T - StopSkaters who have good one-footed balance are ready to try the T-Stop. Be aware that relying on this as your only stopping method can use up perfectly good wheels in a hurry. A heel brake is cheaper to replace and is a much more effective tool when stopping really counts.
- Begin coasting in your best ready position at a moderate speed.
- To drag the right skate, transfer all of your weight to the left.
- Maintaining a solid forward-facing upper body position, lift and rotate the right skate a full 90 degrees, moving it into T position (the right skate is the top of the T) behind the left skate's heel.
- Carefully touch all wheels onto the pavement at the same time (touch the toe wheel first and you'll spin!).
- Tuck your pelvis forward over your left skate to better leverage the right skate's pressure without stressing the knee.
- Gradually increase the pressure on the dragging wheels by pulling the right skate closer to the left, closing the gap.
- Practice T-stops with either skate to save your wheels and maintain bilateral skills. Repeat at progressively faster approaches while attempting to shorten the distance required to stop. For best results, practice stopping on a line.
- As a less knee-stressing alternative, ease into the T-stop by starting the drag with the right skate angled to the side. Although this technique is less effective, you can always sweep the skate back to true perpendicular if a more abrupt stop is necessary. As an added benefit, the wheels roll a bit, and this reduces wear.
Liz demos the t-stop on video.
Backward Power SlideStart learning backward skills and you'll likely find yourself asking (once again) "How do I stop?" The Backward Power Slide is the answer. This move ends in a lunging position with the braking skate extended in the direction of travel, low on its inside wheel edges.
- Using your favorite backward skating method, relax into a moderate-paced coast. Look over your right shoulder and spot an object or mark on the pavement 15 feet ahead (er..., behind).
- Drop your chest over the left knee and begin to arc the right skate out to the side and then back, at the same time transferring pressure to its inside wheel edges.
- Begin to rise slightly from over the left leg so that you can increase the pressure on the braking leg's inside wheel edges. Reach maximum pressure just before the right skate crosses between you and the mark on the pavement. This friction is what causes you to stop.
- For better balance throughout the maneuver, keep your eyes focused behind, on your mark.
- Hips and shoulders begin facing away from the direction of travel, and finish rotated sideways 90 degrees.
- To keep the wheels from skipping on the pavement, skid your straight right leg at a low enough angle so that it doesn't catch and trip you up. Go in low and come out high.
- Try to find some slick concrete such as a painted basketball or volleyball court to practice this on at first.
Note: For detailed instruction and photos for learning the forward powerslide, see my article published in Skating.com, Mastering the Forward PowerSlide.
Initiated with a sharp turn, the spin stop (a.k.a. "circle stop") is a very cool way to terminate forward momentum at low to moderate speeds. Because most right-handers learn it best by turning left, that's the way I teach it:
- Coasting forward, look over your left shoulder and start an A-frame (wide-stance) turn to the left. In that half second when your weight has transferred to your right skate, lift the left skate's heel (only!) and shift it quickly into a heel-to-heel position, pivoting with one quarter of your weight still on the left toe wheel.
- Return the left heel to the pavement and quickly equalize your balance on both feet to complete the spin, knees out and heels in.
- For easier spins, commit to the rotation by looking over your left shoulder and swinging outstretched arms toward the left during the move.
Liz demos the spin stop on video.