Why Do My Feet Cramp When Skateboarding? Tips to Prevent Cramps
Of all the injuries one could experience while skateboarding, foot cramps probably aren’t the first to spring to mind – but they are oftentimes a sign of a deeper issue (and can be an opportunity to improve your skating). This article will take a look at why you might be suffering from this podal affliction, and how you can prevent and treat it.
Why Do My Feet Cramp When Skateboarding?
There are a number of reasons you could be getting cramps from skateboarding; less-than-perfect technique, poor quality wheels or even an electrolyte imbalance could all be the culprit. To alleviate the pain, we’ll have to get to the bottom of what’s causing it.
Let’s run through some of the most likely causes:
1. Poor stance and/or balance
As a newer skater, you probably won’t have very good balance or foot positioning – it’s just the way the cookie crumbles! This will make your body work harder to keep you upright. If your front foot hurts when skateboarding, you might be doing what I did – curling your toes to grip the board.
I did this as a beginner as my balance wasn’t excellent and my weight kept shifting to my heels. In order to keep my foot gripped to the board, my toes would curl. This constant contraction of my feet muscles was totally unnecessary and led to painful foot cramps every time I skated.
2. Your hardware just ain’t cutting it
Your board, the wheels and your shoes are all important when it comes to comfort and safety. If one or more of these things isn’t pulling it’s weight, it could be the culprit of that cramping.
3. You haven’t warmed up!
People are often so excited to start shredding that they forget something crucial: warming up! Cold muscles (so to speak) are much easier to injure as they’re not ready to be strained in the ways that come with performing tricks on a skateboard.
4. You’re dehydrated and may have an electrolyte imbalance
Cramping is a common symptom of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. When you exercise, your body uses fluids and nutrients to keep you fueled – if you run out of fuel, you start getting issues – painful ones!
How Do You Prevent Foot Cramps When Skateboarding?
The very best thing to do first would be to get an experienced friend – or better yet, a skateboard instructor – to have a look at your skating and see if they can spot what might be causing you trouble.
They can also give you an idea of whether what you’re skating on suits your needs, or if it’s time to find something a bit better.
Get Better Hardware
Skateboard quality varies hugely depending on what you’re looking for. While you needn’t spend a fortune to find a good quality board, it’s safe to say that the cheaper boards are going to be poorly built, not very comfortable and hard to ride.
If your feet are hurting and you picked up your board at the supermarket for twenty bucks, maybe now is a good time to upgrade. If you’re interested, check out our article on choosing the best skateboard.
The next piece of important hardware is your shoes. Having some comfortable, proper skating shoes will help if you’re getting foot pain. If you want a bit of shoe assistance, check out our guide to affordable skate shoes.
Take it Slow
When you start skating, take it easy. I recommend doing some dynamic stretches before even getting on the board – just five minutes of jogging on the spot, star jumps and some leg swings will go a long way in getting your body ready for a skate sesh.
When you do get on, just take it slowly for the first ten to twenty minutes. Hold off on the grinds, kickflips and ledge jumps. Just let your body adjust to the board, and once you feel you’re ready and warm, go mad!
It’s also a good idea to do a few minutes of static stretching afterwards – particularly your legs and feet.
Stay Hydrated and Eat Well
When you skate make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to replenish all the fluids you’re losing through sweat and burning energy. It’s also a good idea to just have a look at how much fruit and veg you’re getting in your diet. A well-rounded, primarily plant-based diet is a great way to get all the nutrients you need to keep shredding the streets healthily and safely.
What Should I do if I get a Cramp?
Stop skating, sit down and streeeeeeeetch it out! Cramps often cause muscles to contract so the best solution is to expand (stretch) the muscles gently until the pain stops.
While you wait, have a drink of water, eat a banana if you have one and just relax! It should feel better after five to ten minutes.
Wow, I Feel So Much Better!
Cramps can be a pain, but by identifying the cause and making the appropriate adjustment, you should be able to kill the cramp and improve your skateboarding skills in one fell swoop!
If you’re interested in getting some gear, check out some of the boards over at: Stoked Ride Shop. I can personally attest that they have the kind of quality that will help you avoid those pesky cramps.