Being able to glide forward and backwards on inline skates feels good. But being able to pull off a few inline skating tricks as a beginner feels even better.
Related: Best Inline Skates for Beginners
My assumption is that at this point, you can comfortably skate and turn without issues. In case you’re a complete beginner and haven’t learned how to rollerblade, read this post first: How to Rollerblade for Beginners.
But no one wants to stay at the same exact spot forever. You want to grow and become adept at more advanced moves, maneuvers, and tricks.
And that’s where I come in. Because in this post, I’ll show you 10 rollerblading tricks all beginners should learn. Some of the tricks described below are pretty easy, but others might take a little more work to master.
No one learns everything in rollerblading on day #1 outdoors. It’s a progressive journey, often a long arduous journey that’s easy to quit in favor of comfort and relaxation.
But you want to become a pro inline skater down the road, right. That means you’re not about to quit. You’re someone that’ll stay the course until your skating skills start shining.
12 Beginner-friendly Inline Skating Tricks
2.Skate in line
3.Learn the T-Stop
7. Flat spin
9.Forward slalom skating
10.Skating on one foot
11.Inline skating backwards
Let’s now get to how you can perform each of these beginner inline skate tricks.
1. Sprint Inline Skating
Have you been wondering how you could go faster on inline skates? Wonder no more. Instead, learn how to sprint.
Sprint skating means making a series of short quick strides at the very beginning before you transition to longer strides. It’s like running on rollerblades.
As start printing, you’re not in the usual skate position. You’re almost standing straight up and just focusing pushing quickly.
After 6-8 short strides, you start doing longer strides while at the same time distributing your weight a little forward. In the end, you assume the natural skate position: upper body straight and halfway forward over your skates and knees bent.
Watch videos and learn how to sprint on rollerblades. You’ll soon be the fastest skater in your riding gang.
2. Skate inline
Here, you simply want to get one foot out in front of the other.
The toe of the back skate stays some distance behind the heel of the front skate.
This can be a little tricky to pull off at first. It’s a trick after all. But it’s doable.
3. Learn How to Do the T-Stop
Every inline skater must learn how to do the T-Stop. If you learn this stopping trick, you can stop any time you like without using brakes. Beginner rollerblades usually have brakes, but how will you be stopping when you start riding speed skates or rough-road rollerblades? That’s where the T-stop comes into play.
To do the T-stop, all you need to do is to lift your back foot and position it perpendicular to the direction you’re rolling in. The toe of the supporting foot — the foot you’re gliding with — points to the side of the road or sidewalk while the other points forward.
So, keep your balance as you roll and then put your back foot down onto the ground. As you place the foot down, shift your weight to the other foot. Once the foot contacts the ground, start dragging it. That creates friction, and it’s that friction that brings you to a stop.
The T-stop is a nice and quick way to stop without brakes, but it can wear down your wheels pretty fast.
4. Learn How to Do Simple Jumps
Rollerbladers do all kinds of fancy-looking jumps. But not every kind of jump is easy or even safe for a beginner.
The Windmill of Death
One huge mistake beginner inline skaters keep making is swinging their arms the wrong way during a jump. They make a motion that looks like a circle.
I recently heard one trainer refer to this motion as the windmill of death. The skater’s arms start going up in a counterclockwise motion, ending up behind their back.
What happens? Their weight shifts backward when they do that. And that’s the surest way to hit the pavement with the back of your head or bum.
Start slowly and increase your pace as your confidence grows. To jump the right way, start blading normally.
Are You Ready to Jump?
Find a crack or something and start practicing. Now, jump as you normally do. As you jump, your arms will go up, but don’t let them rise past your chin. Otherwise, you’ll start losing your balance.
Note that both feet should leave the ground at once. Once you’re airborne, you need to plan your landing. You want to land with both feet striking the ground at the same time.
And when your feet touch the ground, you want to sink to absorb the impact from the jump. Meanwhile, your arms stay stretched out to the front — diagonal to the ground.
As you land, your knees are bent. And once you land, bend your knees even more and sink low. Then, simply roll away from the landing spot.
How do you jump bigger obstacles? The jumping technique remains the same. But you’ll have to build up more speed to fly over bigger objects. As you get better, you’ll start doing 180˚ and 360˚ jumps on rollerblades.
5. Master the Heel-toe Trick
In this beginner rollerblade trick, you glide along on the heel of one skate and the toe of the other. This might look tricky at first, but believe me, it’s not hard to do.
Start off with your weight balanced evenly on your rollerblades and have your feet in the scissor position. But while your feet start out scissored, and one foot stands some distance ahead of the other.
Then, straighten your front leg. When you do that, the toe of your skate should rise up while the wheel at the heel stays on the ground.
As you start grinding along, bend the back leg. At the same, push your back foot backward. As you push backward, the rear wheels should elevate and only the wheel at the toe will remain on the ground.
From that point, all you have to do is keep your balance as you enjoy the heel-toe glide.
6. Learn How to Do Wavers
Wavers are another trick that pretty much any beginning rollerblader can learn quickly. Performing wavers entails pushing your feet out and then pull them back quickly. Then, rinse and repeat. This movement causes your feet to glide in wave-like movements.
If you execute waves too fast, the chances are you’ll lose your balance and probably fall over. Pulling your feet back too fast with lots of pressure can also hurt your ankles, so take care.
It’s best to go slow and just let your body move freely and naturally. It’s technique rather than force and speed that does the trick here.
7. Skating on One Foot Trick
Being able to skate on one foot can really help your balance. This skill also comes in handy when performing a slew of other tricks.
To perform this trick, start gliding forward as you normally do. Once you’ve gained some speed, lift one foot while transferring your weight to the other foot.
If you can glide on one foot for a second, that’s good. Keep doing it until you can skate for a couple of seconds without losing your balance.
You can always put the free foot down for more support and stability if it starts feeling like you’re losing balance.
8. Learn to Rollerblade Backwards
Start off in the right skating stance — toes together, your hands on your hips, and your knees bent. Your chest needs to stay over your knees. Keep your core strong, that is, keep your tummy tucked in nice and strong.
You never want to lean backward or you’ll fall and hit the pavement on the back of your head.
Now, with your knees still bent, allow your legs to roll out in a controlled way. Do let them roll out too wide. Next, have your feet roll straight for a second or so, and then start moving the heels in toward each other. Rinse and repeat.
9. Forward Slalom Skating
To practice slalom skating, you’ll need cones, 5 should be enough. Place the cones roughly 1.5 meters apart at first. And as you get better at slalom skating, you can place the cones even closer.
Now, start skating forward to build up some speed. Then, position your skates in the scissor stance, right foot slightly forward. At this point, ride around the cone and revert to the scissor stance but this time with the left foot slightly forward.
After mastering the initial movement, repeat it for all the other cones. Upon completing your simple slalom course, turn around and start skating in the direction you came from.
Keep slalom skating until you can do it almost effortlessly. To get even better at slalom rollerblading, shift the cones to reduce the distance between them.
Once you’ve masted forward slalom inline skating, you can advance to the more challenging forward criss-cross slalom skating.
10. Fishtail Inline Skating Trick
The fishtail is another beginner-friendly rollerblading trick you want to learn. To perform this little maneuver, first build up a bit of speed. Next, wiggle the trailing skate on its wheel’s toe side. To complete the fishtail trick, you want to move your rear inline skate in and out.
What if you want a wider arc? All you need to do to achieve this goal is to have more weight over the toe wheel. When you do that, it’ll add a little more momentum to steer the movements.
11. Flat Spin Trick in Rollerblading
The flat spin is yet another relatively easy-to-do rollerblading trick for new skaters. The flat spin is fundamentally a 180-degree or 360-degree spin. If you perform this trick right, it looks really cool.
Here’s how you perform the flat spin trick. Start off with your feet standing shoulder-width apart. Then, decide the direction you want to spin in and begin twisting your upper body in that direction.
As you turn your upper body either 180˚ or 360˚, you’ll want to keep the spin slow and smooth. Note: your gliding skate serves as the pivot point around which you spin. Meanwhile, the other skate gives you stability.
Here’s what not to do as you execute this rollerblading trick for beginner skaters. Don’t twist your upper body suddenly. If you jerk rather than turn your torso slowly, you’ll most likely lose your balance.
12. Forward Crossovers (for Intermediate Skaters)
Admittedly, forward crossovers aren’t exactly a complete-beginner trick. They’re more of an intermediate-level trick.
So, once you’ve mastered all the beginner-level rollerblading tricks above, you’ll want to learn crossovers.
Now, forward crossovers look really cool. And they can help you navigate turns or corners efficiently and fast. If you go out skating with someone who’s yet to learn crossovers, you’ll always outperform them.
To do forward crossovers, you need to have mastered one skill – single-skate scooting. This technique requires you to be able to glide on a center edge.
Not the outer edge, not the inner edge, but the center edge. So, master this skill before you attempt forward crossovers.
To practice this skill, have your weight on the gliding skate and repeatedly push with the other skate. Once you can easily skate on the middle of your wheels on one foot, transfer your weight to the pushing foot and repeat the drill.
You may have to practice this skill for some time before you master it. So, decide to persist no matter what.
The next step is to take your straight-line scooting around a corner. When turning the corner, you’ll naturally have to use the outside edge. Keep practicing the outside edge skating in both directions around the bend.
Here’s how to Do Forward Crossovers:
Forward crossovers consist of 3 essential parts: pushing, crossing over, and regrouping. So, push with the outside foot and transfer your weight to the other skate. Next, lift the outside foot/pushing foot and cross it over the foot that’s providing stability.
To complete the crossover, lift the stability foot and place it parallel to the other foot, the one you just cross over.
Beginner Rollerblading Tricks: Final Word
You’ve learned a couple of fun-filled beginner tricks for inline skaters. But all the reading and video watching will amount to zero if you won’t put in the work and practice needed to master each trick.
So, start practicing now. And if a trick proves harder than this post made it seem, watch a relevant video and practice even more.
Happy inline skating! And remember to gear up properly before hitting the park.