If you are a big fan of inline skating, you know that it’s only a matter of time until you are faced with a situation where you are tipping over. There are a lot of reasons why this is the case. Maybe you lost your balance, maybe your center of gravity got disturbed. The worst case, of course, involves some sort of obstruction.
You are skating at a really high rate of speed and then you hit an obstruction. Maybe this is a pebble on the road, maybe it’s a stone, maybe it’s some sort of raised portion of the road. Whatever the case may be, the impediment hit the inline skate wheels so hard that the wheels could not absorb it. They could not pass it on, so your center of gravity starts to tip.
A lot of skaters think that this is the worst case scenario, but their fears are actually misplaced because, if you think about it, this comes with the territory. You want a lot of speed, but you have to accept the fact that from time to time, there will be issues related to the road or there will be issues regarding how you skate. At some point in time, you will be thrown off your center of gravity. You will begin to tip and it really doesn’t do anybody any favors if you were to deny this possibility.
If you were to just continue your skating career thinking that those problems happen to other people, but not necessarily you, then you’re just setting yourself up for a nastier fall. You probably are going to be setting yourself up for a worse kind of situation than it needed to be, so listen up.
If you want to really make sure that when you inline skate both indoors and outdoors that you would be safe and that you will avoid worst case scenarios, pay attention to this one powerful tip. If you are in any kind of surface, it’s always a good idea to fall over forwards. Let me repeat that again. If you’re going to fall, and you lost your center of gravity, you have to fall over forwards.
Again, you really don’t have any choice when things hit this point. Ideally, you don’t have to worry about this point. Ideally, you wouldn’t have to get to this point, but assuming that this is the case, then what you need to do is to try with all your might to fall forward.
Why Fall Forward?
When you fall forward, you have a lot more choices. You are positioning yourself to, at the very least, take more active control over what’s happening to your body. Again, this by no means indicate that this is a pleasant situation. It’s not a pleasant situation and, in fact, it is a situation you should avoid. As much as you can, you should employ your skating skills to ensure that you don’t fall.
This is basically a stopgap measure. This is when things have failed and you are just left with a bad option and a worse option. In such a situation, as unnecessary and as unwanted as it may seem, the best thing to do is to think about avoiding the worst case situation. What is the worst case situation when you tip over? Well, it should be pretty straightforward. When you tip over or fall, the worst case that could happen is when you fall backwards.
Think about it for a second. When you fall backwards, how much control do you have? Do you even see what’s going to happen? Can you position your body the right way? Can you position your body in such a way that you minimize damage? None of this can take place, at least none of it can happen in a very reliable way.
Sure, people can get lucky from time to time when they tip over backwards and come up without a scratch, but those are lucky people. For the most part, if you’re going at a high enough rate of speed, you are in for quite a nasty fall when you fall backwards. In many cases, you hit the back of your head so hard that it can cause serious problems. This is especially true if you are not wearing appropriate safety gear.
As awesome as modern rollerblading safety gear may be, they can only take you so far. They can only protect you so much. The best case, again, is to just avoid this situation altogether. But if you were in this worse case situation, you need to fall over forward.
When you fall over forward, you can see the spot where you’re going to fall. You can put your arms up. Hopefully you’re wearing safety gloves and padding all over the place, so that even if you get banged up, you’re not going to get scraped up or cut up. Do you see the difference here?
Make no mistake about it, getting rubble or bits of stone out of your skin is not a very pleasant experience. Putting antiseptic or antibiotic on your skin can burn. Also, depending on the safety gear that you’re wearing, a lot of that stuff can slide off, a lot of it can be pushed to the side. Whatever the case may be, you might end up exposing more skin than you thought.
So do yourself a big favor and try to position yourself that when you are sure that you are falling, fall over forwards because that way, you can position your body in such as way as to minimize the shock. You can also protect the most important part of your body, which is, of course, your head.
Head for the Grass
In an outdoor setting, I have a very powerful piece of advice for you as far as your safety is concerned. If you know that you’re going to fall and you know that you’re going at a high rate of speed, try to fall into the grass.
This is not always possible, of course, if you are in a very wide roadway. And if you’re pretty much surrounded by asphalt or cement, you’re pretty much out of luck. But in the equally common situation where you are on a roadway and there is some grass to the side, do yourself a big favor and try to tip towards the direction where there’s a lot more grass.
Now, why do this? Well, when you fall on grass, you basically fall on a very cushioned surface. Assuming that this is real grass turf and not stones covered by grass, you should recover just fine. Why? The turf actually absorbs quite a bit of impact. Instead of cement, which actually bounces back the impact right at you, when you fall on grass, it absorbs your impact and it also slows down your roll. The chances of you getting cut up or scraped are minimized when you fall for the grass.
So do yourself a very big favor. If you know that a fall is inevitable and there’s really nothing you can do about it, head for the grass. As much as possible, try to tip your body to the side where there is grass.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you are completely out of the woods. Don’t think for a second that just because you’ve fallen to the grass then you don’t have to bother with covering your face or positioning your body for less injury or any other responsible move. You still have to be responsible. You still have to think things through. You still have to be quick on your feet. Still, when you hit the grass, you have a much higher chance of not only avoiding getting banged up, but you also avoid getting cut up.
This is the big thing about grass. The worst that you have to worry are grass burns or pieces of grass all over your safety equipment, but that is a very small price to pay compared to the alternative situation where you risk breaking bones, scraping your skin deeply, dislodging safety equipment to expose more skin, and all sorts of hassles. Do yourself a big favor, head for the grass and take proper precautions.