On the occasion of the launch of our new Samira Skates, we’ve asked Rym Senoussi a few tips about rollerskating.
What are your recommendations on how to get started with rollerskating and rollerblading? Is one easier to learn than the other?
The first recommendation is to want it for real! Whatever your source of motivation is. Whether in quads or inline, the first thing you learn is the safety position: the gaze installed, shins crushing roller tabs, feet in V to start the weight transfer and make your first steps which will gradually turn into skating pushes. Then comes the ground reception, more commonly called "the fall", and getting back up. You have to play it down and accept it. This way it will be less painful !
If it’s the first time, the difference between the two rollers types will not be important. The transition from inline skating to quad skating is maybe a bit more tricky : footing is different and posture must be reinforced forwards. The quad requires more efforts for propulsion and more body control by its design but it can also be more restful on a static position and brings a greater feeling of freedom in movement. It is a personal feeling that will be different according to the rollerskate experience and feelings of each person.
How can you progress your rollerskating/rollerblading? Are there any online tutorials/in-person classes you'd recommend?
Practice, regularity, patience and determination… No matter the goals you want to reach, versality and complementarity of the different skating disciplines are for me a key to progress : riding on a skate rink or in an urban environment as a way of life, freestyle and aggressive skating, rollerdance (and all its styles), figure skating… all skating forms are good for each other.
Skating schools are very good for acquiring solids foundations and progressing while being guided. There is a lot of online tutorials for more specific parts like rollerdance and slalom. It requires a good sense of observation and an ability to analyze movement and its own posture.
Any recommendations for how to get involved with rollerskating communities?
The different skating communities are open. These are good places of exchange and practice.
Don’t be afraid to go to meetings, sessions or events, even alone. Be curious, take an interest in everyone's practice and be ready to share around this discipline, always in joy, pleasure and kindness.
What does rollerskating require in terms of fitness? What muscles are you using and how can you learn balance and coordination? What are some basic moves to master in order to get started?
As a balance sport with the specificity of whole body engaged forward, all deep muscles are solicited and worked. Every part of your body is permanently sheathed, each member, each muscle contributes to the posture maintenance or to the realization of figures.
The movement of the lower body is only possible if it’s helped by the rest: gaze, bust, pelvis, arms. This sport uses a lot the adductors and requires endurance, cardio and good physical condition. The advantage, by doing things regularly and gradually, is that rollerblading allows you to create a good physical condition by constantly maintaining your balance.
There are several types of exercises to learn and develop balance and coordination :
The first is to deal with weight transfer from one foot to the other. It can be balance on one foot by adopting different postures with the free leg as in yoga, or by taking sideways, forward or backward steps. It’s important to pay attention to the natural upper body position which helps with balance, and then, to strengthen it in a sheathed and controlled movement.
Before starting it is important to know and apply the right positions, the famous ones - tongues / toe clips / and heel release - above all do not push the skates with your heels - which leads to the correct flexion... Then you can continue with "lemons" and crosses, turns, stops, backward skating, transitions...
How can we train these muscles and improve balance/coordination while off skates?
Proprioception exercises and stretching are good ways to work on muscles and improve balance and coordination. All the one-foot balances series can be done without rollerskates: at home, in the bus or subway, on a skateboard, on a cushion or a specific board ; tiptoe, squats, jumping and tiptoe landing ; increasing duration and frequency… possibilities are endless. Mental visualization of the movements also allows a better memorization and integration into the body, which will help coordination during practice.
Is rollerskating a good complement to other types of exercise?
Rollerskating is very complementary to all other sliding sports like surfing, skateboarding or longboarding. It is also more and more associated with dancing and Pilates.
For which practice do you recommend Samira Skates?
If you’re starting to become more confident on your skates, it’s now time to try some new things. You have now more flexibility as your supports are stronger and more stable. Samira Skates are perfect for this new step: the back of the skate is softer and allows more movements. You’re still safe and your feet maintained but with more freedom. Wheels are also bigger and larger which makes it easier comparing to small wheels and each push will bring you further. They’re also versatile and can be used for different practices: freestyle, rollerdance,…. It is a good compromise for any practice or environment!