When ESPN first classified skateboarding as an extreme sport, a lot of people (most especially adults) became hesitant about the thought of their children riding skateboards. These days, it’s not only adults that ride on these boards. A kid as young as 6 years old can already ride skateboards or electric skateboards (there are younger kids given hoverboards instead). However, this does not discount the fact that when you ride a skateboard, you are prone to tripping, sliding, and losing balance. All these things can lead to injuries.
There is no denying that skateboarding can be dangerous. It won’t be classified as an extreme sport if it weren’t. However, injuries and accidents happen anytime whether you skateboard or not. So the real question is, is skateboarding that dangerous as people say it is? If so, what are the precautions kids and adults should take?
Is skateboarding that dangerous?
The first thing you should know about any sport is that all of them have the potential to be dangerous. One wrong move can result in an accident or an injury. But the thing about skateboarding is that it’s like riding a motorcycle, you don’t have anything to shield your body when it goes off balance. At the same time, not all surfaces are flat and smooth. So when you plan on using a skateboard for transportation or for going around your neighborhood, you have to be cautious about the surfaces you ride on.
It’s a whole different conversation if you are into tricks on a skateboard. Going up on ramps can be dangerous if you lose your balance going up and you suddenly slide backward. It’s also a lot more dangerous when you try jumping on a skateboard because this is prone to tripping or falling badly.
What can you do to be safer on skateboards?
Although there is no ban on skateboards in the United States, there are ways by which you can lessen the injuries and accidents. Here are simple ways you can do to protect yourself from injury.
1. Wear protective gear.
This is the #1 rule in any sport. For skaters, it would be best to wear a helmet, kneecaps, elbow caps, and pants. Although shorts allow you to move freely, it doesn’t help when you aren’t used to riding on skateboards. At least when you’re still practicing, pants will be a good option.
2. Avoid busy streets and sidewalks.
Riding a skateboard on a busy lane will always be harder than just walking. There are so many people you might bump into and you can never fully ensure you’ll have enough space to move around. If the distance is short, it would be a lot safer if you walk instead.
3. Practice how to fall.
It may sound silly but knowing the proper way to fall will help lessen the impact of the injury. At the same time, this will prevent falling on the wrong foot, wrong wrist, or wrong side. You can practice falling by slowly riding the skateboard and when you feel off balance, slowly put yourself in a crouching position so that it lessens the impact of the fall.
In the end, you can never do away with danger when it comes to skateboards. However, being fully protected and adjusting your speed will help lessen the blow of a bad fall.