a lesson with a qualified instructor.
your skate retailer for the IISA certified instructor they work
or call (214) 749-4054 for a name & number the
instructor in your area.
- A lesson is the best
way to stop. Learn to stop before you start! A certified
instructor will show you how to control your roll by
explaining how to effectively use your new skates' brakes.
- A lesson builds
confidence. Certified instructors will help you to gain a
basic understanding of the skills involved in inline
skating, creating a foundation of solid skills that will
increase your confidence on skates.
- A lesson provides a
model. How many times have you asked five people the same
question, only to receive five different answers? Lessons
from certified instructors guarantee you will develop a
consistent framework on which you can build. Instructors not
only demonstrate proper technique, but can replicate any
problem you might have so you can see differences in body
- A lesson will allow
you to build your skills. Once you have got your foundation,
learning more advanced skills is much easier. All more
difficult skills, whether hockey, racing or floating along,
are a combination of fundamental skills.
- A lesson is not just
for kids. Whether you are seven or seventy, there is no
better way to improve your skating than by taking a lesson.
In 1995, 87,000 people over the age of 55 inline skated. A
lesson with a certified instructor is the best & safest
way to work your way into your new sport.
- A lesson is safe.
After learning a few simple skills with your mind at ease,
you will soon be doing what you thought you were afraid to.
Certified instructors endorse the use of full protective
equipment and will show you how to fall (simulated, of
course) & get back up using the gear as protection.
- A lesson provides
focus. A certified instructor will help you practice your
skills in a fun way. Doing the same thing over & over by
yourself may help a bit, but chances are you will get bored
& who knows if what you are practicing is right.
Practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes
- Lessons produce safe
skaters. Once you have new skills & confidence under
your belt, you will be a safer skater, able to maneuver
through the streets & trails with control. You will have
more fun & enjoy the surroundings or conversation of a
friend & the walkers & bikers will be happy that
there is one less flailing skater sharing the path!
- Lessons produce
educated skaters. A certified instructor will not only teach
you to skate better, but also will be able to suggest places
to skate, teach you the IISA Rules
of the Road, suggest wheels & bearings for the type
of skating you need, tell you about inline magazines, &
possibly hook you up with other skaters for group skates,
competitions or just chillin' out.
- There is always more
to learn! Inline skating offers a smorgasbord of disciplines
including racing, hockey, aggressive, fitness, freestyle
& skate-to-ski. Lessons will introduce the basics of all
these disciplines & one sport can grow into six fun,
healthy activities! So What a you waiting for? Call the
instructor nearest you for a lesson...Do it today! .........
Click here to see the Getting
Of A New Inline Skater
you are a wife, mother & full-time employed who aspires to
skate, you just do not jump into a pair of inlines & roll
happily into the sunset. You know something as ordinary as
walking down the street can mean scraped skin or a pulled
muscle. Get aboard a pair of skates & you may as well write
you get a few pointers first, maybe in a course with a qualified
instructor on how to operate inline skates & not commit
recreational suicide in the process.
"How not to ... Crash Course" is taught in Honolulu by
the engaging Tim Temple, president & skate instructor
extraordinaire of The Wheel Thing. In four meetings, Temple
teaches beginners about balance, stopping, control & how to
fix yourself when out of control. "Just as important as
knowing when something is right," says Temple, "is
knowing when something's wrong." Like if your skates are
higher than your head or if a tree threatens a full frontal
attack. Learning the fundamentals, he believes, results in safe,
sane skaters who are less likely to crash.
class meets in the courtyard of the University of Hawaii at
Manoa's Campus Center in a little grassy patch sheltered by a
big tree. Present are Temple & seven of us students. There
is also an instructor-in-training on Darth Vader wheels wearing
a sleek, racing style helmet that I find especially
intimidating. But then, to me, Pat Boone wearing leather is
preliminary introductions & the ceremonial signing of the
waiver, Temple asks why we are taking this class. My favourite
is the lovingly vindictive, "I have to beat my husband at
this." Unwilling to confess that I'm here
"working," I say that I want to add another form of
exercise to my skimpy repertoire.
hardware is distributed - skates & safety gear (pads for
knees, elbows & wrists). At first I balk at putting on the
bulky gear, but fears of leaving my skin all over the pavement
overcome fears of looking geeky, so I earnestly suit up. I am
transformed into RoboHack-bruise-resistant part-human,
part-machine, as graceful as a manual typewriter. For added
inspiration, Temple says that he always wears safety gear,
because as skilled & agile as he is, there is always the
unexpected. "Think of it as wearing a seat belt," he
says. Skates have seat belts?
out in our body amour, we form a little circle in the grass
where our skates are mercifully stationary. As far as I am
concerned, just standing on those eight little wheels without
falling over is a major accomplishment. Now I am getting
the "ready position", toes pointed outward in a
"V" position, knees bent, body bent slightly forward
at the waist, arms outstretched for balance. It is a skater's
most stable stance, we are told. "Your weight should be on
the balls of your feet," says Temple. I assume the position
& wonder if Kristi Yamaguchi started this way.
Temple gets us moving. "Now we do the duck walk," he
says, as we form a line & take tiny, tentative steps around
the tree, still in that slightly bent-over position. My heart
leaps into my throat when I step on a smooth patch of dirt &
roll nearly a whole inch. Quack!
more ducky processions around the tree, we are almost ready for
the first solo flight. "What do you need to know before you
start skating?" Temple asks. The number for 999? My
classmates answer with an unrehearsed yet resounding, "how
through the motions of stopping, bend & bring knees close
together, place hands on right knee, apply pressure to right
(braking) heel as you push it slightly forward. Easy enough when
you are standing still.
Temple deems us ready to hit the pavement, extending a sturdy
hand to help each of us off the grass onto the cold, hard
concrete. He does not buy my "I have to go to the
bathroom" chickening out routine. I am suddenly on the
pavement, beginning to roll. I immediately put my stopping
skills to the test ... & I stop. Mission accomplished. Can I
go home now?
the duck walk," says Temple to my classmates, who are
scattered about the courtyard in varying degrees of mobility.
The sum of lots of duck steps, I discover, equals forward
rolling motion of the accelerating type. I soon have my stopping
technique nearly perfected.
end of the two hour session, my hair & clothes are soaked,
my mind & body spent. I managed to skate around a little,
not fall & have some fun at the same time. That night I
dream I am effortlessly skating slalom down a black-top hill as
big as Diamond Head. Hey ... it could happen.
classes meet in a car park. The area we commandeer is flat,
clean and, except for the couples parked in their erstwhile
private smooching stalls, has hardly any traffic to speak of. We
are soon in the company of graceful speed skaters warming up for
sidewalk road trips. Other recreational skaters also converge in
the area, gliding & turning peacefully.
include variations on the basic turn & stop: crossover turn,
quick stop, turn on stop, spin stop, parallel turn &
emergency stop. I mention these techniques only in passing
because I attempt them only in passing. While my classmates seem
to undertake each new maneuver with relative ease, I am still
getting used to the rolling sensation. But I can stop better
than all of them put together.
assures me that his class allows people to go at their own pace
yet challenges those ready to move on. "Practice is
important," he says, "even if it is just one time
forward four weeks. (Not too fast!) While I have learned how not
to crash, I have taken a few falls. A twig once stopped my
wheels in mid-roll & rattled my psyche so badly that I
promptly lost my balance. I fell forward, arms extended &
landed on my sturdy wrist guards. Did not hurt a bit.
learned the basics & I intend to get better. I go to the
park two or three times a week, suit up like RoboHack & tool
around for an hour or so. Each time I practice, I find my skate
legs quicker & have more time to try other things beside my
still favorite manoeuvre, stopping. It also helps that someone
is usually there from the Inline Skating Association to offer
pointers & keep me company.
each time I skate, I develop more confidence in my abilities.
One of these days, I will circle the entire sloping parking lot
without once thinking about my funeral arrangements.