Don's TOP TEN TIPS for Beginner Skaters.
SKATES Lets start with equipment. If you don't own a pair of inline skates please speak to Don first before buying, it is the only major outlay you have to make. Buy the very best you can afford. Please take advice before taking the plunge. Have a look at skating equipment for some ideas.
KIDS It is very tempting to buy the cheapest skates possible for children "just to see if they like skating." Don does not notice this approach when adults take up a new sport for themselves. Be decent to your kids if you don't want to buy a proper child's skate but would like them to try inline skating, it would seem sensible to hire before buying.
LESSONS are the easy safer way to start skating with the quickest results. Learn to skate properly from the very beginning with a certified instructor this will avoid bad habits that will prevent your skating from progressing. Skate lessons are not costly and could prove a safer introduction to skating.
PREPARATION You book a lesson and then turn up 10 minutes late. It takes another 10 minutes to fit skates and put on pads. Before you know it half the lesson is gone and you haven't even begun. Make sure you are on time. Arrive at least 15 minutes before your first lesson. Don't wear unsuitable clothing, comfortable leisure casual clothing is best. Bring a rainproof jacket in case of inclement weather.
PLANNING Do not go for a 10 mile run/cycle just before your lesson. If you prefer to have a lesson in the evening don't arrange it on the day the boss has asked you to work a double shift. An hour's intensive concentration in a rushed skate lesson, after a day's work can be over demanding.
PRACTICE builds confidence. Practice = Progress. Do you have a friend who can learn skating with you at the same time, this is more sociable and will encourage you to practise together, much better than just being on your own and more fun. It also costs less if you take lessons together or if you prefer join a group.
BALANCE of course everybody has it. You could not function in your daily life without balance. If you are older it just takes that little bit longer to learn how to skate. Be patient progress takes time and commitment. Take heart from Don, if he can skate anybody can skate!
FALLING Will I hurt myself? How many times has that question been asked? Skating like skiing, snowboarding, cycling, etc., is a balancing activity, falls do happen. One of the reasons why you take lessons is to find out how to deal with falls and minimise the risks in a safe environment. Skating safely makes sense while you are learning and helps confidence.
TIME, or the lack of it, is the enemy of modern day living. We all seem to be time poor in this day and age, so much to do and not enough time available. To make progress you must plan to skate in between the lessons. It is all part of the one commitment. Be flexible so that you do not make up excuses, e.g. bad weather, as a reason for not skating.
LOCATION where to skate is a big issue in Scotland. We need a flat smooth surface and they are not always easy to find. Some locations are posted on the TrySkating website, new places need to be found. Skaters progress so much more quickly when they find a smooth flat skating area.. Have a look at where to skate for some suggestions.
Don't forget skating is a balancing activity. You skate at your own risk. Wear safety pads and a helmet at all times, you have a duty of care to yourself as well as to others.