Roller skating is an excellent exercise and a beneficial training regimen for overall fitness. Whether you do it for fun or as a recreational activity, roller skating requires the use of protective equipment.
Skate Protective Essentials
Although roller skaters rarely reach speeds as high as bicycle riders and have better control while skating, wearing premium skate protective gear will improve your safety while riding and prevent severe injuries.
Helmets are one of the most important safety gears to protect your head. Since not all helmets on the market are created equal, every novice should opt for an inline or aggressive skating helmet because they are specifically designed to protect the base of the skull from injury in the event of falling or slamming into hard surfaces.
Many skaters who skate for fun prefer wearing a bike helmet. Although their wear is perfectly acceptable, keep in mind that this helmet style differs from a skating helmet. Helmets designed for biking do not extend to the base of the skull. The primary reason for the difference in the design of the respective helmets is that you are less likely to fall back while riding a bicycle.
When wearing a helmet, make sure it’s securely fastened and that the chin strap is snugly around your chin. A loose helmet with an improper fit may not stay on your head correctly and may fall off while skating or falling. Because your first instinct is to grab your helmet instead of bracing for your fall, the fall could result in serious injury. To avoid common concussions and severe head injuries, wear a properly-fitting helmet.
To determine the ideal size of your helmet, you should wrap the soft tape measure around your head. Place the tape two finger-widths above your brows and 1-to 2 finger widths above your ears. The tape should be snug but not constricting against the skin. Look for a helmet that sits low on your brow, is snug but not too tight, and sits flat on the top of your head without tilting back or up. The side straps should come together in a Y shape just below your ear.
The second must-have skate protective gear is the knee pads. Cuts, sprains, scrapes, and broken knees are too common when riding inline skates or longboards. Therefore, the soft, cushioned inside layers of the knee pads under a hard, shell exterior protect your knees from injuries. Behind the plastic shell casing of the best knee pads is additional cushioning. On the inside of the knee pads, wicking material is added to keep moisture locked in and prevent it from causing discomfort, while the two Velcro straps secure your knee pads.
Knee pads are available in a wide range of styles. While they are primarily designed to protect your knees, the materials used may vary to provide the best possible protection. The latest knee pads protect your knees without being too heavy, bulky, or hot to wear.
The elbow pads are constructed similarly to knee pads except for size and application area. These pads are worn around the elbows and secured with two Velcro straps, as their name implies. Over the last few years, elbow pads have also evolved and transformed in various ways. Ample protection is provided by multiple layers of additional cushioning inside the plastic shell. Sweat and moisture are reduced by wicking material on the inside.
When shopping for knee and elbow pads, make sure to get the right size. Use a soft measuring tape or string to determine the circumference around your arm, about an inch above your elbow, to determine your elbow size. Use the measuring tape to get the circumference around the leg 1-2 inches above the knee for a knee measurement. To keep them in place and adjust for comfort, look for good, sturdy straps.
Last but not least are the wrist guards. The proper wear of this skate protective gear may prevent most wrist injuries that generally occur while skating. Wrist guards are available in a variety of styles on the market. Some come with a hard plastic casing on the bottom and top and a soft pad with plastic inserts for maximum palm protection. You can select any type that best suits your skating needs. Wrist guards with wicking material on the inside can also help to reduce sweat and moisture.
However, wearing wrist pads may be difficult for some new skaters. First, when putting on your wrist pads, look for the thumb hole. Second, look for a plastic panel designed to protect your hands. This piece is easily visible on wrist guards that do not have a plastic casing on the top and bottom. Next, when putting on the wrist pads, make sure the protected area for the palm is facing down-the thumb holes for the two guards should be facing each other. Otherwise, you must have placed the wrist guards backward. Last, slide your thumb into the appropriate wrist guard. The remaining fingers will be able to slip through the gap between each thumb hole. Pull the Velcro straps to secure your wrist guards around your palm snugly. Gently press the Velcro together to ensure that it is securely fastened.
Some skaters prefer to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts as an extra layer of protection against bruises, cuts, and scrapes and these protective pieces. To protect your fingers, put on a pair of light gloves. It’s also a good idea to wear fitted mouthguards for activities like skating that involve falling and colliding.