SAFETY FIRST Whether beginner or expert, by skating smart and defensive, by controlling your speed and by wearing protective gear you can you can make Cross Blading a very safe sport. Cross Blading is a very challenging and rewarding sport, but it’s also a serious sport. It involves moderate speed and acute balance, so a goof can get you hurt. Cross Blading is low impact, unless of course you fall!
Your most important piece of safety equipment is yo’ brain, but fun and fatigue can quickly lead you to forget to use it. Being aggressive and having fun are part of the sport, but these are intoxicating.
Next come a helmet, elbow and knee pads, gloves and glasses (see Gear).
Expect sneaky surprises and “skate snakes” like unaware drivers, cyclist, pedestrians, dogs (both friendly and aggressive), gravel, sand, little sticks, leaves, oil, water, etc. Constantly drill your self… What if? What if? That stiff shot that goes through your body when startled can cause you to fall, so relax and anticipate surprises.
If you are going to fall, the hope is that you will still have some control over how. The goal is to keep your elbow and knee pads between you and the ground when you can to protect vulnerable parts such as your wrists or butt.
If you are new to inline skating, start out with wrist guards and no poles and consider putting a couple of layers of old clothes on for extra protection. When I went out to learn a hockey stop I cut an old sleeping pad and stuffed it in some old sweat pants to protect my butt. Very dorky, but better than a bruised butt.