A Skate Lesson Essay, Research Paper
A Skate Lesson
Have you ever sat down in the park during the summer? Chances are you will see little children, teenagers and adults in-line skating. If you have no experience in-line skating, you may think to your self “I wish I could do that!” Well, don’t just wish, do! After reading Alfie’s “A Skate Lesson” anybody may enjoy in-line skating.
Safety is the most important consideration when learning how to skate. Safe skating is enjoyable skating. Beginning skaters should purchase proper padding, as the risk of injury is quite high. Investing in quality padding will ensure that your first experience will focus on skating, not pain. Proper padding equipment includes: helmet, wrist guards, kneepads, and elbow pads. Quality padding cost about 15-30 dollars per pad, so budget 60-120 dollars for the whole package. It is very important that you slip on your padding before you strap on the skates. Kneepads and elbow pads have elastic bands that hug closely against your body. Since these pads need to be slipped on, they can’t be put on after your skates.
Now it is time to choose a pair of skates. Even though you are a beginner, it is important to purchase a quality pair because poor quality skates do not offer a great deal of comfort and flexibility. I recommend skates by Rollerblade or Roces. Rollerblade has good skates for beginners because the boot has a flexible ankle. Also, it is equipped with a special easy to use braking system called the ATB brake. The ATB brake works when you are in motion and want to stop. To stop, simply straighten your knee and leg to become perpendicular to the ground and the brake will come in contact with the ground.
To put on the skate: make sure that the tongue is inside the boot, wear long socks plus don’t forget to put the pads on first.
Learning how to skate can be a wonderful experience if it is done with a friend. The benefit of skating with friends will make the experience more interesting and exciting. If you or your friend were to fall you know that there will always be someone there to laugh at you. They will always be helpful and shout out jokes and encouragement when needed. The mere presence of a friend will make learning a lot more fun then if you were by your self. Also, in the event of emergencies, it is good to have someone with you for safety sakes.
Now that all of your skates and all of your pads have been acquired, it is time to learn how to skate. An easy way to learn to skate is to begin on a flat surface. A flat surface will help you to learn how to maintain your balance and prevent you from rolling backwards. Since it is almost inevitable that you will fall, make sure you have something sturdy to grab on to. When you stand up you might feel unbalanced. Holding on to a wall or another person will help you improve your chances of returning to the upright position safely.
The best way to get started is to angle your feet like a pigeon. This will prepare you to go forward. Pointing your toes away from each other will aid in maintaining your balance and help prevent you from falling over. Moving forward is best accomplished by choosing your natural lead foot, let’s say your left foot. Push off with your left foot and use your right to lead towards the direction you want to go. When you begin to slow down, push off with your right foot and lead with your left, this will bring your body to the left. Since this motion is done with an alternating pattern, it will keep going in a forward direction and allow you to experience the basic motion of in-line skating.
Once the forward motion has been mastered, turning is next. A good method for learning how to turn is the side step. Begin by moving forward using the above steps to guide you. As you want to make a turn, lets say left turn, lead with your left foot and push off with you right-except this time don’t fully extend the leg to get the full motion. Just take the little steps good enough to get you around the corner.
Once these basic steps have been mastered, here are a few advanced steps for challenging your self.
An improvement to our basic forward motion is the speed crouch. The speed crouch is an extension to the forward motion of in-line skating. To do the speed crouch, you must begin with the forward motion. When starting with your left foot, push off with your left and lead with right extending you left foot all the way out providing the most momentum. During this motion, bend your body forward to decrease wind resistance, while swinging your left hand all almost parallel to your chest with your right hand behind your back. Alternating this motion will allow you to make use of all of your momentum and propel up to maximum speed.
The crossover move is an exhilarating version of the side step. The cross over can be accomplished if you have proper balance and a tolerance to falls. Falling during the crossover is very common, minimized only by practice and determination. To do the cross over you need to pick up some speed. Once you have gathered enough speed, and desire to turn left, place your right foot in front of your left foot. This will allow you to pick up your left foot and bring in front of your right foot causing your body to lean into the turn. Doing the crossover will allow you to turn with more speed and efficiency then turning with the side step.
Practicing these steps will enable you to enjoy skating alone and with others. Now that you are equipped with this desirable skill, you can practice it all the time and even venture into different branches of the sport such as off-road skating, aggressive skating and speed skating, perhaps the topic of my next essay.