Skateboarding is a lot of fun and a great way to catch some exercise. But how much risk is loaded up in that much fun? Is skateboarding dangerous? If yes, then how dangerous?
I have seen a lot of people who are fascinated by skateboarding but one thing or the other holds them back from wanting to learn. The predominant reason being the fear of endangering themselves. It is quite easy to fall in love with seeing pro skateboarders performing awesome tricks and wishing you could do the same. But you can’t just help imagining a hundred and one ways you could hurt yourself trying to do what they do. That is totally understandable and reasonable, in fact.
The truth is, like every other sport out there, without taking the proper precautions, danger is inevitable when skateboarding. But with the right attitude, equipment, and knowledge of safety, you can lower the risk level of any activity.
But while you consider the dangers involved in skateboarding, it also helps to balance it out by learning what the advantages are so you can weigh both and make an informed decision.
So, let’s get on with learning the risks involved in skateboarding and how you can actively stay safe.
Is Skateboarding Dangerous?
Skateboarding like every other sport has its risks. You can sustain minor injuries and well as major and severe ones. Some of them are:
- Fractures, sprains, and strains to various parts of the body, like the legs, ankles, necks, arms, and trunk
- Damages to the face, such as a fractured jaw or a broken nose and other brutal injuries.
Over the years, statistics have shown that skateboarding injuries like sprains, contusion, and fractures occur 74% of the time and the majority of skateboarding injuries are to the limbs, arms, and legs, while the head gets 20% of the injuries. About 3.1% of the injuries are major head wounds and a few of them result in a concussion. But a lot of these can be avoided if the rider is equipped with the right headgear.
Also, it is majorly advised that beginners always skate while fully equipped with safety gear. This is because those who are inexperienced are prone to sustaining injuries than professionals or average riders. Skateboarders who have some experience in riding are skilled in avoiding dangerous situations and have a better chance of managing themselves if an accident is imminent.
Moments When Skateboarding Is Most Risky.
If you know how to play it safe, you can skateboard all you want without sustaining any injuries or reduce the risk of getting injured. But there are situations where skateboarding is most dangerous. These are some of them:
- Riding without donning protective gears
- Riding too fast
- Skateboarding on wet or rough surfaces
- Skateboarding in traffic or near it
- Making use of homemade ramps
- Attempting risky tricks and stunts without proper basic skill set.
Skateboarding Safety Tips
Like everything else, skateboarding is in stages. There are basic things you must learn before progressing to the really technical stuff. While it is easy to get carried away in watching professionals do awesome tricks and wanting to try them out yourself, you must first start at the basics. Becoming a pro takes time.
- Understand that progress comes with consistency and there are you might not be equipped to try. So don’t allow internal or external pressures to make you try stuff you are not ready to try.
- Do not wear headsets or headphones. You might be getting a warning and will fail to hear it.
- Keep fit as best as you can. The more you weigh, the harder your fall.
- If you don’t care so much for yourself, be mindful of other skateboarders. Especially the younger skaters.
Prevent Injury By Wearing Protective Gear.
There are a lot of accidents and injuries that can be prevented when a skateboarder uses safety gear and proper equipment. It is on occasions where riders ignore using safety gear that skateboarding is dangerous. Depending on how good you are at skateboarding you can take the necessary precautions by buying and wearing a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and wrist guards.
For kids, protective gear is non-negotiable. Kids are prone to injuries because they often have underdeveloped or less active motor coordination. They are very vulnerable and are not always conscious of their environment or surroundings. Also, make sure you inspect your riding equipment before going out to ride.
- Examine your board for jagged or sharp edges.
- Be sure your trucks are in top condition.
- Your grip should be replaced if it becomes slippery, hence you need to keep it in good condition.
- Check your bearings to make sure they are not broken.
- Be sure your wheels are attached to your trucks properly.
- Make sure to wear approved shoes for skateboarding.
Wearing protective gear is not the most comfortable thing but it is necessary, especially if you’re a beginner or just about to learn some tricky skills. But in due time, you’ll get used to wearing them and they will feel natural. Remember, your safety matters and it is your responsibility to keep yourself safe.
Head injuries are among the worst you could get whether in skateboarding or any other sport. You could become severely traumatized due to head injuries, hence, a helmet is probably the most important safety gear you could put on.
Get yourself a helmet and take absolute care of it. If it gets broken or cracked, get a new one.
Elbow injuries are super painful, trust me. And you don’t have to experience that pain if you could just use an elbow pad. An elbow injury can cause you pain for years and years so it is best to avoid it altogether.
There are tips on how to fall down safely while skateboarding. But you might not be able to pull that off all the time. A good way to avoid getting injuries on your wrists is to protect them with wrist guards. Your wrist could get broken, scratched up and seriously bruised if you land a nasty fall. Do yourself a favour, get one for yourself and use it.
Using knee pads might be uncomfortable especially for a street skater but it is important you use one. Knee scrapes aren’t funny business.
Knee pads are known to reduce or limit movement while skateboarding which is a major reason most skateboarders don’t use them. But instead of discarding them totally, you can choose to get the softer ones you can place inside your pants. No matter how uncomfortable, I say you can always get used to anything if you use them often.
So, learn to take precautions. Keep your discomfort aside and learn to use a knee pad. They are pretty good to use when learning how to fall safely since one of those ways is by sliding on your knees.
Getting skateboarders to utilize safety is a major task. Some wear helmets because they look ‘cool’ wearing one. While that’s not a problem, it is better they know the reason why they must stay safe instead of choosing to wear gears for aesthetic purposes.
Always Wear Proper Clothing
While you can work with any shirt or no shirt at all, please avoid skating with skinny jeans. They are uncomfortable and they restrict movement. Wear pants that let you move easily and will offer some kind of cushion when and if you fall.
It is easy to bruise your heel if you wear shoes with thin soles. Shoes with higher and softer soles can easily absorb impact when you land tricks, so they are generally recommended.
Wearing the wrong shoes can limit your sense of control, numb your toes, and cause you some pretty bad heel injuries, which sucks. So before you go shoe shopping, find the ones that can offer you some ankle protection.
You can use socks to prevent blisters on your feet. Blisters might not seem like a big deal to you, but trust me, they hurt. Using breathable socks is advised because they cause no inconveniences, unlike cotton socks.
Use The Right Skateboard
Getting and using the right skateboard does a lot to keep you safe. Skateboards are not exactly cheap and getting one at the cheapest price you can find might not be a very good idea. Quality matters a lot when it comes to skateboards, and you get exactly what you pay for.
There are skateboards designed specifically for different riding techniques and different skill levels. So figure out what exactly you want to get out of skateboarding and buy the skateboard that best fits it and is of good quality.
Weather conditions present increased risks when skateboarding. When street skating, there are weathers that are really dangerous to ride in. It is generally advised to avoid skating during Winter and autumn because of the ice, snow, and rain depending on where you stay. So at times like that, it is better to skate in parks.
Skating in the rain makes surfaces very slippery and icy ground is very dangerous too. Fallen leaves and sticks are also another cause of danger for skateboarders because they can induce nasty falls. So, generally speaking, in weather conditions like this, it is better to avoid skating outdoors altogether especially if you are a beginner.
Skateboarding Is Not Dangerous.
If we begin with the premise that skateboarding is dangerous, then we can say the same for almost every sport out there. If you follow every safety rule and guideline, skateboarding isn’t dangerous.
If you think about it and if you follow researches, you will find out that people visit the doctors for domestic injuries a lot more than skateboarders do for skating injuries. I’m not saying that injuries don’t occur frequently in skateboarding, they just are not always serious injuries that could send people off to emergency rooms.
Just try as best as you can to use quality equipment and safety gear and also stay in shape. Try also to buy good and quality skateboards commensurate with your skillset. Follow these simple rules and you’ll be fine.