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Learning to slide and using slider blocks.

Updated: Mar 8

I first started learning to slide around 9 months ago with my newly mounted @bigfoot_bike_skate grind blocks on Moxi Jack boots and Reactor Pro plates. When I say learning to slide I mean chucking myself at the coping and hoping some miracle would occur and I would gracefully glide along it! That did not happen!

Photo by John Steel.

I sought help and received some great beginner advice from Brian at Bigfoot Bike and Skate - "When sliding: carve an arch across the bowl or ramp with your slide at the top of the arch. This helps keep your momentum. Only jump up a tiny amount or just let your wheels bump over the coping..."

Following this advice I persisted for a few more months and actually started to travel along the coping (thanks Brian)!

Four months later and I was motivated to learn rail slides thanks to a really awesome game of Intermediate level I.G.O.R.S (International Game of Roller Skate), to help me on my quest for rail sliding glory I watched a super helpful video tutorial by @cuban.misselle which was really informative:

I sought out the ultimate beginners rail - much like Goldilocks, too high, too angled, too waxy...until I found a nice safe looking low fat rail that was just right.

I started by stepping up onto it to get a feel for the size of the rail. I then aimed at jumping up with both feet as Cuban Misselle advised in her video tutorial.

After many mis-haps and slips usually involving too much wax or misplaced footings I gained a little bit of confidence at jumping up onto the low rail enough to attempt it with a bit of speed.

So now I am still working on my slides on bowl/ramp coping and am gradually feeling more secure. In a recent chat with @discosteward about technique he gave some really awesome advice:

Here's my tips on slide METHOD. As you travel through the transition began a carve toward the coping. You want your feet in parallel as you approach the coping and stay rolling, keep in contact through-out the next moves. Stay with me, a lot is about to happen all at once. Push toward your trajectory. This means what will become the trailing foot is starting the move, pushing opposite to the direction of travel. For me, I'm left leg dominant. This leg makes the push and I lift my right foot to the coping. Meanwhile I'm making a balance shift in my hips, as I move from the pushing leg to the sliding leg. Don't be afraid to exaggerate this like a Hula Hoop move. Now I'm on coping and managing the slide without spreading my legs too much. I aim to keep in contact as long as I can on the approach, without jumping. A good slide is more of a controlled drift than a landing. And here's a picture I drew on my fridge!

I found the "hula-hoop" analogy really useful and have been working on this hip swing.

Thank you to everyone for your tips and advice - I'm going to continue to work on this skill - if you give it a go tag us and let us know how you get on!

Testing slider blocks:

We have tested a few different blocks over the last year so will give a quick run down for you!

Disco Blox:

Original Disco Blox.

This 'coping meachanism' is designed to fit any rollerskate plate! Designed by Disco Steward from Australia these are perfect for beginners/intermediate level skaters who want to feel secure on their stalls and are beginning to learn to slide.

Disco Blox Outlaws.

Upgraded #Discoblox which contains a metal grind spur and barrel feature.

The metal 'spur' on the bottom of the block makes a really satisfying 'clink' when it hits the metal coping during stalls.

There is definitely more slide from metal on metal and these would be suited to more experienced skaters who want more speed from their slides!

Big Foot Grind Blocks.

Big Foot makes made-to-measure grind blocks in a range of styles and shapes as well as Universal fitting blocks. Made from UHMW PE the blox themselves will probably never wear out! I chose the CLASSIC V-BLOX style.

These are great for building up stalling skills from beginner level upwards. They also offer upgrades on the blocks such as metal plates on the base. I have been using these grind blocks from the start of my sliding journey and love how secure they feel on my skates, they easily bolt on depending on your plate. Suitable for beginner/intermediate to advanced level skaters.

Chaya Karma Grind Block.

The Karma grind block is asymmetric and fastens onto the Chaya plate.

It is a rigid plastic material and very smooth.

When using these skates and blocks I felt really unstable - most likely as I am so used to skating with a more rigid boot and a heel and these felt super flat. The grind blocks are very , very slippery due to the material and shape of them compared to the more solid plastic of the Disco and Big Foot blocks.

I attempted to slide on coping and rails but feel you would need to be a fairly confident skater to control your slide so would only recommend these for more experienced/advanced skaters.

Would love to hear your experiences with learning to slide and any feedback you have of the blocks you've been using!

Do tag us on Instagram @roller_girl_gang

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