Roller Skating Advice for Beginners: What To Wear And How To Stay Safe

Roller skating is a fun, affordable, and easy way to exercise. It’s not only good for kids but adults as well. It has been popular for quite a while and it’s no wonder why. It can be an exciting workout, an easy group activity, or a fun night out.

However, roller skating and staying safe while doing so is not quite so simple. You need the proper gear and to learn some basic skills before heading over to the local rink.

Whether you’ve forgotten how to rollerskate or have recently purchased your very first pair of skates and are now looking to get out on the rink, it’s always a good thing to have a refresher on skateboarding basics and safety rules. After all, for some newbies, roller skating can be more about falling than getting up again. That said, let’s cover some of the basics you might want to know before you get started with this type of pastime.

Safety First: Wear Protective Gear

picture of women riding roller skates on the street wearing protective gear

People who are just learning to roller skate often want to go fast, and this can be dangerous. The safest way to get faster is to first get more skilled by practising on a flat surface with soft wheels, such as the ones that come with new roller skates.

Along with that, even if you are sure you know what you’re doing, the safest thing is to wear protective gear when roller skating. Because it’s possible to be too sure of yourself and fall anyway. These are the must-have pieces of protective gear for every beginner skater.

Knee Pads

If you’ve ever fallen down while roller skating, you’ll understand why a knee pads set is so important. If you’re not wearing knee pads roller skating can be dangerous for you, especially if you’re a beginner. Since beginner skaters drop to their knees as soon as they lose balance, it’s still crucial to know how to fall appropriately and have good cushioning. For that reason, knee pads are some of the best protective gear pieces because the risks of falling are greater as the skater is still learning. Instead of being afraid of falling, knee pads allow skaters the confidence to push themselves to their limits without fear of being wounded.

Landing on a hard-surfaced skating rink is painful enough, but falling on concrete or asphalt surfaces is considerably worse. Knee and elbow pads usually have fastening mechanisms that ensure that your knees are well-padded and that the skate pads do not slip down. Especially if you’re a recreational skater, by using knee pads roller skating protection, your hobby will be a joyful and safe experience as you will definitely avoid a trip to the emergency room.

A Helmet

Wearing a helmet is crucial for staying safe in many activities, especially if it involves great speed. For instance, when you go skiing, you always use a ski helmet to protect your head from bumping and falling. You should do the same thing when roller skating as well. The importance of wearing a helmet while roller skating cannot be stressed enough.

Trip and slip accidents are very common when roller skating. If you were to trip over something and fall while wearing a helmet, chances are that your helmet would save your life by absorbing the impact. Even if it didn’t prevent a fall or head injury, your helmet would protect you from cuts and scrapes on your face and ears.

While roller skating it is also very common for people to bump into other skaters or objects in their path causing them to frequently fall down. Wearing a helmet will lessen the impact of hitting your head on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt.

Wrist Guards

When you are roller skating and you fall, wrist guards can help prevent sprains and bruises. They will not eliminate your chance of injury, but they will help reduce the severity of a fall.

Wrist guards should fit very tightly around your wrists so that they do not slip during skating. The pads should be made from durable material and should cover your entire wrist, except at the very top. The best way to make sure that your wrist guards fit properly is to have them professionally fitted at a skate shop.

Choose Skates That Fit

picture of two girls roller skating on a sidewalk
source: Katya Wolf on pexels

When trying on roller skates, make sure they fit comfortably. You should be able to wiggle your toes. You shouldn’t feel any pressure on your ankles or feet. You shouldn’t feel pain when wearing them. Skates that are too small will cause blisters and those that are too large may hurt your feet and ankles, so make sure to measure your foot before purchasing.

On the other hand, many people find it helpful to buy skates with removable insoles. This allows you to adjust the size if necessary.

Wear Close-fitting Clothes That Won’t Restrict Your Movement

You might think that looser clothes will be better for non-restrictive movement, however, wearing loose or baggy clothes can be dangerous when roller skating. They can get caught on the wheels and cause you to fall. For that reason you need to wear close-fitting clothes made from a stretchy fabric so that they are comfortable and suitable for the weather, such as rain gear in rainy weather; sunscreen and sunglasses in sunny weather; warm clothes if it’s cold outside. Wear bright colours so other people and vehicles can see you easily.

Practice In a Private Area First

While you will want to venture out and about with your newfound sport, there is no need to rush into this and even though you may feel like hitting the road immediately after buying your skates, it is better to wait a bit until you become more comfortable with them. You want to avoid an accident if you can.

One of the best pieces of advice that anyone can give you is to ensure that you are comfortable on the skates before you go out into traffic or onto the ice. This means that you will want to practice your moves in a safe area before trying out around other people who are not expecting it.

The Takeaway

picture of a person roller skating in a park
source: Sindy Süßengut on Unsplash

In the end, though, the most important part of roller skating is to have fun and be safe. Whether you’re skating around town or taking a spin on the rink, just make sure you’re wearing the right gear and following some basic safety precautions. If you can do that, then you should have no problem enjoying your time on the rink!