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Mistakes Inline Skaters Make

written by: Sylvie Colette • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 4/30/2010

Learn from the common mistakes inline skaters make.

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    Inline skating is a fun and effective way to get in shape. Even though skating is fun, it is easy to make mistakes that range from avoidable injuries to being an annoyance on the trail. Read through this list of common mistakes inline skaters and discover how to make the sport of inline skating safer.

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    Mistakes in Purchasing Inline Skates

    There are many different varieties of inline skates on the market. Skates are offered in all price ranges, but price alone should not determine the skates you choose. There are professional speed skates and recreational inline skates available with several different features, depending on where and how you plan on using them.

    After choosing the style of skate that you need, be sure to choose the right size. Using a pair of skates that are too big will cause blisters and foot pain or worse. Overcompensating for skates that wobble can lead to knee and hip injuries and of course, falls.

    Look for adequate brakes and know how to use them. Once you master the art of forward motion, learn how to stop. Rolling stops are not going to work when you need to avoid a dangerous obstacle, like a car, or large stick in the middle of the road.

    Speed skates are built with a fifth wheel and look very snazzy, but they do not have brakes. This is not a good first choice for a beginning skater, nor is it necessary for a recreational skater.

    Wide wheels are designed for faster skating, while smaller wheels are easier to control and maneuver. This is something to keep in mind when looking at your options.

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    Mistakes in Training with Inline Skates

    Wear protective gear. Straight and simple, you need to protect your knees, elbows and wrists with quality pads.The most common inline skating injury is broken wrists.

    Most importantly though, wear a helmet. Scraps, bumps and bruises can be healed, but head injuries can leave you with lasting problems. Thankfully, there are some really nice helmets in many different styles, colors and patterns. Find something in your style that fits snug.

    Crash pads are another possibility for beginners. These are heavily padded shorts that help protect your backside from tailbone injuries.

    Know your ability. Don't attempt to skate a marathon the first day. Ease into the mileage and be able to walk, let alone skate the next day.

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    Mistakes Inline Skaters Make on Trails

    Metropolitan areas all over the country have added multipurpose trails that are perfect for the inline skater. Since they are multipurpose, they need to be shared with bikes, strollers, runners, joggers, and walkers. This can cause certain unique problems for skaters. Like mentioned above, you need to be able to stop quickly. People are unpredictable, children may dart in front of you, dogs lunge, and walkers may not move when you need them to, so be ready to brake.

    Drive along the route or check it out on foot before strapping on your inline skates. Know if there are hills or lots of debris on the path, either one can be hazardous. Knowing if there are any intersections or sharp turns, which might mean blind spots, is also handy information before you decide if the trail is right for you at your current skill level.

    Leave the headphones at home. As tempting as it is to crank up your iPod, when you are sharing a trail it is important to be aware of your surroundings.

    Learn the rules of the road. Stay on the right side of the trail and be polite when passing other people. Announce your presence and let them know you are passing before attempting to zip by. Make room for others to pass when necessary.

    Crowded trails are a big possibility on warm days. Remember that not everyone is interested in speeding along or getting in a good workout. Some may just be enjoying the fresh air. So, do not worry about maintaining a consistent speed when surrounded by others on the trail.

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    Personal Experience

    Inline skate buying guide-