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Inline secrets from the world's top skaters and coaches

This week's tip:

Safe by Design

A guide to setting up a safe and fair finish for an inline speed skating road race

By San Diego Street Elite

General Finish Line Considerations

The following are some general principles to keep in mind when setting up a finish line for inline skate races.

  1. Line of sight

    It is helpful for the finish line to be at the end of a straightaway rather than soon after a corner.

    i. Safety

    Speeds increase near the end of a race as the skaters jockey for position coming into the sprint. It is safer if this occurs on a straightaway rather than around corners.

    ii. Staff is prepared

    The finish line staff can see the skaters approaching and are not taken by surprise. Knowing only when the race started, finish line staff are often shocked at how soon the first skaters arrive at the finish.

    iii. Minimal confusion

    If skaters can see the finish line from some distance, they know when to begin sprinting.
  2. Uphill

    If possible end the race going uphill. This keeps speeds down which increases safety and gives more time to both skaters and staff to keep the finish orderly and fair.
  3. Wide

    Ideally the finish line should be wide so that skaters are less likely to collide with each other or anyone else. If a skater falls, there should be enough room for others to go around safely. Remember that skaters cannot simply slam on the brakes.
  4. Smooth and clear

    For safety, it is best if the pavement at the finish is smooth. If not, major cracks and potholes should be marked with paint or chalk. Placing pylons or traffic cones over road hazards is not a good idea because if a cone gets knocked over it can trip a skater.

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San Diego Street Elite


Related reading:

Skate Tip of the Week Archive
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing
Beginners Guide to Inline Skating




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