Safe Falling with an Integrated System of Six Pads and a Helmet
By Bernard E. Scoville
Safe Falling Itself
Falling will never be entirely safe, but it can be extremely safe, if done properly.
Safe falling involves falling forward on all six pads, as much as possible. Only by using all of these pads can you effectively spread the effects of the fall enough to not seriously damage any area of the body.
The pads constitute an integrated system of protection, if used in this manner, which is not difficult.
Ideally, all the pads should contact the ground at the same time, but this is not necessary. Your knees can hit first, then your elbows, then your wrists. Or your wrists can hit first, then your elbows, then your knees. Any sequence is OK, as long as all of the pads hit at about the same time.
I know that that not all falls can be planned so well. Keeping your knees bent and your body forward in some sort of ready or staggered-ready position can help prevent backward falls. Mistakes can happen in unforeseen ways. However, wearing all six pads and using them as I demonstrate can help greatly reduce injuries from falls.
I can fall over and over without getting hurt. You can too.
More About Pads and Helmets
The wrist pads are the most important. The most frequent inline skating injury is a broken or sprained wrist.
Helmets are important too. If you fall forward, your helmet can help protect your face. If you fall backward, a helmet can help protect your brain.
I have seen a child CRYING, and CRYING, and CRYING because he fell on his knees. Knee pads can prevent a lot of pain and damage.
Once when i was not wearing elbow pads, I fell on my "crazy" bone. I still remember the pain. Elbow pads, like knee pads, can prevent a lot of pain and damage.
For safe skating it is best to wear all the pads and a helmet.
Practicing Safe Falling
Following the example of Mari Tonin, when I teach inline skating, we practice safe falling as follows:
With all of our pads and helmet on, we knell on the grass or carpet. Then we fall forward, sliding on our elbow and wrist pads.
This is a good way to make sure your pads are adjusted so that they will protect you if you really fall.
I welcome Feedback
I believe that the above is very good information, but I am certainly open to feedback.