Whether you have a manual skateboard or an electric one, there are a few tips kids should know before going for a ride. While skateboards can seem relatively harmless, falling off one (especially an electric board that can go up to 20 mph) can cause a great deal of harm.
Let’s look at a few things you can do to ensure your safety while riding around.
1. Wear a helmet
This may seem obvious, but it’s very important. Even when crossing the street or going around the neighborhood, you never know what you’ll encounter. It could be as simple as hitting a pebble or missing the curb and falling. While helmets may not look great, they can save you from severe injury.
Make sure the helmet fits your head properly and that it sits low on your forehead for maximum protection.
If possible, don’t just wear a helmet. Wrist pads, gloves, elbow pads, and knee pads can all prevent you from hurting yourself. This is especially important if this is your first time on a skateboard. While you’re learning, protective gear is a necessity.
Maintaining a skateboard— manual or electric— is a must. Be sure to test the brakes, especially before each ride, and to tighten the wheels after every couple of miles. They can become loose – and you don’t want them falling off while you’re cruising around.
Checking the motor and the deck of the board for any cracks or breaks is also important. You want to do everything you can to ensure you have the safest ride possible and that nothing malfunctions along the way.
3. Be Seen
Whether riding during the day or at night, you want to be sure you’re seen by drivers and other pedestrians. If your board doesn’t already have lights on it, think about adding some. Put a light on your helmet and add reflective tape in as many places as possible. Wear bright clothes whenever you can.
If you are unsure if a car can see you, pull off to the side of the road and wait for them to pass. Remember: most cars are not going to expect you to be able to go 20 mph. They’re going to expect a manual skateboard. It’s best to let them pass by before you begin riding again.
4. Know Your Skill Level
Don’t try to perform tricks or go at high speeds if you’re not skilled enough to do so. It’s perfectly fine to ride slowly until you build up your skills. No one is perfect right out of the gate. This goes for certain kinds of terrain too. If you can’t quite handle riding on uneven ground, don’t worry. You can work up to that.
Additionally, don’t let an inexperienced person on your board. They might just want to take it around the block, but if they don’t know what they’re doing, they could become seriously hurt. Make sure they wear a helmet if they absolutely must ride your board.
5. Plan Ahead
Whether you’re riding outside your home, at a park, or around a friend’s house, make sure you have a first aid kit nearby, as well as a phone and a card with your emergency contact information on it. If something bad does happen, it’s important that you can get help as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a bad scrape or something more serious, it’s wise to plan ahead. While skateboarding is a fun activity, you can get injured and it’s best to prepare for anything that could happen.