For many people, skateboards have a magnetic allure. There’s something instantly cool about gliding over sidewalks, performing tricks and having a more interesting commute to work or school. Whether you’re an experienced rider, or just considering getting into the sport, it’s important to follow some safety precautions.
Monitor your Equipment
Skateboards serve many purposes, and some include special features that match specific riding styles. Seemingly small things like the size and hardness of the wheels play a role in stability and ease of use across specific surfaces. Once you’ve settled on a board that’s best for you, check it regularly for any loose parts, cracks or worn down wheels.
Your helmet is one of the most important pieces of gear that you’ll use. Even experienced riders can sometimes get into trouble. Rocks or uneven parts of the sidewalk can cause skateboards to become unsteady, and the potential danger increases if you’re learning tricks.
Make sure to buy headgear that’s designed for skateboarders, rather than some other activity. Also, read the instructions carefully and adjust the straps and internal padding so that the helmet fits your head properly. The chinstrap should be snug and the helmet itself should stay in place when you move your head.
Knee and elbow pads are a smart idea, too, especially if you’re still learning. Look for the kind with a hard plastic shield, because these are most able to withstand the types of impacts commonly experienced by riders of skateboards. When you wear them, they should fit snugly without restricting your freedom of movement or interfering with your circulation. Some manufacturers sell this sort of safety gear in bright colors and eye-catching patterns, so you can stay safe, and stylish, too.
Where to Ride Skateboards
The environment where you ride is also important in keeping you safe. If you have a skate park in your area, it may end up becoming a fast favorite. Many facilities have a blend of wide open spaces and places where you can learn new tricks.
Skate parks are a great way to meet people who share your passion for skateboards. Often, you can depend on other riders for tips about your technique, and share your own insight, too.
Whether you choose to ride at a park, down a sidewalk or along a wooded path, remember that communication is essential. Be aware of your surroundings and clearly indicate your intentions to other riders, and pedestrians. Never assume that other people will stay out of your way.