Google Web
Skate FAQs: Techniques - Stairs, Grinds and Rails

Techniques - Stairs, Grinds and Rails

Table of Contents


From: aites@hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM (Jim Aites)

I'm pretty comfortable riding stairs (frontwards and backwards), but discovered something which in hindsight should have been obvious, and might be worth mentioning to those who are looking for stairs to ride.

Simply put, there are stairs worth riding and the are stairs that you'd be nuts to do anything but jump down/over.

  Dangerous stairs:      Ride-able stairs:      Fun/easy stairs:

   |__                    |____                  |______
      |                        |                        |
      |__                      |____                    |______
         |                          |                          |
         |__                        |____                      |______

Too obvious you say? Yeah, me too. I durn near nailed myself going backwards down a dangerous set the other day. I guess I figured that stairs were stairs. Wrong thinking is punishable...via PAIN!

From: (Robert John Butera)

Tonight I finally did my first competent stair bashing, doing 6-8 stairs at the Party-on-the-Plaza in downtown Houston. I thought I'd share some of what I learned with others, since this thread comes up a lot.

Overall, a great night for skating. I also found the "ideal parking deck" with those two important prerequisites: no visible security and a working elevator (its really steep, but has 6-7 levels). Such parking decks are becoming few and far between around here as more skaters start "invading" them, making the security dudes a lot more testy.

From: (Kenneth Creta)

In article <23r8i1$6d6@cmcl2.NYU.EDU>, (Andrew) writes:
> 	I've been skating for about 3 month now, but still can't skate down-
> stairs. I tried to go up the stairs and it works well, very fast!  I saw people
> going upstairs and did not find it difficult at all. But looking down from the
> top of even 7 step stair scares the shit out of me. 

Try a smaller set first.  A wouldn't advise going straight to 7 stairs.

>I tried going down from the
> fourth step of a 15 step stair, but I ended up running downstairs, not skating.

This will never work.  You need some speed to prevent your skates from catching
on them.  My friend and I (we do stairs all the time) have recently started 
hit the stairs at a snail's pace.  Not as easy when going slow.

> Do you have to keep the blades horisontally, when you go down, or at a 45 angle?

Although I don;t really think about it, I guess I'd have to say horizontal.

> It seems that if you keep the skates at an anlge, you end up running downstairs,but if you keep them horisontally, the brake would definitely get in the way on
> almost any stairs, except very flat ones. Or you have to approach the stair at 
> an angle, to make the path longer?  

A good way to start.  Stairs are much easier at an angle.  The easier way is
if your front foot is opposite the angle your going.  In other words, if
your back foot is your right (mine is) try angling right to left.

If you go slow, your brake will definitely be a concern.  I don't bother with 
one anyway.  What could make someone want to stop anyway :)


From: (Matt Hicks)

I saw some street freestyle on Prime Sports Network (I think it was) a
few weeks ago and I noticed that the guys doing stairs seemed to be
just dragging the toe wheels of their trailing foot (feet?). All their
weight was on the leading foot and the trailing foot seemed to be just
a rudder or for balance only. Anyone had any experience with this
technique? See the worst ASCII drawing in the world below if this is
not clear.

			/      /
		       /      / \
                      /      /    \     
         O|----------       /\     \
          |        |       /  |    |
         O|     ----------/   |    |
 ______  O|   /               |    | 
       |  |__|                |----|
       |_O_______             |    |
                 |            |    \__
                 |________    |       \
                          |   |________|
                          |___@  @  @ @_

From: (Kenneth Creta)

	I've been stair bashing for a LONG time now.  However, I've always 
wondered about my form and whether I was doing it right because it has always 
seemed that my ride was ALOT rougher and bumpier than others I've watched.

	Last night proved that something was wrong.  My friend and I were
taking our favorite set of stairs REALLY SLOW.  This isn't so easy.  Howver,
while my friend was able to do it OK, I found that my back (right) foot kept
on catching on the steps.  My friend thinks I put too much weight on the back
foot and I think he might be be right because when I listen, he sounds like
CHUNK-KA CHUNK-KA where I sound like CHUNK CHUNK.  You know what I mean.

	Any of you find yourself in a similar situation?


From: (Stephen J. Okay)

In article <1993Aug6.173554.206@leland.Stanford.EDU> harrier@leland.Stanford.EDU (Lawrence Chr-Jr Liu) writes:
>Jeff writes:
>Out of curiosity, do most skaters think 180's or 360's off stairs are easier?
>I'm trying to learn 360's, but I can't quite get the hang of it -- any
>suggestions?  (These 360's are on flat ground for now, I don't have the full
>no fear mentality -- yet ;) )

I haven't quite gotten there either yet, so I'm going to say 180s :)

My typical approach to 180's:

Approach the stairs at a moderate speed and when I reach the first one, jump
up like I was going to do a curb jump. I usually land on the 3rd or 4th step
and stop there quite solidly and firmly. As soon as I'm sure of my purchase on
that step(about a second or so), I push back with my front wheels and turn
around to land facing forward. 

is it much of a transition to make this a 270?

I think the reason I haven't done a 360 yet is that I'm not that comfortable
landing backwards. Although I am getting better with the heel-to-heels, so
I do feel more comfortablke landing and then spinning or doing wide circles.
(Thats the best I can manage with this so far...but they are getting WIDER! :) )

ObTrick: Found another cool office over the weekend. TThis one not only has
a deep curb ramp, but also a long cement one running up to the front
door. I was catching some major air off this, almost enough to start
doing tricks in midair..
For those in the area,this is the Dept. of the Interior building over in
Sir Isaac Newton Square in Reston...they've got some pretty cool stairs too..


From: (Kenneth Creta)

In article <1r7rsi$b5c@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>, cd517@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Douglas J. Narby) writes:

> Stairs (this one not explained too well; and I haven't had the Testes to
> try it without some clues).

Remember to bend you knees and put more weight on the back foot than the 
front.  I put my left foot 1/2 a foot length ahead of my right (my right 
leg is the stronger of the two) and bend my knees to absorb much of the
impact.  When people get scared, they straighten up which winds up in a 
wreck.  Also, while going down, try to be light on your feet.  I know that
sounds funny but picture it and "float" over the stairs.  Use the force,
Luke :)

If you try backwards, put your stronger leg forward (uphill) and put your
(most of but not all) weight on your toes.  Like forward, put most of the 
weight on your stronger leg.  Too much weight on your heels can result in 
catching the foot throwing you on your back.

We have two flights of 6 steps with about 5 feet of flat in between and I 
like to hit the first going forward and then switching backwards for the
next flight.  Or going down the first set, and jumping into a 180 over 
the second and so on.

> My best trick so far is jumping a flight of four stairs.  Now I am trying
> to learn to do crossovers whilst skating backward.  

I think backwards cross-overs is one of the best techniques that develops 
overall skating ability.  It really forces you to balance and takes quite
a bit of practice before you are really comfortable.  BE SURE TO PRACTICE
BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT EQUALLY.  I see alot of people who can go one way but
not the other.

New Tricks:

	Work on 360 jumps off the ground (forward and backward).  Once you 
have those down, hit a jump and do it (again, forwards and backwards).

	Try a "Dutchman".  Jump off a ramp, grab both feet behind your back
while in the air and land (on your feet :)


From: (DAve.)
Subject: Re: Stair/Wall Jumps.. 

In article , (Will Leland) writes:
> RE: how to ride down stairs
>   SPEED! just get going a good clip, put your weaker foot in front of
>   the other for more stability, and ride down with most of your weight
>   on the back skate.
>   I ran into an upper limit on stairs though.  When I got up to 10 steps
>   I ran out of speed (and balance) and did a major face plant.  Do those
>   hockey helmets come with face cages :)

Speed is nice - balance is better! :-)

Once again, though, you need to be able to skate more or less one foot in front 
of the other. I like to push my front foot out, almost straight so that if
it gets caught on a step it 'springs' back in front really quickly.

Then place the trailing knee really close and almost behind the leading one.
This forces one to bend that trailing leg, which takes up a lot of the bumpiness.
The more relaxed the back leg is, the smoother the ride goes.

I have managed 15 consecutive steps this way. The only reason that that is
the limit, is that I have not found more than 15 consecutive steps. :-)
It is real easy to lose your nerve after 12 or so. As soon as you stiffen or
straghten up the back leg, it is all over :-\

Anyways, this is *MY* method (MHOs only) - it is certainly not everyones. 
I think one just needs to find what is most comfortable for oneself.


From: (Kimon Papahadjopulos)

First of all, like most everything else, this skill comes with practice,
and at first that is really hard to do since you don't know how to do
it yet.
The first thing you have to do is find is a good bunch of stairs to practice
on.  On the Berkeley Campus there is an ideal sight:  one of the buildings
is built on an incline so that the bottom floor is underground at the
top of the hill and completely exposed on the bottom.
Because of this, a stairway that runs the length of the building
"fades away", so that there are no stairs at one end, but it builds
up gradually to about twenty steps at the other end.
Besides being very wide, the the steps are also very long.  If you
can find a set up like this, your halfway there already.  This way
you can practice with one or two steps, and move up one at a time when
you get more confident.
>When skating down narrow stairs, is it easier to go straight down
>or is it easier to go at an angle? It seems like going at an
>angle might be easier because it would provide more opportunity
>to have both skates in contact simultaneously.
Can you really go down truly narrow stairs at an angle?  On a wide
bunch of stairs, going down at an angle is much easier because you don't
go nearly as fast.  This is essential when you are learning.
>How should your weight be distributed?  Should it be equally
>distributed, shifted mostly to the leading leg, or shifted mostly
>to the trailing leg?
Almost all on the trailing leg.  The front leg is mostly a guide.
>Does having a brake on one skate increase the risk of a fall?
>Since the brake extends beyond the rear of one skate, my concern
>is that it might get caught on the edge of a step. Therefore,
>should the skate with the brake lead, follow, or does it matter?
Learn how to t-stop before you learn stairs.  The back break is a hazard
for any sort of trick, whether it be crossovers, skating backwards, or
going down stairs.
If you are interested in doing any of the above, it's well worth your
while to learn how to get by without the back brake.  It will probably
save you a bunch of nasty falls.
IMO, anyone that is trying to learn stairs with a brake is just asking
for it.  Generally, learning a t-stop is your first trick, since it's
easier to learn, and makes most other tricks easier.
It also kind of proves that you know what you are doing, and are ready
for the next level.
And you're right about the brake getting caught on the edge of
each step.
Also, when you are practicing, you often times are not in the best balance
when you finish a set of stairs.  If you happen to catch your brake
when this happens, you are probaly going to end up on the pavement.
>Is there a safe, piecemeal way to learn skating down stairs, or
>should I necessarily expect to fall as part of the learning
Again, if you can find a nice set of stairs, you don't necessarily have
to murder yourself.  Practive on two or three stairs and then move up.
But of course, wear full protective gear, and don't complain if your
skates break.  Rollerblade Lightnings are very sturdy, and hold up fairly
well.  I'm sure TRS's are good too, maybe even Macroblades and Aeroblades.
But don't use Zetra's or any skate with a metal blade.  SwitchIts in my
experience are somewhat frigile for this sort of thing.
It should be understood that if you push beyond the level of your
abilities, and you happen to land on your head, even with a helmut,
you could kill yourself.
>Is stair skating always risky, even for those who have mastered
>it, or is it fairly safe once a skater understands how it is
I have not done a lot because I have concerns about my knees: going
down stairs really puts a lot of stress on your knees, as well as your
skates.  From what I have done, I believe that skating stairs
becomes as easy as anything else after a while, as long as you know the
particular staircase that you are going down, and there is no one walking
up it.

From: (Sean Ahern)

>IMO, anyone that is trying to learn stairs with a brake is just asking
>for it.  Generally, learning a t-stop is your first trick, since it's
>easier to learn, and makes most other tricks easier.
No way....I learned you to skate down stairs by teaching myself to be
aware of the brake and what I was doing with it.
I have also taught other people how to do this as well.
I think leaving the brake on makes you more aware of what your skates are
>It also kind of proves that you know what you are doing, and are ready
>for the next level.
Exactly my point about leaving the brake on.
Now while I don't use the brake except when I have to do SUDDEN stops like
when a car pulls in front of me, I think it's a good thing to leave on for
safety's sake.
>And you're right about the brake getting caught on the edge of
>each step.
Well, not if you have enough speed.  I have found that stairs are actually
harder at slow speeds.  Going slowly, the edge of the stair will give a pivot
that can throw off your balance.  If you are going moderately fast, you just
skate right down the stairs, almost as if they are one surface.
You MUST make sure that one skate is in front of the other and your knees are
bent deep.  You also might crouch down a bit and lean forward.  I have found
that this helps me keep my balance.  Don't lean forward too far or you will
tumble forward.  (not fun on stairs)
>Also, when you are practicing, you often times are not in the best balance
>when you finish a set of stairs.  If you happen to catch your brake
>when this happens, you are probaly going to end up on the pavement.
Ahhhh, if you are not leaning backwards when you are going down, you shouldn't
be in a position to catch your brake anywhere.
>Again, if you can find a nice set of stairs, you don't necessarily have
>to murder yourself.  Practive on two or three stairs and then move up.
Yes, this is very true.  Start out on a wide set of stairs.  If you can get
one stair (kinda like a curb), try to keep going and get the next one.  If you
get pretty good at this, try doing them a little faster.  You will learn the
basic techniques of stairs this way and will soon be able to move onto steeper
and steeper stairs.
>>Is stair skating always risky, even for those who have mastered
>>it, or is it fairly safe once a skater understands how it is
>I have not done a lot because I have concerns about my knees: going
>down stairs really puts a lot of stress on your knees, as well as your
>skates.  From what I have done, I believe that skating stairs
>becomes as easy as anything else after a while, as long as you know the
>particular staircase that you are going down, and there is no one walking
>up it.
It DOES get easy, after a while, but they are still challenging as every flight
of stairs has a different slope and width to them.


From: (Jim Aites)

re: stair-riding  (from an e-mail discussion...possible FAQ submital)

>For the intermediate skater who hasn't tried stairs yet, what would you 
>say are the basic skills?

Practicing curbs is a good idea, specially if you 'drop off' instead of 
'hop off'.  The difference being one of jumping vs riding. A short set of
two or three easy stairs (with wide risers) would be the next step.

>...t-stops with either foot.  Probably backwards skating, too?

180's and 380's are probably part of that as well.  Not that these are
*needed* for stair bashing, but if someone is doing this level of stuff
then they could certainly handle stairs.

>Is there anything else that people should master before they begin?

No...not 'master', but there are a few things a person needs to know in 
order to be relatively successful at handling stairs:

1) a 'reasonable' speed is required!

Contrary to common knowledge about the laws of physics, folks generally
lose speed when going down stairs.  Backwards bashing however, will
actually cause one to GAIN speed. No, it's not 'magic'...

Many of us have started down a flight of stairs at a good speed, only to
slow to a crawl, and end up 'bailing out' before reaching the bottom.  This
'leap of faith' (hoping you can reach a flat spot when you throw yourself
over the last few steps) is probably the most dangerous thing about riding
stairs. So, if going forward - hit them at speed!

The loss of speed is mostly due to that fact that folks tend to ride the
stairs 'flat', instead of leaning into it and angling the skates as though
on a hill.  Riding 'flat' means that the slope isn't really affecting your
speed.  While bashing backwards, however, EVERYONE lets their heels lead
the way and the foot naturally angles (er...toes up), thus restoring the
'slope' and gaining speed.

While flat-riding, it doesn't matter what style you use...but keeping
your weight on the trailing skate is relatively standard.  Aggressive
bashers often use a wider front-to-back skate placement, but more
importantly, they LEAN into the slope to avoid losing speed.  

Note: go easy on this folks...nobody wants to see you do a header down the 

2) they call it 'bashing' for a reason.  Accept it!

Yup, bashing, bone jarring, bouncing, slamming, and in general, beating
yourself up (ok, your skates) while riding stairs is an expected part of
the game.  A willingness to accept that it feels uglier than it looks is
needed.  Hummm...some folks may argue that it 'looks as bad as it feels'
as well!  Either way, you've got to go with it.

3) backwards *IS* easier.  But more  intimidating.

Honest!  Because there is an extra 'shock absorber' (ie your ankle can flex
to your toes whereas your heel is pretty solid) and because your feet will 
naturally angle down, the backwards ride is a heck of a lot smoother than 
riding stairs frontwards. If you have trouble just 'going-for-it', then 
start slow, and use a hand-rail. (normally this is NOT a good thing to do)
Keep a reasonable front-to-back stance and let everything flex!  

Note:  If you find that going backwards is NOT easier/smoother, then please
let me know.  Not that anyone can help you at this point, but rather
because I'd be curious to hear about the 'exception to the rule'.

4) failure to wear a helmet ANYTIME you are rolling backwards or doing
stairs is (of course) enough to get you 'certified' (as insane) in most

I was the first in our group to do 'killer' steps (4 flights of seven
stairs each) backwards.  I started from a standing-start at the top while
clutching a hand-rail.  The clutch turned into a light balancing guide
after the first three steps...and then I was free-wheeling down the rest.

From: (Shooshie)
Subject: Re: Stairs...
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 19:43:55 -0600

In article <3mcc8o$173i@ns4-1.CC.Lehigh.EDU>, sjs2@Lehigh.EDU wrote:
|> What type of stairs would be the best to start on? Do I want long, flat
|> stairs, or short, steep ones? SHould I take them forwards, backwards, fast,
|> slow, should I lean forward or backwards? All info will be appreciated.

When I began attempting stairs backward, I found some shallow stairs
(long, flat ones) about six steps deep, with a handrail. I found that
using the handrail for security saved my rear end repeatedly. Had I used
the same combination when learning them forward, I might still have
complete use of my shoulder. So... find long, flat stairs and a handrail. 
Or you can learn them as I did and fall a few times. Some of those falls
will send you tumbling down stairs and you'll learn what it is that stunt
men get paid for in movies, as well as why they retire young.

It doesn't hurt to go REALLL slow at first with a handrail, just to get
used to the idea, and to see that it really doesn't amount to much more
than straight level skating. But from then on, try it at a nice cruising
speed. Taking them too slow will just make you end up hanging a wheel on
the last step or two, and you'll fall... and grab the rail, of course.
Take it at a speed with which you could almost jump the stairs, and you'll
probably do fine. If I lean at all, it's forward, but I'm not aware of
leaning, so it would be ever-so-slight. Whatever you do, don't lean
backward... unless, of course, you want to practice dribbling your head on
concrete. Which brings up the standard thing that you should know by
now... Wear Your Helmet!

And one more thing: stagger your feet. Your heel of the leading foot
should be at least even with your toe of the trailing foot. That's not a
rule or anything, but it gives you much more security at first. Which
means you need to be sure you are a competent skater with your feet in
that position before you go bustin' down stairs with it. And because your
forward foot will be lower than your trailing foot, you need to bend your
knees and relax your stance as much as possible to let your hips and
ankles do the necessary cantilevering. There's nothing you really "do" to
go down stairs but relax and wait for the last one to come up, hoping that
you aren't in an awkward balance position in the meantime. That word,
"relax" is a killer though. It'll take about a hundred times before you
can relax. Then you've only learned ONE staircase. You have to find a
different kind then, and another, and another. Finally, you are confident
that you can do any staircase. I haven't tried fire escapes, escalators,
or anything like that, though. To be honest, I really like to stick to the
shallow ones. I'm not a slinky, you know.

There's probably more to tell, but I can't think of it. Someone else will,


From: (Nelson)
Subject: Re: Stairs...
Date: 11 Apr 1995 10:29:23 GMT

sjs2@Lehigh.EDU wrote:
: What type of stairs would be the best to start on? Do I want long, flat
: stairs, or short, steep ones? SHould I take them forwards, backwards, fast,
: slow, should I lean forward or backwards? All info will be appreciated.

Some of the basics...

* Don't attempt to go backwards if you can't skate backwards'll 
  end up falling backwards and bash your skull.  
* Go forward's rougher, but easier to learn, and more natural.
* Forward stair riding.
   - keep feet staggered.
   - BEND KNEES!...Like you're about to tackle somebody.
       get into that atheletic, and balanced position, and KEEP IT.
   - More weight on back leg 
   - Front leg sort of like a out-rigger.  Do Not put too much weight on
     front leg.  A fall on your butt, and elbows (WEAR PADS!) is better than
     a face-plant-tumble down the stairs....I went to the hospital that 
     way for dislocated shoulder.
  -  Keep hands in _ready position_ ... ready for a fall.  :-)
  -  Concentrate on keeping your back leg in position.  Many beginner stair
     riders concentrate so much on the steps they let their back leg get
     limp.  Then the back leg lags behind more and more, and you end up in a 
     bad position!  If stairs are short, then you just end up catching your
     back skate every time.  If they are long, then be ready for face-plant.
  -  So, in my opinion, the biggest thing to remember when learning is to

Wear pads, wear a helmet.

Curb Grinds And Wall Stalls

From: (StClair4)
Date: 5 Jul 1995 13:10:33 -0400

Here is a basic guide to grinds.

1. Frontside and backside grinds:Many people think that these grinds are easiest. I think that this is true on rails, but not on curbs. Find a low rail (4-8") that is small enough to fit between your 2nd and 3rd wheels. To start out, go directly AT the rail. Jump slightly, and land with your FEET SPREAD with the rail between your 2nd and 3rd wheels. Once you can do this consistantly, start approaching the rail from less and less of an angle. The secret to frontsides on rails is to keep your feet spread or you will end up on your ass.

2. Soul Grinds: Aaaah Soul Grinds. Soul grinds are definately the most fun for me. You can soul grind just about anything (curb, planter, rail). To learn how to soul, stand next to a curb 4 to 8 inches high. Jump up onto the curb with the edge of the curb in between your 2nd and 3rd wheel on your front foot and on the outside sole of your back boot. If you can do this no problem, you are ready to grind. Find a curb which is not on a set of stairs, and has enough space for you to get some speed going parallel to it. (Got it?) Wax about ten feet of that curb. If you can't find parrafin you can use bar soap. Wax all around the edge of the curb and about three inches wide on the top. Approach the curb riding almost parallel to it. Jump onto the curb in the soul position with your weight evenly distributed on both feet. If you are having trouble staying on the curb, then try looking down the curb, This helps keep your front foot on the curb. (You will usually come off the curb backwards when doing this)

3.Mizou grinds: A mizou grind is like a soul, except the foot that is grinding on the sole of the boot is the front foot, and the back foot is grinding in between the second and third wheel. Learn how to soul before you learn how to Mizou. Do the same learning process that you did for the soul (stand next the the curb and jump on it). Approach it much like a soul. If your front foot is coming off the curb, then bend your knee over the curb more. (crappy art)

             knee[   ]
                     \  \
                       \  \
______________[  ]  <-skate
                        |  |
From: (Stephen J. Okay)

>harrier@leland.Stanford.EDU (Lawrence Chr-Jr Liu) writes:
>>In an effort to revive the trick thread, I was wondering if anyone out there
>>in netland has performed a "front-side curb grind", as described in the latest
>>issue of InLine.  They mentioned rubbing surfboard wax on the steps to get a
>>better grind, but I was also wondering if the trick can be performed without

Saw it, haven't tried it...

On the subject of 180's though, I've been trying something new during lunch
at work the past couple days. Skate down/across a parking lot, 'till you get
to a median/island. Curb-jump, followed by a 180, landing backwards, then
do whatever...(I've also been working on heel-to-heels, so I've been going
into one of these after I land, partially to practice them, but also because
they can start from a backwards skate, so it looks pretty cool)

I've avoided curb grinds 'cause I'm not sure how well my rails would hold
up to something abrasive like your average concrete curb. I'd probably 
try it on something like one thats been painted "No Parking" and more
or less sealed though. Wax? ---maybe, but modding the turf seems a little
bogus to me...


From: (David Madeo)

In article <1993Aug5.071934.16333@leland.Stanford.EDU> harrier@leland.Stanford.EDU (Lawrence Chr-Jr Liu) writes:

  >In an effort to revive the trick thread, I was wondering if anyone out there
  >in netland has performed a "front-side curb grind", as described in the latest
  >issue of InLine.  They mentioned rubbing surfboard wax on the steps to get a
  >better grind, but I was also wondering if the trick can be performed without

You'll definately want to put some wax on.  Find out where the
skateboarders in your area wax the curbs and you'll be able to feel
the difference.  Rub the wax all around the edge of the curb.  I
suggest being precise where you start and stop the waxing.  When first
learning you can do a left foot plant on non waxed curb and then bring
the right foot on to the wax, start sliding and bring the left foot
on.  It's really important that you get used to skating up to a curb
and jumping onto and off of it at different speeds and angles.  It
takes a while to get used to landing and balancing with a curb between
the 2nd and 3rd wheels.

A trick that people are just starting to do around here is to do a
plate/frame scrape and click into a curb grind.

Another much harder is to do a 180/360 to land on the curb for a curb
slide.  Start by just trying to land, then move on to the slide.

Supposedly the "latest" is to do sole grinds, but I don't see any
great reason to try them.  Stand next to a curb, put the outside edge
of your frame and the bottom of the boot (the sole) against the corner
of the curb.  Put your whole weight on this, take the other foot and
out it in front in the traditional grind angle.  Do this at high

I just learned how to do stairs at the courthouse.  If you saw that
ABC show two weeks ago, it's the same stairs Aton tumbled on.


From: (Spectre)

	The reason they suggest waxing, is because they don't suggest
taking off the 3rd wheel back.  If you take off the 3rd wheel, you will
slide a lot better.  I suggest that you make some type of a shield or plate
to protect your frame.  If you look in the same issue of In-line, thereis
an article about people in New York.  Look at the picture of the FR group's has a shield to protect his frame, one doesn't.  If you look
between the wheels on the skate that doesn't, you  will see what will
happen if you do too many curb grinds without the shield  (his frames are
chipped away between the 2ond and 3rd wheel, and the 3rd and 4th).  When
you take off the wheel, you won't really need the wax...but it's easier
to learn with the wheel in, since your skates will 'lock' onto the stair
between the wheels, instead of having a free sliding space, and you'll 
slide better with the wax.  once you get good at angling your feet, you 
will be able to slide on your frames without having to take off the wheel.

>Another question -- has anyone tried those smaller wheels for tricks, like 
>"Little Roxs" (I think that's what they're called).  Are they necessary for
>rail slides, or can one just remove the third wheel and either slide on one's
>frame or add a teflon plate?

	I havn't tried the little wheels yet (actually I don't see myself
trying them at all, I don't really want the loss of speed, or the added
wear on my bearings...)  Right now I have a sheet metal plate on my skate
where the 3rd wheel was, and I'm looking around for a hunk of plastic
(any suggestions in the eastern MA, southern NH area?)  to make a more
sturdy and less makeshift slider.

>The one trick I'm thinking of learning next is the 180 into stairs and riding
>the rest of the stairs the rest of the way -- how important is it to land one's
>wheels on the stairs?  Do I have to land both skates at the same time squarely
>on the steps, or is it just jump and land and ride?

	It all depends how you bash.  Do you have to keep your weight
distributed evenly, or can you pick up a skate when you are going down.
If you bash with even weight, then you will want to land pretty much im
the same position that you would be if you bashed to that point...if you
can pick up a foot, then you just need to land on the dominant foot, then
you can adjust yourself to a more comfortable position as you bash down.
One on just jumping into the stairt and going from there
before you start trying 180's into will hurt alot less if you
screw up going forwards then going backwards (spines smacking cement stairs
isn't really my idea of a good time :)


From: (James A Holroyd-1)

Jeff, I noticed this, too.  The frames look *really* hacked on. 
Your shield sounds like a good idea, but it doesn't sound like metal would
either last too long or slide too well to be of any use... I recommend
that you use some skateboard rails (Powell-Peralta Gorilla Ribs were my
favorite, but I don't know if they still make them)... they last forever
and slide forever.  Just cut one down so it fits between your wheels,
epoxy it to your shield, and slide on.
 	I've also been thinking about making a rail that fits between the
2nd and 3rd wheels on my skates... just a small piece of plastic that
would either clip or screw into the cross brace in my lightning should
work.  Anbody seen anything like this?  It would reduce the ground
clearance of the skate, but this shouldn't be a problem.  I think it would
make it way easier (and less harsh on the frames) to rail-slide.

Steve: Yep, they're fun, aren't they?  Haven't done them (180 jumps over
curbs) to a
heel-to-heel, but I have kept rotating and sort of spun around in a crouch
to a forward position again once I land... it's not that hard, and it
feels like a 360, 'cept you're only in the air for half of it.  I still
haven't got the courage to try 360's over a curb yet.  


From: (Kenneth Creta)

In article <1ob9d7INN4sr@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>, cd517@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Douglas J. Narby) writes:
> Sounds cool, Ken, but now we have three jargon terms:
> Stall, Curb Grind and Rail Slide.
> Anybody care to DEFINE them?   Throw in any more us newbies are unlikely

Imagine standing in front of a wall about 3 ft high or so (on your feet).
Now imagine jumping up onto it with both feet, "stalling" there for a second,
and jumping back down.  That idea except on blades is a stall.  That is also
a VERY basic stall.  Now try jumping off the wall to one or more other nearby
walls and doing a 360 in the air before landing.  That's a cool stall.  Keep
in mind that in order to land stable on the wall, you really have to land on
the corner such that the front two wheels are above the wall and the rear two 
wheels are below:      o
		     ___o foot
		wall	| o

I think a curb grind might be the same thing but on a curb instead.

A rail slide is just what it sounds like.  Approach a low rail pretty much 
parallel.  Then jump up onto it as if you're stalling it but instead of jumping
onto it and stopping, you slide down it as far as you can.  I can't seem to 
find a railing that would lend itself to this (i.e., low enough).

From: (Stephen J. Okay)

Well, after exchanging messages with some of our resident bladerats
here on the group, I went out and thought I'd try a few of the tricks
that have been described here with varying degrees of success...
The university here I usually blade around has some interesting structures,
so I used those for this.

Rail Slide: Didn't work so hot, but I think thats 'cause I'm too
worried about losing my balance, my hands won't let go of the rail,
or let me rest on my wristguards to let me slide down. A good
way to practice this is to find a "double" railing to do on.
Should look like this:
           \  \  <--hands here(rest on your wristguards, you'll slide
skates----->\  \               easier)
on this one| \  \
             |\_/  <---don't forget to jump off before you reach the end
             |      (top rail slide doesn't have to worry about this)

From what I understand, you should ideally be riding the top rail.
This kind works fine for just practicing though. As I said before,
the leather on my cutoffs grabbed on the rail too much, so I turned
my wrists so they were resting on my wristguards. The plastic is
much more conducive to sliding...

Wall Stall:This worked much better and was actually a lot easier than I 
thought. I did two different surfaces:

         /o                     \  /--------
        /o_____                 /o/
       /o|     |               /o/
      /o |     |              /o/
         |     |               /
         |     |              /
         |     |             /
The first, as you can see was a cement wall/barrier out in the middle of a 
courtyard like area. The other was an inclined cement structure that
had a row of stairs on either side. 

The approach to both was pretty much the same, although the barrier/wall
was done at a lot lower speed than the incline. There's just less surface
to plant yourself on and I didn't want to flip over the side so I approached
it slower. But the launch is pretty much the same. Jump up like you were
going to jump a pavement crack or speed bump or curb or something. The mid
section of your blades should grab onto the corner, and you'll hang there 
for about a second, maybe a little more, maybe a little less, depending
on what kind of purchase you have on the edge. Push back and spin around
at the same time. There ya go!

Incline:Same technique, although if you turn sideways before you land on
it, you can get a longer hangtime because you'll be perpendicular to the
grade as opposed to parallel and your wheels will grip onto the cement
and hold you there. This was cool 'cause it gave me the extra second or
so I needed to set up for a 270. 

The wall felt a lot more solid for landing on than the incline, but like I
said, the incline had its own pluses. With the wall, you landed more 
solidly becuase your wheels would wedge on the edge of the wall, but
you had to bail almost instantly. The incline was harder to get onto and
recover back to the ground successfully on unless you could manage a quick

One final note:
This only seems to work on rough, non-painted surfaces. 
I tried to stall off a painted ledge last night and nearly broke my
leg when I didn't grip and started to fall off. Fortunately I was able
to recover on the landing.

From: (Robert John Butera)
Subject: Re: Inlines:  Frame-Grinding Pros/Cons??

I've done it, and know others who have.  The Lightnings live up to
their durable reputation- I've never heard of a ground frame
cracking - I think they were probably over-engineered (most inline
skates don't have the frame supports anyway).

I wear an 8, and can only fit up to 76 mm.  However, I know a guy with
a size 10 foot who put 80 mm on - the frame is bigger.

I think a file would be too hard.  I bought a conical rasp for a power
drill and used that.  Generally you have to grind:

1.	the horizontal frame supports between wheels
2.	parts of the frame above the 2nd and 4rd wheels and below the
3.	(only if a small foot) the top of the front wheel will barely
	rub the top of the frame.  File it down a mm or so.  This
	didn't seem to be a problem on my friend's size 10 foot.

There really aren't any tricks to it, or things to know.  Just do it.
I kept a spare wheel/axle handy, and just ground away until the wheel
spun smoothly, then ground a little extra to account for the applied
load (i.e. me) when the skates are worn.

From: (Brad McGowan)
Subject: Re: Wall Riding Anyone?
Date: Mon, 1 May 1995 15:35:02 GMT

The way i do it is as follows:  Approach the wall at about a 45 degree (or
even a little less) angle.  The faster you are going the longer you will
ride.  Jump at a fair distance from the wall.  If you jump too late you
will not be able to get your skates onto the wall in time and you will
just end up splatting on you side and looking like an idiot.  As you are
jumping towards the wall bring your skates up and perpendicular to the 
wall.  Kind of tilt your body away from the wall so that you are also
perpendicular.  Then gently set you wheels onto the surface and ride until
you lose momentum and fall off.  Timing the jump is the key thing.  It's 
not really a hard thing to do but it just takes practice.  You might want
to practice it first without your skates on.  Just run upto the wall, 
jump, and then push back off.  After a little bit of practice you can 
then try approaching the wall from the other direction and doing like a 
270 off the wall.  In other words, as you jump spin toward the wall and
put your skates onto it once you have fully rotated in the direction you
were going.  Good luck!

Rail Slides

From: (Spectre)

I don't know if we've gotten much into rail-slides, so I thought I would be the one to bring it up.

For those who don't know rail-slides, they are sliding sideways along a railing. They aren't the easiest things, unless you take off one of your wheels. If you take the 3rd back (of the 4) out, and at least put the axle back in for support on your frame. A lot of people have teflon or other plates designed to go in place of the wheel so you slide on the plate rather than the frame.

I was working on stair bashing this weekend and got a bit bored, so I started doing rail-slides on the railings instead.

Jump up on the railing (You can stay the direction you are going, but I like to do a 180 on the way up so I'm facing the way I'm gonna fall :) With the wheel removed, you want to land on the gap, where the wheel was, then you simply (Not quite :) just let your feet slide along the railing down the stairs.

Best way to practice, find something like a railing that is about 3-12 inches off the ground, skate up, land on it, and slide as much as you can. I don't recommend that you try it right off the bat going down a stairway, since the sensation of sliding backwards is REALLY strange. The skate park that I practice at has 2 railings that are about 6 inches off the ground. One is a railing that was taking off of a wall, and the other is just a 3 inch diameter pipe that is placed on some wood so that the pipe sits in the wood structure with 1/2 above the wood.


From: (Dyer Crouch)
Sender: (Net News)
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 00:28:53 GMT

First, don't grab a vehicle which is going a much different speed than you are. Smaller cars and trucks can feel the slight momentum change and often figure out what is going on and will hit the brakes or find the nearest phone & call the cops on you. Both have happened to me. :(

Second, do it on streets which you are real familiar with and know have a good surface. When you change grades of road or hit potholes at high speed it sucks.

Third, look where the exhaust pipe is. Hooking city busses is my favorite, but they make this HUGE plume of SMELLY dust when they first come out of a stop. Stop signs/lights are also great places to wait for a vehicle to come up to and stop, saddle up behind the puppy & hook on.

Fourth, the bigger the better. Larger vehicles change speed much less and do it slower than cars, vans etc... Big trucks that ride real high are good too since you can see under the truck.

Fifth, careful of the turns. You can get slingshoted if you are on the outside edge of a vehicle on a turn. LOTS of fun when you do it in control, but when you aren't, it is a major butt puckering ride.

Sixth, HAVE A SAFE EXIT AVENUE! If you are hanging on at high speeds, you need to make sure you have someplace to go when you let go. If you are being pulled into tight areas, get off and change directions and or brake. It sucks getting checked into stationary objects.

And last but not least, how to hold on. Use both hands. One hand you will hook under the bumper or around what ever you are grabbing on to, and the other hand you want to use to brace yourself with in case the vehicle slows or stops. I usually have my palm straight out against the vehicle's bumper for this. Your best position to do this is in a crouch with your arms out in front of you until you get good and can do things in whatever position and grab you want.

Ooops... one more. Don't do anything to anyone's vehicle while hooking on which you would not want done to yours, and mind the pedestrians. They see you as a maniacle eight wheeled missle, which you are. :)

From: (DuckMan)
Subject: Re: [INL] Skitching?
Date: 10 Feb 1995 23:16:37 GMT

I've found that the best way to 'Skitch' is just to 'lay on hands'.  The
best way to do this is to skate to the vehicel approaching it from behind
(note: you have to be going as fast or faster then the vehicle for this to
work) then just place one hand on the vehicle (ie. the trunk or bumper).
Do not grab the vehicle, the friction from your hand should be enogh to 
keep you with the vehicle, but if the vehicle make any rash moves it will
shake you without ripping your arm off. 

This only works on flats or downhills.  To go uphill you have to hang on.

btw: Stitchin is still dangerous anyway you do it, if you don't have
    a death wish don't try it. :)

[ HOME ]
Help support Skate FAQs!
General Info Techniques Marketplace Where to Skate Tutorials
Ask Tony
Quotable Posts
Skating Backwards
Skating Downhill
Figure Skating
Buying Guide
Essential Gear
Used Skates Guide
Kids Skates Guide
Buying Women's Skates
Where to Buy
Skate Reviews
Other Reviews
Search Western
Backwards stair-riding
Power slide

Copyright © 1996-2009 Anthony D. Chen,

Serving the inline skating community since 1991

Online Privacy Policy