How to Stop on Roller Skis? Tips for Beginners

How to Stop on Roller Skis? Tips for Beginners

So you’ve decided to take up roller skiing, and you want to stop. You don’t understand how it works, you are afraid of falling and breaking something. After all, you do skate, so it’s not a big deal, right? WRONG!

This is a completely different sport. You need to learn how to stop on roller skis if you want to avoid unnecessary pain and injuries. Check out our tips and tricks to stop on roller skis.

On the bright side, skating on roller skis brings a new way to enjoy life. It combines the fun of ice skating with the fun of biking. While roller skiing is not completely new, its popularity is increasing every year. It is now a sport that many people enjoy, including people of all ages and athletic levels.

With the rise of the coming season, the whole world gets back on roller skis for cross-country skiing, and this might be the right time to start especially if you are a beginner on roller skis.

But how do you stop on roller skis? Well, it all starts with that rousing experience- the wind whipping across the face as you enjoy your ride, feeling as if you can take on the earth. However, the endings are usually a bit tricky, and bringing these things to a stop is never easy.

Possibly, you’ve already gotten some bruises and a few scrapes trying out spooky tricks to control your speed while roller skiing. But we’ve all been there, so there’s nothing really to be ashamed of. Stay with us, though; we’re going somewhere with this!

We have placed some foolproof tips on how to safely and effectively employ various stopping techniques while roller skiing so you don’t end up getting yourself injured. Read on!

Roller Skis And Brakes

Roller Skis And Brakes

Do roller skis even have brakes? Well, that’s going to vary by make and model. Some roller skis use electronic disk brakes or fixed braking systems that reduce speed through increased friction. The wheels can also be stopped by pulling at a line or rope attached to the skis, which causes brake pads to rub against the pavement and slow or stop the roller ski.

Roller skis with built-in speed limiters are yet another popular option. Note that when skate skiing down a slope, your rate of acceleration will be increased tremendously, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of falling or toppling over.

As a result, speed reducers work to help you slow down by enhancing restrictive forces. They’re particularly useful for slowing down fast-moving wheels without sacrificing stability.

Having said that, however, sometimes the brakes won’t work, and the stated speed reducers may not provide the much-needed instant results. This brings about the need to learn some stopping tricks and techniques for emergency purposes and to prevent injuring yourself.

Otherwise, the majority of roller skis are not designed with stopping mechanisms, speed reducers, or such safety features. This is mostly lacking, especially on local options and budget manufacturers, so you’ll need to learn some stopping skills to stay safe and sound out there.

Quick Roller Skis Tips for Beginners

Quick Roller Skis Tips for Beginners

There is no doubt that roller skiing on wheels ensures a nice run with increased pace and momentum. How then can you cause these wheels to stop? Your best bet is to make wise decisions using fundamental physics. Since your safety is the main priority, we’ve included a straightforward method for stopping your roller skis and significantly reducing their speed.

  • Stopping while roller skiing shouldn’t be done abruptly; instead, let the speed drop gradually.
  • As you shift your weight from one foot to the other, keep your feet pointed outward to create more friction.
  • Get the knees in a bent posture and extend your ski poles or arms forward.
  • Check that your skis are not in contact with one another.
  • To maintain balance, place your shoulders and hips in the middle.
  • Alternately shift your entire body weight to each foot. This will enable the skis to gradually slow down before coming to a stop with the aid of ski poles.
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Roller Skiing Stopping Techniques

Roller Skiing Stopping Techniques

There are some cases where you’d definitely need to halt right away when roller skiing. This is especially true if you encounter a road crossing, a vehicle, or kids who were to get in your way.

And by “stopping” we don’t mean falling off and getting hurt or bruised, running into someone, or having an accident. So let’s have a brief explanation of how to stop on roller skis.

There are many ways to accomplish this; So choose the ones that feel most natural to you and practice them before heading out for the cross country skiing. To avoid injuries, it’s important to have a firm grasp and maintain proper balance while skiing. And avoid skiing at too much speed when starting.

Wide Stance Stop or Snowplow Stop

Well, we’d rather call this stopping technique the “wide stance stop”. After all, a real snowplow can only be mastered in snow. Now in this method, the roller skis should remain parallel and wide enough from one another.

Keep your hips and shoulders in the middle of your body while bending your knees to bear/transfer your weight on the feet.

The wide stance or snowplow stop is a common stopping technique and it works nicely, especially for individuals who prefer to take their time before actually coming to stop.

Note that you need to position your skis in a wide stance before gently pressing the ski in front of you into the ground. This will enable you to safely stop and provide you the ability to control how quickly you stop.

All you need to do is lower your hips and apply push outward to move the roller skis forward.

Also, by continuously changing your weight from one foot to the other, you can alternate your feet as well. Avoid angling the skis inward; instead, keep them at a distance and level. Thus, skiing around the edges of the wheels causes more pavement friction, which slows you down.

Swenor Brakes

Swenor has greatly improved its skiing models to set them apart from the competition with this incredible braking ability. The brakes make stopping easier and are particularly ideal for novices because they don’t require a lot of training or experience to get along with

Here, you just need to adjust how much weight you put on the brake, and this will cause the wheel to halt, of course, due to friction. The roller skis will stop as the wheel comes to a stop.

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Moreover, these brakes can be used in a variety of situations, including overspeeding and skiing downhill.

Slalom Stop Technique

This is yet another cool method of stopping on roller asking. It is especially great if you’re looking for a change in how you’d achieve stops quickly and easily.

Still, the slalom stop is more effective on wider roads since it works better when used at high speeds. For the best results, swoosh back and forth while maintaining a low stance and a lean. It simply requires practice to master the weight-shifting technique for the said better results.

To accomplish this, you need to simultaneously lift both skate or skis off the ground while performing the bunny hop. When you do this, both skis will lift off the ground and instantly stop you.

Sharp tips and tight twists that increase friction on the wheels can also help you lose momentum. The left ski should support all of your weight when turning to the right, and vice versa. This prevents mobility by allowing resistant forces to take over.

Rolling Into Grass

Rolling Into Grass

It goes without saying that only roads with grassy sidelines are suitable for this technique. Overall, there are no really difficult tricks in this method. Just find a clear grassy location where you can halt. Put your weight on the rear foot, then saunter onto the grass. Keep in mind to put your weight to the leading foot as you slow down for more stability.

Also, you might want to try the wide stance or snowplow if you are attempting to stop while on grass. This is because moving on grass will make you slow down more quickly than on pavement.

Widen the stance of your skis, then carefully press the ski in front of you into the ground. This will enable you to safely stop and provide you the ability to control how quickly you stop.

For greater stability, make use of the ski poles and keep an eye on the ground for any gravel, sticks, or rocks that could cause you to trip and fall. To prevent the back ski from pushing out from under you, try to keep your weight on it during the action.


This is not the easiest and it can take several days to fully practice something this sophisticated. Nonetheless, you start the T-stop by setting your feet in a T posture (as the name suggests).

To propel your front foot outward, you’ll need to bend your knee and put all of your weight on that leg. The back leg should remain straight and firmly planted on the ground as you maintain your balance with the rest of your upper body. The back leg will push outward and slide as you go forward to get back into the T position.

Another way of explaining this is to insert your toe into one ski and slide your heel back. After that, repeat the same steps with the other ski. Sure, you can acquire a more secure posture by turning your legs inward to avoid friction, but it’s not always necessary.

Last Recourse Techniques

Finding a grassy area next to a paved section and practicing a deliberate “bailout” from the pavement onto the grass is a particularly effective exercise for beginners who are just learning to roller ski.

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Keep it slow as you transition from the pavement to the grass, proceed gently, and anticipate that your skis will almost come to a complete halt. You’ll realize that you can rapidly regain control while on the grass if you shuffle your feet or run swiftly enough, even for a few paces.

The best part about this exercise is that it provides a lot of “rear-end absolutions” because even if you make a mistake, all that happens is that you fall on the lovely, soft grass. A flat surface or rough pavement is not nearly as lovely of an option.

Having said that, there’s always the chance that failing to stop in an emergency. The key is to exercise caution and always have a backup plan in mind. You can use the following tricks if all else fails.

There are a few other techniques you can use if you find yourself in a position where you need to stop quickly but the T-stop, or Slalom, or Snowplow aren’t helping.

You can stop sliding if you do one of two things: one is to skate off the edge of the skating rink, and the other one is to execute a hockey stop. Shift all your weight on one ski and drag the other ski behind you. Then, swiftly change the legs, and repeat the same leg with the new leg.

It is always safer to fall on grass than on hard, rocky terrain, so scan the area for any patches of grass. If you maintain control and get a solid roll hard into the ground, you won’t damage or injure yourself.

Look around for any trees or paved light poles if there aren’t any grassy spaces to be found (which is likely to be the case if you are skiing on bike paths). Grab it with your arms to help lose your momentum and stop.

On downhills, avoid using tips as a “brake.” You may end up damaging pole tips and shafts. Plus, the noise you’ll create will most likely freak out other trail or road users, and this might cause the roller skiing to get a bad reputation (perhaps resulting in access closures, not a good thing!).

If a slope is too steep to ski down regularly, it is safer to stroll down, get speed reducers, or try out some roller ski brakes.

Get Your Protective Gear

Get Your Protective Gear

You can practice roller skiing with your regular winter boots and gloves, though if you want to do a lot of rolling, you’ll run through equipment twice as quickly in the summer. If you wear heavy gloves in warm weather, you risk getting plenty of hand blisters and damp gloves.

So light gloves might be a much better option.

At least, there are some well-known manufacturers that produce excellent roller skiing-specific gloves. Regardless, be warned: you will likely develop blisters the first few times no matter what; however, this will improve as your hands become more resilient.

All roller skiers are advised to use protective equipment, including highly bright (preferably fluorescent) clothes, gloves, a well-fitting helmet, and ideally some sort of knee and/or elbow protection.

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The use of elbow/wrist protection is also highly recommended, especially for beginners and young athletes. The best approach to ensure your safety is to gradually hone your roller-skiing abilities in the safest environments and to only use pavement that is ideally suited to your abilities.

Roller Skiing Equipment

Roller Skiing Equipment

You will realize that the equipment necessary for roller skiing is largely the same as that for nordic skate skiing. In fact, the same boots and poles that are used for skate skiing in the winter can also be utilized for roller skiing.

In order to prevent them from wearing out or deteriorating on the pavement, the pole tips will need to be switched from baskets to ferrules. Check that every part of the roller ski is okay.

Roller skis are available in fiberglass or aluminum. While fiberglass has a bit more give and can absorb some of the noise from the bumpy pavement, giving for a smoother ride, aluminum is lighter in weight and marginally less expensive.

You can use either NNN or SNS bindings to mount skis. And although there are skate and classic roller skis, most roller skiers tend to begin with skate, mainly because it is simpler to maneuver downhill (more like skiing on snow) compared to classic skiing.

For novices, knee and elbow pads protection is always recommended. Moreover, every time they are skating on a public road, roller skaters are expected to wear bright fluorescent apparel to make themselves visible to approaching cars.

It is a fact that a lot of people who are new to roller skating tend to find stopping to be the most challenging part of performing this activity. It is important to find a way to stop in a way that makes sense and is safe for you. Hopefully, this has helped to clarify some of your concerns regarding roller skiing and perhaps even motivate you to give it a try.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Just like skiing on snow, roller skiing is mostly enjoyed by those who aspire to perfect ski fitness since it is quite similar to snow skiing. It is also a fantastic activity that requires physical effort to tone muscles throughout the body.

Roller skiing is a great approach to practicing cross-country skiing as it allows you to go quickly through bike trails and broad spaces like meadows. As a beginner, you can practice in nearby parks with a safe side area or join a skiing club for proper instruction.

After learning the fundamentals, find a space with a broad, smooth surface and few people to practice. Even if using a snowplow is undoubtedly the simplest and most common technique, we encourage you to practice others as well. This can greatly improve your ability to control your balance while using roller skis.

While practicing, you must also outfit yourself with all the appropriate safety equipment. It’s best to wear a helmet, and elbow and knee pads for protection as many stopping techniques entail tripping on sidewalks and brushing through the grass.

As an amateur, it could be challenging for you to master these stopping techniques, but once you get the hang of it, roller skiing will become your favorite outdoor activity!

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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