Want to learn how to stop on quad skates? Beginners mostly think the most important skill is how to go fast on skates and how to do tricks and jumps. As a result, they end up banging into the walls to stop or tripping over. However, the seasoned skaters will tell you that learning to stop and learning to fall is equally important too. Why? Because it is about your safety and wellbeing.
Going fast is such an adventure but falling and being unable to stop is very dangerous. It can cause serious injuries including sprains, fractures, and bruises. There are different methods of stopping in roller skates. Some people stick to the traditional stopping methods while others like to be experimental with their techniques.
In this article, we are going to explore different methods of stopping on quad skates.
1. Toe Stop
The majority of roller skates come with toe stops on the front. Toe stop is a rubber piece fixed underneath the front of roller skates. The basic concept of toe stop is to create friction with the ground by dragging the toe stop with it. This resistance slows the forward action and eventually, you stop.
Though toe stop is the most common stopping method, it can be dangerous if not practiced enough. If you have not mastered the skill, your foot can twist and result in an ankle sprain or even fractures.
- Bend your knees. You can extend your arms in front of you to balance yourself.
- Transfer your weight to one side.
- Now, push your toe stop downwards to create the drag and stop.
You can use toe stops in one skate or on both. Let us see how both techniques work.
1. With one toe stop
In this technique, you turn around and start rolling backward. The supporting foot maintains its original position. While the second foot is placed backward and makes friction with the ground.
2. With two toe stops
If you are using two toe stops, you still turn our and roll backward. Now, drag both your toe stops with the ground to break the motion.
As the name of this stopping technique suggests, you place your feet in T shape to execute this method. T-stops work well when you have enough time to stop. Therefore, this is not a popular choice when stopping immediately or in an emergency. Here is the detail about how T stop works.
- Bend your knees a little to maintain your balance. This is about bending a little and not too much like squatting.
- Shift your weight to your dominant foot after forwarding this foot forward.
- Now, your non-dominant foot is at the back and is free to change positions.
- Create a T shape by turning your back foot perpendicular to your front foot.
- Keep your core engaged to avoid injuries and all four wheels on the ground while breaking the motion. Pressure will be applied to the ground with your two outermost wheels.
- The horizontal skate is placed approximately 4cm behind the vertical skate. Your horizontal skate is more often your dominant leg. Apply the pressure to the ground with the rear wheels.
T-stops are a great way to slow down briefly while using the other techniques to stop completely. It works well on harder surfaces and smoother floors. T stops can be used to brake at any speed and it is a safe stopping method with high controllability. However, using T stops for stopping frequently can cause significant wear and tear to the wheels. We also recommend switching feet periodically so that both the shoes get the same wearing down.
3. Taking a Knee
This stopping technique is used mostly by beginners. You can use this stopping technique when you are wearing your knee pads. The basic principle is to lower your knee down to drag against the ground. It takes a lower level of skill, therefore, is perfect for novices. Follow these steps to stop using the knee stop.
- Slowly turn your knee and lower it to the ground.
- Bring your body around your knee to release the momentum of the body.
- If you need to bring your hands to the ground for support, make sure you have curled your fingers into a fist to avoid injury.
- Use your core to lift yourself on your feet again. Using your hands is a bad habit.
4. Plow Stop
Plow stop is the most popular stopping technique in roller derby. It is the same stopping technique used in skiing. Follow these steps to create the plow stop.
- Bend your knees slightly to make it easy to maintain your balance. You will use a quarter to half a squat but not more than that.
- Gradually spread your legs and keep your toes pointed inwards. A plow brake is executed while working both your knees independently of each other.
- Push down with your weight to slow down your motion and make a stop. Your support leg will carry around 80% of your weight. While the other leg will execute the stop.
- Your plowing leg will make a heart shape on the ground. Your feet start in a parallel position but then one foot will move forward but in a slightly outward direction.
- Put your pressure on your edges and slowly shift it on the outer edges.
- You can spread your arms forward to create balance when you are not skilled enough.
This is an advanced and tricky stopping technique therefore we always recommend using it with full practice and skill.
5. Tight Turns Succession
This is the same as parallel turns in skiing. The concept here is to break the momentum by taking sharp turns and eventually coming to a halt. This is a useful technique while going downhill. It creates tension in your ankles. Drop your body weight inside on each turn. It takes the direction from the direction of your front foot.
This is a fairly advanced technique to stop on roller skates. This is because it takes three to four sharp turns. You need to know how to balance on turns and be skilled enough to do it quickly to execute tight turns succession.
6. Turn Stop
Turn stops are a popular technique to stop when you need to stop at slower speeds. However, it can cause serious injuries if you attempt it at a fast speed. To stop using turn stops, you need to be skilled to take a complete turn effortlessly and smoothly.
You take a sharp turn, almost half a circle while tilting your body inside during the turn. The technique is to keep your right foot forward for the right turn and left foot forward for the left turn.
7. Power Slide
This is another advanced braking technique for roller skates. The skaters should be skilled enough to skate backward as it is a combination of hockey stop and going backward. It is very popular with roller derby players and dance skaters because it is an efficient way to quickly stop while skating at a higher speed.
To use a power slide to break the momentum, keep your front foot in the direction of motion while the other foot passes in 90 degrees direction. You skate forward while keeping your knees bent slightly. Take a sharp turn in a backward direction and get your back leg straight fully. In this position, your weight is on your bent front leg and the back foot is in a slide position. It is a very effective stopping technique for professional skaters. The position is like an extended or reversed T-stop. If you bring your feet together after a power slide, you see they are in a T-stop position.
Shuffle is also called a cress-slide or parallel stop. It is a trick and a stopping technique both. The basic concept is the same as grinding but on the ground or plain surface. This is meant for high speed as it can be very wearing for your skates if done at a slow speed regularly.
To use shuffle to stop at a high speed, skid with both feet parallel to each other. You take a curve with both feet. The weight should be placed inside and the body tilted inwards.
You will not be using all these stopping techniques together. Therefore, it is better to try your favorites and see what works the best with your skating style. People usually start with simple stopping techniques and then slowly graduate to more advanced ones. Once you know all the methods, you will gradually be able to memorize the most suited one. Then it becomes part of your habit and you do it with no extra effort.