Electric skateboard is loads of fun, but it is not a toy. It’s a personal transportation device, and just like any other form of transport, if used irresponsibly there are certain risks involved. While electric skateboards are not meant for performing tricks and stunts, and their primary purpose is to be used as a transportation device, there is still a high risk of injury compared to other modes of transport. With new faster and powerful boards you are capable of traveling at very high speeds, while being completely exposed and relying heavily on your sense of balance. Riding an electric skateboard can be a dangerous activity, even under the best of circumstances. All the speed is at your fingertips and it is easy to get carried away.
How to ride safely
If you plan on using an electric skateboard as a part of your daily commute or as a way to get where you need to go, the top speed is not the first thing you need to think about. In fact, you should always ride in a way that minimizes risk – from staying aware of your surroundings at all times, to understanding the limits of your machine and your body. Take the time to get acquainted to the board, especially if you are a beginner. Electric skateboards are easier to ride than regular ones, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose the highest speed mode right away. Learn how to operate and ride your new electric skateboard and everything about skateboarding gradually. We recommended that you learn the basics of skateboarding first: how to stand and position your feet, how to kick push, turn and brake and how to approach different types of terrain. Also, learning how to fall correctly may also help reduce the chances of significant injury.
Even if you have been skateboarding all your life, you will see that electric skateboards are completely different game. Unless you are a downhill longboarder, it’s possible that you have never skated at speeds that e-skateboards are capable of. That means that you have to pay special attention to figuring out how to stop safely if anything goes wrong. You’ll need to stay alert and know assess the situation quickly, because bailing when you get the speed wobble at 20mph will get you hurt. Even if you are super skilled and prepared, anything that happens at the speed of over 15mph gives you very little time to fall “properly”
Is protection gear really necessary?
No one wants to be a crash statistic, but the reality is there are thousands of crashes and deaths each year in all types of vehicles and even pedestrians. Even the simple ride around the block can go very wrong very soon. Please watch this video. It explains better than anything I could write why you should ALWAYS wear helmet.
On the other hand, people choose not to wear helmets, or other safety equipment such as elbow and knee pads, because they tend to be uncomfortable, but also limit your clothing choices. Fortunately the technology is advancing and the materials that protective gear is made of are becoming softer, more flexible, and with higher shock absorbing properties. The trick is to find the right safety equipment that you are not just going to leave in the corner, because it’s impossible to wear. Find the balance between being well protected and felling obstructed.
Bare essential: Helmet
To protect your head from injury, always wear a properly fitting helmet. This is true no matter what your age, level of experience or location where you are skateboarding. Bicycle helmet is not appropriate for skateboarding, because it does not protect the back of your head as well as a good multi-sport or a skateboard helmet. There are different types of helmets that offer different levels of protection. For maximum protection you should get a full face helmet, but resist the temptation to get a motorcycle helmet – they are just too heavy and restrict your vision.
Most of the fatal accident that have happened to the riders of electric skateboards could have been prevented if the rider had been wearing a helmet. Now, I won’t tell you all the horror stories of skateboarders who died, or suffered serious consequences, only because they chose not to wear a helmet, or just forgot that one time. But talk to anyone who had ever fallen of the board. There is a pretty good chance the story will end with: “I’m glad I had the helmet on.”
Luckily, the days when you were not considered one of the “cool kids” if you were wearing a helmet are finally gone! Today, it seems that people finally started to take safety seriously. The manufacturers have started to show their riders with helmets on, and the e-board community is sincerely supporting wearing protection gear, to the point where it seems to slowly become part of the culture. View our skating helmet top picks here.
Also essential: Knee and elbow pads
Next thing you want to do after protecting your melon is to protect your joints. Knees and elbows are very exposed to injuries while skateboarding, especially while going at electric powered speeds. Knee and elbow pads used to be very bulky and often fit awkwardly in the past, but not anymore. There are some very good low profile pads that fit nicely under your clothing, and offer enough protection for your day to day rides. If you plan to do more extreme activities or ride off road, you should look for something that offers more protection on impact, like hard pads. Whichever you choose, it is a good idea to always wear your knee and elbow pads, mostly because a mangled knee cap or a busted elbow can seriously affect quality of your life.
A VERY good idea: Wrist guards and skating gloves
Often overlooked, wrist guards are very important piece of skateboarding equipment, especially for the inexperienced riders. Wearing wrist guards will prevent injuries of your wrist: fraction, sprains and tendon injuries, which would keep you off work and really affect your daily activities.
Choosing wrist guards or gloves for electric skateboard can be tricky, because electric skateboards are controlled with a remote control. That means that you have to make sure that the safety gear doesn’t get in the way of properly using your remote. There are different types of wrist protectors: gloves with wrist support, low profile wrist guards, and level 2, or advanced protection wrist guards.
The gloves won’t provide the same type of protection as the wrist guards, but they compensate by allowing a bigger range of movements and holding a remote more comfortably. For electric skateboard low profile wrist guards are the best. They provide partial impact protection and allow maximum comfort through airflow and good range of motion. If you plan to longboard downhill, with or without motor, or ride at speeds close to 30mph, you should go with level 2 guards that offer maximum protection for your hands.
Also a good idea: Protective clothing – armored jacket, race suit, padded pants…
Since electric skateboards are capable of going speeds that downhill longboarders achieve, it makes perfect sense if you want to wear protective clothing, even full Kevlar or leather suits. Hip pads, also known as tailbone pads, thigh pads or padded shorts, are specifically made to protect your hips and bottom while skateboarding. Today’s full-coverage, low-profile, stretch-fit hip pads grant you the extra protection you need when skateboarding, without restricting your movement. To protect your upper body there is a great selection of armored hoodies, that are comfortable, lightweight, breathable, look good, and provide the right amount of protection.
What you are wearing matters
Always wear appropriate clothing and shoes, including long sleeved shirts and long pants and lace-up or similar shoes with rubber soles. Never ride barefoot or in sandals and make sure that shoelaces or other fasteners are tied and kept away from the wheels and drive train.