It’s hard to imagine, but some twenty years ago in the late ’80s, inline skates were the hottest new item on the market.
It would be an understatement to say that rollerblades (yeah, that’s what they were called) were everywhere — they were the hottest toy in the world and everyone was wearing them.
Now, you’re here because you want to know how to drop on a ramp or half pipe with inline skates, right? Well, buckle up, and get ready to learn all about it.
We are going to explain how you can drop on a half pipe with inline skates with a step-by-step tutorial, plus an in-depth look at the physics behind the trick.
We will also give tips on how to get started, what kind of inline skates to use, and other advice that will have you dropping like a pro in no time.
Here’s an Overview
Learning how to skate on half pipes can be frightening, especially from the top when you haven’t yet gone over the edge.
But the key is to gradually work up to it by rolling up and down the ramp, twisting, and increasing the height until you’re confident enough with the moves you do when you drop in.
Your muscles and balance will become used to the various movements that the ramp allows (and doesn’t allow), and in the end, dropping from the top will feel perfectly natural.
And once you’ve mastered the act of getting up and down the ramp, dropping in is unbelievably simple; as simple as stepping over the edge and letting the ramp take you down.
You’ll be amazed by how easy it is once you’re comfortable with the ramps. Here are some handy tips to help you get the hang of it. Read on!
Find the Most Suitable Skatepark Where You Can Practice Frequently
You don’t have to learn how to drop in the first time you visit the skatepark. After all, dropping in will be simple once you’ve done it. You just need to familiarize yourself with the curve, and then let gravity and balance take you down.
However, to make yourself familiar enough with the ramp, you’ll need to find somewhere you can go back and practice on a frequent basis.
This way, your plan to drop in may be easy to carry out. Your progress on the ramp will be faster if you’re able to make frequent trips to the skatepark with little rest in between. Otherwise, you’ll make it more difficult for yourself if you leave months between sessions.
Almost as if you had to start up where you left off.
This applies to any technique. To master the trick, you need to practice it frequently, making sure you’re progressing and not getting stuck and frustrated.
Start Easy And Work Your Way Up
Simply put, start skating from the bottom and work your way up. The goal is to gradually increase your height on the ramp until you’re able to run the whole ramp beneath your skates.
But for you to do this properly, you’ll first need to learn how to turn on the ramp. You can start small and tentatively, then gradually practice how to jump turn while on the ramp.
From there you can skate higher and higher as you develop your confidence until you are running the entire length of the half pipe from the bottom part of it to the top and comfortably skate back down again. So, at this point, you’ll be nearly skating above the top railing.
Take note of how the ramp feels beneath your roller skates as you move from the very top. Getting acquainted with the height and the sensation will aid in making the ascent less frightening.
Don’t go charging headfirst into the larger ramps or make jumps to rank yourself. Do that and you’ll most likely get stuck at the top, especially if you don’t know how to skate up and down the entire ramp. You’ll be at the top, yes, probably clapping your hands, but the fear of dropping in will start to grow. So start small and work your way out.
The idea of getting used to skating up and down the ramp and jumping about is that when you get quite high, you have already dropped. When you are about halfway up the ramp, you are likely to get rather comfortable while making turns to get down.
In fact, you can reach the level where you are skating so fast up and down the ramp, that it gets you over the railing to land comfortably on the roller skates at the top.
Consider Practicing A Sit-Drop First
To do this, sit at the top of the ramp, legs dangling over the edge and hand on hand on the railing. Then bend your knees and propel your body forwards onto the ramp and try to lean and spring forward and outwards.
Maintain your balance and let the skates get you down the ramp. This is probably the most common method to learning a sit-drop and one you’re likely to find easier and less frightening. It’s a fantastic way to learn.
That said, though, trying a sit-drop for the first time might be scarier for some reasons, but it’s all common given that you don’t really know what was supposed to your body getting down the ramp, or even how you’re supposed to get your body in front of the skates fast enough so you don’t trip.
Consider Using a Smaller Ramp for The First Few Times
It might sound obvious, but having a smaller ramp when starting out can be really helpful. Find a skatepark that features quarter pipes with various heights, i.e a quarter pipe, a full-height one, (and something in between such as two-quarter pipes), and probably larger ramps that don’t have to be vertical.
Starting small can be an effective strategy because the first drops won’t feel too scary and each one is only a small variation from the last.
Get comfortable and accustomed to one before going on to the other. Drop in from the small/medium sizes several times to develop and improve new abilities and a feel for (skating over the edge.
Don’t go jumping from dropping one straight to the next. Get comfortable with every level at the bottom part of the ramp before you go skating up and down bigger ramps.
Go for it if you’re feeling confident and have skated the ramps. It becomes simple once you’ve mastered the angle and speed of the ramp.
Also, it can be slightly easier to practice how to drop in on quarter pipes (with varied heights) than half pipes. This is because you will only need to learn to whizz down without having to worry about the other side right away.
Use The Right Type Of Skates
If you’re here and have never skated before, or you just bought yourself a nice pair of skates maybe for fitness or recreational purposes (probably the ones with brakes but no grind gap between them), then you might want to pay attention.
First off, what you need here is a decent pair of aggressive skates. It’s ought to be obvious and probably you’re already aware of it. The thing with aggressive skates is that they often come with a gap between the back and the front wheel for grinding purposes.
Besides, these kinds of skates are designed with ramps in mind. In fact, the stated gap between the wheels is meant to help you comfortably lay it there whenever you drop into the ramp, and it is located on the coping.
And because the wheels are smaller (about 50 – 65mm), they are slightly slower (but still good for acceleration) compared to speed skates and fitness skates.
Nonetheless, if you already knew that, the next thing worth mentioning is that the most aggressive skates on the market are of sufficient quality for use on ramps.
But, as with anything, a nice pair will make your entire skating experience a bit easier. You should also look for a pair that is comfortable and fits your foot form and skating technique.
If you are learning how to drop in then it means you’re probably a beginner, so your style isn’t fully established yet, and you’ll want to acquire a decent all-around pair that suits your liking.
Of course, you can drop in using other skates. In fact, it’s pretty common and it can even be done on roller skates. However, if you are just starting out, you’ll be wise to get yourself a pair that is specifically designed for the purpose. It will be easier that way.
Skating Forwards Up The Ramp and Backwards Down The Ramp
This is yet another great way to become acquainted with the ramp. Start by skating slightly up the ramp and then back down. Then you repeat the same, but this time, try to make it a little higher. Do it again and again, trying to get a little higher every time, and so on.
You keep doing this until you reach the very top. But don’t rush; take your time and ensure you’re confident and comfortable enough with the ramp.
When learning to drop in on a half-pipe, being able to come down the ramp backward is quite important. However, if you’re practicing all of this on your local half-pipe, try also to learn how to go up the ramp backward.
You might find yourself struggling with this because you have the propensity to lean too far forward. Or rather too far backward. It’s just hard to maintain balance when you can’t see where you’re going. In fact, this explains why skaters tend to peek over their shoulders when skating up the ramp backward, in order to see what’s coming.
Go Ahead And Practice On The Rail
Place one foot on the rail, lean in, and make a step down with your leading foot in front. Then stand straight up at the top of the curve, not sideways, but facing the curve’s direction.
Step one foot onto the coping and then direct your drop with your other foot by slanting over and stepping down the curve. Note that we’re assuming you’re able to know which foot feels the most comfortable for the leading skate.
You can use a bar (if there is any) to grasp onto the side to stabilize yourself the first few times. But don’t hang about. Again, avoid getting stuck where you’re both scared and frozen. While that doesn’t mean you rush into it, you should be familiar enough with the ramp to know when you can actually let go of the bars and perform the drop.
The dropping motion goes hand in hand with you leaning forward. This should be kind of natural as you bend or lean forward to meet the ram with your leading skate/foot.
In this case, the angle you’re leaning in is the same as while skating on the flat, where the wheels are mostly parallel to the ground. Your leading foot will take you over the edge, and the one on the coping will match the dropping, following you down to the bottom.
These skills will develop naturally as you practice skating up and down the ramp and become acquainted with the angle your body whizzes through, the speed, the distance between the skates, and pretty much everything else you’ve practiced to this point.
To boost your performance, try to keep your hands out for more balance, and the skates (legs for that matter) the same distance apart.
Don’t Get Caught Up in a Freeze State
Skating is fun, and it allows you to whizz in ways that our forefathers could never have imagined. Dropping on a half pipe is a fantastic sensation that you gradually develop into because it is now within your ability levels, given all the inline skates and skate parks available.
One could even say the reason why all these tips are here in the first place is because dropping on a half pipe should feel completely natural. You just need to learn how to go high and turn to come back down again.
So, take it easy, go with the flow, and don’t freeze while at the top. The longer you stay afraid at the top of the ramp, the worse it will get. If you find yourself freezing, gather your courage, and don’t worry about how terrified you are, think about how amazing it will be once you’ve done it. Alternatively, you can continue skating up and down the ramp until it becomes more comfortable.
Be Sure To Wear Your Protective Gear
This is not only for your confidence; it’s simply not worth it to get into an accident and crack your skull open. Some helmets look really cool these days. Very comfortable. ideal for pros and novices alike. So just have one.
Wrist injuries are the most common from skating so be sure to have your wrist guards as well. You will feel more confident while on the ramp, knowing that you’re protected, should things go sideways with your drop.
The Bottom Line
Well, dropping on a half pipe with inline skates has to be one of the most daunting tricks in rollerblading. It’s very nerve-racking and can seem like a lot to handle if you’re not sure how to do it. But practice makes perfect, and eventually, you’ll feel confident enough to try it out!
As you can see, this is something that is tough to learn so don’t worry if you fall a few times. Once you have it down, you can have a ton of fun trying out different tricks! Just don’t forget to wear a helmet and wrist guards since you never know what will happen!