When it comes to skating, there are many ways to stop. The easiest method is using the brakes or toe-stops on your skates. If you’re not familiar with brakes or toe-stops, they are the rubber piece usually found on the front of a quad skate or on the back of an inline.
Quads: On quads, we tend to call the brake the “toe-stop.” Why? Because it is at the front (toe) of the skate and helps us stop.
Here are the following steps on preparing to stop.
- When traveling forward, place one toe down and gradually stop by dragging the rubber toe stop across the floor. You are basically increasing the friction between you and the floor which will cause your skate to slow down and eventually stop. It’s important to avoid trying to stop quickly because you need to give your body time to adjust to the quick deceleration.
- Other than applying pressure to the stop, you need to keep proper body posture to ensure you are still standing when stopping. Make sure to keep your back arched and head up. If you look down with your shoulders forward, it’s not going to end well. It is important to keep your head over your shoulders, shoulders over your hips and hips over your feet.
- As you stop, keep your weight over the skating foot. The skating foot is the foot that has all four wheels on the floor, also known as the employed foot. Make sure to keep the skating knee bent. With the other foot that you are dragging the toe-stop on, keep it straight like an anchor dragging across the floor of the ocean. The leg is the chain and the anchor is your toe stop that is dragging.
- Maintain your balance as you are stopping by keeping your “hands on the table” like you’re walking a tightrope act. Arms out to your side, wrists out, palms flat and at hip height. This takes time and training your muscles. Continue to practice this method as the more you do it the better you will get at it.
Inlines: When stopping with inline skates, the method is a bit different because the brake is in the back rather than the front.
- When using the breaks on inline skates, you want to keep a bend in your knees.
- Keep one foot in front of you (the foot containing the brake) extended out as far as you can with your heel on the ground causing you to gradually stop.
- It is important to sit back as you are pushing down on the brake on your heel. Lean back and put all of your weight on your opposing leg.
- Keep both hands straight in front of you to provide stability.
Now that you know how to stop. Keep practicing to improve your stop time and build your comfort level with braking. To learn more, check with your local skating center on classes and see how to improve your skills.