Noob's Experience with his Babies (Freeline Skates, duh!)
OK, before I talk about my virgin session with my babies (the freeline skates), here are some pics to PUMP YOU UP! (Personally, I enjoy listening to the rocky theme ie. "Eye of the tiger" by Survivor, or "The Final Countdown" by was it Europe or something like that, to pump myself up. I play it back on my walkman when im brushing my teeth or taking a crap. Awesome shiz man. Makes me feel SO PUMPED, that if I was a pump, i'd be the mega pump at the gas station. sometimes though, if im a little tired, i feel like one of those handy bicycle mini pumps, still pumped nonetheless.)
Absolutely BEEYOOOTTTIIIIFFUL!! Notice how the wheels line up, but the boards themselves are angled outwards. There is a distinct left and right board.
Bottom view. Very high quality shiz. GOOD STUFF!!
YEAH! It even comes with its own necklace and all, just like hot chicks. Man this is SERIOUSLY MEGA PUMP UP MATERIAL.
Notice how this is a LIMITED EDITION. I actually feel that I am a better person because of this.
Day 1: 45 minute session
- I've never done this before, hence my first 15 -30 minutes will an absolute failure. I just kept on trying to stand on them on flat ground. NO GO.
- The trick is to:
- As the manual says, push along a wall/railing
- get someone to walk along and pull you
- start going down a gentle incline.
- You will get NOWHERE trying to move on a flat surface!
- Repeat above point. I'm serious!
- Ok so I gave up trying to drag myself along a wall, and decided to just go down a little 5 meter long slope.
- After a few attempts, I realized, HEY! I can actually move like 2 meters down the slope on the skates!
- After 45 minutes, I realized I could very shakily go down a gentle slope a short way before one of the following happened:
- My legs wobbled out of control
- I lost your CG and slipped side ways (falling upslope) shooting the skates far far away
- I jumped off because I was freaking out coz I couldnt handle the ultimate speed I had obtained after 2 meters, life flashed before my eyes and all that jazz (4mph perhaps?)
- some people were walking by and I had to jump off so I could maintain a cool image.
- Anyways, I started getting an idea of the rough feeling of gliding down the slope with the skates, which is quite addictive if you ask me. I ended up trying again and again and again, just to get that "feeling" again. Which is good. You should try to get it in your muscle memory.
- As with all sports, you'll start to get a little tired. Your inner thighs will start aching. This is when you SHOULD stop. I'm serious.
- Ok, this time, after thinking about that "feeling of gliding" for about at least 12 hours, I was sure I could blaze down the hill no sweat.
- This time, when when I went down, I realized, "hey, I can actually turn!"
- Remember, turning in freelines is a TOTALLY different freeling from turning on skate board! You have to actually twist your feet to initiate turns (at least at this beginner stage).
- At my uber beginner level, I found that it was a lot easier for me to initiate a turn with my forward foot. I twist it inwards to turn left (I'm goofy footed, ie. it feels more natural for me to ride with my right foot leading the way), and outwards to turn right.
- After awhile of doing this, i realized that your trailing foot can actually sort of turn along with the leading foot when turning left and right. Attempt (at least 100 times), to initiate a turn with your leading foot, and I guarantee that you will start to realize your trailing foot can twist along to make the turn feel more "natural".
- Make an attempt to get good at both turning left and right while going down a bunny hill, and before long, you will realize u can turn left and right pretty quickly! Once this happens, you can start to use your hips to aid in your turning. You will also realize you can lean into the turns to make sharper turns. If you have snowboarded before, this should feel familiar
- Thats about as far as I got before my inner thighs started aching like hell, and I realized I got too tired to maintain my balance anymore.
Other key things I learnt:
- You could probably start off going on a railing, and pushing off along it, but you should also practice getting on your skates WHILE you are on a gentle gradient. Easier said than done, especially on first attempt. It takes a bit of practice at first, mainly coz your skates will attempt to scoot off without you. You have to put your foot on the leading skate first to stop it from rolling down, and then place the trailing skate right behind it. Then jump your trailing foot onto the trailing skate. Once you get the hang of it, your practice session will be HELL of a lot more efficient, because you don't have to run back to a wall/railing/flat grown to to get back on the skates again.
- Distribution of weight! Initially, for some reason, I was placing all my weight on my leading foot, I have no idea why.I guess I felt it was required, in order to turn the front skate. I did realize eventually, its a lot better if slightly more weight is on your back foot. So keep this in mind! Distribution of your weight matters! Try it out and see what works.
- Positioning of your feet ON the skate itself is VERY IMPORTANT (probably the most important thing). Don't "tiptoe" on the skate, and don't rest all your weight on your heel either. There is a sweet spot which feels just right. YOu will have to practice a little to get this exact position. Once you get it, you will realize turning the skate is HELL of a lot easier. Another thing I found was that FRONT and BACK should be in the same position as each other. If your front foot is properly positioned, but your trailing foot is sort of tiptoeing, you're gonna fall really soon.
- STRETCH! I don't know about you, but because it is SO easy to do an accidental "split" with the skates, constant strength is needed to prevent this (especially at the beginner level), so i HIGHLY suggest you stretch your inner thighs and ankles.
- WEAR SHOES with good ankle support. Jumping off a slope at fast speeds is a GREAT way to twist your ankles. Try to wear an ankle brace, or shoes with good ankle support.
- Takes a while to get the "feeling" of moving with the skates
- GO STRAIGHT to a gentle slope, don't even WASTE your time "trying to get a feel" of the skates on flat land.
- Become good at getting on and off, WHILE the skates are on a slope(makes ur beginner sessions more efficient)
- Try turning with your leading foot first, then try to match your trailing foot
- Use hip /leaning motion once u get the hang of turning
- Weight distribution on your feet DOES matter (I prefer slightly more weight on trailing foot)
- Positioning of feet ON skate DOES matter (Trial and error is required to get the position where u feel comfortable, and which makes turning very easy, and be sure both your feet are at the same position)