Skating is dangerous. It’s not sticking-your-head-into-the-mouth-of-a-wild-lion dangerous, but it’s pretty close. With that in mind, take a second to buckle on a helmet and strap on a few protective pads every time you skate. The next time you bail on a trick and wind up slamming your helmet-clad skull into the pavement, you’ll be stoked that you took the precaution.
When you watch the pro skaters on TV, you’ll notice that every single one sports a helmet. They know that a concussion or head injury of any kind can be devastating to their skating and career, and they just aren’t willing to take that risk. Neither should you. There are a variety of helmets to choose from, all sorts of shapes, sizes and prices. You can even buy helmets that look just like a hat! After all, you wouldn’t want all of your friends to know that you respect your body.
When your board slips out on you, it’s a common first instinct to put your hands down and break your fall. Snap. Protect your wrists with wrist guards, and you won’t have to learn how to write with your left hand.
Elbow pads and kneepads will protect you more often than any other gear. Crashing on a skate usually results in at least some kind of bruising or scrape, quite often around the knee and elbow areas. These types of pads are especially important when you’re trying a new trick for the first time or you’re attacking the vert ramp. Remember, busting out your knee or elbow results in terrible pain… and who likes terrible pain?
As described in the skate apparel and shoes article, wearing clothes that allow you to move freely is very important and can help prevent injury. Your skateboards, shoes and clothes will come and go frequently over the course of your skating life. You only get one body, though, so take care of it!
Beyond all else, be a responsible rider. No matter which safety accessories or equipment you employ, remember that there is no substitute for reasoned and careful behavior when skating. Act responsibly and respect the safety of those around you.