When Canadians think of skating, the first thing that often comes to mind is ice. During the winter you will find ice rinks in nearly every community, filled with dozens of people gliding around the ice or even an impromptu game of hockey. Head to some parks and you’ll even find long, winding ice trails where you can skate through a forest or urban park. With our long winters, ice skating is undoubtedly one of the best ways to make the most of the season and engage with the outdoors.
But why limit yourself to the ice? Canada does has more than a few solid spring, summer and fall months that we need to take full advantage of before the cold hits. If you are an ice skating enthusiast, why not add roller skating to your list of physical activities?
For many of us, roller skating may evoke 1950s videos of waitresses delivering fast food to cars or 1970s roller rinks with flashing disco lights. Indeed, roller skating has an amazing history in our popular culture. While roller blading or inline skates became the more popular version of skating in more recent times - who can forget the Gatorade guzzling skater or X-games athlete - the quad skate has returned in a big way in both areas of fashion and fitness.
Roller skating is quickly becoming one of Canada’s most trendy and popular activities. No longer limited to roller rinks and bike paths, roller skating has made a powerful impression on popular culture, especially after the long pandemic lockdowns where finding new outdoor activities became essential to supporting our mental and physical well-being. Take a look at Tiktok or Instagram and you will easily find loads of videos of roller skaters elegantly moving through the streets of Toronto or roller dancing along a boardwalk in Los Angeles. Long-time enthusiasts of roller skating will be all too familiar with roller derbies, where skaters assemble in teams to play an exciting contact sport.
Roller skating goes well beyond the realm of physical activities: it is fashionable and and fun, with influencers styling their retro skates with adorable outfits and skating to popular music. You can buy roller skates festooned with retro details, rainbows, or an array of colours. Are you ready to get in or back into roller skating? This article will explore why you should roller skate and the best ways to get started with skating in Canada.
Interested in starting roller skating and not sure where to start? Find out everything you need to know about rollerskating in Canada.
How Roller Skating Supports our Health and Well-Being
Anyone still contemplating roller skating should think about the ways it can benefit our physical and mental health. We are likely all too familiar with the impact of being stuck behind a computer all day or working long, seemingly endless days. It’s easy to pull out your smartphone and scroll endlessly through social media feeds or news articles. And sometimes the endless screen time can leave us feeling insecure, or even fearful about what is happening in the world around us.
Roller skating is a surefire way to break toxic screen time habits, enjoy the outdoors, and challenge our bodies. When you skate, you will likely have to put your phone away - its not easy to stay balanced while standing on wheels - and break away from whatever digital distraction is on hand. 30 minutes away from a screen can do wonders, and you will soon find yourself fully immersed in the activity of skating.
Furthermore, skating is an amazing physical activity that requires the use of all of our core muscles to stay balanced and moving. Your legs will strengthen the more you skate, and as you get used to moving faster you may even squeeze in a good cardio workout.
Of course, don’t forget to wear a helmet and knee pads - hitting the pavement can hurt, and you will likely fall if it is your first time out!
How do I Get Started with Roller Skating?
If you’ve never roller skated before, or are getting back into it after a long hiatus, the first thing you should do is get into a pair of skates to see if it’s really for you. You may find that you prefer to engage in skating on an occasional basis, or you may discover that it’s something you want to do every day.
Start by heading to a roller skate club, rink, or facility that offers rentals. Once you get a pair on your feet and spend some time moving around, you will get a better sense of how interested you actually are in the sport. Remember that it’s easy to get seduced by the seemingly effortless skating skills we see showcased on social media; in reality it can take years of practice to get that good!
You should also make an effort to try both inline and quad skates, to see which ones you prefer. If you are looking to skate for long distances over potentially uneven pavement, you will probably prefer the stability and durability of an inline skate. If you are in it for the fashion and the fun, and see yourself skating more in a rink or while listening to some tunes on a smooth bike path or empty tennis court, you will probably love a cute pair of quad skates.
Rollerskating is the hottest new trend in Canada. Find out where to get the best skates.
Where do I Learn How to Roller Skate?
There are different ways to learn how to roller skate: learn independently, in a class, or with a private instructor. Let’s take a look at all three options.
Learn to Skate Independently
If you are on a strict budget, learning how to skate on your own is definitely one way you can learn how to skate. You can start by finding instructional videos on social media: YouTube, Instagram, and even TikTok might have some great tips for learning how to skate. You’ll want to learn how how move forward, turn around, gain speed, and stop safely. Watch different videos, and focus on the essentials. Schedule time into skate on a daily or weekly basis: aim to be out for at least 30-40 minutes, and as you become more confident on your feet the longer you’ll be out.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t feel like you are not moving as quickly as you’d like. An empty parking lot or cul-de-sac are good places to master the basics, and as you improve you can start going around the block or down cycling paths. With time, you’ll soon be able to skate for kilometres at a time!
Take a Roller Skating Class
For an accelerated start, a roller skating class can be a great option. Roller skating classes can be tough to find, unfortunately, but if you look up roller skate clubs or shops you may find a group class where you can master the basics with the direct instruction of a teacher. The advantage of a teacher is that you will have someone to give you regular, personalized feedback about your form and how you can improve.
Being in a group skating class is also great because you can meet new people and possible make friends you will have for life. Skating is a great way to socialize, so perhaps when everyone gets better you can organize a meet up and continue your skating journey together.
Wondering what roller skating lessons are like? You might be surprised how fun skating lessons can be!
Hire a Private Instructor
Hiring a private roller skating instructor is an excellent option if you don’t have the time or option to find a group class. A private instructor can meet you at a safe, place - a rink, park, or perhaps on your street - and show you the basics. If you have a goal of skating by a certain date, a private teacher can tailor lessons for your purpose and establish a schedule for learning.
The best way to find a private roller skating tutor is to go to Superprof Canada. Superprof is dedicated to connecting students and learners in a broad range of areas, from cooking and mathematics to fitness. You’ll find roller skating teachers near you, and will be able to access teacher bios and rates. You can message teachers directly on the site to find out their availability and find out if they are right for you. Payment is easy through the site - you can enter your credit card or use a PayPal account to ensure that your transactions are safe and documented.
Not sure how to get roller skating practice in? Find out how indoor roller skating compares with the outdoors.
Are There Learn to Skate Classes Near Me?
If you live in a bigger Canadian city, chances are much higher that you will find a roller skating class near you. Those that live in smaller towns may have to travel to a regional hub to find group lessons.
Another option you can take if you prefer a group class is to gather others who want to learn how to skate and share a private instructor together. While this takes a bit of work to organize, you will create a memorable experience for your friends and have a great time together. You can work with your teacher to make a solution that works, whether it is organizing a single day workshop or a lesson series. You may even want to meet with your group without the teacher to get some much needed practice!
Find your private roller skating instructor on Superprof today!
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