Free Skate Sessions in DC, Maryland and Virginia
Here is a list of free weekly outdoor events available to inline and roller skaters.
Free Learn to Skate Clinic at Rock Creek Park
What better way to learn how to skate than WAR's free clinic? While not intended to be a full service skating school, volunteers including certified instructors teach basic and intermediate skills and useful stopping and skating techniques. Lessons are capped off by a short skate in the park where we review the "rules of the road" to prepare students for our local skating events.
When: Weather permitting (see weather policy) Saturdays (April through October). Please check the WAR calendar for the date you are interested in as times may vary. Arrive 15 minutes early to have time to put your skates on, stretch, and be ready.
Danny and his fellow volunteers organize a free braking clinic in Rock Creek Park on select Saturdays from April to October. This is the place to go if you're just starting out or want to get back into skating after a long time away from the sport. Contact Danny Donoghue for more information at: email@example.com or (202) 617-7971
The focus of the clinic is how to incorporate safety skills into your skating activities, including how to use safety gear, how to fall, how to use the heelbrake (or toe stop for roller skaters) to stop, with a little bit on skating and turning taught as well. Helmets, wristguards, knee and elbow pads are required and loaner safety gear is available at the clinic.
The clinic is offered in parking lot 6, off of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. Beach Drive is largely closed to motorized vehicles on weekends, making it a paradise for skaters, bikers and hikers. The area was recently repaved, making it the smoothest outdoor surface to skate on in all of Washington DC.
Weekend Informal Skate Coaching in Maryland
Greg informally coaches free fitness and speed skating practice, weekends in Montgomery County, MD. Practice is open to skaters of nearly all levels and beginner skaters who can confidently skate and stop are enthusiastically welcomed. Greg announces the schedule and plans for each weekend session during the week by email; contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-252-0242 to get included on his email list.
Greg's coaching is ideal for trail, street and especially indoor and outdoor speed skaters. Sessions consist of off-skate exercises to improve strength and skating mechanics; on-skate drills and aerobic sets to improve your skating skills. Sessions run all year: outdoor venues include Seneca Creek State Park, Cedar Lane High School and other nearby locations. Greg hosts off-skate and slideboard indoor sessions at his house on days that are too rainy or cold for outdoor skating.
After Work Skate Practice in Washington DC
Gary organizes free after work meetups at the 3.2 mile skater friendly loop at Hains Point/East Potomac Park starting around 5:45pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the warmer part of the year, when daylight savings time is in effect. Gary maintains a text and Facebook messenger group to keep skaters in the loop for when the sessions are happening. Contact him at (240) 210-2520 to get included in his notification sendouts.
Sessions are open to all levels and Gary is especially talented at making everyone feel welcome: "It’s the perfect place to burn some calories after work. Skate fast, skate medium, skate slow. The pace is yours to choose," Gary told us when we asked about the event. "We will be sharing the park with bikers, joggers and walkers. The park is surrounded by beautiful water views and it offers the best sunset in the area." Skaters find each other when parking at the southern parking lot for the East Potomac Park golf course, by messaging the group, or as they skate around the loop.
Skate Skills and Slalom Practice in Virginia
Andrew organizes free weekend sessions to practice skating skills at Jones Point Park in Alexandria, VA, under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Sessions are open to all levels of skaters, with a focus on freestyle slalom. He operates a text list, a Facebook messenger group and a Whatsapp group to keep participants up to date on when the events are happening. Contact him at (410) 394-9483 to be included and check out his website at www.DropByAndSkate.com for details.
"You can come out and practice any type of skate skills you want while hanging around other skaters to cheer you on," Andrew told us when we asked about the event. "You can practice skills you just learned from taking a class, work on moves from YouTube videos, and get tips from other skaters." The sessions focus on freestyle slalom, which involves mastering and showcasing complicated moves while skating around cones, and slalomers routinely help each other out to improve their skating skills.
Lots of Skating Events through the Washington Area Roadskaters
The Washington Area Roadskaters is a long time skate club that offers a variety of free weekly and special events throughout the skating year for skaters at a variety of levels. Check out their website at www.SkateDC.org for more information.