Straight off, the first thing to remember when stopping on your rollerblades is don’t hold on to other objects.
Beginners instinctively reach out their hands on the nearest thing they can see, like trees, or parked car, and maybe a dog. You don’t want to be dependent on these objects to stop on your blades.
You can gain confidence and stability in rollerblading once you learn how to stop with ease on your blades. So if you’re learning the basics, don’t forget to include learning how to stop so you can master it earlier.
There are several ways to learn how to stop on rollerblades, so it is not a big problem anymore. As long as you can pick up at least one braking technique, you can go a long way.
Your blades may have a heel brake already, so you might as well learn it first. You can also learn the T-Stop even though you have a heel stop, so you can use them simultaneously if necessary.
Who knows, you’ll upgrade to new skates without a heel stop. It’s better to be safe knowing how to T-Stop so you can ride safely.
The heel brake and T-Stop have almost the same level of difficulty, which is: pretty straightforward. So learning both would be advantageous for you in case you remove your heel brakes.
For beginners, heel brakes are automatically the first thing you’ll learn. Aside from the brake availability on your blades, it is an easy way to stop.
To apply the heel brakes, you need to push the brakes in front of you by bending forward slightly. This step allows you to control balance since your knees help you to be stable.
You’ll notice that your toes on the extended foot are pointing upwards. It will allow the heel brakes to make contact with the ground so you can push forward and down.
Do that step by maintaining the bent knees and spreading your arms forward to keep the balance. Push the blades in front where you’re applying the stop.
Lastly, push down using a strong force with your heel.
The plow stop is similar to the brakes that skiers do. Skiers place their skis in a way that they’re pointing at each other and forming a triangle.
It is an effective stop for gentle slopes for skiing, so it is not suitable for the steep ones. The good thing is that you can also use the same technique in rollerblading.
A beginner may find plow stop to be difficult, so you may not find it interesting for now. It takes up too much of your effort and energy.
But if you learned T-Stop’s ins and outs, you can try learning this later on in your skating journey.
Start by pushing your skates outwards and then downwards. Maintain a leaning forward posture, as if you’re digging the blades into the ground to make them glide.
Push them out, like opposing an inward force, then bend your knees with the skates facing outwards.
To visualize this brake better, think of a plow stop in skiing, but instead of a ski, you’re on your rollerblades.
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In rollerblading, there’s a technique commonly used by skaters when braking. T-stop, also known as T-brake, is the highlight of this article.
The brake technique got its name from the figure formed when you do it. Your legs and rollerblades form a T shape when stopping, or some of you may see an L.
To execute a T-stop, place your blades in a perpendicular position with your leading foot. Let that foot drag behind you while it scrapes the side of the wheels against the ground.
Now your primary concern is probably the wheels. Scraping it along the surface can damage the wheels, which is valid for any skating activities.
It is a normal thing, and the solution is for you to reposition the wheels so you can change which wheels will damage. Eventually, the scrape will even out for them.
Remember that most of your weight leans on the bent leg when you skate forwards while the other portion is behind.
Rather than a T, which the name T-stop took after, it forms an L figure. Your dragged leg causes the slowing down of your speed.
Below, I will provide some tips you can apply when learning the T-stop. It can help you quickly understand the basics and master them through constant practice.
Balance On One Rollerblade
To perform the T-stop, you need to have the right amount of control on the leg dragged behind.
By doing so, you won’t slip and fall from accidentally spinning around, and you can also control how fast or gentle you’ll apply the brakes.
You can perform the T-stop perfectly if you can master how to skate on one leg or lean on one leg for the weight.
Start practicing by gradually lifting one leg for a more extended period every time. Don’t immediately hold it up for a very long time all at once because you may risk slipping.
Do it until you can comfortably skate with one leg. As long as you find your balance with one rollerblade, it will be easier for the next steps.
The balance is the basic technique you need to know about T-brake because it serves to execute this stop.
Most of your weight will depend on one leg, so it is best to get used to it.
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Practice Being Stationary
Now you can balance on one leg, practice the position of T-stop on your place. The thing is, you need to place your legs the way you’ll do T-stop without moving.
First, place one foot forwards while the other foot dragged behind forms a 90 degree pointing outwards. Keep the toe end facing away from you.
The leg behind is the foot applying the brakes while you skate.
Visually, it looks more like an L shape rather than a T, as the trailing foot does not exactly shove in the middle of the front leg to form T.
Imagine the letter L, where the vertical line is the one leg you need to balance, while the horizontal line is the trailing leg that will initiate the brake.
You can easily place one foot behind the trailing leg from a stationary position, but it is not always the case when you’re skating. You cannot immediately do that when doing the actual.
You may experience a few drags and falls when you do it while you’re moving but knowing how to execute the position in stationery is essential as well.
Think of how you’ll move when skating: you have one leg bent while another leg is trailing behind you. It will give you a visualization of how you’ll transition from a skating position to a T-stop.
Trying T-brake in place allows you to be comfortable with the position and transitioning the trailing leg to 90 degrees.
However, you don’t need to achieve the perfect 90 degrees to do a T-stop in reality. Make sure you have enough pressure and grip on the ground to do so.
Bend A Little Bit To Gain Stability
The bended knees are the key to a more stabilized and balanced skating posture.
If you can bend your knees slightly on the dominant leg, you have more control over the body’s weight and balance.
In any skating, avoid standing straight on your legs. Bending your knees gives you more advantage on control, balance, and stability.
For example, you can control how immediate or slow the brakes can go depending on the speed when you’re skating.
Most of the time, if you’re going at high speed, it is highly likely you need your legs bent more. But if you’re rolling slowly, standing straight while transitioning to a T-brake may work.
Keep your back straightened even when you bend your knees while keeping your eyes forward to see where you’re heading clearly.
The distance of your legs should be just enough, not too far, that you’ll slip into a split and not too close to where you are almost standing.
Find The Dominant Leg To Guide You
When skating, it is pretty evident and essential to know which leg is dominant to you. Skating on a dominant leg feels more natural because it is the regular leg you use.
The dominant leg is usually the trailing leg because you have more control over it. Meanwhile, the other leg will be the leading leg.
However, if possible, you can practice both legs to be the trailing leg so they can both do a T-stop.
In case you’re in a panic and can’t decide what leg to use, you’ll have no problem using any of them.
Start Slow Then Faster
Always start slowly, whether you’re learning how to skate or how to do the T-brake. Start slowly, almost like you’re just in place and barely moving.
Gradually add more speed until you can go the fastest you can. Get your legs used to the positions they need to be when doing the T-stop.
Bend and lean on your leading leg while slowly transitioning the trailing leg into 90 degrees and scraping it on the ground.
The trailing leg needs to apply pressure down the ground to stop on your skates. Once your trailing leg feels adjusted while scraping the bottom, slowly push down and put the weight on it to create more friction.
Like any skating skills that you want to start learning, always start from the smallest and slowest. You can slowly move to a faster pace once your body familiarizes the steps.
Start with the most acceptable pace for you to adjust to the steps until you pick up the right skills to do a T-stop.
Remember to lean your weight on the leading leg and place your trailing leg horizontally to scrape and brake. Repeat the highlight steps slowly until you can increase the speed.
Gently Push The Blades Down
Don’t push down the skates hard and immediately. Instead, place the foot you’re using to stop gently, little by little, downwards.
Think of how you’ll press down the car brakes. Once you feel the wheels getting a grip on the ground, dig in more.
Literal to what its name is, a backward T-Stop is a T-Stop going reverse or back.
If you want to look cool while rollerblading, try learning the powerslide.
From a forward position, slowly change into backward. Next, push your leg out with the same posture in T-stop.
However, use your leg to push it outwards in the same direction you need to slide.
Finally, stretch the leg you used in sliding while leaning on the leg you have the most control over, similar to a T-stop.
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How To Stop During A Spin?
The standard way to stop a spin is to spread one leg out while doing a wide circle. How far you’ll put your leg out depends on the speed you’re spinning.
If you’re going too fast, then you need to extend your leg out more to put yourself to a stop. The best way to start learning this step is not to overdo it and start at the slowest pace possible.
If you prefer, you can watch videos showing how to stop while rollerblading.