Five tips for stopping on rollerskis with video. By Jacob Huseby

Posted by Jacob Huseby on May 25th 2023

Five tips for stopping on rollerskis with video. By Jacob Huseby

The number one question I get from folks who are new to rollerskiing is “how do you stop on rollerskis?”. The majority of rollerskis are sold without brakes, and the majority of rollerskiers hit the trails without brakes fitted to their skis. Read more to learn why.

This article is intended to be read alongside a quick video guide I made on stopping with rollerskis. Click the link below to check it out.

Click here to watch the video on CXC Skiing 

Why don’t most rollerskiers ski with a brake?

For most skiers, brakes are unnecessary. The exception would be for skiers with only large hills and unsafe downhill sections around them. Otherwise, the stopping techniques outlined here are suitable for effective training in fairly hilly terrain. For those that must ski giant hills to get their training in and do not have an option for safe downhills, I suggest fitting slower wheels to the skis. The slowest wheel offerings from Swenor allow you to train at a high intensity on less treacherous terrain.

Tip #1 Know your route. Most rollerskis are best suited to smooth pavement with only a few cracks, bumps etc. By picking a route that contains mostly smooth pavement, you are going to have a much better time out skiing. If you have a route in mind, go and explore it on your bike first. Keep an eye out for gravel, cracks, tar snakes, and steep downhills into stops so you know to avoid them when on your rollerskis.

Pro tip. For finding great places to rollerski, ask your local club. If you don’t know your local club, hit the “contact us” button on and we’ll point you in the right direction. Part of learning to rollerski is becoming a pavement enthusiast! Ask any rollerskier where the best pavement in town is and they will rave about their favorite bike path, and rant about the recent addition of tar snakes and gravel to their spot. You may even make some new fit friends around town.

Tip #2 Know the techniques for stopping on rollerskis. See the linked video! I’ll broadly categorize stopping into two forms, either “rolling through” or putting pressure on your back wheels. Rolling through can be applied to rolling into grass or gravel with one ski out in front of the other. The other technique for rolling through is the slalom (taking many turns in a zigzag shape) technique to flatten the hill. Putting pressure on the back wheel applies to using our v-stop and our v-stop-step. For our v-stop this is done through consistent pressure on the back wheels. For v-stop-step this is done by quickly picking up and putting down the skis in order to press the back wheels into the ground to slow down. Watch the video to see what I mean. 

Pro tip. I recommend learning all different techniques for stopping on rollerskis as they are used in different situations. Rolling into the grass or slalom may be effective when v-stopping is not and vice versa. Often I will do a v-stop or v-step stop to modulate my speed before rolling through grass. To my next point, practice your techniques in a variety of conditions to get a feel for how the skis react to wet ground vs dry ground, soft grass vs hard gravel. 

Tip #3 Practice in a safe environment. Empty parking lots with flat pavement is a good place to learn the different stopping techniques at first. Then transitioning over to gentle bike paths with extended sections of smooth pavement. After that, finding a hill with little to no traffic to practice loops going up and down hill safely. After practicing in gradually more challenging areas, start exploring what is possible on your skis in different areas.

Pro tip. Start slow, but don’t be afraid to push your limits. Going downhill on rollerskis can be scary at first, but will get less scary over time.

Tip #4 Practice, seriously. Rollerskiing can be hard to pick up and will take time to learn. Getting in quality repetitions of the technique is going to be instrumental to your learning.

Pro tip. Hire a coach. Like many endeavors, skiing is “do it right, or do it twice”. By learning how to ski correctly the first time around, it will save you from having to re-learn in the long run. For this, you can reach out to your local club or your regional skiing governing body. CXC represents the Midwest and Great Lakes regions and offers a wide variety of services including coaching. 

Tip #5 Wear protection. Always wear a helmet when rollerskiing. Take a look at any video of US Ski Team athletes out rollerskiing (especially our athletes on Swenor!). They are always wearing helmets. If you are in an area with cars, wear clothing with high-viz material.