Is Skateboarding Bad For Your Knees

Is Skateboarding Bad For Your Knees? The Truth About the Risks

Skateboarding may be one of the most physically demanding sports and activities. Skateboarders don’t just cruise with their boards, but they also perform all kinds of tricks and stunts. This is why many ask, is skateboarding bad for you? Also, one of the most common questions: Is skateboarding bad for your knees?

Skateboarding is an excellent physical activity as it gives you a full-body workout. However, you can get hurt if you don’t train really well and disregard safety as you land tricks and stunts. Skateboarding could be bad for your knees if you overlook training. You are more likely to hurt yourself if you perform technical skateboarding than simply cruising around.

Skateboarding Is Bad for Your Knees If

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The knee is the biggest joint in the body, and because of this, it sustains extreme stress. The knees support the body’s weight and work as a hinge to help you sit, walk, jump, squat, and perform other intricate movements.

The knee is also very vulnerable because of its position. You can easily injure your knee while performing various movements and activities, especially riding a skateboard.

Although a sprained knee is not as common as a sprained ankle, knee injuries are more serious. You can injure your knee in many ways, including getting your foot or leg caught in a street or a skate park obstacle.

A sprained knee is also more debilitating and can take more time to recover. In some cases, knee injuries may need surgery, and thus, it can take a lot of time before you can go back to skateboarding.

With all these considered, skateboarding can be bad for your knees if:

You Don’t Train Well and Don’t Practice

The knee is a hardworking joint, and constant training can make your knees stronger and more durable. It can also take time to prime your knees so you can engage in different activities, not just skateboarding.

And aside from training, constant practicing can help you strengthen your knees. If you don’t train and practice, you could easily injure your knees and your ankles as well as the other parts of your body. You could suffer from simple cuts and bruises to complicated fractures and dislocations.

You Don’t Wear Correct Safety Gear, Especially Knee Pads/Protectors.

Safety gear such as knee pads can protect your knees. It’s padded to secure the patella and all the sides of the knee. Knee pads also support the knees to keep them stable while performing stunts. But aside from these, knee pads are also comfortable, an essential factor to consider as you’re likely to wear safety gear for hours as you practice or ride your skateboard.

There are several kinds of knee pads. There are protective pads for skateboarding, for work, at home, and also for medical use. Therefore, when you shop for knee pads, you must always consider the main reason why you want to wear them to get the best pair.

A knee pad can protect and stabilize the knee cap with a flexible cover or cap. There are knee pads with soft and hard caps, so choose one that will match the activity you’re performing. Take note of the following knee cap types to suit your needs.

Padding Caps

Some knee pads come with padding caps or soft caps. These caps provide good protection as they are made from soft yet sturdy foam materials. A padding cap is also comfortable to use and will not restrict your movement. It’s not just skaters who wear knee pads with padding caps. People who work in the garden or those who install carpets wear this kind of knee pad.

Padding caps provide the best protection along the broadest area of the knee. Therefore, these are not great for activities that make you work on the ground often and for movements that are performed side to side. Many use padding caps to reduce fatigue during prolonged kneeling.

Shell Caps

Another form of knee protector is those with shell caps. Knee pads that come with shell caps are made from plastic or strong carbon fiber. These provide improved stability and protection. If you’re working in rugged or rough environments, including construction sites and roofs, you must use knee pads with shell caps to avoid punctures and lacerations.

One of the most common shell cap knee pads is hardshell caps. These provide the best protection and, at the same time, allow you to move freely. Shell caps also come with dense padding to provide added support and improve comfort. To wear these, you must slip on an elastic sleeve or some straps to keep the shell caps in place.

Hex Pads

One of the most extremely comfortable and practical knee pads is hex pads. These honeycomb designs provide a good fit and improve comfort and mobility. These knee pads are made from foam which absorbs shock, and thus, this is preferred by people who engage in sports and other outdoor activities like basketball, volleyball, and weightlifting.

Hex pads are also popular as compression devices used in rehabilitation therapy. These are breathable, easy to clean, and have sweat-wicking properties. Hex pads may not be suitable for skateboarding but can provide protection if you’re recovering from a knee injury.

You Don’t Know How to Land Correctly.

After riding your skateboard and jumping from a height, you must learn how to land correctly to avoid injuries. The force that you produce when you jump and land on your board is higher compared to your body weight. This is because you are falling from the peak of your jump. It may feel like you just fell for only a few seconds, but you still have a lot of energy while falling.

A small amount of speed can lead to a high amount of energy that the knees can take as you land. And if your knees are unable to absorb these high impacts, you can fall from the ground and find it hard to land on your feet.

You Prefer Technical Skateboarding to Racing or Cruising

Technical skateboarding is the most challenging type of skateboarding which involves flipping, riding on high ledges, curbs, rails, and other difficult moves. Because of the complexity of these stunts and tricks, technical skateboarding is deemed more dangerous than racing or cruising around.

You are more likely to hurt your knees or to get seriously hurt if you engage in technical skateboarding than other types. But of course, regular practice, intense training, and wearing safety gear can significantly reduce your chances of getting hurt.

You’re New to Landing Tricks and Stunts.

Your knees can also hurt if you try a different skateboarding trick without careful preparation. Also, having painful knees or a knee injury and still insisting on landing tricks and stunts can worsen your injury. You’re putting more force on a knee that’s already intro so much stress!

Skateboarding is Good for Your Knees If

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Skateboarding is good for the body and your knees if you prepare yourself physically and mentally before your ride or stunt. You must wear correct safety gear, especially knee pads, to reduce injuries.

When you’re careful, you’ll find that skateboarding can significantly improve your health. As you regularly ride your skateboard, you can improve different muscle groups like the core muscles, which improve core equilibrium. You can enhance muscles like the abdominals, back, hip, and lower extremities. Skateboarders who master different stunts and tricks are more likely to handle extreme activities than those who don’t skateboard.

According to Sports Courtyard, skateboarding does not have any negative effect on the knees. Skateboarding affects the ligaments and the muscles that surround it. Because of this, the knee joint becomes stronger and prevents injuries such as dislocations.

You may end up hurting your knees if you jump from a height as you perform all kinds of aerial tricks. This is why skateboarders should wear knee braces to keep them from getting hurt as they learn new tricks.

Other Risks of Skateboarding

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A knee injury is just one of the many consequences of skateboarding. Here are some of the most common injuries out of skateboarding.

Injuries to the Ankles and Shin

Injuries to the ankles and shin are the most common skateboard injuries. Tendonitis and sprains along the ankles, feet, and knees are common because of the overuse and increased pressure on the feet as you ride your skateboard. In tendonitis, there is localized pain, stiffness, and swelling along the affected area. The injury starts as a sprain and eventually turns into tendonitis.

The shin is the most commonly injured part in skateboarding. When referring to shin bruises, skateboarders prefer to use the term “shinners.” You can significantly reduce injuries to the shin and ankles by wearing correct skateboarding attire, especially footwear. Also, constant practice and training can develop the proper footwork in performing different tricks and stunts.

Injuries to the Heels

Injuries to the heel are other common skateboarding injuries. These happen when you land on your heel right after losing balance after performing an aerial trick. Heel bruises are not severe but can make you feel weak and vulnerable. Heel injuries can happen if the rider falls from an extreme height or the injury is very severe.

You need to rest the area longer when you suffer from any kind of injury to the heels. The best way to treat heel injuries is to apply ice immediately and relax the area. These injuries can be excruciating, and if elevation, compression, and icing do not help, it would be best to consult a doctor.

Ankle Hyperextension

Another term for hyperextension is hot pockets. This happens when you land on your ankle, and you have placed a lot of weight on the joint. There is extreme pain in the joint which can last for a few minutes but later on, the pain will become very severe.

The ankles are supported by ligaments, and if these ligaments stretch too far due to an extreme trick or stunt, you can hyperextend your ankle or develop a sprain.

In an ankle hyperextension injury, you must ensure that your injuries heal entirely, so you don’t lose your stability and affect your range of motion. Immediate first aid is necessary to reduce pain. You must ice the area for several days and limit walking, skateboarding, and other physical activities to allow your ankles to heal completely.

If icing and rest don’t lead to any improvements, you must consult with a specialist immediately.

Fractures of the Fingers and Wrists

Injuries to the hands, wrists, and fingers happen when you fall off your skateboard and land on these bones. Depending on the severity of the fall, you may not become injured right after the first incident. But repeated injuries to the wrist, hands, and fingers can lead to a fracture.

Wrist and hand injuries are very common in skateboarding. Aside from fractures, skateboarders also suffer from bumps, scrapes, and bruises, which are mostly overlooked. However, sprains and fractures must be treated immediately to avoid permanent or long-term damage and issues with mobility.

It takes time for a wrist injury to heal, and never ride your skateboard unless your wrists are entirely healed. You could severely injure your wrist if you continue to ride. Also, wear proper wrist protectors or guards because you could regret this later if you don’t. For any wrist injury, visit your doctor at once.

Sprained Ankles

Another common skateboarding injury is sprained ankles. There are many reasons for suffering from sprained ankles: issues like hesitation, change of decision, poor balance, etc. Any of these can lead to rolled or sprained ankles.

A common reason is when a rider lands on his foot when it is placed half on the board and the pavement. Also, directly landing on the ankles can severely injure the ankle. A skateboarder can prevent these injuries by constant training and practice. For an ankle injury, consult your doctor at once.

Sprained Knees

Sprained knees may not be as frequent as sprained ankles. This injury usually happens when your foot becomes stuck in an obstacle. Also, falling on your knees after slipping on your board or falling from a severe height and landing on your feet or knees can lead to sprained knees.

You can prevent sprained knees by wearing proper knee pads or supports. You can also avoid injuries to the knees by practicing correct landing, footwork, and constant practice. Sprained knees must be checked by a specialist. It would be best if you visited your doctor for sprained knees.

Back and Body Pains

Body pains are inevitable when you’re skateboarding. You’ll be grinding and moving through different obstacles; you’ll be slamming your body on the board, which can be hard on your body. Back pains are also very common, and poor posture can worsen your condition.

The best way to avoid back pains is to maintain good posture when riding your board. Practice a stunt consistently and regularly to ensure proper execution and to prevent injuries. Also, stretching your back after every run and trick may also help prevent back pains.

How to Prevent Injuries While Skateboarding

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Part of learning new tricks and stunts in skateboarding is about preventing injuries while indulging in the sport. And when it comes to keeping safe while skateboarding, the first tip will always be to wear proper safety gear.

Wear appropriate safety gear

We have discussed the proper knee padding lengthily to protect your knees, but aside from knee braces and pads, you also need to wear other protective equipment such as helmets, wrist and ankle pads, elbow pads, and slip-resistant shoes.

Skateboarding helmet

A good skateboarding helmet must fit snuggly around the head and chin. There must be no spaces between the skater’s head and the padding or foam that lines the helmet. When selecting the best skateboarding helmet, consider how the helmet feels on your head. The helmet must be snug and not too tight to cause discomfort.

A helmet must not be too high or too low on the head. The front rim must align with your eyebrows, and the back must never touch the neck. The skater must be able to see forward and side to side with the helmet on. The side straps must create a V-shape under and in front of the ears.

Know when to replace a skateboard helmet. If you’ve been involved in a crash or a hit, replace the helmet. If you see cracks on the helmet and if the straps are flimsy, you must replace your helmet at once.

Wrist guards

Wrist guards support and keep the wrists safe when skateboarding. These guards come with pads that absorb shock during an impact. A wrist guard has padding on every side; plus, these come with Velcro so that you can adjust the fit easily.

Young and old beginners and expert skaters use wrist guards to protect their wrists. Also, skaters performing tricks along rails, ramps, and in skate park obstacles must wear wrist guards at all times to prevent breaks, sprains, and fractures.

Elbow pads

Skateboard elbow pads must be worn to protect your elbows while performing tricks and stunts. Elbow pads are adjustable and are made from hard plastic or shell to effectively protect the elbows. New elbow pad designs are lightweight and flexible, so you won’t feel uneasy wearing them.

Elbow pads are necessary when you’re ramp or rail skating. Some skaters wear their elbow pads under their clothes, but most wear pads on the outside. Well-fitting pads should never restrict your movement. Tight pads can become very uncomfortable and limit your arm movement.

To purchase the correct size of elbow pads, use a flexible tape measure to find the right fit. Wear your own elbow pads and avoid borrowing from other skaters.

Non-slip shoes

Slip-resistant shoes are essential in skateboarding. This type of shoe holds the grip tape on top of the deck to keep the board on your feet as you perform different tricks.  Therefore, using slip-resistant shoes are crucial to safety on the streets and in the skate park.

So what are slip-resistant shoes? This shoe is classified as safety footwear as riders wear these to avoid slipping on different surfaces. Not all shoes are slip-resistant. You can tell that your shoes are slip-resistant when indicated in the specs.

Shoes with outsoles that conform with the ASTM International F1677 standards mean that these were tested for improved performance, whether on dry, oily, or wet surfaces. Also, check the soles. Non-slip soles have rubber outsoles with rounded sides. These are made of EVA rubber which is a synthetic resin similar to foam.

The tread pattern on non-slip shoes is usually circles, squiggles, or small hexagons. These patterns create friction so that the shoes grip the tape better. According to Vionic Shoes, the smaller the pattern, the better non-slip shoes can perform on the skate park or pavement.

Using Strengthening Exercises

Like any activity, you must warm up and ensure your body is ready for this extreme sport. Strengthening exercises can help the body loosen up, improve balance, and boost core strength.

There are many exercises that can help improve strength and prepare you for the tedious demands of skateboarding. Just a few of the top routines are bear crawls, skater jumps, box jumps, duck walks, and forward lunges. Skipping rope is another example of a full-body workout before your routines.

Final Words

Skateboarding is bad for your knees if you don’t practice and train for your skateboarding routines and stunts. Not wearing the right skateboard safety gear and not learning how to fall correctly are also ways that can make you more susceptible to injuries.

Skateboarding can be good for your knees and overall health because it provides a full-body workout. This sport improves flexibility and increases body strength. Preventing injuries is one of the essential things in skateboarding, and you can accomplish this by wearing the right safety gear and following simple strength-building routines.

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