Inline skating is a demanding sport. However, having strapped on cool rollerblades and perfected your skills, it offers lots of benefits.
But can inline skates go uphill? Yes, it can. However, just like rollerblading in the rain[Can You Ride Inline Skate in Rain], uphill skating is extra demanding. Besides energy straining, you can only move at a slow pace.
For that reason, before you think of uphill inline skating, perfect your stance, balance, and speed control on flat grounds. After that, progress to gliding uphill with a lot of caution.
Preparation and Training for Riding Inline Skates Uphill
Riding up a hill while on skates requires huge amount of energy. Therefore you have to ensure that you are physically fit and up for the task. That, therefore, calls for carrying out some routine workouts to get you in the right shape.
Begin with Short and Medium-Sized Hills
In the beginning, it isn’t wise to take on long and extra steep hills. Instead, begin with short slopes that can take you about 60 seconds or so to climb.
Make several trips up and down the slope. Then you can progress on a long hill. Each time press on and aiming at reaching the top as soon as possible
Never Forget Your Safety Equipment
Don’t leave behind your safety gear. Have your helmet, knee guard, wrist, and elbow pads. Skating up or downhill is challenging; an accident can occur at any time.
How to Inline Skate Uphill
As pointed out, rollerblading up the hill requires you to have superb technical skills and physical fitness. With practice and employing the following tips, you can make it better:
Turn Out Your Toes
The temptation to roll back is real. So you need to overcome that drag and move forward steadily. Therefore turn front of your feet (toes) outwards. Your skating shoes should thus assume a herringbone pattern.
Lower the Knee
Bending the knee helps in two aspects. It gives you a low profile and improved stability. At the same time, it allows you to concentrate more energy on your feet, thus propel you further.
Make Short Strides
Making long strides are never easy when climbing up the slope. So with the feet still turned out, make short, powerful, and quick strides. To move at top speed, compensate by making multiple tiny paces.
Swing the Arms
As you move uphill, you need to swing your arms continuously. Doing so helps minimize the drag. Furthermore, it enables you to generate more energy for propelling you forward.
But in swinging your arms, you have to do it right in a particular manner. Here is a better explanation. Assume you have to move your arms and hit an unseen opponent’s face in front. Alternatively, imagine how your hands swing when walking at a fast pace down a bike lane.
Don’t Forget About Your Physical Fitness
Besides cultivating the necessary technical skills, you need to improve your fitness. One way to do that is running up and down the hill with ordinary running shoes, not skates. And you have to do that regularly to build on your stamina, health, and energy.
Your Hips Play a Vital Role
Remember skating up the slope is twice as challenging as on a paved road. So make use of your hips in each new stride and cadence. At the same time, ensure your feet always returns to rest on the centerline. That way, you’ll have minimum glide and prevent forward push.
Navigating Extra Steep Hills
For extra steep hills, you’ll have to up your game. Therefore, if space allows, a back and forth attack across the slope helps. In the end, the distance you’ll travel increases, but the slope angle is minimal.
Attacking a Hill
How you attack the foot of the hill is crucial. So as you approach the slope, increase your speed. That is aim at making long powerful strides.
Then once you hit the foot of the hill, let the position of your feet and stance adapt to skating uphill (drop a gear). Then reset to a speed that can keep up with till the top of the hill. Don’t deplete your energy store.
Once you have climbed to the top of the hill, you need to make the return journey down the slope. Although it isn’t energy demanding, you have to do it correctly lest you fall. But first test the inline skate[How to Test An Inline Skate] for effectiveness of brakes.
Here is how to skate down the hill;
- Let your knees make an angle of 90 degrees and at the same time resting your hands on top of the knees
- Spread out your feet about the width of your shoulder
- Concentrate your weight at the back of the heels.
Remember rollerblading up the hill is a skill that requires time to develop. So don’t rush on the process. Ensure you have fully mastered the basic steps of rollerblading[How to Rollerblade] before trying out skating up the slope.
You need a good amount of energy and skills to improve your expertise. Therefore exercise often, and you’ll build upon the technique.