Skateboarding since the first day someone ripped off those scooter handlebars or created the first soapbox skateboard, has come with injuries. Some of those injuries are unavoidable but most of them are with the proper injury prevention. While you’ll see most of these will be before you even touch a skateboard, some of them are proven tactics sourced from lifelong skaters who’ve been dealing with chronic skate injuries.
Learning How to Fall: Learning how to fall is an essential part of learning how to skate. Arguably, skateboarding is just falling over and over again until you land that coveted trick. Often, it is said, you fall more than you land. That being said, learning how to fall comes in the form of knowing how to protect yourself when you hit the floor. This might be flattening your center of gravity so you fall outward instead of downward, sliding instead of slamming. But it also comes in the form or rolling over your shoulder to avoid hitting your wrists and head.
Wear Protective Equipment: The most common and arguably most effective way to prevent skateboarding injuries is to wear elbow pads, wrist guards, knee pads, helmets and clothing resembling safety gear. Also know the proper skateboard type you should be skating if you’re pursuing a certain type of skating. The wrong gear can make all the difference.
Proper Warming Up: Proper warming up for young skaters might be the furthest thing on their mind, but if you see older skaters at the park, you’ll notice stretching and warming up is a necessary regime to reduce the chances of severe injuries. Push around the park, just cruise around and pump your muscles – otherwise known as calisthenics – then stretch for 10 minutes minimum for a proper warm up.
Post Skate Cooldown: A proper post-skate cooldown can be especially essential to avoiding skate injuries for similar reasons to working out. Your body responds positively the more care and attention you show it. While you might be keen to just toss your skateboard into the trunk of your car, doing a proper cool down of stretches, hydration, and testing your range of motion can go a long way in avoiding skate injuries.
Test Your Range of Motion: This is why we stretch, testing your range of motion lets you know if anything is especially tight or if any lingering pain is popping up. This can be your hips, groin, shoulders, ankles, wrists, etc. Practice a good range of motion habits by stretching these areas before and after you skate, checking for any nags or pains. Injuries can happen suddenly and precautions go a long way in preventing them.
Seek a Physiotherapist: One of the most common mistakes older skaters will confess to is their negligence in seeking a physiotherapist. When we’re young we tend to heal from things much quicker, we begin to think we are invincible or that eventually all plaguing injuries will heal themselves. But the older skater knows this to simply not be the case. If an injury is lingering or seemingly not getting better, seeking medical examination is a sure route to peace of mind.
Head Injuries are the Most Serious: We cannot stress enough how a head injury should never be taken lightly. Most of the time, skating just results in scrapes and people might think broken bones are the worst thing a mom can fear. But nothing is more serious than a head injury. If you hit your head, especially if you bleed or feel dizzy, seek medical attention immediately. We’ll just leave it at that.
Learn How To Skateboard at Home: Learning how to skateboard at home is a great way to lessen the chances of you sustaining an injury at a skatepark. The thing is, many parents or new skaters will drop their kid off at the skatepark without much thought into if they are really ready or not. In fact, learning to skate at home gives the skater a great space for mastering the foundations of skateboarding. With a good foundation, anything is possible. Which brings us to our next point.
Skate with a GOSKATE Instructor: Skating with a GOSKATE instructor not only ensures you have someone there watching your back if you fall, but ensures you’ll learn from the best of the best on how to avoid falling in the first place. Skating alone is not the best idea and going to the skatepark can be scary. Having someone with you will boost your confidence and promote you and your loved ones safety.
Avoid Speed Wobbles: Speed wobbles are some of the scariest experiences you can have on a skateboard and almost certainly result in a fall. If you’re experiencing speed wobbles it might mean your trucks are too loose as well. Tighten your trucks and maintain a lower center of gravity to avoid speed wobbles when skating downhill. Also, know your limits!
Skate the Right Size Skateboard: Many new skaters will receive a hand me down skateboard and assume it’s perfectly suitable for their needs. That is rarely the case as each skater has their own weight, height and ability to consider. Check out our free skateboard size calculator to ensure you’re off on the right foot – literally and figuratively.
Proper Skate Gear: While this one can seem like common sense, you would be surprised at the amount of new skaters who are skating the wrong type of skateboard or in the wrong type of shoes. Additionally, some skaters might not know it’s time for a new pair of shoes or a new skateboard deck. If your shoes have holes in them or your board has a ton of chips and cracks in it, you’re increasing your chance of sustaining an injury. While we know skateboards can be expensive, you should still be mindful of the current state of your setup and gear. Your skateboard and skate attire are a reflection of you and your skating. Be as positive as possible in this respect.