How to Roller Skate

Roller skating is a fun, and easy activity that almost anyone can enjoy.  The popularity of roller skating rose dramatically in the 50’s, and was popular in the 70’s, and 80’s.  In current times however, roller skating may have died off just a little, but it is still a source for fun, and enjoyment for millions of people around the world.

First off, roller skates were first invented in the 1700’s.  Some say it was initially invented in a theatrical performance (and it was not the musical Hamilton).  Many dedicate the invention of the roller skate to John Joseph Merlin, a Belgium inventor, in 1760.  It was not until the 1860’s when the 4 wheeled standard roller skate was invented.

Here are a few of the basics when it comes to roller skating.

Starting Position

  1. After you have put on your gear (wearing your skating gear comes in handy when learning to skate), go out onto the rink.
  2. Place your feet at shoulder width apart, and bend your knees.  You will assume a semi-squat position.


When you start skating, it is vital to know how to glide on your two new best friends (which are your skates of course, do not glide on real friends).

  1. Start by keeping your right foot facing forward.
  2. Then with your left leg, gently push off.  This foot should be at a slight angle when pushing off.
  3. After you push off, your right skating foot should be straight, and let it roll until it loses momentum.  Do not put your opposite skate on the ground at this point.  You should be balancing only be the right foot, which is rolling.  Keep other foot close to the floor, but not touching the floor.
  4. Repeat steps with the opposite feet.

This is important to learn at the beginning.  Once you get more comfortable with gliding, you will skate faster, and smoother.  Slowly increase the amount of times you push off the more you skate.


Now when I first started, I could not skate fast at all, so I never really had this problem.  Either I grabbed the side’s of the rink, or I fell down.  However, when you become a better skater, it is nice to know how to stop correctly, instead of slamming into the side walls.

  1. Your skates should have brakes on the front of them.  It will most likely be a piece of rubber or plastic.
  2. To stop, slightly lean forward, and kick your braking foot behind you.
  3. While keeping your balance, point the toe of your braking foot or skate down, as if you were to go on “tippy-toes”.
  4. The friction will slow you down.  The more pressure you put on the brake, the faster it will stop.
  5. Be confident.  Do not hesitate when braking, because it could cause you to either continue to move forward, or make you lose your balance.  However, do not simply slam down your skate either.

Now you are ready to skate.  That does not mean you are going to be perfect.  Just keeping practicing, and do not get frustrated.  After all, this is just an activity.  Try not to bump into people, it hurts like the dickens, and makes for an embarrassing apology.

Sports Reaction is a proud sponsor of The City of Fountains STOA tournament.  And remember, Jesus Christ is the only way to true joy, but we might as well have fun roller skating too.

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