Hello Hello. Stephen @Whataspoon here to talk about why it is helpful to wear protective gear whilst skating. One of the many things that makes skating fun is the adrenaline rush you receive when you land a trick with a danger element to it.
Of course strapping wheels to your feet can be dangerous. Our parents and peers are always telling us to be careful when skating. “How are you going to go to work with a broken leg?” Well, thankfully there are some wonderful companies supplying us with protective gear to help prevent that from happening.
What is Protective Gear?
Protective gear comes in many different forms. We have: Helmets, Wrist guards, Elbow Pads, Knee Pads, Shin Pads and Bum Pads that come in many different forms. They are designed to take the impact from your fall instead of your bones to keep you skating and out of A&E.
What is the Difference between a Skate Helmet and a Cycle Helmet and how does it protect you when Inline/Roller Skating?
Helmets are designed to protect the most important part of your body. That brain of yours that likes to skate is very important to us all so be sure to keep it safe. The skate helmets offer a bit more protection than a cycle helmet around the side and rear of your head to protect you when falling on your side or back. This comes in very handy when you are skating in skateparks or near obstacles like ledges and rails which you could hit with your head whilst falling over. The helmets have a special material inside that compresses when it receives a high impact blow. It does this so that your skull doesn’t compress instead. If you do take a really high impact to the head or drop your helmet from height then it is advised to get yourself a new one as that same spot will not protect you as well the next time you fall on it.
It’s very rare that you will fall on your head but the occasion may arise so get that brain insurance on your head just in case.
What are Skate Wrist Guards and which style is right for me when Inline/Roller Skating?
Skate Wrist Guards are there to protect you from injuring your wrist and hands. There are a few different shapes and styles of Wrist guards. For example the most popular style looks like a wrist brace you would receive at the doctor after spraining your wrist. They have 2 pieces of plastic, one above and one below your wrist to prevent your wrist from bending on impact. This protects the little bones in your wrist that are difficult to heal. The bottom piece of plastic usually sticks out on your palm to protect it when placing your hands down to slow down your fall. The plastic can slide along the ground instead of your palm keeping your hands from getting those nasty road rash grazes.
There are also some first guards that only feature a big piece of plastic to protect the palm but do not have the wrist protection which some people prefer for warmer weather and lighter falls. The first guards mentioned will definitely offer much more protection though. If you are someone who simply skates around then the second option may be fine for you but if you would like to skate in skate parks or perform tricks then we would recommend you go for the more protective option.
Most pad sets come with the more protective option.
What Elbow Pads should I use when Inline/Roller Skating?
Hurting your elbows whilst skating sucks. It’s not quite as common as falling on your wrists or knees but if you are wearing elbow pads it can be useful to help you fall more comfortably. It’s a great idea to use your wrist pads alongside your elbows to hall on both at the same time and to help spread the impact around. Elbows can also be quite helpful when falling on your back as you can stick them out to take the impact instead of the back of your head.
There are a few different types of elbow pad. The most common is the hard plastic shell that you pull over your arm with 2 velcro straps to hold them in place. These are perfect for city skating.
There are more heavy duty versions that have more plastic which comes with a flat surface to enable you to slide on them easier. These are most usual for Skate park/Aggressive skating when falling down ramps or taking higher impact falls.
Another type is the soft pads that come with a foam material which can be more comfortable but do not offer as much protection. They are great for cuts and bruises but not for hard impacts.
What Knee Pads should I wear when Inline/Roller Skating?
Falling on your knees is extremely common whilst Inline/Roller skating. It’s also a great place to protect in the sense that you cannot skate with injured legs. Of course if you break your elbow or wrist you could still roll around but with a broken knee the situation is very different. Having good knee pads can also allow you to fall safely by giving you the option to land on your knees on purpose and slide on the pads.
Knee pads come in the same forms as elbow pads like I mentioned above. The standard ones are great for city skating. The heavy duty’s are great for skatepark and high impact and of course the foam options are more comfortable but will not protect you quite as much.
Should I wear Shin Pads whilst Inline/Roller Skating?
Shin pads are not always needed when Inline/Roller Skating. These come in handy for aggressive skating whilst trying grind tricks. Grinds involve you shins coming into close contact with obstacles that tend to be made of metal and even ledges that can be quite sharp. You do not want to smack your shin off of those at all. So if you are trying grinds then get your old football shinny’s back out of the cupboard or check out some of the skating ones available. These usually just involve a piece of plastic or foam that covers your shin bone that can be placed above your skates around your calf.
Should I wear Bum Pads whilst Inline/Roller Skating?
Bum pads or Bumsavers are not a must but they can come in very handy. They have foam pads all over them to protect your bum, hips, man/womanhood and tailbone. Falling on these areas is never fun but if you are wearing these bum pads then you will come out of that fall much better off.
Benefits of Wearing Protective Gear
Why should I protect myself whilst Inline/Roller Skating?
The truth is, when you are learning how to skate you will fall over all the time. In order to get back up and continue enjoying yourself it’s important to protect those bones of yours. Falling and hurting yourself whilst getting frustrated at the fact you cannot land a trick is never very motivating. Whilst wearing your pads your skating will improve much quicker allowing you to become more confident. Once you are comfortable you can then decide whether or not it’s time to take them off or not. As a skate shop we would always recommend that you use them at all times but we understand that not all of you will want to. I do not wear pads myself anymore but I certainly did when I was learning and I’m so grateful for that now.
Check out our range of Protective Gear here.