Inline Skating Technique -- The T-Stop
Advanced skaters sometimes prefer to use an inline skating technique called the T-stop as a quick way to slow down. However, excessive use of this means of stopping can prematurely wear out the inside edges along with the profile of your wheels. If this isnít a major concern for you, by all means use the T-stop when itís to your advantage to do so. The T-stop is applied by forming a T-shape with your skates.
Applying the T-Stop
To prepare to make a T-stop:
1. Stand in the ready position.
2. Move into a staggered stance.
3. Make three or four strides to pick up speed.
4. Keep your right skate out in front and facing straight ahead.
5. Lift your left skate about 3 inches off the pavement.
The skaterís left skate has cleared the pavement and is positioned correctly for the next step, which involves a quick movement of the left skate to the outside. The skater needs to keep the right skate pointing straight ahead. He or she is now balancing over top of his or her right skate. This provides the lateral stability he or she needs. The hands are out in front and the head is up.
To make the T-stop:
1. Move your left skate about 1 foot back and out to your side. The left skate is now positioned properly for the next step which involves a quick, pivoting action.
2. Pivot your left skate in the air until it make a 90-degree angle with the heel of your right skate.
3. Place your left skate back on the surface about 6 to 12 inches straight behind you.
4. At the same time as your back skate touches the surface, tilt the inside edges of your back skate so they make a 15-degree angle with the pavement.
5. Drag all four wheels of your back skate to stop.
About this Inline Skating Technique
You have now formed a T-shape with your skates. The T-stop requires good balance and a proper posture throughout owing to the amount of weight and pressure you need to exert on the front skate. Notice the clearances that are specified in the above step. Itís important that you donít clip the back of your right skate when you pivot your left skate behind your right skate.
In addition, you could also use the T-stop with your left skate out front and your right skate behind you. However, this is more difficult and cumbersome since your brake may get in the way when you attempt to pivot and place your right skate down on the pavement.
Use the above maneuver when you need to stop in a hurry because of a crowded trail or an obstacle in your path. Until next time, have a great season of inline skating.
Jim Safianuk is the writer and publisher of the three-part, inline skating series entitled Skating Lessons, as well as the two-part, maintenance series named Skate Maintenance. He is also the developer and owner of the Inline Skating Center, a site which serves as a hub for the adult, recreational, inline skating community. To visit their Skating Lessons site, click here: