Whether you are an advanced level skater or a beginner, you are prone to fall while skating. Beginners have a higher probability to fall as they are still in the learning phase. While you may not prevent all kinds of falls, you may prevent or lessen the impact.
It is recommended to use knee pads while you roller skate. They are not only crucial for roller derby but even for recreational skating, you must put on lighter knee pads.
Benefits of Knee Pads
If you have ever fallen down while roller skating, you may understand the importance of this gear. It is still important to understand how to fall correctly as beginner level skates drop down on their knees as soon as they lose balance. Here are some of the benefits of using knee pads:
- Getting knee pads is a great idea especially for beginners when the chances of falling are pretty high as the skater is still in the learning phase. Instead of getting scared about your fall, knee pads give the skater the confidence to try and test his/ her limits without being scared of getting hurt after the fall.
- Whether you are indoor skating or outdoors, your skating surface is quite hard. Falling on the hard-surfaced skating rink is not something pleasing, but falling on concrete or asphalt surfaces is even more painful. Your knee pad will save you from damaging your knee joints.
- Knee pads generally come with fastening mechanisms (often double fastening systems) that make sure your knees are nicely padded and the knee pad does not slip down no matter how silky your leggings are.
- If you are into roller derby, you will be relying majorly on your knee pads. Even for artistic and recreational skating, putting on lightweight knee pads can save you from an ER visit.
- Knee pads are not as expensive as the actual roller skates. If you have invested in skates, it is a good idea to purchase some protective gear as well. Instead of falling and hurting your knees and not doing roller skating for a month, it is better to put on those effective knee pads and enjoy skating every day no matter how many times you fall. You cannot prevent falling but you can put on knee pads to reduce or even avoid any impact.
Other Protective Gear
As important as knee pads are, there are some other protective gears recommended to be used while you roller skate. When you fall, it is not just the knees that hit the ground. Many times you fall at a different angle exposing your elbows, wrists, mouth, and especially head. To avoid injuring your important body parts (that can even lead to serious injuries), you should ideally go for the following protective gear:
- Elbow Pads
- Wrist Guards
- Mouth Guards
It is better to be safe than sorry. If you are a beginner, we highly recommend you going for these protective gear. Even if you are a pro at skating, it is better to be safe. You do not know exactly when (and where) you will be falling.
It is a human instinct to use your arm as a shield while you are falling. The result could be damaging for your elbow. If you have ever gone through an elbow chip, you know how painful it could be. When you put on your elbow pads, you have one less worry – even when you fall your arms and especially elbow is not injured.
In many skate parks, elbow pads are highly recommended. If you are new to roller skating, it is highly encouraged to put on elbow pads. Even if you have been skating for a while, elbow pads are encouraged especially if you are learning new tricks.
An ideal elbow pad needs to be nicely padded – go for stronger and higher density padding for roller derbies and lightweight padding for recreational roller skating. It should be comfortable and snug fit when you put it on. If you do not like the feeling of being strapped around your shoulders, do not worry. Over time, the elbow pads would feel like part of your arms while you skate.
It is natural to stick your hand out when you are falling. Wrist guards can protect you from some serious wrist injuries as they provide you with impact protection as well as support so that you don’t end up going to the ER.
According to a survey, wrist injuries are the most common ones among skaters. If you are new to skating or are new to a skating park, it is better to put on wrist guards first. Even if you survive not twisting your wrist, picking splinters out of your hands may put you off from roller skating.
There are different kinds of wrist guards available in the market. Some are quite stiff while others are a bit flexible to allow wrist movements. The wrist guards are available in single as well as double straps. Generally, single split guards are preferred for outdoor skating and double split wrist guards are more popular in skate parks, but you can try them both at the skate park or a skate shop before figuring out which one works best for you.
Different brands have different types of sizing tables so make sure the one you are going for is the right size for your wrist, and not just because you had the same size in some other brand. If you have seen some advanced skaters not wearing wrist guards, do not get encouraged by this act in your learning phase. Some pro skaters have trained their bodies to fall in a certain way without landing with their wrists on the floor, and they hence avoid this gear. For all other instances, it is highly recommended that you invest in one.
If you are into roller derby, mouth guards are a must. They protect your teeth from extreme damage in case of a fall. Not only that, but mouth guards may also even help against preventing concussions.
Not every skater knows how to fall correctly. Many times newbies end up falling on their heads and wearing mouth guards can benefit them immensely. Even if you are a good skater who is learning new tricks, putting on a mouth guard is always a good idea as your body can lose balance at any time and angle.
Before heading out to a skate park, it is important to know that athletes are 60 times more prone to teeth-related injuries when they are not wearing a mouthguard. For this reason, make sure you invest in a good quality mouthguard.
Helmets are an important safety gear for many outdoor activities, and roller skating is no exception. Due to the speed and nature of the fall (which is normally all of a sudden on a concrete floor), you need to make sure you have a proper helmet before you head out learning new skating tricks.
Although no helmet guarantees protection against concussion, it is better to protect your head and especially the brain from accidents.
Your skating helmet should fit snugly (it should be as close to your head as possible) and its strap should not dig in providing you with discomfort. Your ideal helmet needs to be light in weight yet sturdy and durable. You may find many stylish helmets (they come in different colors and designs) to choose from that may complement your roller skates and accessories.
Make sure you measure your head properly before ordering your helmet. Many helmet companies let you replace the helmet padding without replacing the exterior. When your helmet shows signs of wear and tear, all you have to do is to purchase the inner padding (without replacing the hard shell) and you are good to go.
Roller skating may come with its shares of ups and downs. To avoid any kinds of injuries in the “downs”, make sure you invest in a good knee pad along with other protective gear.