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Roller Blade Slalom Training

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
For the past 2 months I have been training slalom using roller blades, full body armor, bike helmet, slalom poles with rubber tips and small plastic cones in parking lots and streets that have a slope. The body mechanics are very similar to running slalom gates on snow.

1) Who else is doing this out there that can share their experience with this dryland training practice?

2) What WEB sources do you know for this training?

3) What sources do you know of for break away gates or flexible stanchions as alternatives to soccer cones?

Thanks in advance for your comments!

Best regards,

post #2 of 26
Reliable Racing has a couple different street gates available. They aren't cheap, but they will at least give you an idea of what's available. World Cup Supply is another outlet that may have what you're looking for.

Be careful of developing skating-specific movements that may hurt your skiing. I found that I weighted differently, used stepping movements more often, and developed more of an a-frame. All of these can be dealt with, but make sure you're aware they can become problems. If you address a couple issues, the positives of skating far outweigh the negatives.

I'm doing more weight training and running/biking this summer to get/stay in shape for next season. I drive to the local bunny hill a couple times a week and run up and down a couple times, more for nostalgia than actual fitness- although it does provide a pretty good workout for me and the dogs. As it's turned out, I haven't skated too much this year because I'm usually too tired from working out.

I head to a race camp at Whistler in a couple weeks, and I'll probably pick up a few ideas there for where I should go with my fitness routine. This year I'm not so concerned with line and gate technique as I am with skiing cleanly. The rest will come later for me, I hope.
post #3 of 26
In the East you can get the break-away poles from Reliable Racing out of Glens Falls, New YOrk. I Don't have an address or phone, but I bet they have a great web site. Good luck.

I train similarly, but on roads, so no cones or slalom Poles allowed. Have fun.
post #4 of 26
A bunch of us in midwest have been using rblades for slalom for 10 years or so. We have used cones, half tennis balls, bean-bags, and even rocks. But my favorates are hoola-hoops and colored sidewalk chalk to draw guide arcs on pavement. I like the hoops and chalk arcs because they encourage you to be precise with your line and make round linked turns with out traversing in-between.

Beginning skaters tend to A-frame in too wide a stance, bracing from big toe to big toe which doesn't transfer too effectivly to high end skiing. They will also tend to show excessive shuffle or inside foot lead.

I've found rblades to be great cross-training, especially if you initiate each turn by tipping the old outside foot over to its little toe side, and keep it tipping in that direction to control turn shape. Graduating from A-frame to matched big/little toe wheel angles is the big break-thru for effective skiing cross-training.
If you focus on keeping stance narrow enough to match wheel angles of both feet, turning is very much like skiing. You don't need much pitch, just enough to maintain a constant momentum. For slalom keep upper body facing the falline with more turning of feet. Square body more to direction of travel for GS.

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
the attached link is to the Sugar Bowl Ski Team WEB site and has a PDF on roller blade training for GS and SL training. Anyone know of any other similar WEB sites?

post #6 of 26
Go grab a lesson with an IISA instructor there should be one somewhere near you. get them to teach you GOOD technical skating turns.

Arc - inside leg leads turns in rollerblading (unlike skiing - hence I get 'tangled up' my first few turns each winter until I remember i am not on skates) so I find using 'ski turns' useless - I need to concentrate on doing 'skate turns' when I start skating again - the movement patterns are the same - but opposite in that you predominate on the inside skate for each turn & lead with that skate. The 'A-frame' comes from trying to do turns in a parallel ski stance - the progression in skating is to do A-frame turns (liek a wedge or snow plow) then to use the basic stance position you use to brake to start learning to parallel turn - keeping rear knee tucked in behind lead knee forces less lateral spread that aids parallel turning. (Or at least that is how I remember being taught by my instructor)
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Good comments Archmeister and Alaska Mike....I not sure I know how to rollerblade in the true sense. This seems to be a bonus because my 40+ years of skiing got me going immediately in cone slalom. Maybe this prevented me from the stepping motion and A-framing you mentioned. I have found that using modern ski technique with proper stance, angulation, control of CM and inside leg extension/counter rotation (see FastMan's epic techinical analysis at this at;f=4;t=001825) seem to create a truely "ski like" turn response....getting sloppy even creates less positve turn arcs just like skiing.


[ June 21, 2003, 05:43 PM: Message edited by: dsgould ]
post #8 of 26
That's the only site I've seen with ski racing-specific rollerblade training. Good find. Harald Harb recommends rollerblades (as do several other prominent ski coaches), and his PMTS site might have more information. Since he helped with the creation of the page you listed, his information may be along the same lines.

At any rate, thanks for bringing the site to my attention. Always looking for more references.
post #9 of 26
From memory of the Harb site the rollerblade progressions didn't match the IISA stuff - try a skate book such as Get Rolling (i think skier-J can vouch for the clarity in the text re the braking section)....

Or do we only think teaching with good progressions & technique applies when the letters PSIA come attached????
post #10 of 26
That's actually kinda funny, since Harald is one of the biggest (and loudest) critics of PSIA there is. He has his own system and organization, PMTS, which certifies its own instructors.

I do see a problem with seeking skating-specific resources without noting the differences between skating and skiing. Once you are aware of the differences, you can skew the information to best suit your needs. The approach changes if you're skating to improve your skiing, skiing to improve your skating, or doing both as independent activities.

For instance, a skating coach may instruct you to tuck a knee behind the other in turns. This puts one skate more or less behind the other, resulting in a longer and more stable platform. However, in skiing this would result in a serious a-frame, and would be counter-productive. For some of us, it's better to "skate like a skier" than "ski like a skater".

There are lots of differences, but once you define your goals you should be able to get a lot of of both sports. A good coach in either sport can help you achieve those goals.
post #11 of 26
The frame of referance in the theme of this, and the other, rollerblading threads, is about using them to help improve one's skiing. Not to learn to use them in such a way that is irrelavent, or may even be counter-productive, to the stated goal of skiing better.

I agree that the A-frame pathway to skating would not be a preferred, much less necessary, to learning to use skating as an effective cross-training method for improving one's skiing. Ski type turns on skates can be done purely parallel, and with a narrow enough stance to match lower leg (wheel) angles, using the very same movements (and order of movement). What's more, doing them is a lot of fun!

Getting a lesson from a skate instructor may be a good suggestion for learning about skating, with no consideration of skiing. But if you want to use skating to improve your skiing, get a lesson from a ski instructor experienced in using skating as a ski improvement training tool.

[ June 22, 2003, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #12 of 26
The way I avoid the tendency of guiding with my inside skate and too many skating movements is to slalom down a paved slope in ONLY ONE FOOT at a time .
If you can skate down one block turning to the right and the left in one foot you will improve your ski related muscles and your balance in an amazing way!

I always do it the day before going to the hill. In the snow I feel like I had skied the day before .

It's much easier than it sounds ( much easier than turning in one foot on skis ) start by doing only a turn balancing in one foot and the next balancing in the other , then try to turn to both sides in the same foot...but be sure to use knee and wrist shields , just in case.
post #13 of 26
Any instructors in NYC area meeting Arcmeister's criteria? I.e.,
... if you want to use skating to improve your skiing, get a lesson from a ski instructor experienced in using skating as a ski improvement training tool.
I know at least one interested student (yours truly) who'd be interested in ski-specific skate instruction over the summer, in the city, Westchester or Fairfield.
post #14 of 26
I know TOg, who is a SKI instructor who posts on this forum is pretty into skating, and lives in NYC. Don't know if he actually teaches skating.
post #15 of 26
BTW are there any hockey players out there? Check out this conference in Michigan:
The Twist Conditioning guys from Vancouver are awesome!
post #16 of 26
Originally posted by Alaska Mike:
There are lots of differences, but once you define your goals you should be able to get a lot of of both sports. A good coach in either sport can help you achieve those goals.
Umm actually I have 2 IISA skate instructors(although I have only used 1 in physical terms - the other is an APSI level 3 ski instructor that is a mate of one of my 3 ski instructors I have talked to when I needed & who sent me info)

As ALL of my instructors (skate & ski) are GOOD instructors (I don't keep any I don't think are TOPS - I'm fussy!) they always keep my goals & needs in mind for my training & teaching.

In my case that meant teaching me SKI based skating for 2 summers - a more able bodied but persistent learner would probably learn faster.

I didn't really find that learning to skate in a more SKATE BASED manner hindered my skiing - in fact it was that summer that I made the most progress in my SKIING ..... it was after that summer of skating that my instructors & many other instructors commented on the HUGE improvement in my skiing (which just coincidentally matched the HUGE improvement in my skating that had occurred). I started that winter ski season AHEAD of where I had finished the previous one (bar the needing to get my body to 'remember' how to ski turn again - which is as far as we know very ME SPECIFIC - that takes a couple of runs down the beginners hill)

Then again - what would I know - I'm just the gumby that has to learn it all the hard way.
post #17 of 26
Tog, if you're out there and interested in giving some "ski" lessons (on blades) over the summer, PM me ...

Lisamarie, thanks again. And you're right about powerskating - my 9 y/o daughter is doing a week's clinic over the summer to gear up for next season. It seems great for skiing as well as hockey; she had two seasons of hockey before we tried skiing, with weekly powerskating clinics, and her first day on skis was heaven.
post #18 of 26
Rollerblades are a great tool for not only learning modern ski technique but also maintaining and improving it.
I have been using rollerblades for this purpose with ski racers up to National Team levels for almost 15 years now.
Currently I am conducting some rollerbade training with the group of racers in Washington DC area (out of all ski places).
The racers are going for the training camp in Chile in a few days, so I will have some time. If any of you are the area drop me a PM and we can hook up and do it together. I also have an instructional video with lots of drills that I did a few years ago. I can send it out for people to copy for free, as long as they return me the original (I only have a few left).
Keep on carving the asphalt,
post #19 of 26
Ice skating is better ski training than rollerblading. Theres edge control stuff you can do on ice that you can't do on Asphalt. So you guys should try get some ice skating in also.
post #20 of 26
Originally posted by NordtheBarbarian:
Ice skating is better ski training than rollerblading. Theres edge control stuff you can do on ice that you can't do on Asphalt. So you guys should try get some ice skating in also.
I think you are right , the problem is to find an ice rink with a slope
post #21 of 26
I think you are right , the problem is to find an ice rink with a slope
That would be Whiteface, from most reports ....
post #22 of 26
Originally posted by ts01:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> I think you are right , the problem is to find an ice rink with a slope
That would be Whiteface, from most reports ....</font>[/quote]I've skied in Mount Snow North Face in man made snow , is Whiteface even worst ? :
post #23 of 26

Their are multiple forms of dryland training that help hone and tone the body for downhill, cross country, and telemark skiing. I was a competitive ski racer, and inline skating up and over mountains in Colorado as well as along the bike paths, and using my Inline Slalom Gates all provided adequate training. Others who choose to ice skate have found benefits there as well.


Downplaying, or even disputing, the ability of any experienced, well trained inline skater to hold an edge on pavement while skating downhill at speeds of 30mph isn't necessary. We all have our own preferences, and sharing our skills is more effective than arguing over which method is best. 


I own a double set (red and white) of Inline Slalom Flex Gates, for downhill slalom training/racing. I purchased them in 1994, and am interested in selling them. I live near Aspen, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. There are 20 gates total (split between the two colors), and include the bases, epoxy, epoxy gun, and release "donut". I've included a photo of me using them back in the day. 


I also have videos from ISRA (Inline Slalom Racing Association), which show a team up near Seattle using the gates for training and slalom races.




The women's Pro Ski Tour used them, as well as members of the Copper Mountain Ski team, all back in 1995. 

post #24 of 26

Maryinline, thanks for posting this. I'm sad the sport of downhill slalom inline racing died out before I ever had the opportunity to join in. Modern slalom on inlines is a completely different beast. Looks like it must have been fun times!

post #25 of 26

post #26 of 26

Back in the mid 90's our club race team at Colorado State practiced this way in fall training. 


I only get on my blades a couple time a year anymore, but I'm always sure to take a few whacks at these when I'm out.  No padding needed and they bounce right back!


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