How to Powerslide on Inline Skates Tutorial

Watch the how to powerslide on inline skates video tutorial below and practice until you master this advanced rollerblade stopping technique.

If you’re looking for a super effective way to stop without using the brake on rollerblades, learn to powerslide.

In this powerslide tutorial, I, Bujie, a dude who’s been rollerblading since the age 9, will teach you how to powerslide on rollerblades.

Also read: Different ways of stopping 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.

Also read: inline skate tricks to learn today. If you prefer video instructions, here’s an inline skating tricks video we published earlier for you.

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step process for nailing the powerslide on rollerblades.

Steps for Learning to Powerslide on Inline Skates

Let’s dive right in.

Step #1: Find a good smooth, flat surface.

Make sure all wheels o the sliding skate touch the ground at the same time

Practice the powerslide on a flat, smooth surface for the best results. Why? Part of this maneuver involves sliding, so the smoother the skating surface, the easier it would be to break traction and slide to a smooth stop. Avoid spots with cracks, small rocks, potholes, sticks, and other show-stopping obstacles.

Harder Wheels Powerslide Better Than Softer Ones

I haven’t heard other skaters mentioning this, but wheel hardness matters when sliding on skate wheels.

Harder wheels generally slide better than softer ones. Softer wheels grip the ground harder, which makes breaking the traction to initiate the powerslide or any other type of 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, plus you’ll chew through the soft wheels insanely quickly.

In the final analysis, practicing the correct powerslide technique is more important than using the right wheel hardness.

Step #2: Start by skating forwards at a comfortable speed.

During the learning phase, skate at a reasonably low speed and only glide faster when your confidence level grows. And the only time your confidence in rollerblading grows is when you gain competence at a certain skill or technique.

Step #3: Transitioning to Backward Skating

Me skating backwards on rollerblades after transitioning from forward skating

Great backward skating skills are essential to powersliding on inline skates. The ability to inline skate backwards at speed is crucial for maintaining control during the slide. If you can’t transition from forward to backward smoothly and safely, learn the skill first.

4 Different Ways to Transition to Backward Skating

There are 4 different ways to transition to backward skating just before the slide.

  • 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
  • Transition with the left and powerslide with the right one.

Here’s how to do the actual forward-to-backward transitioning when learning to powerslide on inlines:

1. jump-and-turn (do a 180 jump) to skate backwards. This is a highly technical skill that most beginners and even intermediate-level skaters aren’t adept at, particularly when traveling fast.

2. Put both skates in the heel-to-heel position (mohawk or eagle position) before lifting the stamina foot and placing it parallel to the foot you want to slide with. Keep the knees bent the entire time, and bend them even deeper when executing the next step.

Bend your knees deeply to powerslide correctly

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 tumble over.

To minimize the odds of angling the powerslide foot incorrectly or unsafely, bend over until your tummy all but touches the thigh of the support foot.

There’s nothing comfortable about this stance, but it’s the only path to a well-executed powerslide. Master the mechanics of the technique by regularly practicing them, and this stopping trick will get easier and easier.

Step #4: Performing the powerslide

Sliding to a smooth stop is the final step when learning to powerslide on inline skates.

Weight distribution: Transfer the bulk of your weight to your supporting foot while lifting the sliding foot. This weight transfer helps your sliding foot make smooth contact with the ground.

Safety tip when powersliding: Avoid putting too much weight on the sliding foot because that’s the surest path to a forward tumble. Place 80-85 percent of your weight on the supporting foot and 15-20% on the sliding foot.

right vs wrong skate placement angle when powersliding
Right vs wrong skate placement angle when powersliding, Note that in the second picture, the angle is too upright; you can’t slide at such angle; you’ll tumble over instead!

Let the wheels lose traction and slide: Once your sliding foot makes contact with the ground, your skate wheels need to lose traction to start sliding.

Use your arms and engage your core muscles to maintain stability and control throughout the slide. A strong core will help you stay balanced so you can execute the powerslide with confidence.

Important: Keep your focus on where you want to stop. This will help you maintain a straight and controlled slide towards your intended stopping spot.

Practice the Powerslide with Patience

Unless you’re a skate genius, you’ll not learn to powerslide the first time you try. But you must not despair to seep into your psyche. Instead, dedicate your free time to practicing the necessary drills until an aha moment happens. At that juncture, the technique will become as natural as breathing.

The drills necessary or mastering the powerslide on inline skates include the following:

  • Skating backwards with one foot
  • Transitioning from forward to backward inline skating using the mohawk or eagle stance or jumping 180 degrees
  • Shifting your weight to the stamina foot
  • Placing the sliding foot at the correct angle with the ground without losing balance

What Not to Do When Learning to Powerslide on Rollerblades

Mistake #1: Making contact with the ground with one or two front wheels instead of all wheels. Make sure all the wheels connect with the ground at once.

A common mistake most learners make is letting the toe wheel land first. This often leads to an uncontrolled spin, balance loss, and ultimately a spill.

Mistake #2: Not bending your knees deeply enough: If your tummy won’t touch or almost touch the thigh of your stamina foot, you still have some knee bending to do.

Bend even lower, and your powerslide will get easier and smoother. To make the powerslide stance somewhat easier to get into, plant both hands firmly on your stamina foot.

Remember to:

  • Skate at a comfortable speed
  • Maintain control the whole time
  • Practice the slide with patience

How to Powerslide With Inline Skates: Conclusion

The only way to conquer the powerslide is by learning the correct technique and skating at a comfortable pace. Staying in control during the transition and sliding phase and practicing patiently are also crucial.

Remember to put on the best protective armor you have: a good helmet and well-fitting protective pads.

I recommend the Triple Eight Saver Series Pad Set. It’s inexpensive, but then you’re getting wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. Helmet? I love the Triple Eight dual-certified Gotham (video) skate helmet. Brave blading, folks!