How to Go Uphill On Inline Skates

Unless you live in the flattest location on the planet, Salar de Uyuni, you’ll always have to go up hills of all shapes and sizes. And while doing that isn’t the toughest thing in the world, riding up hills on rollerblades can be tricky if you don’t know exactly what to do.

Related: How to rollerblade downhill

I, Peter, started inline skating a while back (early 2023). And while I can’t call myself the best uphill inline skater the world’s ever seen, I sure know how to go uphill and will now share what I’ve learned with you. I live in a relatively hilly area and had to learn how to conquer those slopes on skates.

How to Rollerblade Uphill Video by

Is the Hill You’re Looking to Climb Steep?

Climbing a hill like the one in the picture below isn’t a good idea for people who’ve never skated before.

avoid hills if you're a beginner

If you’re a complete beginner, I strongly suggest that you stay away from hills of any kind. Here’s what to do instead: Take off your inline skates and just walk up the hill the way a normal person would haha. Only you can decide if the hill’s too steep.

Going Uphill is Similar to Regular Forward Striding

While the fundamentals of inline skating don’t change just because you’re climbing a hill, the balance points do change a little. The good thing is that your body is intelligent enough to know what the correct form should be and makes the necessary adjustments.

Basically you want to lean forward a little when going up. Otherwise, you might fall backward and hit the back of your head.

A guy I skate with likes to say that you never know how hard asphalt really is until you fall and kiss it.

Start from the V Position

Start from V position when skating up hill on rollerblades
This is me, Peter, standing in the V position and prepping to skate up a hill.

The V position is super stable so you want to start climbing the hill from this position. Start skating as you normally would. That is, shift your weight to one skate, then to the other skate, and then back to the first one. That’s how you move forward on rollerblades.

Wade Up the Hill Like a Duck

Going up a hill makes you look like a wading duck. It’s kind of an awkward ascent up the hilly terrain, and I do sometimes feel a bit self-conscious about it. But a skater has gotta do what a skater gotta do, so I do it anyway.

Open Your Toes Wider

The standard advice given to new skaters is to not open the toes too wide. I remember doling out this very advice in an earlier video on our youtube channel.

keep toes wide at angle of 45 degrees

But you know what? Most rules have exceptions. And when it comes to going uphill on rollerblades, you’re allowed to set the rule aside and open the toes reasonably wide. Just don’t go too wide or you’ll crack right in the middle haha.

Push Off to the Side the Whole Time

When I went up a hill on my blades for the first time, I found that my strokes suddenly got a tad wider. It’s like my body noticed I was struggling and made the necessary adjustments to my push.

Essentially you want to push your foot off to the side in a 45 degree angle to the direction of motion. Isn’t that how a duck wades?

skates kept at 45 degree when going uphill

Keep your Knees Slightly Bent as Usual

You want to lean forward a little, and your knees should stay slightly bent. That’s the posture that gets you up moderately steep hills. It’s the normal inline skating posture. See the picture above.

Push Harder: You Gotta Put in the Work

If you want to ignore all the blading uphill tips I’ve shared today, please don’t ignore this one. When inline skating against gravity, there’s no substitute for pushing harder.

It’s time to exert yourself and put your glutes and bum muscles to some serious work. That’s how I do it, and that’s how everyone I know does it.

Try to make Quicker Steps

When it comes to skating uphill on rollerblades, going fast is what works. Forget the slow and leisurely strides you’re used to when just cruising around; those just won’t cut it. You want to build up to some nice and beautiful tempo and keep pushing until you’re a panting, sweaty mess.

6 Tips for Inline Skating Uphill

  1. Wear protective gear: A helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. In the video above, you did notice that I don’t have pads on me. So a guy without pads is now telling me I should always wear protection, huh? I get you.

To be clear, I ordered a helmet and protective pads a while back from Amazon, but they’re taking forever to arrive.

  1. Go fast.
  2. Keep your toes nice and wide.
  3. Lean forward a little.
  4. Don’t do it if you’ve never inline skated before. Learn the basics of inline skating first.
  5. Steep hills are a no-no for new skaters. Try moderately steep ones first.

Skating Uphill is Tough, And That’s Exactly what you Want

If you rollerblade up a hill that is long enough, you’re going to feel a nice burn in your glutes and bum in no time. The cliché “no pain no gain” applies perfectly to this situation. Oh how I love the burn!

Final Word: Inline Skating Uphill

I hope you found my going uphill on inline skates tutorial useful. It’s not extremely hard. Anyone who follows the advice I’ve given above should be able to do it in no time. Wear protective gear just in case something happens and things don’t go too well.