Freestyle slalom skating, also known as slalom skating, cone skating or just freestyle skating, is a roller sports discipline which requires a skater to perform tricks, stunts and dance-like maneuvers around a straight line of equally spaced cones. It is a sport for skaters of any age with a good sense of rhythm who are willing to work to develop fast, precise, well-timed footwork.
This type of skating is popular in Asia and Europe, and there is a growing slalom community in the United States. The competitive sport was created by combining several inline slalom skating styles. It has now evolved from these very humble beginnings into an internationally recognized skating style with thousands of participant skaters from all over the world and is governed by the World Slalom skaters Association (WSSA). These are the four elements in freestyle skating:
- Freestyle Slalom
- Speed Slalom
- Free Jump
- High Jump
Freestyle slalom can be done with inline skates or quad skates, but today the inline executions are the most popular. Beginners can learn on a good pair of recreational skates with the heel brake removed or even hockey skates. But, developing skaters will eventually need to purchase slalom skates. Serious inline freestyle slalom skaters use equipment with a full rocker inline wheel configuration and a short frame to allow the best possible maneuverability. A tight fitting semi-hard shell boot and strong cuff provides the support needed for precision with a little freedom for ankle movement. These skates are designed for tight turns in small spaces at low speeds.
Accessories for Slalom Activities
Once you have skates, the most important accessory for slalom skating is a set of the cute little cones that are used as guides for turns and tricks while doing freestyle slalom skating. Big cones are not practical to use, so slalom cones are around three inches tall with a three-to-four-inch base.
Popular Slalom Moves
The list of moves for freestyle slalom is extensive. And there are many ways to execute each slalom move. There are also geographical differences in how the moves are named. The best way to learn how to slalom is to watch other good slalom skaters.
The easiest moves for beginning freestyle slalom enthusiasts are the fish, cross and snake. SlalomSkating.com has a slalom search engine that makes it easy to search their database of tricks - if you speak Spanish. Or you can visit their slalom video archive to surf through hundreds of tricks and events.
Inline skaters choose freestyle slalom as their roller sport for many reasons:
- Freestyle slalom skating is fun and challenging
- Freestyle slalom skating can be done on a variety of surfaces
- Freestyle slalom skating allows creativity to any kind of music
- Freestyle slalom skating has competitive opportunities
- Freestyle slalom skating can also be an on-going non-competitive recreational activity
Freestyle slalom skating can be done on a variety of surfaces The World Slalom Skaters Association (WSSA) is the governing body for slalom on all continents. It was formed in 2003 by a group of skaters who had been participating in freestyle slalom skating activities and events since 1999. If you would like learn more about freestyle slalom skating, visit the WSSA or other groups shown below that have a lot of influence on and information about the freestyle slalom skating community:
- International Freestyle Skaters Association
- WSSA World Slalom Series
- UK Freestyle Skaters Association
- Naomi Grigg's SkateFreestyle Organization
- Spanish Freestyle Slalom Skating
- Recreational inline skating includes a variety of activities that are suitable for skaters of all ages and many skating levels.
- Inline fitness skating is more goal-oriented skating to achieve medical, mental or physical benefits.
- Street and road skating are organized group events on public thoroughfares and smooth paved roads.
- Speed skating and inline racing are recognized as competitive disciplines around the world.
- Marathon skating events are taking place on every continent.
- Freestyle slalom skating lets you dance and spin around cones.
- Dryland skating or inline figure skating is very similar to ice figure skating.
- Inline hockey skating is a popular year-round sport at amateur, scholastic, and professional levels.
- Inline roller soccer is a unique version of regular soccer.
- Roller cricket athletes play all batting, bowling and fielding positions on roller skates.
- Roll ball is becoming a popular school sport.
- Inline basketball is an easy roller sport to develop.
- Aggressive and stunt skating includes jumps, grinds, slides and flips.
- Urban inline skating is a great activity for young or young-at-heart thrill-seekers.
- Skate cross is an aggressive ramp and obstacle course race on inline or quad skates.
- Off road and all terrain skating combines mountain biking and skiing with inline skating.
- Nordic inline skating is also called cross-skating or Nordic blading.
- Kite skating is an extreme inline-based roller sport.
- Wind skating or skate sailing is a wind powered inline sport.
- Downhill racing is similar to the Alpine downhill ski racing.
You can also get a quick overview of many inline skating sports. If you are not sure that your interests will be dedicated to any one of these specific skating styles, start by building a good foundation in recreational or fitness activities and training. Good basic skills will take you in any direction that you want to roll. If you do not find an inline roller sport that is just right for you, then take a look at the quad skating sports opportunities.