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This Is How I Roll: Tips on Roller Skating for Beginners

The day I watched the movie Roll Bounce for the very first time was the day I decided I wanted to learn how to roller skate. The fact that this movie came out in 2005 and I watched it around when I was in middle school just shows how long I’ve had this desire. Believe it or not, in spite of how small it may seem compared to other big achievements people want to make in life, learning how to roller skate is actually on my bucket list. The only thing stopping me from turning this task into a checked-off accomplishment is my busy schedule, revolving around school, extracurricular activities, church responsibilities and more. I never really had the time to pursue this desire, but lately, I figured that there’s no better time to do it than right now!

Fortunately, learning how to roller skate is a fun skill that can be learned and enjoyed once you get the hang of it, so that is exactly what I intend to do! After doing some research, here are some of the most useful tips I found on roller skating for beginners.

1. Know how to get in a squatting position.

I think I speak for most people when I say that falling down is the greatest fear or worry when you’re learning how to ride a bike, well, the same goes for roller skating. However, to prevent yourself from falling as much as possible, the best position to take is a squatting position that looks like you’re sitting on a chair with your arms stretched out directly in front of you. Whenever you feel like you’re getting off-balance or like you’re about to fall, getting down into this position helps you to stay balanced.

2. Bend your knees.

Instead of locking your knees or standing up straight, your knees should be at a bend. Bending your knees allows you to better catch yourself if you’re about to fall. Also, this goes out to those who don’t look forward to falling during the learning process: the more bent your knees are, the shorter the trip going down is whenever you fall down (knock on wood)!

3. Position your feet properly.

Many people refer to the position that your feet should be in before roller skating as the “penguin position.” This position is when your toes are pointed outward. Doing this while having bent knees allows you to stride forward as you transfer your body’s weight from one foot to the other while roller skating.

4. Keep your head up (Tupac said it best)!

Your body tends to go in the same direction that your face or your head is pointed toward. If you look down at your skates or at the floor, your body will follow in that direction and you’ll probably end up falling; we don’t want that! However, if you keep your head up and face forward, you’ll skate straight ahead instead.


white roller skates with light blue laces and pink wheels; white socks with two red stripes on each.
Photo by Laura Stanley from Pexels

If you follow these tips, you just might become a roller-skating pro! Making the decision to learn anything new usually takes some time, but taking these tips into consideration can make the process a whole lot easier. Nevertheless, if you ever do plan on embarking on the journey of learning how to roller skate, I wish you the best of luck and hope you do the same for me!

In the meantime, here are a few Instagram video clips of different individuals enjoying the fun and beautiful art of roller skating in their own free-spirited ways: chloememoir, candai, skatealldae, peggy_pollock and oumi_janta.

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?? Tarah Jean is a second-year student at Florida State University majoring in Editing, Writing and Media. Tarah also loves journaling and going to church!
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