Just as in downhill skiing and ice-skating, you'll fare better at inline skating if you know how to fall. A little bit of know-how can go a long way in preventing serious injury.

For starters, look at your protective gear (knee pads and wrist guards) as tools that give you some control at the point of impact, not simply as cushions.

In general, it's better to fall forward than to fall backward. To do this, you may have to shift your weight forward a bit by bringing your arms straight out in front of you. Be careful not to stiffen your arms; this could increase chances of injury upon impact.

When you hit the ground, aim to SLIDE on your kneepads and wrist guards, ideally landing and sliding on the knees first. Avoid slamming your wrist guards into the ground to break your fall. As you slide on the wrist guards, keep your fingers up to avoid scraping your knuckles.