Rollerblading - do yourself a favour - get a lesson 1st

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The purpose of this guide is to provide an accurate staring point for people who would like to take up rollerblading / inline skating.

Rollerblading / inline skating is an excellent form of exercise which is lots of fun but before you purchase skates consider the following:

1. read though all the eBay listings of rollerblades / inline skates noting how many of them state things like "never used" or "used only once", "as new", etc and I'm sure you will come to the conclusion that learning how to skate without a certified instructor often results in giving up before discovering the basics such as stopping. Consider rollerblading like you would consider the downhill sport of snow skiing - you spend good money on equipment so why not invest in some lessons? Think beyond roller rinks - rollerblading is a lot quicker than rollerskating and you'll need a reasonable level of fitness similar to snow skiing.

2. eBay has some bargains IF you know what you are looking for - by this I mean that if you don't know the first thing about skates or for that matter what type of rollerblading you wish to get into (by type I mean recreational / fitness / aggressive / hockey / artistic / slalom / speed ...) then speak to certified instructors and / or shop owners who skate.

3. Wear the correct protective equipment when skating - wrist, knee, elbow pads and a correctly fitted helmet.

4. Once you've learnt how to rollerblade safely, connect with other rollerbladers on the net and find out about events such as free cityskates.

5. It is crucial that even if you don't take the advice regarding lessons that you learn how to use the heel brake effectively before you go anywhere. A certified instructor can show you how to fall safely (and no its NOT sitting down like another guide suggests - that could lead to a broken tailbone).

Happy rollerblading!


James O'Connor
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