Inline Skating

01 Overview

Inline skating is a recreational and competitive multidisciplinary sport. Inline skates have at least 2 and up to 5 polyurethane wheels, worn on the underside of a boot with adjustable straps or laces. Unlike roller skates, the wheels are arranged ‘in-line’ and this design allows for faster speed and increased maneuverability. While there is some risk for physical injury in inline skating, there is evidence that these injuries can be prevented.

(see Section 04 - Prevention)
Athlete silhouette
View Common Injuries by clicking the blue dots on the silhouette

Forearm fractures are the most common injury in inline skating.

Wrist fractures and sprains are common injuries in inline skating.

Elbow fractures are a less common injury compared to forearm and wrist fractures, but they can and do occur while inline skating.

02 Injury Statistics

The most common injury in inline skating is fractures, followed by soft tissue injuries such as contusions, abrasions and lacerations. The most common area fractured is the forearm, followed by the wrist, hand, and elbow.

Curious about the research on injuries?

It is estimated that...

03 Risk Factors

  • Skating Surface

    Inline skaters are at higher risk of injury skating on uneven surfaces. Inline skaters are at an almost 9 times higher risk of sustaining an injury from skating on ramps, railings, or ledges.

  • Exposure

    The amount of time spent inline skating per week was found to be a risk factor. Those who skated more than 10 hours a week were more likely to be injured than those who skated less than 10 hours.

  • Maneuvers

    Inline skaters who perform tricks or stunts are more likely to be injured than those who do not perform tricks or stunts.

04 How can I prevent injury?

Some muscle soreness or joint pain is expected when increasing your level of physical activity. It is important to listen to your body for persistent or worsening pain, and to know when to rest. Learn more about how to prevent injuries in inline skating.

  • Participant & Parent

    Talk to your coach or organization, if applicable, about the prevention strategies below and how they might be incorporated into training and policies.

    Equipment

    Using properly fitted protective personal equipment while inline skating can reduce your risk of injury. This includes helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. Inline skaters are 10 times at higher risk of suffering a wrist injury when not wearing wrist guards and almost 10 times at higher risk of sustaining an elbow injury when not wearing elbow pads.

    Managing Concussion

    While current research evidence around concussions is extremely limited for inline skating, it is important to be aware of concussion signs and symptoms and know what to do if concussion is suspected. The Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) is an online resource for players and parents to learn more about how to recognize, prevent, and manage a concussion. CATT also includes resources on how to respond to a potential concussion situation, as well as detailed Return to School and Return to Sport protocol.

    Strength Training and Neuromuscular Training Program

    The risk of injuries may be reduced by regular participation in a balance training exercise program with a resistance training component, such as a neuromuscular training warm-up program.

    Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre Neuromuscular Training
    The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre has developed a neuromuscular training warm-up program that can be adapted to many sports.

    Click here to view poster.

    Other Considerations (about this section)

    Equipment
    A properly fitted helmet can decrease the risk of brain injury by 80%. Bike helmets can be used for inline skating, and either CPSC, CSA, ASTM or Snell certification is important. The labeling for multisport helmets should be checked to see whether it has been tested for inline skating. If needed, the manufacturer can be contacted for clarification. For more information, please visit the Parachute Canada website.

    Sport-related Physicals
    Inline skating can be a physically demanding sport and some pre-existing conditions may increase the risk of injury. A sport-related physical evaluation at the beginning of each season ensuring fitness to play can help to reduce risk of injury. KidsHealth provides information about what sports physicals are, why they may be appropriate and where you may go to get them.

    Learn more about Kids Health Sports Physicals.

  • Coach & Teacher

    Talk to your organization or school, if applicable, about the prevention strategies below and how they might be incorporated into training and policies.

    Equipment

    Using properly fitted protective personal equipment while inline skating can reduce the risk of injury. This includes helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. Inline skaters are 10 times at higher risk of suffering a wrist injury when not wearing wrist guards and almost 10 times at higher risk of sustaining an elbow injury when not wearing elbow pads.

    Managing Concussion

    While current research evidence around concussions is extremely limited for inline skating, it is important to be aware of concussion signs and symptoms and know what to do if concussion is suspected. The Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) is an online resource for coaches and teachers to learn more about how to recognize, prevent, and manage a concussion. CATT also includes resources on how to respond to a potential concussion situation, as well as detailed Return to School and Return to Sport protocol.

    Strength Training and Neuromuscular Training Program

    The risk of injuries may be reduced by regular participation in a balance training exercise program with a resistance training component, such as a neuromuscular training warm-up program.

    Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre Neuromuscular Training
    The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre has developed a neuromuscular training warm-up program that can be adapted to many sports.

    Click here to view poster.

    Other Considerations (about this section)

    Equipment
    A properly fitted helmet can decrease the risk of brain injury by 80%. Bike helmets can be used for inline skating, and either CPSC, CSA, ASTM or Snell certification is important. The labeling for multisport helmets should be checked to see whether it has been tested for inline skating. If needed, the manufacturer can be contacted for clarification. For more information, please visit the Parachute Canada website.

    Sport-related Physicals
    Inline skating can be a physically demanding sport and some pre-existing conditions may increase the risk of injury. A sport-related physical evaluation at the beginning of each season ensuring fitness to play can help to reduce risk of injury. KidsHealth provides information about what sports physicals are, why they may be appropriate and where you may go to get them.

    Learn more about Kids Health Sports Physicals.

  • Official & Administrator

    Talk to your coaches, teachers, organization, or school, if applicable, about the prevention strategies below and how they might be incorporated into training and policies.

    Equipment

    Using properly fitted protective personal equipment while inline skating can reduce the risk of injury. This includes helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. Inline skaters are 10 times at higher risk of suffering a wrist injury when not wearing wrist guards and almost 10 times at higher risk of sustaining an elbow injury when not wearing elbow pads.

    Managing Concussion

    While current research evidence around concussions is extremely limited for inline skating, it is important to be aware of concussion signs and symptoms and know what to do if concussion is suspected. The Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) is an online resource to learn more about how to recognize, prevent, and manage a concussion. CATT also includes resources on how to respond to a potential concussion situation, as well as detailed Return to School and Return to Sport protocol.

    Strength Training and Neuromuscular Training Program

    The risk of injuries may be reduced by regular participation in a balance training exercise program with a resistance training component, such as a neuromuscular training warm-up program.

    Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre Neuromuscular Training
    The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre has developed a neuromuscular training warm-up program that can be adapted to many sports.

    Click here to view poster.

    Other Considerations (about this section)

    Equipment
    A properly fitted helmet can decrease the risk of brain injury by 80%. Bike helmets can be used for inline skating, and either CPSC, CSA, ASTM or Snell certification is important. The labeling for multisport helmets should be checked to see whether it has been tested for inline skating. If needed, the manufacturer can be contacted for clarification. For more information, please visit the Parachute Canada website.

    Sport-related Physicals
    Inline skating can be a physically demanding sport and some pre-existing conditions may increase the risk of injury. A sport-related physical evaluation at the beginning of each season ensuring fitness to play can help to reduce risk of injury. KidsHealth provides information about what sports physicals are, why they may be appropriate and where you may go to get them.

    Learn more about Kids Health Sports Physicals.

  • Health Professional

    The role of health professionals in preventing inline skating injuries has two main components:

    1. Providing ongoing education to participants, parents, and coaches on effective injury prevention programs such as balance and resistance training; and
    2. Ensuring that injured participants are completely healed and fit-to-perform before returning to skating to prevent re-injury or chronic injury.

    Equipment

    Using properly fitted protective personal equipment while inline skating can reduce the risk of injury. This includes helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. Inline skaters are 10 times at higher risk of suffering a wrist injury when not wearing wrist guards and almost 10 times at higher risk of sustaining an elbow injury when not wearing elbow pads.

    Managing Concussion

    While current research evidence around concussions is extremely limited for inline skating, it is important to be aware of concussion signs and symptoms and know what to do if concussion is suspected. The Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) is an online resource to learn more about how to diagnose and manage a concussion. CATT also includes resources on how to assess a potential concussion, as well as detailed Return to School and Return to Sport protocol.

    Strength Training and Neuromuscular Training Program

    The risk of injuries may be reduced by regular participation in a balance training exercise program with a resistance training component, such as a neuromuscular training warm-up program.

    Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre Neuromuscular Training
    The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre has developed a neuromuscular training warm-up program that can be adapted to many sports.

    Click here to view poster.

    Other Considerations (about this section)

    Sport-related Physicals
    Inline skating is a physically demanding sport and some pre-existing conditions may increase the risk of injury. A sport-related physical evaluation at the beginning of each season ensuring fitness to play can help to reduce risk of injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides information about pre-participation physical evaluation.

    Learn more about Preparticipation Physical Evaluation.

    Equipment
    A properly fitted helmet can decrease the risk of brain injury by 80%.  Bike helmets can be used for inline skating, and either CPSC, CSA, ASTM or Snell certification is important. The labeling for multi-sport helmets should be checked to see whether it has been tested for inline skating. If needed, the manufacturer can be contacted for clarification. For more information, please visit the Parachute Canada website.