My Roller Skating Injuries & Protective Equipment
In episode #5 of the Roller Skate Dad podcast, I talked all about the roller skating industries that I have sustained and also about some of the protective equipment that I use when I speed skate or skate outdoors. I go into detail about the following topics:
- My roller skating injuries as an artistic roller skater as a teenager.
- The 3 times I’ve hurt myself as an adult roller skating.
- Then, I go over what I’ve learned from all of these injuries. I discuss how to check your skates properly each time before you skate.
- I also go over the protective gear that I use when I am speed skating or doing outdoor skating.
- During the show, I mentioned a number of pieces of protective gear that you can use to keep yourself safe.
- If you want to see all of the skates & parts that I recommend and use, then please be sure to check out my Resources page.
- Triple Eight Helmet with Sweatsaver Liner, Black Rubber/Red, Medium
- Triple Eight Helmet with Sweatsaver Liner, Neon Zest Rubber, Large
- This is the one I use. I like it because it’s bright yellow. You always know where I am on the floor or outside. Hard to miss.
- Elbow Pads
- ATOM Gear Elbow Pads
- These are the elbow pads that I will be wearing throughout the year….try to see if I can prevent another elbow injury.
- ATOM Gear Elbow Pads
- Palm / Wrist Guards
- Atom Elite Palm Guard
- Another one that I own that I will be using this year.
- Atom Elite Palm Guard
- Knee Pads
- Triple 8 Knee Pads
- I have a set of these knee pads, but I don’t wear them very often. Not because they are not good, but simply because I don’t like wearing a lot of gear. I find knee pads obstuct me too much when skating – even outdoors. However, if you are doing derby, hockey or alot of outdoor hills, it’s not a bad idea to wear all of this gear. You will be thankful for it if you bust.
- Triple 8 Knee Pads
- Mouth Guard
- SISU Mouth Guards
- I own one of these but I rarely wear it. If you are super protective, brand new to speed it’s probably a good idea to have one. I would imagine derby and hockey players it’s a must with all of the hip checking going on.
- SISU Mouth Guards
- Booty Protective Padded Shorts
- I actually bought one of these for my wife because she is not a great skater. I tried it on and wore it. It’s actually kind of comfy. You put it on under your clothes….have something baggy to wear. If you fall in this thing, you aren’t going to hurt much as you are pretty padded. It is funny looking. 🙂
- Booty Protective Padded Shorts
* The links above are affiliate links. This means that if you choose to click on a link and make a purchase, then I will earn a small commission from the seller. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I have personally used.
Episode 5 Transcript
Jeff Stone [00:03]: Hey everybody. Welcome to the Roller Skate Dad podcast. This is episode number five Numero Cinco. Let’s get started.
Announcer [00:21]: Welcome to The Roller Skate Dad Podcast. The show that covers everything and anything in the wonderful world of roller skating. Now here’s your host, The Roller Skate Dad himself, Jeff Stone.
Jeff Stone [00:37]: Hey everybody, I want to welcome you to the Roller Skate Dad podcast. Thanks so much for listening. I’m glad you’re here. In the last episode I talked all about how to teach others how to roller skate for the first time and you know I also told you a little bit about my New Year’s Eve resolution and how I’m trying to help at least one person every time that I go skating. So, I’ll let you know how that goes in the coming months.
Jeff Stone [01:02]: But, in today’s show, I’m going to be covering all the various roller skating injuries that I’ve had. I thought that would be fun, so I’m going to be talking to you about all the times I’ve hurt myself. There’s been plenty of times, but as I get older it seems to be easier to really hurt myself easily. But mostly I’m going to be talking about all the injuries that I’ve received and you know what I’ve learned from the mistakes so that hopefully it can help you.
Jeff Stone [01:27]: Then finally I’m going to talk about some of the protective gear that I use during speed skate practice and as you will see, some of it you know I need to actually use during regular session as well to keep these injuries from happening. Okay, so we have a lot to cover. Let’s go!Expand To View Full Transcript
Jeff Stone [01:44]: Also a quick disclaimer here. I did have some injuries that contained blood and some other types of things that some of you may not find pleasant to listen to. So if you are a bit squeamish, you may decide to fast forward past those parts or pick a different episode. It’s nothing too bad, but just thought I’d throw that out there.
Jeff Stone [02:04]: So, with a lot of these skating injuries, there’s been a lot of really funny stories and honestly they’re funny just because they’ve been my own dumb fault.
Jeff Stone [02:14]: So, as many of you know from listening to previous episodes as well as reading the blog on RollerSkateDad.com you know that I used to be an artistic roller skater.
Jeff Stone [02:24]: And so I spent a lot of my teenage years with injuries to my hands and you know, things like sprained wrists from all the falling that I used to do when I did jumps and spins out on the floor. And it was actually really pretty gross because I had all these broken blood vessels that were just below my fingers on almost every digit, you know, from the amount of falling down that I did trying to do axles and double loops and sow cows and flips. These are all common jumps in artistic skating.
Jeff Stone [02:54]: And the largest jump that I ever really could land was an axle. I think I landed a double loop maybe once or twice. So when I was doing all these spins and honestly these harder jumps, you know, trying to become a better artistic skater, I constantly was falling down and I put my hands down to catch myself every time I fell.
Jeff Stone [03:13]: So, month after month, practicing four to five times a week for two to three hours a day. You know, you fall a lot. You know, I started to get used to it after awhile and you know, there’s some days I just didn’t want to practice at all and I sometimes didn’t practice because of not wanting to fall on those days. I just took it a little easier on myself, you know, I wouldn’t do that harder jumper that harder spin. I would do the thing that I already knew how to do well so that I wouldn’t injure myself further.
Jeff Stone [03:45]: And as we talked about in the last episode, you really want to try to avoid falling backwards when ever possible. That’s really the worst way that you can fall. And when you fall backwards, it usually results in some kind of an injury, especially as you get older.
Jeff Stone [04:01]: However, when you’re doing these kinds of jumps and spins, it can be hard to predict which way you’re going to fall, you know? And if you overcompensate too much, it starts to get into your head and then you don’t actually concentrate on, you know, making your formation tight so that you actually can land that jump or execute that spin correctly.
Jeff Stone [04:20]: And it’s just a natural reaction to put your hands out when you’re falling to try to catch yourself. So this typically has been one of the ways that I have actually injured myself most often throughout my career roller skating.
Jeff Stone [04:34]: So honestly the biggest injury I had as a teenager was really just these broken blood vessels. They were like little black dots. They were probably about two to three centimeters long and they were right below the fingers at the top of the palm. And so they still kinda, they don’t hurt anymore, but I can still remember how much they would hurt.
Jeff Stone [05:01]: And so I would have like eight of these black little bumps on both hands, four on the left hand and four on the right hand. I still don’t have as much feeling in that area of my hands as I do on other parts of my body just because of all the falling.
Jeff Stone [05:17]: With all that falling. I also used to sprain my wrists a lot, too. You would have thought that I would have invested in some good wrist guards back then, but I didn’t really think much about it at the time. I’ve never really been a protective gear kind of person. You know? I see myself as a good skater and I’m like, why do I need to wear that protective gear if I already know how to skate? Well, you know, I hear that voice in my head kind of saying like, you don’t need that.
Jeff Stone [05:44]: You don’t need that helmet. You don’t need that elbow pad. You don’t need that wrist guard. That’s for beginner skaters. That’s not for people like you. But as you’ll see, you’re going to start to see a lot of parallels in the injury stories that I’m about to tell you, and if I had been wearing protective gear, I probably wouldn’t have gotten injured at all. Something my wife constantly reminds me of every time I get injured.
Jeff Stone [06:08]: So, for 2019 I’m trying to change some things and maybe I’ll wear a helmet and a few extra pieces of protective gear because every time I’ve skated and I’ve injured myself, it always keeps me away from skating for a couple of weeks at most. And a few times that I’ve gotten injured, I’ve actually missed skating for a couple of months, which is really hard. So believe it or not, besides some broken blood vessels in my hands and a couple of sprained wrists doing artistic skating, I really never injured myself as a child or as a teenager roller skating. And, I roller skated a lot!
Jeff Stone [06:45]: You know, I was at the rink some weeks more than I was at my house between school and between work and then between all the practice that we did, the roller skating rink really was a second home.
Jeff Stone [07:00]: Okay. So enough about my teenage years. Let’s fast forward like 25 years into the future and now it’s 2015. Im at a Sunday afternoon session at my local skating rink. You know, it’s a great day. Things are going really well. I’m having a good time with my two daughters, Lily and Violet. And the announcer comes on the PA and says, hey, everybody clear the skate floor. It’s time for the races. And I’m like, yeah, all right, it’s time for the races! So I go out and I do a bunch of the races with the other dads and you know, everything’s good. I think I came in like first or second place, not too bad for an old guy.
Jeff Stone [07:38]: So next the announcer comes on and says, hey everybody, you want to come out and do the push cart race? If so, you need a partner, grab a partner, come on out, do the push cart race. So my older daughter, Lily, comes and grabs me and says, “Hey dad, let’s go. Let’s go do the pushcart race.”
Jeff Stone [07:53]: So we skate out onto the floor and we line up at the starting line and she’s in front of me, kneeling, kind of squatted down, and I’m behind her cause I’m gonna push her. That’s why they call it the push cart race. It’s basically two people skating together, one squatted down, the other person behind them, pushing them across the floor. So my daughter Lily always usually likes me to push her because I’m faster. She’s also smaller. She was like 13 at the time. And so that’s typically how we do the push cart race.
Jeff Stone [08:26]: Me Pushing her squatting, you know. And we usually don’t get first in this race we’re maybe second, third, fourth, something like that. We have a lot of inline skaters at our rink. And for any of you who skate on quads at a rink, you know that inlines are just way faster. So we typically always come in second or third or fourth to the folks who are actually in the inline skates. And I don’t really like to lose, I’m a pretty hardcore racer when it comes to racing. I like to go out and have fun, but I also like to win. Anyway, I digress.
Jeff Stone [08:59]: So we’re out there doing the push cart race and the referee blows their whistle and I take off pushing my daughter in front of me. So I step with my left foot first because I’m left-handed and as I go to step with my right foot, I start to go down.
Jeff Stone [09:15]: I go head first towards the floor. Now the upside is that at least I’m falling forward. The downside is I’m falling really fast and hard onto my left elbow, not a big deal. As I said before, I’ve fallen a lot, but I don’t like falling. I don’t think it’s so much about the pain of actually hitting the surface. It’s more about the embarrassment of actually falling, especially when you’re a more regular skater and all of your friends are around and they’re looking at you kind of laughing as you fall. You know, it bruises the ego more than the body.
Jeff Stone [09:53]: Anyways, I hopped back up from the floor thinking that I must have gotten my feet tangled with another skater. That’s a very common thing to happen, especially in the push cart race because there’s so many people that tend to be doing that race, so it’s very normal to get your feet tangled.
Jeff Stone [10:10]: So I hopped back up thinking that must’ve been what happened and I go to step onto my right foot and push off with my left to try to catch back up to the people in front of us. And as soon as I land on my right skate again, I go down head first. This time onto my right elbow, it was almost a direct mirror fall. I landed on my left elbow the first time. The second time I landed on the right elbow, almost exactly the same. I roll over on the floor to sit on my bottom and I’m looking around me going, who tripped me? How did I fall again? And that’s when it occurred to me. I looked down at my right skate. And, the front truck on my right skate is turned sideways. Yes, sideways, not the way it normally goes, where it runs perpendicular to your skate. The front truck on my skate was parallel to my boot, so it was going up and down. It’s pretty hard to roller skate when your front truck is turned sideways like that. Wheels in a straight line in an inline skate or roller blade is good. Wheels in a straight vertical line parallel to your skate plate on a quad skate is bad.
Jeff Stone [11:33]: (Laugh) So what happened? Well it seems that the king pin, that’s the screw that actually tightens your truck to the actual plate of your skate had come loose. And so it was causing the front part of that truck of my skate to do a 90 degree turn. So as you can imagine, there’s no way to skate like that. I just didn’t know that the truck had actually turned like that during the race. Otherwise I would have stopped before I fell the second time. So the skate was completely busted at that point. I mean it was fixable, but I was done obviously for that race, unless I wanted to skate around the rink on one foot.
Jeff Stone [12:13]: So I sat over on the side again, probably more with a bruised ego I thought at the time than an injury because I had fallen not just once, but twice in front of everybody in the skating rink. Mind you, everyone’s off the floor watching the races. So as I’m sitting there over on the side, I felt like, you know, I could, I could move my left arm pretty well even though I had fallen on that elbow, I was able to move my left arm back and forth and bend it without any problem.
Jeff Stone [12:45]: But as I was moving the right arm up and down and bending it, I was starting to realize that my right arm was really sore and I just could not bend it without pain. That sadly ended our day at the rink. I had to drive me and the kids home from the skating rink. They were upset at me for falling and hurting myself and I remember being in the car with them and them saying, “Oh man, mom’s going to be so mad at you when you get home cause you hurt yourself.”
Jeff Stone [13:15]: And as I’m driving home, I have both my elbows kind of bent at like a 90 degree angle driving the car and I’m realizing that I can’t really bend my elbows. So they almost feel like they’re in a locked state. The right elbow especially. Thankfully the left elbow was not as injured and so I was able to more easily bend it while I was driving to make turns and important things like that.
Jeff Stone [13:44]: So I got home and my wife made me a nice make shift sling to put my right arm in. Did I happen to mention she’s an EMT? As you’ll see, it comes in handy. But, after two or three days, the arm was still not in a good shape. I couldn’t easily extend it or bend it without it really seriously hurting.
Jeff Stone [14:05]: So off to the doctor I went. And while I was at the doctor, they gave me the typical x-ray of the elbow to check it out. When you’re getting an x ray like that, people at the doctor’s office, they always want to know. “So how did you hurt yourself?” And the few times that I’ve hurt myself and I’ve had to get x rays, it’s always kind of funny because I’m like, “Well, I hurt myself roller skating.” And they just kind of smile and they nod. Some of them laugh and they’re like, “That’s why a 45 year old man shouldn’t be roller skating. This is the reason why I don’t roller skate.”
Jeff Stone [14:38]: Of course they don’t ever say that, but that’s the dialogue I figure is playing in their head when I tell them how I injured myself. But I don’t really care what they think. I like to skate. I’m gonna skate. And getting injured, sometimes it’s just part of the price that we pay to do this great sport and hobby.
Jeff Stone [14:55]: So after the x-ray tech had a nice little smile and a laugh about my injury, he goes back and you know, produces the results, comes back and says, “Well, Mr. Stone, you have a hairline fracture in the radial bone on your right elbow.”
Jeff Stone [15:09]: So a fracture of the radial bone, that’s the bone that actually allows you to easily bend and kind of like rotate your elbow around. So the doctor’s recommendation was stay off skates for the next couple of months while your elbow heels. And I remember sitting in the doctor’s office thinking, “I don’t need my elbow to roller skate.” So no, not a chance. I’m not staying off my skates because I hurt my elbow. Bust a knee. Sure. You know if I had busted a knee or like twisted my ankle or broken my foot, then yeah of course that makes sense to stay off skates but not with the broken radial bone of an elbow.
Jeff Stone [15:48]: But when I got home and I talked with my wife, the EMT about it, she was like, “You really should stay off skates for the next couple of months.” So I obliged and I stayed off for three whole weeks and that was really hard because you know I hadn’t been off skates for three weeks in several, several years.
Jeff Stone [16:07]: So after three weeks, way before I was supposed to be on skates according to the doctor, I just made super sure that I didn’t fall. So that meant no racing and no going fast at session and actually wearing elbow pads, but I wasn’t going to be kept off skates.
Jeff Stone [16:26]: So that injury happened in 2015. Moving right along to the next year, 2016. Oh no, the injuries didn’t end with that one. So, in 2016, I think I had my first concussion since probably I was in seventh grade playing middle school football. Again, it happened at another roller skating session at my local rink, but this time it wasn’t during the races, it was just during a regular all skate. You know, I was skating the right direction and going counterclockwise like you’re supposed to do. But you know, I was honestly going too fast. That typically tends to happen, especially when I have my 103 Roller Bones on because they’re super hard and I just tend to have a lot more speed than other people that are out on the floor.
Jeff Stone [17:15]: And I know you’re probably out there already going, “Oh, he’s going fast. That’s the reason why he got hurt.” And you’d be right. But see, skating at my rink is really for me, often my workout for the week. I don’t really like to run on the treadmill. You know, I do things like yoga and I do some meditation and sometimes when it’s nice outside, I get to go roller skating outside here in my local city at my local park. But when I get a chance to skate at the rink during a session, I like to use that session skating or at least part of it as a cardio workout for myself. And so sometimes that session skate that I get to do on the weekends or sometimes at night, it’s the only workout I get for the week. And so I like to try to pick up the pace and go a little bit faster.
Jeff Stone [18:03]: Sadly, that’s resulted in both of these next two injury stories that I’m about to tell you. So at this session I was skating too fast again and a kid about 10/11/12 years old comes from around a group of people who were holding hands and I didn’t see him at first. He was cutting across the center of the floor and going the wrong direction. So I’m going counterclockwise, which is the way everybody else was going. And he’s cutting across the center of the floor and trying to skate to the front of the rink going clockwise. He came around a group of people who were holding hands and I didn’t see him because he was only about four feet tall and he was coming around two people that were about 5′ 10″. So, I didn’t see him at first, but then he appeared quickly. So I dodged to my right to avoid trying to hit him and he dodged to his left at the exact same time.
Jeff Stone [19:02]: Go figure. I remember looking down and seeing the right toes of my boot hit dead on with the left toes of his boot. It was almost like a slow motion roller skating collision, except it happened really fast. You know, nothing will bring you to a quicker stop then ahead on boot to boot collision. So as our two boots collided, I can still remember the crash in slow motion. I went to turn my body to the right to try to avoid running into him with my body because I was about 200 pounds and he was probably about 110 pounds. And as I turned my body, I started to fall onto and towards my left shoulder. So I knew I was going to land on my left arm and also my left shoulder, which I thought would be okay. What I wasn’t prepared for was the whiplash effect and my head hitting the ground.
Jeff Stone [19:59]: And as I said earlier, I don’t always wear protective gear, especially at session. When I speed skate, yes! I wear protective gear. But when I’m just session skating, I’m not going to have helmets and elbow pads and knee pads and wrist guards and all this stuff. So what I wasn’t prepared for was having my head hit the ground and the fact that I was wearing glasses really did not help. So as I hit the ground, I landed on the left part of the frame of my glasses and my glasses dug into my eyebrow and then they went flying across the skating rink floor. As my left temple hit the floor. I remember laying there for like five or 10 seconds just being mad that I’d fallen again and you know, hit my head on the floor. You know, this is my common reaction when I fall.
Jeff Stone [20:48]: I’m not necessarily mad at the person that made me fall. I’m more mad at myself for falling. I figure for someone who’s skated as long as I have, I just shouldn’t fall, especially at, you know, just a regular skating session. I know it’s silly thinking about it, but you know, it’s just the way I usually feel in the moment. So as I got up, I remember kind of staggering up but feeling okay and feeling like, you know, it wasn’t that big a deal. I was trying to look for my glasses, but I didn’t really think that I had injured myself all that bad. One of the regulars that are skating rink, uh, his name’s Bruce. Hey Bruce. He comes over to me and he has my glasses in my hand and he hands them to me and he goes, are you, are you okay? And I was like, yeah, yeah, I’m fine.
Jeff Stone [21:35]: And he was like, well, don’t move. And I was like, why? And he’s like, there’s blood all over the floor. I looked down and there’s this big pool of blood in the middle of the floor where I had fallen. My first reaction was like, “Where did that come from?” And then my eldest daughter Lily skates up to me and she’s crying and I’m like, “What’s the matter honey?” And she’s like, “Dad, you’re bleeding.” I’m like, “Oh, I am.” So I put my hand up to my left eyebrow and I have a decent little gash that I can feel that’s going across my eyebrow. It seems that as I fell, the rim of my glasses tore into my eyebrow as I hit the ground causing the gash and then that force of the glasses pushing up into my eyebrow and hitting the ground at the same time, forced my glasses to fly off my face.
Jeff Stone [22:27]: So I skated off over onto the side and I was just kind of holding my hand over my eyebrow. And my daughter ran off to the bathroom and got me some paper towels to put on it. It honestly was a pretty bad injury at the time. I didn’t really think it was that big a deal because again, like I said before, I’ve fallen a lot. And it must have been a pretty bad injury because I had a couple of people from the skating rink coming over to sit down and talk to me. Not necessarily the regular skaters, but people from the actual skating rink management. And so they sat with me and they had me fill out some paperwork to make sure that you know, I was okay and that I was going to go to the doctor and make sure that everything was fine.
Jeff Stone [23:11]: So after filling out some forms and talking to management, who you know was rightfully concerned, I headed over to the nearest doc in the box, you know, quick ER. And thankfully they were able to patch humpty dumpty back together again.
Jeff Stone [23:25]: Actually, it was kind of funny. They really just used a special medical super glue to glue the two pieces of my eyebrow back together again. It was awesome because I didn’t need to get any kind of stitches for the gash. I couldn’t remember the last time I had gotten a tetanus shot. So I had to get a tetanus shot, which kind of stunk, but other than that, it was really not too bad. What transpired over the next couple of days was the part that I had not really experienced before. For the next several days, I was kind of in a fog. I asked the EMT in my family, my wife Claire, and she said, you know that I likely had a concussion and that I should have been wearing a helmet, and I was like “Wearing a helmet during session. No, it’s not going to happen.” I told her.
Jeff Stone [24:09]: So after a few days of being in that fog, it started to dissipate and things kind of started to get back to normal, but I started to understand, “Oh, this is what a concussion feels like.” So honestly, the biggest thing that I learned from that injury is that I never wear my glasses when I’m roller skating. I know some of you are out there saying, “Really? That’s what you learned? Don’t wear your glasses when you’re roller skating?” And I’d say “Yes.” That actually at the time was the one thing that I changed after I got injured. I started wearing contact lenses every time I roller skated and I never wore glasses out on the floor again. I mean, sure. I think if you’re just going out to session and you’re just going to casually skate and you’re not really going to try to skate fast and you’re not going to do any kind of racing or anything like that, then you know, being out there with glasses on, no problem at all.
Jeff Stone [25:00]: But if you’re like me and you’re trying to get your weekly workout in while you’re out there on the skating floor and you’re going to be going a little bit faster than everybody else, it’s just a good, helpful tip to ensure that you don’t get a similar kind of injury. And so for those of you who think my wife is right and that I should honestly just wear a helmet. You’re, you’re probably right. We’ll see. I’m not really sure. Certainly not at session. I’m not wearing a helmet. I’m just honestly not a big helmet guy unless I’m at a really high speed and I’m skating outdoors or if I’m doing speed skating practice or something of that nature, but not session skating.
Jeff Stone [25:38]: But then honestly I probably should tone it down, you know, not be trying to skate so fast during the regular all skate, you know, stop skating like I’m 14 when I’m really 44.
Jeff Stone [25:49]: All right, so let’s fast forward just a little bit further to just this past Thanksgiving 2018. So, this past November, the Sunday before Thanksgiving I was with my daughter Lily again and we were out skating, you know, we were having a good time and everything was going great and I decided to go off and go skate by myself and I was skating too fast again as usual, but not as fast as the last time that I was skating when I injured my head, but still too fast.
Jeff Stone [26:20]: That’s always my culprit – going too fast during an all skate. Maybe I need to get back to speed skating and leave the session skating for, you know, practicing my artistic skating and you know, talking to other people and helping other people learn how to roller skate. Hmm. I might be onto something there.
Jeff Stone [26:40]: Anyways, at this session I went to and other kid and I was mostly successful. So I successfully dodged this kid, but there were two other kids to the right of me that were holding hands and I couldn’t move fast enough or dodge quick enough to get out of the way of this kid as well as the two kids that were holding hands. So I went right between the two kids that were holding hands and I fell in between them. This didn’t really result in the best outcome because all three kids and I fell down.
Jeff Stone [27:13]: Of course the three kids being kids, they all just popped up like nothing happened at all. And you know, ran off and went skating some more. Something about kids, they’re, they’re bouncy. So I popped up too, and I, you know, went off and skated. Not necessarily as fast as the kids did, but you know, just a few seconds after them. And as I was skating off, the floor guard came up to me and was like, “Are you okay?” And I was like, “Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” And then my daughter skated up just a few seconds later and asked the exact same question, “Dad, are you okay?” And I was like, “Yeah, I’m fine.” And then my daughter looks over at me and she says, “Um, dad, you’re bleeding. What happened? Did you hurt yourself again?” I guess I did.
Jeff Stone [27:54]: So it seems that as I fell backwards and I landed on my bottom, I had also stuck out my right hand to try to catch myself. You know, I’ve done this many times when I’ve fallen, I tried to not put my hands out so that I don’t actually damage my wrist or my hands, but it’s just a natural reaction to throw your arms out to try to catch yourself. But as I had my right hand out, my elbow was locked when I hit the ground. And I either bumped up against one of the kids roller skates and their axle or the tidal wave from me having my arm locked, actually shot pressure up my arm and caused the skin on my elbow to split. And so this caused about a three inch gash across my right elbow? Yes. The same right elbow that I broken previously. Yeah. I obviously didn’t learn from my last mistake. Anyways, I covered up my right elbow with my hand and I headed off to the bathroom. My daughter Lily and the floor guard stayed out on the floor and they were actually cleaning up some of the blood that had fallen on the floor again.
Jeff Stone [29:00]: So I’m in the bathroom and I’m looking at my elbow and I go to bend my elbow so that I can actually see it in the mirror. And I’m cleaning it off with a paper towel and just kind of dabbing it. And as I bent my elbow to look at it in the mirror, I notice this white, rubbery substance sticking outta the gash of my right elbow. And my first reaction was, “Is that fat?” And so I used my left index finger to proceed to poke it. And of course my natural reaction was, “Ow that hurts. That’s not good. Don’t do that.”
Jeff Stone [29:34]: So I grab some paper towels, put it over the wound, I head to the front office to try to get some bandaids. And it took them about five minutes to find me some bandaids you would think at a roller skating rink. They would just have those like in a box that anybody could just grab. So quick side note, you should always carry bandaids with you in your bag.
Jeff Stone [29:55]: So of course that sent us home again. I packed everything up, we got in the car and I headed home. Because of my outpatient ER experience from my head wound, I decided this time just to head straight home and let the EMT of the house take care of me, hoping that she could save me a couple of hundred dollars. After a couple of attempts and a couple of days, my wife was able to super glue shut the gash that was in my elbow. And this was kind of hard because basically what it meant is I had to keep my elbow and my right arm perfectly straight to actually keep the two parts of the gash together. But the superglue worked like a champ. It’s awesome stuff, you know? So that was a couple of months ago and it’s much better now. I just have a small mark where it occurred, but I’m good as new. So back to skating I go!
Jeff Stone [30:47]: Okay, so enough about all my roller skating injuries, you know, I’m sure there’s been some others, but those are probably the top three or four that I’ve had throughout my roller skating career. Hopefully they’re some of the last that I have. What have I actually learned from, you know, all this falling down and injuring myself? Well, the first thing I’ve learned is that I’m not a teenager anymore. I know, shocker. You know, it pains me to say it, but it’s true. But at 44 things just don’t bounce like they use to. So for this year, one of the things that I’ve learned is that anytime I’m speed skating, I’ve got to wear a helmet. And honestly I’m going to leave the speed skating to speed skating practice. That means no more speed skating at session during all skates. And from the stories I told you that honestly should cure most of the skating injuries that I’ve encountered over the last few years. Just stop going fast during regular session.
Jeff Stone [31:46]: And I know that sounds easy but I actually think it’s going to be pretty hard for me. See my kids have kind of fallen out of love with speed skating and you know, they used to be on the speed skating team here in Austin, Texas and then they stopped as they started to become older teenagers. You know, older teenagers, they, they get to drive. I know. Scary. I have one of them actually driving cars right now.
Jeff Stone [32:09]: But, I really like speed skating, you know, it’s great for exercise and it’s awesome for the camaraderie with other skaters. And so I’m going to start that back up this year with or without the kids. Who knows, maybe they’ll join me again at some point too.
Jeff Stone [32:24]: Next. And this is a big one. I’m going to start wearing elbow pads every time that I skate. Yeah, I’m going to be that guy. And it’s going to be a bit hard on my ego. I’m not used to wearing pads when I skate. You know, I’ve always prided myself on being a very well balanced and, you know, a very strong skater and I don’t need pads because I don’t fall. But for the others out there like me who maybe you don’t fall, everybody falls at some point. And the older you get when you fall, something usually goes wrong. And for me, every time I fall my elbows seem to pay the price and honestly I’m just tired of hurting them. So you know, for this year I’ve said I’m going to wear elbow pads every time I skate. And I’ve also put wrist guards in my bag too, especially for when I do outdoor skating. Because you know, if you go head first – you happen to hit a pebble or a twig or something else out on the road – it’s way easier to feel okay falling when you have elbow pads and wrist guards on.
Jeff Stone [33:25]: Lastly, I’ve honestly just come to the realization that, you know, roller skating is a contact hobby. And contact hobbies mean that sometimes you’re going to fall down. And when I was a kid that really wasn’t that big a deal because when I fell down, I just popped right back up and I went off and I started skating again. And I kind of tried to do the exact same thing now as an adult as well. While my mind may still think that I’m a teenager, my body doesn’t. And so adding these extra couple layers of protection, I hope, will allow me to be able to keep skating for decades to come. Because honestly, there wasn’t anything that was worse over the last few years than having a doctor or my wife say, you know, you really shouldn’t be skating right now. You might hurt yourself. Having my daughters say that to me as well, “Dad, you know, maybe you shouldn’t really roller skate. You might hurt yourself.” And I don’t like people telling me that I’m going to hurt myself or that you know I can’t skate or that I shouldn’t skate that you know, maybe you’re too old for that. Take it easy, Bleh. No Way!
Jeff Stone [34:30]: All right, let’s stop talking about injuries and actually start talking about how we might be able to prevent some of these injuries from even occurring. So number one, check your skates before you actually hit the floor and start skating. You know, don’t be like me and just go out there skating before you actually check your skates. Here’s some things to check First, make sure all the axle nuts on your wheels are on and are firm. One way to do this is you lay your skate on its side and pull up and down on each quad wheel. It should have a little bit of give but not too much.
Jeff Stone [35:06]: You want to make sure it’s securely on, but that the wheel also rolls fluidly. Make sure to check all eight wheels. When you spin each wheel, if the wheel doesn’t roll fluidly, check to make sure that you don’t have a bearing issue. If so, remove the axle nut, pull the wheel off your skate and actually replace the bearing or clean it. If you’re wearing toe stops in your skate, make sure they’re secured. There’s a couple of different ways that toe stops actually fasten to the skate plate. One has a tightening screw that’s up at the top and you just want to make sure that it’s tight and the other is where the toe stops screw in and then a washer and a nut are used to tighten the toe stop into the plate. Either way, you want to make sure that both of your toe stops are tight.
Jeff Stone [35:52]: Next you want to check all four trucks that are on your skates. Grab the two wheels on the truck in the palm of your hand and move it from side to side. If I had done this one thing that afternoon before I raced with my daughter, I wouldn’t have broken my elbow. My trucks would’ve moved sideways and I would have seen the issue and I would have been able to fix it, but I didn’t do that.
Jeff Stone [36:15]: I’ve never had an issue with this, but from time to time you should check the plate screws that are on the bottom of your boot. This is the thing that actually attaches the plate to the boot. You want to make sure that you’re not missing any screws and that they’re firmly screwed down and tight and secure.
Jeff Stone [36:32]: Finally, make sure you’re lacing your skates up correctly. You know, you want to make sure you don’t have any loose laces hanging out that are too long. Because you don’t want your laces getting caught in your wheels. I’ve seen people do that before. I tuck mine into the front loop underneath the laces at the top of my skate, and so this ensures that that doesn’t ever happen to me.
Jeff Stone [36:52]: Okay. After you’ve checked your skates and you’re good there, let’s talk a little bit about what kind of protective gear you might be able to wear. First off, a helmet. Wear one. You know, if you’re doing speed skating or your skating outdoors, you really need to wear a helmet. I’m not from the helmet generation, honestly. I used to ride my huffy bike outside and roller skate outside and do all kinds of things outside when I was a kid with no helmet on. “And I turned out just fine.” But honestly, it really only takes one fall. You know, one bell rung to start to think otherwise. Helmets are good. Honestly, that day I got the concussion. I wish I had had a helmet on.
Jeff Stone [37:35]: I use a helmet by a company named triple 8. It’s actually one of the better helmets out there and I really like it. It’s great for when I’m speed skating or I’m skating outdoors. I also like it because it’s like this neon yellow green and so you can see me from anywhere on the floor.
Jeff Stone [37:53]: Next up we have elbow pads. I’m definitely going to be wearing elbow pads in 2019 based on all the injuries that I’ve had to both my elbows. I’ve just had way too many injuries to my elbows not to wear them. So for me, doing a little bit of outdoor skating, a little bit of speed skating, some recreational skating indoors and outdoors I use the Atom Gear Elite elbow pads. These are some pretty affordable elbow pads that are out there on the market. There are some more sophisticated ones that are out there that are more sturdy and probably better for things like roller derby and roller hockey, but these are good for what I’m doing.
Jeff Stone [38:30]: Next we’ve got wrist guards or also known as palm guards. And these are really great for ensuring that you don’t sprain your wrist and you know you don’t scruff up the palm of your hands when you fall forward. This is a real must if you’re skating outdoors on asphalt or concrete, and again, you know, I plan to use these over the course of this year and to come when I’m skating, especially outdoors, which I plan to do a lot more this year. And like my elbow pads, I use the Atom Elite Palm Guard here, just like the elbow pads. And they work pretty good.
Jeff Stone [39:06]: Next up, we have knee pads. I have a set of knee pads, and I sometimes put them on, you know, when I’m skating outdoors. But honestly, I don’t usually wear them. If you’re playing derby or you’re playing hockey than I assume you’re always wearing these because you guys fall way more than the average skater. I mean with all the hits and the checks and everything else that is going on out there, you want to be sure to protect your knees. So the knee pads that I have, they’re actually not from Atom Gear. I use the Triple 8, the same people that make my helmet and those knee pads I have worn when I’m outside and I’m skating really big hills. So just as a quick aside here in Lago, we live out in the hill country of Austin, Texas and we have some very large hills out here, 20/30/40% grade hills. And I’m planning to skate some of these this year outdoors as the weather starts to get a little bit nicer.
Jeff Stone [40:02]: So you’ll definitely want to stay tuned as I’ll be posting some of the videos from, from those excursions online.
Jeff Stone [40:10]: Next up. A mouth guard. Yeah, a mouth guard is a really good thing to have, especially if you’re doing derby or you’re playing hockey. However, just like my knee pads, I sometimes wear this too. If I’m outdoors and I’m going down some really big hills. I use a mouth guard by a company called Sisu. It’s spelled S-I-S-U. And they make a really nice mouth guard. And what I like about it is it’s heat moldable and they’re pretty small and it’s actually pretty comfortable as a mouth guard. So it’s form fitting and it actually fits around your, your teeth quite well. So those are all the things that I personally have worn before when I roller skated. But I have a couple of others that I wanted to share with you that either people in my family have used or I’ve talked with other skaters who’ve used as well.
Jeff Stone [40:57]: Okay. So this first one was actually meant as a little bit of a joke from me to my wife. So I’m a big time skater and I’ve skated all of my childhood and you know now most of my adulthood, but my wife doesn’t skate as much as I do. So to try to get her skating with us a little bit more, I went out and I bought her a butt pad. This is actually a pair of shorts that you pull on and it’s got pads all around the butt and the hips and even on the front part of the thighs and they go down to about your knee. Some of you who ski may have seen these before. I’ve actually seen that some skiers wear these, so basically they are a fully padded pair of pants and when you fall it’s great because I mean it’s super padded. You know, and it really does protect the tailbone and the hips. However, I’m not going to lie. It’s a bit funky because it’s pretty bulky to wear. I’m just saying you better be ready to wear your big pants if you’re putting these on.
Jeff Stone [42:00]: I’ve also had a few derby skaters that I’ve talked to in the past who have told me that they actually wear a chest pad as well. It’s kind of a piece that goes over the shoulders and it protects the front part of the chest as well as the back and the shoulders as well.
Jeff Stone [42:18]: Okay. That was a fun episode. I didn’t realize just how many times I’d fallen and hurt myself before. I’m sure it’s been more than some of you out there and less for others of you. But I hope you learned a lot during this episode and I hope you can take away some of the tidbits and tips that I gave you so that hopefully you can do more skating and less time sitting on the sidelines being injured.
Jeff Stone [42:39]: As always, I want to thank you guys so much for being here. If you want to know more about any of the products that I use and recommend, you can check out my resources page at RollerSkateDad.com/resources. I list all of the products that I recommend there. The protective gear that I discussed in the show today is going to be listed there as well.
Jeff Stone [42:58]: Also be sure to check out the show notes where you can find the transcript for this episode as well as the products and the links that I mentioned during the show. It’s also a great place to leave me a comment or ask me a question about the show. It’s a great place for you to tell me about the roller skating injuries that you’ve had. How did you get them? You know, tell me a story. I like stories and I want to know. You can get to the show notes for this show by going to RollerSkateDad.com/5.
Jeff Stone [43:23]: And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the podcast and please leave me a rating and a review and let me know what you think about the show. I do this show for you so I really care about what you think and I hope to hear from you.
Jeff Stone [43:36]: And finally you’re going to want to be a member of the Roller Skate Dad club. Sign up is free and easy. All you need is a valid email address and you’re in. The club is a great way to get in touch with me and learn more about what’s going on with the show and the podcast. So if you haven’t already signed up, head on over to RollerSkateDad.com and join the club today.
Jeff Stone [43:59]: Okay, everyone. Another episode is in the books. I hope you had fun listening to this episode. I know, I sure had fun telling you a little bit more about all my skating injuries and how I plan to prevent them in the future.
Jeff Stone [44:11]: We’re done for this one, so until the next time, get on out there and skate!
Announcer [44:17]: Thank you for listening to The Roller Skate Dad Podcast at www.rollerskatedad.com. If you liked what you heard today, please be sure to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, or wherever you’re listening.
Thanks again for rollin’ by. If you have a question about the podcast or just want to leave me a note, please comment below.
I hope you will join me every week for a new episode of The Roller Skate Dad podcast.
Please subscribe to the podcast on whichever podcasting platform you listen on. And, don’t forget to join the Roller Skate Dad Club. You can do that easily with just your first name and email address from any page on this website.
Did you like what you heard? Do you want to hear more? Check out these additional episodes:
- Episode 1 – Get Out There & Skate
- Episode 2 – The Roller Skate Wheels Episode
- Episode 3 – The Roller Skate Bearings Show
- Episode 4 – Teaching Roller Skating to Others
- Episode 6 – An Interview with Avid Roller Skater Alberto Quinones
- Episode 7 – Rollergirls: The Story of Flat Track Derby
- Episode 8 – The Roller Skate Boots Show
- Episode 9 – Starting a Roller Skating Rink
- Episode 10 – United Skates Documentary with Tina Brown and Diana Winkler
Until the next episode, get on out there and skate!