Inline Skates and Skate Boards

Inline skating has been around a few years and keeps adding enthusiasts. This sport has both safety and  etiquette guidelines that will make it more pleasant for everyone. These guidelines apply to skateboards as well as inline skates.

  • Protection - Always wear a helmet, wrist guards, and knee and elbow pads.
  • Mastering the basics - Learn how to turn, control your speed, fall safely, and stop before venturing out in a public place.
  • Know your surfaces - Try to stick with smooth pavement with no surface debris. Stay alert for changes in surface: potholes, debris, tiny pebbles, patches of grass, sand or water. Cracks, especially those running parallel to your inline skating path, can throw you off balance.   
  • Public areas - When skating in public areas use caution. In any given hour, a public path may be occupied by bikers, skaters, runners, pet owners with animals leashes, mothers with babies in strollers, and children learning to bike or skate. Expect the unexpected and be prepared to stop suddenly. Always yield to pedestrians.
  • Know the law in your area - Check local laws regarding areas that can be used by skaters. Often bike paths or the bicycle lane of city streets are available to skaters. Street skating is always dangerous. On the street, anticipate a car backing out of every driveway or a door being thrown open as you pass a parked car or one making a right turn across your path. Make sure you see those who aren’t looking for you. Increase your visibility by taping flashing bicycle lights to your helmet or waist; one in front and one in back.
  • Warn others before passing -  Say loudly - but nicely, "Passing on your left".
  • Respect property owner’s rules - Area businesses may prohibit skating on their property. Always respect the wishes of property owners and limit skating to public areas that are designated for such activities.
  • Equipment checks - Don’t outgrow your skates. Good quality skates must fit well to provide adequate ankle support. Rotate wheels when they wear unevenly and replace wheels, bearings and brakes before they wear out. Clean any debris from wheels and be sure they are securely tightened. Carry an all-purpose skate tool with you when you skate.  
  • Never skate at night - You can’t see hazards in the road and others can’t see you. Don’t skate with headphones; you may not hear danger approaching.  
  • Always skate under control and within your abilities. Don’t be dared beyond your skill.  
  • If you can’t avoid falling, try to fall into grass or sand.  
  • Dress appropriately - Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants for additional protection from scrapes. Always wear recommended protective gear.

Return to the Safety Resource Center