Roller skating, a member of the skating culture, is a fascinating sport. It has a big fan base of people who appreciate freedom and creativity.
The importance of safety while roller skating cannot be overstated. And a helmet, indeed, is one of the most critical pieces of safety equipment.
But what happens when there aren’t laws demanding you wear a helmet? Can you skate without one?
Is It Illegal to Roller Skate Without a Helmet?
Is it illegal to roller skate without a helmet?
No federal laws in the United States demand that you wear a skating helmet. So it’s up to you if you will wear a helmet when skating indoors or in public places like parks or streets.
It’s noteworthy, however, that some skating rinks and parks require you to wear a helmet. So check what applies to your spot.
California has passed legislation requiring skaters below 18 years old to wear helmets. And it’s for a noble reason: children are especially vulnerable to head injuries. So be aware of the regulations in your area!
So, sure, you decide whether to wear a helmet or not when skating in public places!
But don’t decide, not yet.
Read on to get all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Why Aren’t People Wearing Helmets When Roller Skating?
First, why aren’t people wearing helmets when roller skating?
- Many argue that wearing a helmet in hot weather is uncomfortable because it causes sweating. And this is true. However, a good helmet should be adequately ventilated to allow free air circulation. These ventilations will facilitate sweat vaporization, and you will not be skating in a dump helmet.
- Another argument put forth is that helmets mess up your hair. Well, roller skating is not a beauty contest. Plus, messed-up hair is better than a head fracture, right?
- Additionally, some people may find it disorienting to wear a helmet, especially if they are not used to it. But the awkward feeling of wearing a helmet eventually fades off with use. So, it’s simply a matter of getting used to a helmet.
- Still, some complain that a helmet adds to a skater’s luggage load. And it’s a valid argument. But there are lightweight helmets you can strap onto your backpack and forget until you go skating and need them.
- However, the reason that dwarfs them all is that wearing a helmet is uncool. This sentiment, a cultural and stigma issue, is the main contributor to skaters not wearing helmets.
But is it worth the risk you expose yourself to by not wearing a helmet?
This social stigma needs a head-on approach of knowing what is in your best interest and doing that with no compromise. Remember, if you fall, only you will get hurt.
Plus, if many people adopt this mentality, especially the stars with a massive following, this stigma will die.
Should You Wear a Helmet When Roller Skating?
Laws aside, should you wear a helmet when roller skating?
It’s non-debatable that skating carries an inherent risk of falling. Every year, 11,000 people suffer head and facial traumas from inline skating accidents.
Wearing a safety helmet can prevent or, at least, decrease the severity of many of these injuries.
A helmet is a necessary safety gear when roller skating, besides knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.
A helmet shields the most vital part of the body ― the head. The head houses the body’s principal sensory organs, including the brain. These organs make the head the most critical human part.
A safety helmet can protect your head from wounds, concussions, and skull fractures in the event of an accident.
Wearing a helmet can save your life. It can save you from long-term cognitive problems like Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It can save you colossal hospital bills.
Plus, it boosts your confidence in the skates.
Now, a question arises: what kind of helmet should you wear? We will answer this by examining the characteristics of a good helmet. So let’s do that.
What Are the Qualities of a Good Helmet?
A great helmet should be comfortable without compromising its function ― protecting your head from injury.
Here’s what to look for when buying a skating helmet:
- Safety standards sticker: A safety helmet should be certified by DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation), ANSI (American National Standards Institute), or Snell. This certification guarantees that the helmet meets the safety criteria and will not fail you when you need it.
- Firm outer shell: The outer shell must be stiff to shield your head from impact during an accident. It forms the first line of defense and must be able to withstand impact and keep external objects from bruising or, worse, crushing your head. It is typically made from rigid plastic and fibers.
- Soft inner lining: This layer, typically made of expanded polystyrene, cushions your head against the impact of a fall or collision. The lining of a helmet should crush upon impact and dampen shocks from the accident reaching your head. A soft lining also provides padding for comfort.
- Adequate ventilation: Good ventilation allows free air circulation. Air currents keep the helmet fresh even in hot weather. Air currents also facilitate sweat vaporization, keeping the helmet fresh.
- Lightweight: A heavy helmet is exhausting and disorienting. Therefore, a good helmet must be light and comfortable.
- Proper fastening: A chin strap to fasten the helmet to your head is mandatory; otherwise, the helmet will fly off when you fall and leave you vulnerable.
- Correct fit: The proper fit helmet is comfortable and enables skating without obstructing vision and motion.
More Reading>> Inline Skating Gear: The Must-Have Complete Gear for Skaters
Best Helmets for Roller Skating
There are several helmet types on the market, but choosing the right one for you can be daunting. Don’t sweat it! Below is a quick rundown of some of the best helmets for roller skating.
You can check them out on Amazon!
- Triple Eight THE Certified Sweatsaver Helmet for Skateboarding, BMX, and Roller Skating
- Pro-Tec Full Cut Certified Skate Helmet
- Flybar Skateboard Helmet
- FerDIM Skateboard Bike Helmet
- JBM Skateboard Helmet
Is It Illegal to Roller Skate Without a Helmet?| Wrapping Up
Roller skating is a very liberal sport, especially when done for leisure. No federal laws demand that you wear a helmet when skating in the United States.
That said, it’s important to check the restrictions in your area. Certain jurisdictions, such as California, have implemented legislation requiring skaters under 18 years to wear helmets.
A helmet is essential for your safety when roller skating. A helmet is indispensable, especially for children, because they are particularly vulnerable to head injuries.
Skate safe and have fun!