Before you head out to the skatepark (or that perfectly empty swimming pool in your neighborhood) you need to make sure you’ve covered all your bases when it comes to safety. You might feel like a “dork” wearing a helmet and tons of other safety gear, but you’ll feel even worse if you get into a skateboarding accident, even a minor one, without any type of safety equipment on. With that said, let’s go over some of the most important gear, as well as some optional equipment.
Helmet - This is the most import piece of skateboarding safety gear you could ever wear. If you hit your head without a helmet on, you risk getting a concussion, causing permanent brain damage, and even death. Why risk your life by not wearing a helmet? Even professional skateboarders who have years, or even decades of experience riding, always wear a helmet.
Elbow and Knee Pads – What’s wrong with a couple of bruised knees and elbows right? You might even consider such injuries as “battle scars”. Unfortunately, although it may only seem like a minor bruise on the surface, you might be doing permanent damage to your joints. Falling on your knees without knee pads can cause joint inflammation, and breakage. Injuries to the elbow can include dislocation and fractures.
Wrist Guards – You might not think wrist guards are an essential piece of safety equipment, but wrist fractures happen to be very common skateboarding injuries. Imagine not being able to do simple things like write, or hold a fork, all because you didn’t want to wear wrist guards.
Proper Shoes – Flip flops, dress shoes, slippers and shoes with open toes or open backs are not the best choices for skateboarding. You’ll need to wear good quality tennis shoes, or even skate shoes from companies like Vans, DC Shoes, Etnies, etc. Make sure you keep the laces tied tight and keep the loops from hanging too far over your shoe so that you don’t trip.
Optional skateboarding safety gear can include an athletic cup for guys, and “turtle shell” style bra cups for women. For any guy who plans on executing tricks that include grinding rails, (or any hard surface that can easily be fallen on in a straddled position) I recommend you wear a cup for obvious reasons. If you are a woman who likes to hit the skatepark with your buddies, you might consider wearing bra cups to protect yourself from doing any damage if you fall forward too hard.
In addition to wearing safety gear, remember to stay safe by:
Skating in areas designated for skating like a local skatepark.
Wearing reflective or bright clothing when skating in the dark.
Keeping away from traffic.
Not skating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Skateboarding is a fun sport that most anyone can enjoy with time and effort, but please remember to keep your safety in mind when riding. People who choose to wear skateboarding safety gear will be the ones who can enjoy skateboarding for years to come – injury free.