Roller Derby Books
Roller Derby Videos
Using the Grass to Save Your...
How to do a Grass Stop - by Allan Wright
An article by Zephyr Skate Tours owner Allan Wright explaining
how to stop or slow down on inline skates by skating into the grass.
Picture this. You are cruising down your favorite path
on inline skates, your mind in autodrive and your thoughts
on the evening ahead. The trail winds along a stream,
the river bank on one side and a grassy field on the other.
Up ahead the path crosses a road and sports one of those
stop signs you wish wasn't there. Knowing you would rather
get home for dinner that night than end up in the hospital,
you decide to stop.
How to go about it? You have an array of choices in
the stopping category. You can use that brake they put
on the back of one of your skates. Not an intuitive maneuver,
perhaps, but the most effective form of stopping once you
master it. You can also drag one skate behind you in a
T-stop as many advanced skaters do. For many of you,
though, the sound of the brake grinding on asphalt or
your wheels sliding on concrete somehow gives you the
sensation of leaving so much rubber on the trail that
you soon will be making a trip to the skate store for
Looking for another stopping technique? How about making
use of that friendly grass on the side of the path to do
a grass stop? No, a grass stop is not an enter-the-grass,
It is a smooth, effective way to stop when you can see in
advance that you will need to stop and have a handy patch
of grass on the side of the trail.
To perform a grass stop, follow these steps:
Why the ready position? The bending at the knees gives
you more control to absorb little bumps. Lowering your
center of gravity and leaning slightly back is a counter
to the desire of your body to keep flying forward while
your skates slow in the grass. Why the scissoring? The
scissoring helps you with forward-backward stability in
addition to your natural side-to-side stability.
Continue rolling forward on the pavement in a
"ready position" as you angle toward the grass.
The "ready position" involves bending at the knees
and lowering your center of gravity.
"Scissor" your feet so that one skate
(not the one with your ABT brake if you have one of those)
is ahead of the other skate (the last wheel of the front
skate should be ahead of the first wheel of the back skate).
Both skates are still on the ground pointing forward with
about four inches width between them; i.e. don't start
spreading your skates apart.
Roll straight into the grass, lowering your
center of gravity even more and sitting back with
your weight on your heels as you enter.
Roll to a stop.
Try this a few times at slower speeds and with large
grass areas. As you get the hang of it, increase your
speed. It might help to watch a friend who has already
mastered the grass stop.
The best thing about the grass stop is that as you
get better, you can use the "grass stop" to improve
your skating in all sorts of ways. Crossing railroad
tracks or skating through gravel patches on roads
involves the same skills.
Mastering the grass stop will not only give you another
stopping technique but will improve your overall skating.
About the author...
Allan Wright is the owner of
Zephyr Adventures, a company creating tours and beginner
camps for inline skaters. In addition to skating, Allan Wright loves to
bicycle, mountain climb, kayak, and do almost anything
involving the outdoors.
Visit Our 12 Skating Forums
Forums for discussing aggressive, artistic, beginning, hockey, fitness, recreational,
roller basketball, roller derby, roller dancing, rollersoccer, quad skating,
slalom skating, and speed skating.
How To Skate and How To Stop
Inline Skating for Beginners
Speed Skating for Beginners
Skating in Africa
Skating in Asia
Skating in Europe
Skating in Oceania
Skating in The Americas
Inline Skate Shop
Roller Skate Shop