Compared to other sports like skateboarding and bicycling, inline skating, is safer. Recent studies published in NCBI and CDC reveal.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t sustain any injury while rollerblading. So when using men’s, children’s, or women’s rollerblades, there is a need to skate wisely.
That involves wearing the right protective gear, rollerblading at the right speed, and following other inline safety requirements. The novice, intermediate, and professional inline skaters are all vulnerable to accidents.
Vital Inline Skating Gears
Every time you are preparing for inline skating, ensure you put on the following first;
A good helmet is a piece of vital safety equipment required by any rollerblader. Besides, it’s wise to go for the helmet designed for inline skaters. Apart from being CPSC certified, it must cover from the lower back of the skull to part of the forehead.
If you fall backward, it offers tangible protection. Though some people use bike helmets, they are ill-designed to protect in case of a backward fall.
At the same time, most experienced speed inline skaters prefer performance type of helmet. Such a headgear is protective, perforated, and has a streamlined shape.
And to reap maximum protection, go for the helmet that fits your head snugly. And always fasten the strap down the chin to keep the helmet from moving unnecessarily. A loose-fitting helmet may move around and block your view or slip off during a fall.
To choose the helmet of the right fit, you need to take the measurement of your head. So wrap a piece of string or a tape measure around your head just above the eyebrows.
Having secured a helmet, you need to back it up with the right knee pads. In case of an accident when rollerblading, you are more likely to land on the knees.
The fundamental purpose of knee pads is to shield the knee from injuries in case of an impact. However, technology has evolved such that knee pads, besides protection, still feel comfortable, lets in air to the knee, and don’t compromise movement at the joint.
Low-profile knee pads that offer partial protection (mainly the front zone prone to receiving knock) are ideal for recreational, urban, or fitness skating. But aggressive skaters need level 2 rated knee pads.
The level two rated knee pads offer protection that extends slightly beyond the impact-prone area. In addition, they boast sleeves and large straps that help keep the pads in place and hence minimize chances of slipping.
However, just like other protective gears, you need to select a pair of knee pads of your matching size.
Like the knee, the elbow region is also prone to receiving injuries during an inline skate-related accident. Most employs Velcro straps and thus make it easy for adjusting the fit. Besides, they also have a soft cushion behind the protective hard plastic.
When falling most people instinctively try to reach out with their hands. A wrist guard, therefore, minimizes the chances of you breaking a bone in that area.
There are wrist guards that cover only the impact zone and others that stretch beyond the impact-prone zone. It is recommended for intermediate or novice skaters to go for those that offer complete protection.
Apart from the mentioned safety gears, there are other important safe rollerblading tips that any skater should bear in mind:
Safe Inline Skating Tips
Buy Only Certified Protective Gears
Safety pieces of equipment shield or minimize the injuries arising from falls. You don’t need to wait to test their efficiency during an accident. So buy only the certified apparatus.
Check for certifications of bodies such as Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC and American National Safety Institute ANSI. Other verified certifications include the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM and Snell Memorial Foundation.
Go for the Right Pair of Rollerblades and Maintain Them Regularly
Whether you are renting, buying second-hand skates[How to Buy a Second Hand Inline Skate], or brand new skates, do so wisely. Choose the rollerblade that fits you snugly and of your type. It makes no sense to buy speed inline skates and use them for training or recreational purpose.
Having factored in the type and purpose of the skates, stick to the recommended maintenance practices. For example, often check for the smooth-rolling, alignment of wheels, and state of the brake pads.
Select Your Skating Location Wisely
A crucial step to skating safely is choosing your location carefully. That’s especially vital for novice skaters. When just starting, you can select an open grassy field. Then you can progress to unfilled parking lots, smooth pavements bordered by grass on either side, or idle tennis courts.
Alternatively, you can opt for nearby rinks or dead-end streets. Such venues have very minimal or no traffic to bother you.
Do not Tow Behind a Truck
Skate wisely and do not hold on to a vehicle while skating. Some people might be tempted to do so and thus increase their velocity. By doing so, you are courting accident.
When the truck suddenly stops, you are most likely to be thrown off your path. And at such a high speed, it’s hard to stop when an unseen obstacle comes your way.
Be On the Watch for Obstacles
Rollerblading is best on smooth and even pavements. So constantly be on the watch for any cracks or potholes on your path.
Also, check on your immediate surrounding for any signs of cars and other road traffic. Ideally, constantly glance over your shoulder every twenty minutes and swivel your head often.
Refrain From Skating in the Dark
You need enough light to skate smoothly and safely. Skating at night reduces your chances of spotting obstacles on your path. At the same time, other road users may not see you clearly in time. Therefore rollerblade at the right time. But if you can’t avoid it, put on a reflective outfit.
At Your Initial Stages, Seek the Help of the Professionals
While still learning the ropes of inline skating[How to Rollerblade], it’s wise to seek training from experienced skaters and instructors. If you have family members or friends who have been in the sport for a long period, they can be of much help.
Skating alongside such partners is very valuable in helping you with balance, endurance, and speed control training. Alternatively, you can go for skating lessons from nearby rinks.
But if you don’t have a partner, it’s necessary to have an identification document, cellphone, or whistle. In the event of an accident when you need help, such devices prove helpful.
Don’t be In a Rush for Advanced Tricks
Being in a hurry to show your prowess in the best inline skate tricks[Best Rollerblade Tricks] will lead you to injuries. Be patient and learn the basics of the sport; proper balance and control of speed. After that, the rest of the skills and tricks will come gradually as you practice often.
When rollerblading, you need to stay alert. For that matter, it’s not advisable to wear headphones or earphones. Doing so will limit your sense of hearing. And you won’t be aware of any traffic or warnings coming from behind.
Every inline skater needs to skate safely. The fundamental inline safety tips thus apply to everyone. Besides acquiring inline skating skills, you have to put on the safety gear always. So to a large extent the safety of inline skates largely depends on the skater.