How To Stop On Roller Skates

The Ultimate Guide to Stopping Safely on Roller Skates

The biggest hurdle you’ll face when you choose to learn how to roller skate is learning how to stop on roller skates. Unfortunately, perfecting stops is considerably more complex than mastering them. In this guide, we’ll go through the essential stops you should understand and practice on skates.

Although there are several how-to guides for roller skating, none tell you how to stop with roller skates. The most important skill you’ll learn for roller skating is how to brake effectively. Learning how to stop is one thing most newbies find hard to do.

If you continue to follow along, you’ll soon discover how to react when you’re moving a little too quickly and need to stop or how to slow down on roller skates. You could feel like taking a break for any reason.

How to slow down on roller skates using different techniques

Here are four simple moves you can try if you’re new to roller skating or have been skating for a while but haven’t tried any tricks yet. Just make sure to practice in a safe place, away from traffic and other things that could get in the way.

Toe Stop Drag

It is the simplest method for stopping on roller skates is the toe stop drag. Using this technique, you can generate a “drag” that is both light to drag and strong to slow down.

  • Bow your front knee so that your leg supports approximately 80% of your weight.
  • Let the back skate’s toe stopper scrape against the front skate, which will eventually cause you to slow down.
  • Additionally, you should bend your rear knee and point the foot within the sliding skate.

Heel Brake Stop

Certain roller skates have at the back heel brakes for steeper downhills and sudden stops.

  • Start by bending both knees while keeping both skates.
  • With more body weight on a skate, move the other forward while applying the brake on the heel when it barely passes the front tire of the rear skate.
  • Let it slide down the ground while remaining in that posture, so the brake is close to the back skate’s front tire.


On roller skates, the T-Stop is crucial for properly slowing down. It can be challenging to perfect such that it completely stops you. The T-stop needs strong core stability to sustain this practically one-legged position while negotiating the surface direction, consistency, and deceleration.

Most new roller skaters have difficulty using the T-Stop to stop completely, even though it seems like a simple move. Like the saying, “practice makes permanent,” so it’s good to practice this stop at higher speeds so you can always use it to keep your speed under control.

Plough Stops

The Plough Stop is a good way to learn how to stop on roller skates. You can do the Plough Stop in two different ways.

Sliding Plough Stop

For this move, your feet should be wider than your shoulders, your skates should be parallel, your knees should be bent, and your body should be straight. You could keep rolling in this manner until you stop, but it might take time and, more importantly, won’t slow you down if you’re going downhill.

After pressing your heel outwards, you must continue pushing the skates apart. As you thrust out through your heels, the skates tend to roll closer together.

Stepping Plough Stop

It starts with skates parallel to the ground and broader than the shoulders. To use the forces to slow down:

  • Every time you switch feet, lift each skate in turn and set it in an inward position (toes in, heel out).
  • Since every skate will roll inward toward the center, each step should be taken slightly laterally and sideways to prevent tripping over your toes. Remember that you must stride correctly with the skate facing inwards for this to work.


Credit to Dirty School of Skate for this tutorial video.


Common mistakes when trying to stop on roller skates

Roller skating is a fun and exciting hobby, yet it can be hazardous if the necessary safety precautions and practices are not followed. One of the most frequent errors while attempting to slow down on roller skates is not understanding the appropriate method.

This section will target some of the most common mistakes people make when attempting to stop while roller skating and offer a pinpoint on correcting them.

1. Using the correct stopping technique while roller skating is essential. The T-stop is the most popular and involves crossing one skate in front of the other and using the toe stop to gradually slow down and come to a complete stop. Skaters should be careful not to use their heels to stop, as this can lead to a loss of balance and even a fall.

2. Insufficient braking power is a frequent mistake many skaters make when attempting to stop. If not enough force is used, the skater may keep moving forward even after trying to stop. Therefore, it’s essential to apply the necessary amount of pressure while stopping so that you can completely come to a halt.

3. Awareness is essential when roller skating – not being conscious of the environment can lead to running into objects and trouble stopping. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of your environment at all times and avoid any dangers.

4. Keeping your body weight over your toes is essential when attempting to halt. If the weight is too far back, you may lose balance and fall.

5. Skating success requires practice – the more you do it, the better you get. This is why it’s essential to dedicate time to roller skating practice – so that you can build up your skills and become confident with stopping etc. Additionally, the more practice you put in, the closer you get to achieving perfection.

Avoiding basic mistakes can help you master the art of stopping on roller skates and make your roller skating experience much safer and more fun. Having a good grip on how to decelerate correctly will prevent you from running into obstacles and crashing.

Protective Gear You Should Wear When Learning How To Stop On Roller Skates

To avoid any injuries while learning how to stop on roller skates, it is important to wear the right protective gear. This will make sure you are shielded from any falls and running into obstacles.

Protective gear such as a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads should be worn to ensure safety.
It is also essential to stop with the correct technique to reduce the chances of sustaining an injury.

how to stop on roller skates

If you liked this guide, here are some more guides to improve your skills  in order to become an expert skater:


Learning how to stop on roller skates should always be your top goal when you start skating. Let’s face the facts about the dangers and admit that we wouldn’t be content to ride a bike or drive a car without brakes. Let us also not attempt this while skating!

We hope this inspires you to set goals for yourself and assists you in setting realistic expectations. Don’t be the skater who discovers how crucial this is by suffering a bad fall due to an improper stop. In addition, working on your skating skills and getting better as you learn how to stop on roller skates will give you a lot of satisfaction.

Our Story

Welcome to Skates of Glory! Join us as we dive into the roller skating world, sharing insights, tips, and inspiration for skaters of all levels. Let's roll together and embrace the skate life!

Oliver Harris
Greetings fellow skater, I'm Oliver Harris!

Hello, I am Oliver Harris, a skilled roller skater with expertise in roller derby and speed skating who brings years of experience and contagious enthusiasm to Skates of Glory.

Emma Moore
Hey there fellow skater, my name is Emma Moore

I am Emma Moore, an accomplished artistic roller skater and professional coach who combines sports psychology with my passion for skating.

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