Skateboarding is a fun, exciting, and very interesting sport, ideal for stress relief. But most of the time, safety only comes second to performance. Just like any kind of sport, there are risks to skateboarding which may lead to people thinking “Is skateboarding dangerous?”
Let’s find out why there’s never-ending negativity towards skateboarding. And of course, let’s touch on the ways to improve safety, prevent skateboarding accidents, and the usual precautions of skateboarding in this skateboarding safety guide.
Is Skateboarding a Dangerous Sport?
According to scientific studies, skateboarding is not any more dangerous compared to other sports. There is a risk of suffering from injuries just like other sports but these may be prevented through the right precautions. Skateboarders whether novice or professional skaters, must wear protective equipment and always keep with the basics. Beginners should learn from a professional to ensure safety.
Skateboarding Safety Tips
Remember the following skateboard safety tips before you step on your board:
Master the basics first
Before you step inside the skate park or get out to ride your board, start mastering the basics first. Begin with the right stance, the best way to balance, and the correct way to land. When you’re ready, you’ll be more confident in tackling the streets or the park.
Always be considerate of fellow skateboarders
When you’re at the park or in an area where lots of skaters are practicing, always be mindful of everyone especially young riders. Check if there are people near you or surrounding you before you begin riding.
Never attempt to perform tricks that you’re not capable of or ready yet
Beginners are often tempted to try tricks even if there are not ready yet. This is dangerous and you may even end up injuring other skaters at the park. So, practice well in a safe and clear location. Practice the move again and again before you go live. It’s best to take lessons from a pro.
Clear the area first before you start a trick
Every skateboarder should practice this to avoid accidents during a trick. The area must be cleared even by bystanders and riders. And if a competition or a showdown is happening, keep your distance and practice elsewhere. Practice in an area with no motor vehicles.
Keep in good physical condition
Stay trim and in good physical health. Remember, the more you put on weight, the heavier you are and the harder you’ll fall. So, exercise, eat a healthy diet and get lots of rest and sleep.
Remove everything inside your pockets
This is another must-do by everyone. Even if you have zippered pockets, the added weight of your wallet, phone, and accessories will only slow you down. Also, these things in your pocket may fall as you perform all kinds of tricks which can cause skateboarding injuries to fellow skaters.
Skate only in designated skateboarding areas
Even experienced skateboarders ride only in supervised skateboard parks, skating bowls, and other skating areas that follow safety standards. Remember a few tips:
- The practice area must be free from motor vehicles. Even a parked motor vehicle will increase your risk of injury.
- It is dangerous skateboarding in the streets. More skateboard fatalities happen in the streets than in skate bowls. Common injuries like a broken nose, neck injuries, facial injuries, wrist fractures, broken wrist, and head injuries are mostly due to risky stunts in the street.
- For a beginner, skateboarding can be dangerous if they are left unsupervised by a coach or a professional. Young children must always be supervised by their parents or caregivers even when learning basic skills.
Inspecting Your Equipment
Your board is the most essential piece of equipment. It’s the only equipment you need to perform your best so take care of it. Remember the following
- Inspect the board for wear and tear. Take note of jagged and sharp edges.
- The trucks should be in the best condition. If the kingpin breaks the trucks will fall from the deck.
- The grip tape must be in the best condition. Make sure to replace this often.
- Always keep an eye on your bearings as any broken component can affect the movement of your wheels.
- Skateboarding requires balance. Always use proper grippy shoes with high-impact soles so you’ll have better control of your board.
Wearing protection is a must when skateboarding. Skateboarding injuries occur in skateboarders who don’t wear safety equipment. Your protective gear is your best protection from severe injuries, falls, scratches, broken bones, blunt trauma, and minor skateboarding injuries to more serious injuries. Make sure to wear safety gear like the following:
Wear a good quality properly fitting helmet or skating helmet with adjustable straps so you can keep it snug and fit over your head. Some helmets are poorly designed so choose one that’s meant for skateboarding. Helmets will prevent serious head injuries so wear proper protective gear always.
Wrist guards are padded gear that will absorb impact when you fall with your hands. Choose good quality, adjustable wrist guards, and never go with cheap ones. Proper protective gear like wrist guards will prevent minor injuries to the wrists and hands.
Knee pads will protect your knees from severe skateboarding injuries. It will absorb shock so wear the best quality knee pads. Some skaters don’t like wearing knee pads as they feel that it’s limiting their movements. However, the last one you want is severe injuries like a broken or dislocated knee or a scraped knee. Proper safety gear includes thick, well-padded knee pads that may seem too cumbersome to wear but will provide protection when you ride skateboards in skateboard parks and in the streets.
Injuries happen when you least expect them. Avoid swollen elbows using elbow pads. This condition is very painful but very preventable. Wear the best quality elbow pads with thick padding and adjustable straps to prevent common skateboarding injuries related to the elbows.
Wear The Right Skateboarding Clothing
There is no specific skateboarding clothing and actually, this may depend on the rider as well. But as much as possible, wear loose clothing but not too loose that will affect your movement. Wear comfortable pants, a shirt, and a jacket if it’s too cold outside. Also, don’t forget your grippy footwear as this will help you stay on your board safely. Never ride a board barefoot as it’s impossible to control the board this way.
Your risk of injury from most common skateboarding injuries diminishes when you wear proper clothing. Skateboard-related clothing is mostly street clothing with no unnecessary decor or accessories. Also, wearing protective gear with the right clothing won’t just reduce serious injury but will keep you balanced and more agile.
Safety Tips for Kids
Children younger than 7 have very fragile, very brittle bones that can easily bend and break. Kids need to wear correct safety gear always.
Kids also have less developed skills and may not be very aware of their surroundings which can further lead to possible skateboarding injuries. Also, kids can be very confident and may not understand the complexity of a trick or a move.
As parents, you can encourage your child to skate but make sure you know how too. Never leave them or leave them in the company of their siblings when training. And as much as possible, train on the soft ground first before letting them ride on concrete.
Make your child wear protective gear like a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads that fit his size. Choose adjustable and durable safety gear to help you avoid skateboard injuries. The right protective gear should be worn even for basic riding training.
Use a quality skateboard deck designed especially for young kids. The right skateboard will also depend on your child’s weight, level of experience, and skating preference, just like adults. Finally, teach your child how to fall safely which can also reduce skateboarding fatalities.
Is skateboarding dangerous? There are risks to skateboarding just like inline skating and any sport. These risks are highly avoidable as long as you follow basic safety rules, wearing protective gear, and be more aware of your surroundings especially in a park or the street.
What do you think about this article? Do you agree or disagree that skateboarding is dangerous? Tell us in the comments section below. Also, like and share this article with anyone who wants to learn skateboarding.