We sell a lot of roller skates to seasoned skaters, 'aggressive' and highly skilled skaters. However we also provide skates to plenty of people setting out on wheels for the first time, and recently we posted some hints in our Winter Newsletter on important things to concentrate on when you start skating. We're putting those hints here too, and we're going to continue this on the site as a series of hints and ideas, which will progress on to simple tricks and excercises for developing skill.

Starting Out Skating Series Part 1: Pads, Posture & Pronation!

Pads. Before even thinking about technique, you might want to think about padding up. Pads can add confidence, and you may find that with knee-pads on your body will allow you to go a lot faster on your skates that it previously had... because it knows you're protected! Knee-pads and wrist-supports are probably the mostly crucial of the pads you can buy.

Touch Knees! To achieve a good skating style, make sure your knees brush past each other in between each skate stroke. This will bring each foot back to the centre of your body before you push forward again, and you will start skating faster and smoother. As you improve, you won't need to concentrate on this so much.

Bend Your Knees. You can never bend your knees enough. It helps enormously with balance and technique, and is the main thing teachers will repeat and repeat at you. Bend your knees until you feel a bit stupid, and then bend them some more!

Ankle Pronation. Nice word huh? It basically means how much your ankles lean in towards each other, and you want to cut this out entirely! When you first start skating you will pronate a fair amount, as your body finds it safer to lean in than to lean out when on one skate. As you practice however, your ankles will strengthen and your balance will improve, so that you will pronate less. Try to be aware of how much you are leaning in with your ankles, and do so less, if you can.

Let us know if these hints and tips are helpful, and we'll continue to look into ways we can encourage your progression on wheels. We got some great feedback in response to our Newsletter, and Alex emailed in to say:

"I found your tips very helpful. I am fifty one and have just started rollerblading and my skates are only fitness type. A few friends go running but the old knees can't take the pounding. I haven't broken my neck yet but really glad I got wrist guards and elbow pads and would say don't even think about going out without wearing at the very least wrist guards.. I do my skating on a disused railway line that is now nice and evenly paved. I am improving so will keep at it."

We'd love to hear from any of our customers, let us know how you're getting on with your skates and if you feel like sending in a photo it might get onto the site! Email stuff@bluezeal.co.uk with feedback, to share stories, or ask any questions about your new wheels that we might be able to help with.

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