Shred the streets, not your body.
It’s inevitable. You’re going to fall. If you ride any kind of skateboard, you’ll need to accept the fact that you will fall. Here’s a rundown of the equipment that will help minimize and hopefully prevent injuries, so that you can keep shredding the streets and not your body.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to use skateboard-specific safety gear — a lot of esk8rz out there use safety gear from other high-risk disciplines like snowboarding, downhill mountain biking, and motocross. These work just as well.
Protect your head
We all know that a helmet is mandatory gear, especially on an electric skateboard. When going hard, we recommend you use a full face helmet. Any certified skate helmet will do, like the Triple 8 Gotham helmet above.
Hands and wrists
The most annoying common injury in my personal opinion is getting your hands, especially your palms, cut up and bloody. Slide gloves are pretty popular from the longboard side of things, but I find it difficult to hold the remote with the puck in the way. They’re great for super aggressive maneuvering and gaining style points. Motorcycle gloves are a great option if you want protection without the bulk.
Get your knees dirty
After hands and wrists, knees are the go-to part of the body to accept the fall. Knees can dampen the fall — but after landing on them repeatedly, they can weaken. This makes them more susceptible to serious injury upon impact. Wearing knee pads allows you to slide through the momentum of the fall, preventing major damage to your knees and entire body.
Throw them ‘bows
Elbow pads prevent scrapes and bruises, especially the infamous “swellbow.” They can also reduce the impact to the upper body and minimize injury. We witnessed a skater, without any protective gear, try to slappy grind a curb going pretty fast. His rear truck got caught in a crack. He hit the asphalt upper body first, and snapped his clavicle. No bueno. Sometimes a little bit of upper body protection can go a long way.
All in the wrists
Wrist guards are crucial for anyone who has never ridden a skateboard before. Noobs tend to get into situations where the board zips out from under them and causes the rider to fall on their back. It’s a very natural reflex to use your palms to find the ground in order to break a fall. Unfortunately this increases the risk for breaking your wrists. Wrist guards/braces provide support and add strength so that your wrists don’t pop out of place when you get slammed onto the pavement. These also add palm protection against annoying cuts.
Now, do you need to wear pads every time you ride? Probably not. We do strongly recommend that you wear a helmet every time you hop on an esk8, and maybe wear full pads when starting out. And then decide which pads would be appropriate or be absolutely necessary for your style or session.
This is how I protect myself for everyday riding:
I wear a TSG Pass Carbon when I’m really in the mood to just go fast and really push the limits. It’s super lightweight, comfy, and raises my confidence level enough to boldly shave tight corners at full throttle.
On everyday casual rides, errand running, and group rides, I use a Bern Union helmet, it’s lightweight and super casual looking.
As you can probably tell by now, I really hate getting my palms all cut up! I wear these Mechanix tactical gloves whenever go for a ride. Provides just enough protection for my palms when they slam the asphalt.
And the rest of my personal gear is as follows:
A solid pair of HiTops for ankle support, either Vans Sk8-Hi, Chucks or SB Dunks. A pair of tough jeans or Dickies. And for those cold foggy night rides around SF, I rock a leather Schott NYC Perfecto jacket.
Have fun and be safe out there.