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In-line skating is becoming more and more popular because it’s fun and great exercise.

If you can ice skate or ski, you’ll have no problem. If you don’t, it may just take a little more practice, then you’ll really enjoy it!

Here are some tips for improved Safety, Comfort, and Control:

  • Protective gear is a must! Elbow and knee pads and wrist protectors will save those vulnerable parts from the pavement. Don’t forget to wear a helmet!

  • The most efficient and comfortable boots are those with ski boot-like adjustable clasps. They’re lightweight, too.

  • Always skate in control, and don’t go excessively fast unless you know you can stop or slow down quickly.

  • Use your turns to slow down. “Set” your inside edges of the wheels by bending your knees and exerting pressure on the inside of the wheels. Practice doing this in both right and left directions. By doing this you will be able to skate with better control and slow down more readily.

  • Don’t always count on the rubber bumper as a brake, especially if you are going fast downhill. It will slow you down, but perhaps not fast enough. Use a series of S-shaped turns with your knees well bent for control when going down hills. Just like a skier would do.

  • Hills can be fun, but dangerous if you can’t turn in control. Once you’re experienced in turning to a stop (by aiming uphill), a downhill skate can almost be as much fun as skiing. Do repetitive “S” turns to keep your speed in check. If you’re going too fast, really bend those knees for greater turn control or head uphill from a turn to stop.

  • Uphill skating is a great workout. For greater efficiency, try leaning forwards and fully extend the back leg and aim the foot out at 45 degrees for a better push off.

  • If you wear orthotics for fallen arches (pronation), place then in your skates as well for better balance and control. (Just as with skiing or ice skating, if your feet flatten in the boot or skate, you need greater knee motion to turn, and so the orthotics will help.)

  • Watch out for stones, twigs, or leaves which can result in slippage or injury.

  • Avoid skating on wet roads since with turns, the wheels can slide sideways. If you’re caught in the rain, skate slowly exerting less pressure on the wheels through turns.

  • Try some stretching exercises for your calf muscles before and after skating. Runners’ stretches work well.

Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotics Clinic.


Toronto, ON Chiropodist Academy Foot and Orthotic


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