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How to Skate on a Crowded Path

Have you ever done any of these things while you were skating? Find out why these are some of the most dangerous things you can do on inline skates.

"Skitching" on the Back of a Car
Skitching or "truck surfing" is the practice of holding onto a moving vehicle in order to move very fast while inline skating or skateboarding. This is a very dangerous activity, because a skater will not always be able to slow down fast enough to avoid colliding with the vehicle they are holding onto. A skater can also be thrown into on-coming traffic or onto the roadbed if the vehicle suddenly stops, slows down, or turns.

Skating Without Body Protection
Wristguards are one of the most important pieces of protective gear you can wear, because 30 percent of all inline skating injuries are to the wrist or lower arm, and 2/3 of those injuries are fractures. Most hand, wrist, and arm injuries can be avoided, or lessened in severity, by wearing wrist guards. Wearing a helmet is also extremely important because even though less than 10% of all inline skating injuries are to the head, head wounds are the most deadly type of injury. And if you doubt the need for elbow and knee pads, just imagine the effect a shattered knee or elbow joint would have on your life.

Skating on a Wet Surface
It is difficult to control your skates on a skating surface covered with water, oil, or mud. Your wheels will have very little traction, and your feet can slide right out from under you. If you cannot avoid skating on wet pavement, use very short strokes and skate on the top of your wheels.

Skating at Night
Skating at night is always dangerous because it is difficult for a skater to see traffic and be seen by others. If you must skate in the dark, wear reflective clothing, carry a flashlight, and clip two flashing bicycle lights to your helmet or waist, one in front and one in back. The flashlight will come in handy if you have a problem with your skates.

Skating Under Dog Power
Being towed by your dog while skating can be dangerous, for the same reason that skitching behind a car can be dangerous: A skater will not always be able to slow down fast enough to avoid being thrown into on-coming traffic or onto the roadbed if the dog suddenly stops, slows down, or turns. This activity can also be dangerous for the dog. At least one dog has died while towing a skater. All Terrain Dog, a company who makes special harnesses for this activity, has included a quick release feature on all of their harnesses to make this activity a bit safer.

Skating With Headphones
Skating with headphones, or anything else that prevents you from hearing well can be dangerous because it prevents you from hearing sounds that can alert you to danger, such as traffic, cyclists, and other skaters. You should never do it on a crowded path, or when you are sharing the road with automobile traffic.

Visit Our Forum and Tell Us What You Think
Read what other skaters say in these forum threads about dangerous skating activities and skating pet peeves in our online message board at AskAboutSkating.com.

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