Can you roller skate on the road? Roller skating is fun and exciting. There’s no doubting it! Besides that, roller skating comes with tons of health and social benefits.
People who roller skate at least once a week have an improved cardiovascular system. To top it up, there are also many places you can go roller skating.
You can roller skate on the road. But your safety should come first! Roller skating on the roads can be risky because of busy traffic and unfriendly skating surface like potholes. This can also wear out your roller skate wheels in no time. More importantly, you’ll want to be sure you aren’t breaking any city laws.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. In the rest of this blog, I cover when and why you should roller skate on the road. You don’t want to miss out on this, so I‘d urge you to read it till the end. So, without much ado, let’s get to it!
Why You Should Avoid Roller Skating on the Road
While you can roller skate on the road, sometimes it’s not a good idea! Below are reasons roller skating on the road may not be a good idea.
1. Busy Traffic
Some roads can be busy because of the type of traffic they carry. For example, highways are busier and more unsafe than neighborhood access roads.
Roller skating on a highway puts your life in danger, especially when you aren’t a pro yet! The worst that can happen is being involved in a road accident.
This is why you want to avoid busy roads like highways. If you must roller skate on the road, it’s best to use access roads with minimal traffic within your neighborhood.
2. Unfriendly Skating Surfaces
While some roads are smooth and in perfect condition, it’s not the same for all roads. Poor standard roads are primarily characterized by portholes, rocks, cracks, sand, and soil.
The best roller skating surface should be smooth and free from hindrances like these. Roller skating on such roads will put your life in danger because you risk tripping.
Also, you’ll be using more energy to push and glide, which can get you tired easily and fast. Lastly, such surfaces can wear your roller skate wheels fast.
3. Bylaws Forbidding Roller Skating on the Road
Some cities, towns, and municipalities take roller skating and other skating disciplines seriously. They value skaters’ safety and use bylaws to control skating activities within their jurisdictions.
Breaking any bylaws can attract a fine or losing your roller skates. But, in most cases, you’ll get the first warning when found breaking the roller skating bylaws.
You’ll be liable for a fine or losing your roller skates when caught the second or third time. So you’ll want to familiarize yourself with your city or town’s roller skating bylaws to be safe.
4. Roller Skates Wheels Quick Wear
There are two types of roller skating wheels—indoor wheels and outdoor wheels. While indoor wheels are soft, outdoor wheels are sturdy to handle different surfaces like asphalt and concrete.
Roller skating on the road can quickly wear out your wheels, especially when using indoor wheels outside. This is why you want to avoid skating outdoors with the wrong wheels.
But if you must, it’ll be appropriate to use the right wheels for outdoor roller skating. If you don’t have money for new roller skates, you can always buy an extra set of hard wheels for outdoor roller skating.
Any time you wish to go roller skating on the road, you can always change the wheels. You won’t have to worry about replacing your soft wheels frequently.
Qualities of the Best Outdoor Wheels for Roller Skating
Roller skating wheels are rated on an A scale ranging from 74A to 105A. A lower ‘A’ rating means the wheels are softer, while a higher A rating means the wheels are hard.
You’ll want to balance your choice of wheel rating, meaning the wheels shouldn’t be too high or too low on the Durometer rating.
This is because you need both hard and soft wheels. While soft wheels are great for shock absorption and surface grip, hard wheels are sturdy and durable.
The best wheels for outdoor roller skating should have the best qualities of soft and hard wheels.
Size and Diameter
Wheel size determines the diameter, which significantly contributes to your roller skating speed and comfort. You should go for small-sized wheels for speed control and large-sized wheels to go fast.
How to Roller Skate on the Road
Roller skating on the road is thrilling. But you want to consider your safety first before anything else. Below are some cool tips for how to roller skate on the road. So let’s get to it!
1. Use the Right Side of the Road
The right side of the road can either be right or left, depending on your country. If you’re from the US, you should use the right while you should use the left side if you’re from the UK.
This means you shouldn’t be going in the opposite direction as the main traffic on the road. This way, you’ll reduce your chances of being hit because of unnecessary confusion.
2. Use Proper Skating Technique
What are the proper skating techniques? You’re probably asking. The proper skating technique involves bending low for even weight distribution. It’s crucial for stability while cruising on your wheels.
You also want to learn how to stop when roller skating because your life depends on it. Some easy to pull roller skating stopping techniques include;
- Toe brake
- Plow stop
3. Wear Protective Gear
Wearing protective gear is recommended whenever you go roller skating—not just when roller skating on the road.
The must-have protective gear for roller skating are helmets, elbow pads, wrist guards, knee pads, and shin guards.
4. Avoid Distractions like Unnecessary Music
Roller skating while jamming to your favorite music playlist is fun and exciting. But it’s not worth it when it puts your life in danger.
Headphones and earphones can distract you while skating, especially when you’ve turned the volume up. As a result, you may fail to hear the warning sound from the hooting car. This may get you hit while skating.
The best thing to do is keep them away while skating on busy roads. It’s all for your safety, and you should take it seriously!
5. Follow Traffic Rules
Following traffic rules helps stay out of trouble. Since you should be using the same side as cars on the road, it’s also necessary to abide by traffic rules.
This implies stopping when the lights go red and moving when they go green. It also means adhering to road signs and other traffic rules set by your country’s transport authorities.
6. Wear Bright colored Clothes
You should also wear bright clothes while roller skating on the roads. This makes you conspicuous to be spotted by other road users and helps avoid accidents.
Examples of bright-colored clothes are green, red, orange, yellow. You can also conder wearing a reflector as it serves the same purpose.
7. Carry a Whistle
You’ll need a whistle to alert other road users like pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. If you don’t have one, warning road users may be a hassle, especially when roller skating fast.
9. Control Your Speed
While roller-skating fast is thrilling and exciting, it’s best to consider your safety and other road users. You don’t want to skate fast unless when you have to.
Also, skating fast requires one to master roller skating techniques. Quick stops in case of emergencies is a great instance when you need to apply an emergency stop.
Sometimes stopping fast isn’t possible, and you may get hurt in a deadly accident. The best way to avoid such accidents is to roller skate at a moderate pace.
9. Use Roller Skates in the Right Condition
You also want to roller skate in the right roller skating shoes. The best one fits properly and is neither too tight nor too loose.
Too tight roller skates are uncomfortable to skate in and may cause foot and ankle pain. On the other hand, too loose roller skates contribute to pronation and supination.
Also, if you skate fast, your feet may come out of your roller skates. You don’t want it to come to that. Do you?
Can You Roller Skate on the Road? Wrapping
Can you roller skate on the road? Absolutely yes, if your town’s skating bylaws permit it! However, you want to stay safe by adhering to traffic rules, avoiding busy and rough roads, and wearing full protective gear while on the road.
Outdoor Roller skating is fun, and nothing should stop you from enjoying the good times. I hope you found this guide helpful. Cheers and happy skating!