Rollerskiing Safety

Always obey the rules of the road and wear proper protective equipment including a helmet, knee and elbow pads and proper rollerski gloves.

Ski poles should always have rollerskiing ferules with carbide tips which should be checked and sharpened with a diamond file before every outing.

Before mounting the bindings read the instructions very carefully and use the right mounting jig and proper drill bit is used. Make sure you understand where to position the binding on the rollerskis.  This depends on the technique, model and the skier’s boot size- VERY IMPORTANT!

Is Rollerskiing safe?

Regardless of the activity, there seems to be some risk involved and rollerskiing is certainly no exception. The asphalt is not as forgiving as snow and since rollerskiers in most cases must share the road with motorists.  Think “Safety First”.  Below are some tips on safety:

Your Equipment

Always wear a properly adjusted helmet…this will protect your most valuable asset!

Wear brightly coloured clothing…you want to be seen!!  A reflective safety vest is a very good idea…even if it doesn’t match what you’re wearing.

Wear gloves…these will prevent blisters and may save your hands in case you become “acquainted” with the asphalt. You can use the same gloves as in winter but the Sinisalo rollerski gloves will give better ventilation (thinner glove, no insulation) but with the same protection.

Include other protective gear as you learn to rollerski, such as elbow and knee pads.

Sharpen the ferrules or roller ski tips before each use…this will allow you to confidently “dig” in with your poles and hence facilitates proper technique. Caution: dull tips that continually slip out may cause you to take a tumble!

Before each use, inspect your wheels for wear. Alternate using the skis on the right and left feet…try to “wear” the wheels evenly.  Do this even during a long ski session.

Regularly inspect the bearings…roll the wheels by hand and listen to and feel for any irregularities in feel or sound from the bearings.  Thewheel bearings should feel solid (no play) and roll smoothly.

Regularly check to insure the wheel bolts are tightened securely to the rollerski frame…the constant vibration from rollerskiing on rougher roads may loosen the frame bolts and nuts.

Regularly check the binding screws and ensure the bindings are screwed tight to the frame…again, the vibration from rollerskiing may loosen the binding screws.

When and where to Rollerski…

Use caution the first couple of rollerski sessions and ski in an area that will allow you to become comfortable with your equipment.  An empty parking lot or similar area without cars is ideal. Work on stopping, starting, skiing circles and changing directions while keeping an “eye” out for imaginary cars.

Make sure you know how to stop! Learn to snowplough and stop first.

Learn your limits, and come to know your comfort level for when and where you ski, both in terms of training volume and terrain used when training.  Since it is difficult to stop, it is wise to avoid steep downhills with a Stop Sign at the bottom, for instance.

A gently rolling smooth country road with little traffic is ideal for rollerskiing.

Bike paths or quiet residential areas (watch for cars backing out of driveways) are good alternatives for training.

When in doubt about a downhill, take the skis off and walk.

Pick a time of day when you know there will be little traffic…i.e. early morning (In the summer, it is not as hot then either…).

Check with your local By-Law office.  There may be laws in effect that specifically or generally apply to rollerskiing.  It’s up to you to be informed!

Ski in the same direction as traffic. Most skiers choose to ski on the right side of the road although there are others who prefer to ski facing traffic and step off to the side of the road when cars or trucks pass. As such there is no set rule, do what makes you more comfortable.

When skating, always double-pole when a car or truck passes…regardless of which side of the road you are on.

Always watch for cars…remember they are bigger than you and will “win” every time if you refuse to give way! When cars pass, pull as far over to the side as you can and either double pole (even if you are skating) or stop poling completely. If you are in group, always ski single file.

When possible make eye contact with motorists to ensure they have seen you…you can then better predict what the motorist will do.

Even if the motorist is wrong, go out of your way to avoid a conflict or worse, a collision…

Wave and show appreciation to motorists who “give you the road”…try to develop a positive relationship with motorists by being courteous, polite and abiding by traffic rules (don’t blow red lights or ignore Stop signs), this will also garner respect for you as an athlete and lend credibility to the sport and roller skiing will be seen as a viable training tool.

Please study carefully:

All rollerskis are made with care. We give special attention to quality. If you take good care of your rollerskis you will enjoy them for many years.

Rollerskis are special training equipment  for Nordic skiers, who already  master good skiing technique on snow.

Be aware that rollerskiing is an action sport, which may imply a risk of serious personal injury or damage on property.

Be also aware of the fact that there are natural, mechanical and environmental conditions and risks that in itself or in combination with your activities, may cause damage on property, or injury on you or others.