When you look at inline skate brands, you’ll realize they employ different types of brakes. And brake form one of the integral inline skates parts[Parts of An Inline Skate]. From beginners to experienced skaters, all need to slow down and stop at some time during skating.
Types of Inline Skates Brakes
Find below some of the most common types of brakes:
- Traditional brakes
- ABT brakes
- No brakes (T-stops)
Let’s see how each one functions
The traditional braking system is one of the most widespread among inline skates. Often you can find it on fitness or recreational rollerblades.
Furthermore, they attach to the heel area and not the toe. Therefore in braking, you will have to employ your heel. In many cases, the traditional brake is on the right leg.
However, for those whose dominant leg is left, transferring it to the other limb is simple. The brake consist of a hard rubber pad and aplastic holder that helps attach to the rear wheel axel.
To engage the brake pad, you have to tilt the rollerblade slightly upwards such that the rubber at the heel makes contact with the ground. So it relies on the frictional force between the rubber and the surface to slow down the inline skate.
The more pressure you apply at the heel, the sooner you are likely to stop. But since the traditional brakes tap on friction, they wear out quickly. So during inline skates maintenance[How to Maintain Inline Skate] routine, you need to check on them.
Advanced Braking Technology, ABT
The advanced braking technology, ABT brakes, was introduced by the Rollerblade brand. When using the ABT brakes, you slide the braking skate forward and exert some slight downward pressure on the same skate.
By so doing, the cuff through the braking arm engages the brake pads to the ground. So unlike the traditional brake, ABT doesn’t require the skater to tilt the skates during braking. That means the rollerblader still has all the wheels touching the ground, thus not hindering stability.
For that reason, the ABT brakes are widespread on beginner inline skates. However, a few brands still employ them on professional inline skates.
Besides, ABT exists as both the marking and the unmarking types. The non-marking type is ideal for indoor skating since you won’t leave any marks on the rink.
No Brake System
Still, there are inline skates that have no visual brakes. Usually, they include roller hockey skates, speed skates, and aggressive skates.
The mentioned states that employ no brakes want to maximize speed. However, the system suits pros instead of beginners. With no rubber brake pads, the skater must tap on unique set of skills and techniques to slow him down and eventually stop.
Some of the most common ones include the T-stop, power stop, and power slide. Of the three, the T-stop seems easy to master for most skaters. It involves placing one skate in front and the other behind. So the arrangement should make a T shape or precisely capital L.
Having made a T shape with the skates, slowly drag your feet trailing behind but maintaining a one feet separation between the skates.
Simple Steps to Mastering the T-Stop Braking
Remember, it requires some practice and patience. Here are a few steps to see you through:
Know the Foot to Lead and the One to Remain Behind
Choose the feet that can lead you and yet makes you feel natural. When the dominant leg is right, the lead with the left. That’s because you will have to exert control on the feet that drags behind.
Master Balancing On One Skate
Learning to balance one leg is a vital step towards mastering the T-stop. Further, you can then have control of the amount of pressure you apply on the trailing leg. Having learnt that, making a quick or slow stop is then straight forward.
Train the Legs in the T-Shape
Note that you don’t have to make a perfect T with your feet, rather its capital L. Let one-foot face forward. And the trailing leg should make an angle of 90 degrees with the leading foot.
That is the toes to the lugging leg point sideways to assume the letter L. And it’s the skate dragging behind that does the braking.
Practice Braking While Moving At a Slow Pace First
Having mastered balancing in that position, next proceed to skate at a slow pace practicing the braking style. You’ll have to learn to apply pressure on the trailing leg. Then once you have grasped the technique, advance the speed.
Take a Low Stance to Boost your Balance
While t-braking, your posture matters a lot. So bend your knee (forward leg) fairly deep and shifting more weight over the same leg. With practice, you’ll realize the depth of your stance will vary according to your skating speed.
At high speed, t-braking demands that you assume a high depth of stance. The feet you are dragging should remain straight outstretched. At the same time, you must keep looking right ahead and your back maintaining a straight posture.
From downhill rollerblading to rollerblading in the rain[Can You Ride Inline Skate in Rain], brakes play an important role. So choose the right brakes that fit your skating skill level. Your safety should be your top concern when skating indoors or outdoors.