Skateboarding Safety: 9 Tips That Will Keep Away Injuries
Getting injured sucks, and not because of how much it hurts. Yes, it will be painful, but the pain will quickly become a distant memory you’ll have trouble remembering.
No, getting hurt sucks because it could prevent you from doing what you love – skating. Simply put, there is nothing worse than sitting on the sidelines when you’re itching to skate. It can be a super frustrating situation.
So with that in mind, today’s article will be a few tips you can follow to make your skateboarding is safer. I’ll teach you how you can miss unnecessary injuries and what actions you can take to avoid the dangers of skateboarding.
9. Consider wearing protection
Simply put, using protective gear like a helmet and knee pads will be the easiest thing you can do to prevent injuries. This gear basically absorbs the impact from falling and protects you from abrasion, cuts, and painful bruises.
Even given how protective and useful they are, most skateboard safety gear is bulky and kind of uncomfortable to wear. Especially knee and elbow pads.
When it comes to helmets there isn’t an alternative option. But fortunately for knee, elbow and hips pads, there is a solution. You can buy softer, flexible, low profile pads that work well.
These low profile pads fit under your clothes easily, are breathable and don’t restrict your movement at all. They are amazing. They are especially great for kids who dislike bulky gear.
But that said, they do tend to be on the expensive side. You can find out more about them from my list of recommended knee pads.
8. Ride in the right places
A big contributing factor to injuries is when skaters ride in the wrong locations. This could be skating in poorly lit areas, over rough roads, in crowded spaces, in the rain, or skating on poorly designed ramps and bowls.
Skateboards were designed to be used on the smooth pavement like what you’ll find in skateparks. If you put them in other places where the conditions aren’t right, you can expect your skateboard to not perform well.
For example, on rough roads, your skateboard will struggle to move and could buck you off. This is because skate wheels are small and can be easily stopped by cracks and tiny pebbles.
Another example; when it is wet your skateboard could easily slide out from under you causing you to fall and slam backward.
Lastly, skating in poorly lit areas or at night, isn’t the best idea. You can’t clearly see obstacles and things that you could skate into making it a risky thing to do.
7. Skate within your limits – don’t overestimate your abilities
Some skateboard safety statistics by the UPMC sports medicine department, show that a third of all skate-related injuries happen to beginners. Shockingly, over half of all those injured are kids under 15. Why are kids and beginners so prone to injuries?
Understandably, a lot of young skaters don’t have the relevant experience or knowledge to tell themselves to take it easy. They are testing a new realm/world of ‘activity’, and they don’t fully understand it. The same can be said for most beginners.
In fact, experience skaters don’t get hurt so much because they’ve already gone through the process of getting hurt and learning what to avoid. Just ask them how many skateboarding knee injuries they’ve gotten.
Skateboard camps, going to the park on a busy day etc. Those are all good opportunities for a kid or beginner to learn skating from more experienced people. Advanced skaters can usually see mistakes before they happen and can warn or advice beginners and kids.
6. High-quality equipment is key
Having the right gear is important, especially when it comes to skating. Whether it is having the right wheels or making sure you have the right skate shoes. Appropriate gear is key to a problem-free skate experience.
If you use gear that isn’t designed to handle skating. You will find yourself in shoes that hurt to skate, wheels that don’t roll at all, trucks that don’t turn, and a long list of other problems.
Bottom line, inappropriate gear is more likely to fail on you. A helmet that doesn’t work, a deck that suddenly snaps in half etc. Low-quality gear could break when you really need it to perform.
So yes, if you’re an adult, you have to make sure you get the best skate helmets for grown-ups, (and vice versa if you’re buying one for a kid). You simply have to ensure you are getting quality gear that will perform well.
5. Keep your skateboard well maintained
Building on having high-quality gear, it is important that you maintain what gear you have and that you replace parts as necessary.
For example, you need to make sure you lubricate your bearings every now and then. If you don’t, gunk could build up with time cause them to seize up and buck you off your board.
So which gear do you need to maintain and replace?
- Bearings (maintain)
- Deck (replace)
- Griptape (replace)
- Pivot cups and bushings (replace)
- Trucks (replace)
So yeah, you need to replace gear as necessary. If you are a parent, you might have to learn more about your kid’s skateboard to know when you’ll have to replace certain parts for them.
4. There is a right way to falling
Have you ever watched one of those videos where a skater tries to do a trick and keeps falling over and over? And have you ever wonder why they can get up over and over seemingly unhurt? They can do so because they are falling correctly in an almost painless manner.
Though gear like skateboard elbow pads will keep you protected. Beyond that, falling properly is your best option to stay safe. This is one of the unofficial skateboarding rules of safety.
If you fall and stick your hands out to catch yourself. You risk injuring your palms, wrist and even breaking an arm.
The right way to fall is to roll with the impact rather than stop it. By rolling with it, you distribute the force around your body and come to a slow stop instead of an abrupt one.
You typically do this by going shoulder first, but it is better demonstrated with a video.
3. Be aware of your surroundings – don’t skate with headphones on
Building on the point of skating in the right environments, it is important to be aware of your surroundings as you skate. This is especially true in skate parks, on the street, and on the road.
You need to be aware in skateparks because there are other skateboards, scooter and bike riders around. If you are not careful, you can crash into them and get unnecessarily injured.
It is one of the skate park safety rules to be aware of others in the park.
The same can be said for skating on the road or on a busy sidewalk. You have to be considerate and cautious of others. In fact, they may not always hear or see you coming, so being overly cautious will work in your favor and keep you safe.
For kids, you need to make sure they have proper skate etiquette and watch out for others when skating unsupervised. But seeing as you can’t always be there, make sure they have the right protective gear for their size, like helmets for smaller kids.
2. Warm up before every session
Warming up simply means getting your body ready to skate. This could mean a few dynamic stretches, or simply taking it easy and doing a few light tricks/maneuvers to get your body loose and flexible.
It helps you get familiar with your board again and get used to whichever environment you’re skating in. Loads of skaters get hurt because they forget how they last set up their board.
It’s important because when you are cold; your ankles are stiff, your body feels tight and this makes it easy to mess up and get a trick wrong. It increases your chances of getting skateboarding injuries.
Spraining your ankle or pulling a muscle is much easier when you are cold.
So yeah, it’s important you take it easy at first before skating as normal. You simply can’t go 0-100 and expect to pick up where you left the last session.
1. Warm down by stretching
After each session, you should warm down by doing a few static stretches. This will increase your flexibility and stop your muscles from feeling tight. It will also boost your recovery and you’ll feel much better after each session.
Whether skaters want to admit it or not, skating is a sport and it is quite physical. Simply put, you’re pushing your body to do some unnatural things in some strange positions. It’s important you treat your body right and do the necessary warm up and warm down to keep it working well. Just like any other athlete in any other sport.
In fact, most pro skaters do workout and stretch on a daily basis to keep themselves healthy and fit. A quick Google search will prove this to you, and you’ll come across various skaters gym and exercise routines.
I recommend skaters workout as it helps strengthen their body for falling the right way and taking hits. It’s important if you want to make your body as durable as possible.
Skate safe out there!
Even though my tips will make skating a lot safer for you, it is impossible to not skate and not get hurt (maybe if you’re only cruising). Some injuries will be unavoidable because they will come from unexpected situations. Because even if you prepare for everything, you can’t prepare for something you don’t expect.