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Newbie Skaters: Welcome to the Rink.

For those new skaters who rolled onto the scene in the past year, spurred by social media and COVID-19, welcome to our sport! We’re glad to have you join us.

I know a lot of you are diehard outdoor skaters, but as you know — snow, ice, rain, and brutally cold winter weather — are not conducive to a great experience on skates. This also includes the high heat and humidity. It can be downright dangerous, and hardly any fun. But indoors, at a roller-skating rink, the surface is smooth, it’s climate controlled, and you can skate to some pretty good tunes.

To help you acclimate, here are a few rules of the rink to be aware of, so no one gets hurt, either physically, or emotionally.

Rules of the Skate Floor. No stopping, or sitting onthe blue wall. No food drinks on teh floor at any time. No gum chewing at anytime int he building. No blocking the exits or entrances. No cell phones, cameras, or ruff housing. Do not pick up or carry children anytime. No sagging pants or provoking clothing.

1.  There’s a dress code. No, you don’t need to look like you’re going to a job interview. But saggy pants, that can fall down and trip you up during skating is problematic. So are hats, and other items that can become detached if you fall. While you’re expected to skate at your own risk, what that means is that the rink isn’t responsible for injuries. So, if you fall, and you cause a dangerous pileup, you can be held liable for any injuries that occur to other skaters through your negligence. The rink’s job is to minimize the risk of injury. After all, broken bones are bad for business.

2. We all skate in the same direction. Most of the time it’s counter-clockwise. For the “Reverse” skate, we turn around and skate in the other direction. This keeps us from running into each other. The DJ will announce changes and some rinks even offer signage to let you know what’s going on during the session.

3. Please don’t stop in traffic or along the wall to converse with your friends or take a selfie. Someone could run into you. Beginners can’t stop quickly.

4.  Many rinks don’t allow food or drinks to be carried outside of the snack bar. Also note, they don’t allow outside food brought in either. And never on the skate floor.

5. You can’t carry a baby while skating. It doesn’t matter how good of a skater you are. There are people around you who can fall and trip you up and your little one’s head will slam into the floor or a wall. That’s paperwork no one wants to fill out.

6. Take note if you adorn your skates with bling, such as charms, chains, fringe, spikes, or glitter: These items can come apart on the skating surface and cause others to trip over them. You may be asked to remove these items if you bring them into a roller rink.

7. Do not cut across the floor, or walk on the floor. Think of it like a highway. If a vehicle in front of you suddenly changes directions and cuts across several lanes, it’s likely to result in a wreck. As for walking on the floor, it really messes with the flow, and small rocks embedded in your sneakers, can become dislodged and end up on the skate surface.

8. Keep your phone secured in a locker. In fact, lock up anything that is valued at more than a buck. Falling on your bum, with a cell phone in your back pocket means you may need a new phone. Also, talking on a phone while on the floor means you’re not paying attention to the traffic around you. Please exit the floor and converse elsewhere.

9. Avoid wearing headphones. You may miss important announcements and it can mess with your equilibrium (balance) causing you to fall.

10. If someone stops to offer you or your friends tips on how to skate, please don’t take it personally. We’ve all been where you have been, and injuries SUCK! My mama used to say, “those who don’t listen, feel.” If you want to fall less, and learn faster, take the advice of those who know how to TEACH skating.

11. Don’t be afraid to ask for help learning how to skate. We want you to have a good time, without injuries. If you see an experienced skater or floor guard, ask for tips or sign up for skating lessons.

Thank you for skating safely and in the same direction when you’re at the rink.

Susan Gearyhttp://https//susangeary.com
I roller skate and I write about. As the former Editor of Rinksider Magazine, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge about rink management, and have developed a network of successful rink operators to glean the best information from.
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