PHOTO COURTESY OF @basedquad
Micro mobility is, without a doubt, having a moment. Bicycling, skateboarding, longboarding — you name it, activities involving wheels are keeping people active, healthy, and happy during this challenging time. We’ve also seen two unexpected characters join the micro mobility crew: roller skates and rollerblades. Yep, roller skates and rollerblades are 2021’s crown jewel. Are you in on the trend? You’ll want to keep reading to find out what kind of helmet to wear before you roll out.
Roller skating is the epitome of retro — in a good way. It was once a popular performance art and hobby in the 1930s. In its heyday, there were the roller discos of the 1970s keeping things groovy. “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” anyone? We’ve also seen the roller derby, a skating contact sport circa 1935, make its comeback in recent years. Today, there are about 1,250 amateur roller derby leagues in the U.S. It makes sense that this trend would see a newfound resurgence. But, we’re not so sure anyone could have predicted it would be during a global pandemic even if Chet Faker did put out that viral roller skating music video for “Gold” in 2014.
Unlike the recent resurgence, seemingly every roller rink across the country still looks like it’s stuck in time. A crusty yet charming capsule that holds endless hours and miles of trips around and around and around to Top 40 hits and classic tunes. The reality is that many roller rinks are struggling to hold on, and some are just waiting for the green light to reopen safely to its communities.
The beauty of roller skating, of course, is that you don’t have to wait to skate indoors if you happen to own your own pair of skates or rollerblades. Like biking, the demand for roller skates has been high during the pandemic so you’re in good company.
If you’re planning to head out on roller skates or inline skates any time soon, you should take care to protect that precious head of yours with a helmet. We have just the thing.
PHOTO COURTESY OF: @thatmoxigirl
There are generally two types of helmets for roller and inline skating. There’s the dome-style skateboard helmet and the performance bike helmet. The latter option is an excellent choice if you’re trying to be aerodynamic or if you’re someone who’s on a speed skating team. You might also choose the performance bike helmet option if you’re an avid roller skater who likes to zip through crowded areas like, say, the Venice Boardwalk.
For those of you who fall into the recreational roller skating category, the skate helmet style is the right place to be. The hard outer shell offers unquestionable protection, especially at the back of your neck. Our Thousand Skateboard Helmet is one such style and comes in multiple matte and shiny colorways. The design features seven vents for breathability (an undeniable, certified sweatsaver), strong utilitarian nylon straps and a built-in low-profile visor to keep the sun out of your eyes. It’s available in three sizes and has a handy adjustable dial fit system for a snug fit.
No matter which roller sport you do, a good multi-sport helmet will keep you covered and protected against high-impact accidents. Helmets for roller skating and rollerblading will be constructed of a lightweight, crushable expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam and polycarbonate outer shell.
All helmets sold in the U.S. must be Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certified. Don’t buy it if it doesn’t have the CPSC certified label. Some helmet brands may also take care to run additional safety standards tests on their products.
Thousand bike helmets are also ASTM F1492 certified, which means they pass strict requirements for both skateboarding and roller skating. According to ASTM’s website, our ASTM certified helmets “meet specified requirements for the peak acceleration and time duration, headforms and sizes, anvils for impact, dynamic strength retention system, and impact sites...” How’s that for peace of mind?
There’s no such thing as being too safe when you’re lacing up and rolling around the neighborhood. You might also consider some other protective gear for your wrists and knees. When we fall, our initial instinct is to break the fall with our hands. Wrist guards are designed with plastic splints to help protect against scrapes and bruises or even a broken wrist. Make sure the wrist guards you pick up fit like a glove. They should be snug and should not move around while you wear them.
Don’t forget your knees and elbows. Knee pads and elbow pads help prevent scratches and scrapes if you take a fall (where did that rock come from?!). Oftentimes, you can find cost-saving sets that include all three pieces of protective gear. We really like this set from Triple 8 for its funky patterns.
For those who might skate into the sunset and roll around after dark, we recommend wearing reflective gear to improve your visibility to pedestrians and vehicles. Reflective stickers make a safe and stylish statement, too.
Roller skating and rollerblading offer fun ways to cruise around and get exercise. While there’s always a chance for accidents to happen, roller sports are considered quite safe compared to some of its other wheeled counterparts like bmx riding, skateboarding, and longboarding.
A helmet made with EPS foam and polycarbonate is your first line of defense against head-related injuries resulting from unfortunate spills. You can also protect your wrists, knees, and elbows — three other areas prone to scrapes and bruises — with guards and pads.
Be sure to choose the right kind of protective gear based on your skating style. “They see me rollin’” takes on new meaning when you outfit your noggin’ with a cool helmet for roller skating. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.