If you have ever enjoyed skateboarding, you will agree that it is one of the most amazing games. It’s a fun-filled sport that not only allows you to get around but also gives you a chance to exercise your body to stay physically fit.
However, a lot of questions have emerged concerning the safety of skateboarding. Some people think skateboarding dangerous whereas other thinks not. Is skateboarding dangerous really? We shall see some of the common injuries that you may experience, and how you can stay safe while enjoying this lovely game.
Is skateboarding dangerous or not?
Often, people read a viral incidence of a kid who has sustained a serious injury due to skateboarding. Even though that particular child has gone through an unfortunate experience, we should not persecute the whole skateboarding community and sport.
Skateboarding is just like cycling, playing football, and many other sports that parents want their children to enjoy. However, the game often gets more negative attention than most of the other sports.
I do agree that skateboarding has some elements which may pose dangers, but again, as they say, you get stupid rewards if you engage in stupid games. If your skills are not enough to allow you to try certain moves and tricks, it’s advisable to take things slow.
Attempting skateboarding tricks beyond your ability is the most common cause of injuries. These performances not only put yourself and the people around you in great danger but also give this noble game a bad name.
Do you still insist on trying out those risky tricks? Then you should confine your sport’s activities within the skate park.
Such parks will usually have people monitoring your game moves and are always ready to offer you help when you need it. Additionally, you will not be the only skateboarder around.
Common Skateboarding Injuries
Like anything else, skateboarding can be dangerous if you fail to be careful with the game. Improper skateboarding can cause a variety of injuries ranging from minor to severe ones. Some of these injuries are:
- Fractured jaw, broken nose, and other face injuries
- Injuries to the head such as concussion
- Fractures, strains, and sprains to the trunk, neck, arms, legs, and other body parts
Fractures, sprains, and contusions contribute up to 74% of injuries related to skateboarding, while head injuries stand at 20%. Skull fracture, blunt trauma, and other serious head injuries account for up to 3.1% of the total injuries. Some people have also reported concussions. However, it is important to note that most of these injuries would have been preventable if the skateboarders wore the right headgear.
Skateboarders who have robust experience know how to avoid most of these situations, unlike those who are still inexperienced in the game. According to statistics, a third of the injuries happen among people who have less than one week of experience in the game.
More injuries and death statistics related to skateboarding
In 2018, 1/3 of injuries related to skating were children in the age group of 4-14 years, while a half were skaters between 14-24 years.
The same year saw 125,145 emergency room incidents that were linked to skateboarding injuries.
Although people have indeed witnessed fatalities and death incidences in this game, the injuries are more reasonable than in some other games. The leading cause of these fatalities is collisions with vehicles, followed by hill bombs. From statistics, sports such as hiking, football, women’s soccer, horseback riding, and basketball are more dangerous than skateboarding.
However, skaters are likely to sustain more severe and frequent injuries than people who enjoy inline skating, rollerblading, and some other sports.
Dangerous places of skateboarding
You should always consider the surrounding before engaging in this fun game, as any mistake may cost your life. I suggest that you avoid riding in the following places:
- A busy street
- Icy roads and places
- Grounds covered with leaves and twigs
- Surfaces with glass, rocks, sand, and other foreign materials
- Wet places
- Parking lots
- Sidewalks and places with crowds
Most people overlook poor weather conditions, yet it is among the leading causes of injuries and fatalities. I do not recommend you to play during autumn and winter since these seasons come with ice, snow, and rain, depending on the climatic region. Such wet conditions make the ground slippery, and the fall may be fatal due to lack of grip.
Riding in busy streets and parking lots is a major cause of fatalities and death amongst skaters, due to collisions with motor vehicles. Some mischievous skaters go ahead and snitch a ride by gripping onto the rear or side of a moving vehicle while skateboarding. You can imagine what might happen if the vehicle stops or swerves suddenly- the person cannot accommodate the huge impact.
It is also not recommendable to ride on surfaces that have things like leaves, twigs, sands, and foreign materials. Leaves and twigs can be slippery, leading to a hard fall. Sand and twigs can get into the bearings of your skateboard, leading to wear and tear that can eventually cause accidents. Foreign materials may also lead to deep cuts and a dead stop.
You should avoid riding on sidewalks and places with crowds, especially if you are still new in the game. You might hit the other users taking a walk, standing, or relaxing because people can suddenly make movements that may miss your attention. Furthermore, it may make some people angry, and it may not end well with you.
Skateboarding safety tips
It is very important to grasp the basics of the game before attempting any risky skill or move. I suggest that you ask yourself, is skateboarding safe during this time and place?
- Ensure your pockets don’t have anything like keys, and coins.
- Remove the charging cable of an electric skateboard when it is fully charged
- Don’t put on earphones or headphones while skateboarding
- Always consider young or inexperienced skaters and other people around you.
- Never attempt a move or a trick that is beyond your level of experience. Avoid pressure from friends who ask you to try more challenging stuff.
- Always ensure it is your turn to go for a trick. Blind moves are among the major causes of collisions.
- Cut down your weight and stay physically fit. Heavy people are more likely to suffer severely from a fall than those who are light.
Depending on your skills, you should wear protective equipment. Kids should always put on full protection, as they are more vulnerable and fail to pay enough attention to their environment. The following is a list of items that you should put on:
- Helmet- protect your head with a helmet specifically designed for skateboarding, as one hit can end your life. Use your brain; don’t expose it to dangers.
- Knee pads- they act as shock absorbers and help you develop techniques that will lower the impact of your fall. When you fall, try to slide on your knees to reduce injuries.
- Wrist guards- they will keep you from bruising, scratching, or breaking your wrist.
- Elbow pads- fracturing your elbow can be a nasty experience that may haunt you for life. That is why elbow pads are crucial.
- Proper clothing- avoid skinny jeans that can make movements difficult and uncomfortable. Put on sturdy pants, herringbone, or thick cotton-like canvas that give protection in case you bail.
- Proper shoes- your shoes should have thick soles that cushion impacts without sacrificing your control.
- Skateboarding socks– put on proper socks that are dry and have breathing pores to prevent your feet from bad smells and blisters. We also recommend those socks that have additional support for your heel and toes.
Wearing faulty protective gear is as good as not wearing protection at all. Therefore, always carry out a thorough check before you embark on your skateboarding adventure.
- Thoroughly ensure your equipment is okay before going for a ride.
- Make sure your board doesn’t have jagged and sharp edges caused by wear and tear.
- Your grip should always be in good condition. Slippery grips can cause nasty injuries
- Keep your bearings in good condition, and replace the broken ones, as they can lead to a blockage in wheels.
- Check your trucks. Broken kingpins cause trucks to fall off.
- Check to ensure the wheels are fitted firmly to your trucks.
- Your shoes’ soles should be firm enough to accommodate an impact. At the same time, the soles should be flexible enough to allow you to control the board.
- Try to choose a reputable brand skateboard
I can’t stress enough the importance of getting the basics of the game before venturing into new tricks. You should know how to ride your skateboards by learning how to balance your weight and speed.
You may want to begin with smaller boards because they are not very hard to control. After that, you can proceed to skateboards. More tips include:
- Learning from an experienced skater and practicing what you’ve learned
- Resist the temptation of speed and stick to gentle steps
- Learning breaking technique that involves dragging your skateboard on the ground using your foot.
- Do you need a helmet for a skateboard?
Yes, a helmet is very important when skateboarding. When you injure your head during the game, the results can be fatal, ranging from deep facial cuts to concussions to death. Many death fatalities related to skateboarding come about due to severe injuries to the head.
- Can skateboarding kill you?
Like many other sports, skateboarding can kill you if you fail to follow the safety measures before and during the game. It is common to hear cases of death due to severe injuries, especially when the head and brain are involved. Many people lose their lives because they failed to wear proper helmets and other protections.
- What is the most common injury in skateboarding?
According to statistics, almost three-quarters of all injuries involve fractures, sprains, and contusions. Many of these injuries are tend to be very severe.
- How many people get injured skateboarding?
The number of people who get injured varies based on age and experience. A third of the injuries involve children that are between 5-14 years old, and a half are in the age brackets of 14-24 years.
- What to do when you fall off your skateboard?
Falling is common when it comes to skateboarding, but that should not deter you. You can minimize the impact by doing the following tricks:
- Learn to fall carefully and avoid using your hand to catch yourself, as you may break your wrist in case the ground consists of a hard material like concrete. Always train your instincts to avoid throwing out your hands. Wrist guards are important, especially if you are still learning how to fall carefully.
- So how do you fall carefully? When falling, roll to ensure you land on your back or shoulders, Ensure you’ve tucked in your elbows. You may need to practice this skill on soft ground before the actual skateboarding game sessions.
Rolling dispels away the force of the fall, significantly reducing the degree of injuries. Don’t stiffen up your limbs, rather keep them loose to reduce chances of breaking bones.
Always use your kneepads by dropping down on your knees and sliding, for example when skateboarding on building ramps.
Skateboarding is among the most enjoyable sports around the globe. If you fancy the game, it can be very depressing when friends and family members try to talk you out of it due to the risks that come with it. However, you should never mind the naysayers so long as you play your game responsibly.
Even though it is true that skateboarding can cause injuries, it’s just like most sports out there- if you don’t follow the rule of the game, you are likely to cause injuries to yourself and others. Therefore, the key thing to remember is that skateboarding’s dangerous situations are avoidable if you follow all the above safety tips.
I know that you might find it boring and tiresome to follow all these tips. However, you will enjoy your game without injuries, and people will start agreeing with your love for the game