If you’re looking for a super effective way to stop without using the brake on rollerblades, you’ve got to learn to powerslide. And this brief tutorial will teach you exactly that: how to powerslide on inline skates.
Also read: How to fall safely on inline skates
Also read: inline skate tricks to learn today. And if you prefer video instructions, here’s a Youtube short we published earlier where Bujie demonstrates the powerslide on rollerblades.
Many inline skaters like using the powerslide for speed control when traveling at crazy high speeds. You can safely turn to this technique even for emergency stopping when skating downhill.
One of our team members, Bujie (the guy in the YT short above), is a big fan of the powerslide. And he will show you the step-by-step process involved when performing this speed-control trick. We’ll also publish the full video once it goes live.
Let’s now dive into the step-by-step process for executing the powerslide.
Let’s dive right in.
Part of this maneuver involves sliding, so the smoother the skating surface, the easier it would be to break traction and slide to a stop.
You want to practice the powerslide on a flat, smooth surface for the best results. Definitely avoid spots with cracks, small rocks, potholes, sticks, and other show-stopping obstacles.
Here’s one more thing: wheel hardness: I haven’t seen many skaters mention this, but harder wheels generally slide better than softer ones. Softer wheels grip the ground harder, which makes breaking the traction to initiate the slide that much harder.
Any wheel with a hardness rating of 85A or harder should be fine. But it doesn’t mean you can’t break with 80A or even 78A wheels. It just gets a tad trickier.
During the learning phase, you want to skate at a reasonably low speed and only glide faster when your confidence level grows. And the only time your confidence grows in blading is when you gain competence at a certain skill or technique.
Before attempting the powerslide, ensure that you have good backward skating skills. The ability to skate backwards at high speed is crucial for maintaining control during the slide. If you haven’t mastered forward-backward transitioning, you may want to do this drill until you can do it without thinking.
There are 4 different ways to transition to backward skating just before the slide.
You can transition with the left foot and powerslide with the same foot, transition with the right foot and powerslide with the same foot, transition with the right and slide with the left, or transition with the left and powerslide with the right one. It’s a question of which foot you prefer practicing challenging moves with.
Bujie either jumps and turns to skate backwards or puts both skates in the heel to heel position before lifting the stamina foot and placing it parallel to the foot he slides with. Your knees are bent the whole time, but they need to bend even deeper during the next step.
Bend your knees real deep and shoot the powerslide foot out at a really small angle, like 30 degrees. Be careful while executing this step because it’s easy to plant your sliding foot at the wrong angle and trip.
To minimize the odds of placing the powerslide foot incorrectly or unsafely, bend over until your belly touches the thigh of the stamina foot. This won’t be easy at first, but once you understand the mechanics of the move, this stopping technique will get easier and easier.
Sliding to a smooth stop is the final step when learning to powerslide on rollerblades. As you lift your foot to execute the slide, make sure to transfer the bulk of your weight to your stamina or supporting foot.
This weight shift will help your sliding foot make smooth contact with the ground. Avoid putting too much weight on the sliding foot because if you do, you could end up tripping and crashing real bad.
For an idea of how much weight to transfer to the supporting foot, it’s more like 80-85% versus 15-20% weight on the powerslide foot.
Once your sliding foot makes contact with the ground, let the wheels lose traction and start sliding. Keep your balance by using your arms for stability and control.
Also, engage your core muscles to maintain stability and control throughout the slide. A strong core will help you stay balanced and execute the powerslide with ease.
One more thing: Keep your focus on where you want to stop. This will help you maintain a straight and controlled slide towards your intended stopping spot.
Chances are that you won’t be able to learn the powerslide on the first try. You must not despair. Instead, you must do the necessary drills until a light goes on and the technique becomes as natural as breathing.
So, continue doing the drills until the technique feels natural. By the way, the drills for powerslide include the following:
- skating backwards with one foot
- shifting your weight to the stamina foot
- pushing out the sliding foot without losing balance
Mistake #1: Making contact with the ground using one or two front wheels. Make sure all the wheels touch the ground at once. A common mistake learners make is to have the toe wheel land first, and this leads to an uncontrolled spin and balance loss.
Mistake #2: Not bending your knees deeply enough: If your tummy won’t touch your stamina foot/supporting foot, you still have some knee bending to do. Bend even lower and your powerslide will get easier and smoother. To make this powerslide stance somewhat easier to get into, place both hands on the stamina foot.
With these steps in mind, you’re ready to conquer the powerslide. Remember to skate at a comfortable speed, maintain control, and practice the slide with patience.
The only way to conquer the powerslide is by learning the correct stopping technique, skating at a comfortable pace, staying in control during the transition and sliding phase, and practicing patiently. Remember to put on the best protective armor you have: a helmet and protective pads. Happy blading!