Roller skating – how to learn?

It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

Roller skating is a fun activity and an excellent exercise for improving fitness. You can race on them and ride to work. If you want to move efficiently and skillfully on roller skates, read our instructions!

The right equipment

To ride, you actually need the skates themselves, but for greater safety, we advise you to get a helmet to protect you from serious injuries, and above all, protectors for wrists, elbows and knees. While head injury is very rare, we recommend wearing protectors – by the time you have mastered roller skating, you are sure to score more than one fall.

Proper body positioning

Spread your legs shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and squat slightly on your heels. Roller skating requires balance, and this position helps you avoid falling.

At the very beginning, as soon as you stand on the skates, you will feel out of control. Before you feel confident, you may lose your balance and score a few falls. This is perfectly normal, just practice this body positioning until you manage to keep your posture as stable as possible.

It is quite difficult to stand still on roller skates. When you lean forward, you need to move one of the skates forward. This will allow you to regain your balance. Think of it this way: when you are standing still and someone pushes you slightly, you intuitively put one of your legs forward to regain your balance. The same applies to the situation when you are standing on roller skates, except that in this case the muscle power is pushing against you.

Duck walk

Bring your heels together, toes pointing outward, and begin a slow forward motion, extending first your right leg, then your left leg, and so on. Move on slightly bent legs and try to maintain balance. Practice these movements until you learn to “walk” steadily on roller skates. You may score a few falls, but it will get easier with each successive attempt. Remember to shift your body weight to your heels for balance. To keep learning moving forward, start walking faster and lengthen your steps. Gradually you will begin to ride.


Gradually lengthen each step and you will begin to really ride. Push off with one leg and glide on the other until you lose momentum, then switch legs. When one leg is riding on the surface, keep the other leg elevated so that it doesn’t hinder your movements. 

Learn to turn left and right while riding. When turning right, tilt your body slightly to the right, and when turning left, point your torso to the left.

Start riding faster and faster. Swap legs and push off the pavement faster and faster. Use your body weight to increase your speed, leaning harder in the direction you’re going. Also use your arms to keep your balance and increase your speed, bend them at the elbows and move them forward or backward, just like when you run.


Your roller skates should be equipped with a brake located on the front. To stop, position the skates parallel to each other and lean forward slightly. Move the right skate backward and point the tip of the skate downward. The harder you press down, the faster you will stop.

When braking, you need to keep your balance and press the tip of the skate against the brake. If you don’t press down hard enough, you can lose your balance and fall. If you have trouble pressing the brake hard, help yourself with your hands and additionally press them against your right knee. This will help you stop faster. 

main photo: Coetzee

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