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Safety Tips: Skateboarding

Medically reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD

There's something undeniably cool about skateboarding. But skateboarding injuries do happen, particularly if riders skate in the wrong place or don't wear protective gear.

To keep it safe while skateboarding, follow these rules and safety tips.

Safe Skateboarding Gear

Choose the skateboard that's right for your style or activity (for example slalom, freestyle, and speed). Before heading out to skate, you need:

  • a helmet that fits well. It should be a multi-sport helmet or one specifically meant for skateboarding. Don't ride a skateboard without a helmet.
  • wrist guards to support the wrist during falls
  • knee pads and elbow pads
  • closed-toe shoes that have soles that don't slip
  • goggles or shatterproof glasses

Safe Places to Ride

To prevent injuries, it is very important that riders choose safe places to ride. All surfaces should be checked before riding on them. Skateboard only on surfaces that are smooth without cracks or debris, like garbage or sticks.

Other safety rules:

  • Never ride in the street.
  • Never skateboard in wet weather.
  • When learning to ride, try out skateboarding on a smooth driveway that's away from all traffic, the beginner section of a skate park, or a parking lot that's not being used.
  • At skate parks, obey all rules. Stop and look before entering skateboarding areas.
  • Do not skateboard in crowded areas.
  • One person on a skateboard at a time.
  • Never hitch a ride from a bicycle, car, truck, bus, or other vehicle.
  • Don't wear headphones while skateboarding.

Safe Riding

Riders will fall while skateboarding. It's part of the sport. To stay safe, use the safety gear listed above and learn how to fall properly:

  • Practice falling on a soft surface or on grass.
  • Crouch down as you fall so you won't have as far to fall.
  • Land on the fleshy parts of your body and roll rather than breaking a fall with your arms and hands.
  • Relax while falling instead of going stiff.
  • Master basic tricks before moving on to more complicated moves.
Medically reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date reviewed: March 2019