If you’ve ever wondered how to roller skate for beginners, you’ve come to the right place!

The perfect way to get around and a fun skill to learn, roller skating can be a satisfying sport to get involved with or simply a way to get out of the house and have a laugh with friends or family.

It isn’t as simple as just putting the skates on and gliding off into the sunset, though.

No, learning how to rollerskate is more complex than it may at first seem.

While it’s certainly possible to get the hang of it in just a day or two, there are some things you’ll need to know to fast track your progress and avoid frequent falls.

This skating for beginners’ guide is full of roller skating tips and tricks and will cover the costs of roller skating as well as the various accessories and gadgets associated with the sport.

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What are some beginner tricks?

man skating low down
The most important thing to bear in mind for tricks is to get comfortable moving around first. Source: Unsplash

So, you want to learn how to do all the cool roller skating tricks?

We get it.

Skating around is fun, but after you’ve gotten into the swing of things you might get the urge to show off to your friends by performing all manner of tricks and manoeuvres.

We recommend that you don’t try out any of these tricks until you’ve laid the foundations though, by learning everything from skating in a straight line to the duck walk.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, here are some of the best tricks and moves to try out next time you’re out on a skate:

Backward Skating

Now that you’ve learned how to go forwards on your roller skates without careening off into the bushes every few minutes, why not try to mix things up by going backwards instead?

As you already know by now, skating forwards is a case of moving your feet together at the heels so that they form a ‘V shape, since this gives you forward momentum.

To skate backwards, it’s the inverse. You have to move your toes close together so that they form a ‘V shape that’s facing backwards. In this position, your heels will be wide apart facing in opposite directions.

Once you’ve assumed the stance, you’ll want to put pressure on the front of your left foot while your right foot is off the ground, and then vice versa.

Just like when you’re behind the wheel, remember to look over your shoulder when you’re in reverse to avoid accidents.

Crossover Turn

The crossover turn is one of the easier trick moves to do, but it’s still tricky.

This is the move where you turn in a circle by kicking off with one skate.

To pull it off, you’ll need to be in motion, so find a large space such as a car park where you can practice safely.

Once you’ve got a rhythm going and you feel comfortable gliding, cross your left skate over your right foot while simultaneously shifting your body left. Then glide your left skate back across your body to generate torque and begin to turn.

Hop, Skip, and Jump

Once you’ve got to grips with your ground game, it’s time to see if you can get some air time.

The easiest move to start with is a simple jump or hop.

Again, find a car park or another large area to practice, and start to generate some momentum by gliding forwards.

When you feel ready, bring both skates together and squat down slightly. Launch yourself off the ground by jumping, but make sure it’s more of a hop than a leap because you don’t want an awkward landing.

Once you feel more comfortable performing small bunny hops, you can progress up to bigger jumps and maybe even one day you can try to skip landing on just a single skate.

Roller skating tips and advice

close up roller skate
Keeping your balance on skates is one of the hardest things to do, but also arguably the most important. Source: Unsplash

Starting out, you might feel like you’ll never get the hang of roller skating and the best skating moves.

Moving on wheels isn’t a sensation many of us are familiar with, so cut yourself some slack if you struggle to find your balance in the beginning.

To help you accelerate your progress and get you feeling steady on your skates sooner rather than later, here are a couple of tips that should get you on your way:

Perfect your Posture 

Posture is key for any form of exercise.

If you perform a weighted squat with poor form you could seriously hurt your knees or back. If you walk with poor posture you’ll start to hunch over more and more. And if you try to skate with poor posture, you’ll fall over more times than you can count.

So what is the correct way to stand as you skate?

Essentially you want your posture to be in between good posture for walking and good posture for squatting.

Feet shoulder with apart, knees bent, and back as straight as possible.

Don’t Skate Before You Can Walk

While it’s tempting to glide around the moment you put on your roller skates, it’s important to learn how to walk in them first.

How?

Like a duck!

You need to waddle forwards with your feet facing outwards, rolling a little in the direction each skate is facing with each step.

This won’t work if you try to walk normally, so the duck feet part is obligatory.

Stop; Now Go

You won’t get anywhere fast if you don’t know how to stop.

While that might not make much sense, you will severely stunt your progress if you don’t learn the correct way to stop.

To come screeching to a halt, you need to lean forward ever so slightly and place one skate in front while lifting the toe of that foot and pressing into the ground.

If you have a lot of momentum this might seem scary, but trust us, it’s the only way to stop dead in your tracks.

Just remember, the more firmly you press into the ground with your skate, the quicker you will come to a halt.

Learning to skate is hard, so if you need some extra guidance, Superprof may have roller skating tutors near you to help you find your feet.

Roller Skating gadgets and accessories

red helmet
Something as simple as this could save your life. Source: Unsplash

Just like any sport, roller skating has its fair share of gadgets and accessories that can help you stylise your skating experience and keep you protected.

The most important roller skating accessories you’ll need to make right off the bat will of course be the skates themselves and all the necessary protective gear.

Once you’ve experimented with roller skating for a while, though, you may start to look to express yourself more while you’re out and about. This is the point at which you can replace your beginner equipment with more colourful gear and really accessorize.

So what kinds of skate accessories can you buy to take your style to the next level aside from roller skates for beginners?

Toe Stops

What better way to stamp your personality on your skates than by adding some vibrant toe stops?

They come in all shapes and sizes and can be an easy way to customize your skates without having to put in much work.

Colourful Laces

Another easy way to style your skates is to buy some colorful laces for them.

After a while or skating around with black or white laces you might fancy a change, especially if you spend most of your time gliding around looking down at your feet.

There are all kinds of laces out there, and if you’re interested in dance skating then they can help you get the party started.

Hip Pack

If you want to channel your inner 80s personality, why not invest in a hip pack or a fanny pack?

That way, you can carry your phone or keys as you parade around with your stylish new bag.

These packs can be a great way to accessorize but also serve a useful function since skating around with a backpack isn’t all that fun.

As far as handy gadgets go, there’s one in particular that we strongly recommend you invest in to make your life easier.

Skate Tool

The aptly-named skate tool is all about making sure you can stay on the skates and feel comfortable for as long as possible. With the T tool or unit tool you will be able to make rapid adjustments on the fly so you’ll never have to cut short a skating adventure again.

How much does it cost to start roller skating

Roller skating requires a financial investment, yes, but it doesn't need to be expensive.

Generally speaking, the most important piece of kit, the skates, will set you back anywhere between $30 and $700+.

While some skates may have eye-watering price tags, as a beginner you shouldn’t need to spend more than $150 to get your hands on a good pair of skates and cheap options are available.

Aside from the skates, it’s just the safety equipment you’re going to need which includes everything from a helmet to knee and elbow pads. Prices will of course vary for this protective equipment, but none of these items should be particularly expensive.

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Samuel

Sam is an English teaching assistant and freelance writer based in southern Spain. He enjoys exploring new places and cultures, and picking up languages along the way.