Roller skating has recently made a comeback due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With government officials urging us to stay quarantined, revisiting nostalgic hobbies have been a popular way to pass the time. Roller skating is a fun way to travel while also being a great form of exercise. Compiled below are a list of essentials for any roller skater looking to add to their safety gear.
Wearing roller skating gear is a personal choice. However, many roller skating companies advertise the importance of good gear when practicing. Especially when beginning, falling while practicing with roller skates can guarantee a few bruises. Proper safety precautions are important when skating. No roller skater has practiced without taking a fall or obtaining an injury. Roller skating equipment doesn't stop you from falling or getting injured, but it can lessen the severity of it.
Like any sport, taking rest periods between skating sessions is important. Stretching on your rest days keeps your body flexible and reduces the risk of pulling a muscle when you return to skating. Flexibility is essential when becoming a good roller skater, as it reduces the risk of injury significantly. Remember that everyone falls, and don't let it deter you from pursuing your roller skating goals.
A helmet is an essential for new skaters learning the ropes, as well as pros who have been skating for years. While it is ultimately the skater's choice on what safety gear they wear, helmets are great for reducing risk of head injury and concussions. While a helmet does not guarantee that an injury will not take place, it can help the severity of impact if the skater hits their head. Helmets are designed to take in the impact of a hit. The foam on the inside and hard shell on the outside help so that rather than a skull fracture or other serious injury, the helmet will help you to slide and skid instead of taking full impact to your head and jerking your neck. The fit of a helmet should be snug but not tight, and your chin buckles should be fastened at all times. If a helmet is loose on the head it will be incredibly ineffective if there is an injury.
Average price: 40 - 300$
The mouthguard is an item used in a variety of sports to protect from mouth and head injuries. Broken teeth or a swollen tongue are a definite deterrent from skating again. These can be prevented with a mouthguard. While a mouthguard is usually used in more aggressive forms of skating such as roller derby, it can prevent you from losing precious teeth if you were to fall and possibly smash your face into a curb. While this event is highly unlikely while solo skating, a mouth guard is not an expensive investment and can prevent accidents like this from becoming a reality.
Average price: 20 - 200$
Maintaining and protecting your knee functions are important for most sports. Knee injuries are a common reason athletes are no longer able to pursue sports at a higher level. Keeping your knees protected is crucial to any skater, as much of the work when skating comes from balance and bending your knees. To avoid scabby and injured knees, invest in knee pads, which will make a fall to the ground more bearable. Falling on your knees first rather than directly onto your hands will also help keep your wrists safe from impacted injury. Having every part of your body which can be hit hard from a fall is important, which is why there is so much padding involved in protective roller gear.
Average price: 16 - 100$
Elbow pads protect your elbows from injury and strain from falls, dives, and slides. Elbow pads can protect your elbows from the impact of a fall, and let you slide into a safer position when on the ground. Many athletes abandon the idea of elbow pads because of the annoyance of them shifting around the arms and moving off of the joints. This is why finding well fitting elbow pads which are snug and tight on the elbows will help to reduce shifting and keep your elbows safe from impact and injury.
Average price: 20 - 100$
Wrist guards and gloves offer much needed protection to your wrists and hands. A hand or wrist injury from skating can be very detrimental to your personal life and occupation. Wrist guards take pressure off of the wrist when you fall on your hands, while the gloves prevent scraping. However, falling on your hands is not recommended when roller skating, as it provides unnecessary weight on the wrists.
Average price: 20 - 100$
A bruised tailbone is one of the most common injuries for beginner roller skaters. It's a painful reminder of just how hard the ground can be, and will keep you off of your skates during your recovery period. Investing in padded shorts can offer some comfort to your next fall, and add cushioning to your gluteus, hips, and thighs. Falling on your tailbone or hip is dangerous, as this injury can also seriously affect your spine and back.
Average price: 30 - 60$
The correct socks when skating will help to prevent from painful blisters and offer overall comfortability for the fit of your skates. The ideal socks for roller skating are socks that are thick and high on the leg, at least above the top of the roller skate. Thigh highs and knee highs work great for skaters, and the thickness of the socks helps to make the fit of your skate more agreeable, preventing bruising from tight laces and blistering on the feet. Long socks help to remove any uncomfortable rubbing from the skates onto your skin, which will prevent painful blisters.
Average price: 10 - 25$
Picking the right roller skates is no easy feat. With so many different brands and user reviews it can feel overwhelming to choose the roller skates which are best for you. When choosing, consider your own skill level and what you are pursuing with your skating goals. Some brands have skates more catered towards beginners, such as Moxi Skates Beach Bunny roller skates. While not as expensive as most of Moxi's gear, the Beach Bunny rollers offer durability and comfort whether you are skating indoors or outdoors. They can take the wear of a beginner learning the ropes and taking some hard falls.
For those more experienced in roller skating, you can consider some higher ticket items, even some that are customizable to your personal needs.
Sizing varies between brands and should be studied thoroughly when making a purchase. If the skates are new you will need to break them in, so a little snugness when you first try them on is usual. Just make sure your toes are not stuffed or curling in the skate, as this probably means they are too small. Make sure to try on your skates with the socks you intend to use while roller skating. If you are unable to try skates on in store, read the size guide on the website and pay close attention to user reviews on how the skates fit. This can be helpful for getting an idea of what size you should purchase. While most skates fit the same as your average shoe size, every brand is different. Whether they run large or small, customer testimonials are a great way of determining just how correct the fit is.
Average price: 90 - 500$