Did you know that the world record for the fastest speed ever recorded on a skateboard is 143km/h? Yes, you read that right! And it was set by Canadian Eric Lundberg in May 2016. Since its beginnings in the 1950s, skateboarding has gained immense popularity, especially with younger people. It is an activity in which you ride a small board on four wheels over obstacles and ramps.
In the beginning, it was regarded as a form of recreation, because it looked like something simple to do, but later on, it was considered a sport and now it even has professional leagues. It may seem easy and uncomplicated, but the truth is, it demands a lot of patience and hard work to master.
There are three main types of skateboarding:
- Street skateboarding – requires the traditional board and street obstacles like benches, handrails and stairs;
- Vert skateboarding – this one is all about the skateboarder moving from horizontal to vertical positions doing tricks along the way;
- Longboarding – this is not about performing tricks, it’s all about movement and speed. It also provides bigger stability due to the larger wheels.
If you have ever ridden a skateboard, you know that the chances of falling and hurting yourself are pretty high. This is an inevitable part of the learning process, and honestly, you will fall even if you’re a professional, but by then you would decrease the chances of that happening and have the proper safety equipment to break down the fall.
Let’s see what is the necessary safety gear for beginner skateboarders.
Do all skateboarders need to wear knee pads? Yes! If you wear knee pads skateboarding will be much easier and safer. This is especially important for beginners who are most often young children. When their parents or teachers teach them skateboarding, they also explain the importance of wearing knee pads. They prevent injuries such as scratches, bruises, cuts and even broken bones. It’s a tough sport and injuries are an inevitable part of it, but by wearing knee pads we are lowering the chances of permanent injuries. But aside from kids, professional skateboarders are not an exception either. During their organized skateboarding competitions, in order to win, they perform high-risk tricks and the probability of them getting hurt is high. Considering that your knees take the most impact of your trick-performing and falling, we should be taking good care of them and keeping them safe. However, as always, there are exceptions. Some hard-headed skateboarders don’t wear skateboarding knee pads. Some of them are shy or embarrassed to wear them, thinking that just kids wear knee pads. Some of them don’t have the budget, like kids and teenagers, so they roll without them. But the third and most common reason is that they think they don’t need them anymore and throw them away. Although their experience is undoubted, no one should ever give up their safety equipment just because of it.
Knee pads are usually designed with hard plastic or foam shell and stretchable material that wraps around your leg at the knee joint. The inside of it is a dense cushion similar to foam, that protects your knee from impact.
In order to get the most suitable knee pads for you, you need to measure around your leg directly at the knee joint, and when doing so, make sure the leg is stretched out fully, that way you’ll get the most accurate measurement.
Safety is a big part of this sport, so by wearing knee pads skateboarding will be much safer, you will feel more comfortable and confident in performing and learning new tricks.
This might be the most important safety equipment for skateboarders. As proven many times before, it only takes one fall to make the difference between life and death, and protecting your head is crucial. Head injuries are most common among skateboarders, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a professional, wearing a helmet is a must. Many unpredictable factors can change the outcome of your next ride.
In most cases, the shell of the helmet is made from ABS plastic, kevlar, carbon fibre or fibreglass. The inside can have different paddings. Usually, it starts with a soft layer of foam for protection and beneath that, another layer of foam for comfort for the skateboarder. The adjustable strap and buckle system is a must for all helmets. But even if it seems one size fits all thing with the strap, that’s not the case. You need to measure your head before buying a helmet. To get the right measurement always measure with a soft tape measure. Wrap it around your head on the lowest section of your forehead just before touching the eyebrow. Another method of measurement can be by sizing a hat, or if you don’t have a measuring tape just get a string and repeat the same method, just make a mark on it with a pencil or a marker and transfer the measurement on a ruler.
Sure, not all skateboarders wear helmets, but the answer to the question: “Should skateboarders wear helmets?” is always yes! So go on and choose your own comfortable helmet and enjoy the ride.
The hard surfaces of the “concrete jungle” can give you serious injuries, so choosing the right elbow pads is important. They are designed in a similar way as the knee pads, with a hard shell, stretchable material to wrap around your elbow and soft protection layers on the inside that soften the blow. They are adjustable and flexible for your comfort.
To get the right fit for you, measuring the circumference of your elbow will do the trick. Just wrap the measuring tape around the middle of the arm while you have it outstretched right at the elbow. This is important so that the elbow pads you get don’t limit your movement or be too tight.
Anyone that has ever broken a wrist can witness the great pain and recovery time it takes to heal and work properly. The last thing you want to do is be in a cast for weeks. Being one of the first things that touch the ground when we fall, wrist pads are a necessity. They protect your hand from scratches and bone-breaking, which is one of the most frequent injuries in skateboarding. Make sure you get the right size when buying the wrist guards so you have maximal protection. To get a perfect size, measure around the hand from the knuckle on your index finger, all around the 4 knuckles without including your thumb.
Having the right accessories can make your skateboarding experience even better. We have a list of suggestions for some must-have accessories that will make skateboarding unforgettable.
This is a small tool that will be of great help at any time. You can carry it with you anywhere you go. It’s basically a tool that will fit all of the screws and bolts on your skateboard. With it, you can tighten trucks and even swap the wheels.
Grip tape is important for skateboarders. It enables the necessary traction to keep the feet on the board while riding and doing tricks. Even if the board comes with grip tape, there would be a point in time that you’ll need to change it and re-apply. But no worries, this is an easy process.
Wax is used to improve the smoothness of the slide between the skateboard and the surface it’s on. We all want a smooth ride and avoid stickiness. But be sure not to add too much at once because that can cause injuries. Do it little at a time and achieve the perfect sliding of your board.
This is an important accessory that can even be considered protective gear. The reason for this is because it makes you visible in the night traffic and that way protects you from accidents. This is an inexpensive accessory that can be easily installed at the bottom of the board or on the top depending on your preference.
To Sum Up
Skateboarding has always been a unique and powerful culture that has gained millions of people through the years. For some, it’s just a hobby or a way to express themselves, while for others it’s a primary source of income. Either way, skateboarding is an exciting activity that changes people’s lives by the day. It requires a lot of stability and practice, but if you want to skateboard the right way always use high-end equipment and protection accessories.