Do You Need a Helmet for Roller Skating? the short answer to this question is No, you don’t have to as there are no legal laws that enforce it. However, Should you wear a helmet while roller skating? – I would advise Yes.
Let’s be honest, most people at your skate park or rink think that helmets are ‘nerdy’ or ‘uncool.’ You probably think the same. But there’s a mysterious voice in your brain that is urging you to wear a helmet in case you hit your head. And that’s probably the reason why you’re reading this article.
And I can understand. You feel really self conscious while wearing a helmet at the skate park especially when nobody else is wearing it. We’ve all been there and it sucks.
However, after you read this article, it won’t suck. I’ll just give some valid arguments backed up by facts and you will be the one to decide if wearing a helmet is fit for you or not.
Table of Contents Hide
- Facts and Figures / Injury Statistics
- Do You Need a Helmet for Roller Skating?
- Situations Where You Must Wear a Helmet
- Why Do Other Skaters Not Wear a Helmet?
- Which Helmet Should I Get?
- Still Think the Helmet Looks ‘Uncool?’
- Still Not Motivated?
Facts and Figures / Injury Statistics
Here are some statistics about roller skating injuries.
A prospective survey of 111 cases of roller skating injuries within one year are reported. Males were more commonly injured than females. There was a high incidence (86%) of serious injuries, 28% of which required surgical treatment. The wrist (23%) was the commonest region involved, followed by the shoulder (20%), the elbow (15%) and the ankle (12%).
There you go. While roller skating injuries are less in number in comparison to skateboarding or inline skating, you can’t ignore the probability of injuries that still can happen.
Do You Need a Helmet for Roller Skating?
It’s your choice. In most places, there are no legal laws that force you to wear it. However, looking at the statistics, roller skating injuries can be pretty serious and require surgical treatment. So you should definitely wear a helmet as they can provide a great safety assurance for your head.
Situations Where You Must Wear a Helmet
Wearing a helmet is recommended at all times, there are some variables that can affect your decision. So you should at least carry a helmet with you for any given situation.
When You’re Going for Street Skating
It’s different if you’re going skating on a flat surface like the skate rink. Not wearing the helmet might be acceptable in that scenario.
But here, we’re talking about the traffic, the uneven roads, the pebbles, the gravel and the people. When you go street skating, many unexpected scenarios can occur out of nowhere.
Suppose you’re skating peacefully on the side of the road, a scooter comes out of nowhere and hits you. It’s not even your fault, but you’ll be the one in the hospital.
Similarly, what if you get stuck on a pebble, fall and hit your head on the road. You can’t see what’s coming next on the great wild roads or the urban area. So, it’s a good idea to wear a helmet as well as safety guards. Guess what, no one will make fun of you because everybody wears one on their scooters.
When You’re Skating Down Verts and Rails
Believe me, if you’re skating down 12 foot verts or grinding on rails, you better put that helmet on.
Not convinced? Watch roller skating fail compilations on YouTube and you’ll understand it all. Falls on verts and rails are so nasty, you turn your eyes away the moment you see them. If you’re a roller skater, you will fall whether you’re a beginner or an advanced skater.
So it’s better to put on a helmet before you regret your life decisions in a hospital ward.
When You’re an Absolute Beginner
Experts might be able to get away without wearing a helmet, but, when you’re just starting to learn roller skating, you do nothing but fall. What happens is that you propel yourself forwards, but due to inertia, your upper body tends to move backwards. The result; you fall backwards and might hit your head.
Also, when you drop into the vert for the first time, there’s a high probability that you will fall, as you’re unfamiliar with the vert. There’s also a high probability that you fall backwards on your head.
So, as a beginner, you must wear a helmet at all costs.
When You’re Skating At Home
Even pros aren’t immune to this one. You’ll be surprised how many people hit their head while skating at their home sweet home. The reason is simple. You lose your balance, and the next thing you know, you hit your head on the wall or the table.
A skatepark is spacious and there’s only you and the ground. However, at a house, there are many more variables that can come into play. The tables, walls, chairs, glass, windows and even a sudden transition from your floor into the carpet can make you fall on your face.
You better not skate at your home, and if you really want to, wear a helmet and skate in a spacious room. Move aside the furniture.
When You’re Playing Roller Derby, Hockey or Racing
Roller Derby and hockey are both really rough and tough sports and require you to wear a helmet. Even the rules of roller derby say you need a helmet with a star on it, though not for protection but identification.
Similarly, when you’re racing on a flat surface or downhill, you should wear a helmet, as the fall can have a big impact due to high velocity. As they say, “speed thrills but kills.” And you do not want to be killed. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but a serious injury is a high possibility.
Why Do Other Skaters Not Wear a Helmet?
Unfortunately, it’s true. Skaters do not wear a helmet most of the time and if they did wear it, it would greatly reduce the yearly accidents and injuries. Here are some of the reasons why I think other skaters don’t wear a helmet.
Wearing a Helmet is ‘Dorky’
In a lot of places, kids even get ridiculed by their friends for wearing a helmet. The reason is that it looks ‘dorky’ according to them. We don’t know the reason why, but people have ingrained this notion into their minds that the more dangerous a sport is, the cooler it is.
The stereotypes don’t make it easy either. Just like people tend to think that glasses and a timid personality makes you a nerd, a helmet makes you a “mama’s boy” or “girl” for some reason. For the record, being a “mama’s boy” is nothing to be ashamed of.
We’ve got teenagers saying, “Mom, I can’t wear that. What would my friends think?”
It’s 2021 and it’s time we leave these silly notions behind and stay safe. Any kid who makes fun of you for being safe, leave them alone because they’re probably a 10 year old. If your friends tease you, hit them even harder; with words, not punches. If things get serious, you need to replace your friend group.
They are Pros Who Know What They’re Doing
You don’t wear a helmet when walking down the stairs, do you? It’s because you feel natural and don’t really fall. Even though there’s a possibility of falling, you still wear no helmet and just do it.
The same is with roller skating. Some skaters are so experienced, it becomes natural for them to be on wheels.
They won’t hesitate while dropping down a 15 foot vert like the rest of us. It feels as easy as going down the stairs. They mostly get away without wearing a helmet. But, nothing is impossible, and they can still get injured.
That’s why, it’s recommended to wear a helmet even for the pros.
Helmets are Uncomfortable
Won’t lie, it’s true. Helmets are uncomfortable, sweaty and disrupt your line of vision when you’re doing certain tricks.
However, they only feel uncomfortable in the beginning. It’s just a matter of getting used to it. Also, you should look for a helmet that fits on your head and does not prick your head from the inside. When the helmet’s really big, it disrupts your line of vision.
The Location is Flat and Safe
People don’t feel the need to wear a helmet when they’re skating in a flat skate rink, and there’s not many people around. They probably won’t crash into their fellow skate mates.
Also, when people aren’t doing anything fancy, like jumping on verts or attempting 360 degree jumps, they might not need to wear a helmet.
If they’re just jamming to some light music with their roller skates on, it’s okay to not wear a helmet. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break if they feel like they’re being careful and skating safely.
Which Helmet Should I Get?
There are three perimeters to keep in mind when getting your helmet. There are two kinds of helmets for roller skating.
- Skateboard helmet – This is the dome style helmet that is perfect for recreational skating or skating on verts and rails.
- Bike helmet – This type of helmet is fit for speed skating teams. It is also good for fitness runs or street skating.
Any helmet would provide excellent protection.
1. Is the helmet comfortable?
An uncomfortable helmet can ruin your skating experience. I recommend that you go to a store and try on different helmets.
- Make sure the helmet is not oversized
- Make sure the helmet is not tight
- Make sure that there are no materials that prick inside the helmet
When you’ve checked the above three requirements, the helmet is comfortable.
2. Is the helmet CPSP certified?
The next thing is to check if the helmets are CPSP (Consumer Product Safety Commission) certified. The helmet should have a CPSP label. If not, then the helmet probably hasn’t been tested and is unsafe to wear.
Still Think the Helmet Looks ‘Uncool?’
Well, you haven’t checked the internet properly my friend.
As rollerblading and roller skating has made an astounding comeback in 2021, companies have also been popping out helmets in all colors and styles.
There are Cool Colors and Designs
The choices are endless. You could have a helmet with any design or color in the world. There are helmets with metallic or glitter colors. I even saw a helmet with a mohawk on the top.
Some Helmets Work Well With Modern Outfits
There are helmets that actually look cool and neat instead of looking like a rice bowl over your head. These helmets are more shaped like a p-cap that work well with all the modern outfits you could possibly have.
You could still look cool while rocking a helmet, if you get the right shape from the store.
You Can Customize Your Helmet
Can you customize your helmet? Well, why not? Just buy a black or a white helmet and paint on it. It’s as simple as that. You could add different colors, and pair it up with different accessories like earrings and a backpack.
Check out our post on best helmets for 2021!
Still Not Motivated?
If you still have some doubt about wearing a helmet, here me out this last time.
- People are too busy being self conscious about themselves.
- They don’t have the time to judge your helmet.
- There are probably other skaters who’ll wear the helmet if you take the initiative.
- This is 2021 and no one’s old fashioned enough to call a helmet uncool. If they do, they’re probably an immature 12 year old who is embarrassing themselves.
- You should come up with some catchy comebacks for the next time someone bothers you for wearing a helmet.
- You should make all your friends wear a helmet, and hang out with your cool helmet gang.
- You’ll make your parents proud and put their minds at ease if you wear your helmet. It’s worth more to please your parents rather than some random stranger on the street.
- You’ll have your life just once so you should treasure it.
There you have it. All the reasons to wear a helmet and be proud of it.
Now, should you wear a helmet?
Will people laugh at you?
No, they won’t. If they do, you have your epic comeback ready.
Will the helmet look cool?
Yes, it will.
Will my helmet be comfortable?
It will be if you buy the right one. You can learn how to choose the right helmet here.
If you want to read more discussions and thoughts about skating related topics, check out our skating guides.