Experienced skaters have learned that one of the most important aspects of in-line skating safety is to be prepared. Before you start off for a skate, you must use your head or you may end up with a crack in it.
Before your next skating adventure, do as the experts do and consider the following:
When you make a habit of thinking as the experts do, all of your trips to the edge of control will be safe and thrilling.
- Have you ever skated this route before? Do you know the quality of pavement or the possibility of speed bumps, garden hoses, or gravel?
- Is the sky foggy or dark or will you be skating directly into the sun, limiting vision?
- Will you be working on new skills or jumping, or skating ramps or stairs?
- Do you know how to use the heel brake to slow down or fully stop? If not, do you know how to use a T-stop to slow down at top speed? If not, do you have another effective means of stopping within ten to fifteen feet?
- Will there be moist pavement from sprinklers or fog, or wet leaves?
- Is the path wide enough to traverse or make slalom turns to reduce your speed? Will other skaters be too close for you to turn to slow down?
- Is there a shoulder of soft dirt or grass to use for an emergency exit?
- Can you be influenced by peer pressure go so fast that you lose control?
- Do you know the difference between thrill and fear, and can you retain enough control to stop upright no matter which one you are experiencing?
- If a car tailgates you and honks, will you remain in control? If you require the whole lane to safely slalom down a hill, are you able to calmly do so in front of a honking, angry driver?