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When I decided to give myself the space to explore different activities, starting with cycling, my confidence, and my curiosity both began to grow and extend to other forms of fitness.
And while I do love riding my bike, I felt that roller skating was even more liberating, because all you needed was your two feet and a good pair of roller skates.
Of course, I soon realized that roller skating is not that simple, and I even questioned my capabilities.
You might also wonder, can fat people roller skate?
While overweight people can roller skate, they might struggle with balancing and they have to be more careful to avoid serious injuries. Since most roller skates have a 220 lbs weight limit if you’re heavier than that then finding a good pair might prove difficult.
If you’re a plus-size person who wants to learn more about roller skating, how to get started and what to expect then keep on reading!
Can Fat People Roller Skate?
The easy answer to this question could be a simple “of course, fat people can roller skate!” In fact, heavy people, are capable of performing a plethora of activities.
But this doesn’t mean that the additional weight we carry doesn’t have any impact on our physical prowess.
How well we can perform while roller skating is heavily affected by our level of fitness.
So, if you’re a plus-size woman or man who has done other types of activities and you lead a fairly active lifestyle then roller skating can be less challenging when you first get into it.
That being said, you don’t have to be fit to be physically capable of roller skating, but you will have to accept that it might be difficult at the start, depending on your innate strength, and how well you can balance while in motion.
When I got my first roller skates, I was already cycling regularly around town and I was enrolled in some yoga classes to improve my flexibility.
Still, I had to adjust my mind and body to this new hobby.
By the time I learned how to roller skate I had fallen down numerous times and I even managed to break my first pair of roller skates.
Do Roller Skates Have A Weight Limit?
There’s no standard weight limit for roller skates, and most manufacturers set their own weight limit which is usually up to 200 lbs to 220 lbs.
While the weight limit is usually used by brands to describe how much pressure their roller skates can stand, in many cases large individuals that exceed these limits will still ride them.
The main issue with riding roller skates that can’t handle your weight is wearing down the wheels to the hub or damaging or breaking the roller skates altogether.
And while I don’t promote buying roller skates with a lower eight limit, I do want to point out that skates can break regardless of your body type.
Your technique also plays a major role and remember that skates don’t last forever, and as the saying goes, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
However, if your skates break in the first few weeks of roller skating then it might not even be your technique, but the quality of your skates in the first place.
Can You Roller Skate If You’re Over 300 lbs?
Certain roller skates can handle more weight, even riders up to 300 lbs, but that will depend on the quality of the product and the brand’s official weight limit.
You can also customize your roller skates to improve their weight capacity by adding more resilient and wider wheels.
High-quality roller skate bearings, the component that makes the wheels spin, can also help you experience a much smoother ride even as a large skater.
I also want to mention that roller skate riders that are over 250 lbs or 300 lbs need to be careful with the type of skates they purchase.
In order to have a safe and fun ride, it’s best to choose high-quality roller skates that have a greater weight capacity.
In this case, you might want to look into specialty stores to find roller skates that can actually properly fit you.
To protect your roller skates from breaking you also need to learn how to safely stand up and ride and most importantly how to use your weight to your advantage.
How To Start Roller Skating When You’re Overweight?
Before I got into skating, I watched the roller skaters at my local park with admiration, and even though they were not perfect I still felt like I couldn’t participate because I was afraid that I would embarrass myself.
If you’re a heavy person looking to get into roller skating, then you might also feel intimidated. That’s why I’m here to help you shake that fear away and give you some advice on how to approach this activity.
Get The Right Pair Of Roller Skates
Despite the excitement, I also feel quite vulnerable whenever I get into a new hobby, but I found a way to minimize that uneasiness I feel in the pit of my stomach.
With roller skating, I realized that being properly prepared is half the battle and by that, I mean getting the right roller skates.
As a plus size woman, I look for roller skates with a high weight capacity and larger wheels.
Additionally, I have wider calves and my ankles tend to swell, especially after a long exercise session or in the summer. That’s why I also need comfortable skates that won’t cause chafing or cut off my circulation.
The best way to prevent discomfort when roller skating is to wear good socks, get the right size skates and lace them properly.
Before you take your roller skates for a spin at the park or a roller rink, try to practice skating in the safety and comfort of your home or backyard.
Even if you don’t have a big apartment with long halls you can practice standing on your skates without falling.
Then again if you do have a large enough house or a backyard, then this could be a safe place to practice because you can avoid the attention of other people and slowly build your skills until you’re ready to take your skates out for a public ride.
Start With The Basics
When I usually start a new hobby whether that’s knitting or an activity like skiing, I want to be the best from the start, and I want to do all the complicated tricks in one go.
As one can expect, I had to rewire that mindset because all it does is hold you back from the wonder of learning.
So, start from the very basics of roller skating.
This includes working on your posture. By working on maintaining the right posture you can learn to balance on your roller skates without toppling over.
You’ll also need to become comfortable with walking with your heels together and your toes pointed out, also known as the “duck walk.”
You’ll be slow at first and regardless of your weight and height, you need to be prepared for the inevitable fall. I’ve been roller skating for more than a year and I still fall once in a while, but I’ve learned to laugh it off.
Standing up can also be tricky, but it’s an essential skill to learn in case you fall.
This brings me to my next point, you need to learn how to fall safely to protect your ligaments, and the more sensitive areas of your body, like the knees, ankles, and wrists.
Go To Roller Skating Classes
If you have a roller rink in your area you could find a group of people that are already more experience in skating and ask them to teach you a few techniques, or you could enroll in a skating class where you’ll see other novice skaters falling alongside you.
In fact, I think going to a roller skating class with a professional trainer is the best way to go about learning a new skill without harming yourself.
The trainer will show you how to safely apply each technique, from simply standing/balancing in your rolling skates to performing difficult spins.
A professional will also keep in mind your weight and other physical difficulties that you may have. They’ll make sure you’re comfortable and they’ll help you avoid any possible injuries.
Don’t Forget Your Safety Gear
I’ve already mentioned a few times that falling is part of riding roller skates, no matter if you’re new to the sport or not and regardless of your weight.
That’s why you need to make sure your body is protected, by wearing special gear like a helmet, protective knee pads, and elbow pads, as well as wrist guards.
These areas are more sensitive to falls and when you carry more weight the force can be much greater.
Of course, while large people will take a harder fall, we also have a lot of softer places that can cushion our descent. That’s why learning how to properly fall is so important.
Wear Comfy Clothes
I’m all about wearing what makes you feel beautiful, but when it comes to exercise and in this case roller skating, my advice is to wear stretchy and comfy clothes.
Especially when you’re at the beginning of this journey, wearing loose garments instead of tight jeans can make a huge difference to your freedom of movement.
As you get the hang of roller skating you can experiment more with cute outfits, like flowy skirts with anti-chaffing shorts to keep your thighs from rubbing too much together.
These Women’s Teamwear bike shorts that you can check on Amazon are my absolute favorites not only do they go up to size 7XL they also come in multiple colors!
I also love wearing flowy garments, like shirts with loose sleeves and capri pants or leggings that have lots of stretch to them.
This way I feel like I’m one with the wind, without the fear of my clothes getting in the way of my riding.
Take It Easy!
Taking things slow and enjoying the process of roller skating is a very crucial step and I truly hope you’ll follow it.
Because being heavy means that we try to put so much physical effort into an activity that we often forget how strong we are, and that force can be dangerous.
As a fat roller skater, I know I can go really fast, especially if I choose to go downhill and this ability can make me forget how dangerous my amazing speed can be.
Especially as a newbie you can easily hurt yourself, so choose easy terrain and avoid going uphill or downhill, at least until you have worked on your balance.
Try not to overwork yourself and remember to stay hydrated. As a fat individual, I sweat a lot which means I lose a lot of water, and carrying a bottle of water can help you feel less tired or dizzy.
If you get tired or you feel pain, just take a break or stop roller skating for the day or until your body had time to recover.
Being confident is a great quality but avoid becoming overconfident because you might hurt yourself.
What Problems You May Face While Roller Skating As A Fat Person?
As a heavy skater knowing the possible struggles you might face while roller skating can actually prepare you against them.
So, let’s see these problems up close.
Finding The Right Pair Of Roller Skates
Getting a comfy pair of roller skates that can handle your weight is definitely the most important and difficult part of roller skating.
The roller skates should also be the right size for your feet, so you don’t feel discomfort especially if you’re planning on taking them for lengthy rides.
As a large skater you might also struggle with lacing your skates. My belly usually gets in the way, so I end up feeling tired well before I start skating.
This can also be embarrassing especially since as a heavy individual you always feel like people are judging your every move.
In this case, I’d suggest taking a friend with you who can help you out, or simply try to take your time with this process.
After all, lacing your roller skates properly will help you feel more secure in every step and movement you take in them.
When it comes to weight capacity, most skates can handle around 200 lbs and some manufacturers sell skates that go over that limit.
So, once you start looking for new roller skates you may find that some manufacturers don’t state the weight limit clearly, and, in this case, I’d suggest going through the reviews and looking for possible plus size buyers in the comment section.
Balance And Movement
Balancing on roller skates can be more challenging for fat individuals, especially if you’re not used to being active and you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
According to research, obesity can have an impact on our balance, especially as we age, and “obese individuals show faster body sway during upright stance.”
So, you can imagine that adding small wheels at the bottom of our feet can make it even faster.
Our weight also means that we can gain great speed while roller skating, especially if we’re going downhill, so it’s possible to lose control over our movement.
But balance is something we can work on by being more active. Riding a bike, or simply walking can strengthen the muscles in our lower body.
Stretching and participating in activities that can strengthen our muscles can help us gain control over our movement and balance.
If you simply want to roller skate then this activity can also help you improve your balance, you just have to be patient with yourself and your body at the beginning of your skating journey.
As you can imagine you can’t roller skate without falling a couple of times, and even as an experienced skater I will still trip and fall.
Unfortunately, large bodies can experience a heavier fall. More so, if you start roller skating without stretching your body and with no warmup before and after then you can end up injuring yourself even without falling.
Aside from warming up your body, you should also make sure to wear kneed pads to protect your knees, since that can be a very sensitive area for overweight people.
Like most physical activities, roller skating can result in some injuries, but it can also help you become physically stronger and according to a study done in the Netherlands, it can mitigate the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
If you’ve suffered from broken tendons or obesity-related injuries, you could talk to your doctor who can tell you whether roller skating is a safe option for you.
Remember to also wear extra padding and make sure you’re training with a professional teacher in a safe place.
Why Roller Skating Is Great For Plus Size Bodies?
Roller skating as an overweight person might come with a few struggles, but it’s also an amazing activity with plenty of benefits.
It Keeps You Active
If we’re being honest, working out at the gym is not for everyone, or at least it’s not fun for everyone.
That’s why I prefer fun physical activities, and roller skating is definitely super fun, but it’s also good for your body.
In fact, according to Roller Skating Association, “roller skating is recognized and recommended by the American Heart Association as an aerobic sport.”
Not only will you burn calories, but you will also strengthen your leg muscles, hips, and calves.
The University of Massachusetts also showed that in-line skating causes less than 50% of the impact shock to joints compared to running.
As you learn new skills and gain more experience in the roller skating world you’ll also find that your balance, stamina, and metabolism have improved.
You Can Meet Other Plus-Size Roller Skaters
Roller skating classes and roller rinks are great places to learn how to skate and to find friends participating in the same activity.
In my area, I found people of different age groups, backgrounds, and styles roller skating and we all looked different and unique.
You can also boost your confidence by enrolling in a class with another plus-size friend or try to look for classes that are plus-size specific.
I also find fat online creators a great source of confidence and inspiration, so I’m going to leave my favorite plus-size roller skater here with her 5 tips for fat roller skaters!
The Goal Is To Have Fun!
Starting a new hobby, especially one that requires a large person to use their body can be incredibly scary.
But you need to remember that most people regardless of their size can feel self-conscious and as a plus-size person this is an important piece of information to remember.
Also, most people tend to focus on themselves anyway and if you meet an individual who keeps criticizing other roller skaters for being fat or for being clumsy then they are not worthy of your attention.
Roller skating or rollerblading is meant to be fun, I mean think about it, you’re wearing shoes with wheels on!
Instead of focusing your energy on what other people do or think, try to work on your roller skating skills at your own pace and have fun with it.
Do Rollerblades Have A Weight Limit?
Similar to roller skates, the durability of rollerblades depends on the manufacturer, the design of the model, the frame structure, and the wheels.
Rollerblades also have a weight limit which is not universal but most popular brands can handle riders weighing from 200 lbs to 220 lbs, and some models might even go over this limit.
Is Rollerblading or Roller Skating Easier For A Fat Person?
Before I got into roller skating, I thought rollerblades and roller skates were the same thing, but this isn’t the case.
The most obvious difference between the two is the positioning of the wheels. Rollerblades have a line of wheels while roller skates have two horizontal lines of wheels instead.
The main functional difference between the two is that rollerblades are actually better for longer distances because they go faster.
Roller skates on the other hand can be easier to ride on and they may offer more stability.
I personally prefer roller skates for the stability they offer because I’m not looking for speed, and they’re usually easier for beginners.
But if you’re not sure which of the two will suit you more you could talk to a trainer at a roller rink. Or you could start riding roller skates and then move on to rollerblades once you gain some skating confidence.
Roller skating has been trending over the last few years, and I have to admit there’s something vintage and nostalgic about this activity.
I mean that’s how I fell for it!
And I hope that my fellow fat people don’t feel excluded from vibing and experiencing this roller-skating renaissance we’re seeing.
So, grab your rollerblades or roller skates, wear your protective gear and enjoy the ride, just remember that falling is part of the game!