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What Safety Equipment Is Needed When Inline Skating?

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 6/29/2011

It’s good to know what safety equipment is needed when inline skating before you hit the rink or trail. Making a small investment in the right inline skating gear won’t keep you from looking stupid when you fall, but it will help you stay injury-free.

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    Safety Equipment Needed For Inline Skating

    It’s important to know what safety equipment is needed when inline skating before you venture out to try your new skates. You’re bound to take a couple spills both when you’re first learning and later on when you get more adventurous. Guard yourself against injury with these essentials.

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    Helmet

    A helmet is the single most important piece of safety equipment needed for inline skating. While you can wear a bike helmet when inline skating, first timers or aggressive skaters will probably be better off with a helmet made especially for inline skating.

    Inline skating helmets have a different design from the standard bike helmet. While a bike helmet covers manly the top of head, an inline skating helmet covers both the top and back of the head—from the forehead down to the base of the skull. This comprehensive design offers the best protection against hard, backwards falls.

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    Knee Pads

    After a helmet, knee pads are the second most important piece of safety equipment needed when inline skating. You’re bound to take many falls when you’re new to inline skates, and wearing a good pair of knee pads will protect your delicate knees from bruising and scrapes.

    Most people will break a forward fall by landing on their knees, and good knee pads will provide a hard plastic surface to protect against impact along with a cushioned backing for comfort. When you shop for inline skating knee pads, look for knee pads that are flexible enough to allow a good range of motion but still fit snuggly. You may also want to look for knee pads made with wicking material to keep the skin dry and cool. Aggressive skaters or the accident-prone will want to look for larger pads that offer greater protection.

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    Elbow Pads

    Like knee pads protect the knee joint, elbow pads will protect arms during inline skating. Elbow pads are available in two sizes: smaller pads for fitness skating and larger pads for aggressive skating. The bigger the pad, the better protection against scrapes and falls.

    Typically fastened by Velcro straps, elbow pads should fit joints securely. Like knee pads, elbow pads are also available in flexible material and wicking material.

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    Wrist Guards

    Wrist injuries are among the most common inline skating injuries—and most can be prevented with a good pair of wrist guards. Basic wrist guards wrap around the hands and bottoms of the forearms. Some models have hard plastic plates on both the top and bottom sides of the guard while other models come with hard inserts that cover just the palms. Either type is acceptable inline skating safety equipment.

    While wrist guards are important safety equipment for inline skating, they can be difficult to put on. Consult the directions on the wrist guard package to make sure you put them on correctly.

    No matter how good your inline skating safety gear is, don’t forget to use common sense when skating to ensure you have the best, safest experience. Skate with a buddy, be aware of your surroundings, and communicate with nearby skaters.