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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #1
Stormi
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Default Why do so few skaters wear protective pads?

I wonder about this every time I'm at the rink. I know indoor falls are not as bad as outdoor falls, but people get hurt all the time at the rink. One adult female fell and broke her wrist. I have skated on and off for years, I have never fallen except as a kid when I was learning, but I always wear at least wrist guards, and generally wear knee pads as well. My kids have to wear knee and wrist minimum, my 5 year old who can't skate too well yet has elbow pads as well, and a helmet. My two boys were made to wear helmets when they learnt as well.
I don't understand why if this protection is available, nobody uses it? The rink has a box of all types of pads free of charge to use, yet nobody does. I had two adult beginner friends come to the rink one day, and i made them use at least wristguards.
So why is this? Does looking "cool" outweigh preventing injuries?
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Old December 28th, 2010, 03:02 AM   #2
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I wear knee pads under my jeans, elbow pads under my hoody sweat shirt and also wrist guards everytime I skate at the rink. I am often one of the more experienced skaters at the rink (which doesnt say much) and usually the only one wearing any protective gear with the exception of a few small kids.

I will not skate without the gear and always wear a helmet when skating the streets. I like being able to get up and go to work in the morning! I also do not understand why more folks don't use the gear, it's fun to be able to jump back up and keep skating after a wipe out.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 03:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetdog View Post
I wear knee pads under my jeans, elbow pads under my hoody sweat shirt and also wrist guards everytime I skate at the rink. I am often one of the more experienced skaters at the rink (which doesnt say much) and usually the only one wearing any protective gear with the exception of a few small kids.

I will not skate without the gear and always wear a helmet when skating the streets. I like being able to get up and go to work in the morning! I also do not understand why more folks don't use the gear, it's fun to be able to jump back up and keep skating after a wipe out.
Just keep in mind you can break a wrist even with the wrist guards. Many wrist breaks from skating or from going stright down, the guards don't help. their best use is to slide on to save your hand. There is a right way and a wrong way to fall with the gear on.
The same goes for with out the gear, right way and wrong way, but a different way then with the gear.
As for jumping up and still skating, speed skaters do it all the time with no gear. When they do get hurt bad it is seldom something the gear would stop.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't wear it, just learn how to use it.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 04:06 AM   #4
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I will merely add that any injury received despite gear would generally have been worse without. Gear is no guarantee against injury, but certainly helps prevent some. Preventing some is better than preventing none, yes? Unless of course there is some penalty for wearing safety equipment. Is there?

Last edited by speedysktr; December 28th, 2010 at 03:24 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 05:20 AM   #5
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Hi Stormi,

Kudos to you for your safety practices and your observation.

I'll likely get "Flamed" for my comments, but I'm a bit older - and and would like to see as many folks as possible get to my age and still be able skate as much as I do.

In my decades of skating, at many many Rinks, I've had the misfortune of seeing hundreds - if not a few thousand - injuries. Most minor, but more than enough serious ones. Since the advent of Rinks using either coated concrete or asphalt surfaces - the severity and number of injuries has increased. The older some-what cushioned and slicker wood floors of the 40's, 50's and 60's had some slide and bounce to them - not so for concrete or asphalt. YOU absorb all the fall energy on those floors.

Now the smaller and younger you are - the less damage you're likely to get - but injuries (damage) tends to be cumulative.

So, in answer to you question of "Why do so few skaters wear protective pads ?" my observations are:
1) sheer Ignorance of the Risk (Rinks - nor anyone else - seem educate folks about the Risks of falling),
2) for those who "get it" - understand the Risks, then it would seem simple Stupidity might be the option - along with a big dose of Machismo. Folks seem to believe they can take the "hit" - until they can't. I won't get into the argument of "social pressures" as I believe we are each responsible to make our own choices for our personal safety. Sadly, it seems many folks don't do that so well at Skating Rinks.

Like Wetdog, I wear the Knee and Elbo pads, but also I also wear Hip and Tail Bone pads - and I've worn most of this for decades now. With my size, 6'4"/ 210 lbs, and age 60+, they're the primary reason I can still skate - and most likely walk. Skate floors like to "reach out and touch me" - much more than I like to touch them.

Like slowsk8 and speedysktr say, the protective gear won't prevent all injuries, but will certainly reduce the risk or intensity of injuries. I will certainly vouch for their effectiveness.

Harold
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormi View Post
I don't understand why if this protection is available, nobody uses it?
So why is this? Does looking "cool" outweigh preventing injuries?
Yeah, it's just not cool. I mean, the police have to enforce laws requiring people to wear seatbelts, and I can't imagine NOT wearing a seatbelt. I see kooks riding motorcycles without helmets, and I can't imagine that either.

As for me, I can't imagine skating session without wristguards. Who needs a broken wrist? I believe that my wristguards have saved me a LOT of pain.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #7
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It's not socially acceptable. Folks who wear helmets for speed practice ditch them for session skating.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:15 AM   #8
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I should have said that the pads minimize injuries. I know you can still injure yourself and it's all about the correct way to fall. It's funny how for speed training (which my 11 year old has recently started) that it's compulsory to wear a helmet, yet they don't enforce wearing of protective stuff at any other training or sessions.
Makes me think about rinks public liability insurance. There are maybe 3 rinks left in my state in Australia. My local one reopened 18 months ago, due to the fact that they own the property rather than rent it. Most closed because of rent and insurance. Surely insurance would be cheaper if they made it compulsory to wear protective gear?
We often skate at the park on the cement basketball court. The kids fall onto their knee pads quite often, and get back up straight away with no injury. My son fell several weeks ago doing a jump or turn or something, and landed on a part of his arm with no pads and scraped off a fair bit of his arm which bled quite a bit. I can only imagine what their knees would look like with no knee pads.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:39 AM   #9
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Hyperextension of the wrist, when falling even at a slow speed can really mess up your wrist.

Scaphoid/navicular fracture:
Broke mine back in my 20s, playing frisbee, and was in a cast from the second knuckle to halfway between elbow and shoulder for nearly 2 years. Wasn't back to normal for over three years.

Yeeow....I always wear wrist guards, with that time frame for healing, (and learning how to fall), it's worth the difference.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 01:46 AM   #10
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I do wear volleyball kneepads, and I know I should probably wear wrist and elbow pads, but it does feel more restrictive. I tried wearing wrist and elbow pads last weekend and had to take them back off because they were bothering me.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #11
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Default Me personally.

I will wear a helmet and gloves for road skating/training.

For track training no helmet. And not for sessions.

Why?

I don't know, maybe because I am stupid. But mostly just conditioning I suppose.

It is compulsory to wear a helmet and gloves for racing. But I have yet to see anyone quads or inlines using pads etc.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #12
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I'm similar to Colin. I've gradually added more protection over the last 2 years outdoors (helmet, knee pads, elbow/forearm pads and gloves) but nothing indoors...
The only people that wear protection at our rink are derby skaters.
I think it might be that we have quite a few figure skaters who wear no protection, so nobody else does either.
Sounds like we might be a bunch of fools!!
I find the pads a little restrictive personally, but not so much so that I can use this as the reason I don't wear them. I just never have indoors, from the age of about 8 or so, no one did.
Think I might get some wristguards now.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #13
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Default Rink Breaks with Wrist Guards?

Hi Stormi,

The Why: I agree with everyone on why and add that Going w/o protection is the Norm. Most people do what everyone else is doing so they skate w/o protection. I know this seems simple. I used to carry extra Wrist Guards with me and offered them to adult skate after adult skater. In the few years I was doing this I had only one adult use them and only for a few laps before they were given back.

Now you are a protective, thinking ahead prepared person so you like many here are an Odd One. Odd in a good way yet odd compared to the population.

I do agree on learning to fall or eventually skating so much that somehow, in time, falls even the unexpected ones become less harsh. You just got to do Shoot the Duck, the Turkey, Hand Pull the body, or play piano on the floor.

Question f/Slow, Speedy, , : Wrist Breaks at Rinks?
With Good Wrist Guards at Rinks explain what you know about people still breaking their wrists. Discard those cases where the wrist guards are not so good and will break.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
P.S. Rink Skating = Wrist Guards only, Knees bare and scuffed maybe once a year, Elbows maybe every other year, A hockey padded vest might have helped my chest on one skater/skater crash yet that was odd.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 02:33 PM   #14
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Last weekend I was at a local rink in WA (beautiful wood floor by the way! I think this place is undiscovered) and I was one of two people in there wearing wrist guards. If I'm session skating I don't speed skate around the rink and I don't wear a helmet. I will wear my knee pads but I showed up wearing jeans and my knee pads are too small to fit over my jeans.

But I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS wear my writst guards. I have carpal tunnel so bad I don't want it to get worse and I've learned correct ways to fall, even though stretching your arms out to block the fall seems to come naturally to most people.

Now, if I'm skating outdoors, it's full gear, Helmet, elbow pads, you name it. Same thing if I'm skating with the Raw Meat girls, learning derby techniques.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 11:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MANY_SkatingDave View Post
Question f/Slow, Speedy, , : Wrist Breaks at Rinks?
With Good Wrist Guards at Rinks explain what you know about people still breaking their wrists. Discard those cases where the wrist guards are not so good and will break.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
P.S. Rink Skating = Wrist Guards only, Knees bare and scuffed maybe once a year, Elbows maybe every other year, A hockey padded vest might have helped my chest on one skater/skater crash yet that was odd.
When you go down with the arm extended trying to stop your fall, you get a compression break, wristgurads are little to no help.
Also, how many new skaters do you see with the wristguards on the wrong hand? Folding the hand forward?
Thats why I say learn how to use them.
Funny how many list the helmet as the last thing they might use, when the worse thing that can happen is to your head.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #16
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I still use wrist guards and helmets even when session skating. Last time I was the only one at the ice rink wearing a helmet.

Maybe some kid saw me and thought it was okay to wear protection.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #17
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Would it be a good idea to practice falling?
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Old December 30th, 2010, 01:16 AM   #18
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When I was first learning to skate, I was wearing just wrist guards at a session, tried to do a hockey stop, and fell on the wrist guards. The guards made my arm slide so all the impact went to my unprotected elbow. OWWWWWW I probably would have broken my wrist without the wrist guards but I nearly broke my arm anyway!! I had scary bruise and a huge lump on my elbow for weeks. It was probably sprained really bad but I didn't have insurance at the time so I couldn't go to the doctor... So scary!!

I've learned how to fall correctly in derby practice, but now I think I'm going to start wearing ALL my gear even at open skates.

As for people who think protective gear looks silly --

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Old December 30th, 2010, 01:44 AM   #19
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Hi skaterdog,

Quote:
Would it be a good idea to practice falling?
Yeh it would. But I'd guess most folks might have a difficult time doing that during a regular Skate Session - unless there's hardly anyone there.

Next Q ??? Who's gonna teach them how to do it correctly ??

Even for those of us well experienced, you simply can't be prepared for all collisions and falls - so protective padding is still the better part of valor.

Now-a-days, in many Rinks, the lack of "Skating Etiquette", "Floor Control", Low Lights and sound systems being run too loud - makes protecting yourself even more important.

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Old December 30th, 2010, 03:51 AM   #20
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Would it be a good idea to practice falling?
Trails are unskateable up there, too, huh?
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