very, VERY fast (meep meep! 8-).


Once you've got some stops perfected, the next thing you might want to
try is a sequence or combination of several stops. These are definitely
more fun and a bit more showy. These are some of the random combination
stops that I do. You can easily make up your own. (Sequences are denoted
with "->" and combos with "+")

Crossover stop -> turn opposite direction -> toe-drag
spinout. So for example, you can crossover stop to the
left, ride your left skate and do a toe drag (right toe
pivot) while turning to the right to complete the

Double crossover stop
crossover stop -> inverted crossover stop (or vice
versa). This also traces out an S-pattern.

Braking T-stop
T-stop with non-brake foot + brake with brake-pad

Braking toe-drag
Brake with brake-pad + toe-drag on other skate. The
braking toe-drag and the braking T-stop are the two of
the most effective ways to stop that I know of when

Braking spread-eagle
Spread-eagle (follow w/ spinout optional) with braking
skate in front + braking with brake-pad

Braking glide stop
glide -> reverse feet positions -> brake-pad. The effect
is that of shuffling your feet quickly and stopping.
(Glide: a heel-toe glide, one skate out, and one skate
back; use only the back toe and front heel wheels. The
back skate should be the one with the brake since the
assembly gets in the way on the front skate)


Related Topics


Falling should be one of your last resort techniques, but everyone
falls some time, so it's a good and safe thing to know. Falling can be
practiced at low speeds to get used the idea that indeed, you can plop
on your guards and pads, and come away safe as houses.
1. One of the less graceful and more painful ways to stop is to
wipeout into a face plant or another nasty, bloody occurrence. I
daresay no one does this "stop" voluntarily. These stops work
vicariously: If you see someone else do're likely to stop
or slow down too 8-)

2. At low speeds, a better (and less painful) falling-stop is to
collapse your body in a way so that the primary scraping areas are
the knee pads and your wrist guards/gloves. Bend your knees, fall
on your knee pads and follow by falling on your wrist guards. Keep
your wrists loose since there is still some risk of injury. See
the collision section below.

If you tend to fall backwards, your rear-end will probably be your
biggest cushion (just how big, depends on you 8-). You should try to
spread out the shock to your arms and over as much body area as
possible (in general)...the less directly on your wrists and elbows,
probably the better. NOTE however, that your tailbone is, after all,
located in your duff and a hard fall at too sharp an angle will either
bruise or fracture/break the tailbone.

At high speeds, when you desperately need to stop, an outright
collapse on your protection gear may not be enough. High speed falls
are best when you take the brunt of the force with the entire body,
save for the head (besides, you're wearing your helmet, right?)

Rolling with the fall is a key to reducing the force of impact. So if
you happen to be careening down a hill, if possible, turn sideways to
your direction of travel and fall uphill (to keep you from tumbling
further down the hill). When you hit, keep your body loose, with hands
up near your face or over your head. With luck, and no other dangers
eminent (such as approaching 18-wheelers or rolling off a cliff), you
should be able to stand up, thank your favorite deity, wipe yourself
off, and go take a lesson in skating safety and control.

COLLISIONS WITH STATIONARY OBJECTS: Hopefully you will never ever have
to use a collision as a means to stop, but if you ever do, keep your
limbs bent and your body relaxed. Act like a big shock-absorber and
cushion your contact with bending of the arms and legs. Locked limbs
will only increase the shock going into your joints causing likely
ligament/tendon tears or other damage.

Bottom line

Practically speaking, all the stops that require dragging the wheels
will put a bigger dent in your wallet since wheels cost a bundle. If
you don't use your brake-pad, harder wheels may slow down the wear on
your wheels.


Copyright notice

Skating Backwards

From: (Bungle)
Date: 9 Sep 1994 00:12:35 +0100

The easiest way to start, is _slowly_. Build up in stages.

Moving in this ----------------> direction

_Stage one:_

A simple roll backwards on flat ground, letting skates go apart, then
back to the middle. Don't try and lift feet of the ground at any time.

___..___ ___..___
Right foot ---'''' ````---..---'''' ````---..

Left foot ---....___ ___....---'`---....___ ___....---'`
`' `'

_Stage two:_

Keep one foot steady (if you are better at right-handed cross-overs,
this should probably be you left foot) and do more exaggerated shorter
movements with the other foot. Push the foot out quite hard (with toe
pointing inwards slightly) while putting most weight on the other
foot. I find it easier to use the front wheels on my pushing foot.
When pulling the foot back in, do not try to lift it, just pull it in
slowly. Don't try to create motion from the inward pull. Motion should
be from the out-push only.

,--... ,--... ,--...
Right foot ,' ```--...,' ```--...,' ```--...

left foot -----------------------------------------------

_Stage three:_

Swap feet over.

_Stage four:_

Push with alternate feet.

,--... ,--...
Right foot ,' ```--...............,' ```--.............

Left foot ''''''````````. ___--'''''''''```````. ___--
`--''' `--'''

_Stage five:_

Move feet at the same time

,--... ,--... ,--...
Right foot ,' ```--...,' ```--...,' ```--...,

Left foot ___--''`. ___--''`. ___--''`. ___
' `--''' `--''' `--'''

_Stage six:_

This is where you start trying hills, corners, crossovers, stairs, or
whatever else takes you fancy.


From: (George Robbins)
There are several different ideas on the best way to get started with
backwards skating, which means you tend to get a lot of responses, but
no agreement.

1) Start by pushing off a wall or fence, or turning from forward to
backward while rolling. Just coast until you feel secure with the
general idea. A helmet isn't a bad idea, by the way!

2) Get your posture/balance right - your body should be upright, with
your knees bent - if you lean forward while skating, this will seem
like leaning backwards. If you lean forward you'll find yourself
dancing on your toe wheels and then your nose.

3) Get your feet at a normal track width - not neccessarily clicking
heels, but less than shoulder width. Many folk spread out when the
feel insecure, but you can't "stroke" from that position.

4) At this point you can fool around a little - you can turn by
leaning or keep yourself moving with a "sculling" motion - moving both
feet out-in-out-in as if tracing coke-bottle curves.

5) Next, you need to get comfortable with rolling on one foot, so that
you can be pushing with the other. Just pick up one foot - half an
inch is fine - and roll on the other. This will require that you get
the rolling foot centered under your weight! (see 2 above). Practice
some one-foot gliding and turns.

6) Finally, you are ready to stroke - just push one leg out and to the
side while you roll on the other, then at the end of the stroke, pick
up that skate and set it back alongside the other. Alternate feet, and
as you get the hang of it, you'll find that you can maintain and build

7) Expect it to take a while for you to get comfortable, just try a
little backwards action each time you go out to skate. You also want
to get in the habit of looking over your shoulder to see where you're
going, looking only at where you've been leads to surprises.

8) There an alternate method of learning to stroke, which goes from
sculling with both feet to sculling with one at a time and then
getting a more powerful push with that foot. This may lead more
naturally to the Hockey wide-track "C-cut" backward stride, where you
roll/slide the foot back instead of picking it up, but that's more for
quick maneuvering, not speed/distance skating.


Skating Downhills

(and surviving!)
by Tony Chen For whatever reason that you're tackling downhill skating
(you want to cross-train for skiing, you like the speed, there's no
other way around, etc.), you should never take it for granted that you
can just "pick it up". Otherwise, the paramedics might be doing the
picking (pieces of you) up.

Note that skating downhill can easily exceed 30-35mph. Skaters have
been clocked at over 75mph, so skating downhill should NOT be treated

Ancedote: Back in 1992, while I was still at Princeton, some of my
skating buddies and I rented skates for a whole group of our other
friends who didn't have skates. We went over to a short campus road
that was nice and flat so that everyone could get a hang of skating.
After maybe 15 minutes of zooming back and forth on that stretch of
asphalt, we decided to take the whole group down to the wide-open
backlot behind the gym.

One thing we forgot about: the only way to the gym was downhill on
the main campus road. As the group turned on the main road (some on
the sidewalk grass, others hanging on to the better skaters) one
skater started rolling down, ever so slowly. By the time she was
fully on the hill, she was already going fast enough to be beyond
her control level.

She continued accelerating for 20 or 30 yards, calling out for help.
The road went by a dorm, so there was no grassy areas nearby.
Nothing was nearby for grabbing. I saw what was happening and
sprinted to the main road and then down the hill after her. I had to
got her to grab my arm, and then I stomped on the brake. After a few
seconds of brake screeching, we finally stopped.

Okay, happy ending, no one hurt, and all that. The point is, it
doesn't take much to get out of control when you're going downhill.
My friend was probably only going 10 mph, but when you feel out of
control it SEEMS like 50mph.

Downhill skating should be attempted only after you've learned some of
the basic skating skills: turns, braking, and balance. Braking means
not only the heel brake, but alternative speed control methods like
the T-stop, slaloming, toe-drag, and others. If you don't know how to
control your speed, the ground hitting your face at 30mph will do it
for you, so take your pick 8-)

There are 6 main components for downhill skating:

1. Safety and your gear
2. Safety and the road
3. Safety in your mind
4. Braking ability and power
5. Speed control
6. Relax!

_Safety and your gear_
Although you should be wearing your helmet even for non-hill
skating, it goes double and triple for downhills. Wiping out at
even 15-20mph can cause major road rash and brain damage, so
wear those pads!

_Safety and the road_
All skating equipment in the world may not help if the hill
you're skating on is pothole-ridden, debris-covered, or just
downright bumpy. Make sure you scout a hill on foot so that you
know what to expect. If you're in a car, get out and walk. Your
car will make the road seem deceptively smooth. Your skate
wheels will feel every bump and crack, so take the time to know
what you're getting into.

_Safety and your mind_
Even if you've got great equipment and scouted the hill, it
won't make a difference if you go out and skate like a reckless
maniac. If you know that there is occasional car traffic, you
have to keep your eyes and ears open. If a car is about to pass
you, get narrow, near the curb, and let them know you see them.
Know where there are stop lights, intersections, and pedestrian
crossings so that you'll be prepared.

It helps if you've got other skaters watching out for traffic,
both down and up stream. Not that I'm advocating that you have
hordes of skaters on a hill, but if you're going to be skating
downhill with others, watch out for each other.

_Braking ability and power:_
First, I would suggest a lot of practice learning to stop
quickly using only your brake skate. _But before you try any of
this, you must be comfortable using the heel brake_. If you're
not, practice using the heel brake first, even if it takes a
few days or even a week.

Part I: flats

+ Find a good open area like a parking lot (no traffic, etc.)
+ Start at one side, skate as fast as you can towards the other
+ When you're halfway across, try to brake as fast as possible
+ Repeat until you can stop with all your weight on the brake.
You'll have to lift your back skate and press into your
braking heel.
Part II: hills
+ Find a reasonable hill that has little or no traffic
+ Start at the bottom and skate up to the point where you feel
comfortable skating down from
+ Coast down, braking as needed.
+ Repeat until you're comfortable with that heigh. Then do it
again, but from a bit higher up the hill.

The main thing to keep in mind is the leverage, with the pivot
at your braking heel. You want to apply all the pressure into
the brake. Also, make sure to lean back slightly, to counter
your forward motion.

_Speed control:_
You won't always want to stop completely as you coast downhill.
Most of the time you only want to keep your speed at a certain
level. To do this, you want to apply your brakes every 5-10
yards, or even more frequently if you need to. You can also
apply the brake continuously, but at only half-pressure. If
you've practiced your braking in step 1, then this should be no
problem. The principle is that if your speed stays within your
comfort zone, you'll be in better control.

When you attain braking proficiency and speed control, then
being relaxed while you skate downhill should come fairly easy.
Being relaxed isn't just some Zen thing or a way to look cool.
Keeping relaxed is critical for unanticipated bumps or debris
on the road that could make you trip and wipe out. When you're
relaxed your body reflexes can respond better than when you're
all tense from fear of wiping out.

Hopefully, when all is said and done, you'll be a much more adept
skater when you've mastered downhill skating. Not only will you be a
better skater overall, since many of the skills will transfer to other
skating methods, but you'll be a much more confident skater.

Copyright Š 1991-1996 Anthony D. Chen (

Tony Chen

Sep 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/20/96

Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: sports/skating/inline-faq/part3

_r.s.s.inline FAQ: Techniques - Stairs, Grinds and Rails_

[LINK] -->


Friday, 31-May-96 17:59:34 MDT

Table of Contents

* Stair riding
* Curb grinds and wall stalls
* Rails
* Skitching (skate-hitching)


From: ai...@hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM (Jim Aites)

I'm pretty comfortable riding stairs (frontwards and backwards), but
discovered something which in hindsight should have been obvious, and
might be worth mentioning to those who are looking for stairs to ride.

Simply put, there are stairs worth riding and the are stairs that
you'd be nuts to do anything but jump down/over.

Dangerous stairs: Ride-able stairs: Fun/easy stairs:

|__ |____ |______
| | |
|__ |____ |______
| | |
|__ |____ |______

Too obvious you say? Yeah, me too. I durn near nailed myself going
backwards down a dangerous set the other day. I guess I figured that
stairs were stairs. Wrong thinking is punishable...via PAIN!

From: (Robert John Butera)

Tonight I finally did my first competent stair bashing, doing 6-8
stairs at the Party-on-the-Plaza in downtown Houston. I thought I'd
share some of what I learned with others, since this thread comes up a

* I was surprised how EASY is was - a lot of it is overcoming the
confidence factor and being relaxed.

* It really helps to watch someone. I decided to try it when I saw
someone that I KNEW was a much less experienced skater than me,
and decided, dammit I'm going to tackle this thing.

* The BIGGEST tip I have for getting started is to constantly remind
yourself to keep one foot in fron tof the other. The ride is a lot
smoother. After about an hour of doing it, I could get myself to
do it with my skates almost side-by-side, but your much more
likely to lose your balance.

* At first I kept on tripping on the bottom stair or two (yet
miraculously I never fell!). The guy who showed me how to do it
noticed that as I progressed down the stairs, my rear foot was
moving forward and becoming more "side-by-side" with my front foot
(see the previous note). The trick was to relax yet concentrate on
foot placement.

* When I got back to campus, I tried skating backward down some
wimpy 2-4 stair spread out stairs. The people here are right: I
think backwards stair crashing might actually be easier. I intend
to go downtown tomorrow night and try the backwards thing on some
larger stairs.

Overall, a great night for skating. I also found the "ideal parking
deck" with those two important prerequisites: no visible security and
a working elevator (its really steep, but has 6-7 levels). Such
parking decks are becoming few and far between around here as more
skaters start "invading" them, making the security dudes a lot more

From: (Kenneth Creta)

In article , (Andrew) writes:
> I've been skating for about 3 month now, but still can't skate down-
> stairs. I tried to go up the stairs and it works well, very fast! I saw peop
> going upstairs and did not find it difficult at all. But looking down from th
> top of even 7 step stair scares the shit out of me.

Try a smaller set first. A wouldn't advise going straight to 7 stairs.

>I tried going down from the
> fourth step of a 15 step stair, but I ended up running downstairs, not skatin

This will never work. You need some speed to prevent your skates from catching
on them. My friend and I (we do stairs all the time) have recently started
hit the stairs at a snail's pace. Not as easy when going slow.

> Do you have to keep the blades horisontally, when you go down, or at a 45 ang

Although I don;t really think about it, I guess I'd have to say horizontal.

> It seems that if you keep the skates at an anlge, you end up running downstai
rs,but if you keep them horisontally, the brake would definitely get in the way
> almost any stairs, except very flat ones. Or you have to approach the stair a
> an angle, to make the path longer?

A good way to start. Stairs are much easier at an angle. The easier way is
if your front foot is opposite the angle your going. In other words, if
your back foot is your right (mine is) try angling right to left.

If you go slow, your brake will definitely be a concern. I don't bother with
one anyway. What could make someone want to stop anyway :)


From: (Matt Hicks)

I saw some street freestyle on Prime Sports Network (I think it was) a
few weeks ago and I noticed that the guys doing stairs seemed to be
just dragging the toe wheels of their trailing foot (feet?). All their
weight was on the leading foot and the trailing foot seemed to be just
a rudder or for balance only. Anyone had any experience with this
technique? See the worst ASCII drawing in the world below if this is
not clear.

/ /
/ / \
/ / \
O|---------- /\ \
| | / | |
O| ----------/ | |
______ O| / | |
| |__| |----|
|_O_______ | |
| | \__
|________ | \
| |________|
|___@ @ @ @_

From: (Kenneth Creta)

I've been stair bashing for a LONG time now. However, I've always
wondered about my form and whether I was doing it right because it has always
seemed that my ride was ALOT rougher and bumpier than others I've watched.

Last night proved that something was wrong. My friend and I were
taking our favorite set of stairs REALLY SLOW. This isn't so easy. Howver,
while my friend was able to do it OK, I found that my back (right) foot kept
on catching on the steps. My friend thinks I put too much weight on the back
foot and I think he might be be right because when I listen, he sounds like
CHUNK-KA CHUNK-KA where I sound like CHUNK CHUNK. You know what I mean.

Any of you find yourself in a similar situation?


From: (Stephen J. Okay)

In article har...@leland.Stanford.EDU (Lawrence Chr-Jr Liu) writes:
>Jeff writes:
>Out of curiosity, do most skaters think 180's or 360's off stairs are easier?
>I'm trying to learn 360's, but I can't quite get the hang of it -- any
>suggestions? (These 360's are on flat ground for now, I don't have the full
>no fear mentality -- yet ;) )

I haven't quite gotten there either yet, so I'm going to say 180s :)

My typical approach to 180's:

Approach the stairs at a moderate speed and when I reach the first one, jump
up like I was going to do a curb jump. I usually land on the 3rd or 4th step
and stop there quite solidly and firmly. As soon as I'm sure of my purchase on
that step(about a second or so), I push back with my front wheels and turn
around to land facing forward.

is it much of a transition to make this a 270?

I think the reason I haven't done a 360 yet is that I'm not that comfortable
landing backwards. Although I am getting better with the heel-to-heels, so
I do feel more comfortablke landing and then spinning or doing wide circles.
(Thats the best I can manage with this so far...but they are getting WIDER! :)

ObTrick: Found another cool office over the weekend. TThis one not only has
a deep curb ramp, but also a long cement one running up to the front
door. I was catching some major air off this, almost enough to start
doing tricks in midair..
For those in the area,this is the Dept. of the Interior building over in
Sir Isaac Newton Square in Reston...they've got some pretty cool stairs too..


From: (Kenneth Creta)

In article , cd...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Douglas J. Narby) writes:

> Stairs (this one not explained too well; and I haven't had the Testes to
> try it without some clues).

Remember to bend you knees and put more weight on the back foot than the
front. I put my left foot 1/2 a foot length ahead of my right (my right
leg is the stronger of the two) and bend my knees to absorb much of the
impact. When people get scared, they straighten up which winds up in a
wreck. Also, while going down, try to be light on your feet. I know that
sounds funny but picture it and "float" over the stairs. Use the force,
Luke :)

If you try backwards, put your stronger leg forward (uphill) and put your
(most of but not all) weight on your toes. Like forward, put most of the
weight on your stronger leg. Too much weight on your heels can result in
catching the foot throwing you on your back.

We have two flights of 6 steps with about 5 feet of flat in between and I
like to hit the first going forward and then switching backwards for the
next flight. Or going down the first set, and jumping into a 180 over
the second and so on.

> My best trick so far is jumping a flight of four stairs. Now I am trying
> to learn to do crossovers whilst skating backward.

I think backwards cross-overs is one of the best techniques that develops
overall skating ability. It really forces you to balance and takes quite
a bit of practice before you are really comfortable. BE SURE TO PRACTICE
BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT EQUALLY. I see alot of people who can go one way but
not the other.

New Tricks:

Work on 360 jumps off the ground (forward and backward). Once you
have those down, hit a jump and do it (again, forwards and backwards).

Try a "Dutchman". Jump off a ramp, grab both feet behind your back
while in the air and land (on your feet :)


From: (DAve.)
Subject: Re: Stair/Wall Jumps..

In article , (Will Leland) writes:
> RE: how to ride down stairs
> SPEED! just get going a good clip, put your weaker foot in front of
> the other for more stability, and ride down with most of your weight
> on the back skate.
> I ran into an upper limit on stairs though. When I got up to 10 steps
> I ran out of speed (and balance) and did a major face plant. Do those
> hockey helmets come with face cages :)

Speed is nice - balance is better! :-)

Once again, though, you need to be able to skate more or less one foot in front

of the other. I like to push my front foot out, almost straight so that if
it gets caught on a step it 'springs' back in front really quickly.

Then place the trailing knee really close and almost behind the leading one.
This forces one to bend that trailing leg, which takes up a lot of the bumpines
The more relaxed the back leg is, the smoother the ride goes.

I have managed 15 consecutive steps this way. The only reason that that is
the limit, is that I have not found more than 15 consecutive steps. :-)
It is real easy to lose your nerve after 12 or so. As soon as you stiffen or
straghten up the back leg, it is all over :-\

Anyways, this is *MY* method (MHOs only) - it is certainly not everyones.
I think one just needs to find what is most comfortable for oneself.


From: (Kimon Papahadjopulos)

First of all, like most everything else, this skill comes with practice,
and at first that is really hard to do since you don't know how to do
it yet.

The first thing you have to do is find is a good bunch of stairs to practice
on. On the Berkeley Campus there is an ideal sight: one of the buildings
is built on an incline so that the bottom floor is underground at the
top of the hill and completely exposed on the bottom.

Because of this, a stairway that runs the length of the building
"fades away", so that there are no stairs at one end, but it builds
up gradually to about twenty steps at the other end.

Besides being very wide, the the steps are also very long. If you
can find a set up like this, your halfway there already. This way
you can practice with one or two steps, and move up one at a time when
you get more confident.

>When skating down narrow stairs, is it easier to go straight down
>or is it easier to go at an angle? It seems like going at an
>angle might be easier because it would provide more opportunity
>to have both skates in contact simultaneously.

Can you really go down truly narrow stairs at an angle? On a wide
bunch of stairs, going down at an angle is much easier because you don't
go nearly as fast. This is essential when you are learning.

>How should your weight be distributed? Should it be equally
>distributed, shifted mostly to the leading leg, or shifted mostly
>to the trailing leg?

Almost all on the trailing leg. The front leg is mostly a guide.

>Does having a brake on one skate increase the risk of a fall?
>Since the brake extends beyond the rear of one skate, my concern
>is that it might get caught on the edge of a step. Therefore,
>should the skate with the brake lead, follow, or does it matter?

Learn how to t-stop before you learn stairs. The back break is a hazard
for any sort of trick, whether it be crossovers, skating backwards, or
going down stairs.

If you are interested in doing any of the above, it's well worth your
while to learn how to get by without the back brake. It will probably
save you a bunch of nasty falls.

IMO, anyone that is trying to learn stairs with a brake is just asking
for it. Generally, learning a t-stop is your first trick, since it's
easier to learn, and makes most other tricks easier.

It also kind of proves that you know what you are doing, and are ready
for the next level.

And you're right about the brake getting caught on the edge of
each step.

Also, when you are practicing, you often times are not in the best balance
when you finish a set of stairs. If you happen to catch your brake
when this happens, you are probaly going to end up on the pavement.

>Is there a safe, piecemeal way to learn skating down stairs, or
>should I necessarily expect to fall as part of the learning

Again, if you can find a nice set of stairs, you don't necessarily have
to murder yourself. Practive on two or three stairs and then move up.

But of course, wear full protective gear, and don't complain if your
skates break. Rollerblade Lightnings are very sturdy, and hold up fairly
well. I'm sure TRS's are good too, maybe even Macroblades and Aeroblades.
But don't use Zetra's or any skate with a metal blade. SwitchIts in my
experience are somewhat frigile for this sort of thing.


It should be understood that if you push beyond the level of your
abilities, and you happen to land on your head, even with a helmut,
you could kill yourself.


>Is stair skating always risky, even for those who have mastered
>it, or is it fairly safe once a skater understands how it is

I have not done a lot because I have concerns about my knees: going
down stairs really puts a lot of stress on your knees, as well as your
skates. From what I have done, I believe that skating stairs
becomes as easy as anything else after a while, as long as you know the
particular staircase that you are going down, and there is no one walking
up it.

From: (Sean Ahern)

>IMO, anyone that is trying to learn stairs with a brake is just asking
>for it. Generally, learning a t-stop is your first trick, since it's
>easier to learn, and makes most other tricks easier.

No way....I learned you to skate down stairs by teaching myself to be
aware of the brake and what I was doing with it.

I have also taught other people how to do this as well.

I think leaving the brake on makes you more aware of what your skates are

>It also kind of proves that you know what you are doing, and are ready
>for the next level.

Exactly my point about leaving the brake on.

Now while I don't use the brake except when I have to do SUDDEN stops like
when a car pulls in front of me, I think it's a good thing to leave on for
safety's sake.

>And you're right about the brake getting caught on the edge of
>each step.

Well, not if you have enough speed. I have found that stairs are actually
harder at slow speeds. Going slowly, the edge of the stair will give a pivot
that can throw off your balance. If you are going moderately fast, you just
skate right down the stairs, almost as if they are one surface.

You MUST make sure that one skate is in front of the other and your knees are
bent deep. You also might crouch down a bit and lean forward. I have found
that this helps me keep my balance. Don't lean forward too far or you will
tumble forward. (not fun on stairs)

>Also, when you are practicing, you often times are not in the best balance
>when you finish a set of stairs. If you happen to catch your brake
>when this happens, you are probaly going to end up on the pavement.

Ahhhh, if you are not leaning backwards when you are going down, you shouldn't
be in a position to catch your brake anywhere.

>Again, if you can find a nice set of stairs, you don't necessarily have
>to murder yourself. Practive on two or three stairs and then move up.

Yes, this is very true. Start out on a wide set of stairs. If you can get
one stair (kinda like a curb), try to keep going and get the next one. If you
get pretty good at this, try doing them a little faster. You will learn the
basic techniques of stairs this way and will soon be able to move onto steeper
and steeper stairs.

>>Is stair skating always risky, even for those who have mastered
>>it, or is it fairly safe once a skater understands how it is

>I have not done a lot because I have concerns about my knees: going
>down stairs really puts a lot of stress on your knees, as well as your
>skates. From what I have done, I believe that skating stairs
>becomes as easy as anything else after a while, as long as you know the
>particular staircase that you are going down, and there is no one walking
>up it.

It DOES get easy, after a while, but they are still challenging as every flight
of stairs has a different slope and width to them.


From: (Jim Aites)

re: stair-riding (from an e-mail discussion...possible FAQ submital)

>For the intermediate skater who hasn't tried stairs yet, what would you
>say are the basic skills?

Practicing curbs is a good idea, specially if you 'drop off' instead of
'hop off'. The difference being one of jumping vs riding. A short set of
two or three easy stairs (with wide risers) would be the next step.

>...t-stops with either foot. Probably backwards skating, too?

180's and 380's are probably part of that as well. Not that these are
*needed* for stair bashing, but if someone is doing this level of stuff
then they could certainly handle stairs.

>Is there anything else that people should master before they begin?

No...not 'master', but there are a few things a person needs to know in
order to be relatively successful at handling stairs:

1) a 'reasonable' speed is required!

Contrary to common knowledge about the laws of physics, folks generally
lose speed when going down stairs. Backwards bashing however, will
actually cause one to GAIN speed. No, it's not 'magic'...

Many of us have started down a flight of stairs at a good speed, only to
slow to a crawl, and end up 'bailing out' before reaching the bottom. This
'leap of faith' (hoping you can reach a flat spot when you throw yourself
over the last few steps) is probably the most dangerous thing about riding
stairs. So, if going forward - hit them at speed!

The loss of speed is mostly due to that fact that folks tend to ride the
stairs 'flat', instead of leaning into it and angling the skates as though
on a hill. Riding 'flat' means that the slope isn't really affecting your
speed. While bashing backwards, however, EVERYONE lets their heels lead
the way and the foot naturally angles (er...toes up), thus restoring the
'slope' and gaining speed.

While flat-riding, it doesn't matter what style you use...but keeping
your weight on the trailing skate is relatively standard. Aggressive
bashers often use a wider front-to-back skate placement, but more
importantly, they LEAN into the slope to avoid losing speed.

Note: go easy on this folks...nobody wants to see you do a header down the

2) they call it 'bashing' for a reason. Accept it!

Yup, bashing, bone jarring, bouncing, slamming, and in general, beating
yourself up (ok, your skates) while riding stairs is an expected part of
the game. A willingness to accept that it feels uglier than it looks is
needed. Hummm...some folks may argue that it 'looks as bad as it feels'
as well! Either way, you've got to go with it.

3) backwards *IS* easier. But more intimidating.

Honest! Because there is an extra 'shock absorber' (ie your ankle can flex
to your toes whereas your heel is pretty solid) and because your feet will
naturally angle down, the backwards ride is a heck of a lot smoother than
riding stairs frontwards. If you have trouble just 'going-for-it', then
start slow, and use a hand-rail. (normally this is NOT a good thing to do)
Keep a reasonable front-to-back stance and let everything flex!

Note: If you find that going backwards is NOT easier/smoother, then please
let me know. Not that anyone can help you at this point, but rather
because I'd be curious to hear about the 'exception to the rule'.

4) failure to wear a helmet ANYTIME you are rolling backwards or doing
stairs is (of course) enough to get you 'certified' (as insane) in most

I was the first in our group to do 'killer' steps (4 flights of seven
stairs each) backwards. I started from a standing-start at the top while
clutching a hand-rail. The clutch turned into a light balancing guide
after the first three steps...and then I was free-wheeling down the rest.

From: (Shooshie)
Subject: Re: Stairs...
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 19:43:55 -0600

In article , sj...@Lehigh.EDU wrote:
|> What type of stairs would be the best to start on? Do I want long, flat
|> stairs, or short, steep ones? SHould I take them forwards, backwards, fast,
|> slow, should I lean forward or backwards? All info will be appreciated.

When I began attempting stairs backward, I found some shallow stairs
(long, flat ones) about six steps deep, with a handrail. I found that
using the handrail for security saved my rear end repeatedly. Had I used
the same combination when learning them forward, I might still have
complete use of my shoulder. So... find long, flat stairs and a handrail.
Or you can learn them as I did and fall a few times. Some of those falls
will send you tumbling down stairs and you'll learn what it is that stunt
men get paid for in movies, as well as why they retire young.

It doesn't hurt to go REALLL slow at first with a handrail, just to get
used to the idea, and to see that it really doesn't amount to much more
than straight level skating. But from then on, try it at a nice cruising
speed. Taking them too slow will just make you end up hanging a wheel on
the last step or two, and you'll fall... and grab the rail, of course.
Take it at a speed with which you could almost jump the stairs, and you'll
probably do fine. If I lean at all, it's forward, but I'm not aware of
leaning, so it would be ever-so-slight. Whatever you do, don't lean
backward... unless, of course, you want to practice dribbling your head on
concrete. Which brings up the standard thing that you should know by
now... Wear Your Helmet!

And one more thing: stagger your feet. Your heel of the leading foot
should be at least even with your toe of the trailing foot. That's not a
rule or anything, but it gives you much more security at first. Which
means you need to be sure you are a competent skater with your feet in
that position before you go bustin' down stairs with it. And because your
forward foot will be lower than your trailing foot, you need to bend your
knees and relax your stance as much as possible to let your hips and
ankles do the necessary cantilevering. There's nothing you really "do" to
go down stairs but relax and wait for the last one to come up, hoping that
you aren't in an awkward balance position in the meantime. That word,
"relax" is a killer though. It'll take about a hundred times before you
can relax. Then you've only learned ONE staircase. You have to find a
different kind then, and another, and another. Finally, you are confident
that you can do any staircase. I haven't tried fire escapes, escalators,
or anything like that, though. To be honest, I really like to stick to the
shallow ones. I'm not a slinky, you know.

There's probably more to tell, but I can't think of it. Someone else will,


From: (Nelson)
Subject: Re: Stairs...
Date: 11 Apr 1995 10:29:23 GMT

sj...@Lehigh.EDU wrote:
: What type of stairs would be the best to start on? Do I want long, flat
: stairs, or short, steep ones? SHould I take them forwards, backwards, fast,
: slow, should I lean forward or backwards? All info will be appreciated.

Some of the basics...

* Don't attempt to go backwards if you can't skate backwards'll
end up falling backwards and bash your skull.
* Go forward's rougher, but easier to learn, and more natural.
* Forward stair riding.
- keep feet staggered.
- BEND KNEES!...Like you're about to tackle somebody.
get into that atheletic, and balanced position, and KEEP IT.
- More weight on back leg
- Front leg sort of like a out-rigger. Do Not put too much weight on
front leg. A fall on your butt, and elbows (WEAR PADS!) is better than
a face-plant-tumble down the stairs....I went to the hospital that
way for dislocated shoulder.
- Keep hands in _ready position_ ... ready for a fall. :-)
- Concentrate on keeping your back leg in position. Many beginner stair
riders concentrate so much on the steps they let their back leg get
limp. Then the back leg lags behind more and more, and you end up in a
bad position! If stairs are short, then you just end up catching your
back skate every time. If they are long, then be ready for face-plant.
- So, in my opinion, the biggest thing to remember when learning is to

Wear pads, wear a helmet.

Curb Grinds And Wall Stalls

From: (StClair4)
Date: 5 Jul 1995 13:10:33 -0400

Here is a basic guide to grinds.

1. Frontside and backside grinds:Many people think that these grinds
are easiest. I think that this is true on rails, but not on curbs.
Find a low rail (4-8") that is small enough to fit between your 2nd
and 3rd wheels. To start out, go directly AT the rail. Jump slightly,
and land with your FEET SPREAD with the rail between your 2nd and 3rd
wheels. Once you can do this consistantly, start approaching the rail
from less and less of an angle. The secret to frontsides on rails is
to keep your feet spread or you will end up on your ass.

2. Soul Grinds: Aaaah Soul Grinds. Soul grinds are definately the most
fun for me. You can soul grind just about anything (curb, planter,
rail). To learn how to soul, stand next to a curb 4 to 8 inches high.
Jump up onto the curb with the edge of the curb in between your 2nd
and 3rd wheel on your front foot and on the outside sole of your back
boot. If you can do this no problem, you are ready to grind. Find a
curb which is not on a set of stairs, and has enough space for you to
get some speed going parallel to it. (Got it?) Wax about ten feet of
that curb. If you can't find parrafin you can use bar soap. Wax all
around the edge of the curb and about three inches wide on the top.
Approach the curb riding almost parallel to it. Jump onto the curb in
the soul position with your weight evenly distributed on both feet. If
you are having trouble staying on the curb, then try looking down the
curb, This helps keep your front foot on the curb. (You will usually
come off the curb backwards when doing this)

3.Mizou grinds: A mizou grind is like a soul, except the foot that is
grinding on the sole of the boot is the front foot, and the back foot
is grinding in between the second and third wheel. Learn how to soul
before you learn how to Mizou. Do the same learning process that you
did for the soul (stand next the the curb and jump on it). Approach it
much like a soul. If your front foot is coming off the curb, then bend
your knee over the curb more. (crappy art)

knee[ ]
\ \
\ \
______________[ ]

From: (Stephen J. Okay)

>har...@leland.Stanford.EDU (Lawrence Chr-Jr Liu) writes:
>>In an effort to revive the trick thread, I was wondering if anyone out there
>>in netland has performed a "front-side curb grind", as described in the lates
>>issue of InLine. They mentioned rubbing surfboard wax on the steps to get a
>>better grind, but I was also wondering if the trick can be performed without

Saw it, haven't tried it...

On the subject of 180's though, I've been trying something new during lunch
at work the past couple days. Skate down/across a parking lot, 'till you get
to a median/island. Curb-jump, followed by a 180, landing backwards, then
do whatever...(I've also been working on heel-to-heels, so I've been going
into one of these after I land, partially to practice them, but also because
they can start from a backwards skate, so it looks pretty cool)

I've avoided curb grinds 'cause I'm not sure how well my rails would hold
up to something abrasive like your average concrete curb. I'd probably
try it on something like one thats been painted "No Parking" and more
or less sealed though. Wax? ---maybe, but modding the turf seems a little
bogus to me...


From: (David Madeo)

In article har...@leland.Stanford.EDU (Lawrence Chr-Jr Liu) writes:

>In an effort to revive the trick thread, I was wondering if anyone out there
>in netland has performed a "front-side curb grind", as described in the late
>issue of InLine. They mentioned rubbing surfboard wax on the steps to get a
>better grind, but I was also wondering if the trick can be performed without

You'll definately want to put some wax on. Find out where the
skateboarders in your area wax the curbs and you'll be able to feel
the difference. Rub the wax all around the edge of the curb. I
suggest being precise where you start and stop the waxing. When first
learning you can do a left foot plant on non waxed curb and then bring
the right foot on to the wax, start sliding and bring the left foot
on. It's really important that you get used to skating up to a curb
and jumping onto and off of it at different speeds and angles. It
takes a while to get used to landing and balancing with a curb between
the 2nd and 3rd wheels.

A trick that people are just starting to do around here is to do a
plate/frame scrape and click into a curb grind.

Another much harder is to do a 180/360 to land on the curb for a curb
slide. Start by just trying to land, then move on to the slide.

Supposedly the "latest" is to do sole grinds, but I don't see any
great reason to try them. Stand next to a curb, put the outside edge
of your frame and the bottom of the boot (the sole) against the corner
of the curb. Put your whole weight on this, take the other foot and
out it in front in the traditional grind angle. Do this at high

I just learned how to do stairs at the courthouse. If you saw that
ABC show two weeks ago, it's the same stairs Aton tumbled on.


From: (Spectre)

The reason they suggest waxing, is because they don't suggest
taking off the 3rd wheel back. If you take off the 3rd wheel, you will
slide a lot better. I suggest that you make some type of a shield or plate
to protect your frame. If you look in the same issue of In-line, thereis
an article about people in New York. Look at the picture of the FR group's has a shield to protect his frame, one doesn't. If you look
between the wheels on the skate that doesn't, you will see what will
happen if you do too many curb grinds without the shield (his frames are
chipped away between the 2ond and 3rd wheel, and the 3rd and 4th). When
you take off the wheel, you won't really need the wax...but it's easier
to learn with the wheel in, since your skates will 'lock' onto the stair
between the wheels, instead of having a free sliding space, and you'll
slide better with the wax. once you get good at angling your feet, you
will be able to slide on your frames without having to take off the wheel.

>Another question -- has anyone tried those smaller wheels for tricks, like
>"Little Roxs" (I think that's what they're called). Are they necessary for
>rail slides, or can one just remove the third wheel and either slide on one's
>frame or add a teflon plate?

I havn't tried the little wheels yet (actually I don't see myself
trying them at all, I don't really want the loss of speed, or the added
wear on my bearings...) Right now I have a sheet metal plate on my skate
where the 3rd wheel was, and I'm looking around for a hunk of plastic
(any suggestions in the eastern MA, southern NH area?) to make a more
sturdy and less makeshift slider.

>The one trick I'm thinking of learning next is the 180 into stairs and riding
>the rest of the stairs the rest of the way -- how important is it to land one'
>wheels on the stairs? Do I have to land both skates at the same time squarely
>on the steps, or is it just jump and land and ride?

It all depends how you bash. Do you have to keep your weight
distributed evenly, or can you pick up a skate when you are going down.
If you bash with even weight, then you will want to land pretty much im
the same position that you would be if you bashed to that point...if you
can pick up a foot, then you just need to land on the dominant foot, then
you can adjust yourself to a more comfortable position as you bash down.
One on just jumping into the stairt and going from there
before you start trying 180's into will hurt alot less if you
screw up going forwards then going backwards (spines smacking cement stairs
isn't really my idea of a good time :)


From: (James A Holroyd-1)

Jeff, I noticed this, too. The frames look *really* hacked on.
Your shield sounds like a good idea, but it doesn't sound like metal would
either last too long or slide too well to be of any use... I recommend
that you use some skateboard rails (Powell-Peralta Gorilla Ribs were my
favorite, but I don't know if they still make them)... they last forever
and slide forever. Just cut one down so it fits between your wheels,
epoxy it to your shield, and slide on.
I've also been thinking about making a rail that fits between the
2nd and 3rd wheels on my skates... just a small piece of plastic that
would either clip or screw into the cross brace in my lightning should
work. Anbody seen anything like this? It would reduce the ground
clearance of the skate, but this shouldn't be a problem. I think it would
make it way easier (and less harsh on the frames) to rail-slide.

Steve: Yep, they're fun, aren't they? Haven't done them (180 jumps over
curbs) to a
heel-to-heel, but I have kept rotating and sort of spun around in a crouch
to a forward position again once I land... it's not that hard, and it
feels like a 360, 'cept you're only in the air for half of it. I still
haven't got the courage to try 360's over a curb yet.


From: (Kenneth Creta)

In article , cd...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Douglas J. Narby) writes:
> Sounds cool, Ken, but now we have three jargon terms:
> Stall, Curb Grind and Rail Slide.
> Anybody care to DEFINE them? Throw in any more us newbies are unlikely

Imagine standing in front of a wall about 3 ft high or so (on your feet).
Now imagine jumping up onto it with both feet, "stalling" there for a second,
and jumping back down. That idea except on blades is a stall. That is also
a VERY basic stall. Now try jumping off the wall to one or more other nearby
walls and doing a 360 in the air before landing. That's a cool stall. Keep
in mind that in order to land stable on the wall, you really have to land on
the corner such that the front two wheels are above the wall and the rear two
wheels are below: o
___o foot
wall | o

I think a curb grind might be the same thing but on a curb instead.

A rail slide is just what it sounds like. Approach a low rail pretty much
parallel. Then jump up onto it as if you're stalling it but instead of jumping
onto it and stopping, you slide down it as far as you can. I can't seem to
find a railing that would lend itself to this (i.e., low enough).

From: (Stephen J. Okay)

Well, after exchanging messages with some of our resident bladerats
here on the group, I went out and thought I'd try a few of the tricks
that have been described here with varying degrees of success...
The university here I usually blade around has some interesting structures,
so I used those for this.

Rail Slide: Didn't work so hot, but I think thats 'cause I'm too
worried about losing my balance, my hands won't let go of the rail,
or let me rest on my wristguards to let me slide down. A good
way to practice this is to find a "double" railing to do on.
Should look like this:

\ \ \ \ easier)
on this one| \ \


Rail Slides

From: (Spectre)

I don't know if we've gotten much into rail-slides, so I thought
I would be the one to bring it up.

For those who don't know rail-slides, they are sliding sideways along
a railing. They aren't the easiest things, unless you take off one of your
wheels. If you take the 3rd back (of the 4) out, and at least put the axle
back in for support on your frame. A lot of people have teflon or other
plates designed to go in place of the wheel so you slide on the plate rather
than the frame.

I was working on stair bashing this weekend and got a bit bored, so
I started doing rail-slides on the railings instead.

Jump up on the railing (You can stay the direction you are going,
but I like to do a 180 on the way up so I'm facing the way I'm gonna fall :)
With the wheel removed, you want to land on the gap, where the wheel was, then
you simply (Not quite :) just let your feet slide along the railing down the

Best way to practice, find something like a railing that is about
3-12 inches off the ground, skate up, land on it, and slide as much as you
can. I don't recommend that you try it right off the bat going down a
stairway, since the sensation of sliding backwards is REALLY strange. The
skate park that I practice at has 2 railings that are about 6 inches off
the ground. One is a railing that was taking off of a wall, and the other is
just a 3 inch diameter pipe that is placed on some wood so that the pipe
sits in the wood structure with 1/2 above the wood.


Rail Slides

From: (Spectre)

I don't know if we've gotten much into rail-slides, so I thought
I would be the one to bring it up.

For those who don't know rail-slides, they are sliding sideways along
a railing. They aren't the easiest things, unless you take off one of your
wheels. If you take the 3rd back (of the 4) out, and at least put the axle
back in for support on your frame. A lot of people have teflon or other
plates designed to go in place of the wheel so you slide on the plate rather
than the frame.

I was working on stair bashing this weekend and got a bit bored, so
I started doing rail-slides on the railings instead.

Jump up on the railing (You can stay the direction you are going,
but I like to do a 180 on the way up so I'm facing the way I'm gonna fall :)
With the wheel removed, you want to land on the gap, where the wheel was, then
you simply (Not quite :) just let your feet slide along the railing down the

Best way to practice, find something like a railing that is about
3-12 inches off the ground, skate up, land on it, and slide as much as you
can. I don't recommend that you try it right off the bat going down a
stairway, since the sensation of sliding backwards is REALLY strange. The
skate park that I practice at has 2 railings that are about 6 inches off
the ground. One is a railing that was taking off of a wall, and the other is
just a 3 inch diameter pipe that is placed on some wood so that the pipe
sits in the wood structure with 1/2 above the wood.



From: (Dyer Crouch)

Sender: (Net News)

Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 00:28:53 GMT

First, don't grab a vehicle which is going a much different speed than you
are. Smaller cars and trucks can feel the slight momentum change and often
figure out what is going on and will hit the brakes or find the nearest
phone & call the cops on you. Both have happened to me. :(

Second, do it on streets which you are real familiar with and know have a
good surface. When you change grades of road or hit potholes at high speed
it sucks.

Third, look where the exhaust pipe is. Hooking city busses is my favorite,
but they make this HUGE plume of SMELLY dust when they first come out of a
stop. Stop signs/lights are also great places to wait for a vehicle to come
up to and stop, saddle up behind the puppy & hook on.

Fourth, the bigger the better. Larger vehicles change speed much less and
do it slower than cars, vans etc... Big trucks that ride real high are good
too since you can see under the truck.

Fifth, careful of the turns. You can get slingshoted if you are on the
outside edge of a vehicle on a turn. LOTS of fun when you do it in control,
but when you aren't, it is a major butt puckering ride.

Sixth, HAVE A SAFE EXIT AVENUE! If you are hanging on at high speeds, you
need to make sure you have someplace to go when you let go. If you are
being pulled into tight areas, get off and change directions and or brake.
It sucks getting checked into stationary objects.

And last but not least, how to hold on. Use both hands. One hand you will
hook under the bumper or around what ever you are grabbing on to, and the
other hand you want to use to brace yourself with in case the vehicle slows
or stops. I usually have my palm straight out against the vehicle's bumper
for this. Your best position to do this is in a crouch with your arms out
in front of you until you get good and can do things in whatever position
and grab you want.

Ooops... one more.
Don't do anything to anyone's vehicle while hooking on which you would not
want done to yours, and mind the pedestrians. They see you as a maniacle
eight wheeled missle, which you are. :)

From: (DuckMan)
Subject: Re: [INL] Skitching?
Date: 10 Feb 1995 23:16:37 GMT

I've found that the best way to 'Skitch' is just to 'lay on hands'. The
best way to do this is to skate to the vehicel approaching it from behind
(note: you have to be going as fast or faster then the vehicle for this to
work) then just place one hand on the vehicle (ie. the trunk or bumper).
Do not grab the vehicle, the friction from your hand should be enogh to
keep you with the vehicle, but if the vehicle make any rash moves it will
shake you without ripping your arm off.

This only works on flats or downhills. To go uphill you have to hang on.

btw: Stitchin is still dangerous anyway you do it, if you don't have
a death wish don't try it. :)



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Vert and Jumps

Table of Contents
* Jumps
* Pipes and ramps (links to ramp plans)
* Vert skater terms



From: (Daryl S. Cain) (Daniel Briggs) writes:

Suggestions for exercises on how to work towards a good 360? How
high should I be able to jump in order to have a reasonable shot at
finishing the 360 before landing. For that matter, how should my
feet be set on take off and landing?

The trick is to power your rotation from your torso and just carry
your legs along for the ride. It helps me to hold my arms out in an L
shape (one arm out to the front and one out to the side) and swing
them to get the rotation going. The best way to practice is in your
shoes on the grass (softer when you fall). It's my theory that if you
can't jump and do a 360 in your sneaks (wear heavy shoes to simulate
the weight of skates) then there's no way in hell that your going to
do one in skates. Its also my theory that the best positionl for your
feet is about six feet straight down from your head, I mean, the
hardest part about spinning (on land or in the air) is staying
vertical and balanced.

From: (Stephen J. Okay) (James A Holroyd-1) writes:

Steve: Yep, they're fun, aren't they? Haven't done them (180 jumps
over curbs) to a heel-to-heel, but I have kept rotating and sort of
spun around in a crouch to a forward position again once I land...

Well, its not really OVER the curb so much as it is using it as a
launchpad of sorts. But yes they are fun.... :)

Crummy ASCII art follows:

____ +--------Launch into 180 here...
/ \ | _
/ \ | / \
/ ___\|/__ \ curb hop
/ / \ \/---------- skating path
Land 180 here ^^^^^^^^^
curb/traffic island

From: (Spectre) (Daniel Briggs) writes:

Suggestions for exercises on how to work towards a good 360? How
high should I be able to jump in order to have a reasonable shot at
finishing the 360 before landing. For that matter, how should my
feet be set on take off and landing?

Go back to basics. Take off your skates, stand in one place, jump up
and spin around. Concentrate on thinking on what you are doing, one
step at a time. Once you get to a point where you think you can
explain it to a crippled 12 year old, then put your skates on. Start
without moving. Just do the same thing, jump up, turn around (Pick a
bail of cotton if you really want to), and get the feel of what parts
of your body emphasize the speed and control of the spin. Then just
start rolling, and doing it. Once you get to the point where you can
do it with a good speed roll, then everything beyond (curbs, stairs,
etc) is just conquering's not any different wether you spin
over a perfectly smooth pavement, grass, stairs or a car. If you can
make the jump without any of the obsticals, you can do it with the
obsticals...just close your eyes at first and you won't kno the
difference :)

From: (James A Holroyd-1)

Regarding 360's:
I've almost got them now... I'm spinning most of the way round, but I
keep dropping one foot too soon, so I end up landing like this:
(apologies for the ascii art)

| ^
| <---right skate |
| | direction of travel
| |
------- <---left skate

(spinning clockwise)

This isn't really a problem, but it looks kind of stupid... I think I
need to get more of a "pop." I also need to keep my skates closer

The physics behind the spin is actually pretty simple:
While you're still on the ground (the wind-up phase), you give
yourself angular momentum by turning your torso in the opposite
direction to the one you're going to be spinning in, then twisting
into the spin and jumping. Hopefully, you'll give yourself enough
momentum to make yourself go some multiple of 180 degrees when you're
in the air. You can make yourself spin faster by pulling everything in
closer to your axis of rotation. I saw a TV program on PBS once about
video/computer analysis of ice skaters doing jumps... they had one
skater who couldn't do a triple-something-or-other, and they diagnosed
her problem as leaving her arms too far away from her body. They had
her lift weights, which strengthened her arms, which let her pull them
closer in to her body, which helped her finish the jump. One
interesting thing to note about ice skaters is that they usually start
jumps with one leg at least partially extended away from their body.
When they pull the leg in, it reduces their polar moment of inertia,
which increases the rate of the spin (since angular momentum is
conserved, neglecting air resistance). Because most in-liners start
their jumps on 2 skates, we can't get the slingshot effect of bringing
the leg in, consequently we can't do triples on flat ground. Anybody
out there doing ice-style jumps on inlines? Any thoughts from you
ice-skaters out there?

From: (Michael L. Dickens) (Joseph P. Cernada) wrote:

I still haven't figured out how to get any height while jumping in
this position. I get maybe 5 inches off the ground. Anybody have any
suggestions on how to jump higher from the heel-to-heel position?

It's leg strength. And the ability to raise your legs up like an
airplane's wheels retracting.

If you're in New York, check out the now-somewhat-talked-about Victor
- the master of side-surfing. Before he moved (from Boston), I've
_seen_ him jump a barrel (about 3' height & 1' radius) on it's side
while side-surfing, and have heard that he can do the same barrel
standing up!

What he does highly resembles retracting his legs as he goes up, and
dropping them back as he comes down. Quite impressive.


Pipes and Ramps

Ramp plans:
* Heckler Magazine plans:
* IASC endorsed blueprints:
Ramp building FAQ:

From: Spectre (

Re: pipes

> I'd appreciate it if you could drop me a few pointers so that if I find one
> someday I won't kill myself on the first time out...


START FROM THE BOTTOM!!! Never start from the top until you get get
yourself to the top from skating, and not climbing. Even if it is a 3
foot quarter pipe...don't start from the top till you can skate up it,
turn around at the top, and come back down without falling. I was
teaching a friend of mine, he was fooling around on a 3 foot
quarter...I told him to work bottom to top. He skated up, up the ramp,
and stood on the top... the "dropped in" (Started from the top
standing up), fell backwards and sprained his wrist, now he doesn't
want to skate pipes anymore.

Work your way up, get used to the transition from flat to sloped..
it's a very strange sensation going up a curved incline vs. a flat
incline. Work on getting used to going up on the transition, turning
around, and coming back down, all fluid.

Once you get comfortable with the transition, you have to learn how to
pump. Pumping is what makes you gain speed when your in the pipe,
since gravity and friction will slow you down a little... I don't know
if I can explain this well you come up to the transition,
bend your knees some...When you start up the transition push your feet
out...the result will just be you standing up...but pushing against
the centrifical (sp?) force will let you get a little more speed. When
you turn around at the "apex" of your ride the same...turn
around, bend your knees a little, and extend against the
will notice a BIG change in speed, since you will be getting more
speed than you would if you where just riding down the side of the
pipe. Repeat this for both sides...From the bottom, pump, up the
transition, turn around, pump, down the transition, across the flat,
pump, up the transition, turn around, pump, down the transition. If
there are skateboarders or other skaters there, watch them, expec.
their knees... You can ask them, but a lot of skateboarders don't even
realize they do it.

Pumping is the secret to riding...the better you can pump, the higher
you will go...with out pumping, you will never gain speed, and will
never get as high has you were when you turned around on the other
side.. (Simple physics)

Once you think you have control over that...say you can get to a point
where you can grab onto the top of the pipe and pull yourself up on
the platform, your almost ready to drop in. At this point, you want to
start by going in sitting down. Maybe the first time, sit on the edge
and slide down, just get used to the hight and the speed when you
slide... Then sitting down, put your hands on the coping (the metal
pipe that is on the edge of the pipe) and push yourself
have to go forward enough so when you stand up, your body will be
perpendicular with the pipe.. push off...and stand up...and go like
you did when you started from the bottom, except you already have some
speed. That part sound dificult, but after a couple of tries it gets
really easy.

Once you feel comfortable with that, you can either 1) drop in
standing up...(put first to wheels over edge..bend your knees and
touch your'll roll into the pipe, and your legs will be
perp with the pipe.. then you just need to stand up) 2) Start lifting
your feet some as you go in...lift yourself up on your hands, put your
feet behind you so that your feet are higher up with you go in
sitting./..that way you get more used to to the actual hight from the
top...keeping going till your comfortable with getting your feet all
the way to the coping before you push yourself in.

If there are any other skaters there, you can ask them for tips, but
do not "drop in" until you feel comfortable...I did that once...12
foot pipe 1 foot of vertical...dropped in...forgot to bend my
knees...face plant damn close to the flat....

Good careful....wear a helmet and knee pads at least.... let
me know if anything isn't clear.

From: (Duncan Savage)

Saw a neat trick that some guys (including one who looked about 13)
are doing in Sydney, Aus. Basically, they use a standard skate ramp,
skate into it, but instead of rolling up it, catch their toes (I don't
remember if it was with one or both feet) on the front of the ramp,
flipping themselves into a forward somersalt with their heads just
about scraping the ramp. They land on the other side of the ramp.
Needless to say they had a full complement of protective gear, and
given the protection even their stuff-ups didn't look too painful. I
don't think I'll try it just yet.

From: (batty)

Charlie, I agree wholeheartedly with your construction technique, but
we found different geometry worked better for us when we built launch
ramps for skateboarding.

When you go off a launch ramp, you are launching so that you land away
from the ramp, so the top lip of the ramp doesn't have to be
perpendicular to the ground. If you build a ramp with a radius less
than 6 feet, it feels _really_ weird. We found that the ramps that
were easiest to launch off were the ones that we could go fastest on,
which gave us more air time. 8 foot radius worked well for us.. You
suggested building a ramp with a 2.5 foot radius. The distance from
your center of gravity (somewhere around your bellybutton) to the
bottom of your skates is about 2.5 feet (less if you're crouching).
When you hit a 2.5 foot radius ramp that goes to vertical, your skates
will go up the ramp, but your center of gravity will stay in one
place... you'll also go straight up in the air and either have to
launch to one side, or you'll have to land back on the ramp.

Here's some really bad ascii art showing my favorite launch ramp:

* |
* |
* |
* |
* |

The "launch angle" was a little more than 30 degrees, the whole ramp
was about 8 feet long, and it was about 2-3 feet tall. It was (as I
remember) about a 10 foot radius. it had a small platform at the top
(which, combined with the length of the ramp, made it very stable) We
could hit this ramp going *very* fast, and it sent us a long way. This
is what worked for us.

From: ai...@hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM (Jim Aites)

Hey, you SKATEBOARD'ers! Got any helpful hints for us fledgelings?

| found different geometry worked better for us when we built launch ramps
| 8 foot radius worked well for us.

Is it just me or are a lot of folks under the (obviously) mistaken
impression that some launch ramps use a parabolic curve? Ignoring the
fact that the previous poster indicatated that the ansi-art was poor,
this STILL looks like it isn't a radius type ramp.

| * |
| * |
| * |
| * |
| * |
| *______________________________

Also, I've jumped ramps where the vertical part of the ramp was MUCH
closer to 90' than it was to 45'. I'm not saying that they were better
than the above, as a matter of fact, you *have* to go fast so you
don't stall at the top of the ramp...and dribble over the top lip.
<grin> Hang time (altitude) gets outragious pretty quickly, and all
without landing more than 10' from the ramp. Does this match with
anyone else?

From: (Spectre)

Fakies are A half-pipe trick. It's actually a un-trick. You go up the
side of the pipe like you are going to do a trick, go in the air, and
do nothing...not even turn around. You then come back into the half
pipe skating backwards (Which isn't nearly as simple as street skating
backwards :)

> Work on 360 jumps off the ground (forward and backward). Once you
>have those down, hit a jump and do it (again, forwards and backwards).

My favorite: 360's clearing 6-8 stairs.

One that I've been playing with, if you find a long bench, or low
wall, or something at least 10-20 feet long. Jump onto it with a 180,
land backwards with one skate on the bench and the other scraping
along the side of the bench, then jump off with another 180. I'm
pretty sure in half-pipe lingo, it's a backwards rail grind, but I'm
not sure.

|____| - one skate
other skate -> |____||-------
|| | bench

From: (Tony Chen) (Spectre) writes:

> |____| - one skate
> ||
>other skate -> |____||-------
> || | bench

A more flashy version of bench riding is to jump on top of the bench
(or some kind of edge) and into a spread-eagle (I guess this would be
a 90? 8-) Ride all the way to the end and jump off with a 180 so as to
land in another spread-eagle, but with your feet reversed.

Another variation, find stairs that are sectioned with flats in
between flights. Ride the steps sideways (spread-eagle) and flip 180
in the flats. You could also flip to backwards-bashing or whatever.

From: (Gadget)

Just to add the simple ones to the list, here goes...
* Front wheels of both skates
* Front wheels of both skates in parallel
* Back wheels of both skates
* Back wheels of both skates in parallel
* One wheel (front/back/left & right)
* Heel & toe
* Front/back/mixed wheels while spread eagle

Of course all these can be done backwards as well.

Oh, and as a great drill. Cross over backwards while going forwards
and cross over forwards when your going backwards....

From: (Stephen J. Okay)

Subject: Stair/Wall Jumps..

In the ever continuing chronicle of attempts to break my neck, I
thought I'd share some thoughts on my stair and wall work that I did
last night.

I went over to a local high school that has some rather interesting
structures for thrashing on, so following a couple quick laps around
the parking lot, I set to work on the stairs, and while I have no
problem jumping up/over up to 4 steps at a time, or back down, I still
have absolutely _no_ clue as to how to actually ride the damn
things...any hints/ideas would be much appreciated, esp. from our two
resident thrashers on the group...

Aerials are a different story. I can now say with a good degree of
confidence, I can do a 180 (and sometimes a 270) from back off of up
to 4 steps. The trick seems to be in starting your turn when you
launch. I've always fallen when I've tried this until I realized that
its just too much to think about if I try to turn in mid-air, so its
better to just start right off doing it.

Had moderate success hurdling, getting over a couple walls/barriers.
The idea is to use head straight for the wall and use it as a vault of
sorts to propel yourself into the air with. My biggest problem with
this is that I need to remember to lift my feet higher. I kept
scraping the wall and consequently losing control, making for a really
sloppy landing... I did get over clean once or twice, which probably
looks really cool, but who knows...I was the only one there...

Another cool thing I noticed in my warmup skate: Those sloped ramps
that are often built into curbs as bike or wheel chair ramps make cool
jumps. Dip down the side closest to you and then ride up the lip of
the opposite side and if you're going fast enough, you'll clear the
curb and catch some air(Just make sure no cars are coming,as this does
kind of definitely put you out in the street). So I did that a bunch
of times and liked it a lot...Kind of reminds me of one of my favorite
skiing maneuvers: dipping down into the gouges made by other skiers
and popping out into the air on them.

Oh, I also tried the dual braking thing again, but at higher speeds
than before. Balance is definitely the key to this one. Everything
above your waist should be pointing forward, and everything below
should be leaning back on your heels. Anything else throws your
balance too much, IMHO.

Helmets:I have a Protec skateboarding helmet, that has the 1-impact
foam core with a hard plastic outer shell(none of this wimpy
'microshell' stuff) that fits pretty well. Good side coverage of the
side of my head down past the ears, and covers down the back of my
head. I've gotten some skateboarding/music stickers for it, and it
looks cool. Yes, its the full combat style of helmet, but I definitely
would _not_ thrash without it.


i've never seen "fakies" before. (well, i have a friend who will
occasionally "catch a fakie" but that is something _completely_
different, and not related to skating). the term comes from
skateboarding and means simply "backward". thus the usage would be "i
jumped 180 to fakie...", which tells you that the person started
facing forward. "fakie" preceding a trick name means that the person
was skating backward when the trick was started, i.e., a "fakie 540"
would be one and a half revolutions, starting from backward (and
landing facing forward, hopefully, for a 540 :).

you haven't mentioned anything about airs in your list. that is a
large area, and as far as i know there is no standard for skate airs
(regarding the airs that aren't duplicates of jumps performed in ice
skating, like grabs). well, one thing that could fit on the list of
"not airs" is skating crouched, with most of the weight on one skate,
the other leg being bent so that the knee is close to the ground
(several inches) and only the toe wheel is rolling on the pavement. if
you can't picture it, either see it on MTV sports or watch a man
proposing to a woman, same stance. anyway, it's known locally as a
crunch, as in, "gallivan to crunch".

From: (Andy Wardley)

Last Saturday afternoon was a sheer joy for me. I spent nearly 4 hours
skating the half-pipes in my local park and seeing as it was my first
real (i.e. more than half an hour) session and I managed to get quite
good, I thought I'd share with you my trials and tribulations and tell
you about some of the interesting places I've got bruises.

The smallest of the pipes is about 2 foot high and absolutely bloody
useless because it is so small. The next is about 3 foot high and just
about skatable with inlines. (sorry, did I mention I was skating
inlines?) The 4 foot pipe was great - high enough to get some speed,
wide enough to give some maneuvre^H^H^H^H^H^Hmanoovre^H^H^H^H^H
movabilty room but not so big as to risk neck-breaking for the
uninitiated (me). Bloody good fun!

Whoever said in the FAQ that you shouldn't drop in straight away was
dead right! I skated about half an hour and pretty much got
comfortable with it before dropping in. The first two attempts,
however, resulted in me landing flat on my arse, causing the first
large bruise area and a severe jolt up the spine. Attempt three was
the success and when you've done it once, it's a piece of piss. You've
just got to throw all your weight forwards and get you body
perpendicular to the wall of the pipe. Bloody good fun!

Managing to keep my speed up was the next big task and I slowly got
the hang of it. The trick seems to be to bend your legs up towards you
as you go up into the curve and then extend them out again as you are
coming back down again. It's hard work, particularly on the stomach
muscles, as it requires a lot of trunk flexing. Bloody good fun

Next step was to try a few rail grinds. Easy! Trying to slide along
the rails took a bit more confidence and after limited success, I
decided to leave that for next time. Bloody good fun!

I briefly tried the _big_ pipe. It's about 10 foot high and not to be
skated lightly, IMHO. I didn't drop in because they didn't have the
ladder out to get to the top platform and I didn't really fancy trying
to build my speed up to jump up onto the platform. Again, maybe next
time. The other thing was that there is a sign saying that full safety
kit should be worn on the big pipe. I didn't have a helmet and
thinking about it, I don't reckon it would have been a good idea to
try it without. Bloody good fun though!

On that note actually, I really wouldn't recommend skating pipes
without knee pads and wrist guards *at the very least*. I have bruises
on my knees, elbows, shins, ribs (I landed with my arm under my chest
- Ouch!) and backside and that was with knee pads, elbow pads and
wrist guards. Without those, I would undoubtedly have plaster on at
least one wrist and both knees. I think you can safely manage without
a helmet on all but the biggest pipe but your mileage may vary. It
does take a few bruises to get the hang of pipes, but after the first
couple of hours, the falls are fewer and further between and generally
much more controlled. Bloody good fun too!

If you haven't skated pipes and get the chance - try it! It is really
good fun and doesn't hurt much. I tend to be a bit reckless when
skating - more conservative skaters may well find the experience less

Anyway, I better go because this post has got very long. Just thought
I'd let you know about my skating experience. If you want to hear
more, I've got Megabytes more I can write about the afternoon :-)

More importantly, if anyone wants to make the trip to South London on
a Saturday or Sunday afternoon (I'm not sure if it's open during the
week) then I can let you know exactly where to find the place.
Similarly, if anyone knows of any other pipes or good skating places
in London, let me know. Apologies to all overseas readers - I realise
it's a bit far to come from the US or Oz or wherever, but if you ever
do find yourself over here....

From: (Michael L. Dickens)
Subject: Re: Pipe-Dreams (Andy Wardley) wrote:

> Last Saturday afternoon was a sheer joy for me. I spent nearly 4 hours
> skating the half-pipes in my local park [...]

Hmmmm. So did I - at the indoor skate park in Cambridge - MA that is.
And, yes, it was (& still is) bloody good fun.

Pipes there range from a couple feet with about a 6' radius, to 10'
with an 8' radius - ie: 2', 4', 6', 8', 10'. The half-pipe is 9' with
a 1' extension on one side, with a 8' radius. (I think the 8' radii
are correct; but are close enough for this discussion.)

> Whoever said in the FAQ that you shouldn't drop in straight away was dead
> right! I skated about half an hour and pretty much got comfortable with
> it before dropping in. The first two attempts, however, resulted in me
> landing flat on my arse, causing the first large bruise area and a severe
> jolt up the spine. Attempt three was the success and when you've done it
> once, it's a piece of piss. You've just got to throw all your weight
> forwards and get you body perpendicular to the wall of the pipe.

Agreed with the "don't drop in until you're comfortable" thing. I was
on the coping & doing fakies, forward & reverse 180's, and almost
stalls before I dropped in. I remember the first time I tried on _any_
pipe I fell on my arse as well. But once I got the feel down, I
immediatly went up a couple of levels.

> Managing to keep my speed up was the next big task and I slowly got the
> hang of it. The trick seems to be to bend your legs up towards you as
> you go up into the curve and then extend them out again as you are coming
> back down again. It's hard work, particularly on the stomach muscles, as
> it requires a lot of trunk flexing.

It's called "pump"ing. It's supposed to be bending the legs, not from
the waiste. But most everyone I know splits the task. As you drop in,
you start with legs bent, then "pop" them straight during the
transition. As you approach the pipe to go up, bend slightly, and
"pop" the legs again during the transition. This "pop"ing transfers
potential energy into kinetic energy & vice versa using centripetal
forces, sort of (I won't get into the physics here). So the better you
get at "pop"s, the faster & higher things will go.

> On that note actually, I really wouldn't recommend skating pipes without knee
> pads and wrist guards *at the very least*. I have bruises on my knees,
> elbows, shins, ribs (I landed with my arm under my chest - Ouch!) and
> backside and that was with knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards. Without
> those, I would undoubtedly have plaster on at least one wrist and both
> knees. I think you can safely manage without a helmet on all but the
> biggest pipe but your mileage may vary. It does take a few bruises to
> get the hang of pipes, but after the first couple of hours, the falls are
> fewer and further between and generally much more controlled.

Definitely a good idea to wear _full_ armor. This might even include
"hip-clips" - pads that clip for hip & thigh protection. Helmets &
_big_ knee pads are a must. Wrist guards are good for sliding & such,
but you should be able to train yourself to fall onto your knees from
ANY position.

Last Saturday I was doing stalls on the 9' pipe - and on one occasion
I pushed off too hard. I knew I was _not_ going to make the whole
transition, so to save myself I pulled my legs up & fell directly onto
my knees. Hit the last foot or so of the transition & slid the rest of
the way down. Because I knew I wasn't going to make it, I
automatically (w/o thinking out it) fell onto my knees. The big cushy
knee pads saved my back again!!!

From: (Andy Wardley)
Subject: "Pipe Dreams 2" presented in glorious Inline-O-Rama

Another weekend of hard-hitting half-pipe skating action was had by
myself, and in a spirit of uncharacteristicly unselfish generosity, I
thought I'd share my tales of woe and joy with all you loverly people
out there. Yes, you too can experience Inline-O-Rama from the safety
and comfort of your own homes....

For those of you who read last weeks issue of "Pipe Dreams", you'll
remember my adventures on the half-pipes at my local park. Since then
I've got quite high up on the gnarly scale and even quite "rad"
according to the local sk8boarders. I'm told this is a compliment :-)

Dropping in, turning, jumping out, these are all second nature now and
bruises are certainly fewer and further between. I also junked my old
Bauer knee pads and got some serious thick pads (not cheap at #25 UK
Quids) after realising quite how much my knees were suffering even
with the pads. The new ones are infinitely better.

I've got the hang of popping/pumping to get some speed up. This means
I can catch some serious air on my way out of the pipe, 180 and drop
back in with little trouble. I reckon a 360 would be fairly easy but I
haven't attempted that yet. My pumping isn't perfect and I found that
I still can't get up and out of the 10' pipe, but practice will no
doubt make perfect. Thanks to Michael for the tips - they helped a
lot. Can anyone actually tell me what the physics are involved in the

Stalling on the rail is a fave of mine and easy for the novice. I
still can't get any decent slides along the coping - maybe I'm just
not going in with enough sideways velocity. Anyone got any
suggestions? I've also tried to stall, jump 180 to a forward stall in
prep to drop in forwards. Didn't work - will keep trying.

The basic fakie (i.e. don't turn and drop backwards) and the stall to
a fakie (i.e. stall on the rail and then drop backwards) are also
quite easy to master and seem to generally impress people who think it
looks inherently dangerous to skate a pipe backwards. Actually, it can
be because you have to be used to taking a transition backwards. You
can then reverse-fakie (is that the right name?) at the other side to
get going forwards again. I bit of a jump when you r-fakie can be
impressive but make sure that your skates land back inside the pipe.
One time, mine didn't, and my left skate caught the top, rolled
backwards onto the platform and I smacked my shin badly on the coping
and slid face-first into the pipe. Well-bruised my shin but it was

If anyone has any hints or can tell me about other good trix to try,
I'd love to hear about them. At present, I am the only inliner who
skates the pipes so I don't have anyone else to watch, discuss trix
with or get inspiration from. The sk8boarders are a good laugh and fun
to watch but I worry that I might start to sound like them, man....

From: (Spectre) (Michael L. Dickens) writes:

> (Andy Wardley)
>I think I'll go back and review my advanced calculus physics book to see
>what it said in the first place. After all, I never really _read_ the book
>for class - just did problems out of it to pass.

I sat down and calculated what exactly was going on about a year ago
and it is completely out of my brain now (face plants don't help
physics memory very much :). It has to to with the combination of the
centrifital force and the action/reaction principle. by pushing
against the centrifital force you are adding more force, and since the
half pipe can't break (you hope) the force has to be evened another
direction, sideways, which is influenced because of gravity, so the
result is an encrease of speed. Take a look at vectors and force.

I'll try to put in a little more thought on this and get back to


Vert Skating Terms

(contributed by

_Air Kedidi_
Get some air and then peddle your legs like on a bicylce.

Your pads

_Bacon in the pan_
After a hard fall you slide around like bacon in a pan

a Back Flip with a 540 twist

The metal rod across the top of a ramp to grind or stall on.

_Double Ore-Ida_
an inverted 720

_Droping in_
Standing on a ramp and skating in

_Egg Plant_
A type of invert when you plant the outside hand

Anything done facing backwards (i.e., a fakie 360 is rolling
backwards jumping doing a 360 landing backwards

Same as invert

When you're upside down, legs over your head

_Miller Flip_
A back flip with a 360 thrown in

An inverted 540

_Sand Plant_
An invert in which both hands are used

_Spine Ramp_
Two Halfpipes placed directly beside each other

When you jump on the top of the ramp or on the coping, then
stop for a few seconds turn and drop back in (Can also be done
on curbs or any other stationary object.)

The part of the pipe in which it goes from horizontal to
vertical or vertical to horizontal


*This image is Copyrighted © 1994-1996 by Anthony D. Chen. Permission

is granted to use this logo in World Wide Web HTML files so long as
this copyright notice is included as either an HTML comment alongside
the invokation (IMG SRC or HREF or otherwise) of the logo, or in the
visible text.

The image may not be sold for profit, nor incorporated in commercial

documents or merchandise without prior written permission of the
copyright holder.

Tony Chen

Sep 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/20/96

Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: sports/skating/inline-faq/part5

_r.s.s.inline FAQ: Techniques - Slalom_


Last modified: Wednesday, 04-Sep-96 13:02:06 EDT

A Web page devoted to slalom skating was announced in October 1995.
It's called cones+wheels: the inline skating slalom page and can be
found at:

From: Jim Aites (
Date: Unknown

The movement known as a 'slalom' is normally applied to the art of
dodging in and around a series of obstacles. Being pulled by a
ski-boat or weaving thru the poles on a ski slope are two well known
examples. This discussion will try to address some of the joys and
techniques used when effecting this move on in-line skates.

There is both a natural 'swing' and a physical 'compression' that come
into play while doing a slalom. The 'swing' is durn near natural, but
by understanding and making proper use of the 'compression' it is
possible to use this technique to slow your speed, maintain, or even
increase it.

_Note_: Although the slalom can be accomplished in a stylish manner by
almost any skater, the ability to use the technique to slow down
should _not_ be considered a replacement for any of the more standard
braking methods. Also, I believe that serious slaloming is well within
the scope of the intermediate skater. Although novice skaters have
more important things to learn before stopping...I
feel that is is something that any skater can/should do.

Before trying to address the mode used to change your speed, let's
talk about the simplicity of the move while coasting or going down a
very slight grade.

The slalom movement is based on the transfer of weight during a
continuous series of serpentine turns. This linking of alternating
turns can be a slow-and-easy movement, or it can be as fast as skiing
a tight mogul field.

Although there is a 'classic' position for doing a slalom (crouched
with knees and feet together), it may be done with feet in an open
placement or even in the water-skiing (one foot in front) position.
The most important thing to keep in mind is your ability to handle
your steering and speed.

Generally speaking, a couple of standard down-hill skiing suggestions
come to mind. The most reasonable of these is the idea of keeping your
shoulders and head facing straight down the hill (or direction of
travel). Your upper body _can_ provide added stability and leverage to
manage the slalom movement itself. Giving yourself this extra
stability will help a lot in avoiding an 'over-rotation' which happens
when you just ride the turn, and then try to go the other way...only
to find that your momentum wants to carry you around even further!

I mention this first because it is _critical_ that you be able to
steer your skates without lifting them. As a point in fact, you will
not be able to do a free swinging one-footed slalom without mastering
this type of steering in one form or another. The following is a basic
practice move suitable for anyone, including novices.

One-footed slalom: (suggested method - author)

One of the simplest moves and most important ideas in skating (imho)
is the ability to do small slalom movements while on one foot.
Steering with one foot is _basic_ for doing stable cross-overs,
free-style, surviving a one-footed recovery, or...doing slaloms.

While moving at a slow glide on one foot, simply shift your weight
comfortably onto your heel. _Hey_, easy there! Just lift your toes a
bit. No need to try heel-walking yet! Now, simply use your body and/or
free leg to help point your toes in the direction you want to go.

Note: I know I said one-footed, but I meant either foot. Practice
_both_! This is _easy_, my 7 year old does it. She found that she
needed to practice it to help her do controlled T-stops.

The basics of slaloming hinge on your ability to steer in some manner
similar to this. PLEASE TAKE NOTE!

_Safety thought:_
The 'feet side-by-side' stance used often in slaloming is probably one
of the more dangerous (from a front-to-back balance perspective)
things about it. The one-foot forward water-skiing stance makes a
great deal of sense when moving between smooth/rough pavement. In
either event, beware sand and water! It is also suggested that your
first attempts at slowing while going downhill be done on a _wide_
road with _no_ traffic. (nice grassy shoulders next to the road might
be a good idea as well) If you find yourself picking up speed instead
of slowing down, just continue a turn till you are coasting back up
the hill.

_Changing speeds:_ (This is where it gets interesting.)
In the process of 'carving' a turn (with both feet), you will find
that there is a point of compression. Adding pressure before the
furthest swing of each turn will increase (or help maintain) your
speed. Letting yourself 'give' just after the point will slow you
down. (if this reminds you of changing speeds while on a child's swing
then you might have the idea ;')

When going down a hill, simply doing a slalom is _not_ a sure way to
slow you down. It will probably keep you from going as fast as a
straight run, but that doesn't mean that you won't pick up enough
speed to lose control. Making your turns wider or 'deeper' will help
shed more speed because you are spending more time going diagonal or
crossing than heading down the fall-line. It is important that you
find the give-point (after compression) and learn to take full
advantage of it.

While practicing your slaloms, you may be tempted to try 'shreading'
some of your speed during each turn by unweighting the outside foot
and then shoving your heel outward with a bit of extra force. This can
help in slowing, but it is awkward and dangerous in execution. There
is a tendency for the heel to 'catch'. Fair warning!

Other pseudo-slalom moves:
* Linked cross-overs with a slalom type one-footed glide.
* Outside leans...use the opposing foot. (counter-intuitive...looks
* Catch the give-point of the compression, and use it for a 'spring'
type action. Care to try 'popping' a 360' in the middle of a hill?

_Just for fun:_
After you've proven to yourself that you can maintain or increase your
speed by pumping a slalom, try heading _up_ a narrow sidewalk. Amaze
your friends or passing motorists.

Date: Sat Sep 4 19:47:25 1993

I have a few comments to add. My skating is currently cross-training
for veldrome racing (bicycles), but I also have experience racing
slalom and GS.

One of the things that you leave out is the necessity of keeping one's
weight forward. That is, imho, the main use of poles in skiing. The
pole shouldn't be planted next to you; it needs to be planted _in
front_ of you. To maintain control in a slalom and use the "swing"
properly, your weight needs to be forward. My suggestion for practice
is skating by carving turns with alternate feet. The more you flex
your boot, the more your rear wheels drag, and the more speed you lose
on each turn.

To practice pole planting, sit in a chair. Sit forward a little, and
move your feet back some, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Now,
reach out with your hand and lean forward. See how that feels? Now try
it on skis at 50 mph...

From: Hank Hughes (
Date: Unknown

Jim Aites ( wrote:

Note: I know I said one-footed, but I meant either foot. Practice
_both_! This is _easy_, my 7 year old does it. She found that she
needed to practice it to help her do controlled T-stops.
The basics of slaloming hinge on your ability to steer in some
manner similar to this. PLEASE TAKE NOTE!

Very _true_ ... but

Another approach may be too shift the weight forward (onto the ball of
your foot). Start on a patch of grass/carpet with your feet in a
v-stance. Then lunge like a classic fencing champion by mimicking a
stroke, but keep the weight on the balls of your feet. You're more
nimble with the weight on the balls of your feet. Then lift the
trailing leg slowly.

_Concentrating on the final stance:_
With a lot of flex into the tongue of boot and knee, try to drop a
perpendicular from behind the support leg's knee down to the space
between the 1st & 2nd wheel. Basically, if you look down you should
_not_ be able to see your foot because your knee is in the way. To
balance, press on your outside toes to turn in, or press on your
inside `BIG' toe to turn out

_In motion:_
To steer, point your knee into the direction you wish to turn. This
rolls your ankle & center edge into the appropriate inide/outside
edge. Now you can grind through turns (& hear the whoosh from breaking

From: Robert Schmunk (
Written: November 28, 1994
Revised: October 20, 1995

Having become a regular at New York City's Central Park slalom course,
I guess I'm qualified to throw in some comments on the topic:

_The Course:_
The slalom course lies in the recreational lane of the Central Park
loop, between Tavern on the Green and the Sheep Meadow. Just skate in
the West 67th St. entrance to the park on a sunny weekend afternoon
and you can't miss it. Due to its location, the course has a good
slope and you don't have to get up much speed before you start down.
Slightly disconerting is that the slope is steepest in the middle of
the course, so that it feels like there's a "break" at about the ninth
cone. Depending on the trick, the slope sometimes means that you have
to "slalom faster" near the bottom of the course because the cones are
coming up at you much faster. The course also has a slight curve to
the right, which has been known to disturb visiting slalom skaters
from other towns.

The standard Central Park slalom course is a series of 27 cones,
spaced six feet apart. However, the number of cones has varied on
occasion; when the National Slalom Championship was held here in
October 1994, the course was 30 cones long. I've heard that in other
towns, slalom courses are sometimes only about 15 cones long, but my
guess is that future competitions will use closer to 30 because it
provides more opportunity for video-genic combination stunts.

When measuring off an area for a slalom course, don't forget approach
and exit areas. The Central Park normally has a 60-foot approach, with
skaters starting anywhere within that distance, but when pedestrian
traffic is light, it may be extended to 200 feet. Depending on how
fast you're moving and how hard you can brake, you will also need from
5 to 100 feet to stop.

Occasionally, when the expert skaters want to demonstrate how good
they are relative to those who are merely advanced (i.e., separate the
men from the boys), or if they want to compete against each other
without anybody else getting in the way, they will set up a course
with the cones spaced at smaller intervals. Most frequently the
distance is decreased to four feet, but lately there's been a lot of
experimenting with three-foot separation and an occasional attempt at
a vicious two-foot separation. We call such tight courses "technical
courses". A clean run through a 30-cone course with three-foot spacing
is just about the finest thing I've seen done on a pair of skates, and
provides great satisfaction if you can do it yourself.

The cone themselves are 8 or nine inches tall and made out of orange
plastic. The original square bases have been amputated. Cones of this
size are available in different hardnesses, but the harder kind is
best. Softer cones are less apt to fly away when you hit one, and they
often bend around your skate in what seems like a deliberate attempt
to induce a case of road rash on your exposed flesh. You can usually
get cones at sporting goods stores like Herman's, at around $2-$3 per

When the Central Park slalom course is not open, I've seen desperate
cone skaters rummage for pop cans, paper cups, or Gatorade bottles and
use them for cones, perhaps filling them with water to keep them from
blowing away. However, the height of regular cones can be
disconcerting if you've practiced a lot using pop cans, so if you're
serious about slalom skating, get some real cones.

_The Tricks:_
One nice thing about learning to slalom skate is that everybody's
interests diverge after the couple tricks, and if you stick at it for
awhile, you may be doing tricks that the pros (or at least the
supposed experts) have never learned. One woman I know devoted herself
to learning every conceivable variant of the forward criss-cross (see
below) and was doing things after six months that guys who have been
skating cones for four years couldn't do.

One last comment before introducing types of tricks: You'll likely be
wasting your time if you make your first attempt at many of these
tricks on a real slalom course. For example, if you can't maintain
your balance on one skate for ten seconds as you skate down a smooth
empty street, you're not going to be able to do a forward one-foot.
Even after having mastered most of the basic tricks below and a few
major variants, I usually practice new ones away from the cones, or on
a short course that only has six or eight cones.

Dividing into categories, there are:
* _Forwards tricks_

The first trick all slalom skaters learn, and you don't
need a set of cones to do so. Just place your feet next
to each other, with one leading by perhaps an inch or so,
and alternate which one is leading, thus introducing a
serpentine motion into the line of your path. The posture
for the rest of the body is very much like that used by
downhill skiers, and whenever a newbie me asks how to do
a parallel, the first thing I ask is "Do you ski?"
Some other tips: 1) Remember that ski instructors are
always reminding newbies to bend their knees. 2) Keep
your hands out but not up (i.e., below shoulder level)
and somewhat in front of your shoulders. Avoid waving
them around a lot, but use small adjustments like a
tightrope walker. And 3) on your first few tries,
concentrate on a clean skate all the way down the course
and don't worry about skipping a cone or three if it
makes you feel safer.
I also found that I got the smoothest parallel if my
knees were practically glued to each other. I jettisoned
my knee pads in order to attain this, but you'll have to
evaluate that safety decision for yourself.

Exactly what it sounds like. The skates form a straight
line, with the heel of one just ahead of the toe of the
other. This is a good next-step trick to learn after the
A variant of the monoline which one frequently sees is
usually called a "telemark" due to its similarity to the
cross-country skiing posture. Basically, the trailing
foot is tilted so that only its toe wheel is touching the
ground. Usually the skater is crouched low to the ground,
often with one knee almost scraping asphalt.

One of the first tricks attempted though not always one
of the first mastered (some people just can't balance on
one foot through a 150-foot slalom), the one-foot brings
out the greatest variety in different approaches to doing
it, all of them valid. It's simply skating down the
course with only one foot on the ground, but the variety
comes in when each skater decides what to do with his
extra foot. Some hold it out to the side, some hold it
behind, some in front. Some use the extra foot like a
rudder, some kick like a Rockette, and some hold it like
a dead fish on its way to the garbage can.
Perhaps the coolest variant is the "flying eagle", in
which the extra foot is held behind you and you get down
in so low a crouch that its wheels may actually be above
your head. This can be an extremely fast maneuver, and if
you're of short, stocky build, you'll move like a bullet
and excite applause.

Using a scissoring motion of the legs, you cause your
skates to pass each cone on opposite sides, with your
legs crossed at every other cone. To do this, you'll
likely need to cock your hips so that one foot is always
ahead of the other and so that your skates don't bump as
you cross and uncross your legs. (Learning the forward
monoline is an excellent way of getting your hips in the
right location.) If your leading foot also has a brake
mounted on the heel, you'll need even more clearance.
Even though the criss-cross is one of the first few
tricks a slalom skater may learn, it seems to be one
which you _always_ have to pay a lot of attention to what
you're doing, because when your legs are crossed, there's
little room for recovery if something goes wrong. I've
banged up my left knee pretty badly from this.

This looks a bit like a criss-cross, but the crossing
maneuver involves lifting one skate entirely off the
ground and swinging it around behind the other before
putting it back down. Unlike a criss-cross, though, your
legs should be crossed at every cone.

* _Sideways tricks_
Getting your hips to turn out properly to do sideways maneuvers
requires differing levels of stress depending on your personal
anatomy. Some people can do this almost naturally; some can't do
it at all, no matter how hard they try. It took me a couple weeks
of practice and stretching to work up to a sidesurf; in the
meantime, I had a couple skate sessions which ended with my left
knee feeling wrenched because I was twisting it rather than my hip
joint. But just recently (Aug 1995), I had one of the best
speedskaters on the planet ask me for any tips I could give him on
sidesurfing because he'd been trying to learn it for months.
An exercise that helps is lying on the floor in a frog-like
position. Turn your hips out and bend your knees so that the soles
of your feet are up against each other. Now try moving your feet
inward (towards your body).

Think of this as a sideways monoline, with your trailing
skate oriented so that its toe is pointing from whence
you came. Because of the position that this puts your
body in, some people may call it a spread-eagle. However,
there is some room for variety, as some sidesurfers will
skate with their heels almost touching, and others will
hold them a couple feet apart; some skate standing almost
straight and others crouched down with derriere sticking
A lot of sidesurfers use a pumping motion in their
leading arm to get their bodies to swing around the
cones, but with practice, you can turn a sidesurf into a
very graceful maneuver which requires only a little
movement by your leg muscles.

_Parallel sidesurf:_
Instead of the wheels all being in a line, the skates are
side-by-side but still pointing in opposite directions.
If your skates are right next to each other, it can be
very difficult to turn doing this trick, but if they're a
few inches apart, it's much easier. Your feet may keep
trying to drift apart into a regular sidesurf, so this
can be difficult hold.

Again, skates are pointed in opposite directions, but a
scissoring motion is introduced so that the skates pass
the cones on opposite sides. I found the most difficult
part of doing an indy was getting my trailing skate to
come around, as my leg sometimes seemed to lock into one
position. (This may be a symptom that you're relying on
one foot to do too much of the work. Try to even it out.)
Getting low to the ground, almost sitting on the cones,
seems to help.
While the other sideways maneuvers can be done fairly
gracefully, the independent is almost always raw action.
If you really push it, you can actually accelerate quite
rapidly, so that an indy becomes one of the fastest
slalom tricks there is.

Seemingly uses the same posture as the sidesurf and a
similar sort of zig-zag motion, but rather than follow a
single line, the skates are spaced fairly widely and pass
each cone on opposite sides, like an independent. Because
of the latter, it's also called the "out-of-phase
independent". It's certainly easier to do than describe.

* _Backwards tricks_
In order to see where he is going, a backwards skater can either
look over or under one of his shoulders. My choice was to twist my
shoulders so that they're oriented just about in a line with
cones, and I hold my leading hand (a) low so that I can look over
the shoulder and (b) out a bit so that I look towards it and see
the cones coming up rather than watch what my feet are doing.

Perhaps the simplest travelling backwards trick, and
possibly the one I've most frequently seen. When learning
this I found that it helps if the toe of the leading foot
and the heel of the trailing foot are not really close to
each other but are separated by six inches or so. This
allows some slight independence in the motion of the two
feet. After you've got the basic motion down, you can
bring your feet closer together and synchronize their

Many skaters who attempt this keep slipping into a
backwards monoline. I believe this is because of a
feeling that they are losing control as they speed up,
and a monoline is easier to do at such a time. One reason
for this statement is that I see more children than
adults attempt _and_ succeed at this trick, and
children's skates are notorious for having wheels that
don't spin very fast. Alternatively, maybe kids just
don't know the trick is "hard" and that they ought to
learn something else first.

Slaloming backwards on one foot is a real crowd pleaser
and also personally satisfying, so it's a good trick to
Like the forward one-foot, there is some variation in
what skaters do with the lifted foot, but not as much and
there is often a reason for the posture adopted. For
example, skaters who assume a backward one-foot by
approaching the course sideways often hold the lifted
foot so that it's wheels are perpendicular to the cones,
while those who approach skating backwards will hold it
so that the wheels are in a line with the cones. The
former style is useful when you are first learning the
trick because it allows you to move the entire lifted leg
(along with your leading arm) in a sawing motion that
shifts your weight so that you zig-zag around the cones.
On the other hand, holding the lifted foot in line with
the cones allows you to more easily put it back down the
same way so that you can continue skating backwards,
perhaps while doing a combination trick (see below).

Many practitioners feel this is easier to do than a
forward criss-cross because you have to cock your hips
anyway so that you can turn your head to see where you're
going. However, this presumes you know how to skate
backwards in the first place. I will admit, though, that
it seems safer to do a _fast_ backwards criss-cross than
a forwards one.
The leg motion in a backwards criss-cross is very similar
to that of a monoline, so if you're having trouble
learning one of them, try practicing the other. Odds are
that if you can master one, you can get the other fairly

_Out-of-phase criss-cross (or backwards wave):_
Another hard-to-describe trick, like its cousin the wave.
It is similar to the backwards criss-cross because the
legs are crossed at every other cone, but unlike that
trick, it has a more zig-zag motion like the backward

Similar to the forward cutback, but the crossing motion
is done by lifting and swinging the skates around in
"front" of you, by which I mean the direction you came
from. The basic motion looks sort of like a series of
crossover turns, but you happen to be traveling

* _Tilted-skate tricks_
This is an awkward name for a category of trick variants in which
at least one skate has been tilted so that only one of its wheels
is actually touching asphalt.

_Extended and double-extended tricks:_
The word "extended" simply means doing one of the usual
tricks with one skate (almost always the leading skate)
tilted so that only the heel wheel is touching the
ground. Most common are extended sideways tricks,
particularly the extended sidesurf.
Some of the extended maneuvers are surprisingly easy to
learn _if_ you have removed the brake(s) from your
skate(s); I was able to do a clean 27-cone extended
sidesurf on only my third attempt (of course, I'd known
how to do a regular sidesurf for three months by then).
With a "double-extended" sideways maneuver, both skates
are tilted so that only their heel wheels are on the
ground. A double-extended sidesurf is rarely seen done
with any speed, but crowds think it's cool because it
always looks difficult (it is to an extent; it took me a
couple months to build up my thigh/groin muscles so that
I could do it). I've seen people do a forward parallel
with only the two heel wheels on the ground, which I
presume also counts as a double-extended trick (note: in
order to maintain stability, their skates are usually
spaced more widely than in a simple parallel).

_One-toe-down tricks:_
The close cousin of the single-extended trick, just with
one skate tilted so that its toe wheel is down rather
than the heel wheel. The most frequent example is a
forward monoline with the trailing foot tilted, which if
done in a deep crouch is, as noted above, often called a
"telemark". Another example is the reverse of this, a
toe-down backward monoline, with the tilted skate leading
the way.

_Toe-and-toe tricks:_
The only tricks I've seen completed and/or seriously
attempted with only the two toe wheels touching asphalt
are a forward parallel and a forward criss-cross, and boy
do they look awkward. I've also seen a couple goofing
around with a toe-and-toe sidesurf, but they never make
it past the second cone. And there is one person I know
who might be working up to a toe-and-toe out-of-phase
forward criss-cross; it's hard to say because he looks
almost totally out-of-control.

_Heel-and-toe tricks:_
This time, one skate is on its heel wheel only and the
other is on toe wheel only. They can be done forwards,
backwards and sideways. A _very_ popular heel-and-toe
trick is the forward monoline, but it requires building
up some strength in the calf of the leading leg (I still
can't do it but know several folks who can). Other
heel-and-toe tricks I've seen are the forward crisscross
and the sidesurf, plus an unsuccessful (but amusing to
watch) backwards criss-cross.

_One-wheel-only_ tricks:
At the October 1994 slalom skating championship in
Central Park, a French skater went down the course with
only one (heel) wheel touching the ground. There's a
photo of him doing it in the February 1995 issue of
_Inline_ magazine. Control on such a trick is difficult,
to say the least, and what might have been a knock-out
competition trick was marred by the five or six cones
that got knocked aside.

* _Combinations:_
A combination trick is simply that, a combination of tricks done
in a sequence. How many different tricks you attempt to do in one
run depends on how long your cone course is, and how many cones
you do with each trick. (At the Central Park course, we usually
require at least four cones per trick for the trick to count.)
Very often combos are signature moves; one NYC skater is
well-known for a forward criss-cross down the top half of the
course, followed by a 180° leaping jump into a backwards
Not all combos are that difficult (or impressive), though; e.g.,
it's fairly simple to slide from a sidesurf into an independent.
Better skaters may even disguise a bad slalom run by converting a
trick about to go awry into an easier trick. Heck, I've done this
in competition and the judges never realized it.
* _Alternating tricks:_
An alternating trick is much like a combination trick, except that
the transition between tricks is done once every cone or every two
cones _and_ the skater alternates between two particular tricks.
Perhaps the most common example is an alternating forward
criss-cross, in which you alternate which foot is in the lead.
Thus, your right foot crosses in front of the left, then you
uncross, and then your left crosses in front of your right, etc.
If done well, this is a subtle trick, and spectators may think
you're just doing a vanilla criss-cross unless they're paying very
close attention.
Other examples I've seen are an extended alternating forward
criss-cross (the skater alternated which of her feet was crossing
in front of the other, but whichever was in front got tilted
upwards as soon as it started swinging around to the front), an
alternating backward criss-cross, an alternating backward
monoline, and what I call the Swiss monoline (because of the
nationality of the first person I saw doing it), in which the
skater alternates between a forward and backward monoline.
* _"Unclassifiable" tricks:_
Some tricks just don't fall very easily into the classifications
above. One such that I've seen is the "half Remy", in which the
skater was basically spiraling down the slalom course, doing a
180-degree spin around each cone (this implies that a full Remy
involves a 360-degree spin around each cone!). I got dizzy just
watching, and the skater looked a little ill when he finished. In
any event, it wasn't really a forwards maneuver or a backwards
maneuver. I presume that there are other tricks that can't be
easily pigeon-holed.
* _Ballistics:_
A ballistic trick is simply one of the above tricks done at high
speed. At the Central Park course this is done by launching from
100-200 feet from the first cone rather than the usual 30-60. A
ballistic flying eagle really hauls, and a ballistic backwards
combo is guaranteed to blow spectators away. Just make sure that
you have spotters watching to be sure that nobody blunders into
the course during your approach (this is a common problem in
Central Park).
* _Grapevines:_
The term "grapevine" apparently has a number of different
definitions in the skating world. The one that is most frequently
used at the Central Park slalom course is any slalom maneuver
which is done traveling _uphill_.
Some sort of self propulsion is obviously necessary in order to
keep your speed from tapering off, so the most frequent maneuvers
I've seen done on a positive slop are the backwards criss-cross
and the independent. However, I've managed to do an uphill
sidesurf, and I've seen others do uphill one-foots and backwards
parallels. The backwards criss-cross and independent are useful
for impressing spectators because, if done right, you can build up
some serious speed when doing them.
A good way to practice grapevines is to set up a _flat_ slalom
course, but make sure that it's long enough that you're not just
coasting through on your initial momentum. If you can accelerate
through a flat slalom course, you're ready to try an uphill
Also, equipment can play a large roll in a successful grapevine.
Clean bearings and larger wheels help, as do lighter skates. I've
found that a grapevine independent is _much_ easier in Aeroblades
than in Lightning TRSes.
* _Pairs:_
There's pairs figure skating, so why can't there be pairs slalom
skating? Basically, it just requires two people skating the course
together while holding one or both hands. A popular example is for
the leading skater to do a backwards criss-cross while the
trailing skater does a forward criss-cross (this is often done
when the leading skater is trying to learn how to do a backwards
criss-cross). Exceptionally cool, are pairs doing backwards
_combos_. Tres cool!
And lest you think that there's a limit of two skaters doing a
trick together, three of the best Central Park skaters will
occasionally do a ballistic independent together. And occasional
groups of four or more skaters will get together to attempt a mass
maneuver, but more often than not this results in cones strewn in
every direction.

There are presumably many more maneuvers, or variants on the above,
but the problem is that the names for them may also be regionalized
(e.g., I've discovered that what New Yorkers call a criss-cross,
Bostonians want to call a crossover). Even within one locale there may
be more than name, especially if a trick has a lot of variants (e.g.,
the flying eagle variant of the forward one-foot), and a name based on
a combination of the above terms may have a special, fancy name. For
example, I've heard a backwards monoline called a "rattlesnake" and a
double-extended wave (wow!) is a "tidal wave".
_________________________________________________________________ FAQs maintained by Tony Chen
_-"Techniques: Slalom" edited by Robert Schmunk (


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Sep 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/20/96

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_r.s.s.inline FAQ: Techniques - Figure Skating_

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(Last changed May 31, 1995) by Jennifer Kretschmer (

Here's the first group of "tricks" that I have been able to take from
ice figure skating and translating it to in-lines. I'll do one of each
rating. The ratings again are:

Beginner = *
Intermediate = **
Int/Advanced = ***
Advanced = ****

* Swizzles *
* Spiral **
* 3 Turn ***
* Two-Foot Spin ****
* Waltz Jump ***
* Axels ****+
* Loop Jump ****

_Swizzles *:_
This is a move that can be used to skate forward or later to
skate backwards. (backwards requires your weight to be towards
the toe, and going forward requires weight toward the heels.)
It is good for building up groin muscles, and the inside of
your thighs. In swizzles, your feet do not leave the gound.
Start by gliding on two feet about 7-8 inches apart. Then allow
your feet to slide out while moving until they are about 24-28
inches apart. Here comes the harder part where your groin
muscles come in. Without lifting your feet off the ground,
glide and pull your feet back in until they are again 7-8
inches apart. Repeat the move over and over. You will soon gain
momentum, and the move will become easier to do with speed.

_Spiral **:_
This is a graceful move that you see figure skaters doing
often. This will be easier for more flexible people to do. It
requires good balance, so you should be able to skate on one
foot with ease before you try this. Gliding on one foot, point
your toe of your free skate and slowly lift your leg behind
you. Arch your back, and bend at the waist only. Don't throw
your body weight forward or you will loose your balance. You
shoud try to balance all of your weight on your skating leg. A
good spiral form is when you can get your free leg up higher
than your head.

_3 Turn ***:_
This is a move that allows you to turn backwards by skating on
one foot. This will require you to go almost onto one wheel
only for a split second. You will fall trying to learn this, so
be prepared. Once you get it, your friends will be impressed.
Use whatever foot you feel most comfortable skating on one
foot. Most people feel that this move is easiest if your
skating leg is your left one.

There are many types of 3 turns that deal with the "edge"
(direction), but right now I will just describe it generically.
Try holding onto something like a fence or bench when you first
try this, and watch your chin if you fall. I had a friend who
bumped her chin on a bench when she fell. Gliding on one foot,
allow your free foot to hang behind you. Swing the free leg
around slowly and shift your hips at the same time. Let your
foot rock up towards your toe, and swing it backwards at the
same time as your leg and hips go. You should now be skating
backwards on one foot.

_Two-foot Spin ****:_
This is so fun to do, but be prepared to get dizzy. This
requires you to be on only two wheels. You can do it on your
heels, on your toes, or the easiest on one toe and one heel.
Most people feel comfortable spinning counter-clockwise. This
is the common direction to spin in figure skating unless you
are left-handed and do everything in the opposite direction. I
will explain a right handed, toe-heel two foot spin like would
be done on ice.

You will be on the toe of your left foot and the heel of your
right and will spin counter-clockwise. Start with your arms out
to your side and feet slightly apart. "Wind up" by swinging
your arms 90degrees in the clockwise direction. This will turn
your body a little but don't let your feet move. All at the
same time, swing your arms back the other way and pop up onto
your toe heel position. Pull your arms into your body like your
are trying to hug yourself. This will make you spin faster. Let
your arms out to slow down and drop back to all your wheels.

_Waltz Jump ***:_
You should be able to do 180s before you try this one. I will
explain first how to do just the moves, with no grace attached.
However, this is a very graceful jump, and when done properly
almost gives the allusion of doing splits in the air. While
skating forward, glide on your left foot (if you are
left-handed or feel more comfortable skating on your right
foot, do the exact opposite as I describe). Begin rotating your
body counter clock-wise. Allow your free leg to come forward.
When your body is 90 degress and your foot is still forward,
jump off of your left skate. While in the air rotate you body
the last 90 degrees, change feet in the air and land on your
RIGHT skate backwards.

To add some more grace, let your right leg swing forward to
help you take off. Try this a few times holding onto a wall or
bench or couch, with your skates on or off. Getting your body
used to jumping off one leg and landing on the other is the
hard part of this trick. Once you get this jump down, then more
advanced figure skating jumps become easier to understand.

I've heard some poeple asking about axels on inline skates.
Although I mentioned before that I will only discuss those
figured skating moves that I can do on inlines properly, I will
talk about axels anyway. My main problem is landing on one
foot, so I two foot the landing. I tend to land with my weight
a little forward (an old habit I also had on ice) so that on
inlines, I roll up to my toe, and fall. I know that I can
correct if only I would keep my body straight, but old habits
die hard.

An AXEL is a ****+ maneuver on my scale. It requires excellent
balance, and a lot of strength to pull off on inlines. This
jump takes off forward off your left foot (outside edge),
rotates one and a half times (540 degrees), and lands on your
right foot (outside edge) going backwards. An important part of
the take off is usuing your free right leg to "kick" forward
helping you to take off. If you are new to trying this
maneuver, try doing it on carpet or grass without your skates
on. If you can't get the rotation without your skates on, you
won't be able to do it with the extra weight of your skates.
Another tip for the takeoff, is that most ice skaters like to
skate into the jump going backward, and then stepping forward
onto your left foot an immediately taking off. You can do it
this way, or from skating forward depending on your comfort. I
have noticed that most roller skaters do axels from a forward
skating position. Try both, and use the one that allows you to
get the most height and control.

_Loop Jump_
Here's a new figure skating maneuver it's called a loop jump. I
would consider this and advance jump to try. you must already
be able to do a 360 jump starting backwards and landing

LOOP JUMP: is a jump where you take off backwards on two feet,
but land backwards on one foot. Skating backwards, scissor your
feet so that your left foot is slightly in front of your right.
Bend your knees deeply and glide in a counter clock-wise
circle. Take off on an outside edge on your right foot still
with your left foot trailing in front, and use your knee bend
to "pop" yourself into the air.

Turn your body in the air in a counter clock-wise direction and
pull your arms into your body (grabbing your left shoulder with
your right hand sometimes helps in the rotation). Also, while
taking off, lift your left leg up slightly higher than your
right ankle.

When you have completed the 360 rotation, land on your right
leg skating backwards on an outside edge, and allow your free
leg to extend behind you. (Like the way you see ice figure
skaters land) Remember to try this only when you can do a 360
in the counter clock-wise direction on two feet from backwards
skating to a backwards landing.

You will fall many times learning how to do this so please wear
protective gear including a helmet. The most common fall for
this jump is in the landing. If you lean forward, you will roll
up on your toe and do a face plant. Make sure that you bend


Other stuff

From: (timothy mizerak)
Subject: Re: Figure Skating on InLines!
Date: 3 May 1995 22:21:45 -0400

>|> *** 3 TURN: This is a move that allows you to turn backwards by skating
>|> on one foot. This will require you to go almost onto one wheel only for
>|> a split second. You will fall trying to learn this, so be prepared.
>|> Once you get it, your friends will be impressed. Use whatever foot you
>|> feel most comfortable skating on one foot. Most people feel that this
>|> move is easiest if your skating leg is your left one. There are many

Most people are right-handed and prefer to rotate counter-clockwise, so that
would make the left outside 3 turn the easiest. The direction of turn is
very critical with 3 turns. You'll want to find your strongest direction
and stick with it until you have that mastered, then start learning the other

>|> types of 3 turns that deal with the "edge" (direction), but right now I wil
>|> just describe it generically. Try holding onto something like a fence or

What really made the difference to my three turn was to *really* stress the
edge. My first 3 turn was the right outside, and once I realized that was
what I was trying to do, it started to come much easier. I had always been
holding a straight line and finding it so difficult. So, think about drawing
that 3 when you do this move and it will help.

>|> friend who bumped her chin on a bench when she fell. Gliding on one
>|> foot, allow your free foot to hang behind you. Swing the free leg around
>|> slowly and shift your hips at the same time. Let your foot rock up
>|> towards your toe, and swing it backwards at the same time as your leg and
>|> hips go. You should now be skating backwards on one foot.

This is basically it, but I can picture a lot of over-rotated turns. The
key is to set your arms and shoulders first, then to let the rest of your body
and foot complete the turn. I wouldn't stress the swing on the free leg
either as it would also seem to over-rotate or pull the whole thing off
balance. It's in the shoulders first, the hips second, then the foot.

Shooshie's advice to practice these with two feet at first is very good.
If you realize it or not, you have actually taught yourself two 3 turns that
way, one outside and one inside!

Timothy Mizerak,

On Tue, 2 May 1995, Shooshie wrote:
> I'm still pretty lame on 3-turns, but I'm in no hurry, and I notice
> improvement all the time. I do have a question for you. Do you "snap" your
> body around, or just gracefully turn it and snap your foot at some point
> in the turn? Also, when doing it in reverse (from backward to forward), do
> you still do it on your toes, or do you use your heel? I have done both,
> but I suspect that the heel version probably goes by another name. I've
> been needing to ask someone this... maybe you would help.

I tend to do the slow, "graceful" move with my body turning and at the
last second when my body is almost backwards I "snap" my foot. I use my
arms too, but that's mostly from my figure skating traing when I had a
coach yell at me to keep my head up and my arms out to the side. I even
position my hands the way she used to make me.
The backwards one, I always did with my weight towards the heel, even on
ice. I'm not sure how you mean when you say you use your toes. If you
can go from backwards to forwards going up on your toe, I believe that
you have invented a new turn. I'll check my handbook to see if I can
find it. If not then we should call it a "Shooshie Turn!" I like the
sound of that.


*This image is Copyrighted Š 1994-1996 by Anthony D. Chen. Permission

is granted to use this logo in World Wide Web HTML files so long as
this copyright notice is included as either an HTML comment alongside
the invokation (IMG SRC or HREF or otherwise) of the logo, or in the
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The image may not be sold for profit, nor incorporated in commercial

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Copyright Š 1991-1996 Anthony D. Chen (

Tony Chen

Sep 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/20/96

Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: sports/skating/inline-faq/part7

_r.s.s.inline FAQ: Techniques - Speedskating and Racing_

[LINK] -->


Table of Contents:
* Road Rash
* Lacing
* Boots
* General Race stuff
* Skinsuits
* Other Speedskating sites

(last changed Friday, 31-May-96 18:00:02 MDT)

Road Rash

From: (Andy Hill)

Not a cure, but lots of Neosporin will help keep the rash from getting
infected (a big problem with large-area road rash). Makes the scabs
look really nasty, 'tho - be prepared for some really grossed-out
looks if you don't gauze it over.

From: (George Robbins)

There is no "cure".

The traditional treatment is to wash the area, let it scab over and
wait for it to heal. If there is a lot of imbedded dirt, glass or
gravel you want to see a doctor for extra pain and cleansing.

The underground remedy (for small spots) is to use "Bag Balm", a
vetrinary product for soothing cows udders, found at your local farm
supply outlet. It provides a waterproof covering for the wound, which
apparently prevents the formation of a thick, inflexible scab.
Actually Vaseline does pretty much the same thing, with people asking
you what breed of cows you prefer.

In either case, the overall healing time is simlar, however the latter
may cause less interference with skating, scarring and hassles with
scabs cracking or being torn off.

Another possibility is to use a "Newskin" type product, the one I've
seen comes in a bottle, you put it one, the alcohol (sting!)
evaporates, leaving a thin, flexible membrane, which seems to work on
the same idea as above, but it's dry on the outside, not gooky.

Please treat such wounds with respect, infection, scarring or
prolonged healing periods are always a possibility, especially with
larger area's of damaged skin or contamination.

From: (Matt Hicks)

Well, I checked out what everyone else suggested and I didn't see this
one exactly, so here goes. I have a friend who is a (semi?) pro speed
skater and has taken some nasty spills at high speed. Last year he
ripped up his right thigh/buttock when he hit a wet spot in a turn--it
was uuugly. Anyway, he used either neosporin or a burn creme (road
rash is 90% burn anyway) and he covered the wound completely with
plastic wrap held on with medical tape. There was nothing special
about the wrap--just Saran Wrap or the equivalent. I've had a lot of
rash from bicycle racing and I've never seen anything heal as quickly
or as well as this lump of hamburger did. He never got a scab going;
the wound just got smaller and smaller until it was gone. The main
thing you need to do with this treatment is clean the wound really
well--I'm guessing he probably cleaned it thoroughly twice a day
(morning and evening). The next time I get scraped up I'm going to try
this treatment myself--if nothing else it will keep the wound from
oozing through my clothes--yuck!

From: (Steven Malcolm Nichols)

Finally, on the subject of road rash. I've heard people advocate both
covering the area to try to keep a scab from forming and airing it. I
have tried both and don't really have a preference. I believe that the
most important thing you can do is keep it clean (i.e. wash/clean it a
couple of times a day) and of course, keep it from getting infected.
3M makes a product called second skin, I think the original
application was for burn victims. Second skin is something like 96%
water & 4% miracle plastic that acts as a skin. A couple of people
mentioned Neosporin; I was told by a paramedic that Neosporin in large
quantities can be toxic -- he couldn't really be quantitative about
what this means, but just be aware. I have found antecdotally (and
maybe I even read this somewhere) that sunlight seems to encourage
pink shiny scar tissue (dang! I'll never be a swimsuit model now!), so
you might want to let the rash heal up before you go tanning at the

From: (Adam Pratt)

I do not have any quick fixes for road rash, though I have had a lot!
I mean a lot! Nine days ago I launched off a 4 and a half foot ledge
from one parking lot to another. There is about 12-15 feet of mulch
and bushes slanting between the parking lot I jumped from and the
parking lot below I was jumping into. It was an awesome jump, but at
the bottom, I did not quite make the pavement. My skates hit soft
mulch at the botom, dug in an inch, and my 10+ mph threw by body on
the pavement. Most of the weight hit my wrist guards and the front of
my helmet. If I did not have wrist guards on, I would have shattered
by hands, wrists, and forearms. It was intense! I could not hold all
my weight aand slid out on my right elbow and right hip (OUCH on the

Anyway, I just wanted to share my awesome spill with you friends. It
was one of the most intense spills I have seen. Now back to the road
rash part...

I already had a scar on my right hip from a previous spill. Now I have
a bigger one. The way to get rid of it is to COAT it with vitamin E
oil. Do not wait for it to heal, then use it. Scrub it hard, ointment
like crazy, let it scab, and then DON'T pick! As soon as it is starts
to get hard, keep vitamin E oil on it constantly!

I have had two major surgeries on each shin and the cut me alle the
way up and down. I did not use Vitamin E the first time and the scars
were nasty. I used it the second time and you can barely see them! I
really believe this stuff helps! You can buy it at GNC and other
health food stores.


After my first crash, where the Fire Department guys had to clean me
up, I started to cary first aid supplies (each crach statistic is a
statistic in favor of baning inline skating). I have the following in
my bag:

Large bandaids (2 in.) Gauze pads (for covering wounds and for
cleaning wounds) Anticeptic wipes Neosporin ointment

I even found use for these at the ice rink this past winter, when I
cut my self on my blades. Yes, I have goten road rash from the ice
rink although, I think it was where the elastic underwear band abraded
my skin.

From: (Jim Aites)

: Anticeptic wipes : Neosporin ointment

DERMABLAST - a spray-on topical anesthetic. (smaller container

How about something for the 'shockies'? I hate seeing black-n-white
(with stars)! I know, "sit down and put your head between your knees",
but I was thinking of something more along the line of Asperin, a shot
of scotch, or some other good analgesic. ;)


From: (Mark Ginsberg)
Date: 12 May 1995 03:00:03 GMT

I race and fall off of bicycles far too often, and now to increase the
departure of my skin from my body I race skates too. so for road rash
there are a few things you can do.

1. Keep it clean, the day it happens take a bath in some
anti-bacterial soap (aka Laundry detergent -seriously!)

2. then thre are two theories I have seen:
2a. keep it dry. Let cuts air dry and scab up. yummy
2b. Moisture (buddy) keep covered with neosporin, or the like then
cover with saran wrap (sorry for all the name brands) and a big
bandage to soak up all the oozey stuff. Change dressing 2x a day or
more. I use both methods depending on where a cut is, I keep my hips
moist b/c they will heal faster that way, but be messier for the first
few days. my knees, they get to scab. keeps my mom upset 3000 miles

Also to keep them moist you can by these product that look alot like
pre cut saran wrap with vetilation slits which you place over a cut
and leave on for 7 days, does the same thing, but looks a lot cooler,
so if chosing bandaging for looks check those out.



From: Sir Erick (
Subject: Re: speed skate laces

In (Michael
Kin Wong) writes:
>Is there anyone out there who has a method
>of making laces slip less as you are tightening
>them up? I've heard of waxing the laces...does
>this work and more importantly how do you do it?
>Other suggestions welcome...
> -mike

I don't know if this is even relevant but, when you tie your skates at
the top, you know, the crossover tie before you make the little bow?
Well, instead of doing one crossover, do two. This is called a
surgeons knot and it will hold tight while you make the pretty little
bow at the top. Get it? I hope so because without this knot, I'd
still be asking people to "put your finger here while I tie this

From: (GRamsey887)
Subject: Re: speed skate laces
Date: 14 May 1995 21:50:20 -0400

>Is there anyone out there who has a method
>of making laces slip less as you are tightening
>them up? I've heard of waxing the laces...does
>this work and more importantly how do you do it?
>Other suggestions welcome...

While you might be able to wax laces, most people buy laces that are
pre-waxed. You won't find them at the mass merchants, but most of the
decent rinks or skate shops should have some.

Subject: Re: speed skate laces
Date: 15 May 1995 07:26:20 GMT

Try the following lacing style if you haven't already.

-------o- +0++++++
\ +
+ \
+ \
+ \
+ \
+ \

Two points to keep in mind...

1. The diagonal laces are always underneath the laces going
straight across.
2. The laces that go straight across are always on the outside
of the lace holes.

======|== ==|======
----+ +----

To tighten, start at the bottom and pull each straight-across
lace tight working your way to the top. This pattern keeps
the tension on previous lace while you tighten the next.
The laces also tend not to come loose as easliy.

Hope this helps,

From: (R.Manes)
Subject: Re: speed skate laces
Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 08:55:04

I just wanted to second the notion of the waxed laces- my Raps boots came with
them, and they work. Another trick taught to me by the guy who sold me the
skates is to lace with the laces going down into the holes, rather than up
through them, as is conventional. This way you can adjust each lace crossing
to the tension you like, and it'll stay there since the down lacing sort of
locks it in place. Try it- you'll like it.

From: Glenn Rasmussen
Subject: Re: inline laces
Date: 15 May 1995 16:11:33 GMT (Michael Kin Wong) wrote:
> Is there anyone out there who has a method
> of making laces slip less as you are tightening

Try lacing your skates by putting the lace in the top of each eyelet. It
locks the lace down as you pull it tight. This is a trick I learn from
ice speedskating. I find it a very effective technique.



From: (Michael Rainone)
Subject: Re: Simmons Boot sources
Date: Sat, 13 May 1995 13:47:51 -0400

In article ,
(Mark Drela) wrote:
> I'd like to get the Simmons boot, so...
> 1) Is there a local source near Boston?
> 2) Does anyone have the phone # for Simmons?
> I heard that you can order from them directly.
> 3) Is there a mail-order place that has them?
> I know you can get them from Team Paradise, but it's
> been over a month since I called for their catalog
> with no results.

Simmons fax # is 816.454.2668. I've heard that the Twister model is very
backordered. The most popular boot through Paradise is the Typhoon whic
is a lower cut, more like the Viking. I was lucky enough to have gotten
my Twisters last season. They are excellent boots, High Quality
materials and superb craftsmanship are Daves trademark. It's money well

From: (Kimon Papahadjopoulos)
Subject: Re: Viking Boots
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 1995 11:54:58 -0800

In article , (Adam Katz )
> What are people's opinions of the Viking boots? The bont boot looks
> like it would give more ankle support, how much difference would this
> make? I would most likely get the non-moldable Viking boots, how should
> they fit?

I would definetly not recommend the Viking Marathon or Thermo for that matter
as a first racing boot because they really do have minimal ankle support.

This means that if you have never skated on racing skates before, it could
be a good long while before you will be able to skate faster than in your
four wheelers.

Also, because they have so little support and because they expand over
time, you should try to get the smallest size possible that will fit your
foot. Which means that unless you happen to have just the correct shape
of foot, the break-in time is both long and painful.

Furthermore, the Vikings use a variable distance mounting system which for
most sizes means that the frame you will buy will be incompatible with
other racing skates like the Bont. So the frame you buy for your Vikings
will probably not work for the next pair of skates you buy unless you buy
Vikings again.

On the plus side, Vikings are very well made and very precise skates. They
give you a lot of control (as long as your ankles don't get tired) and
because they have such low ankle support they will make you a better
skater, because you can't rely on the boot to hold your edge for you.

But even once you learn to use them, for most people they leave something
to be desired for the sprint (you know, the most important part of the
race) and in tight turns. I know several people who once they switched
away from Vikings say while they loved their Vikings, they are faster in
other boots.

In my opinion, Vikings are still useful as a training boots, but I think
you will see fewer and fewer Vikings on the starting line as boot building
know-how gets better. After all, Vikings are long track boots, and there
are finally some boot manufacturers that understand the subtle differences
that an inline boot requires.

For your first racing skate, I'd try the K2 Extreme Speed. It's being
sold in modular components, and the boot seems to sell for $200-$300 vs
>$400 for the Thermo. I saw several of them at the last race I went to
last week, including a friend of mine who was previously skating on the
Marathon. He likes them a lot, and had no trouble with them in the 27
mile race, and I think he got them last week. Now that's an

From: (Wonsup Song)
Subject: Re: Viking Boots
Date: 5 Apr 1995 21:54:00 GMT

In article , (Marc Abrams) says:
>Unless you are really going to be training 3 hour a day, I doubt
>whether you will develop enough ankle strength to skate competitively
>in Vikings. Look at the Fitness Fanatics Veloce or K2 Extreme Speed or
>2 Extreme boots. They fit much nicer than Bonts, are made better, and
>are less expensive. Give me a call if you have questions.

If you decide not to get Vikings because of the low-cut, I would not buy
2 Extreme boots either. 2 Extreme has no cuffs, and it took me for a while to
get use to it (I used to skate on Bont Hustler boots, now I use it for
In-doors). Go for Extreme Speed. They give you better lateral support than 2
Extreme (no support).

It is true (at least for me) that K2 fits better than Bont. But it does not
mean you should get K2. There are other fine boots such as Simmons(Great Boots)
Everyone's feet are different so some brand boots fit you better than others.

About the price of K2 2 Extreme, I paid $199(retail $339.95). It is the best
boots for that price range ($300-450 racing boots). I can buy Extreme Speed for

$189. So shop around.

From: (Martin Sripan)
Subject: Re: [INL] Narrow Feet
Date: 11 Apr 1995 13:07:28 GMT

When I bought my ski boots (later returning them) the specialists
at the shop told me that they could expand or contract the plastic
in the boot, specifically fitting it to my needs. When I bought
my Roces CDG '94 the booklet that came with it gave information
on a RPF [Roces Personal Fit] which is essentially a system to
inject silicon(e) into the boot liner, which later hardens.
There is also the ThermoFlex which can be used in some boot shells,
but it costs about $150.


Racing Frames

From: me

Some people have asked what the difference is between the various
types of racing frames. Here's all I know (which may not be 100%
correct). The frames tend to be made in three ways:
* _Stamped and folded:_ A flat piece of metal is stamped out and
then folded to make the frame (cheapest)
* _Extruded:_ the metal is extruded into some sort of molding
(moderately expensive)
* _Machined:_ the frame is cut directly from a block of metal (most

Most of the mid/high-end frames out there tend to be extruded. As far
as I can tell most of the pros use extruded frames, so they ought to
be fine for most anyone. You may see the term "triple-extrusion". I'm
not sure what this means. Maybe they have some sort of 3-step process
to extrude the frame.


General Race Stuff

From: (Eric Simmon)
Subject: Re: [INL] Race question..
Date: 6 Apr 95 20:25:01 GMT (Amy Ryan) writes:
>I have only participated in traditional distance races, but they are
>going to sponsor a criterion (sp????) locally. They say its 25 minutes
>and then 2 laps... I read an article about a similar race at the PanAm
>games.. can someone explain exactly how these races work?

A criterium is (originally) a type of bicycle race.

The course is usually .6 to 1.5 miles long (ie. short)
with sharp corners (usually around a city block or two).
The races are usually fast paced, with a lot of body contact.
There can also be preems (sp) (premiums) which are prizes given at
different points in the race to whoever is first at that
moment (usually given at the halfway point). they are
great spectator races because the cyclists come around once
every couple of minutes instead of once (as in a road race).

As far as the 25 min + 2 laps goes, this just means you race
for twenty five minutes, at which point you have two laps to


Stay near the front of the pack drafting as much as you can, while
keeping the leaders close by. If one or two people make a breakaway,
let them go (unless you KNOW they are strong enough to stay out front
the rest of the race). If a larger group makes a breakaway, and
you feel good, jump on it, just be prepared to do your share of pulling
(skating in front so others can draft). Try to conserve strength
as much as you can. Criteriums usually come down to a sprint finish,
so your best chance of winning is to stay fresh and be in good
position for the finish. Unless you feel strong enough to just
break away and leave everyone in your dust. One other thing: turning
is key! I was in a inline race where the eventual winner was a beginner
ice track skater (the rest of us where distance skaters). He got out front
near the beginning of the race and because his speed was greater in the
corners (and he didn't have to watch out for people around him) his
lead just got greater through every corner.



From: (Wonsup Song)
Subject: [INL][SPEED] Skin Suits for In-line skating?
Date: 18 Apr 1995 05:06:04 GMT

I have been speed skating for a while but, I was never concerned about what I
wear. I usually wear a Lycra/Nylon tight shorts and a bycicle jersey (I bike
too). It worked fine for me so far. My friend Dean who races for Team K2 wears
this cool purple skin suit. He told me it was made especially for K2 racers by
Pearl Izume. He said that, what you wear makes a big difference in air
resistance and dragging.

Out of curiosity, how many non-profesional skaters out there wears skin suit?
O.K. what do you speedsters wear? I know all these professional skaters from
team Rollerblade, K2, Hyper, etc all wear these skin suits. I heard it reduces
about 5% of the air-resistence than normal tight clothes. Does it make a big
difference? or would it give me about same effects as wearing Lycra tight
shorts and bike jersey?

Where do people get one? I am talking about skin suit especially made for
In-line skating because these bike skin-suits have pads in the middle and I
don't like it. How much do they cost? I know bike ones cost about $99. Who
makes one?

Do they have back pockets like bike jersey, to put watter bottles, keys and
stuff? One thing that I don't like about bike jersey is that I can't put my
water bottle in the pocket. Everytime I go up hills or speed up(swinging both
of my arms), the bottle in my back pocket would swing left and right and
through me off rhythm (because it moves left when I move right, and right when
I move left). So I ended up holding the bottle in my hands all the time. Does
skin suit has same problem or they hold stuff better? (All the skin suit that
I have seen didn't have back pockets though)

Where do professional skaters put their watter bottles? ( I guess for long
distances such as N.Y. 100K and Athens to Atlanta 85miles,etc ) Or maybe they
don't carry ones around? I saw Eddy Matzger holding these watter bottles in
his hands and racing for pretty long distance/time.

From: (Erik de Haas)
Subject: Re: [INL][SPEED] Skin Suits for In-line skating?
Date: 18 Apr 1995 14:21:50 +0200

> Out of curiosity, how many non-profesional skaters out there wears skin
>O.K. what do you speedsters wear? I know all these professional skaters from
>team Rollerblade, K2, Hyper, etc all wear these skin suits. I heard it reduces
>5% of the air-resistence than normal tight clothes. Does it make a big differe
nce? or
>would it give me about same effects as wearing Lycra tight shorts and bike jer


Here all (even remotely) serious ice speed skaters wear skin suits, at
least in the races. For marathon
and very long distance there are even skin suits that have pockects at the
back (approximately in the place where the pockects are on cycling clothes).
In summer, with nice wheather, on inlines, these suits are a little too warm,
I would think. That is where those skinsuits you mentioned come in handy
(short sleeves and legs). Here (in Holland) I only saw those suits at
races. But almost all the racers wear them, (we do not have any proffesionals
here, only some good inline skaters get sponsors for cloathing and
equipment). When on ICE I changed from 'tight' cloating to a skin suit, I
instantaniously smashed my personal records. It does make a difference.
In summer, on 5-wheelers, I never squeezed myself into a skin suit. But then
I do not race on my inlines; I only use them in summer for training, for
remembering how it should be done on ice in winter.

Erik de Haas
Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science
University of Amsterdam
The Netherlands

From: (SticksSk8s)
Subject: Re: [INL][SPEED] Skin Suits for In-line skating?
Date: 19 Apr 1995 00:09:31 -0400

Skin suits are alot more comfy that bike shorts! Also, they DO keep you
cool in the summer, since your sweat will evaporate off the lycra pretty
quick. Most custom made suits can be made with a pocket in the back for a
water bottle. I've gotten suits made by a place called Young
Originals...517-688-4860. Call them and they'll send you a catalogue, all
you need to do is pick out a design (one of theirs or one of your own),
the colors, and send them your measurements. An inline suit with short
sleeves and legs cost from $50-70 depending on the designs. Right now I
get them made by a woman in the area who also makes artistic skating
outfits, you might want to check out local skate rinks to see if they have
anybody who does the same. Good luck!!


From: "K. S. Manning"
Subject: Re: [INL][SPEED] Skin Suits for In-line skating?
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 1995 19:56:55 GMT

Don't steer clear of cycling clothing entirely. I'm coming
off a long period of bike racing, so I have lot's of shorts.
I have found it little trouble to take the chamois (the "pad")
out of the shorts using a seam-ripper (available at any fabric/
sewing shop).

I now wait for Performance to have a clearance sale, get a pair
of cheap cycling shorts or a skinsuit, and take the chamois out.

BikeNashbar's sales seem better but less frequent.

Performance 800-727-2433
Nashbar 800-NASHBAR

Other Speedskating sites:
* Athens-2-Atlanta Home Page

Tony Chen

Sep 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/20/96

Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: sports/skating/inline-faq/part9

_r.s.s.inline FAQ: Marketplace - Manufacturers and Mail-order Shops_

Click for $3 wheels! [LINK]


Companies and Organizations
* Inline skating organizations
* Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)
* Bearing companies (Tuesday, 16-Jul-96 15:25:47 MDT)
* Wheel companies (Sunday, 04-Aug-96 22:35:29 MDT)
* Protective Gear
* Accessories and Stuff
* Magazines

Mail-order Shops and Instructors
* General mail-order shops (Wednesday, 31-Jul-96 08:43:48 MDT)
* Hockey mail-order shops (Monday, 12-Aug-96 09:30:12 MDT)
* Racing shops
* Inline Instructors (Thursday, 06-Jun-96 16:12:31 MDT)


(last changed Wednesday, 04-Sep-96 07:05:18 MDT)

Inline Skating Organizations

5101 Shady Oak Road
Minnetonka, MN 55343
(this could be an incorrect address, as of January 1994, I had heard
they were moving to Atlanta)

[Day-to-day office]
5182 Katella Ave., Suite 106
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
310 430 2423
310 431 2928 fax

[Executive office]
13070 Fawn Hill Drive
Grass Valley, CA 95945
916 274 0923
916 274 1115 fax

See the complete NIHA info in the rollerhockey section (part 7).

Canada, 1-800-668-NIHA or (403)455-6442 (Edmonton)
United States, 1-800-358-NIHA
FAX: 305 358 0046

See also the list of NIHA sponsors.

6358 N. College Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46220
317 283 2900




Canstar Sports USA Inc.
50 Jonergin Drive
Swanton, VT 05488
800 750 1713 in VT
800 362 3146
800 451 5120
802 868 2711
802 868 4713 fax

Canstar Sports Group, Inc.
6500 Millcreek Drive
Mississauga, ON L5N 2W6
905 821 4600
905 821 1860 fax

Canstar Sports AG
Talgut-Zentrum 19
CH-3060 Ittigen
+41 585886/585887
+41 31 586375 fax (this number is suspicious, but I'm reporting it


Maska U.S. Inc.
Box 381
Pierson Industrial Park
Bradford, VT 05033

Sport Maska Inc.
7405 Trans-Canada Highway, Suite 300
St.-Laurent, QC H4T 1Z2
514 331 5150
514 331 7061


Exel Marketing, Inc.
1 Second Street
Peabody, MA 01960
800-521-2011 (Store Locator Service)
508 532 2226
508 532 3728 fax

Exel Marketing, Ltd.
56 Churchill Drive
Barrie, ON L4M 6E7
705 739 7690
705 739 7684 fax

[also the following]
9 rue Plateau
Pointe Claire, QC H9R 5W1
514 694 1077
514 694 3284 fax

Roces srl
Via G. Ferraris 36
31044 Montebelluna
+39 423 609974 r.a. (r.a. means automatic searching of a free line
(when there are multiple lines with the same number)
+39 423 303193 fax

Rollerblade, Inc.
5101 Shady Oak Road
Minnetonka, MN 55343
800 232 ROLL
800 68 BLADE (?)
612 930 7000
612 930 7030 fax
(Rollerblade Canada)

Benetton Sportsystem Inc.
3520 Alphonse-Gariepy
Lachine, QC H8T 3M2
800 661 ROLL
514 631 6331
514 631 1005


K2 Corp. - (800)345-2754


8335 Nieman Rd.
Lenexa, KS 66214
Voice: 913-438-MOJO (6656)
Fax: 913-438-4749


Atomic for Sport (Atomic Ski USA)
9 Columbia Drive
Amherst, NH 03031
800 258 5020
603 880 6143
603 880 6099 fax

Atomic Ski Canada
Somewhere in Mississauga, ON
905 569 2300
(U.S. 800 number works in Canada)


First Team Sports, Inc.
2274 Woodale Drive
Mounds View, MN 55112-4900
800 458 2250
612 780 4454
612 780 8908 fax





Phone: 800-511-0054



* Rector: 800 248 5633
* Boneless: 801 627 3292
* Pro Designed: 713 957 0341

Grind plates:

* CDS Detroit - 1-313-331-7371
* A.T. Soul Plate, 15 Camelback Ct., Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, WWW:, Email:


* Anywhere Sports: 1-310-825-5464 (NISS '94 video)
* Mar Productions: 1-800-775-5507
* Video Groove Productions: 1-800-960-8486
* Video Action Sports: 1-800-727-6689
* _pimpin' Sports Action Video_
367 North Acacia Ave.
Solana Beach, CA 92075
(800) 484-6011 ext.1648
fax (619) 794-1648


_Sonic Sports_
10753 W. Pico Blvd., Suite 283
Los Angeles, CA 90064
phone: 310-216-4027
fax: 310-216-4028

_STREET LINE_ (accessories)
Charlie Parcells
313 331 7371

_Rollerbands_ (skate carrier), by Spaztech Designs
2583 River Plaza Dr No.154
Sacramento, CA 95833
Tel: 1-916-641-6034

_Earhuggers_ (earphones designed for active sports)
Chris Henry

_Ramptech Design and Construction_
7015 Westmoreland Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
703-560-VERT fax

_Blade Blox_ (wheel covers to let you walk on your skates)

_Border Patrol_ (portable rollerhockey rink perimeter) In-Line
Sport Systems, Inc.
821 Marquette Ave., Suite 2300
Minneapolis, MN 55402
612-338-2302 fax

_Paragon Racing_ (lubricants, bearing guards, accessories):
1-800-328-4827 ext.4656


_SKIDS_: (toe brakes) 1-800-766-9146


(last changed 07-30-1996, 15:15)
_1st In-line Magazine_
Editor :

_Daily Bread_
280 Highland Rd., Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: 714-497-2636

Editor :

_Inline Retailer_
2025 Pearl St., Boulder, CO 80302
Phone: 303-440-5111
Fax: 303-440-3313

_Inline Skater_
4099 McEwen, suite 350, Dallas TX 75244-5039
Editor :
Subscriptions :

_Inline: The Skate Magazine_
PO Box 527, Mt. Morris, IL 61054 U.S.A.
Phone: 800-877-5281
Fax: 303-440-3313
Editor :
Subscriptions :

_Roller Hockey Magazine_
12327 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 202, Los Angelas, CA 90025
Phone: 310-442-6660
Fax: 310-442-6663
Editor :
Subscriptions :

Phone: 01993 811181
Fax: 01993 811481
Editor :

_Speedskating Times_
2401 N.E. 15th Terrace, Pompano Beach, FL 33064
Phone: 954-782-5928
Editor :
Subscriptions :

_Stealth Rail_
Editor :


$3 wheels!



(last changed 07-31-1996, 8:43)
(Only companies with Web sites and/or email addresses are listed)
1888WWSPORTS, Route 1 , North Hampton, NH 03862
Phone: 1888wwsports
Fax: 1-888-SPORTS99

_Alliance Inline_
Phone: 1-888-SK8DEAL

_Awesome Inline Shop_
Phone: 800-460-1218

_B In-line_
1908 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Ky 40205
Phone: 502-456-9785

_Big Deal_
1822 N. 12th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85006
Phone: 800-406-3325

_Campus Skate Co._
605 East 13th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon 97401
Phone: (541) 683-3516, 1-800-452-3516
Fax: (541) 343-9277

_Corner 24 Surf Shop_
211 24th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Phone: 804-458-3389

_Cutting Edge Sports_
Charleston, SC
Phone: 803-571-4333

_Edge Sports_
2840 Harrisburg Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80922
Phone: 719-597-5176

_Fast Forward_
Phone: 800-557-7655, 608-271-6222

_Freedom Sports_
412 S. Main, Grapevine, Texas 76051
Phone: 817-488-7914
Fax: 817-481-2880

_Inline Skate Source_
5711 Holiday Road, Buford GA 30518-1520
Phone: 888-532-3483
Fax: 770-822-0580

_International Roller Sports_
2823-A Watson Blvd. Suite 219, Warner Robins, GA 31093
Phone: (912) 953-5444
Email: 7244...@CompuServe.COM

_Island Skates_
13th Street Beach Haven, NJ 08008
Phone: 800-92Blade

128 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007
Phone: (800) NYC-SKATE
Fax: (212) 964-5548

239 Prairie Drive, Madison, AL 35758
Phone: 800-595-8560

_Obsession Watersports_
222 N. Federal Highway, Dania, Florida 33004
Phone: 305-921-5802
Fax: 305-921-5803

_On The Beach Surf Shop_
652 Redwood Drive, Sand City, CA 93955
Phone: 408-899-9283

_Palo Alto Sport Shop & Toy World _
526 Waverley Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: 415-328-8555
Fax: 415-328-4429

_Performance Bicycle_
Phone: 1-800-727-2433

_Planet Mars_
18459 Pines Boulevard, Suite #174, Pembroke Pines, Florida, 33029

_Power Play Inline_
Phone: 805-543-5154, 805-473-0282

_Pro Look Sports_
1350-1356 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica CA 90401 (LA and Long
Beach too)
Phone: (310) 657-7091, 395-9055, 983-7670

_ReRun Sports_
Atascadero, CA 93422
Phone: 1-800-555-3936

_Rocky Mountain Bikes and Blades_
Star Ranch Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Phone: 800-720-2055

_Roller Warehouse_
7236 Owensmouth Ave, Bldg A, Canoga Park, CA 91303
Phone: 800-772-2502
Fax: 818-348-3281

_Skates Away_
Phone: 800-416-2565

_Skates on Haight_
P.O. Box 170010, San Francisco, CA 94117-0010
Phone: (800) 554-1235, (415) 244-9800
Fax: 415 873 0200

_Snow N Skate_
133 South Livermore St. Livermore, CA 94550
Phone: 510-294-4001

_Snowshoe Ski Haus_
410 Mineral Ave., Libby, Montana 59923
Phone: 1-800-293-3895, 406-293-3890

P.O. Box 26755, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55426, U.S.A.
Phone: 612-922-5478
Fax: 612-922-2911

Phone: (514) 426-4701
Fax: (514) 332-7736
WWW: http://WWW.Sportsflex.Com/

_Sportsnut Bike and Skate_
Phone: 800-237-6635