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Naomi Grigg’s skating years – Part 3

Part 3 by Naomi Grigg

naomi-6For a few months I had noticed another similarly aged girl at the same sessions as I went to. She didn’t speak to anyone either, and wore ice hockey skates too. She was doing the same things as me and I often thought of how great it would be to be her friend. I never did speak to her though and months later during one of the ultra quiet lunchtime sessions she came up to me and paid me the greatest compliment I think I had ever received. “Excuse me, do you play ice hockey?”. I was blown away completely and gushed something crap like “No! no… why, are you? I thought you were” whilst trying to keep my cool and not nervous giggle like the social incompetent that I was. She replied with […]

By |June 6th, 2013|Articles|0 Comments

Naomi Grigg’s skating years – Part 2

Part 2 by Naomi Grigg

The months passed, and now I was not only turning from forwards to backwards with confidence and much better success rate, but I was doing crossovers going forwards. Turning from backwards to forwards was still a problem though but like everything else I learned, I knew how to sort it out. It would just take 4 or 5 hours of repetition. One hour each session, doing it over and over again. I still believe that you can learn most things without an instructor – you just need to try it enough times and eventually your body will adjust what it is doing to enable you to do it without stumbling and falling over as much. It’s never a case of not falling anymore – but those times get pretty few & far between.

Learning the backwards to forwards transition also taught me something about the learning […]

By |June 6th, 2013|Articles|0 Comments

Naomi Grigg’s skating years – Part 1

Part 1 by Naomi Grigg, March 2007


This article is all about Naomi’s years of learning to skate, and how she progressed through the skating world.  It’s pretty cool, partly for the bits I can empathise with, and partly because it makes her a little more human!

Naomi writes:

I was 15 and bored out of my mind. It was the school holidays in a small village in Wiltshire where I knew pretty much no-one, and I decided to go to the ice rink in Swindon. I walked 2 miles to the bus stop, waited for the hourly bus, and went for a skate – and again a week later, and ended up going 2 or 3 times a week. It became the most exciting parts of the week – I was so excited before each visit – I’d be away from all of life’s stresses in the most perfect environment. There […]

By |June 6th, 2013|Articles|0 Comments

Naomi Grigg – first time on skates, ever?

Naomi Grigg – one of the legends of skating who so many of us look up to, here skating at about age 8.


Here’s a quote from Naomi when I commented on how falling and hitting her knee was no obstacle, she just got up and carried on skating:

My Mum said that video really showed how I was never a complainer. I remember seeing 2 boys with their own inlines on and it was a really formative memory because they were so good. One of them not only jumped, but actually was able to jump up and land backwards. Impossible. I was in wonderment!

By |June 6th, 2013|Articles|0 Comments

Le Mans 2013 memories – by Van Dieu

Le Mans 2013 – 24 hour skating race

The French are well known for their love of all things “Roller”, so it should come as no surprise to discover that the biggest and most well-loved skate event in Europe is the 24hr du Mans Roller – known simply as “Le Mans” to the UK skating community – held each year at the prestigious Le Mans Bugatti circuit in the Sarthe of France.  Each year, skaters across France and much further afield make the annual pilgrimage to do this unique race – some competitively, others in a more relaxed fashion, all for the simple love of skating.  London teams have been attending the Le Mans race every year in increasingly strengthening numbers since a small contingent first went in 2002, and this year saw more UK/London-based teams and skaters than ever before make the short trip across the channel, with conservative […]

Muscle Memory and Skating by Erika Kennington

Practice Makes Perfect …….. Or Does It?

The Role of Muscle Memory in Developing the Speed Skating Stride

Erika J. Kennington

What is muscle memory? As a speed skater, muscle memory and skating, and specifically the importance of building muscle memory, is a term often thrown around, yet rarely defined and almost never explained. When pushed for an explanation, many instructors give vague and varied definitions, some of which are extremely misleading. However, most definitions basically say the same thing; that muscle memory is the body’s ability to memorise (or perform automatically) a well rehearsed motion. Some elaborate further saying that muscle memory occurs when a movement, in this case the complex speed skating stride, is transformed from a conscious action to an automatic action requiring no thought.

Muscle memory is not an unusual phenomenon though, it is very much part of our everyday life. It is responsible for so many of our […]

By |June 5th, 2013|Articles|0 Comments

How to get the most benefit from your skating lessons

Inline skating lessons with an instructor aren’t cheap, and although I believe you get what you pay for, I’ve written this page in the hopes of helping you to get more out of your lessons. Of course I’m a little biased being an instructor myself.


It’s really important to practice between lessons if you want to get the most out of your money. Practice will help you improve on the drills and skills worked on in the previous lesson and will help settle your skating muscle memory of those movements. You’ll also spend more time on your skates which equates to more time spent working on your balance. Thus, when you start the next lesson, you’ll be at maximum sponge-like absorbency ready for all the cool new skills we’ll cover.

Muscle memory refers to the body’s ability to memorize, or perform automatically, a well rehearsed motion. Here’s a great article by […]

By |June 5th, 2013|Articles|0 Comments

Wheels and Wheelchairs

Wheels and Wheelchairs are a group of London-based skaters, rollerbladers and wheelchair users who go out together as a group on a regular basis. Their aim is to raise awareness of the difficulties that wheelchair users encounter on a daily basis, and they want to encourage wheelchair users to live more active lives, through their participation in outdoor sports.

The wheelchair users are pushed by the skaters, and together they cover a distance of 5 – 12 miles. They meet twice a month, and their joint trips usually start in one of London’s main parks – either Battersea Park or Victoria Park; and on the last Sunday of the month, they usually go out on the Snail Stroll, which is organised by the London Friday Night Skate.

As a group of able bodied and disabled friends, they go out together to do what neither group would be able to do on […]

By |June 3rd, 2013|Articles, Events|0 Comments

Skating in Norman Park, Bromley

I taught lessons in Norman Park today, which was rather good fun. Haven’t been here on skates in a while since we moved out of the area. It was a lovely sunny spring day, albeit with fairly cold air at 17 degrees C, hence the base layer.

I taught a couple of teenagers, and was super impressed with their politeness and ability to listen and learn. They were rather co-ordinated, and soaked up skating skills like sponges.

I don’t mind how fast people learn, as I’ll adapt to their pace, but it is nice to cover a lot in a lesson. Of course this means that each skill we do is practiced less by the students, so they won’t get as much muscle memory. On the positive side, they know what to do and how to practice it, as well as having the confidence to go skate on their own.

Oh, funny […]

By |May 27th, 2013|Articles|0 Comments

How to balance on skates

Why learn to balance on skates?

Balance on skates may seem obvious, but many people spend far too little time working on this essential and basic skill.  It’s the key skill to nearly everything you do on skates.

Think of speed – exceptional balance is the key to being able to set down effectively, to control your push and to limit energy wasting re-balancing.  The key to skating fast is to only ever skate with one foot on the ground at a time, which isn’t limited to skating forwards, but also to the double push and crossovers.  What about freestyle – so many moves rely on balance.  This includes many where you have both skates touching the ground – these rely on precise and crisp weight transfer for best style.

In summary, excellent balance is one skill that every good skater in every skating discipline will have developed to an exceptional degree.

There […]

By |May 26th, 2013|Articles|1 Comment