With all the negative news and dangerous things in the world today, it’s best we always put preventive measures in order to best protect ourselves from getting harmed.
The same goes for electric skateboarding. It’s no secret that anything that has wheels and can travel to upwards of 20+ miles per hour can be very dangerous and even fatal if you’re not smart about what you’re doing. That starts with the basics like wearing a helmet and learning how to ride. But what else can you do in order to stay safe? Safety is not always the most fun subject to talk about, but it certainly won’t hurt… no pun intended. So without further a due, let’s get started!
In this article we want to give you the ultimate tips to a happy, healthy, and safe 2019; so you can keep on skating. Happy New Year everyone!
The most common and talked about safety equipment for anything with wheels is the helmet. It also might be the most underused, the amount of electric skateboard riders I see without a helmet is astonishing. Not just for electric skateboards but for bikes, motorcycles, sports cars, roller skating, scooters, mopeds… the list goes on and on.
One bad fall or collision is all it takes for you to end up in the hospital or even worse, in the cemetery. Helmets are specifically designed to take a massive amount of shock so that your brain and skull don’t have to. Brain damage is no joke and I highly suggest that if you wish keep all your brain cells you avoid hitting your head. Wear a helmet. Period. I’ll leave this statistic and video down below if you’re still not convinced.
“Nearly all bicyclists who died (97%) were not wearing a helmet.”
While most people wear helmets while riding an electric skateboard, many forget to protect their joints by wearing the proper padding.
Your knees, shoulders, and elbows will thank you from the horrible road rash and possible broken bones if you should ever take a tumble. Many pads are machine washable and they are small enough to always be placed in a bag or backpack if you wish to take them somewhere. They are also adjustable to fit your size. You can buy a cheap pair of elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards on Amazon for $24.99 and have it delivered in two days. Keep your skin on your body and don’t lose it on the pavement. Wear padding!
3) Correct Shoes
It’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t wear flip flops or sandals when riding on an electric skateboard. Wearing open toed shoes at that speed is asking to lose a toenail or break all ten toes.
Shoes are a much more comfortable option and provide added safety. Don’t just wear any random sneakers either. Shoes with a flat sole will give you better control of the board than you would if you had shoes with extra padding or cushioning like track shoes. Also wear shoes that have a comfortable grip so that your boards grip tape can hold on even tighter.
4) Lights And Reflectors
Some added accessories I recommend is to add lights and reflectors to your electric skateboard. If you ride at night this is an absolute must.
Cars and other pedestrians will have a hard time seeing you especially if you are not wearing bright or fluorescent clothes. Lights and reflectors are cheap and easy to place on the front and/or back of your board.
My Ownboard Mini Kt came with an added light accessory which comes in four different flashing styles that can be seen from a great distance. If you only have one light I recommend putting it on the back of your electric skateboard and riding in the same way as traffic. This way traffic behind you can already see you and you can see the oncoming traffic.
5) More Eyes The Better
If you really want added safety when riding your electric skateboard, ride with your friends! Riding in a group adds more eyes to view obstacles and look out for danger.
Just make sure that if you ride in a group every keeps a distance a part so you don’t run in or collide with each other. Riding with friends can also be new and extremely fun experience to solo riding.
6) Follow The Law
Pretty obvious one here. Don’t break the rules and you won’t get hurt. I also have to let you know that breaking the rules of the road can lead to consequences. Don’t run through red lights at intersections, ride in the middle of the road, or on sidewalks filled with tons of pedestrians.
You should also check in with your local and state laws regarding the rules required for skateboarders. It might be that you have to wear a helmet at all times, or that skaters are not allowed in a certain areas. Respect the rights of private property as well. I know some business owners can be assholes when it comes to skaters in general, but if it’s their property it’s there rules.
7) Reflective Vests
Another great asset to wear at night, especially if you don’t have any lights to put on your board. Reflective vests and material can be seen from pretty much any distance as long as there is light hitting it.
Just the other day I was driving on an avenue where a man was wearing a reflective vest. I saw him in the distance from a good half mile away and it really made me aware of his presence. (Hopefully) many drivers will think the same thing if they see you e-skaters out there with a reflective jacket.
8) Self Control And Common Sense
Whenever you ride your electric skateboard, there’s a time and a place for everything. Don’t hit the turbo mode when you’re flying down the busy streets of midtown Manhattan. You’re asking to hurt yourself or someone else.
You can punch it when you’re on an empty an open street in your neighborhood but flying through oncoming traffic on a major avenue is just a recipe for disaster. If you’re questioning whether or not it’s a good idea to do something like speed or carve it up in a certain area, you probably should avoid it.
Consequences can range from injuries, legal jurisdiction, and banishment from private property. You have head on your shoulders, use it. This is where experience comes into play.
Practice makes perfect and gaining experience whether it be on how to ride or where to ride makes all the difference. Getting skillful at riding your board and knowing how to control it allows you to swerve and avoid on coming dangers.
If you know there’s a street where you always have problems because traffic can’t see you, avoid it. If you know an area where there have been or you’ve seen a lot of pedestrian/traffic accidents, stay away. This is something you’ll gain more of as your ride, so I encourage you to ride as much as possible.
10) Watch For Traffic
While you might be a phenomenal rider, there’s a ton of idiots who should not have a driver’s license out there. Watch for traffic!
Some people ask me whether or not to ride with or against oncoming traffic. I always tell them to ride against it, or to travel on the same side as the direction of traffic. This means you should always be on the right side of the road.
Traffic coming up from behind you will always be less scary than riding into oncoming traffic. People will also see you from farther distance away and can always give you more space on the road. It’s always a good idea to ride as close to the sidewalk or even on it if you’re allowed. This ways traffic won’t have to worry about possibly avoiding or crashing into you.
11) Prepare For An Accident
No one likes to think about it, but every time you take your electric skateboard out for a ride you should be prepared for an accident. The saying “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” is still relevant today.
Before leaving your house, bring your phone, wallet, and license. Know who to contact right away if you ever end up injured. Whether that be your parents, family friend, brother or sister, call them immediately to let them know where you are and what kind of injuries you have sustained.
If the person involved in the accident is okay and stays on scene make sure you are both okay. If you ever have a to call 9-1-1, tell emergency crews exactly what happened. Give them your name, what happened, your exact location, where you’re injured, and current address. When they get to the scene describe the accident in full detail.
Make sure to describe if someone ran off and details of the vehicle in suspicion. Let emergency crews take it from there. If witnesses are available, make sure they stay on seen. Their testimonial could be huge.
12) Slow Down If You Don’t Know
If you’re not sure or worried about an upcoming situation when riding, slow down or stop. Fear is an activated response to protect you, not to make you look like a pansy. When coming up on a super sharp curve and you can’t see around the bend, just slow down.
You can always take the safe route. If you’re going too fast, it can sometimes be too late to avoid an accident, but if you slow down or stop, the accident can be avoided all together.
Take care of your electric skateboard. You’re going to have major safety issues if you ride a rusty and broken down board that’s ready to fall apart. This means making sure all the nuts and bolts are tightened up, but do not over tighten them, otherwise you will have additional problems.
Change the trunks, wheels, or deck if they become damaged. Keep your electric skateboard clean and avoid storing it in areas that collect dust, are wet, are too cold/too hot, and free from liquids. Take care of your board and it will return the favor by giving you the ride of your life.
14) Avoid Distractions
Avoid being distracted when riding. This doesn’t just mean to not stare at those hot chicks walking down by the beach. It means stay off your phone! I’ve actually seen people riding while texting and it makes me cringe every time. They start to wander into the middle of the road or almost into someones yard.
If you need to check your phone; slow down, stop, get off your board, and then make your phone call or reply to grandma’s text. Texting and calling should be left to when you’re not in control of an object with wheels that’s moving.
15) Watch The Weather
You should already know that riding in the rain or snow isn’t the best idea.
Even though many electric skateboards offer water resistant capabilities, it’s best to avoid getting wet if possible, especially in heavy rain situations. Electric skateboards are not meant to be submerged under water completely, which I trust you will never do.
Before your ride or your commute to work, check the weather. It may be that thunderstorms are coming through for your ride home, or a snowstorm is planning on dropping 2 inches of snow an hour in your area.
I have rode in a big rainstorm before and although everything worked out, it’s better to just drive or find another mode of transportation if possible. Snow and ice are slippery and just a recipe for disaster. Check your phone the night before and make a decision on whether the weather (pun intended) will let you ride the next day.
16) Learn How To Fall
No one ever wants to fall of their board, but it can be a good learning experience.
I don’t recommend you try this on the actual street because I don’t wish for you to get hurt, but you need to learn how to fall. Just learn from what I’m about to teach you right now and try it on a carpeted/soft floor that will cushion you, or on a mattress. Even though you can’t 100% prepare for a fall, this lesson will leave you with a little bit of knowledge that can help save you some injury.
If you’re riding and you know you’re going to fall, follow these steps: Move your body - if your falling, try to adjust your body as much as possible so you can land on a fleshier part of your body. If possible land on your thighs, butt, or your side.
Sure it will hurt, but the impact will be spread over a larger part of your body, reducing the injury. Next you must protect your head - the most important part of your body to protect is your head, stick your hand out if you know you’re about to fall on your face. I trust you are wearing a helmet, which will protect the rest.
Lastly, brace then roll - prepare for impact, but once you have made contact with the ground try to roll and flow out of the position you fell in to avoid a direct collision with the ground.
17) Dress For The Slide, Not The Ride
This is talked about with motorcycle riders all the time. Dress as if you are prepared to fall, not to look cool or good. This goes back to the philosophy of “prepare for the worst, hope for the best.”
Why do you always see motorcycle riders wearing boots, jeans, and leather jackets? God forbid they ever fall off and slide on the concrete, their jacket and jeans will scratch off first. Thus, your skin will take a whole lot less damage. Road rash is extremely painful.
18) Know Who Rides Your Board
This safety tip isn’t just for your sake, but for the sake of whoever rides your board. Don’t leave your electric skateboard out for anyone like your 7 year old brother to take it. Other people may not know how to safely ride your board and end up getting hurt.
Although it’s not entirely your fault, if the are seriously injured you don’t want that on your conscious. Store your board in a safe location where it will not be taken by strangers. This is also to help protect it from getting stolen. If you ride to work or school, don’t just put your skateboard anywhere, people are not to be trusted, especially with your expensive electric skateboard. People will be tempted.
When I ride my board from the train station to school, I always store it away in my locker, only to be taken out when I’m ready to go home.
19) Pick A Safe Route
Don’t go riding into a dangerous neighborhood, the highway, or a street that’s filled with nails and potholes. Riding in places you are certain are safe will also ensure your safety.
I still highly encourage you to go explore you’ve never been before, that’s what riding an electric skateboard is all about. Just as a precaution if you know a place is not safe or has hazards, stay away and pick an alternate route.
20) Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
This goes back to my safety tip about not being distracted. Pay attention to the street, obstacles, and traffic. Vehicles are perhaps the biggest danger to your safety. A collision with a car is almost a guaranteed trip to the hospital.
There are a ton of idiots out on the road, but all you can control is you and how you ride. That’s why it’s important you take of yourself and pay attention to what’s happening around you.
21) Correct Foot Stance
A correct foot stance will leave you in better control of your board so you can safely make sharp turns and move yourself out of the way of danger.
If you are someone who kicks with your right foot, place your right foot on the board first, and place it on the front of the board. You’re dominant foot (the one at the front) will do most of the turning and controlling. Place this foot at a 70 degree angle to the front. Many people like to place their front foot at a 90 degree angle (known as a goofy stance), but I have personally felt this to be a stiffer/more awkward stance which doesn’t allow me to control the board as well.
Your other foot can be placed in towards the back/middle of the board, wherever you feel most comfortable. This stance is to help you correctly and safely control the board. Doing so will also help you prevent speed wobbles, a scary and dangerous effect when your trunks aren’t tight enough you your stance is incorrect.
22) Don’t Leave Your Board Charging
Although there’s a myth that if you leave a piece of technology charging, it will destroy and ruin the battery. This myth has been proven to be not true, since almost all modern batteries will just stop charging when it hits 100%
This issue with continuous charging though is that you could overheat the battery and or charger, which could cause a fire. Although the chances of this are extremely slim, it’s always just best to not leave your board charging 24/7.
23) Avoid Confrontations
This also is also just a use of your common sense. Avoid confrontations and fights. Many times there are stuck up people who hate people who ride on wheels, specifically electric skateboarders.
Some property and business owners believe that skateboarders will damage the property by leaving marks and scratches everywhere from doing tricks.
Just look up “skateboard fights” on Youtube and you’ll see what I’m talking about. If someone ever confronts or threatens you, assert yourself and leave. Don’t leave a nasty comment, but stick up for yourself. Then walk away, people who confront us riders have nothing better to do with their lives and are often the ones who need a checkup on their mental health. Move on and laugh about it later. Only use force if you are defending yourself or your property.
That being said, I decided to leave a video on skater fights and confrontations down below for your entertainment.
24) Learn Your Remote
Your remote controls your electric skateboard, which controls your movement. Learn how to control the throttle and braking. Don’t be so jerky with your fingers and send yourself flying on the board. The smoother the better.
Also learn how to turn your remote off, switch from forward to reverse gear control, and change speeds. Doing so will make you a more experienced rider.
Always wear the safety strap on your Bluetooth wireless remote so that you don’t drop it while your riding. If you break your remote you’re out of riding until you can get a new one. Save yourself the time and the money and wear the strap.
25) Prepare To Bail
You should always be prepared to jump off your board if need be. I have done this numerous times when I first started riding. I would often head down a hill too fast with a street down at the bottom, no idea if cars were coming in whichever direction.
I wasn’t too familiar with my brakes so I just off and then hit the brakes as hard as I could and the board came to a complete stop. Although I felt embarrassed I saved myself from running right into the busy street at the bottom of my hill.
Jump off your board if you need to, you can always hit the kill switch before it goes any further. Your safety is way more important than any electric skateboard ever will be, so take care of yourself first.
I wish for all of you to stay safe and remember that riding is all about having fun and creating new experiences. Don’t take these safety tips as a reasons not to ride an electric skateboard but to just keep them in the back of your mind.
I want new people to ride, and current riders to continue enjoying the bliss they feel when speeding around on an electric skateboard. To all of you I say stay safe and I wish you a very Happy New Year! Cheers and happy gliding!