Tips for Preventing and Treating Skateboard Injuries

Garry Knight / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Skateboard injuries are going to happen. Skateboarding is dangerous, and there's no way to stay completely safe. However, there are things you can do to help avoid a lot of skateboard injuries, and there are ways to help heal—both physically and mentally—and get back on your skateboard faster if you are injured.

How to Fall Correctly

Jake Brown gets big air on his skateboard as gravity pulls him down

Eric Lars Bakke / ESPN Images 

It's inevitable: You are going to fall off of your skateboard. It's not because you aren't good enough, it's because skateboards are small, and have wheels on them. That's all. There's no way to stop it from happening. So, you need to learn how to fall well. There are certain ways that you can fall that will either help you avoid injury, or help you avoid a major injury—allowing you to heal more quickly and get back on your board. Learning to fall may sound weird, but if you plan to skateboard as a hobby, you need to practice how to fall.

Wear the Right Equipment

A beat up, red skateboarding helmet covered in stickers

Manny Vlades / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Skateboard safety involves more than wearing a helmet. Helmets are important, but there are other items to keep in mind, too. Dunham Sports says that basic safety equipment includes: helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and gloves. "The proper use of this equipment will result in a safe, comfortable riding experience," says the sport's company's website. And don't forget to buy a good pair of skate shoes. You can skate with regular shoes, but footwear specifically designed for skateboarding provides the right grip, support, and protection for your feet.

Dealing With an Injury

Bam Margera getting injured in a skateboarding fall without safety equipment
Scott Gries / Getty Images

So you've learned how to fall, and you've fallen, and now you're injured. What should you do? The first action you should take is to seek medical help. With any fall, you may suffer internal injuries, something only a medical professional can diagnose. And after you've sought help, you need to give your body time to heal. That might include some kind of rehab: It might not be fun, but you need to follow through with it. Don't hop back on your board too quickly; follow the advice of medical providers to the letter.

Stretches and Excercises

Limbering up at the skatepark
lz​f / Getty Images

After you dress appropriately for your skateboarding session—but before you hit the pavement—do what the pros do: Perform some pre-skate stretches and exercises. Skateboarding is tough on your body, and the older you get, the more you need to take the time to stretch before riding. Also, follow a regimen of weight training to strengthen your muscles for skateboarding. Focus on exercises that target your calves, legs, and core—the main body parts you'll use while performing skateboarding moves like grinds and ollies.

Dealing with Fear

A board slide performed at the top of a halfpipe

Cindy / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Once you've been injured—and properly healed—you need to deal with the psychological aspect of getting injured. Fear is a normal reaction, but it's something you'll need to deal with. Fear is like pain—it exists to help protect you, and to help keep you from injuring yourself. Fear creeps up because you understand that you might get hurt. So, once you get back on the board, listen to your instincts. Avoid doing board slides and rock 'n' rolls until you're ready. Skating within your ability level is the best way to avoid getting hurt in the first place.