How to Fall Off a Skateboard Safely
Learning to skateboard can be a thrill, but it comes with its risks. Bumps and bruises are inevitable when it comes to skateboarding, even after you’ve been doing it for a long time. Luckily, there are techniques you can use to minimize injury while you’re skating. They may seem awkward at first, but learning to fall correctly can make a huge difference when you’re trying to land that trick over and over again. Before you hit the skatepark, practice these methods of falling so you’re prepared for the worst.
As soon as you lose control or realize you’re not going to land, you can jump off your board in a running motion to keep from continuing through with what you know will cause injury. To bail, jump off the board with your back foot first, followed by your right. This order is important, as it helps you compensate for the momentum of your body. As soon as you regain control, you can chase down your board and try again.
Kick Your Board
What’s worse than falling off your board? Falling off your board and then breaking it in half. As you bail out, kick your board out of the way so you avoid falling on it. This will only cause more injury for you, and you don’t want to risk snapping your deck by letting it break your fall. It may get a few chips and scratches when you kick it out of the way, but it’s better than what could happen if you don’t.
Don’t Catch Yourself
It’s natural for us to try and catch ourselves when we fall. But there’s a reason one of the most common types of injuries among skaters is a broken wrist. Your wrists aren’t built to stand up to that sort of impact, and trying to brace yourself can cause serious and permanent damage. Instead, use your arms to protect your face if you’re falling face-first, and try to turn your body so that you land on your side or back instead (make sure you’re wearing a helmet to protect your head!).
Use Your Whole Body
If it’s inevitable that you’re going to fall, the best way to avoid broken bones is to distribute the impact of falling. In other words, you should allow your full body to hit the ground instead of letting your joints take the blow. The more surface area that hits the ground, the softer your fall will be and the less injury will occur. It’s also important to remember to soften your joints when you fall. Don’t stiffen your body — soften your knees and elbows to minimize your chances of breaking something.
Roll Into the Fall
Learning to roll with the fall helps to distribute the impact on your body. As you do this, remember to use your arms to shield your face, and make sure you’re not rolling into the way of other skaters. You’ll cause more injury for you and others if you roll right into their path.
Fall On Your Knees
When you're skating a bowl or ramp, the easiest way to break your fall is to tuck your feet back so that you land on your knees. Make sure you're wearing knee pads because this technique only works when you’re wearing the appropriate gear. Once you land on your knees, you’ll naturally slide down the ramp on your knee pads instead of taking a dramatic tumble.
Practicing how to fall is just as important as practicing your skating technique. Before you attempt a new element at the park or on the street, think about how you’ll soften the blow of the fall, even practice falling if you feel it’s necessary. It may seem strange, but it’s better than making an immediate trip to the Emergency Room.
Credit: Photo by Justin Snyder Photo on Unsplash
- Outdoors Staff