One of the most common questions we get from parents of young children here at Orbit Skate Center is “How old does my child have to be to learn to roller skate?” There really is no one answer and there’s certain factors and benchmarks to watch for in each child. Children grown and mature at different levels as we all know. Things to look for isn’t age but more related to balance. A child can learn to skate when they are able to walk forwards and backwards with balance. Your body is constantly adjusting for balance even when standing still on roller skates. Burning calories while standing still, awesome!
The front and back wheels of a roller skate are attached to an axle and then to a truck that is mounted to the plate of the skate. These trucks are adjusted to move when pressure is applied to the outer or inner side of the skate making it easy to skate curves and edges. These trucks, if adjusted correctly move with very little pressure. Much like walking and learning the rolling motion of heel to toe, roller skating is side to side and if your child can balance while walking forwards and backwards, it is the right time to learn to roller skate. The cushions (the blue parts on the skate plate image) come in different hardness and depending on the skill of the skater allow them to do all the fancy moves you see out on the floor at Orbit Skate Center.
Our classes have people of all ages learning to skate and some of our littlest skaters are 18 months old! Little children love the feeling of roller skating once they get the hang of it and using one of our skate mate trainers really helps in the beginning to assist in maintaining balance while they get their ‘skating legs’. Most of our Tiny Tots don’t want to stop once they get started, amazing their parents with the ease of grasping their newfound skill.
Is your child ready to learn to roller skate? It’s a great first sport and many Olympians like Chad Hedrick, Tara Lipinski and Apollo Ohno started out roller skating at a young age before learning other sports. As cited in the NW News Network, In fact, nearly the entire U.S. Olympic short track ice speed skating team in Sochi started their careers on roller blades. Or, as they call it, inline racing.
The balance and skills you learn while roller skating translate into all other sports and our parents rave about how much fun their children have when learning to skate during our fun and interactive classes. Check out our Saturday Tiny Tot Skate and Drop In Learn to Skate Class to see if your child is ready to learn to roller skate!