By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Safety is very important when it comes to the practice of any extreme sport, over the years, the industry developed gear designed help you prevent major injuries that could be caused by falling from high or going at too much speed, but keep in mind that these are not the only factors that could compromise your integrity while skateboarding.
In SHIT® we care about your improvement and enjoyment, so let’s check out the top 5 tips you should keep in mind for the safe practice of skateboarding!
1. Safety Gear
- Elbow and knee pads
- Appropriate shoes
This one is pretty obvious, right? But these things could really protect you from a bad fall or a limb twist! A lot of skaters tend to fully disregard safety equipment such as pads and helmets because they consider it looks “funny” or “dorky” and its mainly used by kids who are just beginning to skate, but this is way far from the truth and you will see most of the pros (especially in the vert discipline) sporting a helmet to protect probably one of the most important parts of the body, you wouldn’t believe the difference a helmet can make to one of those nasty bits when you hit your head against the concrete while skateboarding, being this one one of the most common and dangerous skateboarding related injuries.
2. Learn How To Fall
This is also a very basic skateboarding skill you will learn with time, but it would be great to have it in the bag right from the start! You WILL fall and you WILL get hurt sometimes but the risk of getting actually hurt (breaking some SHIT®) is decreased greatly if you learn how to fall correctly! Believe it or not, there are thousands of videos online that could teach you this essential skateboarding skill, but here are a few things to keep in mind while you get to those.
Try not to fall directly forward or backward! if possible, always try to fall to your side.
Tuck your chin in to protect your head.
Don't fall onto outstretched hands. You'll probably break your wrists.
Bend your knees and try not to fight the fall.
Don't ever fall onto your knees since you can easily bust your kneecaps. Try thigh, buttocks, and shoulder landing instead.
3. Don’t Bite More Than You Can Chew
Do not attempt something you are not confident with! We are not saying not to try stuff because skateboarding is pretty much of gut instinct, but keep in mind your learning curve and your current skills, usually, when you keep thinking about attempting something new you are already confident enough to try it and make it! But a pretty good example would be to not go and attempt to jump a 5 (stairs) when you still have trouble jumping down the 2! or taking on a huge handrail when you still have issues grinding that small ledge in the skatepark, its common sense! Don’t try to show off and end up with a busted ankle or some SHIT®!
4. Check Your Surroundings
We are pretty sure you have seen videos of dudes going downhill or attempting a trick that goes to the street and almost getting hit by a car once they hit the pavement, well, those are some that ALMOST got hit but there are skaters out there who DID get hit. This is something you definitely don’t want to experience, make sure to always have a general view of your surroundings, even if you are just riding down the street! if you are not paying attention you could hit yourself or even other others!
Check your surroundings for dangerous obstacles, cracks on the floor, twigs, rocks, people, kids, or anything that could get in your way of landing that perfect trick! If you listen to music while skating for transportation, try to keep it at a decent volume since you ming not hear the BEEP BEEEEEEEP! Coming your way which could end up in some nasty SHIT®!
5. Maintain Your Set Up!
Your skateboard is like your arm or legs once you have been skating for a while, but it is important to keep in mind that it is also a vehicle and it needs maintenance, we get that you cant be all of the time buying the SHIT® that needs to be replaced but if you go around skating with busted bearings, pivots or a deck that could break at any second, you can also end up busting yourself up! So here are a few tips to keep in mind in this particular area.
- Store your board in a dry place.
- Avoid skating wet spots and rains.
- Maintain your bearings.
- Sand down chips and splinters from the deck.
- Clip grip tape that peels off.
- Replace parts when needed.
- Don't throw your deck around, show it some love!
PRO TIP: Don’t go buying the cheapest stuff you find online! Cheap gear is most likely to have manufacturing flaws and end up in you getting a serious injury!
Support your local skate shop and get all of the info and goods you need from the pros and check out the full catalog of the best quality SHIT® we have for you!
There you have it my dudes and dudettes if you follow these simple tips you will be way less likely to have a serious injury while skateboarding, but once again, keep in mind that as an extreme sport you WILL get hurt sometimes and that’s something that you also need to learn to embrace and love.
Read also: Skateboarding 101: Tips to Increase Your Pop
Read also: Top 10 Tips for Skateboarders