Surviving a Nighttime Group Skate
By Liz Miller
I’d like to thank skater Alex Tal of Israel for suggesting this troubleshooting guide. He wrote to point out that there is another dimension beyond the basic moves new skaters are taught in the safety of a parking lot. When people are ready to get outside that controlled environment, inline instructors need to focus on the defensive skills that ensure our students can safely manage real-world situations.
In a group setting, “sometimes the crowd is very dense and moving very fast,” Alex pointed out. “There are often light collisions, e.g., frame-to-frame contact.” When unfamiliar terrain, motorists, low or no street lighting, unexpected obstacles, hills, and peer pressure are in the mix, the risk for getting hurt goes way up.
Defensive Skills for the Urban Skater
(See this article in Hebrew, translated by one of Alex's friends.)
Before considering your fist roll in the dark with the “big kids,” be sure to work on the moves that can save your skin. By working your way through the instruction links in the right column below, you will also build an extra layer of protection: confidence in your balance and agility.
See and Be Seen
Priority one in all cases: wear your helmet and protective gear. In the dark you should also take precautions so that motorists can see you and you can see the skating surface ahead. Head lamps, reflective tape or clothing, plastic reflectors, and blinking lights are all good choices. Consider packing along some water, ID and insurance card, light footwear, and cab fare just in case.
Other August 2009 Stories
Sustainable Inline Skates! - Powerslide's eco skate is made of 90% recyclable materials.
Journal of a Self-Taught Skiker - When Parrish Sims couldn't find "skike" lessons, he did some research and taught himself.
Take Care of Your Spine - Tips on stance, technique, stretching, and manipulation for spinal health.
Meet Trish Alexander - The new USSG Director knows how to find the FUN in everything she does.
Proper Helmet Fit - Are your brains showing? How to fine tune the fit for your smartest cranial coverage.
Goodbye ABT - I believe discontinuing this 1994 Product of the Year is a big mistake.
Skater Crossing - This quarter's featured inline online destinations.