How To Fall On
No skater likes to fall down, but it is going to
happen sooner or later. Learn how to prepare for a fall & how to avoid
Whenever you skate, always wear (a) wrist
guards, (b) knee pads, (c) elbow pads, and (d) a helmet.
See the 'Gear Up' section
When you realize you are going to fall &
you cannot avoid it, try to fall into sand or grass & try to fall forward
onto your kneepads & wrist guards.
When you fall, try to SLIDE on your knee pads
& wrist guards. You may have to throw your weight forward, with your arms
outstretched in front of you, to accomplish this, but do not stiffen your arms
when you do it.
Try not to slam your wrist guards straight down
onto the pavement when you fall, because this can cause injury to your hands,
wrists & arms. Sliding on your wrist guards is a much safer movement.
Falling backward is more dangerous than falling
forward, because you have no protection on your back & tailbone. It is
easier to prevent a serious injury when you fall forward.
When you cannot avoid falling backward, try to
land on your elbow pads & wrist guards.
Try NOT to land on your back, your tailbone, or
your hip bone.
Instead, try to land on your elbow pads, your
wrist guards & one side of your buttocks, in the soft fleshy area between
your tailbone & your hip bone.
You are most likely to hit your head in a
backward fall, but it can happen during any fall. A helmet will give you a
great deal of protection against a serious head injury. Always wear a helmet
when you skate.
Bicycle helmets are only manufactured to
protect you during one fall. Your bicycle helmet should be thrown away &
replaced after any fall where you hit your head.
The best way for a new skater to avoid falling,
is to take one or two lessons to learn how to fall,
how to stride, how to slow down & how to stop.
New skaters should practice using their heel
brake over & over, until using it becomes an automatic reaction. Many new
skaters fall & injure themselves because they do not know how to stop or
In many beginning classes, students are asked
to drop to their knees while they are wearing knee pads. It is a bit
frightening the first time, but it gives new skaters confidence in their body
The heavy, round helmets made for aggressive
skating are manufactured to last through more than one fall, but only if the
falls are not traumatic.
Some speedskaters like to roll when they fall,
to prevent road rash (skin abrasion). This is a tricky maneuver that should
only be attempted by the very advanced skater.