Rollerblading is a very fun way to get some exercise in, and even more than that. You can use rollerblades for travel, adventures, and even tricks. While you might be having a great time getting down and dirty with your blades on, are you really rollerblading the right way? Rollerblading can be a lot of fun, and for good reason, but you need to keep your safety in mind.
Think about it this way, rollerblades go on both feet right? So if you happen to fall, or can’t stop yourself from a crash, the impact is going to be much different than if you were on a bike. If you fall the wrong way, or twist your legs up, you can wind up with quite a few nasty injuries. So the purpose of this brief discussion, will be to show you exactly how to handle rollerblading safety. Let’s dive right in, and take a look at some great ways to prevent rollerblading injuries.
Protect your body
This is by far the most important part of rollerblading safety. Why? Because it can reduce the amount of damage to your body if you were to fall. So what do you need to make sure you’re all protected? You’ll need:
• A helmet
• Knee pads
• Elbow pads
• Proper clothing
• Wrist guards
The first line of defense is always going to be your helmet. If you can’t find any of the other items on the list, or if you don’t want to be seen in pads, please make sure you at least wear your helmet. We all have that one friend or family member that is just too cool for helmets. Well, at the end of the day, you need to protect your head. Depending on the surface your rollerblading on, you can expose your head to quite a bit of damage if you fall the wrong way. A helmet is designed to reduce this impact, and make sure you don’t end up in the hospital with a nasty concussion. So before you start skating, always make sure you have a helmet. Believe it or not, a common bicycle helmet will suffice, so you don’t need to go out of your way to get the protection you need.
The next safety piece to touch on is going to be your clothing. If you’re in the summer months, you might want to shy away from this, but you need to have the right clothing on in case of a fall. If you’re wearing shorts and a t-shirt, you can end up with unnecessary scrapes and bruises. Plus, if you slide when you fall, you can end up with a nasty road burn. So make sure you wear tough clothes like jeans, to make sure your skin is protected against falls.
If you want extra protection, you can opt for knee pads and elbow pads. Have you ever hit your funny bone before? Well, if you have, then you know how incredibly uncomfortable that feeling is. As humans, it is our natural instinct to try and save ourselves when we fall. This could range from putting your hands out, or falling on your elbows. If you’re going to be falling, you’ll want to make sure your elbows are protected so you don’t end up with a nasty injury. The same concept applies to your knees. A direct fall on your knees can lead to a whole lot more than just discomfort, and you can end up with a serious injury. So make sure you use pads when you rollerblade, especially if it is one of your first time using them.
Wrist guards are also an excellent choice for rollerblading safety. While they might seem pointless, they’re designed to protect your wrists in case of a fall. Plus, believe it or not, you’re actually better off falling on your wrist than your hand.
Tips for falling
Whether you’re a professional skater, a novice, or using skates for exercise, falling is going to be a reality. This is just part of rollerblading. Inline skates prove to be unstable, and once a fall begins to happen, you can quickly lose control.
So how do you prevent hurting yourself?
The best falling advice that can be given, is advice telling you to fall forwards. This might seem counterproductive, but believe it or not, your thighs are actually better at absorbing a fall than your tailbone. This is due to the amount of muscle tissue that surrounds your femur. So, instead of falling on your bottom, you might want to rethink your strategy.
Falling forwards also gives you a better chance of protecting your head. If you fall backwards, you lose all control of where you’re going. This can lead to your head hitting the pavement, and leaving you with a nasty injury. If you fall forwards you can prevent this very easily. Now, your initial instinct will be to put your hands out, but this is really not a good practice either. This can lead to various wrist injuries, and your head might still end up hitting the ground. The best way to fall forwards, is to fall on your forearms. If you have wrist gear on this is all the better, but your forearms are better suited to handle shock than your hands are.
The last piece of advice you need to know about falling, is that your legs are important. Roller skates go on each leg, so each leg is free. This is good for mobility, but can lead to a dangerous injury if you fall. If you know you’re going to go down, make sure that you keep your legs close together to avoid a split. Why? Because doing an accidental split can lead to groin tears and other horrible injuries. You should always practice falling, and make sure you’re well equipped to handle a fall when the time comes.
Making sure your rollerblades are right for you
The last thing that needs to be touched on is your rollerblades themselves. If you have a pair that is too big, get rid of them. If you have a pair that is worn down, you should also get rid of them.
A pair of rollerblades should feel like extensions of your feet. You should have full mobility, and they should rest tightly on your feet. This will ensure you have full control over the motion. If your rollerblades feel loose, make sure you tighten them before you go. This can be the difference between an easy cruise, and a harsh fall.
Rollerblading the safe way is not exactly easy, but it can be done. Whether you’re new at this, or a veteran, safety is absolutely key here. Before you put the skates on, make sure that you have the right protection on your body. If you’re going to go without the pads, make sure that you know how to fall properly to avoid injury.
If you rollerblade the right way, you’ll be able to enjoy them as much as you’d like. Even if you fall down, you’ll at least be able to get up. Plus, chances are if you’re using rollerblades for exercise, your muscles will be tight. Making sure you fall the right way can help ensure you don’t end up with a pulled groin.