Grass to Save Your ...
Allan Wright, owner of Zephyr
Inline Skate Tours
this. You are
cruising down your favorite path on inline skates, enjoying the rhythm
of your stroke and the wind in your hair.
The trail winds through a field with a
stream on one side and grass on the other.
Up ahead the path crosses a road and
sports one of those stop signs you wish wasn’t there to disrupt your
skate. Knowing you
would rather get home for a dinner of mushroom tortellini, Greek Salad,
and French Bread (I hope I’m not losing anyone here with the
multi-ethnic menu choice) than end up in the hospital, you decide to
How to go about it?
You have a sling of choices in the
stopping category. You
can use that brake they put on the back of one of your skates. You can also do as many
advanced skaters do and drag one skate behind you in a T-stop. If you are at all like me,
though, the sound of the brake grinding on asphalt or your wheels
sliding on concrete somehow gives you the sensation of leaving so much
rubber on the trail that you soon will be making a trip to the skate
store for replacement parts.
How do I stop? I use that friendly
grass on the side of the path. I’m
not talking about an enter-the-grass,
start-running-until-your-feet-can’t-keep-up-with-you tumble. I’m talking about the
advanced stopping technique called the grass stop.
I strongly recommend learning all
stopping techniques as you never know which will come in handy. However, the grass stop is
an excellent tool to use when you can see in advance that you will need
to stop and have a convenient patch of grass on the side.
To perform a grass stop, follow
Continue rolling forward on the
pavement in a “ready position” as you angle toward the grass. The “ready position”
involves bending at the knees and lowering your center of gravity.
Scissor your feet so that one skate
(not the one with your ABT brake if you have one of those) is ahead of
the other skate but not out to the side.
Roll straight into the grass,
lowering your center of gravity even more and sitting back with your
weight on your heels as you enter.
Roll to a stop.
Why the ready position? The bending
at the knees gives you more control to absorb little bumps. Lowering your center of
gravity and leaning slightly back is a counter to the desire of your
body to keep flying forward while your skates slow in the grass. Why
the scissoring? The scissoring helps you with forward-backward
stability in addition to your natural side-to-side stability.
Try this a few times at slower
speeds and with wide open grass areas.
As you get the hang of it, increase your
speed. It might
help to watch a friend who has already mastered the grass stop.
As you get better, you can use the
“grass stop” to improve your skating in all sorts of ways. Crossing railroad tracks
or skating through gravel patches on roads involves the same skills. Mastering the grass stop
will not only give you another stopping technique but will improve your
Copyright 1998 by Allan Wright and Zephyr Inline Skate