If you are starting out on your career as a skater, chances are that you will begin in an enclosed area called a rink. Rinks may be indoor or outdoor and may have their own safety rules and regulations. Regardless of the location you practice in and the roller skates you are using, it is always wise to follow some basic rules to ensure not only your own safety but also that of those around you. These safety precautions are –
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Precautions Before Beginning The Skating Routine
If you are a beginner, chances are that the first few minutes of your skating routine would be the hardest as you have to acclimatize yourself to the conditions and the rigour involved. To this end –
- Wear sufficient protection – Before going in for a skating session, make sure you put on arm guards, wrist guards and knee guards. Note that you may have to choose different sizes for different body parts. Whichever size you choose, ensure that the guards are snug without being too tight.
- Note the condition of the wheels – No matter how advanced the ABEC bearings on your wheels, their condition would deteriorate over time. Have a qualified professional check the state of the bearings once in a few months to ensure that they are able to run the wheels smoothly. For everyday checks, rotate the wheels with your fingers a few times and note whether they move as well as they did initially.
Last but not least, note if the wheels wobble while moving. If this is the case, take a wrench and tighten or loosen the wheels such that they remain stable.
- Choose the Correct Size – Skaters often need to buy skating shoes that are a size or two smaller than what they would buy if they were purchasing ordinary walking shoes. It is vital that this choice is made wisely because while a small shoe might create blisters, a larger shoe would cause you to lose control and in doing so, prevent you from learning how to use a roller skate safely.
- Wear thick socks – Though the best roller skates for women come with high quality padding, it is always wise to go in for a good pair of thick cotton socks. These socks would not only keep you comfortable but would ensure that there are no gaps between your feet and the shoe. This in turn, helps in improving your control over the skates.
Safety Rules While Skating Indoors
If you are practising in a rink or an indoor location, your safety is partially guaranteed by the four walls surrounding you. That said, it is never possible to be too careful!
- Avoid racing with other skaters unless you have a large amount of space and a still larger amount of experience.
- Do not make abrupt turns as these might cause you to collide with other skaters.
- While it may look artistic, do not raise your legs from the ground for an extended period of time as this affects balance and might put too much pressure on the skate that is on the ground.
- Do not move onto ramps or the area surrounding the rink as these may contain pipes, wires and uneven surfaces.
Safety Rules When Skating Outdoors
Perhaps you wish to specifically learn how to skate outdoors or are forced to learn outdoors for want of a decent indoor skating arena. There are some additional rules you must follow –
- Always skate along the side of the road or on a smooth pavement. Skate in the direction of traffic in general if you must skate on a somewhat busy road. If you must skate in the direction of oncoming traffic, wear highly visible clothing so drivers can see you.
- Avoid skating in forested or extremely uneven terrain as not even the best durometer can ensure your safety in such circumstances.
- If due to any reason, the wheels begin to feel wobbly, stop and check the skate immediately.
- Move slowly when you are moving along roads without pavements or when you are on a pavement so that you don’t end up colliding with pedestrians.
- Never race on open roads.
Being mechanical instruments, roller skates can and will malfunction at some point of time. It is your duty to ensure that chances of this are minimized for the longest possible duration. As such, actions that might reduce the stability of the wheels, cause the plate to be damaged, wear out the bearings or damage the shoe must be avoided at all times. At the same time, you should ensure that the way you skate, no matter how flawless, does not impinge on the rights of others in the rink or on the road. Keeping these in mind, you should be able to skate on virtually any surface that accepts a roller skate without fearing for your personal and your skate’s well-being.