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Safety Rules!

Injury prevention and safety tips

  • Technique. Athletes should learn and practice safe techniques for performing the skills that are integral to their sport. One-third of skateboard injuries happen in the first week of learning the sport. Beginners may find it helpful to take a class to learn the basics, including how to fall properly.
  • Equipment. All skaters, no matter how much experience they have, should always wear the proper safety gear.
    • Skates that fit properly. They should be checked regularly to make sure they fit and are in good condition. Wheels should be free of debris and replaced if worn out.
    • Helmets that fit properly and are certified for safety. (Unfortunately, most in-line skaters do not wear safety gear, and more than 10,000 in-line skaters suffer from head or face injuries yearly.)
    • Elbow pads, which can reduce injuries by 80%.
    • Knee pads, which can reduce injuries by 30%.
    • Wrist guards, which can reduce injuries by almost 90%.
    • Environment. Most young skateboarders are injured on public roads or sidewalks and in parking lots.

Rules of the Road

  • Be aware of other skaters, walkers, runners, cyclists, and cars that use the same areas, and use caution when skating around them.
  • Skate on the right side of sidewalks, bike paths, and trails. Pass on the left as cars do. Don’t pass without warning, and only when you have enough room to pass safely.
  • Avoid skating in the street in crowded areas. Be especially careful when crossing the street. Remember, all traffic rules must be obeyed.
  • Watch for changes in trails or street conditions, such as water, potholes, cracks, rocks, or other debris. Do not skate on wet or oily surfaces. When in doubt, slow down.
  • Follow skate park rules and don’t skate where it is not allowed. Public places often forbid skating in high-use areas because of the risk of collisions. (Many injuries happen in skate parks, especially in the ramp and bar areas.)
  • Before using any trail, make sure you know how to turn, control your speed, and stop.
  • Never put more than one person on a skateboard.
  • Children younger than 5 years should not ride skateboards. Children aged 6 to 10 years should have close adult supervision when skateboarding.
  • “Skitching” (holding on to the side or rear of a moving vehicle while riding a skateboard or in-line skates) should never be done.