No skater likes to fall down, but it's going to happen
sooner or later. Learn how to prepare for a fall and how to avoid injury.
How to Fall Safely
Whenever you skate, always wear (a) wrist guards, (b) knee pads, (c) elbow pads,
and (d) a helmet.
When you realize you are going to fall, and you cannot avoid it, try to fall
into sand or grass, and try to fall forward onto your kneepads and wrist guards.
When you fall, try to SLIDE on your knee pads and wrist guards. You may have
to throw your weight forward, with your arms outstretched in front of you,
to accomplish this, but don't stiffen your arms when you do it.
Try not to slam your wrist guards straight down onto the pavement when you
fall, because this can cause injury to your hands, wrists, and arms. Sliding
on your wrist guards is a much safer movement.
Falling backward is more dangerous than falling forward, because you have no
protection on your back and tailbone. It is easier to prevent a serious
injury when you fall forward.
When you can't avoid falling backward, try to land on your elbow pads
and wrist guards.
Try NOT to land on your back, your tailbone, or your hip bone.
Instead, try to land on your elbow pads, your wrist guards, and one side of
your buttocks, in the soft fleshy area between your tailbone and your hip bone.
You are most likely to hit your head in a backward fall, but it can happen
during any fall. A helmet will give you a great deal of protection against
a serious head injury. Always wear a helmet when you skate.
Bicycle helmets are only manufactured to protect you during one fall. Your
bicycle helmet should be thrown away and replaced after any fall where you
hit your head.
More Tips for Safe Skating
The best way for a new skater to avoid falling, is to take one or two lessons.
Learn the basics of inline skating from a professional, including how to stop,
how to slow down, and how to skate hills.
New skaters should practice using their heel brake over and over, until using
it becomes an automatic reaction. Many new skaters fall and injure themselves
because they don't know how to stop or slow down.
In many beginning classes, students are asked to drop to their knees while
they are wearing knee pads. It's a bit frightening the first time, but it
gives new skaters confidence in their body protection.
The heavy, round helmets made for aggressive skating are manufactured to last
through more than one fall, but only if the falls are not traumatic.
Some speedskaters like to roll when they fall, to prevent road rash
(skin abrasion). This is a tricky maneuver that should only be attempted
by the very advanced skater.
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