Skate You Butt Off The Inline Skaters Guide To Skating UP, and Down Hills

HomeSkate EquipmentMaintenanceArticlesLearn To SkateSkate Links


Literally skate your butt off by training on hills, this is the best and fastest way to get back in shape from a long winter indoors.   I pick a hill in my neighborhood and once the weather changes, I skate that hill every night.  My goal to make it to the top at an even pace through out without stopping.  Vary your hills as well, long slow sloping ascents help you to learn to pace yourself, while steep short slopes force you to dig in those edges and climb to the top. 



Going Up!

The key to climbing a hill is to keep a comfortable pace on the way up.  Burning out half the way up is not the goal, and neither is going too slowly because you are wasting energy.  Stretch out your stride, and transfer every available unit of energy to each stroke, and aim for the top of the hill.  

  • Get Lower- bend at the knees more this allows you to take a LONGER stride, which in the long run will have you taking less strides.  But to get the most out of each stroke.

  • Push Harder- stretch way out and make sure to use your back wheels, don't be so far forward that you are not using the entire skate- Keep all four/five wheels on the ground to get the maximum from each stroke.

  • Keep your eye on the top,  Part of doing hills in training is for you to find out how much energy you need to climb hills of different sizes.  But no matter what size hill, you still have the same goal- getting to the top.  Work on technique and conditioning.   Alter your pace to get all the way up for now, and during the course of the summer you will find that you will take hills faster and easier, but at YOUR own pace.  Remember the top means the top, not near the top.  Crest the hill, then prepare for your descent, you will have time to catch your breath on the down slope. Test your brake or adjust your speed at the start of the downhill, not before it.



Going Down!

Using the downhill momentum makes the transition to uphill easier.  If you are comfortable striding at high speeds, it can be fun but not necessarily fun if you have to slow down to the point where you can begin skating again. 

The key to successful downhill is being in control from the beginning of your descent.  Don't let your speed get out of your comfort zone.  

Anticipate obstacles and avoid them, and learn alternate methods of stopping, T-stop, lunge stop, and grass stop, you never know when you will need to use them.

Know your terrain, and traffic patterns, watch for cars, car doors, man hole covers and rain grates. 


If you are just starting out, and attempting your first hill, follow these easy rules:

  • Pick a small hill to practice on.

  • Start at the bottom of the hill and tackle it a few feet at a time.  Skate up about 10 feet, then from that point, attempt to roll down it.

  • Scissor your right foot forward, bend the knees and lift the right toe, dragging the brake on the pavement to keep your speed at an even and comfortable pace. 

  • If you need to go slower, apply more pressure to the heel brake.

  • If you want to go faster, drop the toe for a few seconds and release the brake. 

  • Repeat these steps to maintain your speed. 

  • Gradually work up to the top of the hill practicing your braking until you have conquered the hill from the bottom up. 

  • Now you are ready to skate down from the top.






More Articles From Inline Skate Resource:

Skate Your Butt Off - A Guide to Skating Hills


OK, Something is not right here, my feet hurt when I skate!


Stretches and Warm Ups for Inline Skating


On The Road Again, Traveling with your Inline Skates


When Should I Replace My Helmet?


Skate Buying Guide




Rocker n' Roll


Inline Skate Wheels


Buy Wheels