Skateboarding is an increasingly popular recreational activity among young people. It is a fun and healthy sport that requires a lot of trial and error, especially if you are a beginner, but also throughout your time on board as a more experienced skateboarder. Falling down is part of the experience and protecting high impact areas can help you spend more time skating than healing.
If you are going to ride a skateboard or longboard, make sure you invest in some protective gear. Skateboarding is an activity in which you move quickly over hard surfaces and it can lead to injuries. Skateboard or longboard helmets, pads and gloves are some of the most important parts of skateboard safety gear and here is all you need to know about each one of them.
Skateboard helmets are the essential piece of protective gear in skateboarding and longboarding. They protect your head and anyone who has taken a big slam can tell you that a skateboard or longboard helmet is a must-have safety piece of gear. It can help you walk away without having serious head injuries or save your life. Even for slow and/or short-range cruises or pumping around the sidewalks on your longboard, it’s still a good idea to have your helmet on.
There are two main styles of helmets you may consider – classic or standard and full cut. You can choose a longboard helmet depending on what skateboarding discipline you plan to practice. When buying a longboard skateboard helmet, always select a certified, hard-shell helmet with an EPS liner.
Classic helmets cover your head from the middle of your forehead to your neckline. They are lightweight and comfortable and are great for cruising, longboard dancing, street skateboarding, freestyle, slalom, roller skating or cycling. Full cut helmets, on the other hand, weigh slightly more than the classic ones, fully cover your ears and further down your neck for some extra protection. They are best suited for downhill skateboarding/longboarding events, skating bowls and vert ramps and if you want to participate in racing or freeride events.
Helmets can be single or multi-impact, which indicates how many impacts the helmet can withstand before it should be replaced with a new one. As the name implies, a single-impact helmet should be replaced after it’s received a single hit, while a multi-impact helmet can withstand a single high impact hit and/or multiple low impact hits before it needs to be replaced.
Some helmets have anti-smell/anti-bacterial and anti-sweating properties, while others have more ventilation which makes a difference in terms of comforts. When choosing your skateboard helmet, the most important thing is to determine what size you need. Keep in mind that helmet sizes may vary from brand to brand, so make sure to check out the helmet brand’s fit and sizing chart to find out what helmet size matches your head size.
Your helmet should be strapped snuggly under your chin with only enough space for a finger or two. It should never be loose and tipped back, revealing the front of our head.
Skateboarding slams often result in some kind of scrape or bruising, usually around the knee, elbow areas or palms. Wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads protect skaters, both beginners and professionals when riding on the streets or trails, at the park or rolling away. They are designed to give you comfort without limiting your movement.
Wrist guards reduce the chance of twisting or breaking your wrists when you fall, while knee and elbow pads prevent or reduce the severity of cuts, bruises and gravel burns. Knee pads can be used in a knee slide manoeuvre as well, to slide safely on a vert transition. If you decide to try that, make sure your knee pads have sufficient padding and an external plastic cup designed to take abuse.
While knee pads typically see the most use, elbow pads and wrist guards can help you stay protected and give you the confidence to learn new tricks or skate faster. However, remember that skateboarding skills are not acquired quickly or easily, so avoid riding faster than your experience allows or faster than is safe for conditions or the speed of other skateboarders.
To find the right size for your wrist guards, you need to measure around your hand at your knuckles. For knee and elbow pads, you need to measure your arms and legs. Keep in mind that the straps and padding will loosen up over time as you use them, so if you are unsure of the size, it’s always a better idea to opt for the smaller ones, so they fit better once broken in.
Slide gloves are some of the most important items you need if you want to start riding aggressively on your longboard. They are designed to stand up to concrete and help you learn new tricks and try out new terrain with confidence. Thick padding covers most of the slide glove and protects you from pain caused by slapping the ground.
Plastic pucks are attached to the palm and fingertips of slide gloves to provide protection and allow your hands to slide smoothly on the ground when you need to balance your body. So, even if you are not planning to learn how to slide, you can still use slide gloves to enhance your skateboarding experience.
Remember to always choose your skateboarding equipment based on what you need rather than how it looks. And keep in mind that it all begins with picking the right board as proper deck and setup can be important safety factors as well. If you want to join the latest mobility trend, you can check out some e-boards, which are currently the lightest and fastest means of transport.