|How to Skate on Bridges
Sooner or later, you'll encounter wooden bridges,
which have wide ruts and deep grooves in them, especially if
they're older and not well maintained. In these situations, you
need to adjust your skating to compensate. The idea is to avoid
getting the wheels of your skate caught up in the rut or groove,
especially if it's wider than your wheels. Use the following
steps to quickly alter your path and bypass the potential
Time Required: indefinite
1. To spot a rut or groove, always look 10 to 15 feet ahead
after you clear the entrance to the bridge.
2. If you see something that looks suspicious immediately in
front of you, roll your ankles slightly to the right or left to
initiate a quick turn in that direction.
3. After you've moved a couple of feet over to the right or
left, rebalance by shifting your weight back over your skates
until you're pointing straight ahead again.
4. Without making any strides, glide with both feet together
past the rut in the bridge. You should have enough momentum to
roll past the hazard and up over the top of the bridge.
5. If you feel yourself slowing down too much, make two or three
short strides to pick up speed and then go into another
two-footed glide, being careful not to slide into the groove if
you're adjacent to it. Ok, but what about those vertical rises
at the entrances to some bridges? How do I handle this type of
bump? Glad you asked! Read on, as the rest of our how-to covers
6. The entrances to some bridges, of wooden or metal
construction, are inclined with plates, which let you roll
smoothly up and onto the bridge without a hitch. However, other
bridges have no plates and the ground has eroded away leaving
abrupt, 90-degree, vertical rises in your path. In addition, the
height of the rise varies. Sometimes, it's only half-an-inch
high, but I've come across some as high as three inches. You
need to adjust your tactics according to the height of the rise!
7. When your about 20 feet from the entrance to the bridge, look
ahead and quickly check the height of the rise.
8. If it's a half inch or less in height, lean back slightly on
the heels of your skates and lift your toes up so your front
wheels are slightly off the ground when you hit the rise. This
means your front wheels will always clear the rise and allow for
a smooth transition onto the bridge.
9. On the other hand, if the rise is between one-half and two
inches in height, you need to use a different tactic.
10. Slow yourself down by applying your brake just before the
11. Place your right or left skate out in front of you.
12. Step up and lift your front skate over top of the rise so it
lands flat on the bridge.
13. Quickly pull your back skate up and place it flat on the
bridge, being careful to lift it high enough so you clear the
1. The last tactic takes some timing and coordination, but once
you get it right, it'll prove invaluable.
2. If the vertical rise is greater than two inches, the best
approach from a safety standpoint is to come to a complete stop
at the entrance to the bridge and just step over the rise, one
skate at a time.
3. Getting stuck in a deep rut or wide groove can cause an
abrupt change in your momentum, which is undesireable as it can
cause your upper body to shift rapidly forward or through you
out of balance laterally to the right or left.