By Ken Burrill
The first real exposure to roller skating to a lot of parents today is when their child is invited to a birthday party at a skating rink. At that party the child rents a pair of skates and their parents either watch them or seek to join them on the rink. From that exposure some children develop a real interest in the sport. Also, some parents decide that this is a sport that they would like to engage in with their children. This article is written for new skaters seeking to learn the sport.
So you decided that you want to roller skate. You don’t want to rent them every time you go to a rink. That can get very expensive if you go often. What kind of skates should I purchase for myself and my child? It all depends upon what kind of skating that I want to do. Most people will just want to just use them on the rink. There are many excellent skates available under $100 that will serve you well as you begin this new journey. Whether you are buying for yourself or for your child, stay away from the real cheap skates. They will not give you a good experience and will break down in a short time. In fact some of the cheap ones will start falling apart after you use them a few times. Stay away from the cheap skates that you find at the Big Box stores. Look for some quality brand names over $50 and you won’t be disappointed.
Once you get into it you will notice on the rink people who are into jamming. What is jam skating? It borrows form gymnastics, break dancing, hip hop and is an amazing show of balance and athletic ability. The purpose is to change these moves from traditional dancing and do them on roller skates. There probably will be tournaments either at your rink or somewhere nearby for them to showcase their skill. If you are into dancing or other moves associated with that, perhaps you would love to perfect some of those moves on roller skates. Then jam skating is for you!
Another type of roller skating is called derby skating. This kind of roller skating is very entertaining and attracts a sizable crowd. This is a contact sport for men and women. This has grown internationally and is mostly now a women’s sport. You won’t find derby skating taking place at your local roller skating rink. Roller derby takes place on an oval track and they score points by passing members of the opposing team. They get very physical in the encounters with the opposing team.
Artistic or recreational skating is done on high top boots. Artistic skating involves spins, jumps and dance moves . All competitors are judged on their deportment, flow of movement, harmonious composition, conformity to the music and use of the rink.
So you can see that skating can take many forms. I would suggest that you simply start out on the rink learning to skate. If any of these other types of skating interest you, you can eventually buy some skates that will be appropriate for that sport. Most of all get on some skates and enjoy!
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