Rollerblading has been growing in popularity in recent years, with many children and adults enjoying zipping down empty streets and large paved areas.
Whether you do fitness skating, urban skating, or aggressive inline skating, you must know how to stop on rollerblades.
It is important to practice the proper stopping and turning techniques when out skating to limit the risk of injury and avoid falls.
No matter how good you are at it, always wear a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads to avoid injury.
Also, make it a habit to check your rollerblades before you put them on. Make sure they are in good condition and don’t have any grime between the wheels.
While it’s a great achievement once you can stay balanced on your inline skates, the next challenge is to learn to stop safely and not break your neck in the process.
Learning To Stop Safely While Rollerblading
It is challenging for most beginners to master stopping, especially going downhill. On a downhill slope, the blades go progressively faster can it becomes difficult to stop without falling and hurting yourself.
Fortunately, there are many different techniques that have been perfected by inline skate enthusiasts who are keen to share their special techniques with newcomers.
It’s a good idea to learn all the different stopping techniques one by one while skating on a level surface.
This way, you can practice them until they become second nature.
Your aim should be to be so good at stopping that you can apply the appropriate method instinctively. For this to happen, you need to practice each stopping technique many times.
Remember, when you’re moving downhill fast, there is no time to think – you must just act.
Part of being a successful inline skater is the ability to think fast on your feet, and to know which brake technique to apply in any given situation.
Learning The Different Stopping Techniques In Rollerblading
1. Rubber Braking
Rubber braking is an effective way to slow down when you want to stop while moving down a slope.
This is a good technique for beginners to learn because it can slow down your speed gradually.
For this technique, you apply the rubber break on one of your boots. You apply the brakes by skating with the foot that is wearing the boot with the brake in the front.
To apply the brakes, bend your knees and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. When you’re ready, slowly extend your knees and lift the toe of your brake skate so you are skating on that heel.
This will cause the brake to scrape on the ground, bringing you to a standstill.
When using this technique to stop:
- Don’t lean forward; it will take your weight off the brake rendering it ineffective.
- Lower your body until you’re in a seated position, increasing the pressure on the brake.
- Don’t look down.
If you master this technique, you will be able to control your speed on downslopes.
However, please note that rubber brakes work best on dry surfaces; they may not be effective when the surface is covered in water.
Also, be very careful when you go around bends or make turns. If you suddenly have to stop, you won’t be able to apply the brakes.
This is a preferred technique for beginners that doesn’t require advanced skating skills. However, over time, you might notice some wear and tear on your rubber brakes. Be sure to replace them when necessary.
This is one of the first stops you learn when you start skating. It involves dragging one foot behind the other at a 90-degree angle, forming a T-shape with your feet.
It’s actually somewhat wrong to refer to the T-stop brake, as the shape of your feet will be more in the shape of an L since the foot at the back is not exactly behind the front foot.
To perform the T-stop, glide forward. Keep one foot facing forward and bring the other foot behind the foot at a 90-degree angle. You will be bringing that foot behind the leading foot and perpendicular to it, with your heels close together, forming an L-shape.
While you are moving forward, the one foot will be dragging behind at 90 degrees, slowing you down until you come to a standstill.
When you are performing this brake, your front leg will be bent and your trailing leg will be straight.
The T-Stop is a beginner-friendly stopping technique that you can use to slow down or stop in a controlled manner when you are going downhill.
Be sure to practice alternating the feet in different positions when you practice the T-Stop so you can use the technique in any situation.
This technique can also be called the hairpin bend technique. Imagine those hairpin bend roads going up steep mountain passes – that’s what you’ll be doing with your inline skates.
Using the full width of the road, you’ll skate from one side to the other, not skating straight down. Skate from one side of the road to the other to slow down your speed.
Fish braking is not a stopping technique in the strict sense of the work; it is more of a slowing down technique that makes it easier for you to stop.
This technique is very effective for wide roads going downhill, not narrow roads and lanes.
3. Snow Plow Braking
The Snow Plow Brake is a stopping technique suitable for beginners. It will allow you to slow down and stop in a controlled manner. Beginners can use it to slow down when moving at high speed.
To practice this technique, start by skating forward at a moderate speed. When you’re ready, turn your feet and knees so your legs form a V-shape.
At the same time, lean back slightly applying pressure to the outer edges of your wheels. As you do this, you will come to a stop.
For this technique to work, you must keep your skates far apart, so you can’t use it to stop in narrow spaces. You can put pressure on the outside or inside edges of the skate wheels to help you stop.
This technique is not difficult to learn, but it is physically taxing as it is hard on the thighs. Especially going downhill, it can be very tiring.
3. Soul Slide Braking
Soul sliding is similar to plow braking but it is slightly more difficult. You can use it to stop or slow down when sliding downhill at a slow or high speed.
This method of stopping involves sliding on one or both skates, dragging the soulplate or the space between the wheels on the ground.
The soulplate is the piece of plastic mounted between the boot and the frame. Its only purpose is for the skater to grind on.
When you first start practicing the soul slide brake, don’t skate fast. To execute the stop, lift one skate off the ground and place it in front of the other skate, dragging the soulplate on the ground to slow down and come to a stop.
This is a very handy stop to learn. It works equally well on wet and dry surfaces and any kind of downslope.
This technique is quick way to stop, but it’s challenging to learn. Attempt this one when you have built up some experience.
If you perform the soul slide brake often it will be hard on your wheels, wearing them down.
4. Double Soul Slide Or Sliding Snow Plow Braking
This technique will bring you to a stop even faster than the soul slide. For this technique, you use both feet to brake simultaneously.
As the name indicates, this is a combination of the Snow Plow Brake and the Soul Slide Brake.
First, you turn your feet and knees inward to create a V- shape with your legs and then you slide on the soulplates of both skates to slow down and stop.
To perform a Double Soul Slide, you must put one skate in front of the other skate and drag the soulplates of both skates on the surface to slow down and come to a stop.
This is not easy to do. You need excellent balance and a lot of practice to master this technique.
First, practice this technique on level surfaces and only attempt it on a moderate downhill once you have mastered it.
5. Magic Slide Braking
This is another technique that you can apply with great success on both wet and dry surfaces with a minimum risk of falling.
This technique involves dragging one or both skates in a diagonal direction and employing the outer edges of the wheels to slow down.
Don’t slide too fast when you practice this technique. Begin by shifting your weight to one side and sliding one skate out in a diagonal direction. Now place the other skate behind it and drag it behind while applying pressure to the outer edges of the wheels. This will slow them down and bring them to a stop.
While practicing this technique, keep most of your weight on the back foot.
The Magic Slide Brake is challenging to master. Don’t attempt it if you are still a beginner.
If you use this technique as your main way to stop when you’re skating, your skates may show a lot of wear and tear in a short time.
6. Parallel Slide Braking
With this technique, you can stop very quickly, but it’s very hard to master because, for most people it’s difficult to maintain their balance while sliding in a tight circle.
This technique involves sliding on both skates, keeping them parallel. To practice this stop, put some cones in a wide circle and slide along them.
Do that a few times, and then start making the turn sharper by moving the cones in a tighter circle. Keep doing this.
By the time the circle is very tight, you will feel that you are skating on the sides of your skates. As you go around the curve, crouch down.
Keep most of your weight on the leading leg as you go through the curves. The tighter the curve, the quicker you will stop.
Once you have mastered this stop, you will be able to stop at slow and high speeds. This brake can is safe to do on a wet surface.
This type of braking will eventually wear your wheels down, but that is part of skating.
7. Aggressive Snake Technique
Experienced skaters use this advanced technique to control their speed. It involves quickly skating left and right, making turns while you change directions. This constant changing of direction slows down the forward movement.
To perform the technique, while sliding forward, turn your feet and knees inward to create a V shape with your legs.
Next, perform sharp turns, first in one direction and then in the opposite direction. Repeat as many sharp turns as it takes to come to a standstill.
The Aggressive Snake Technique looks great if you can execute it correctly, but that will take time and a lot of practice.
What Should I Do When I’m Going Fast and Know That I Won’t Be Able to Stop In Time?
You can prepare for this eventuality by practicing to fall safely.
There will be situations where you can’t avoid falling. The best strategy is to be prepared. Always wear your safety gear and practice falling on your knees so your knee guards can protect you.
Most of all, keep practicing so you can slide and stop with confidence.
Hey there, my name is Tommy and I have to admit that rollerblading and roller skating are in my blood. I have been skating since I was seven years old and I have tried many different roller skates during my skating career.
I hope my knowledge and passion for rollerblading and skating comes across and that you’ll find the product reviews insightful.