How to Rollerskate for Beginners

You’ve just received a fine pair of quad skates and are now wondering what to do with them. Luckily, you landed on this post. And this post will focus on how to rollerskate for beginners. Here’s how to ride rollerblades in case you’d like to learn.

Lots of beginner quad skaters tend to rollerskate the way they walk. While that may be perfectly OK for a complete beginner rollerskater, you certainly don’t want to skate at that level forever.  Instead, you want to learn how to smooth out those awkward steps and learn how to ease into nice, super smooth, powerful strides.

In this beginner rollerskating tutorial, I explain how to get started riding your brand-new quad skates in minutes.

But first things first….

How to Ride Rollerskates for Beginners Video

Get into Proper Protective Gear

It’s a fact of life — you’ll fall over as a beginner skater. You’ll fall as an intermediate-level roller skater. And believe me, you’ll still fall — sometimes real bad — as a pro quadskater. It’s just the way it is in rollerskating. So, get over it and wear protective roller skating gear all of the time.

So, put on a certified roller skating helmet. Make sure the helmet fits your noggin nice and snug. And be sure the chinstraps are sturdy enough to prevent your helmet from coming off of your head in a fall. Also, wear good knee pads for roller skating along with elbow pads and wrist guards, and you’re ready to roll.

I assume the quads you received are sized right and that they fit just right. Nothing feels worse than stating on quad skates that are too tight that they become a little blister factory! Or too loose that your feet keep sliding all around inside the boots, reducing your stability, skate control, and ultimately, stride power.

Now that you’re all geared up and ready to start rolling around, let’s head to your garage and see what you can do in 5 to 10 minutes.

Learn to Get Up Off the Ground Fast and Safely

Get up can’t be that hard, really, can it? It’s not extremely hard, but it’s one of the trickiest things I know.

If you don’t get up properly, you’ll end up rolling forward or backwards haphazardly.  And the back of your head and your bum might take a nasty impact.

I’m about to describe three easy ways to get off the ground and stand on your rollerskates. But each of these three standing techniques starts with you seated.  So….

Sit on the Ground, First

Sit on the floor/ground with your feet stretched out straight. Then, roll over onto one of your knees.  In this position, the toe on the kneeling leg digs down into the ground/floor to give you a firm base from which to launch yourself into a standing position.

Meanwhile, the other knee is up with the thigh parallel to the ground. And the skate on that leg stays firmly planted on the ground. Now, you’re ready to stand up. Now, I promised you three ways to get up and here they are….

3 Ways to Stand on Your Rollerskates

Now, there are different ways to stand on rollerskates, some of which can seem effortless when a pro rollerskate does it. But as you consistently practice getting up, it’ll soon start feeling like the most natural action ever.

One way to stand up (kind of tricky at first) is to shoot your hands forward as though you’re trying to reach for something. And as you stretch your hands out, roll backwards a little with the skate whose all four wheels are touching the ground.

Remember, the toe of the other skate digs securely into the ground to keep you stable as you practice your little magic. As you roll backward, you should start lowering the heel of the other skate, and as you do all that, you’ll get up relatively easily.

But I get it — few beginner quadskaters manage to stand using this technique the first time around. So, here’s a different way to stand on your rollerskates.

Start in the position I described above: one leg kneeling and its toe digging into the ground while you squat on the other leg with the skate firmly and stably on the ground.

Next, put both hands on the knee that’s not touching the ground and push up. I noticed that most beginners can get up this way pretty easily.

Alternatively, place one of your hands on the ground while putting the other on the knee that’s not touching the ground. Then, push up. This is how I got up off the ground when I was learning how to ride my new quads in my garage.

I think the third method is the easiest way to get up. But I’d not be surprised if I learned you invented an even easier way to stand on your rollerskates.

Stay Up Balanced and Stable, with a Wide Stance

Now that you’re up, how do you balance?

The first and most critical thing to do once you’re up is to bend your knees. And you need to bend your knees right, by the way. If you just stand straight up and try to bend your knees, that’s not the best way to do it.

Instead, create a wide stance (your feet should stand wider than your hip width). Then, drop your hips, and as you do that, your knees will automatically and effortlessly bend. Bent knees in a wide stance function pretty much like a car’s springs, nice and flexible.

But what should you do with your head? Keep your chin up, the way confident people do it at your work and everywhere else. Avoid looking down; your legs don’t need constant supervision to do what they need to do.

As for your shoulders, they need to stay straight across and should be perpendicular to your chin. What about your tummy? Keep it tucked in nice and tight. One way to do this is to try and suck your navel into your tummy.

Also, make sure to keep your hands straight out to the sides. And the palms need to be facing down rather than up. I learned that if you keep your palms open facing upward, it’s easy to turn and lose control. So, keep them nice and facing down.

Finally, you should stand with your skates positioned in a way that makes the letter V. The V skate position keeps you stable and prevents you from rolling backwards.

Let’s Now Rollerskate Forward

Now, stand with your rollerskates diverging from each other in a V shape, heels together. Some beginner quad skaters just want to ride their skates as though they were walking. They try to skate-walk because it feels comfortable and natural. But what happens? Nothing, absolutely nothing. If you try to walk like that, you’ll in the end realize you’ve not glided forward one inch!

Other beginners have this weird way of kicking backwards. Doing that doesn’t help your balance one bit, plus you might end up hurting others.

To rollerskate forward, stop trying to pick up your feet no matter how great the temptation might feel. Instead, learn to shift your body weight from one foot over to the other. But how do shift my body weight from one leg to the other?

It’s easy. Imagine that your body consists of two equal halves each of which sits on either side of your nose. Now, transfer your body weight on the left of your central balance line over your knee onto the other foot.

To do this, you don’t need to lift your foot, at least not at first. As your weight transfers to the other foot, your foot should naturally lift so all of your weight is now over the other foot, which now starts to glide forward. As the foot you lifted comes down, transfer your weight from other the right side and over the left knee and down to the foot and glide forward.

As soon as you complete one smooth forward glide, that foot naturally lifts up so that your other foot can support you and roll forward. It’s that simple, and it’s easy if you’re confident and practice often enough. I’d rather you practice 15 minutes evening in your garage instead of hours on end intermittently.

Learn How to Make Bubbles Rollerskating

Also known as swizzles or scissors, bubbles are a fun way to enjoy rollerskating. Bubbles also help a lot when it’s time to learn how to rollerskate backward. And the good thing is that bubbles are a pretty easy move to learn.

Start with the knees bent, chin out, shoulders straight across, and hands out to the side. Then, stand in the V stance, with the heels touching. But don’t let your feet start out too wide.

Next, bend and push down on your feet in the center until they start rolling out. As your skates roll out, have them move parallel to each other mid-roll before you start pulling them back in using your toes and inner thighs.

Listen: don’t let your toes touch unless you like tripping on objects! Practice until your bubbles become super smooth.

How to Roll Backwards on Your Quad skates

Start with your toes together, your butt out, and your chest out forward over your knees. That’s the correct posture for when you want to make backward moves on your quads without falling.

As for the knees, they need to stay bent as they normally are when rolling forward. But your knees also need to come together, with the knee caps almost touching. Stand as though you were knock-kneed, and you’ll be fine.

What about your hands? Just put them on your hips. Now, try to walk backwards at first and get comfortable doing that. Next, try shifting your weight from side to side as you do when going forward.

This feels pretty unnatural, but you need to keep at it until you get it right. You also need to know how to use the T-stop so that you can stop any time you like when rolling backwards. I’ll show you how to stop in a post I’ll publish soon.

Bubbles Help Backward Skating a Lot

Another easy way to rollerskate backwards is to make bubbles but this time around do it in reverse. This sure needs a little getting used to, but you can do it. You may also experience a little pain in your inner thighs. So, if pain happens know you’re doing it right.

To make things easier, do one forward bumble then a backward one and so on until you can do a series of these bubbles at a time. When doing reverse bubbles, make sure to turn your head so you can see where you’re going. From there, it’s all about putting in the work to perfect your backward moves.

Final Word on How to Rollerskate

Now that you’ve learned how to rollerskate forward and backward, all you need to do is practice daily. That’s the only known way of getting better at rollerskating. You can do it solo, but wouldn’t it be much better if you practiced with family and friends?