Roller Skating Skills

Roller Skating Skills | Ultimate Guide to some essential

Once you learn how to balance yourself on roller skates, the other step is to learn roller skating skills. Though, to date, speed skating and hockey remain the two standard roller skating sports. But, people get more drawn to roller skaters performing crazy tricks because of the thrill. My advice to beginner skaters is that learn basic skills before you move on to making those insane skating moves. 

 It would be best if you had a grip on balancing and stopping before you perform complex tricks. Once you are comfortable enough to stay upright on skates. The next step is to learn those awe-inspiring skating tricks.

What are the basic roller skating skills?

To learn basic roller skating skills, you need to follow some essential things. Just read further to learn how to skate like a pro. 

Put on your skates

The first thing that you need to do on roller skating is to put on your shoes. Make sure that you get the right size of skates. It is vital because if your skates don’t fit well, you will face problems balancing yourself.

Wear protective skating gear

After putting on skates, you need to wear all the protective equipment. The protective equipment includes a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. 

Get in the proper posture

Once you have your skating gear on, the next thing you do is to stand in the proper posture. By correct posture, I mean standing with your legs apart, bending your knees, and squatting a little. Getting at the appropriate posture helps in balancing and keeping yourself upright. It is challenging to get in the proper posture the very first time you put on your skates. It is very likely that you roll and fall many times before you can stand comfortably. The reason behind this is that when wearing skates, you feel as if someone is pushing you to move. 

Do the ‘Duck Walk’

The moment you can balance yourself wearing skates. It then comes the time to build some basic roller skating skills. Before you start rolling, you need to learn how to walk and move with the skates on.

You can try this by walking like a duck with feet apart and taking small steps.  

Start Gliding

The moment you start to gain confidence in your movement. You will feel yourself switching from small steps to long strides. Try changing the movement of your feet by pushing off with one foot and gliding with the other.

You can even try turning from left to right as you begin to master your movement. You can propel yourself in a specific direction by using your body weight. 

Learn how to stop

Stopping skating is the most crucial skill that you need to learn for skating. Two different techniques help you stop safely. 

T- stop 

In the T-stop method, you can quickly stop by just shifting the movement of your feet. For stopping, you need to place your foot at the back of the other foot at a 90-degree angle. You need to drag your feet till your speed slows, then make a T with your feet by applying a little pressure. There is no limitation on which foot you use. You can stop using whichever foot you are comfortable with. 

Use Toe stoppers

The other technique you can use for stopping is by using toe stoppers given at the feet. To use toe stop, you just have to use one foot instead of both. It is because if you put pressure on both the toe stoppers, you can easily fall. Once the toe stop comes in contact with the ground, the friction helps to slow the speed down. Avoid putting too much pressure on toe stoppers, or else you shall face on your face. You need to keep on practicing till you learn how to master the skill of stopping.

Roller skating skills checklist 

There are no specific roller skating skills for every skater. It all depends upon the personal skill level of each skater. I have listed down below the roller skating skills list based on the skill level of skaters. 

Basic skating skills for beginners 

  • Learn how to fall safely.
  • Learn how to get up.
  • Wear skating safety gear.
  • Learn how to march
  • Learn Cannonball
  • How to dip
  • Move like a Helicopter

Skills to learn once you learn how to balance 

  • Make circles
  • Make flamingo moves
  • Brake with safety
  • How to V start
  • Glide Froward
  • Make Scissor movements

Basic skating skills for beginners

  • How to scooter push
  • Make strokes with skates
  • Move with quarter steer
  • Make circles
  • Do a Kangaroo hop
  • Surfer move

Skills for intermediate beginner 

  • Make backward scissors
  • How to stop moving backward
  • Make half circles
  • Steps with two beats
  • Crossovers

Some advanced skating skills 

  • How to T- start
  • How to T – stop
  • Shoot the duck
  • Make full circles
  • Forward turns
  • Spread like an eagle
  • Steps with three beats

Some Essential Roller Skating Skills

You need to determine your skill level before performing advanced-level skills. I have listed down all the essential roller skating skills to help you on the rink. So, read on further to find out more.

Basic Skills

Falling Down 

  • Get in the safety position once you lose control over speed.
  • Try the cannonball ball position next.
  • Try to fall by rolling down on the side.
  • Keep your hands away from the ground to prevent wrist injuries.

Getting up 

  • Get up quickly after falling.
  • Start by sitting on the floor.
  • Roll on your hands and knees to one side.
  • Keep one leg bent and the other straight.
  • Keep one skate close to your other knee. 
  • Put weight on the knee standing up with your hands.
  • Push yourself up and try to stand.

Airplane Position

  • Stand straight.
  • Keep your arms stretched out very straightforward, the same as the wings of the plane.
  • Keep your shoulders and hips aligned.
  • Hips and shoulders should be perpendicular to the direction of movement.

Standing upright 

  • Remember to keep your shoulders and hips in line with your skates.
  • Always keep your eyes forward.
  • Try to get NOB – nose over the belly button.
  • It is essential because leaning forward pushes you backward.

Safe Position 

  • You can perform the safety position once you feel that you are losing balance.
  • Try practicing near the railing.
  • Stand in an airplane position.
  • Push your hands out forward.
  • Keep your knees bent, back straight, and head up.
  • It helps to lower the center of gravity and even prevent accidents due to falling.


  • Strat practice of marching close to the railing.
  • Start with the airplane position.
  • Pick one knee and then place it on the floor.
  • Do the same using the other leg.
  • Repeat the same movements using both legs simultaneously.
  • Make sure that all the wheels of your skate touch the ground.
  • Keep your arms out, head up and back straight when marching.


  • Start practicing near the rails
  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Bend down and hug your knees with both hands.
  • Keep looking up even when you are sitting down.
  • Put both hands on the knees and push yourself up.
  • Return to the airplane position.
  • Repeat the same movement.


  • For beginners, start at the railing.
  • Touch your knees without looking downwards.
  • Count till four before returning to airplane position.
  • To practice, try taking a few steps and then performing a dip.


  • Stand close to the railing when performing the helicopter for the first time.
  • Start by standing in an airplane position.
  • Take some tiny marching steps.
  • Try turning around while taking small steps.
  • You can even try out different hand positions while performing the helicopter.

Beginner skills 

Make an Arch 

  • Stay close to the railing.
  • Stand in airplane position while keeping your head to arch back.
  • You can place both feet on the ground when performing an arch.
  • You can even extend one leg back as you perform an arch.
  • Keep the toe of your extended leg an inch or two above the ground as you arch back.


  • Stay close to the rails when performing the flamingo for the first time.
  • Make an arch by keeping your feet close together.
  • Place one hand on the rails and extend one leg above the ground.
  • Initially, you won’t be able to go much further than your ankle.
  • As you practice, your feet can come as high as your other knee. 
  • After some practice, you can steer yourself with only one leg on the ground like a flamingo.


  • Hold the railing with one hand.
  • Tip one toe down without touching the ground.
  • When moving, this movement helps to lower your speed.
  • Try to keep your knees squeezed shut when you tip your toe.

V Start

  • Stand in the airplane position.
  • Keep your heels close together while your toes are apart, making a V.

Smooth Gliding 

  • During the stroking movement, keep your free leg backward.
  • You can easily glide around in an arch position.
  • Try not to wave your arms as you move since it can cause you to lose balance.
  • Try gliding in circles along with some other people or students of your class.

Forward Scissors 

  • Stand in the airplane position.
  • Make a V-start with your skates.
  • Keep your knees bent while slightly pushing your toes apart.
  • Bring your toes together and straighten your knees.
  • Keep your back straight and your eyes forward when performing forward scissors.

Basic Beginning skating Skills 

March and Coast 

  • Start by taking four marching steps.
  • Bring your skates together.
  • Coast with the count of four.
  • March and coast all around the rink for practice.

Scooter Pushes 

  • Start doing forward scissors with a V-start position.
  • Bring your skates together and coast.
  • Put your weight on one skate, then push back with your other legs with your knees bent.
  • Bring both skates together and move with the same foot.
  • Repeat the movement three times.
  • Always keep your skating knee bent as you push with the other.
  • Shift your weight to the other knee to start pushing with it.
  • Repeat the movement three times again till you move in a pattern.

Steering in circles

  • Stand in an airplane position on the rink where the two circles come together.
  • Start with a V – start.
  • Position your arms like you do when holding the handles of a bike.
  • Keep your shoulder and hips perpendicular as you move.

Kangaroo Hop 

  • Start by standing in the airplane position.
  • Bring both the skates close to each other.
  • Keep knees slightly bent.
  • Keep your hands bent outwards as you move with all eight wheels.
  • Remember to keep your head up and shoulders straight.

Surfer position 

  • Start by gripping the railing with your right hand.
  • Place your right foot on the front of the left with all wheels touching the ground.
  • Do some scissor positions while you are at it.
  • Coast on both skates while keeping your right hand in the front and left hand behind.
  • Slide your right skate forward slightly till it reaches the front of the left skate.
  • Keep your back straight and your eyes forward as you repeat the movements.

Intermediate Level Skills 

How to make backward scissors 

  • Start with the airplane position.
  • Place your skates in a backward V – start position.
  • Keep your toes together and heels slightly apart.
  • Push back your heels with your knees bent.
  • Bring them back together and straighten yourself.
  • Keep repeating till you master the skill.
  • Always keep your back straight and your eyes looking ahead.

How to stop backward 

  • Get close to the railing.
  • Keep your back straight as you hold the railing with both your hands.
  • Bend both knees and dip your toes onto the toe stops.
  • Put your weight back on your heels because standing on your toe stops for long can make you lose balance.
  • Repeat the movement till you learn it properly.

Inline Braking

  • Inline braking is just the same as standard braking.
  • The only difference is that instead of toe stops, heel brakes get used.
  • Lift your toe and put pressure on your heel.
  • Repeat the movement till you get a good grip on it.


  • Start practicing close to the railing.
  • Hold the railing with your left hand.
  • Stand straight with your left skate.
  • Bring your arm, leg, hip, and shoulder forward as you bring your right skate forward to reach the toe.
  • Always lead your movement with your toe, since moving on your heels can make you lose balance.
  • Keep your one arm ahead while the other horizontal, like making an L.


  • After the scooter pushes, you won’t find stroking much tricky.
  • Start with a V – start.
  • Bring your skates together and coast for a second.
  • Pivot with one skate while pushing back using the other.
  • Keep your knee bent as you roll.
  • Remember not to bend your waist.
  • Bring both skates together.
  • Shift your weight onto the skate that you pushed.
  • Repeat the same process but use the other foot.

Advanced Skills

Shoot the Duck

  • Sit on a step with half your seat hanging over the edge with one leg on the step.
  • Keep the other leg tucked underneath you.
  • Put your hands underneath your calf and keep your chin on the extended leg.
  • Once you are comfortable, then shoot the duck means start to move.
  • If you don’t have a step to sit on, you can begin in a cannonball position.
  • When you gain balance, extend one leg forward till it’s straight in front of you.
  • Wrap your arm around the other knee on which you are skating.
  • Put both hands on the calf of the extended leg for extra support.

Spread like an Eagle 

  • Put both hands on the railing and face it.
  • Place your heels together but not in a straight line.
  • Keep your head up and arms on the side.
  • Turn so that your left skate is next to the railing in an airplane position.
  • In a surfer position, reach out with right hand forward and left hand backward.
  • Turn left, keeping the heels of the left skate lifted. 
  • The left skate will move and rotate automatically like an eagle.
  • Place the skate wheels back on the ground.
  • Remember, it’s difficult to maintain this position for more than a few seconds.


  • Place one skate next to a step or a wall.
  • Place the wheels of the other skate on the inline make a T with the toe pointing in the direction of movement.
  • Keep your back straight, head up, and arms stretched out.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent 
  • Straighten the leg on the back while pushing the wheels on the floor.
  • Keep the pushing skate behind the rolling skate till you are ready to repeat the movement.

Backward Forward Turn 

  • Keep your right hand on the railing while you keep your left hand in the other direction making an L.
  • Look at the back of your left hand as you pick the skate.
  • Then turn the direction of the toe toward the leg.
  • Put your left skate onto the floor while pushing with the right skate. 
  • Repeat the same movement with the right leg.

What is Artistic roller skating?

Artistic roller skating differs from regular speed skating. It is just the same as ice figure skating. You need to take up artistic roller skating lessons to move like a pro and participate in competitions. Artistic skating is only suitable for those individuals who have mastered the basic skating set. 

What are Artistic roller skating skills?

There are many moves that you can learn to compete while doing artistic roller skating. But the next moves are the most iconic moves of artistic roller skating.


Salchow gets performed along with other skating moves in a skating routine. To perform a Salchow, you need to start by skating backward with your left foot and arm in front. At the same time, the right arm is straight on your side. Same as making a 90-degree angle. The right leg should be behind the left with knees slightly bent. 

It may look as if you are curtseying. 

Keep your left foot in one place while making a sweeping motion with your left foot drawing knees in front. You can even bend your arms towards your chest to add more power to the spin. As you start to spin, you can now jump using your toe stops to land onto the right skate. Keep your arms forward and left foot forward to finish the move flawlessly.

Waltz Jump

The Waltz Jump is yet another interesting artistic skating move you can add to your routine. It starts with the left foot and right arm pointing outwards. At the same time, your right arm makes a 90-degree angle. Form an L shape by keeping your right leg behind you. Bend your right knee and skate forward. 

Pull your leg and arm forward in a spin that lands on the right skate. Meanwhile, keep your right knee bent as the left leg gets extended out in the front. You need to use your core muscles to stop yourself from spinning. Bring back your left leg, mimicking the motion of a swan.

How to improve roller skating skills?

Once you have adequate knowledge of basic roller skating skills after taking Roller skating lessons for beginners. The next thing you need to do is to practice and practice more. Remember, the more you practice, the better you will get at the sport. Also, you can make a lot of friends on the rink by taking part in different skating competitions.  

Final Thoughts 

Remember that the Roller skating curriculum for every skater is pretty much the same. But, the progress of each skater depends on the personal skill level. Some skaters may progress to advanced skill levels in no time. In comparison, some skaters may take some time to get accustomed and learn their way on skates. 

In my article, you will find all the information about the essential roller skating skills. Having a fair knowledge about the different skating moves and learning skating skills helps build confidence in a skater. You will have more fun skating if you know how to skate correctly. Though, falling is inevitable in skating. But with some practice and skill, you can learn how to move with grace.