Skating is becoming more and more popular in Latvia. Urban infrastructure is becoming more and more skate-friendly, which only contributes to the sport’s development, says President of Latvian Skating Federation Andris Krauja.
Many skating enthusiasts picked up this sport at an early age. There are many people who take up this sport later on in life as well. Rollerblade skating school instructor Kristine Cera presents six important pieces of advice any beginner skater should keep in mind:
When starting out in skating and then taking it to the city streets, be sure to wear the necessary safety gear: helmet, arm and leg guards, etc. They are sold in specialized skating and sport stores, as well as supermarkets. Prices vary, and each person can select the gear he or she is most comfortable with. Experienced skaters and professionals can make do without elbow and leg guards. It is still a good idea to at least wear hand guards, so that it is possible to land on them when falling, as hands are usually the first to touch the ground.
Make sure your stand is stable
The first thing you have to learn is the ability to stand firmly while wearing skates. It is a useful skill to have before taking on actual riding. Carefully think through each step and get used to moving around while wearing skates; be sure to mind your balance. Place your feet perpendicularly to one another, with toes out. This position will help you fixate skates and prevent them from sliding around.
Learn to stop properly
Before you learn how to skate, learn to stop your forward motion properly. Most skates have a special brake attachment on the back. Learn to use this attachment before you start running around. It will help you avoid painful collisions and potentially crippling landings.
In order to make the first steps in skating stable and successful, it is worth remembering that knees should be bent and the back should be leaned forward slightly. You should also always look forward at all times. This position will help maintain the centre of weight of your body forward and help with starting movement more easily.
When staring your movement from a standing position, you should kick off using either your left of right leg. In order to make the process easier, move your arms in line with your legs. Take breaks in between each motion in order to gather momentum to maintain a steady pace.
Making sure a fall does not hurt
No matter how talented a young skater may be, even the best fall down from time to time. Keep in mind that anything can happen when skating. It is best to prepare for unexpected falls in advance to make sure you don’t get hurt or get any serious injuries. If you feel you’re losing balance, it is important to fall on your hands and knees. Always keep your fingers stretched forward and as high as you can. Wearing protection will greatly reduce pain and potential injuries as well.