How To Roller Skate For Beginners? [10 Steps with A Complete Guideline]

how to roller skate

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Roller skating is always exciting. It is like moving forward on your feet but at a higher speed. The experience is blissful and refreshing. But initially, roller skating may seem difficult. Moving back and forth, maintaining balance, or even standing seem risky and scary. 

To skate efficiently and get rid of the fear, training is required. Once you master the skating techniques, it is super easy. Besides mastering the basic techniques, you would initially require some tricks to make the learning process easier. Only then, you can gradually improve and start skating confidently and properly. 

If you are a beginner in roller skating, you came to the right place. I am here with this article to discuss the process and tips to learn roller skating. I will share my roller skating journey to help you go through the learning phase. So get ready to get some hands-on advice and tips that will enhance your roller skating learning journey. 

Get excited!

10 Steps To Roller Skate For Beginners: The Best Way To Start

10 steps of roller skating

Roller skating is a bit difficult to learn for beginners. You need to master several skills to start skating. Learning one technique won’t help you. Even if you skate in a park or an enclosed area, you would need a minimum skill to perform. This is why following the steps and learning several techniques are necessary. 

To simplify the learning process, I am here with a step-by-step guide to learn roller skating in the easiest way possible. I will mention the steps from the beginning and proceed towards the specific skating techniques. Stay with me, read carefully, and start practicing according to the mentioned procedure. 

Step 1: Put On The Roller Skate And Accessories

The very basic equipment you require is a pair of good roller skates, may be from Moxi beach bunny or Lolly. Make sure to buy the right size. Your right roller skate size would be your standard shoe size. Find the right size for ease and comfort. You can buy one or rent for the learning period. 

Besides a pair of roller skates, you should put on safety accessories. This will save you from injuries and make you more confident. At least in the initial stage, precautions and safety accessories are necessary. 

The accessories that you would need are:

  • Helmet
  • Knee pad
  • Wrist guards

These safety accessories will protect you from injuries. Also, you would feel comfy and flexible with these on. You can also wear hand gloves and socks. Also, wear comfortable and light clothes while skating. Prioritize comfort for skating. Only then can you skate properly. 

Step 2: Learn The Right Posture

Now that you have put on the roller skate and other accessories, you can start skating. But before moving, you need to stand in the right posture to get body balance. 

Initially, you won’t be able to stand straight with the skate on. Retaining balance would be difficult. Here are two steps to follow to get a minimum balance wearing the roller skates:

  • Move the two feet apart. The two feet should be in the line of your shoulder. 
  • Then lean forward by bending your knees a little. Your backside would be lowered. This is a standard squatting position that would help you gain balance. 

As balance is the key in skating, this posture will help you. 

Let me warn you that you may fall several times. The wheels may slip. And this is completely normal. No one has ever learned skating without toppling over. So even if you fall off, practice the posture until you start gaining balance. 

Try to stand on the skate when you see a chance of falling. You have to be alert always. Every time you lose balance, lean forward and create pressure on the skate with your leg muscles to get balance. Keep trying!

Step 3: Start Moving Like A Duck

Now you should start walking. Don’t slide the wheels at first. You need to begin with simple walking, just like a duck!

For this, place your heels close to each other and point the toes outwards. The right toe would face the right diagonal corner and the left toe towards the left corner. Now start moving forward. Place your right feet ahead and then the left one. Keep moving. Focus on exerting the pressure at the center of your feet, not on the heels. 

Whenever you lose balance, immediately get back to the squatting posture to regain balance. And keep walking in the same way. When you start gaining balance, speed up. Go for longer steps and try moving fast. But don’t rotate the wheels yet. Don’t worry if you topple over. Just move forward and squat when you lose balance.

Sometimes, clean your wheels and bearings to get the best out of it.

Step 4: Start Gliding

Now is the turn to work with the wheels. At first, you don’t need to glide both skates. Go slow by pushing the skate with one foot and keeping the other steady. 

Place one foot sidewards and push it back a little so that the other foot glides automatically. After that, you may either stop or immediately switch legs. Keep switching legs after gliding with one leg a few times. Remember to keep one foot on the ground steadily so that it can glide swiftly. Put the pressure on the other one. 

Once you start gaining balance, glide faster. Even if you fall, keep on practicing. Try putting the pressure at the center of the skate. Use your hands to maintain balance. 

Step 5: Learn How To Stop

While gliding and pushing yourself forward, you can’t stop abruptly. If you do so, you would fall off or hurt your knees. 

Roller skates have brakes in the toe area. To stop, you need to push them downwards. But before that, slow down a little bit. Try to keep your legs parallel. At this point, you have to get body balance. 

For that, lean forward in the squatting position. Now glide the right leg forward and lift the toe of the right leg a bit. Then press your toes hard on the ground to press the brake and stop. Your left leg will stop simultaneously. 

Try pressing hard to stop fast. Otherwise, you may slip forward. If you can’t manage to put on enough pressure, press your knees with your hand to maximize pressure on the brake. 

Step 6: Skate Backwards

You have to practice the previous steps regularly to reach this step. Those are the basics of how to glide, move, and stop. Now let me tell you how you can move backward. 

Recall step 3 where you had to walk with the roller skate. Remember the foot’s position? You had to put heels together with the toes facing outwards. Here, you need to do the reverse. Place the toes together so that the heels face outwards at the back. 

Stay in the squatting position to glide backward. Just like you did in step 3, you have to glide with one leg with the other one being steady. Put pressure on the steady leg and lift the other leg. Glide the lifted leg backward. Do it slowly and glide only a little. 

While practicing this, try to maintain the right posture. This is the only way to keep balance. As you can’t see your backward gliding, maintaining the posture will help you do it correctly. 

Step 7: Try Doing Heel-Toe Movement

This is the step when you actually practice moving forward. You may have seen skaters slide forward with their toes and heels. In this step, you would do the same. 

Practice walking and gliding before you start with this. Now, choose your strong skating leg yours. Place this leg in the front and lift the toe. Then life the heel of the leg on the backside. So now, your front leg is relying on the heels and the back leg is standing on the toes. Move forward in this way. Keep alternating the heel-toe positions. One would move with the help of toes and the other would rely on the heels. 

Keep practicing this and lean forward when you lose balance. The trick is to concentrate on heel-toe coordination. You are less likely to fall if you have practiced the previous steps properly. Once you learn heel-toe coordination, you can now move faster. 

Step 8: Learn The Crossover Turn

In this step, you would learn to do a crossover turn. When you change the direction of skating, you need this technique. 

To do this, you have to cross one skate over the other. For example, you need to turn left. You have to cross the right leg over the left one. Turn slightly to the left and let the right leg push off a little to the left. The right leg would help you to move to the left. You need to bend your knees a bit to gain balance. 

This step can be difficult for beginners. But eventually, you can master it if you keep practicing well. 

Step 9: Try Jumping

Jumping is another important step in skating. You may have noticed skaters spinning in the air. But to do it, you need to learn to jump. Because when you spin in the sky, you have to jump and land on the ground. And maintaining balance would be the key skill to master in this step. 

Glide for a few minutes and then try to leap. Jump a little and then land on the ground. While landing, exert pressure at the middle of the feet and maintain the squatting position. Jump a little and try to maintain balance while landing. 

Step 10: Practice At A Rink

You have now mastered the basic techniques of roller skating. Keep practicing the techniques until you get used to them. After you start keeping your body balanced, you should practice in the rink. 

Practicing in the rink will give you plain ground to skate smoothly. Practice all the techniques in the rink so that you can move smoothly. 

And you are done! Once you master the techniques, you can join a team and league. Practicing in a team helps you learn new tactics. You grow sportsmanship too. I always prefer practicing in a team. It grows confidence as well as improves skating skills. 

Video Tutorial on Rink Skating

Dirty School of Skate explains it very well about how to start roller skating at the rink. Check it out.

Types Of Roller Skate For Beginners

To skate efficiently, you need to buy the right skate. There are three main types of roller skates. Here are those:

  • Indoor Roller Skate: If you intend to practice only in the rink, a pair of indoor roller skates would be the best. 
  • Outdoor Roller Skate: Outdoor roller skates have stiffer and more durable wheels. These are suitable for skating on concrete roads and hard surfaces.
  • Speed Skates: These are for speedy skating. Professionals use these roller skates. Speed skates are the best types of roller skates suitable for all types of roads, rinks, and grounds. 
  • Budget Skates: Not necesarily you need to pick high priced skates skates as a beginner. As a beginner, you can pick some awesome skates within 30 to 60 dollars. I can assure you that they are durable, good looking and comfortable as well.

Indoor quad skates are for beginners. Outdoor roller skates are the best for intermediate-level skating. These are good for practicing skating. Speed skates are for pro-level skating. So you need to start with an indoor quad i.e. roller skates. 

Read More about Quad Skate Types

Related Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Good Age To Start Roller Skating?

There is no definite age for learning roller skating. You just need to be determined to master the roller skate techniques. If you get the right training, you can be a pro in roller skating. 

However, if you are a parent and want your kid to learn skating, it is better to start at the age of 3 to 5. This is the age when the body is flexible. Muscles are at the growing stage and bone development is in process. Skating will improve the growth as well as learning it at an early age will make the kid a pro in a few years. 

Starting skating at this age encourages body growth and strength. As bones and muscles are flexible, getting balance, bending, and moving becomes easy. Their flexibility is the best asset to learn to skate easily and efficiently. The chances of falling and injury are less too.

Can You Start Roller Skating At 20?

There is no specific age for learning skating. Though it is better to start at an early age, you can still do it at 20. You won’t have to miss all the fun if you are in your 20’s!

The best age to learn roller skating is 3 to 5. In this age, muscle and bone flexibility is top-notch. Thus the body easily adapts to the posture and moving styles. Bending, balancing, and gliding becomes way easier for kids.

Some also start skating in their teens. They mostly intend to join a team or participate in a derby. But if you have crossed your teens, you can still master skating. 

You may not become a pro at this age, but you can easily learn the basic skills. If you are determined, you can even become a professional and expert in skating. It depends on your body’s flexibility, weight, balance, and interest. But just because you are 20, you need not miss the fun!

Is It Easy To Learn Roller Skating? 

If you compare roller skating to inline skating, roller skating becomes easy when you get trained. The key point is to maintain balance and know how to glide. The techniques are simple. The only way to improve is practicing and observing each technique carefully. 

If you are focused and enthusiastic, you can learn it fast. I would not say it is easy but it is not impossible. The hardest part is to maintain balance and learn how to put the body pressure correctly at the center. I needed practice for several months just to maintain balance. And honestly, it was not easy. I fell off and toppled over several times, got injured, and then mastered the techniques properly. 

I would say, if you are consistent and determined, you can learn the basics in months. But you should know that it won’t be easy. You need to be patient and persistent to learn the skills. Neither maintaining balance nor gliding is easy. Training and practice are mandatory to learn the skills. 

How Long Does It Take To Master Roller Skating? 

From my experience, I can tell that you can understand the techniques in a week of practice and training. But learning to balance and move would need time. You would require at least a few months to maintain balance on the roller skates and move back and forth. 

If you want to be a pro in skating, you would need at least 3-6 months of consistent practice. The more you practice, the more you master the skills. Your body learns to put balance at the center, use the heel-toe technique, and glide forward and backward. 

Therefore, though you can learn the basics of skating in a month, you may need at least 3 to 6 months to skate like a pro. The time may extend if you are a slow learner or don’t practice regularly. 

You can do another thing of making your roller skates slower for a few months. Once you become an expert, try fast skating with full confidence.

What Equipment Are Needed For Roller Skating?

The very first thing you need is a pair of roller skates. Buy the right roller skate size so that it fits you well. Also, choose the right roller skate type for better compatibility and ease. 

As a beginner, you must have safety equipment with you. I suggest wearing safety accessories even to the pro skaters. It not only protects you from injury but also corrects the posture and gives confidence. For safety and comfort, wear a skating helmet, wrist guards, and knee pads. As beginner skaters can fall off anytime, wearing safety guards is necessary. 

All in all, you need a pair of roller skates and a few safety equipments to skate safely and comfortably. 


Skating is fun! If you are a beginner, get proper training and master the techniques to become a pro. Be consistent and practice regularly to get the maximum fun of skating. 

Are you ready to rock? Then get started today!

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