Whether you’re new to electric skateboards or a grizzled pro, there are safety measures we need to keep in mind to ensure we have as many safest, accident-free rides probable. Admittedly, a lot of these are common-sense measures that should be used in the first place.
1. Protect Your Head
Keeping your head safe is priority numero uno. Don’t believe me? Ride an eSk8board at its maximum speed, then trip yourself and use your head to break your fall. If you did this without a helmet, it could be the last ride of your life.
Safety is not a game, and shouldn’t be thrown to the wind just because “it isn’t cool.”
Head injuries (even minor ones) can cause vision loss, hearing loss and speech problems. As fun as E-Skateboards are, they are not toys – and still require helmets to protect your skull.
When you’re looking for a good helmet, be sure to find one that’s flat on your head, sits low on your forehead, and has inside pads you can remove or put back – depending on how snug you want it on your head. This snugness keeps the helmet from shaking around (any way) when you wear it. Be sure to check that the helmet meets the industry-standard ASTM F1492 helmet rating.
2. Protect Everything Else
Whether you’re riding a bike, skateboard, hoverboard, etc., it’s always important to wear proper protection gear. Not only to keep you safe from harm, but to save your life in the event of a potential car crash. Things like wrist guards (which keep your wrist from shattering when you use your hand to break your fall), knee+elbow pads and slip-resistant shoes go a long way towards minimising injury.
3. Learn how to fall correctly
Believe it or not, purposely making yourself bail is a great way to get used to falling. By making yourself fall, you’re putting yourself into a position for falling correctly to minimise as much damage as possible. This is why finding an old, unused mattress and putting it out in your driveway and throwing yourself off your board is a fast “Falling 101” technique. The fact that e-skateboards are faster is one reason why e-skateboards are better than regular skateboards for this safety practice.
When you’re falling, try to fall on the fleshy parts of your body and roll out of the bail. Such as your stomach, your thighs, any soft, meaty areas. While these will bruise and be cut/scraped easily, wouldn’t you much rather land on them than on your joints and bones? I’d rather take a bruised leg than a fractured wrist any day of the week.
4. Put Your Ego Away
No matter which sport it is, you are going to make it tremendously harder for yourself if you try to do things you can’t. (Actually, this could be applied to life as well.) I’ll give you an example: If you’ve listened to Stairway to Heaven for years, but have never played the guitar, are you going to play the song the first time you try? Only an egghead would ever think he/she could do that.
The same idea applies to riding electric skateboards: do not push the speed limit if you can’t successfully ride past 10 mph, no matter how awesome E-skateboards are. Don’t go down hills if you don’t know how to balance on a flat surface. Basically, do not attempt what you’re unable to do. This will prevent you from putting yourself into a disastrous, potentially-fatal position.
5. Watch Your Children
(This safety measure applies to parents.)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported that young children who skateboard get severe injuries, due to any (or all) of these reasons:
- Poor balance
- Overestimating their skill
- Not experienced with critical thinking and space-distance judgment
- Less coordinated
- Slower reaction times
- Higher center of gravity
- And more.
So while it may seem like a no-brainer to supervise your children while they’re riding, it’s helpful to know why they may experience an injury – and give you a chance to show them how to develop their lacking areas. Watching how your little one rides gives you a first-hand chance to show them how it’s safely done.
Buying a skateboard suitable for kids is the best way to ensure their safety.
6. Right Purpose
All-terrain eSk8s are drastically different from road-only eSk8s. If you ever plan to ride on grass, dirt, gravelly trails or uneven surfaces, opt for an off-road electric skateboard. Yes, they are more expensive, but that’s because they are specifically designed for off-road journeys. Flat-surface-only boards will break if they’re taken on uneven/grassy surfaces.
Therefore, buy the board that’s right for you – and learn how to ride it safely.
7. Buy Gummy Shoes
Sadly, regular shoe rubbers don’t keep good traction on skateboards. Because of this, you’re more likely to fall off your electric skateboard (especially when you’re cruising at higher speeds). Spending a bit extra cash on shoes made of leather or suede, with full ankle support, is well worth the investment. Not to mention that shoes with gummy/grippy soles are best for staying upright on your eSk8.
8. Inspect Your Skating Area
Even if you have an off-road e-skateboard, there are some environmental debris that could trip you up and make you bail (like an unexpected rock that jams up your motor). Wherever you want to ride, check the area out beforehand and make sure no life-threatening cracks and free of interference.
9. Don’t Go Near Oncoming Traffic
This should be obvious. People are unpredictable, and you never know what mood these strangers behind a wheel are in. They may think it’s funny to try and hurt you for any number of reasons – none of which have to do with you, personally.
10. Inspect Your Board
This should be done before every ride: take a close look all over your board. Look for parts that need tightening, are broken or cracked. Make sure the motor operates correctly by turning it on and doing a test ride in your driveway (similar to how athletes play the field/court to get used to it before the game). Doing all this before your ride lets you know whether or not a part should be replaced or taken in for repairs, as well as giving you first-hand experience for getting to know your board.
Being safe isn’t a trend, fad or fashion statement. It’s a lifestyle that ensures we enjoy as many things as possible any given day – and using these safety measures is a great way to prolong not just your life, but the life of your E-skateboard as well.