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Quad Roller Skating Techniques

author image Michela Dai Zovi
Michela Dai Zovi has been writing professionally since 2008. She is an advice columnist for "Five on Five Magazine," a quarterly periodical for roller-derby players and fans. Dai Zovi holds a a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of New Mexico.
Quad Roller Skating Techniques
Quad skates on the road. Photo Credit: underworld111/iStock/Getty Images

Quad roller skating is the word used to describe skating on vintage-style roller skates that have four wheels on each foot, arranged in two rows, as opposed to modern inline skates that have one row of wheels on each foot. Each type of skate will give you unique advantages, but if you want stability and vintage appeal, quad roller skates are for you. If you are just picking up quad roller skating, there are basic techniques you need to learn.

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Putting on the Brakes

The easiest way to stop is with a T-stop maneuver. This is where you pull your feet together with one facing forward and the other perpendicular, pointing to the side, making them look like the letter "T." To practice this, start from a moderate roll, put most of your weight on your left foot and pick your right foot up a few inches off of the floor. Angle your right foot sideways so your toes are facing out toward the right, place all four wheels of your right foot on the floor behind the heel of your left foot and drag the wheels on the floor until you stop. At first, you will feel like your right foot is bouncing up and down, but when you are able to keep it under control and come to a complete stop, you will have mastered the T-stop.

Getting Some Air

Jumping in roller skates is much like jumping in regular shoes.
Jumping in roller skates is much like jumping in regular shoes.

Jumping on quad roller skates is exactly like jumping in your shoes, except that when you land, you will be rolling forward, not standing in one place. The power comes from your legs, and the more you bend your knees and the lower you get before jumping, the higher you will go. Try small jumps at first, and after you get more confident, challenge yourself by trying to go higher and farther, even jumping over objects. When you land, you want both feet on the ground and pointing in the right direction for you to keep rolling forward.

Turning with Crossovers

The main idea behind a crossover is the same in quad skating as it is in short-track racing.
The main idea behind a crossover is the same in quad skating as it is in short-track racing.

A technique used for picking up speed when making a turn is called a crossover. To do a crossover, you pick up one foot and cross it over the other. When you are first learning, do not worry about whether you are picking up speed. Focus only on the balance of picking up one foot, maybe your right, and bringing it over and in front of your left, so when you put it back on the floor it will be in front and to the left of your left foot. Then, bring your left foot up next to your right and repeat to turn left. After you are comfortable with balance, you can focus on bending your knees and squatting low so you can pick up speed when crossing over.

Safety Considerations

You will fall down at times when quad roller skating. Be realistic about your abilities and wear protection such as knee pads, wrist guards and a helmet. Despite the risk of injury, many people actively participate in quad sports such as roller derby, roller hockey and jam skating.

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