The Ridge Drifters are a new addition to the website, but have been selling like crazy everywhere else since we launched them last year. They are freeline drift skates. They are a Japanese phenomenon that are a fairly recent import to Europe, but are really taking off now. If you are already a boarding pro, can't be bothered with inlining, have tried and mastered wave-boarding, and are looking for a challenge, try these.
In case you haven't come across them before, drift skates consist of two sturdy steel plates, each with extra raw griptape on top, and each with two, diagonally-set, enormous wheels attached to the bottom. That is, essentially, it.
Drift skating combines skateboarding tricks with the maneuverability of inline skating and the action of waveboarding. You can even eventually do individual tricks with each skate.
Not to say they aren't tricky to learn (the instructions below suggest using a wall to start with)... but when mastered they are a great form of transport. Stick them in your bag, and take them wherever you want. Totally portable, and very slick.
Here is a video:
And here are some instructions to start you off:
Step 1 – Stability
The first step in learning how to drift skate is to find a wall or a long railing, and make it your best friend. Making sure your feet are placed on the appropriate skates, marked by L & R symbols (L for your left foot, R for your right), just roll along the wall, using your hands to stabilize yourself. Note: Try to keep your feet in line and shoulder-width apart. This will help you gain an initial feel for the skates under your feet, and will help you figure out how to balance on them.
Step 2 – Find a hill
Now that you've got a little balance, and some bravery, it’s time to hit the streets. Find a hill with a gentle slope (a driveway slope is a great place), and place both skates on the ground, making sure the wheels are lined up. If you do this right, the decks should not be in perfect line with each other. Lean the skates down with the decks facing away from you, and step on them where your toes are touching the ground. Then simply push off your back foot, propelling your front skate first, followed by your back foot. Just ride down the hill, and try to stay balanced, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Once you get comfortable, try making wide s-turns back and forth down the hill.
Step 3 – Self- Propel
With your now swelled ego, the last step is to propel on flat ground and/or uphill. To propel, you want to make an undulating, s- like motion. This motion is achieved mainly through rotation of your core, or stomach, more so than moving your feet. Just stay loose, and turn your front skate outward, which will be followed by your back foot. Do this back and forth, trying to stand upright without leaning. So if your front skate is turned inward (toes pointing inward), then your back skate would be behind you, eventually following your front foot as you propel across the ground.