About 25,000 skateboarders go to the hospital for skateboard-related injuries per year. Unfortunately, many of these injuries are very severe, and some have even been fatal. Head injuries and internal bleeding are major causes of death and hospitalization in skateboarders.
Who Is Most Likely to Be Injured?
Maybe an even sadder fact is that children and beginner skateboarders are the ones who are most likely to be injured when skateboarding. Over half of any skateboard-related injuries occur in children under the age of 15, and about one third of injuries occur in the first week of someone’s skateboarding career. Experienced and professional skateboarders also are a risk of injury because, as the difficulty of tricks increases, so does the danger.
Perhaps the saddest fact of all is that the majority of these 25,000 injuries and deaths could have been prevented with skateboarding safety gear. While many skateboarders think all you need to be successful is a board, their first wipeout will prove otherwise. Wood, asphalt, concrete, and all other hard surfaces really hurt when you hit them at high speeds. A simple solution is using skateboarding safety gear!
Basic Skateboarding Safety Gear
Here is a list of must-haves in terms of skateboarding safety gear:
Helmets – Helmets are a must have for every single skateboarder. From children and beginners to experienced professionals, there are no exceptions. Be sure to get a helmet that is designed specifically for skateboarding, as the shape, density, and angles of such helmets are ideal for protecting your head at skateboarding speeds. Also check for strong buckles, tight straps, and thick padding.
- Shoes – Skateboarding is very tough on your ankles and feet, so you need to get shoes that will protect this sensitive part of your body. Get a solid pair made from suede or leather. Also be sure to find a pair with a gum sole that will grip your skateboard.
Pads – While it may not be considered cool to wear pads, it’s also not cool to have a broken elbow or lose all the skin on your knees. Kneepads and elbow pads are great basics, and should be worn by professionals and beginners alike. Each pad needs a plastic shield as well as soft cushioning to protect you without hindering your movement.
- Skateboards – While it may not seem like it, your skateboard is part of your safety gear. You need to get a board with the proper wheels for the type of boarding that you will be doing, and you also need the right size board for you. You also need to check the board for cracks, loose sections, and sharp edges.
- Extras – Hip pads, wrist guards, gloves, and padded shorts and jackets are all extra skateboarding safety gear. While these items may be considered bonus, they can never hurt, but only protect you.