Inline-skating for beginners - top twelve safety tips
In-line skating is a fun sport, but there are a few safety aspects to bear in mind. Skate safe with our top twelve tips when in-line skating for beginners.
- Learn to skate properly
Particularly when in-line skating for beginners, it’s helpful to take lessons from an approved instructor or an experienced friend. That way you learn from the beginning how to start, stop and, if need be, fall safely. It will give you confidence and save you from unnecessary injury.
- Skate in a safe place
Choose, traffic-free places with a smooth surface to cut down the chances of having an accident with a vehicle or a pedestrian. Places without potholes, ruts, surface debris and stones will help prevent you from tripping up and give you smoother skating. Never skate on busy roads.
When inline-skating for beginners, know your limits. Stay on flat surfaces, don’t skate too fast and don’t take on hills until you're confident and ready for the increased speed.
- Wear appropriate protective gear
A decent pair of skates that fit properly is essential. A helmet is also a good idea - a proper skating one rather than a cycling one as it protects the back of your head. Wrist guards, elbow and knee pads are a safe bet. A light pair of gloves will stop your hands getting scraped if you fall over.
- Stay alert
Whilst your skating, it’s a good idea to check over your shoulder every 20 seconds and keep your head on a swivel. Don’t skate with headphones or earbuds in as you won’t hear traffic and stay alert to the pedestrians around you. If you love to listen to music, do it when skating along a bike or skate trail where there isn’t any traffic to worry about. Don’t skate when you're tired as you’re more likely to be inattentive and could hurt yourself.
- Carry a phone
Keep a mobile phone with you in case you need help and carry a form of ID.
- Check the visibility and weather
Skate during daylight hours. If you’re going to skate in the evening or the dark, wear reflective clothing so cars and people can see you. Don’t skate if it’s raining heavily or snowing as the visibility will be low and it may be slippery.
- Skate with a friend
Skating alone is fun, but skating with someone else is safer and fun too. An additional set of eyes and ears is always good, and if you get into trouble, there will be someone with you.
- Look after your skates
Make sure you buy a well-fitted pair of boots in the first place. After you’ve used them for a while, check the bearings aren’t worn on your wheels. If the boots are showing signs of wear, repair or replace them from a reputable retailer.
- Look out for trouble
Watch out for debris, rocks, and cracks when you’re skating. They can put you at risk of injury or wreck your skates.
Plan your route before you head out skating. Use online forums to check out safe places and take note of the description and reviews with regards to the terrain and potential hazards.
- Skate in single file and pass safely
If you skate on trails with other people, or in a group of people, try to skate in single file as a matter of course. Let people know you are planning to pass them and on which side. That way you’ll avoid any collisions where you could both come off badly.
- Don’t get towed
It may seem like a buzz, but don’t get towed behind a car, bike or other vehicles as you could get seriously injured. You’ll be going a lot faster than is safe and could get your foot or hand caught under the wheels. There are plenty of other ways to get your kicks skating normally.
- Be polite
Be courteous when you're skating and you're less likely to be a victim of someone else's car or skate rage. It will also potentially stop a skate ban in an area that you enjoy.
Just a few of our top tips to help you stay safe and get the most out of your in-line skating for beginners.