How to Fall off a Skateboard Safely

Skateboarder Fall

Westend61/Getty Images 

For those situations where you find yourself falling off your skateboard; is there a proper way to land without hurting yourself and ending up in an EMS vehicle to the nearest hospital?

Sometimes safety gear is just not enough! Learning how to fall safely will not only keep you safer and relatively pain-free, it will also help build your confidence so you can try new tricks and push yourself further without fear of wiping out. 

Types of Skateboard Falls

There are three types of falls off your board:

  • Falling Off: This happens when you lose your board and stumble without hitting the ground.
  • Bailing: If you suspect that you're going to fall hard, you can bail on the trick before it's too late.
  • Slamming: This is the worst case scenario because this term describes the moment when you hit the ground. You lose control of the trick and slam-bang, you're eating dirt.

Safer Methods of Falling

While it would be great to learn not to fall at all, falling is part of skateboarding. Falling is unavoidable. It's going to happen. But, don't let that deter you. You can avoid serious injury learning to call correctly with these two methods:

  • Learn to Run out of Tricks: This is where you try something, and the board goes wrong, and you catch yourself running. It takes some getting used to, but if you do this right you'll get out of a lot of falls!
  • Learn to Not Catch Yourself With Your Hands: Your instincts when you fall are to throw your hands out. But, you shouldn't do that when there's concrete below you. You could break your wrists. You can buy wrist guards for skateboarding. These can help if you're afraid of catching yourself with your hands. But it's better to learn to overlook and control your instincts so you can fall more carefully.
  • Roll to Land on Your Shoulder or Back Instead: When you fall, roll to land on your shoulder or back instead, tucking in your elbows. You might want actually to practice this a little! Go out to your yard or someplace soft and stand on your skateboard. Then fall forward and roll to land on your shoulder. The roll takes the energy out of the fall. If you can, roll with the fall — land on your shoulder and let the force of the fall play itself out with the roll. It'll hurt a little, but not that bad. Keep your limbs loose to absorb the fall; stiffening up increasing the risk of breaking bones. 
  • Wear Kneepads on Ramps: If you are skateboarding on ramps, then wearing kneepads can keep you safer from injuries resulting from a fall. You want to teach yourself to always fall to your knees and slide down the ramp. You can actually practice this and it's fun, too. Just run up the side of a ramp, drop to your knees and then slide down. If you are skateboarding on vert ramps, then get a good running start and get as high as you can before dropping. Practice like this for a while to get it in your head.

Falling is a big part of skateboarding, but if you learn to minimize the damage from your falls and wear a helmet and pads, you should be ok for the most part.