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The Invention of Freeline Skating and the Evolution of Freeline Skateboarding

Freeline skates are nearly indestructible and are made with solid metal frames and high-quality wheels and bearings. They are designed to withstand 3,000 pounds of pressure. You can run them over with a car, and you can drop them from a ten-story building (we don’t recommend you do this), and nothing will happen to them. Ryan Farrelly developed freeline skates in San Francisco when he was trying to develop a better form of downhill skating. Nowadays, freeline skates are used for everything from transportation to tricks in a skating park. It is a sport for all ages, and anyone can learn freeline skating with time, persistence and practice. Imagine standing on two independent skateboards: now your feet are free to move in different directions. You can pack your freeline skates away in a small bag. They are perfect for people who want a more mobile lifestyle.

Freeskating takes practice, and you won’t even be able to balance on both skates without using a wall to support you in the beginning. However, with time, you learn to coordinate both feet and to carve in different directions with each foot in order to propel you forward with both skates. There's a great video at this link about how to pump with freeskates. There are plenty of online videos from all over the world about how to freeline skate. Some people call freeline skating drift skating. Around 2010-2019, freeline skating became popular throughout China and Asia, and there many videos of Chinese professional freeskaters performing tricks. In fact, I first learned how to freeskate when I was living in China in 2020. Even though freeline skates were popular in in 2016-2019, during the pandemic, it seems that not as many people did freeline skating. However, I was fortunate enough to receive private instruction from a professional freeskater in China when I purchased a better pair of freeline skates.

Free skate decks are usually aluminum, and the trucks are high-strength steel. The bearing are durable, and wheels are high quality PU. They also have longboard grip tape that helps your feet’s grip, so you don’t sleep of the board easily. Freeskates have been called different names from driftskates to freeline skates.

In the beginning, downhill riding was the rage. Freeline was the name of Ryan Farrelly’s company. China has the most freeline riders despite Ryan’s early popularization of the sport. There are many riders all over the world even though Ryan’s company went bankrupt in 2015. There are competitions in China and Japan, and the correct name is freeskating nowadays.

Nowadays, using freeskates to jump from a small obstacle, on half pipes and virtually anywhere you cand imagine is possible. Freeskates is an apt name because freeskates represents the evolution of skateboarding beyond the use of a simple deck to multi-purpose skates that can flip and be carried in your backpack to school. One foot riding is possible, crossing your legs, effortlessly passing the board from one foot to the next. Imagine traveling across boardwalks and performing tricks that could never have been conceived of before, and now you can understand just how dynamic freeskating is. Now, you can connect to an online community that is enormous and freeskate anywhere you want. You can learn tricks in different languages.

Some people falsely imagine that freeskates are simply for kids, but they are a multi-purpose transportation tool. Smooth concrete is the best surface for performing tricks. Basketball courts and tennis courts can be great for freeskating. Don’t use your freeskates under water. You don’t want them to rust. Cracks on the ground can be problematic. You can ride on bricks, but you don’t want to ride too fast or too slowly. Watch out for the cracks and jump off the boards if you feel like you are about to stumble.

The great thing about freeskates is the fact that you can jump off the board anytime you are about to fall down. This is more convenient than rollerblades because you are strapped into rollerblades. Jumping off the boards is the best way to avoid accidents.

Rough pavement can be difficult to ride on. You have to pump more with your feet. Watch out for the potholes in pavement. A little pebble can be a pain. It is recommended that you wear a helmet. You can also wear padded gloves and elbow guards. Lots of proficient riders don’t wear helmets, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t try riding on loose rocks. Boardwalks are great, but watch out for sand on concrete. Don’t carve too sharp on sand. Throwbacks are tricks that you can do on boardwalks and shove-its. You can basically watch these tricks on youtube to get an idea of how to do these tricks. Don’t be afraid to try new tricks. Just wear a helmet and jump off the board as soon as you sense danger.

Don’t freeskate on wet surfaces. Slippery surfaces can be dangerous with the wheels, so you can really slip across the surface and fall down. Don’t get your skates wet. Now, the hoverboard has developed , and some people believe that one wheel hoverboards will replace freeskates. However, have cars replaced bicycles? Freeskates will help you lose weight, and hoverboards don’t require as much balance.

One of the basic tricks that you’ll first learn when you start freeskating is a simple 180 rotation. It is not as simple as it looks because you’ll want to do the rotation in one line. You can go around cones and you can exchange skates if you have two pairs. Practicing one leg riding is also really important to develop balance. The flip stomp is a basic trick that you want to learn as well. You can do 180s in different ways, such as backwards, forwards, and with the right leg and left leg. Front skate pick ups and front skate stomps are good beginner tricks. A Tokyo is a trick that involves crossing your legs. Use something to prop you up when you learn the Tokyo. The leg that crosses in the front points downwards. You can look these tricks online. Learn forward when you perform the Tokyo. Practicing letting go once you get into the crossed position.

180s quickly evolve into 360s, 520s and 1080s with more speed and more balance through the rotation. One foot riding is a real key to the intermediate tricks that involve passing the board. Learning how to balance for an extended amount of time takes a lot of skill. Try to keep the leg that is not on the board moving back and forth to control the board while you learn how to ride on one foot.

Going around cones like rollerbladers do is a great idea because it develops coordination with your hips, which help you with rotations later on. Try going on one skate for a really long time, and you’ll start developing an intuitive feeling for being on one leg. You can also drag your foot along the ground. Back foot one footing and front foot one footing should be consistently practiced to develop coordination. You can always bail out by jumping off the board. When you do the banana, you throw one board by almost dragging the board with your heel. The board that you throw moves in a banana shape, and then you put your foot back on the board.

Some people confuse freeskates versus ripsticks. Ripsticks and freeskates are totally different. While ripsticks are only two wheels, freeskates have four fixed wheels. Ripskate wheels rotate with your movement. So, you can’t use a saw to cut your ripstick and turn it into a pair of freeskates. You can’t turn as sharply with a ripsticks. Ripsticks are fun, but it is a different sport. Using two ripsticks could be like freeskating, but isn’t the same sport. Freeskates are more predictable than ripsticks.

Freeskates are hard to learn at first because the learning curve takes a while. However, once you learn to balance on both boards, you’ll feel the freedom and exhilaration of riding freeskates. Different people have different conceptions of what is difficult. What are your goals? Do you want to learn how to Tokyo, to do 360s, or to jump over obstacles? Or do you just want to use them as a form of transportation?

Learning with an instructor speeds up your learning curve. After you learn how to pump, you can start going down a slope. Some people say it takes around 10 hours to learn. The good thing is that you can even learn how to balance on your skates in your house. It helps to freeskate with people who have experience because you can accelerate your learning curve.

Most riders privilege one foot over the other, so some riders ride regular foot and other ride goofy foot. I ride goofy foot with a surfboard, but I prefer riding regular foot with freeskates. It is recommended that you learn how to ride in both directions and with either foot in the front. Otherwise, you’ll develop an imbalance that will affect your riding later on. Lots of people like the spins like 360s. Lots of people watch videos to learn, but it helps again to meet people in person. That’s why we offer lessons on the Virginia Beach boardwalk all year round at VB Ocean Vibes.

Freeskates are worth learning because you’ll develop your body and become more fit while you learn. You can learn how to do tricks in small spaces. You can watch online videos. You can even create your own tricks. You can become an artist on the skates.

One thing that people don’t realize is that you have a left freeskate and a right freeskate, but when you perform tricks, sometimes you exchange the skates and wind up on the wrong side. It doesn’t matter because in life, you have to balance even with the foot on the wrong side. Let’s be realistic: not learning how to exchange the skates and ride on the wrong foot would be too rigid. It is better to ride with the right foot on the skate designed for the right side of course. A good rule of thumb is the following: the skates make a V shape pointing inward towards you when they are set up right. In the end, though, you can still balance with the skates on the wrong feet. Pro-riders don’t pay so much attention to this point.


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