Although skateboarding is a very popular sport which is surrounded by a unique, positive culture, it does attract some negative attention because some people believe it carries an inherent risk. But, is skateboarding dangerous in reality?
Perhaps it’s because skateboarding is often described as an “extreme sport”, words which would strike fear into the hearts of many parents! But, it really isn’t that dangerous… in fact, it’s just as dangerous as riding a bike!
If you’ve got parents or even friends who are getting on at you for skateboarding and speak of all the supposed dangers, we feel your pain! It may be a good idea to try and educate them on the subject… you just may sway their opinion.
The Dangers of Skateboarding
Any sport comes with its risks; there are risks and dangers in all aspects of life. If you’re a road cyclist, it’s obvious that there is a risk of being involved in a collision. If you like to ski, there is a risk of losing control and tumbling down the piste.
With skateboarding, the obvious risks are injuries such as fractures, head trauma or broken bones. Plus, some skateboarding tricks are quite risky and performing them can cause falls and collisions.
Taking up skateboarding is a very steep learning curve; it requires a great deal of balance and agility which only comes over time and often with many cuts and bruises. It is worth well worth it, though, and there are many safety precautions you can take.
Safety and Skateboarding
You should always wear proper safety gear, no matter what your age, level of experience or the type of board you have.
A good helmet is always a good start which sits flat on the head and fits comfortably, with straps which form a ‘V’ around each of your ears. The helmet should fasten tightly and not move.
In addition to a good helmet which is probably your most important piece of safety gear, knee, wrist and elbow pads can prevent injuries such as fractures and shattered bones when you inevitably do go crashing to the ground!
Even with all the safety equipment in the world attached to your body, you should never underestimate the importance of being aware of your surroundings and environment, applying a bit of common sense to your skateboarding routine.
If you like to tear up public parks and pavements, then that’s cool – skateboarding is a great mode of transportation – just be aware of other people sharing the pavement with you.
Pay attention to cyclists, pedestrians – especially children and the elderly – other skaters and especially vehicles. Exercise caution when you skate around as people can make movements which you might not anticipate.
If there is a cycle path you can use, use it! Skateboarders often think they can’t use them, but you can, and it massively reduces the risks associated with cycling on public pavements.
Is Skateboarding Actually Dangerous?
Aside from the obvious points mentioned above, is the act of skateboarding itself actually dangerous if performed properly? This is a question which divides people but, personally, I don’t think it is.
Skateboarding was launched into popular culture in the 1990s when it was featured on American television as an “extreme sport” which was referred to as “skating without water” by some commentators.
At the turn of the century, skateboarding really took off as it began being featured by companies in advertisements and, now, it is a very popular sport amongst young people which even has its own annual ‘Go Skateboarding Day’.
All too often, we read a viral story about how somebody’s child has suffered a serious injury as a result of skateboarding. Although it’s terrible for that particular kid, the whole sport and community itself shouldn’t be persecuted for it.
Skateboarding is a sport just like any other, and it is no more dangerous than sports which many parents push their kids to try out – such as cycling or football – but, for some reason, skateboarding more negative attention than those sports combined.
In a world which is now dominated by video games, social media, and smartphones, we should be encouraging kids trying out sports such as skateboarding, not discouraging it. Not everybody understands this; I sympathize with you.
Some elements of skateboarding do carry a danger though, and we recognize that. They say if you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes. You should never attempt tricks or moves which are beyond your skill level or physical ability.
Unfortunately, this is one of the major causes of skateboarding-related injuries. By performing tricks you’re not capable of, you put yourself and others around you at risk, as well as harming the overall reputation of skateboarding.
Now, I’m not saying you should avoid performing tricks – how else are you supposed to learn? – rather, I am saying that you should only perform tricks you are comfortable with and have taken time to research and learn about.
If you do perform tricks, it might be a good idea to keep it in the skate park. Why? Because they are usually monitored, and help is typically available if something goes wrong. Plus, you’re surrounded by other skateboarders too!
I know it can be frustrating if you’re really into your skateboarding and you’ve got family, or even friends, trying to put you off of it. Skateboarding is a brilliant sport which has a supportive, worldwide community; don’t be put off by naysayers!
Although I do accept that there are some dangers associated with skateboarding, they are no more significant than the dangers associated with other recreational sports.
The key thing for you to remember is skateboarding safety… We know safety is a boring subject, but it will keep people off your back and taking the right precautions will prevent some nasty injuries as you build up your skills and abilities.
Just have fun – go out there and get skateboarding! You’ll regret it if you don’t…
Do you have any safety questions or tips? Feel free to leave them in the comment section and we’ll get back to you!