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Inline skating is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. More and more people are learning how to skate every day, and reaping the benefits of a challenging, exciting workout. Nothing is more spine tingling though, than going along at a fast clip and suddenly realizing you don't know how to stop! It's estimated that over fifty percent of all Inline junkies don't understand how to stop on skates properly. These simple steps will get you up and running and stopping in now time.

First things first. It's important to first identify what kind of break your Inline skates have. Is it a simple heel brake or is it a more advanced ABT brake? Look in your owner's manual before reading any further and then adapt your stopping techniques accordingly.

The Basic Heel Brake Stop
The basic heel brake stop is for skates with one heel brake. It will not work with ABT brakes, unless you have disabled their automatic function.

Step 1: The Ready Position
Put yourself into the ready position by placing your skates a few inches apart, parallel, and facing forward. (For true beginners, this is best practiced a few times on carpeting or grass before attempting.) Bend your knees, keep your back straight and extend your arms out in front of you.

Step 2: Braking Foot Forward
Roll your braking foot (the one with the rubber heel stop) a few inches in front of your other foot. Do not lift the toe on your braking foot while doing this or it will cause you to brake too soon, making you unstable.

Step 3: Now Raise Your Toe
By raising the toe on the braking foot, your ankle with angle itself toward the ground, where your brake will meet the pavement. The more pressure you apply, the quicker you will stop. Most of your weight should be on the back of your braking foot. If properly done, this should bring you to a complete stop. Practice several times, applying different amounts of pressure.

ABT Brake Stops
ABT brakes are made to automatically engage themselves when you slide your braking foot forward. This is both beneficial and bothersome, especially to new skaters who are just finding their balance. It takes some practice to successfully engage and disengage the brake and many people decide to leave their ABT add-on "turned off", so that they are able to do basic Heel Brake stops instead. The choice is yours, of course. To turn the brake "off," simply loosen the screws and manually pull your brake toward the ankle of your boot. Tighten the screws. You can put pressure on the ankle of your skate to test your ABT's, and make sure that any amount of force does not allow the brake to fall or move toward the ground.

Step I: Find a small slope and roll down it a few times, advancing your braking foot two or three inches in front of your other foot. Don't try to brake yet, just work on the position and your balance. If need be, roll on to the grass to stop.

Step 2: Roll down the slope again in the one foot ahead of the other position and attempt to point your toe (like a ballerina) in your brake foot. As you point your toe, your ankle will cause the ABT brake to lower, meeting the pavement. The more pressure you use to point your toe, the more pressure that will be applied to the brake.

Note: ABT brakes can sometimes operate slowly, even when applying large amounts of pressure. It's important to know and use the Heel Brake Stop in circumstances where you need to stop on a dime.

Advanced Stops
Once you have the basic maneuvers down, you'll want to learn new and improved ways to stop that will allow you to come to a halt in any situation.

The T-Stop is a fast and efficient way to stop that should be learned by all skaters. Much quicker than the traditional Heel Brake method, the T-Stop will stop you in your tracks. It's perfect on rainy days or to prevent a crash when something has crossed your path.

Step I: Begin skating down a stretch of road.

Step 2: Transfer all of your weight to your left boot.

Step 3: Maintaining your forward body position, lift and rotate your right skate 90-degrees, so that it has moved into a T-position behind your left boot.

Step 4: Slowly touch all wheels to the ground at the same time. (Don't just put your toe down or you'll spin out of control.) You will be dragging your right foot slightly behind your left.

Step 5: By increasing the pressure on your back foot, you will drag your wheels harder across the pavement, quickening your stop. The closer and quicker you move your back foot toward your left foot, the quicker you will stop.

Grass Slide

Step I: Begin rolling down a sidewalk or piece of road that has grass just to the edge of it. Skate in your ready position.

Step 2: Scissors your skates so that one skate is ahead of the other. At this point, both skates are still on the ground, pointing forward.

Step 3: Roll straight into the grass, lowering your center of gravity and placing all of your weight on your heels. You will roll to a stop.

Common Braking Mistakes:

1. Not bending your knees enough.

2. Leaning too far forward

3. Not scissoring your legs enough

4. Planting feet too wide.

5. Putting too much weight on your non-braking skate.