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Tips on Roller Blading

Updated on December 6, 2015
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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.

woman rollerblading without helmet
woman rollerblading without helmet | Source

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, Nutristrategy.com. Then for a very specific calculation inline skating calculation and the calories burned, check out this site. The second site results in lower estimates than the first site and likely the real answer is somewhere in between.

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.

Protec Helmet (XX-Large, Black)
Protec Helmet (XX-Large, Black)

Protec are certainly one of the best helmets you can buy for blading. I personally have a Protec matte black and love it. I also like the Spade logo because I am a Poker fan too.

 
Protec Spitfire Helmet (Small, Matte Black/ Red)
Protec Spitfire Helmet (Small, Matte Black/ Red)

I love the attitude of this Protec helmet. If you have a little devil in you, this may be the hat for you.

 

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.

Bern Unlimited Berkeley Summer Helmet with Visor, Small, White/Stripe
Bern Unlimited Berkeley Summer Helmet with Visor, Small, White/Stripe

Bern creates helmets in a variety of brighter colors, you can scroll through their entire selection if you click through on this one.

 
Bern Unlimited Nino Summer "Cyclehawklet" Pro Model Helmet with Visor, X-Small/Small, Grey
Bern Unlimited Nino Summer "Cyclehawklet" Pro Model Helmet with Visor, X-Small/Small, Grey

This cute helmet comes with some angel wings. If you want to highlight your angelic personality, this might be for you.

 

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. You can get a map here.
  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. Find out more here.
  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 Centralpark.com.

More Inline Skating Safety Equipment - Wrist Guards, Knee Pads and Elbow Pads for Blading

Dakine Wrist Guard
Dakine Wrist Guard

Wrist guards with lightweight internal aluminum stay inside to help prevent wrist injuries.

 
Mongoose BMX Bike Gel Knee and Elbow Pad Set
Mongoose BMX Bike Gel Knee and Elbow Pad Set

A less expensive option for an knee and elbow pad combination.

 

Any thoughts about this Rollerblading lens? - Are you ready to learn how to Rollerblade ?

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    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 5 years ago from U.S.

      Chicago's Lake Front bike path would be the perfect place to roller blade! We visit downtown Chicago about once a year, and we love walking along that section.

      I like your admonishment to "Don't emulate stupidity", and to wear a helmet instead :-)

    • aksem profile image

      aksem 5 years ago

      One of the healthiest sports. Thank you fo r tips

    • Surreymagic profile image

      Surreymagic 5 years ago

      I like the personal touch you gave your lens. Rollerblading sounds like fun! Regarding falling- I can recommend taking up Ju Jitsu where you learn to land so that you don't break things- including landing face first very fast!

    • TimotheusQ profile image

      TimotheusQ 5 years ago

      Used to rollerblade a lot when I was younger. I wish i still had a pair that fit my feet, I'll have to look back into getting a pair. Great lens!

    • alex89 lm profile image

      alex89 lm 5 years ago

      I love rollerblading, and Montreal is a great place to do it in the summer, but I still have trouble stopping...

    • SquidooPower profile image

      SquidooPower 5 years ago

      Excellent. I love how to pages and pages that help people actually do things.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very nicely presented. Right age to Rock 'n Roll... too old to Rollerblade! :)

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      I have rollerblades, but have only bladed a few times...hopefully this will inspire me to get back out there!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have never rollerbladed

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Not yet, sorry...

    • profile image

      VanessaMichael 4 years ago

      Wow, great lens! Just what I was looking for :)

    • profile image

      MatthewDasher 4 years ago

      Rollerblading is so fun!

    • Reputation Mana profile image

      Reputation Mana 4 years ago

      This lens is so good I'd almost say it's perfect :) nice job!

    • Tonto Murray profile image
      Author

      Tonto Murray 4 years ago

      @Reputation Mana: Wow, thanks so much for the kudos.

    • profile image

      EstebanCramblet 4 years ago

      Awesome lens!

    • profile image

      dustypratillo 4 years ago

      Rollerblading is great fun!

    • profile image

      ValentineVittorini 4 years ago

      Nice lens :)

    • profile image

      NicholasSteedmans 4 years ago

      Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Rollerblading looks like so much fun. I enjoy watching people who do. :)

    • profile image

      MariannMroczkowski 4 years ago

      This lens is really great... nice job!

    • profile image

      EliseSaenphimmacha 4 years ago

      Great lens :)

    • profile image

      adrianjohnstone 4 years ago

      Very nice lens, thanks for sharing!

    • IssacAlouf profile image

      IssacAlouf 4 years ago

      Love it :D

    • profile image

      RafaelRais 4 years ago

      This lens... is... awesome!!!

    • swapnal-sarang profile image

      swapnal-sarang 4 years ago

      great lens added it to my lens list

    • TarahFlesch profile image

      TarahFlesch 4 years ago

      Nice lens! :)

    • profile image

      CarynWilliamson 4 years ago

      Haven't been rollerblading in years. :P

    • profile image

      DanielTorri 4 years ago

      Rollerblading is great - can't wait for summer to get here!

    • PeterThieme profile image

      PeterThieme 4 years ago

      Hopefully I can learn this summer

    • profile image

      CharlesGotFired 4 years ago

      Very nice lens. Me likey

    • profile image

      JethroThunderfoot 4 years ago

      Not sure if I like blading or skating better!

    • GeorgeDornty profile image

      GeorgeDornty 4 years ago

      @JethroThunderfoot: Rollerblading is definitely the best!

    • HughLasso profile image

      HughLasso 4 years ago

      Great lens. Hoping I can finally learn how to rollerblade this spring :)

    • PinkstonePictures profile image

      PinkstonePictures 4 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      Thanks for the info. We have a great boardwalk here in Miami so really want to take this up again and get rolling :-)

    • diegocomercio profile image

      diegocomercio 3 years ago

      i have thouht about taking on rollerblading but i have not made up my mind yet. Nice lens. Thanks for the tips

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