inline skater needs pronation life-line

Long time skater Steve from Seattle  asks this question of the iisa.org team:  I‘m 66 years old and have been skating about 17 years.  Skated on Salomons until they quit importing them.  I just got my second pair of Rollerblades, Rollerblade Speedmachine 110 RX Skates.  The problem I’m having, I also had with the 100 MM skates that I just wore out.  I pronate a lot.  I moved my frames as far to the arch side of my foot as I could, and that helps, but I am still on the inside of my wheels most of the time.  I’ve considered taking a file to the frames so I could move them even further to the arch side.  I also wonder if there might be something I could put inside the skate to relieve the problem.  An ideas, or if you can’t help me, any idea who could?

Steve, we found some help at inline planet that will get you started diagnosing your pronation issues, and a fairly technical article about pronation and supination right here at inline skating resource.   Though I’m not an expert, I do work with certified pedorthists who tell me to start with one correction at a time.   First, get footbeds from an expert to stabilize your heel.   Second, do plenty of balance drills on one foot to eliminate operator error.   I know there’s a life-line out there for you.   Skaters with expertise and experience, please weigh in!

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3 Responses to inline skater needs pronation life-line

  1. Liz Miller says:

    Steve, the above are excellent tips to address your tipping problem. There is one thing I can add, though: scooter drills. You will need a chalk line (or painted trail divider line), several yards of clean pavement, and fresh ankles, because tiredness will also cause you to pronate. No scooter necessary, but you might imagine you are on one while drilling.

    Your goal is to practice keeping your weight directly over the support / gliding skate so that the wheels are always perpendicular to the pavement. This requires your nose and support knee to remain centered over the support skate’s wheels. Assuming the support skate is your left, the pushing skate will be your right for this drill.

    To begin, position the left skate on the line, bend your left knee and begin to stroke lightly with your right skate, directing the heel wheel towards “3 o’clock.” Do not straighten the left knee, and keep your upper body stacked on top of that leg: you may already know this stance is the skater’s Ready Position. Press the right skate’s wheels away as you stroke but do not shift your weight onto that skate or your nose will follow.

    Glance down occasionally to make sure the left skate is tracking straight along the chalk line. Make sure your nose is still directly over the line too, and not shifted towards the right. If you have a friend who can watch from the front or back, have him or her let you know when your upper body or support skate begins tipping toward the inside so you can correct it by shifting your weight back on top of the left skate.

    At first it may be hard to keep the wheels from tipping, but as your balance gets better and you learn how it feels to commit solidly to the support skate, you will be able to balance on that sweet spot for longer and longer glides while your other skate does its job of pushing. If you cannot achieve perpendicular wheels at all, then you may need to try a different pair of skates, possibly with shorter wheels (sorry!).

    Be sure to swap sides with this drill, and change it up by doing half swizzles instead of scooters. This type of drilling is the best way to isolate your weak side (everybody has one) and build it up for more symmetrical and powerful skating.

    Good luck!
    Liz Miller
    http://www.GetRolling.com

  2. Mike Lin says:

    Steve, do you pronate less on skates with smaller wheels? If so, it is likely a technique issue and you try the drills that Liz mentions above. A more challenging variant of these drills is to do them with the buckles and laces partially or completely undone.

    I would caution against compensating for technique deficiencies by using an overly inboard frame position. As a starting point, the front of the frame should be aligned in between your first and second toes, and the back of the frame aligned with your achilles tendon. You should be able to perform the scooter drill and not feel like you are tipping over on either side. Test it and adjust accordingly.

    All that being said, some people just aren’t aligned perfectly and that’s when the orthodics come in. Another option are shims to cant your frames inward, such as these.
    http://bontskates.myshopify.com/collections/accessories/products/812

    Again, make sure your technique is sound before trying to fix things mechanically.

  3. ann ledesma says:

    Steve, I pronate on the right foot, my foot is just made that way. For this reason I personally – and I emphasize this is just my experience – I cannot wear Rollerblade skates. I tried a couple pairs and on one pair I pronated so far off the plate that my foot in the boot was just about level with the plate. I choose K2 skates, I cannot budge these puppies out of place, that’s how firmly they hold my persnickety right foot in place. Maybe give them a try!

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