Skating Down Steps (fail) + Tips

So after the burst of skating confidence during the jumping skating session (my last post!), my friend and I decided it would be a great idea to try to skate down some steps. We had seen it done by a lot of the advanced skaters at BladeSoc sessions and we had watched a few YouTube video tutorials, so why not? Here’s the video of my second attempt (failed both times):

I posted this video to my Facebook page too, to see what other fellow skaters thought about it. The feedback received was great and here are the main points the experienced skaters suggested:

  • Do more lemons (to strengthen leg muscles so they are able to hold the position on the landing rather than collapsing)
  • Do it backwards (it’s easier apparently, as you are leaning over your toes to give you more balance)
  • A little more speed required (skating stairs can’t be done slowly!)

Since then I have been practising lemons whenever I can to strengthen my leg muscles. With a normal lemon, you bend your knees on the push-out of legs and straighten legs with the pull-in of legs- however it was also recommended for extra strength building to do both parts of the lemon with straight legs. You definitely feel the burn doing it this way, so I recommend this technique too!

So this is my quick start post about skating down steps, and I will be sure to do a future update post when I am able to skate down the 2 steps (and any more that I can brave)!

Jumping on skates! (onto grass)

I was first introduced to jumping on skates two or three sessions after I first joined BladeSoc. For an hour or so of the 3 hour session, we had a jump stick which was a light wood cane which could be moved up and down the floor stands. At this time, I was too afraid to jump on skates and instead of jumping over the cane, spent the session jumping small hops stood still, and then progressed to moving at low speed. I then had a cane on the floor and tried to work up the confidence to jump over it at floor level, but never found the confidence back then. So after that session, I have been pretty scared to jump on skates and only jumped (hopped) on rare occasions.

HOWEVER! I recently visited Nottingham from my home town (Dudley) for a few weeks and one day out skating with a friend decided to practise jumping again. Compared to the first few sessions of BladeSoc, I think I have improved drastically and am now pretty confident with basic jumping up and down/ with little speed. The only thing is, I don’t think I can jump that high off the ground- so that skating session was dedicated to trying to jump high and then eventually jump up over a curb.

So a few minutes spend jumping around a car park later, I was confident enough to try jumping curb height (onto some grass). Even though this doesn’t seem like a big thing, it’s a good stepping stone to where I want to be (being able to jump over the jump stick at a BladeSoc session at a good height!).

I think I’ll mention here a tip about jumping too: be sure to keep your knees bent, and always land with your feet in a scissor position in order to be more stable. (There are obviously other techniques for jumping, like tucking your legs to the side for maximum height on higher jumps, but I’m not at that level yet! But those two points mentioned are the main ones you need to remember if you are going to attempt jumping- it’s not as scary once you do it a few times! Oh, and be sure to wear pads when first starting out).

Here is the video I recoded of jumping up onto the grass (unfortunately in really bad quality, sorry!):

Looking back at the video, I thought that was pretty high! The amazing thing is, I am pretty sure I could jump higher if I went for it, and over a longer distance. So the next step in the jumping progress, is to jump up onto a paved curb, over speed bumps, over drains, and anything else in the urban world that I can work towards jumping over (before testing all this progress on the BladeSoc Jump Stick!). I will definitely post another post of jumping progress when it comes to it!

Making a Skate Bag

For Christmas 2014, I decided to make my boyfriend a skate bag using his favourite rucksack used for lectures. His current bag was an ideal size to hold all of his lecture folders, notes, laptop, with room to spare! The only problem he had was that when skating to university lectures, there was no where secure to store his skates throughout the day, so they often hung precariously from the shoulder strap adjuster connection webbing.

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The finished product! Continue reading for information on how I achieved this!

So to start this project, I purchased a new Jeep rucksack with large pouch and laptop storage capacities, 4 dual adjustable rucksack replacement buckles, and a few metres of synthetic webbing. I then positioned his skates onto the back front in the ideal positions and measured out the correct length of webbing to fix the skates to that position. To test, I used safety pins (to make sure the webbing can hold the weight of the skates) and marked the correct position with dress makers chalk.

Next, I hand sewed the buckles to each end of the webbing, making sure to sew the end over onto itself to secure the buckle (and make sure it wouldn’t fall off!). I also sewed one end of the buckle into the webbing so one side was secure and not length adjustable (but leaving its paired side adjustable). After this came the sewing on of the straps onto the marked areas – though I tested the security of the buckles by using safety pins once again and by tightening the buckles around the skates. I marked the webbing with the chalk for easy sewing onto the bag later. After a quick shake around for a final test, the marked middle of the straps were sewn onto the marked areas on the bag.

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Skates secure with the straps on the bag!

And that’s it! The straps were secured and a final test with the skates once more ensured the stitching was of strong quality. It took longer than it took to type out, but a lot of patience was needed with the fiddly bag/webbing attachment!

Here is a picture of him modelling his new bag:

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Nice and secure skates!

For future developments, I would have made the straps storable in one of the zip pockets, or have introduced a new zip pocket for this purpose. My original plan was to make the bag from scratch (instead of buying the Jeep bag itself; design a bag with the same kind of features). However, this proved too ambitious for a first attempt, but now that I know it was a success, I’d like to move onto making the whole thing myself! (Keep tuned for a potential future blog post if that gets done!) Finally, I would like to include a waterproof cover (for those pesky English rainy days).

Previous Skates

So my last post about about my current skates, so it’s only right to complete the circle by talking about my previous skates and how I got into skating!

At the start of 2014, a few friends and I decided to join my university’s rollerskating society (BladeSoc) where we attended the weekly sessions every Saturday from then on! We started out using the rental skates (Oxelo Fit 3 or something similar- a good starter skate at a cheap price), and then decided to buy our own!

After a bit of looking around on the internet and not really knowing what I was looking for, I ended up buying Powerslide Playlife F1 skates for around £50 (with postage). These ended up being too big after a few months of skating and breaking them in. I had bought a size 9 (with my normal shoe size being 8 or 9) – that’s the only downside with buying from the internet! So my boyfriend offered to swap them for his skate boot and frame (I kept the powerslide wheels). These were the K2 Exo 3.0 , also in a size 9 but fitted way more snug and was much better to skate in (also: handy dandy having a boyfriend with the same sized feet!).

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K2 Exo 3.0 from above (ft. knee pads- stay safe!)
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Me and the K2s! Worked well for beginning slalom and outdoor skating on tarmac.

And those were my skates until I invested in my current Sebas (size 8)! The K2s served me well and are still in working order – mostly used now to borrow to my brother whenever he wants to skate with me! (Though he is a much larger foot size so they are quite snug).

My Current Skates

So I now I’ve updated the About page to introduce myself, I think its time to introduce my current skates!

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Say hello to my lil babies! They are Seba FR2 80 Freestyle 2012. Compared to my previous skates (a post to come about those!), they are extremely comfortable with more structural support around the foot and ankle. They were a bit hard to get on a first, but I think you find that with all new skates. I haven’t yet changed the wheels from the original ones that came with them (80mm/85A), but I’m hoping to get new ones by the end of the year (since they still have a lot of skate wear left in the current ones). The ride is smooth and definitely a good upgrade from the skates I have previously used.

So there we go, short and sweet, my lil FR2s.

With friends :)
With friends 🙂