You might think that stopping on roller skates is easy. After all, it just involves applying pressure to the ground and keeping your balance. If you have not learned how to stop on roller skates yet, you might be in for a bit of a surprise with how hard it can be.
But, with practice, you can stop quickly and safely on your skates. In this short guide, we will teach you 10 different stopping techniques. Keep reading until the end!
11 Ways to Stop on Roller Skates for Beginners
There are many different ways to stop on skates. Below, we will walk you through 11. We have divided them into 3 small categories: without stoppers & brakes, with stoppers & brakes, and with knee pads. Read until the end for all the details.
1. Without Stoppers & Brakes
1 – The Lateral Brake Technique
This is the first technique to stop in roller skates. It works when you are cruising in a straight line at a slow pace.
- Simply bend your knees and extend your arms in front of you.
- Then, put one foot forward and form an “L” shape with the foot behind.
- Quickly put the foot behind forward so it’ll be parallel with your remaining foot. Make sure you are shifting your weight to the same side.
2 – The T-Stop Technique
The T-Stop is one of the most common ways to stop with roller skates on.
- Start by balancing yourself with bent knees.
- Shift your feet so the non-dominant foot is the one trailing behind, and transfer your weight onto the dominant one.
- Lift your back foot, turn it 90 degrees to the front foot, then set it back down quickly so both feet will form a “T.”
- Apply pressure onto the trailing foot to slow yourself and pull to a halt. The more pressure you apply the faster you’ll stop.
You can also use the T-stop to slow down and shift into another move. So, it is a useful technique to learn. However, know that it can burden your roller skates and contribute to wear and tear.
3 – The Plow Stop Technique
This is another common way to brake on roller skates.
- Begin with your knees bent and feet slightly wider than your shoulder.
- Slightly shift your feet so that your toes will point to one another, forming an inverted “V” shape.
- Bring your feet back together so the wheel tips will slightly touch one another – doing so would create a semi-circular shape. It’ll expend your momentum, allowing you to stop roller skating.
Note: The Plow Stop can cause your skates to become worn over time, so make sure you do not overuse it.
4 – The Spin-Out Stop Technique
Another way to stop on roller skates outside without toe stoppers is the Spin-Out stop. However, it can be challenging to perform, as spinning your body can make you dizzy and lose balance easily.
- With both knees bent, ground your balance with your dominant foot.
- Slightly drag your non-dominant foot backward to gain momentum, then push it forward immediately to draw a circle.
- Pull the dominant foot so it’ll be parallel with the non-dominant one.
- At this point, your body should be spinning in a circle. Let the momentum carry you instead of resisting it—you can spread your arms forward to keep your balance better.
5 – The Slalom Stop Technique
This method to stop while roller skating is even more advanced than the spin stop, so I’d suggest only moving on to this technique if you’ve mastered the others. One advantage of this method is that it allows you to stop on roller skates going downhill.
- While skating forwards, turn both feet to one side, then turn again in the other direction.
- Your weight should be placed on the inner skate. For example, if you’re turning right, your inner skate will also be the right.
- Keep doing so until you slow down and stop. The trick is to keep your knees bent and your body low.
6 – The Power Slide Technique
This is another advanced way to stop on roller skates. Still, it is worth learning if you have a solid grasp of skating in reverse and balancing. Here is how you do it:
- Transition to skating backward, bend your knees, and hinge your body forward.
- Slide your non-dominant foot backward and shift it so that it’ll be perpendicular with the front foot (the dominant one). In this state, your front knee should be bent and your back knees should be outstretched.
- Shift your weight to the back foot, and you’ll skid to a complete stop.
7 – The Hockey Stop Technique
The Hockey stop is a challenging but cool-looking way to brake on skates. It is especially suitable for full-speed skating.
- As you are skating forward, ramp up the speed and make a curve at the peak.
- Position both your feet in front of you and parallel to one another.
- Hinge your body backward slightly. Your wheels will glide and garner friction, slowing you down until you stop entirely.
2. With Stoppers & Brakes
1 – The Toe Stop Drag Technique
The Toe Stop Drag can help you slow down on roller skates and pull to a halt.
- Get in the right position: knees bent, feet scissored, and arms outstretched on either side.
- Shift the majority of your weight to the front leg, then let the roller skate stopper on your other foot drag behind. It is this “drag” that slows you down to a stop.
2 – The Heel Brake Stop Technique
To take a break on roller skates when going fast, you can use the heel brake, which is the easiest way to pull to a standstill if your skates have a brake.
- To do it, scissor your feet so that the foot with the brake is in front.
- Lift the toe area slightly to press down on the brake. It’ll generate enough friction that you’ll be able to stop.
It is quite simple, right? This is the best method unless you want to stop without brakes.
Note: You can use this method to stop on roller skates inline as well.
3 – With Knee Pads
Besides skate stoppers and brakes, you can also use your knee pads. This is a handy technique, as you should be wearing protective gear anyway.
All you need to do is set one of your knees down and let it drag, generating friction to pull you to a stop. But make sure you hinge your body forward to minimize the impact.
However, this can be dangerous when you are skating at high speeds. It also wears out your pads quickly, so use it only when you are in a bind.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I stop safely when I run into a wall on your roller skates?
When you encounter the wall on your skates, bend your knees and extend your arms. Make sure you bend your elbows when you touch the wall with your arms. This is essential to guarantee you do not hurt yourself.
How can I shift my body to stop while roller skating?
The trick is to bend your knees, spread your legs but not too much beyond the hips, and pretend as though you are sitting. Your bent knees must protrude your big toes, and you should focus the pressure on the balls of your feet.
How can I stop on rollerskates more quickly?
The power slide and the T-stop techniques are two methods for stopping on skates quickly. Alternatively, you can wear roller skates with built-in brakes, which can slow you down at lightning speed.
We have shown you how to stop on roller skates in 10 different ways. As you can see, some are harder than others. You need to do a bit of experimenting to find the one that you are most comfortable with.
We suggest bookmarking this blog post to refer back to it in the future. If you have anything else to ask or share, do not hesitate to reach out to us in the comments down below. We’d love to hear from our readers!
Harrison is a skating enthusiast who picked up the sport during her student exchange years in Canada. She has been a skating coach for children and teens for 3 years and now holds classes as a freelancer. Harrison entwines her experience leading skating classes in the content published on Cora to help readers fall in love with skating, just like she did.