Skateboarding has been a popular, thrilling sport for decades, and its popularity is only growing. But like any other recreational activity, it doesn’t come without its fair share of potential injuries. Choosing the right helmet and protective gear is critical for reducing these instances.
Choosing the right helmet and protective gear for skateboarding is critical for safety. Always find a certified helmet that fits correctly on your head. Wear proper-fitting wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads. Finish your style with fitted and lightweight clothing, a good pair of skate shoes, and no jewelry or accessories that could get in the way.
Are you thinking about picking up skateboarding? You won’t want to head out onto the ramps without the proper protective gear. Below, you will find the essential equipment required for safe skateboarding ventures, as well as helpful tips for staying safe on your skateboard.
First Things First: Choosing the Right Helmet
Hand, wrist, shoulder, and ankle injuries are relatively common in skateboarding. However, the injury with the most significant risk is head injuries. The easiest way to fend off head injuries, such as concussions and trauma, is to wear a helmet.
When choosing a skateboarding helmet, there are a few key things to consider:
The first thing to look for is a safety certification. These certifications prove that the helmet has been tested and meets (or exceeds) safety standards set forth by specific organizations, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell Memorial Foundation.
Once you’ve found a skateboarding helmet that’s safety certified, it’s time to think about the fit. An ill-fitting helmet won’t serve any purpose when an incident occurs. That said, you need to find a helmet that:
- Fits just right on your head – it won’t be too tight or loose
- Sits flat on your head with the bottom parallel to the ground
- Covers your forehead
- Has side straps form a “V” around your ears
- Includes a buckle that fastens securely around your head (should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the buckle and your chin)
- Won’t move when you shake your head
- Does not interfere with your movements, vision, or hearing
It is imperative to replace your helmet in the event it is damaged or outgrown. Otherwise, it’s recommended that you replace your skateboarding helmet every five years (or sooner if recommended by the manufacturer).
Wearing a damaged helmet or one that’s too small for your head can be detrimental in the event of a skateboarding accident.
Other Essential Protective Gear for Skateboarding
Needless to say, the helmet is the most crucial part of protective gear for skateboarding. It’s not the sole piece of equipment that should be worn, though.
Here are three other essential pieces of protective gear recommended for skateboarding:
Wrist injuries are, well, pretty common in skateboarding. That’s because they take the brunt of the impact when falls occur. This can lead to many injuries, including sprains, fractures, and breaks.
That doesn’t mean your wrists are destined for injury, though. All you need to do is wear proper-fitting wrist guards.
Wrist guards are designed with a rigid outer layer and padded interior to absorb the impact, ensuring your wrists stay intact – even during the worst falls.
Always adjust the straps before beginning your skateboarding journey. The wrist guards should fit snug and won’t wiggle when you move your arms or hands.
Knee and Elbow Pads
The knees and elbows are very vulnerable joints while skateboarding. You can combat potential injuries, like cuts and burns, by wearing knee and elbow pads.
Like wrist guards, knee and elbow pads are designed with a hard outer layer and padded interior. They’re designed with adjustable straps to create a secure fit around these at-risk joints, ensuring you won’t get injured.
When wearing knee and elbow pads, ensure that the pads fit snugly and cover the entire joint. The bottom of the pad should rest right above the knee or elbow.
Finally, don’t forget to wear a good pair of shoes for skateboarding.
The best type of shoe to invest in is skate shoes. As the name implies, these shoes are designed to keep you safe and comfortable while skateboarding.
There are a few different types of skate shoes to choose from:
- High-tops: These skate shoes are designed with a collar extending above the ankle, offering superior support and protection. They’re best for those who want precise control over their skateboard rather than speed and agility.
- Low-tops: As the name suggests, low tops have a collar below the ankle. While this doesn’t provide as much protection, it allows skaters a more excellent range of motion that’s ideal for speed and flexibility.
- Mid-tops: These are the “in-between” skate shoes, offering a good amount of ankle support while still being lightweight and mobile.
- Slip-ons: Finally, there are slip-on skater shoes. These are undeniably the most convenient and comfortable. Yet, they offer little protection due to the lack of ankle support and laces.
Consider Clothing, Too
When you think of skateboarding safety, clothing may not be the first thing to come to mind. But it’s just as crucial as wearing proper-fitting helmets, guards, pads, and shoes.
Here are a few key things to remember:
- Wear clothes that fit correctly. Ill-fitting and loose clothing can cause accidents by getting caught on things or impairing vision. It can also restrict movement, hindering your ability to perform tricks.
- Wear comfortable clothes, too. Clothes that cause discomfort can impede your skateboarding abilities.
- Consider wearing breathable and lightweight garments. This will allow you to be more comfortable and not worry about overheating while skateboarding.
- Avoid wearing certain jewelry and accessories. While a pair of stud earrings is perfectly fine, bracelets, long necklaces, and other items that can get in the way should be avoided.
Staying Safe While Skateboarding With Helmets and Protective Gear
The best way to avoid skateboarding injuries is to wear protective gear. It begins with a proper-fitting helmet that’s safety certified and a good pair of wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. It’s also vital to wear skate shoes and proper-fitting clothing without any jewelry or accessories that could get in the way.