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Inline skating: fun for all the family

Simon Eichenberger, owner of the Rolling Rock skate and sport centre in Aarau, started inline skating 20 years ago. Here are his tips for beginners.

Text: Clau Isenring

Is inline skating hard to learn?

Not really, but it can feel strange for beginners who pull on skates for the first time when they’re 30 or 40 years old. Beginners tend to lean backwards out of fear or uncertainty, so they’re likely to topple backwards and land rather heavily.

What’s the right way to brake?

It’s best to use the brake block on the skates. I wouldn’t use the T-stop, where you drag one skate behind you perpendicular to the other skate, because a) it’s not as effective as using the brake and b) it’s much cheaper to replace a brake block than worn-out wheels.

Any tips on what to look for when buying skates?

You won’t have fun skating on cheap skates made of inferior materials. Skates have to feel comfortable and provide stability. Good wheels are also important, because it’s very hard to move on poor quality wheels. Wheel size also plays a key role: 80 mm wheels are ideal for beginners who don’t want to go too fast. And they are more manoeuvrable than 100 mm wheels.

How much can I expect to pay for a good pair of skates?

Kids’ skates cost around CHF 120 and can be adjusted over three or four sizes so they grow with the kids’ feet. Good inline skates for adults cost upwards of CHF 200.

Family fun

Around Zurich airport
Ideal for families and with great views of the airport. A flat route over 17 km.How to get there: public transport to Zurich Airport. Skates can be rented from the Service Centre at the airport.

Engadin Skate
Easy route covering around 13 km through beautiful mountain scenery.How to get there: public transport to Samedan.

Around the Greifensee lake
Flat, easy route, ideal for families. The whole route covers around 19 km.How to get there: public transport to Greifensee, Städtli.

Erlen Skate Basel
Simple route over 12 km.How to get there: public transport to Basel, Badischer Bahnhof. Tip: why not visit the Lange Erlen zoo en route (free of charge)?

SlowUp
SlowUp events throughout Switzerland offer a great skating experience for families. The first event will be held in April in Ticino. More information can be found at slowup.ch.

Other routes
Other inline skating routes all over Switzerland can be found at skatingland.ch. Anyone interested in taking part in an inline skating race should go to swiss-skate-tour.ch.

Raining? Try an indoor skate centre!

  • Rolling RockSkate- & Sportcenter, Aarau
  • Park N'Sun, La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Association la Fièvreet Skatepark HS36, Lausanne
  • Dedicated Skatepark, Meiringen
  • Skatepark Vanja, Riazzino
  • BMX- & Skatehalle Güeterschuppe, Wädenswil
  • Freestyle Halle, Zürich