In an email from John McMurtrie, Director of campus safety and security, students were reminded of a few basic rules for skateboarding on campus including following the flow of traffic and not skating at night unless you have a light. However, with the weather getting warmer, there is no bad time for a reminder on skating and scooting safety.
The most important piece of safety gear is a helmet. Helmets protect the most important part of your body, and anyone who has taken a bad fall knows that a helmet can mean the difference between a minor setback and a hospital visit.
It’s not just about having the helmet, but about having one that fits. To measure your head for a helmet you can use either a soft ruler or string and a ruler. Wrap the ruler or string around your forehead, just above your eyebrows and ears and around to the back of your head making sure that the ruler or string stays level. If you are measuring in inches, convert it to centimeters and then you will have your proper helmet size.
Knee and elbow pads are also important safety gear. While a knee scrape may not pose the same health risks as a concussion, it is still crucial to be prepared for possible accidents. Sizing is also a factor in buying knee and elbow pads since properly fitting pads will not restrict range of motion while an ill-fitting pair would.
To measure yourself for knee pads, use a soft ruler or string to measure either the top, middle, or bottom of your knee in order to find your knee pad size. Use the same method to measure for your elbow pads and take a measurement from either the top, middle, or bottom of your elbow.
While protective gear may only seem necessary for those on skateboards, roller-skates, or rollerblades, you may want to consider wearing protective gear on scooters as well.
McMurtrie asked that skateboarders do not skate at night unless you have a light that is an equivalent to those used by people on bikes after dark. Skateboarding lights can be attached under your skateboard to help you see the road and make you visible to others. You can increase your visibility by wearing reflective clothing.
If you are roller-skating or rollerblading at night, you can use LED armbands on your wrists and ankles to make you more visible as well as being able to see the road or sidewalk you are skating on.
There is no need to worry about protective gear interfering with your style since there are so many different styles and colors of protective gear that can easily be found on Amazon or purchased from an independent skating store or website.
Choosing a safe place to skate is just as important as having proper gear. You want to avoid irregular surfaces and check the area for debris before skating. It is best to avoid crowded areas, so that you have more room and do not injure yourself or others.
With spring finally being here and longer daylight hours, getting outside is a wonderful way to spend the day and a great way to take a break from the stress of the semester. And since no one wants to spoil a beautiful day bandaging up an elbow, remember to take proper safety precautions to make the most of it!