Q – I am a fan of the Skatefresh and a few years ago I purchased one of your online courses.
It helped me a lot with my inline skating skills and confidence until one day at the age of 43 I made a very strong curve at the end of a steep downhill.
The momentum was so strong it broke my skate and tore my knee ligaments.
It took me three years to buy a new pair of inline skates (4X90 mm wheels) and now I’m planning a gradual comeback. So I want to get a good feel with some of the basic moves and head on to intermediate training.
Would you recommend that I subscribe to the beginner or intermediate level of your “How to Skate” online course?
Thanks and regards
A – I’m so sorry to hear you hurt yourself so badly. Steep hills are very, very challenging and dangerous for skaters and the forces are so strong and unexpected. At accelerating speeds it’s very easy to loose control.
I am glad that you took your time to heal and that you want to return to skating. Bravo! Most people never return after a serious injury and they miss the opportunity of having skating in their lives forever.
After an injury your body still remembers EVERYTHING about the fall and it will be resistant to skating again. You may feel conscious fear and apprehension or not, but your body will definitely feel unconscious fear and tension. This is the biggest obstacle to overcome after a bad fall.
This means you need to take your reintroduction to skating very slowly and I see that you already understand this your “gradual comeback” comment.
I do suggest starting again from the beginning but knowing that you will pass through these beginner stages pretty quickly (faster than you did the first time). This also means that you will fill in the gaps in your learning that might have been there if you were self taught.
Obviously focusing on learning and mastering several stopping methods is a priority and I suggest the following stopping methods in this order (although you can learn several at once);
Heel Brake Stop
I also suggest that until you are feeling confident with your stops, you avoid hills for a little while, just to give your body a smooth experience without any fear-filled moments.
When you think its time to get onto slopes I suggest the following slope confidence routine;
Begin at the bottom of a slope that is not steep and has a flat ‘run off’ area and no corners (you can repeat this process below on increasingly steeper slopes later).
– Skate up 5m of the hill and then from a standstill, roll down and stop at the bottom (using your favourite stop or combination of 2-3 stops).
– Repeat this however many times you need until you are properly stopping each time.
– Skate up 7-10m of the hill. Roll down and stop at the bottom, as before. Repeat until you are stopping each time.
– Skate up 12-15m of the hill. Roll down and stop at the bottom.
You see the progression of how to safely build your slope control and slope stopping methods? Starting at the top of the hill is the most dangerous way to approach a new hill and many, many skaters have accidents on downhill slopes. It can take just a few seconds to be accelerating so fast you can no longer stop with any method and falling or crashing is the only option.
In terms of online learning I suggest for you the Beginner “How to Skate” course as it contains a variety of different skills, stride work, turns and the heel brake stop. And I’d also recommend the Intermediate “How to Stop” course so that you can have several stopping methods in your learning repertoire.
If you can patiently work through these skills, I think your body will overcome the post injury tension zone and be convinced that skating is not going to horrible.
But it’s extremely important that you don’t have a bad fall in the first 3 months after returning, as this can be the final straw when the body says “that’s it, this isn’t for me”.
So take it gradually, be patient with yourself and reward every session where you don’t wobble, or loose your balance or fall. Each good session then slowly rebuilds your confidence (consciously and unconsciously) and then things will become more and more enjoyable.
Why don’t you start with the Free Lessons available on both these courses I recommend. Just click “Free Trial” next to the Trailer video on these pages;
I wish you all the best in your new skating journey. Please let me know how you get on.