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Tips on Roller Blading

Updated on June 25, 2018

My legs continue to churn and grind, almost effortlessly. I am coming up on one hour of rollerblading and I can almost see the pounds melting away. I have burned over 900 calories during this hour long inline skating session and while I am sweating from head to toe, I am enjoying myself. I used to have an ingrained image of what exercise and hard work is supposed to feel like -- and this is NOT it. This feels more like a game. While I am indeed working hard, I am having fun, actually enjoying myself. And so it went...when I became hooked on blading about 4 years ago.

Before I found roller blading, I tried running and cycling but neither resonated with me. Running was an absolute grind. It was incredibly boring and I had to continually will myself keep going. It was a constant struggle and I never ran a significant distance. Cycling was certainly more fun and enjoyable but I have always found cycling seats to be extremely uncomfortable -- even if padded. I also found that my male 'junk' would often fall asleep -- and that just can't be good. These were not workable solutions for me for regular exercise.

However, rollerblading has become a very regular exercise for me 8-9 months out of the year. Since I live in Chicago, I cannot rollerblade all year round so I have to spend time in the gym during winter months. But man do I love getting outside to rollerblade during those other 8-9 months.

This site was developed to help you get started and learn how to rollerblade. We highlight some things you should consider before you start rollerblading and/or buy inline rollerblades. Hopefully the rest of this article will give you enough insight into in line skating that you will want to give it a try. It will be a great decision for your heart, your waistline and your overall self-confidence.

Want to Learn How to Rollerblade?

Here are Some Things to Consider with Inline Skating

So, you like what I have had to say so far and you think you might be ready for rollerblading. That's great, I think you will really enjoy the sport. There are some key things to plan out to get ready for blading.

1. Equipment - If you are just starting to roller blade, I would suggest that you wear the full regimen of safety equipment; helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads. Serious bladers usually do not wear the knee pads and elbow pads, but when you are first getting started they are a good idea because you will fall a few times. However, even when you feel very proficient on skates, you should continue to wear the helmet and wrist guards. The most common injury with any skating sport is broken wrists because our instinct is to throw our hands out in front of us when we fall. For this reason, I always wear wrist guards even though I am a very proficient skater that cannot remember the last time I have fallen. The helmet does neen much explanation, we are nothing without our brain -- protect all the time at all cost!! WHILE THE WOMAN IN THIS IMAGE IS CUTE, SHE IS NOT TOO BRIGHT TO SKATE WITHOUT A HELMET. DON'T EMULATE STUPIDITY.

2. Scout out your Route - In Chicago we are spoiled because we have a beautiful 10 mile stretch of bike paths right on the lakefront. The City keeps these paths smooth and clean so they are perfect for in line skating. if you are visiting Chicago, definitely bring your rollerblades so you can check it out. However, scouting out a path is key because you need a relatively smooth surface to enjoy the experience. I have rolllerbladed on rough asphalt or surfaces with many pebbles throughout and it is really tough. You will only be able to skate a short distance compared to smooth surfaces because it is very rough sledding. It is a lot like trying to run in wet sand, you can do it but you will work a lot harder than you expected and it is much less enjoyable.

3. Keep Track of your Calories Burned - While rollerblading it a fun exercise alternative, we are still out there for a reason to get healthy and burn calories fast. If you want to calculate your calorie burn for each run, here are a couple of sites that help you figure it out. First, this site provides a rough estimate of the calories burned per hour for lots of different sports,

Oh, yeah lastly Enjoy yourself.

Men's Helmets for Skate Rollerblades - Amazon has a wide selection of Inline Skating helmets

Before you learn how to rollerblade, you first need protection for your Noggin. There are many different vendors of helmets for roller blading and it really is a matter of taste based on look and feel. I am providing several examples of good helmets. I most often use Protec helmets but the helmets from K2, Rollerblade and Nutcase are also very good.

Girls Need Helmets too. - Here are some helmets with style for the ladies

Admittedly my favorite helmets, Protec, are much more oriented for guys. They tend to be a bit more in your face than some of the other helmet styles. If that is what you are into, then certainly women can wear the Men's Protec helmets too, but if you are looking for a bit more of a female flair -- check out these women's helmets.

My Slice of Blading Paradise - Chicago Lakefront

My Slice of Blading Paradise - Chicago Lakefront
My Slice of Blading Paradise - Chicago Lakefront

Great Places to Rollerblade - Looking for great spots to use your Inline Rollerblades

Once you learn how to rollerblade then you need a spot to exercise your craft. Here are some of the best trails for inline skating in the United States. I have listed paths that I was familiar with and that I know are smooth. If you know some other great smooth paths, anywhere in the World, please let me know in the comments and I will get them added to the list.

  1. Venice to Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA - There is probably no more scenic bike path in the US...and I am not just talking about the geographic landscape. You will find skaters, bikers and walkers wearing the most fashionable bikinis imaginable along this beachfront bike path. It is about an 8.5 mile stretch that will keep you thoroughly entertained. Find out more about this path from LA Bikepaths.
  2. Lakefront Bike Path, Chicago, IL - From 79th street on the South Side to the Hollywood Ave on the North side, the Chicago Lakefront bike path encompasses 18 miles of path. However, most rollerbladers focus on the 6 mile stretch from Oak Street beach north to Hollywood Ave and back. This 12 mile stretch is beautiful, safe and full of interesting sites.
  3. Seal Beach to Newport Beach, Orange County, CA - Another path that combines beautiful beachfront vistas with beautiful scantily clad people. These are some of the most desirable beachfront communities in Southern California and you will enjoy rollerblading these trails.
  4. South Bay Bike Path, Los Angeles, CA - This path runs from the end of Redondo Beach through El Segunda, CA. Bikers actually go farther but that it gets a bit more remote around the airport. The Manhattan Beach down through Redondo Beach is a really good run for bladers.
  5. Central Park, Manhattan, NY - Central Park is full of paved parkways that are closed to car traffic except during rush hour. These are ideal trails during the weekend days. The longer loop is 5 miles long and a shorter loop is about 2.5 miles. Keep in mind though, Central Park is not safe at night or dusk so don't venture in. You can learn more and get a map at


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