We have put together this guide on how to fall when roller skating. These strategies will help you fall safely & prevent you from falling so often.
For those with Scoliosis, read our article on how to roller skate with Scolioisis for tips.
If you’ve ever tripped, you know the feeling. Adrenaline rushes through your veins, your heart starts pumping, and you have the sudden realization that you need to act quickly before you fall to your doom. With roller skating, you’re moving and at fast speeds to top it all off.
Falling is definitely not ideal in this sport, but the truth is that it’s inevitable and sometimes needed.
Although this prospect may seem intimidating, it is not as bad as it sounds. There are strategies to help you fall safely, prevent you from falling so often, and even make it fun as strange as it sounds.
In this article, you’ll learn the best practices if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of falling while you’re roller skating.
Table of Contents Hide
- How do you get over the fear of falling?
- How To Fall When Roller Skating
- How do you not fall when roller skating?
- How do you get up after falling?
How do you get over the fear of falling?
Most people don’t want to fall because they don’t want to get hurt, which is completely normal and part of human nature.
But in roller skating, everyone falls constantly. It is without a doubt going to happen to you multiple times throughout your skating career. Initially, though, the thought of it can be intimidating. To help you get over the fear of falling, try to first break down your thoughts surrounding this issue.
Reflect on the best and worst outcomes, given that you’ve done all you’ve can safety-wise.
This mental exercise should help you calm down and make you less anxious about falling in roller skating.
The next step to overcoming this fear is to actually fall.
As we will detail below, there are many different strategies to approach falling, and all of them should be considered when you’re in that situation.
After you’ve learned how to fall safely, you can apply this knowledge first on the grass or carpet. It helps because not only will falling not hurt as much but also because you can be more in control and better understand how everything feels.
Practicing these techniques on grass or carpet will increase your confidence and prepare you for even the nastiest falls.
How To Fall When Roller Skating
How do you fall when roller skating, safely?
There are several things to consider when falling as if managed properly, these will ensure you fall safely.
The very first thing you have to consider when roller skating, in general, is protective gear.
Some falling techniques even rely on having protective gear on.
Even though you might think you look silly in them, they will give you the confidence to tackle new challenges and fall without skipping a beat.
What you skate on is just as important as how you skate. Different surfaces offer varying experiences depending on what type of skater you are. In general, it hurts less to fall on wooden flooring compared to others like concrete.
You are more vulnerable to injury on concrete because there is no cushioning or shock absorption.
You also want to consider your overall environment in addition to the surface you’re skating on. In a skating rink, you’re in a more predictable landscape, whereas outdoor areas are more varied in terrain. It can be harder to fall safely with potential obstacles in the way.
Avoid hills or slopes until you feel confident enough in your skating.
There are certain body parts you should avoid falling onto to prevent serious injury.
First, you don’t want to fall onto your wrists.
When falling, your first gut reaction might be to extend your arms and lessen the blow of the fall with your hands. However, this is a pretty bad idea because your wrists are very delicate and breakable, even with guards on.
Wrist fractures and sprains are some of the most common injuries that occur in roller skating.
You also don’t want to fall directly onto your butt, more specifically the tailbone, since it can be difficult to recover from later on.
Additionally, falling on your knees and head is not great as it can directly impact your ability to skate.
Not many people tend to think about this, but warming up also helps with falls. Just like in any other sport, you want to get your body ready for intense activity. Failing to do so can result in injury.
Try to pick up a habit of starting a warm-up routine now before it’s too late.
You can use this trick only with knee pads on. If you feel like you’re falling more forward, you can just drop onto one of your knees.
At faster speeds, you’ll find that you’re going to slide a bit.
Try to get as low as you can because it is easier to drop onto your knee from a shorter distance to the ground.
And keep the center of your body tight (engage your core) to avoid spinning around when doing knee slides, as this can throw you off balance.
In cases when you feel out of control, you can also do what is called a “knee tap”, where you bring your knee down to the ground for a second and get back up right away.
This is another variation to the knee slide in which you fall on both knees. When you fall, you should go down on one knee first and then have the other follow.
You don’t want to fall on both knees simultaneously because it can damage your knees over time, even with kneepads on.
Fall on the side of your body
If you’re in the unideal situation with no protective gear, you will need to fall on the side of your body as it is the least painful and most cushy part to fall on.
All you have to do is bend your knees and go down as far as you can and fall to whichever side you feel most comfortable doing so.
This is a much better and safer alternative to falling on your wrists or knees.
Embrace the fall
Falls can get even the best of us at times. They can catch us off guard when we least expect it, and we don’t have enough time to respond and fall safely using the tips above. It happens to everyone!
There will be times when this will happen to you, and out of gut instinct, you extend your arms in order to catch yourself.
While this should be the last resort, sometimes it is the only thing you can do in the moment.
If this is the case, you want to bend your elbows when you fall as if you are doing a pushup.
It’s not great for your wrists but will help absorb most of the shock and soften the fall. Try not to make this kind of fall a habit though.
How do you not fall when roller skating?
One of the most common reasons people fall is because they are off their edges. While you’re skating, you’re constantly on either your outside or inside edges.
Beginners often make the mistake of skating as if they’re walking, which is more of a back-and-forth motion rather than side-to-side. Too much forward or backward motion will cause skaters to overcorrect in the opposite direction.
Here are some simple corrective measures you can take to prevent more falls in the future:
Stagger your feet
Roller skating is not the same as walking. I repeat. Roller skating is not the same as walking.
If you’re going into skating thinking that the opposite is true, you are going to have to think again. New skaters tend to skate with their feet side-by-side like walking, but this actually can throw you off balance.
Instead, you should stagger your feet by placing one foot in front and the other in the back. Put most of your weight on the back leg.
This way, you are in a more stable position to move around and shift your weight easier.
Bend your knees
You are most likely going to hear this repeated hundreds (if not thousands) of times.
You want to bend your knees and get low.
Not only does it shorten the distance from which you will fall from, but it could actually prevent you from falling. This posture helps to stabilize your stance and brings your balance back in line.
Keep your arms to your sides
As a beginner, you’re still getting the hang of things, especially balancing on a pair of moving wheels.
Sometimes you’ll find yourself waving and flailing your arms around in an effort to stay balanced, but what if I told you that this did the opposite?
Ideally, your body should be centered over your skates, and your arms should be relaxed at your sides when skating.
Shift your weight
Skating doesn’t occur in a straight line. It’s a dynamic sport that involves edges, turns, and transitions, which all involve shifting your weight to a degree.
A basic exercise you can use to get used to this is by putting all of your weight on one leg and then the other.
Gradually incorporate this into your skating and try to use your weight to lean into your edges and turns.
Fall some more
This might sound counterproductive, but hear me out.
So far, we’ve been talking about all the ways to prevent falling, which are practical strategies in their own right. But falling (safely) is like a technique in and of itself because of how often it occurs. It’s necessary for more successful skating down the line.
You would be better off falling more since it helps you develop muscle memory and build resilience.
How do you get up after falling?
Unlike in most scenarios outside of the rink or skatepark, you need to get up right away after you fall when you’re roller skating.
Anyone who doesn’t makes themselves a hazard for other skaters near or around them.
But how do you get up and still look somewhat composed? There are a few ways to do this:
Get A Friend
A friend or another skater nearby can help get you back up.
However, if you’re in this situation needing to help someone, you want to offer support and have them lean onto you.
Many people make the mistake of pulling the fallen skater up by the arm, but this could introduce more injury.
You can also help yourself up with the crab position.
When you’re on the ground, place both of your skates in front of you with all wheels in contact with the floor and your hands behind you. Then, push your butt off of the ground so that you’re in a “crab” position.
Bring your upper body forward and stand up.
Push Off One Knee
After you’ve recovered from the fall, you want to kneel on one knee. Your other skate should have all four wheels in contact with the floor.
Then, you want to lean forward with arms outstretched, rollback, and stand up.
Three Step Pattern
Another strategy to get up is the three step pattern.
You want to get up on one knee while the other skate is up with all wheels in contact with the floor. Shift your weight to the leg with the upright skate and stand up.
Falling sucks, but there’s no way to get around it in your roller skating journey. It’s like a necessary evil.
On the bright side, it is a sign that you’re learning.
Most skaters see it as a great thing and are highly encouraging of other skaters they see fall. Don’t be embarrassed to fall because it happens to even the most professional skaters.
There are several ways for you to get over the fear of falling, fall safely, prevent it from happening so much, and recover from it as gracefully as you can. Over time, you’ll find that falling is like second nature and just a minor thing you can brush off quickly.
Using what you learned from us today, we’re confident that you’ll soon be able to fall like a pro!