Thursday , July 18 2024

Skateboard Safety 101: Must-Have Protection Gear to Keep You Riding Strong

With the popularity of skateboarding on the rise, we see more curious youngsters trying their hand at this exhilarating activity alongside experienced skateboarders. Part of the appeal of this recreational activity, or as some like to view it, a legitimate sport, is that it’s an exciting way to get active without feeling like you are exercising. You don’t have to be particularly athletic, tall, or fit to do it. You don’t even have to be a certain age to start – you are never too young or old to find a new way to have fun.

But you do have to know what gear you need to stay protected on the ramps or in the skateparks. It takes a lot of trial and error to learn new tricks, rotations and flips, so injuries and minor mishaps will happen, but if you want to keep that at small scrapes and avoid serious accidents, you need good skate protective gear. Go through this list before you buy skateboard gear that will keep you safe, and find out more about the equipment that will keep you in one piece.

Skate Helmets

Helmets, or to use the slang of skaters ‘Brain Buckets’, do exactly that, protect your brain. Falls will happen whether you are a novice or a seasoned skateboarder, so when you wipe off that board, you want something between your head and the concrete. The helmet will absorb the shock of the fall, protect you from potentially serious brain injuries and save your life.

skate helmet

Source: boardsportsource.com

It’s a non-negotiable piece of equipment, sometimes the only thing that stands between life and death. And with modern designs, you don’t have to sacrifice your style for safety, so don’t worry about looking like a poser. You will actually look cool and smart because you are taking safety seriously and willing to give your best while skating.

Find a helmet that fits snugly, it shouldn’t move when you shake your head. Installable pads can help in this case, but make sure it doesn’t block your vision. The side straps should be fastened tightly under your chin.

This doesn’t mean they should dig into your chin, but if you can fit more than two fingers underneath, then it’s not tight enough. Models that feature ear cutouts and ventilation holes at the top, front, and back keep your head cool and minimise sweating, not bad on boiling temperatures, right?

Wrist Guards

The next thing you should think about when you are off to buy skateboard gear is wrist guards. A pair of wrist guards will limit the motion of your hands and prevent overbending. They support the wrists and absorb the force of the impact, thus reducing the chance of sustaining fractures during a fall.

Skaters like the ones they can get on and off easily and swiftly, and if they are lightweight and airy, even better. Most of them have adjustable straps and are designed for comfort and protection.

Elbow Pads

As with the wrist guards, the point of the elbow pads is to cushion the impact. Maybe you should try different sizes before you find ones that fit perfectly. The pads should stay in place, yet be flexible enough to allow movement.

elbow pads

Source: boardandwheels.com

You can wear them beneath or on top of your clothing or sports gear. The fabric should be breathable and absorb moisture as well as machine washable so you can feel free to throw them in the washer after a sweaty day.

Knee Pads

Do you want to try the ‘airwalk’ or ‘Casper flip’? Then you better put on your knee pads! This piece of skateboard safety gear will reduce the impact felt by your knees and protect your kneecaps during a bad landing or strike. The knees usually take the most cuts and bruises, but you don’t want a busted knee that will stop you from enjoying the sport and turn you into a spectator instead of a participant.

Skaters are a tough bunch, but sliding on rough surfaces can cause a lot of damage and scrape off your skin, so why not show off your skills instead of your scars? On top of the protection, the knee pads also give you support and prevent overextending of your knees. And since you won’t fear hurting yourself, you will have more confidence to show your friends the legendary ‘pop shove-it’ you just learned.

Skating Shoes

Another piece of skateboard gear you shouldn’t neglect is proper footwear. While you surely want to stick to your style, you should also bear in mind that the right shoes can prevent you from slipping off the board. Kind of important, agree?

skate shoes

Source: converse.com.au

That said, you need a pair with slip-resistant rubber soles with closed toes, preferably with padded tongues and thick midsoles. These shoes will not only soften the shock travelling up your feet, but they will also protect and support your ankles. They are specially designed for the rigour of skateboarding and will keep your feet planted on the board. The stylish look is popular even among non-skaters, so they will, no doubt, fit with the rest of your attire.

A Final Word Before You Get on the Board

Now that you’ve mastered the safety aspect of skateboarding, you can start working on your skills. With practice and repetition, and the generous support of the skate community you will be cruising the streets and pulling off tricks in no time. Old-timers and die-hard skaters are sharing tips and encouraging youngsters, keeping the skating culture very much alive.

If you are just starting and have lots of questions, observe the kids in the skatepark, you can learn a lot from watching closely. They are a friendly bunch, so they will gladly lend a hand and bring you into their world. Don’t be shy, just ask the ‘thrashers’.