Updated: Mar 4, 2022
One of the most frequent comments heard regarding skating for the first time or at a beginner level is “I can’t stop on those things!”. Whether you’re on inline skates, roller skates, Rollerblades, whatever wheels are strapped to your feet, stopping effectively and safely is a crucial skill to have.
We’ve outlines some different stopping methods, how they look and how you can practice them! Then, keep reading for descriptions of each stopping method.
This is one of the most effective ways to slow down, but not great if you need to stop on a dime. You should be able to skate on one leg pretty well for this maneuver. The concept with the V stop is to angle your skates inward one at a time as you slow down. Lift one leg up at a time, then place it at a slight inward angle in front of you, and alternate both legs until you begin to slow down. The V Stop is kind of like stepping your feet one in front of another, and use the inside angle to stop yourself.
The T Stop method of stopping is probably one of the most common ways to stop. It’s almost like the opposite way a V Stop is done. Essentially you want to place one foot behind your center of gravity, turn it outward, and drag your wheels behind you to slow down and ultimately stop. A key skill for this is to be comfortable on one leg. Practicing a low center of mass and bending your knees to stay low to the ground will help tremendously. Also, one legged squats are a great way to condition your body to the low stance and relying on just one let to hold your entire body weight while the other leg is behind you, slowing your momentum.
The Bail method is for emergencies only! But it is really smart to have a backup plan, especially in busy pedestrian areas. The entire concept of bailing is to just fall on the ground. You don’t necessarily need a soft area to fall if you wear pads like wrist, elbow and knee pads. It’s a good idea to always be scanning for your surroundings and a potential place to bail. Even practice it every now and again! The faster you’re going and the more obstacles (cars, dogs, pedestrians, other skaters, etc…), the higher chance you have of being injured. But bailing to the side and getting scraped up could save you and others from a worse incident. Again, a smart move at any time is to keep your center of mass low. Bend your knees, lean forward, and stay close to the ground. When you’re lower, you have a less distance to fall! Always fall on your hands first as they can break your fall. Sliding or rolling out is a good way to slow your momentum. There is no truly graceful way to fall but if you need to implement this technique you will be happy to have planned for it!