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657799 Posts in 9259 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 61 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: Learning to rollerblade  (Read 687 times)
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Nick Ink
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Posts: 7018


« on: Nov 30, 2011, 04:31:14 PM »

How easy is it for a kid to pick up rollerblading?

Ellie is nearly 9 and has never put on a pair of (in-line) rollerblades before, but there's a new rink place nearby just opened and I was thinking of taking her down there Saturday. It's very popular, and while most of the kids who go are probably a bit older, there are some 6-9s there too, I think. You hire out the boots there, apparently.

Thing is, I can't really go in there and help her out myself because a) I have also never done it before, b)if I fall I'll probably break something, c) I've got that bionic hip thing I need to look after, and, well, a) again. So, I'm just going to be on the sidelines. I realise she'll fall over a lot, but is it a 10-minute job and then she'll be able to move about a bit, or does she really need 'lessons' of some sort first?

This place does offer lessons for beginners, but the time is inconvenient. The time I had in mind is an all-levels free-for-all sort of affair. Later in the day, they have specific time slots for more advanced levels.

So, anyone learnt, or taught kids to rollerblade? What's the lowdown?
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peacocks
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Posts: 4615


« Reply #1 on: Nov 30, 2011, 04:46:57 PM »

OMG 9 is the perfect age for that! I had been used to using quads since I was 5 or so but think I was 7 or 8 when I first tried rollerblades. I distinctly remember putting on the Ren and Stimpy soundtrack and rolling around the house giggling for hours. Where was my mom? I don't know. The other room probably. Then when I felt comfortable I went out on the sidewalks, then the skating rinks. My dad bought me all these ridiculous pads and wrist guards that he made me wear at his house but at my mom's house I didn't have to because, I don't know. I didn't. I don't think. My mom and dad's houses were pretty suburban so I could skate anywhere without worrying too much about cars, and we live in Florida so everything was tile or terrazzo. Usually my dad would go with me because he bought a pair too, or he would ride his bike next to me.

Anyway, getting her comfortable standing up and rolling around at your house first is probably the best bet. I don't know what kind of neighborhood you live in but if it would be too dangerous for her to go around the block, take her to a park with a bunch of sidewalks! It's great!

The main reason I say don't start at a rink is because there are always lots of people who already are good at skating whizzing by and if you bump into them it sucks and it hurts to fall down. Outside you can fall and topple into the grass and since you are by yourself it is less scary to fall down if you know that a crowd of kids isn't going to run you over one second later.
« Last Edit: Nov 30, 2011, 04:50:59 PM by peacocks » Logged

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Greg Nog
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 30, 2011, 04:52:09 PM »

I briefly "learned" how to rollerblade when I got a cheap pair at a thrift shop, and though I never got very good at it, I recall that it was basically like ice-skating, where I grabbed onto waist-high structures and slooowly figured out how to propel myself over the course of a couple of hours.  I'd say it'll take longer than 10 minutes, but I don't know that she'd really need lessons.
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Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #3 on: Nov 30, 2011, 05:17:31 PM »

She wouldn't need lessons, she'd need practice and confidence. Cut and paste this advice for just about anything, of course, but it's true for any new physical activity, and especially for something involving fine motor-skills and the possibility of embarrassing/painful failure. Just have her put the things on her feet, have a flat and hard surface, and let her at it - if she holds onto you while getting used to balancing, so much the better.
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coldforge
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Posts: 11924


« Reply #4 on: Nov 30, 2011, 05:48:28 PM »

Do you guys have a basement? I'm pretty sure that's where I learned. In the basement, in the garage—anywhere with a flat floor that can't get fucked up, and she can bounce off the walls until she gets the hang of it.
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Babar
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Posts: 3305


« Reply #5 on: Nov 30, 2011, 06:47:10 PM »

Just throw some knee and elbow guards on her and a helmet. She's gonna fall over somewhat but she won't get hurt that way. Then when she's good at it she can drop the guards... and eventually the helmet. Ok, I'm basically describing my rollerblading career, maybe you'll want her to be more careful. But really, if she's well guarded it should be safe.
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peacocks
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Posts: 4615


« Reply #6 on: Nov 30, 2011, 06:49:45 PM »

pads my dad made me wear:

-shin guards
-knee pads
-wrist guards
-elbow pads
-helmet

I have never broken a bone in my life. Or had stitches.
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jess
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Posts: 3571


« Reply #7 on: Nov 30, 2011, 09:11:25 PM »

Wrist guards are good, especially it's instinctive to catch yourself with your hand behind yourself when you fall backwards, and that's a super easy way to fracture a wrist. I did that to my right radius when I was 10 and rollerskating, and I was told they see a ton of those. Nothing too serious, just had a cast for three weeks, but something worth avoiding.
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G.C.R
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Posts: 6219


« Reply #8 on: Dec 01, 2011, 12:18:07 AM »

For learning to rollerblade I think really the only necessities are hand/wrist and knee pads. When rollerblading (Greg's right, it's a bit like ice skating) it's easiest to balance by bending forward a little, knees in, feet out and angled to the side. She should keep her arms in front of her, so if she falls, she'll fall forwards onto the wrist and knee pads, which is less painful than falling on your bum or side. Rollerblading is pretty easy to learn, and you don't have to be really good at it to glide around and have a fun time. I still tend to be someone who gets intensely frustrated if I can't be good at something straightaway, and that meant I never got good at sports as a child, because I'd give up before I could master anything. Rollerblading is one of the few physical activities I have really, really good memories of from when I was small. 
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Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #9 on: Dec 01, 2011, 12:40:26 AM »

Yeah, for the actual technique bit, bending your legs and leaning forward is the important part. It helps with balance immeasurably - in particular, you want your centre of gravity over the front foot, while pushing off with the rear one. Trying to stay as upright as you would walking is a sure-fire way to fall over backwards.
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Nick Ink
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 01, 2011, 01:52:59 AM »

Thanks everyone! I knew LPTJ was the font of all wisdom.
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