What am I doing? Why am I here?

To satisfy many common questions from our clients, we have compiled the following answer list addressing your frequently asked questions. We believe you will find them helpful. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

How many skate lessons do I need?

The minimum lessons we recommend is 4. These four lessons will give most skaters a good handle on basic balance, slowing, turning, terrain negotiation and stopping skills on flat terrain. However, that being said, we highly encourage skaters to master our Outdoor Skate Basics (10 levels). Skaters can take the courses more than once to review and master the skills. Once you know how to stop on flats, we recommend learning to apply your stopping skills with ROBICHON'S instructors in our Beginning Trail Skating Course. This will take some commitment, however the time, mileage and efforts you give will repay you in leaps of safety, fun, fitness, freedom, and friendships. When venturing into the skate world, you will find after the first few lessons, your confidence will increase. Most of our clients, 90% plus leave with a huge smile on their face. We like this and hope you will experience that same ear to ear grin our other clients feel.

Next Steps:

Once you are comfortable on your skates, our Cool Moves course is designed to give a skater some fun new moves. Skaters can learn to skate backwards, develop a fancy forward crossover, and transition from back to forward and forward to back.

If there is no instructor in my area, where should I start?

We recommend you learn-to-inline skate with qualified professional instruction. However, if instruction is unavailable, and you have never skated before, always wear full protective gear - especially a helmet. Begin skating on grass, carpet or other form of high friction surface to find your balance on skates. While on the grass, experiment with moving forward, catching yourself from a fall, and braking on the high-friction surface. Once you feel comfortable and balanced in the grass move to flat smooth asphalt. Beware wheels roll faster on pavement! Consider traveling to Minneapolis, Minnesota for skate camps, personal tour or private lessons. Remember, you are safest when you begin learning with a qualified professional instructor.

Where should I practice?

Until you can stop effectively, practice on traffic-free, smooth, flat asphalt or grass. Search for a convenient paved outdoor roller rink, (usually outdoor ice arena turn roller rink in the summer), an abandoned parking lot or a quiet neighborhood cul-de-sac that reflects our criteria for a safe place to practice - i.e., smooth, traffic-free and a fairly flat and debris free asphalt slab.

Am I too old?

Never. We have taught skaters from age 3 to 75. Many of our adult skaters are over thirty-five and well into their forties. If you are worried you are too old, the chances are you will fit right in!

What if it rains?

Generally, we allow for a make-up day or have an indoor rain location in the event of rain. If for some reason these two options are unavailable, then the participant can transfer without penalty, the remaining lesson time into another similar program of that same year.

How do I know if Class is canceled due to rain?

Sometimes this process can be dubious, a lot like the weather guys;). Here is our rule of thumb:

If rain is threatening but not yet raining, class is considered on until otherwise notified by Robichon's Skate Instructor. We will continue as scheduled, meet on site and the instructor in charge will call the skate lesson when they determine conditions are a concern for our safety and equipment.

If it rains before class then stops:

Light drizzles and isolated showers before class tend to be fine as the moisture tends to dry quickly. The chances are great within ten minutes, we will have dry asphalt to skate on with only a few wet spaces to steer clear of.

When down pours occur and the entire skating surface is a sloppy puddle things tend to get a little challenging.

If it rains as you are driving to class and there is no indoor rain option:

If it is a seemingly short rain, the instructor will be present on site to run the class.

If it is a heavy down poor, (not isolated), the course will be postponed or canceled.

If it is a light or heavy rain with longevity - the course will be canceled.

Any questions regarding weather and its effect or after effects on your class, please call us for more details. Finally, we will post changes and updates on Robichon's web site current courses page.

What do I need to bring?

Sun lotion, water, skates with glide potential, skates with a brake, certified helmet, the three pads (elbow, knee, and wrist), comfortable fitting clothing and your friends. We recommend good quality pads - as they provide optimum comfort, protection and durability.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

During the lessons, helmets are required. We believe your head is the most important part of your body as it gives you life. As skaters and professional inline skate instructors, we know the importance of properly worn quality helmets. We therefore, strongly recommend skaters wear standardized good-fitting properly worn helmets at all times while on skates.

Do you rent a helmet?

When you enroll in a course we provide protective gear. After the first course, we hope you value protective gear too and have invested in your own personal set of protective gear consisting of helmet, elbow, knee, and wrist guards.

Do I have to wear protective gear?

Full protective gear is required in our standard recreational courses. Gear includes a certified good-fitting helmet, and the three pads of wrist, elbow and knee. Robichon's provides protective gear when notified.

Do you rent protective gear?

When you enroll in a course we provide protective gear. After the first course, we hope you value protective gear too and have invested in your own personal set of protective gear consisting of helmet, elbow, knee, and wrist guards.

What type of skates do I need?

When just starting out in inline skating, we find many skaters have hard plastic skates with some glide potential but not enough to support learning in our skate courses/camps/vacations. Although they roll, they are more difficult to propel forward, are less stable, less comfortable and quick to slow making efforts to learn Robichon's new braking, terrain or turning methods difficult or impossible. This can become frustrating and contributes to a sense of failure. Because we want to set you, your child, and all of our customers up for success, we recommend the following options:

Purchase skates with rolling potential.

Many people purchase skates made of hard plastic causing blisters, pain and poor performance! For maximum success, we highly recommend purchasing skates with glide potential. For an effective recreational skate we suggest beginning at a price point of $125 full retail value or above for adults and $60 to $75 retail value or above for children. Generally, skates less than these values prohibit learning. To be successful in Robichon's courses, skaters will benefit from cooperative skates.

When purchasing skates keep these two questions in mind. Are they comfortable? What type of skating will I do? When shopping, find a reasonable selection of skates, a knowledgeable sales person, put numerous skates on your feet and skate in the store. Decide which is most comfortable and fits best for your feet and skating needs.

Here are some definitions of types of skates:

Recreational Skates: designed for entry level skaters who are new to skating and (skate occasionally at short to medium distances)

Fitness Skates: designed for skaters who (skate 1 - 2 times a week at longer distances)

Performance Skates: designed for skaters who (skate 3 times a week or more).

The general difference between the above types of skates can be found in MORE features offering comfort and higher performing wheels, frame/outsole structures and bearings.

Specialty Skates: designed specifically to compliment, enhance and satisfy skaters' performance needs for specialized skating such as aggressive, speed or roller hockey skating.

More on Children's Skates:

Purchase skates from a sporting good store that carries many lines of inline skates and are at least $65 full retail price. Any skates at a price point of $29 full retail price will not perform and are considerably more uncomfortable than the $60 and above inline skates. Many childrens' skates extend into three or four sizes. Therefore, if your child can resist the sometimes irresistible temptations of skating through mud, sand and water - while maintaining a decent maintenance schedule, the skates should last for a few years. We recommend children's K2 inline skates as they are reasonably priced, offer great stability, performance and comfort!

What size wheels should I have?

We suggest all new skaters begin on no more than 84mm wheels. 76mm is perfect for new skaters. The larger the wheels, the faster they roll and the harder they are to manuever to turn and stop. Yikes! In addition, skaters are less stable on larger wheels due to an increase in height ultimately causing more tendency to lose balance and control. As a new skater, choose a wheel size from 76mm - 84mm. Any wheel larger is meant for more seasoned skaters ready for faster speeds with a strong capacity to stop whether with the traditional heel brake or other Robichon's slowing and stopping techniques.

Who can skate on 90mm wheels and up?

These wheels provide speed with little effort. Often times, beyond a new skaters preparedness. Many inline marathon skaters use 90 to 110mm wheels. What you gain in speed, you lose in stability and manueverability; two vital components to safety on inline skates. Imagine, you are going faster with less effort on a hill with even less ability to stop or turn. Sounds like a recipe for disaster - and reason to learn the survival float on inline skates heree in Minnesota! Therefore, skaters unable to stop on inline skates using the heel brake or Robichon's inward glide stop or Robichon's ski stops are highly recommended to stay on flat ground free of traffic and nearby lakes to practice Robichon's stopping and turning techniques. Better yet, take more lessons with us or a personal tour to get a professional opinion on your readiness for BIG wheels.

Do you rent skates?

Yes, we offer a try and become product aware experience before you buy. Prior to going into the trenches of a sales person, our instructors can answer many of your questions regarding type of skates, features of skates, where to buy skates and what skates are best for you! Best of all, you will know for sure you CAN skate without endangering your life:). So we actually encourage you to rent our skates to lift your confidence, acquire product information and purchase within your needs.

What do you rent?

We rent carefully selected recreational to performance style skates; sizes youth 10 to Adult 15! In general, our fee is only $6 per class or $20 per 4 day camp (varies with length of camp). All rental skates quality and selected for your personal skating skill needs.

What do I wear for courses/camps?

All clothing is dependent on season, time of day, and skate class type. In general however, we recommend the following for our recreational standard camps and courses. Tight jeans tend to restrict our bodies ability to move limiting our learning journey. For this reason, we believe comfortable loose fitting clothing is ideal. In the summer, a t-shirt and shorts are recommended. Wick away socks are preferred over cotton socks. Cotton socks tend to absorb moisture causing friction and blisters. In cooler weather, sweatpants and shirt work well for warm ups and Robichon's standard recreational and fitness classes unless a strong workout is anticipated.

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