When you start out in any sport, you may think the most important thing to learn is how not to fall. In reality, there is a skill even more important than that…learning how to fall. Learning the proper way to take a spill can mean the difference between getting up and brushing yourself off and being taken away in an ambulance. One of the sports in which this is the case is inline skating. While it is of course important to learn how to stay on your feet and avoiding falling at all, by learning what to do when you do fall, and wearing the proper protective gear, you can ensure that a fall is just a minor blip in your day.
First off, you should have the correct gear. This gear includes wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet. The first three are strong suggestions, the helmet, on the other hand, is a necessity. When you are inline skating, you will be traveling at extremely high speeds. No matter how experienced a skater you may, you may still encounter a surface that you are unfamiliar with and unprepared for, or some sort of object in the road. Not wearing a helmet can spell devastation if you ever take a bad fall. Concrete is incredibly unforgiving when you hit it at a high speed. You may feel silly wearing a helmet, but the alternative is just not worth it.
Next, keep your options open as to where you can fall. This may sound silly, however, if you are traveling along a hard surface, try to stay somewhere near a softer one in case you need to wipe out. Grass or sand will be a lot more forgiving than concrete. If you are in a skate park, try to aim for softer areas as opposed to sharp angles.
If you are traveling along and falling is inevitable, it is time to make a conscious choice of how you will fall. The most important aspect of the fall is to keep your body loose. If you tense up at the last minute, you are more likely to break something. Have some faith in your safety gear and relax into the fall. While it is usually a better idea to fall forward, try not to brace yourself with your hands as the impact will damage your wrists. Try to slide into the fall if possible instead of hitting the ground straight on. If you do fall backwards, try to fall in a curve, don’t land directly on your butt so you protect your tailbone. Roll into your fall and then stop yourself from hitting your head by putting your arms out to the sides to stop you. You may have a couple of scrapes and bruises, but hopefully you will be mostly unscathed.
Knowing how and where to fall will keep you safe as you inline skate your way to fun!
Sydney Garrison is an avid cyclist and sports enthusiast. She is also a partner in an online bike rack store.