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will rollerblading help out my skiing?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
does anyone here think that if i bought/borrowed/found/stole/made roller blades and just cruised around some side streets and hills that it would help at all for skiing?? im sure it would build muscle and what not but is it at all like skiing when your going down a hill? will i be wasting my time trying to learn how to rollerblade or would it come naturally since i have the whole balance thing down for skiing...any comments on this would be great!

post #2 of 14
If you use them to change how you ski, Yes they can help you get better. If you use them the same as you ski now, they will re-enforce whatever habits you now have.

I usually don't go out and just skate for milage, although there can definatly be an areobic fitness advantage to doing so. I like to find a quiet side street with smooth asphalt and a long consistant pitch (that my terminal velociity might be 20-25 mph on), and skate up hill, turn around and do ski turns downhill (I have rubber tips I put on my ski poles). I work on inproving the ssame things I work on in my skiing; balance, shaping carved turns, foot movements to release into e/c transitions, continous progressive tipping of both skates at equal edge angles, quite arms with pole swing from the wrist, ?whatever? My winter gang that I summer skate-ski with show the same strengths, and flaws, they have in their skiing. We have worked on stuff over the summer that has imediatly showed as positive change when we step out on snow the next winter.

The transfer and learning oportunity is definatly there, it's all in how you take advantage of it.
post #3 of 14
As a total skate newbie, I have to tell you, it's harder than it looks! I wouldn't want to go anywhere near a hill yet. I think it would be a while before you could use it for slalom training. I could just be a slow learner though....
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the advice arc...u make it sound so simple! i bet if i wanted to i could pick up the skating thing in a few weeks but i just dont have the money for anything new, i tend to spend it all in the winter and then earn in back in the summer (yeah im only 17) id also be afraid of the looks id get from my over-the-hill neighbors when they saw me skating down the hill with ski poles .... maybe if i lived in a not-so-rapidly expanding place id give it a shot...or maybe when i head off to college ill pick up skating since ill be able to do very little skiing!!
post #5 of 14
I do the parallel turns on skates without poles - so you can still ractice & not have the neighbourhood thinking you need to be carted away....

I'd get started & once you are confident to skate around the flat grab a lesson with an IISA instructor
post #6 of 14
I have been taking roller blading lessons this summer, also to improve my skiing. The instructor's first words to me (after "hi", and other preliminaries) were "Rollerblading is all about four basic skills: balance, rotary, edging and pressure". I knew then that these lessons would be very useful. My balance was proven to be excellent, I'm progressing nicely and this week "solo'd" for the first time on a local bike trail. Blading is a tremendous opportunity to explore the range of applications of these four basic movements in a different context which will definitely improve my skiing. In addition, I teach a lot of beginner skiers and I find it very helpful to put myself in the position of "beginner". It's amazing how much tension a little fear can produce(concrete is much harder than snow), and how it can impair the learning process. I am much more aware of where and how tension affect all movements and consciously working to release that tension in my own body is also a learning process.
post #7 of 14
An insightful observation, NE Skier, about the value of being the beginner. Like skiing, rollerblading can lead--rapidly--to a feeling of being out of control, even perhaps in harm's way. Most adults don't seem to like to relinquish control, so a beginner shoud be taught control in any new activity if the instructor wants them to enjoy, learn, and come back.

People, especially adults, want to be confident and comfortable whatever they're doing. In mobile activities, like skiing and rollerblading, confidence and comfort are based on control. In both activities, teaching control allows comfort, and comfort allows practice and experimentation, developing confidence. When confidence has been achieved, new skill or terrain challenges can be introduced.

Learn to stop, then learn to turn, then understand how to use turns to choose line and thus control speed without braking--these seem the elements of a progression for learning both skiing and rollerblading.
post #8 of 14
I have taken up roller blade training for ski training this summer. Depending on your desired goals roller blade training could be a supplement to your other off-season training or can be a source of extended and specific technical development for skiing and ski racing.

I have skied for 40+ years and will admit I know very little about roller blading. Normally I ride road bike, lift weights and run for off season training. Roller blade training on bike path areas, roads, parks, etc. would be the equivalent to these activities for strength, aerobic/endurance, balance and total body coordination. I would recommend the roller blade training highly for ski conditioning assuming your main focus is skiing. Just be aware that some things about roller blading are different (ie. no dynamic fore-aft movement on blades like in skiing, A-framing of the legs is not good for skiing and can be a bad habit if you let it develop in your roller blade technique, etc.). Like any cross training activity for skiing, the benefit will vary with the intensity, duration and frequency of the work outs.

My goals are specific to race training for slalom and GS. If you or anyone else out there is interested I have learned the following:


1. inexpensive blades are ok, preferably ones with a velco ankle/instep strap and plastic side wall for upper ankle lateral support, buckles or laces are ok

2. wheels hardness of less than 80A will wear out too quickly if you primarily train on pavement....I have replaced wheels when the inside wear is excessive

3. use hiking pole rubber tips on your slalom ski poles; available from hiking shops; or poor man's tip is an old tennis ball slit for the ski pole tip and duct tape the ball to the base of the ski pole

4. full body pads (wrist, knees, elbows, bike helmet) + hockey shorts....this last one is great. Pavement is not the same as snow! After 2 falls on day one just putzing around on the bike path I knew there was a better way...went to the local shop and bought some padded hockey shorts. The hockey shorts work wonders for saving the bod! That was 3 months ago and my skills have improved and I rarely if ever fall any more but I still use the pads as protection.

5. soccer cones work great for simple gates...these are the 8" tall orange cones that kids use for side line markers. You can space as needed and position for flush gates or hairpins or off-sets (I am experimenting with break away gate using a SPM hinge and standard 3/4" PVC irrigation pipe held in a weighted, off-set metal base...will let you know)


1. empty parking lots with smooth pavement and a slight pitch work great...I started on a bike path and w/o roller blade skills this can be scary with dogs, kids, bikes and pedestrian around...trust me that was at least one nasty fall on day one

2. dead end roads or streets that are not through routes work great...again smooth pavement is important....if you can find new pavement this is like groomed hard pack snow

3. a slight to moderate slope works just fine because your focus is on turns and technique....terrain that is too steep results in panic j-turns, to much speed and an inability to focus on ski specific motor skills...the best terrain is a moderate, constant pitch, smooth (re-occurring theme) pavement where you do not have to skate to maintain momentum and you are not doing panic or check turns to arrest your speed

4. if you are on roads (hopefully with infrequent cars), the width needs to be of adequate to continue beyond the SL or GS course and do a pull up turn to arrest your momentum or otherwise you need an extended run out or up hill section to check your speed...based on my bicycle "speed" sense we are traveling about 15 MPH at mid course or on the run out....the secret work out for kids is the up hill skate back to the start gate...if you told them you were doing this for conditioning they would never do it


1. just experiment with spacing, off-set and patterns to simulate race gate patterns; road or parking lot pitch will dictate alot...the focus is on a smooth linked pattern of "race-like" turns...you want the course to flow and have a rhythm just like in skiing

2. I generally use a 24 cone course for GS or SL training...we have tried dual course slalom and this is fun for the kids but less of a technical focus...sometimes we do timed runs

3. taking early lines and cutting cones tight knocks them out of alignment and spacing...course manners are the person who knocks needs to reset...we have also used chalk markers to help with re-positioning

4. digital camera is a great feed back tool....my daughter and I take turns taking pictures and looking at the view finder to give ourselves feedback on technique....I find that giving her the camera to take pictures of me and tell me what I am doing well or needing improvement has done wonders for her technical observation skills...it also makes it easier for her to look at her pictures and develop a self awareness of her technique

5. take water and snacks for breaks in the shade...a broom is useful for gravel and twigs that may be in the training area

PS...my older daughter (J3) has spent several weeks training on glacier at summer ski camps and has broken the bank account....in contrast the roller blade training described above is all that I can afford. The total cost for me and my younger daughter....including the roller blades and body armor (less helmet that I already had) was less than $100 at a second hand sports store....the cones are about a $1 a piece.

Best regards and have fun!



[ July 21, 2003, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: dsgould ]
post #9 of 14
I'd thought about trying rollerblading on a hill, but I'm just not sure how well they'd cope on powder days.
post #10 of 14
Wow! This will be my first serious reply to this forum.

The following story is only worth the words it was written with. Don't pay any attention to meaning or structure.

Circa 1993 or so...

My Buddy Doug has been on rollerblades all summer long. The first snow arrives in Michigan, we're finally able to ski.

I drive over to Doug's house. We do the usual loading up of gear thing, (after all, it is Bittersweet!)once we get on the road Doug begins a litany of phrases. The most memorable of which is "I've been roller-blading all summer long Bob, I'm going to be kicking your ass!"

Now at the time rollerblading was somewhat new, I thought indeed "Doug will be kicking my ass."

After we strapped on our skis and entered the lift maze I was once again assailed with the same propaganda. Once again I was begining to believe it, ready to buy a pair of blades.

We both started from the top of the lift. Every right turn Doug went down, this kept repeating itself until the bottom of the lift. I laughed at him with glee, vowing never to buy a set of blades. After a few runs down he corrected the ingrained Blade habits.

I'm not going to sit here and analyze the differences between blading and skiing, but they are there.

post #11 of 14
Yes, differencies are there, same as for the similarities.
Your friend Doug made the mistake to think that by just rollerblading he would have been able to kick ass while skiing.
post #12 of 14

Your friend Doug would probably fall as well when transitioning from short skiboards to normal skis. It only shows that he may not be a great skier. The fact remains, that the versatility provided by in-line skates (and skiboards in the winter) make you a better skier. If nothing else, balance should and upper/lower body separation should improve (assuming that one knows what one is doing [img]smile.gif[/img] ).
post #13 of 14
Originally posted by TomB:

It only shows that he may not be a great skier.

post #14 of 14
Rollerblading/ice skating will definitely help your skiing but skiing kills your rollerblading/ice skating skills.
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