You finally mastered the basics, but now you want to step up your game with some killer rollerblading tricks — we get it.
Maybe you like to close your eyes and imagine yourself nailing every trick in the book. But when you actually go to lace up your rollerblades and hit the rink, you abruptly learn that these tricks are a lot harder than they seem in your head.
After all, rollerblading is hard. Even learning basic rollerblading tricks is a challenge for most people. If you want to make your dreams a reality, though, it's best to start with the simplest tricks and work your way up.
Oh, and don't forget your helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and maybe some bubble wrap just to be safe!
The History of Rollerblading
The earliest known rollerblades consisted of a wooden spool and strips of wood nailed to the bottom of the wearer's shoes. While the invention certainly worked, it doesn't sound very pleasant.
In 1863, the first modern rollerskates were invented (featuring two sets of wheels rather than a single row). For the next century, plus a couple of decades, this design was the wheeled shoe of choice.
Finally, in 1980, the rollerblade design was revisited by a pair of Minnesotan brothers. Inspired by a desire to practice their hockey skills during the warmer months, they transformed a pair of ice skates with a set of wheels.
Though the brothers named their company Rollerblade, Inc., the name eventually joined the ranks of Band-Aid and Kleenex as a generic term.
Unlike rollerskates, these new rollerblades offered more speed, mobility, and the potential for all types of tricks.
How to Master Your Favorite Rollerblading Tricks
Enough historic chit-chat, because it's time to talk about learning some cool rollerblading tricks.
Rollerblading is a great cardio workout, especially when it comes to getting your blood pumping and sweat dripping. And whether you lace up your rollerblades for exercise or fun, learning rollerblading tricks is an excellent way to keep things interesting.
Here are a few tricks to help you master the sport:
Use the right gear
Every sport, hobby, or activity requires certain equipment to get the job done. Rollerblading is no exception.
If your rollerblades don't fit correctly, you put yourself at risk for all types of injuries. Rollerblading injuries can be as minor as a scraped knee or as serious as a broken ankle.
Plus, if you're trying out more advanced rollerblading tricks, this risk multiplies. You need to make sure your skates fit correctly around your ankle and offer support. If your rollerblades don't offer the right support, it's time to invest in a new pair.
Make sure you don't forget to wear a high-quality helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Whether you're a novice or have years of rollerblading experience, never hit the rink without the proper protective gear.
Work on your balance
What's the main difference between rollerskates and rollerblades? The amount of balance it takes not to fall!
With rollerblades, your entire body balances on a narrow row of wheels. But, like riding a bike, once you get yourself going, it's easy to keep your balance.
However, quick turning and stopping can land even experienced rollerbladers on their backside.
Are you scared to work on your balance? Try walking on grass with your blades to feel out where your weight should sit on the wheels. After you know how to walk, you can try skating while holding onto something like a railing or a wall.
Practice stops and turns
Most beginners feel great about their rollerblading skills — until they need to stop.
Most rollerblades feature a rubber stopper on the back. To stop, you need to bring your stopper blade behind your rollerblade and gently apply the brake to slow down.
You should keep your feet in a T-shape while stopping. This position will give you the most stability while you're trying to stop:
Turning is another tricky milestone for any new rollerblader.
If you watch ice skaters turn, you might notice it looks like their legs are crossing over each other. This technique also works for rollerblading.
To turn, you want to first build up a decent amount of speed. Once you're there, you want to scissor the opposite leg of the direction you're going over the other leg:
10 Awesome Rollerblading Tricks You Can Learn Today
Here are some of the best rollerblading tricks for beginners, as well as skaters with a bit more experience:
The heel-toe is one of the first rollerblading tricks everyone should learn.
For this movement, you glide along the front toe of one blade and the heel of the other. When you do this, it looks incredible, but the trick itself is actually surprisingly simple. All you need to do is maintain your balance.
Once you see the fishtail in action, the name will make perfect sense. After all, your rollerblades will arc back-and-forth like a swimming fish.
To perform this trick, you want to build up some speed and trail your back rollerblade on the inner side of its front wheels. While doing this, you move your rear skate side-to-side to complete the motion.
Out of all the rollerblading tricks you can learn, the fishtail offers some of the most impressive looks without being too difficult to master.
Getting a little more advanced, we have the wavers trick. Personally, this is one of my favorite rollerblading tricks.
For this trick, you move your feet apart and bring them back in repeatedly. This motion creates the illusion of a rippling wave.
Before trying this trick, make sure you feel confident in your rollerblades. Otherwise, you can quickly injure your ankles if you go too fast.
4. Flat spin
Everyone should learn how to do a flat spin, in part because this movement is the building block for many other rollerblading tricks. You'll need to master the flat spin to eventually achieve a 180- or 360-degree spin.
You want to keep your blades shoulder-width apart and twist your upper body in the direction you want to go. When you do this, you'll rotate in that direction.
Avoid jerking your body or moving too quickly. Instead, you want this rotation to be slow and smooth.
Next, we have a trick that's straightforward and fairly easy.
To rollerblade on one foot, start by picking up your other foot and holding it in front of your body. When you get better and have more balance, you can move the foot behind your body and lean forward for some extra flair.
Skating backward is not as simple as it sounds. But if you want to get the most out of your rollerblading tricks, learning to skate backward is an essential skill.
Start by pushing one foot away from your body, which will spin you around. After that, you can move similar to how you would if you were going forward.
Make sure you're looking over your shoulder. Otherwise, your backward skating will quickly come to an end!
The slalom is a lot like a downhill skiing drill. This trick is just like weaving between cones or flags, but without the actual obstacles in your way.
To perform the slalom movement, keep your blades close together and move your body back and forth in smooth waves.
8. Barrel roll
We're getting a bit technical now, so buckle up. This is another rollerblading trick that requires a bit of speed to start.
Once you reach your desired speed, you want to start rotating your upper body counterclockwise and allow your left skate to go with you. As you move your left skate, bring the right skate around your other leg to complete the spin.
The barrel roll can be a bit difficult to learn without seeing it for yourself, so make sure to check out the video for more info:
9. Hockey stop
This trick is even more advanced, so feel free to bypass it if you aren't feeling up for it!
Start your hockey stop by turning your right foot to lead while your left stays behind. This creates a sharp turn that looks incredible when performed properly.
Again, the hockey stop is one rollerblading trick you really need to see for yourself, so check out the video below:
10. Crossover turn
For this final trick, you skate in a wide arc while crossing your outer foot over your inner one. When you do this, you go around in a wide circle.
You can pick which direction you want to go, but once you master it, you'll look like a professional.
Make Your Rollerblading Dreams a Reality
Mastering some of these rollerblading tricks might seem like a chore, but you'll love all the compliments you get from strangers and friends! The key to success in anything is practice, so don't get discouraged if you can't master some of these tricks right way.
Instead, start with the simple ones and work your way up.
What are your favorite rollerblading tricks to whip out on the sidewalk or at the roller rink? Let us know in the comments below!