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Beginning Skaters Forum This is the place for beginning skaters to ask questions and share their stories. We would love to hear about your experiences learning to skate. No question is too dumb!

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Old September 18th, 2006, 08:09 PM   #1
Jon B.
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Default What's This Forum Good For? (3 Important Tips)

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Why the beginners forum? Everytime I tell someone what I do for exercise/recreation, it's almost always the same response - I wish I could do that. It's the same thing that most of you who post on this Forum page are desirous of, some have already accomplished the fundamentals, but some of you may be like I was and can't even visualize yourself actually being able to do more than stay on two feet while free rolling for more than 20 feet. My first inline experience was disasterous, about 12 years ago I put a pair on, rolled down the driveway into the street and started gaining downhill speed headed for a bluff at the end of the road. My only option was a bail out, with no gear on. Lost skin all over the place and never bothered putting the suckers back on......for 9 years anyway. About 3 years ago we gave it another whirl. My wife is no problem, quite athletic and agile she was immediately able to put them on and go, just like she had never been off of them. I looked like Charlie Chaplan on melted butter. A few weekend attempts over the course of that first summer and I was at least able to provide myself with some forward momentum and only fell about once every minute - but with helmet and wrist guards ON! By the end of the year, I was a skater (in my mind). The next summer having established myself pretty solidly into a 12 mph pace I added distance to my accomplishments and for my 50th birthday I did a 50 miler. I thought I was the bomb. I was sure it was probably a world record, and I sure didn't know anybody else who could skate that fast.....then I found this Forum.

The first thing I found out (courtesy of Janneman and his link to Nettracing) was that I didn't even know how to skate! I was a serious pronator and if I wanted to get good I'd have to learn to skate both sides of my wheel.

Lesson #1: Learn to set down on the outside edge of your wheel approximately center line to the body and ride it over the center line before bringing it back to the outside of your center line, rolling over to the inside edge and commencing the outward push.

The best "simple" example I've found of this is the "V" drive, it will give you the basics of this maneuver to be incorporated into your "regular" stride.

http://www.skatecentral.com/custom/v...eo/vdrive.html

The second thing I learned was getting my backside down, and I'm still working on it as most everyone will admit to. The closer you get your rump to the asphalt, the more leg you have to drive with. It does not mean leaning forward at the waist, it means keeping a nearly upright torso, and sitting in an "air chair". You will probably only be able to do it for short periods of time at first, but do it when you can and the periods will get longer. It is extrememly beneficial when going "uphill", or at least to me.

Lesson #2: Get Y'UR BUTT DOWN!

The third most beneficial element I learned from this Forum came from a sort of "casual" remark by Shesk8. "If you are going forward, then get your leg out there". Driving the leg forward with each stride has helped me immensely. When in a crowded environment I can use it to keep my pace at max while maintaining a very narrow profile to avoid clicking nearby skaters or bicyclists. As the initiation into a final sprint, it launches me. The rest of the time it just plain free-rides me into my next stride.

Lesson #3 DRIVE your leg forward!:

Keeping in mind that I am in no respect an "accomplished" skater, but these three lessons in particular have taken from "where I was" to "where I is". I chart and graph every session. From the time I joined this Forum and started making my form corrections to the end of my first training cycle was 43 days, 56% of those days in training, averaging a 5:13 minute mile at 11.6mph. That took me up to this time last year (9/09/05). By the end of the next 48 day cycle, of which 52% were training days, my average had increased to 4:53 minutes per mile at an average speed of 12.4mph. I've just completed my 7th training cycle since joining this Forum and those 48 days were comprised of 50% training days giving me an average pace of 4:17 per mile with and average speed of 14.0 mph.
I'm only posting this to give encouragement to those of you who are disgruntled with your current abilities, or wonderous as to whether you will EVER get where you want to be. This Forum is an outstanding medium of advice with a host of knowledgeable and helpful athletes whom I consider myself blessed to have made the acquaintance of. Pay attention to their advice and stay diligent, YOU CAN SKATE! JB

Last edited by Jon B.; September 21st, 2006 at 01:52 PM.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 01:55 AM   #2
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JB, this was a really great post to read! I find it very encouraging. I was wondering if you could describe lesson 3 a little more for me. What does it mean when you say drive your leg foward? At what part of the stride? I'm very much interested in this since a fair portion of the route I often take is on a pretty narrow sidewalk and I find it hard to keep any sort of pace without being able to fully extend my leg out to the side...

Thanks so much!
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Old September 19th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cbeck View Post
JB, this was a really great post to read! I find it very encouraging. I was wondering if you could describe lesson 3 a little more for me. What does it mean when you say drive your leg foward? At what part of the stride? I'm very much interested in this since a fair portion of the route I often take is on a pretty narrow sidewalk and I find it hard to keep any sort of pace without being able to fully extend my leg out to the side...
Thanks so much!
Glad you found encouragement in the post, that was the intent. The driving forward (for me, I'm not sure if it's what Shesk8 had in mind) is on the set-down. When I'm bringing my recovery leg in for the set down, instead of just clearing the other skate I attempt to drive it well out in front of me and across my centerline. The sheer momentum of the move is worth a couple 10ths per hour. JB
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Old September 20th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #4
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Jon B., Top stuff! I'm curious about why your cycles are 48 days. I wish I had more of the discipline you've employed. I need to be more specific and goal oriented in my skateing. I start the skate with a good plan and intentions but blow it before the end of the skate, let alone 48 weeks. Thanks for the good advice.

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Old September 20th, 2006, 06:56 PM   #5
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Ken, the reason for the specified training "periods" is because of the graph paper I use. It has 24 columns, hence 24 training days per "cycle". I normally skate every other day, at least on average - it could be twice in a row then three days off, etc - so the cycle usually is complete within 48 days. It has been as high as 71 days to complete a cycle, and the low was 43 days. See, I'm not as systemetical as you thought, I'm just bound by an 8 1/2 x 11 world. Jon.
P.S. - Please take note of the fact that being disciplined, specific and goal oriented also has a tendency to deprive you of the JOY of skating. I believe you have the advantage. JB
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Old September 20th, 2006, 10:37 PM   #6
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Jon B. wrote:
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the reason for the specified training "periods" is because of the graph paper

Beautiful! Just beautiful. Here I am, sitting on the edge of my seat anticipating words of wisdom that will help me gain 5 mph. And JB drops this on us.

lol

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Old September 21st, 2006, 02:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Beautiful! Just beautiful. Here I am, sitting on the edge of my seat anticipating words of wisdom that will help me gain 5 mph. And JB drops this on us.
Geri, How do you think I feel. I was trying to weasel a little wisdom out of Jon B. and all I get is "GRAFT PAPER!" Well, since that didn't work, I'm headed to the mountains (Gatlinburg, TN) for a week. Maybe I'll find some inspiring wisdom there. Yah! That's the ticket! And I'll come down from the mountain and share it with...NAH! I'll be like Jon B. and keep it to myself Graft paper!!!

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Old September 21st, 2006, 08:51 AM   #8
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LezSk8,

Have fun in the mountains. I'll look forward to a private message (take that, Jon B) if you unearth any wisdom.

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Old September 21st, 2006, 01:59 PM   #9
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OK then, here's my Gatlingburg wisdom:
There is a paved trail running along side Hwy 322 on the outskirts of Gattlinburg. It's only a few miles long, but elicits they same contour as the surrounding geography. Strap your skates on and ride that trail, especially the eastern most section where the last downhill sends you to an optional "left turn" into a tunnel under the highway that leads to the shopping plaza. If you miss you will leave an indelible imprint in concrete, and gain irrevocable wisdom. JB
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 07:34 AM   #10
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If you miss you will leave an indelible imprint in concrete, and gain irrevocable wisdom.
makes you wonder if this is this the voice of experience speaking....
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 03:02 PM   #11
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Someday maybe I'll catalogue all of my crash photo's and send them to Discovery Channel. Seriously wish I had pictures of every one of them, but usually don't have the foresight to lay in a rumpled heap and tell my wife to "get the camera". JB
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 09:46 PM   #12
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Jon B. wrote:
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...all of my crash photo's and send them to Discovery Channel.
If you do, make sure you let me know when the program will be airing so I can be sure to avoid the Disc Chnl.

I don't think that's one that I'd enjoy. The picture of your ankle/foot was plenty graphic for me. (and I don't even remember where I saw it)

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Old October 3rd, 2006, 01:18 AM   #13
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Jon B wrote:
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indelible imprint in concrete, and gain irrevocable wisdom
Back from the mountains with no "irrevocable wisdom" and having left no "indelible imprint in concrete" to report. GBO, no pm forthcoming unless you want to hear about the 2 rounds of golf or the 1 1/2 hours on hockey skates at the rink up on the mountain. Jon B, I saw that trail and it looked like it lead to the "river of no return". I was blessed with a ton of great memories, but none included my inlines. To preserve my wife's sanity, I never took them out of the trunk of the car. I did have a wonderful revelation upon returning home and rolling the SWT for a 7 mile "unwind from 9 hours of driving". It was the strange sensation of both feet being level. It's called "flat land" and it's great for skating, so ...

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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #14
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lol

All we have round here is flat land.
Very crowed tho. But a few weeks ago, i finaly found the perfect piece of road. Almost no cars and smooth pavement.
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