For safe skating, learn at a rink or on a smooth, litter-free surface. Wear sturdy, nonbinding old clothes and heavy gloves-and elbow and knee pads on pavement. Hold onto a fence or a friend until you gain your balance.
You skate by alternately pushing off with one skate and gliding on the other. Start with the skates in the Tposition: point one skate forward; put the other at a right angle behind it. Push off by gently pressing against the inside wheels of the back skate. Then shift your weight to the front skate and lift your back leg so that you are balanced over the skate’s center. As your momentum slows, lower your back leg. Set the skate down pointing forward, and shift your weight to it. Then push off with the other skate.
For a smooth glide, hold yourself comfortably erect. Don’t bend from the waist or look down at your skates. Turn in large arcs by leaning slightly in the direction you want to go.
To stop, bring your raised back skate to the T position; then gradually set it down so that the wheels’ edges slow you. Avoid dragging a toe stop: this soon wears out the stops and may unbalance you on a rough surface.