The Online Skateboarding School

"No Skateboarder Left Behind"
The Skateboard Equipment Class 101

The Safety Gear and The Skate Shoes
Chapter 5 Objectives
Why Safety Gear

Required Safety Gear

The Importance the Skate Shoes


To Explore and Understand:
Section One
Safety On A Skateboard

The person with the highest test grade out of every class will get a free skateboard deck as a prize!

At the bottom of each chapter is a 10 question quiz. So read all of the material, do your homework, and watch the videos!

Today's Homework: Pull out all of the safety gear that you have, and see what is usable.
This isn't a pretty subject to talk about, but the facts from the past teach us important safety information. Whether it is for you or your kid's safety, please read this section slowly. During the year 2006 there was 42 noted deaths due to skateboarding. That's around one skateboard death per week. You can view the 2006 statistics  here.  The sad thing is most of them could have been avoided. 40 out of 42 happened as a result of skating in the street with moving vehicles. As you go down the list around 90% of them were caused by being struck by a moving vehicle and the majority of others didn't have helmets on. Another fact is that there are over 26,000 hospitalized skateboarding injuries a year. 
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The Safety Gear
Just from the statistics we have learned that the safest place to skateboard is at a skate park. The most common time to get hurt is within the first 6 months of riding a skateboard.  Right now there is currently over 18,500,000 skateboarders. Do not let the numbers scare you because over all skateboarding is one of the safer sports to do. For example over 15 times more people die from bike accidents than skateboard accidents.

Wrist guards slide right over your hand. They have a plastic piece that protects the inside of your wrist from scrapes. It also protects you from spraining and breaking your wrists.  I remember when there was a time that I kept falling on my wrist and they took forever to heal. It's best to just always have them on so your wrist are protected all of the time.  They are a huge help if you skateboard on ramps because you can land on your knees pads and put your Wrist Guards down to slide.  

The helmet is the most important piece of equipment to wear. A good rule is not to step on your board unless your helmet is buckled. Sometimes at skate parks I will see people going around the park with their helmet not strapped on just to say they are following the rules. The problems is I see the same people sometimes chasing their helmet around the skate park when it goes flying off. The truth is you do not even need to hit your head that hard to cause a lot of damage.   So do not just wear them, because it's a rule, but wear them to protect your brain.
Learning How To Fall The Proper Way
Falling and Your Safety
The trick is not to fall at all, but because falls happen, you should learn the safest way to fall.  The natural way a person falls down, is not the best way.  If you were to fall, out of instinct, do you put your hands out to catch yourself? I do, but doing this on cement while flying off of a skateboard can seriously injure your wrists if not break them.  There are three good ways to fall down.

The Three Best Ways To Fall Off A Skateboard.

1.) Whenever the board lands in a bad position leaving you flying off of it, as quick as you can land on your closest foot and just start running. You can even practice this.  Start with a very small amount of speed and then jump off the skateboard and start running. If you do not run at the moment your foot touches the ground, it will cause you to crash.

2.) Sometimes your feet will get caught on the board making it impossible to run.  This is when you should prepare for the fall.  As you fall towards the ground, tuck your head and arms in, landing on your shoulder or back to roll out of it.  Have you ever just rolled on the ground before? You do the same exact motion. You can practice this by rolling your skateboard into the grass and as you hit the grass roll.

3.) If you skate vert or mini ramps then the safest and simplest way to fall is on your knee pads. You can practice sliding down the ramps on your knees just like a slide.  Whenever your board leaves your feet just jump onto your knees.  Make sure that you put your knee pads outside of your pants or shorts because if they are underneath it will tear your clothes and stick causing you to fly face first.
The Helmet

The Wrist Guards

The Knee Pads
Knee pads are a requirement for new skateboarders, because you will most likely fall onto your knees at some point. They will spare your knees from unnecessary impact and bruises. I used knee pads every single time that I skated even though alot of my friends didn't.  They saved my tail more times than I can count. I got to the point where I really enjoyed wearing them.  It just gave me an extra secure feeling whenever I wanted to attempt a new skateboard trick. Knee pads come in three sizes,  small, medium, and large. They can be found for around $30.

The Elbow Pads
Elbow pads absorb much of the impact when you fall and protect your elbows from cuts and bruises. Note that proper elbow pads for a skateboarder have a round plastic protective piece that give you the ability to slide on cement and wood.  Cheaper sets will strap onto your elbow. A good set will slide down your arms to be put on.  You should use a good set because it protects the entire area instead of just your elbow. They design them so you can move comfortably. A good pair can be found for $20-$40.
Skateboarding Safety Tips

1. Check your skateboard for loose or broken parts and fix them immediately.
2. Look at the area that you are about to skate for debris, rocks, holes, and bumps.
3. Wear Proper Safety Gear.
4. Do not skateboard in the street where there are moving vehicles. 
5. Never hang onto moving cars or vehicles.

The last thing about pads.  Do not buy the cheapest ones that you can find. In fact there are only three companies that I would recommend you to purchase them from. They are Pro-Tec, TSG, and 187 skateboards pads.  If you are trying to cut corners financially, getting cheap skateboard pads is not the right thing to do.  Having the proper paddings can save thousands of dollars in hospital bills. 
When picking out a helmet it's important to find one that fits good.  If it's too big it will slide around on your head. That will make it super annoying and even extremely dangerous to wear.  If the helmet is too small it will restrict the movement of your head, which is really important. Find one that fits snug and has a strap that will tighten around your chin. The average skateboard helmet cost around $30-$50.  A bike helmet doesn't protect your entire head and should not be used as your skateboard helmet.

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