Longboarding is such an exciting and thrilling sport, isn’t it? However, no matter how much you enjoy it, there are some risks involved. Do not be frightened; the majority of them can be avoided if you’re aware of them.
So, what are the causes of a longboard accident, and how can you prevent it? Factors like personal ignorance, poor skill, and even the environment can be the culprits behind it. However, you can prevent most of these accidents if you understand the causes and avoid making those mistakes.
Also, you need to take some protective measures, like wearing gloves and knee pads, to minimize the injury. As this sport is associated with so many risks, safety awareness is crucial in the longboarding communities. I will discuss all of these with you here. So, let’s take a look.
If you think that accidents in longboarding are not that frequent and severe, then you are wrong. In reality, the frequency will shock you. When it comes to the severity, more than 8% suffer from severe neurological traumas.
A study shared in 2014 in PubMed found that 75.3% of longboarding accidents occur on roads and streets, which is surely more dangerous than in skate parks. Also, they found that more than 23% of injuries due to these accidents are head and neck injuries.
However, there are many more types of longboarding accidents. If you know them, you can take cautionary measures and even prevent them to some extent. To show their severity, I have made a detailed list below using the data from a ResearchGate study. So, let’s take a look at those accidents.
This is the most common type of longboard accident. Any rider can lose balance, trip over obstacles, or lose board control and fall. These falls can result in various injuries, among which extremity fractures are the most frequent.
More than 40 percent of longboarding accidents result in extremity fractures. Among those, 23.6 percent are reported to have fractures or breaks on the upper part of the body, specifically in the arms, shoulders, and hands.
As longboard riders usually go downhill, they often collide with stationary objects like trees, lampposts, or road signs. Sometimes, they collide with moving objects like vehicles, pedestrians, or other riders.
Due to collisions, injuries like dislocation are the most common. On average, nearly 4% of injuries due to these accidents are dislocations.
Most of the time, new or beginner riders need better control skills. So, when they join downhill riding or cruising, they struggle and must apply extra pressure to keep their board on the road.
These overly rigid postures often cause soft tissue injuries, including head, neck, and muscle injuries. Nearly 36 percent of injuries are soft tissue related.
Usually, when riders fall or try to stop using extra force, they slide along the pavement. This results in abrasions, cuts, and road rash. That is, they suffer from dermal or skin injuries.
Almost half of the longboarders suffer from dermal injuries once or more. Though this type of injury is mostly nonlethal, it can significantly make you suffer.
Even if you are cautious, the probability of an accident still exists. A longboard is a gadget, and you need to maintain it properly. Or else some of the components of your board, like wheels, trucks, or bearings, can fail or become loose.
Thus, that faulty board will lead to accidents. Even a new board can malfunction. So, sometimes accidents are just inevitable.
If you are under the influence of alcohol or antihistamines, your judgment, coordination, and reaction times will be delayed. So, you can end up in a bad accident.
Longboard accidents mainly occur due to a few factors. If you know them, you can keep yourself safe during the ride to some extent. So, let’s take a look at them.
Novice longboarders often make vital mistakes that lead to accidents. If you are a beginner, you will face problems with control, especially when turning or keeping your balance.
Also, as an inexperienced skater, you may fail to control the speed and brake on time. And, as you may not know all the falling techniques, you will suffer more injuries.
When you ride at high speed, especially while going downhill, you may fail to react timely. Hence, you will fail to control your speed and cannot brake effectively. As a result, you will crush on any obstacles or hurt yourself because of the sudden force.
Longboard accidents are not solely your fault; sometimes, road conditions can also influence them. Both overly smooth and rough surfaces are unsafe for this sport.
If the surface is too smooth and slippery, you will have difficulty breaking and maintaining speed. Conversely, if you are riding on a rough road, the gravel, dirt, or other debris will hinder your speed. Also, you may need to brake suddenly to avoid crashing into these objects.
If any of your longboard components fail, you will lose overall stability. Worn-out or broken wheels and bearings will make your riding unstable or wobbly. This will cause you to lose balance.
Also, if your board’s trucks are loose or tight, it will affect its responsiveness. Besides, any crack or deformation in your board will weaken the structural integrity of the longboard. If not treated or noticed timely, your board can break or snap during a ride.
Now we know that a longboard accident can result in anything from a minor scrape to even a life-threatening condition. However, by taking some precautions, you can prevent these injuries to some extent. Let’s check them out.
The first step to keeping yourself safe while riding is to wear proper safety gear. Especially if you are a newcomer, you need to wear them even if you are just practicing in the skate arena. Below, I will help you to review these safety gears.
- Helmets: Your head is the most important yet vulnerable part of your body. You need to buy a certified longboarding helmet. Also, never negotiate with the size of your head. I am sharing a table showing the average sizes of these helmets.
|Head Circumferences Range
|$40 – $70
|20 to 21.75 inches (51-55 cm).
|$50 – $90
|21.75 to 23.25 inches (55-59 cm).
|$60 – $100
|23.25 to 24.75 inches (59-63 cm).
|$70 – $120
|above 24.75 inches (63 cm).
- Pads (knee, elbow, wrist): When you fall, you will subconsciously try to stop using your hands or legs. In this process, your joints, like elbows, knees, wrists, etc., may get abrasions or even dislocate. But, if you wear different pads to protect these joints, the injury can be minimized.
Below, I shared the average prices and sizes of these protective pads.
|$20 – $40
|$30 – $60
|$40 – $80
|$15 – $35
|$25 – $50
|$35 – $70
|XS: 7 – 8
|$10 – $25
|$15 – $30
|$20 – $35
|$30 – $50
- Glove: Longboarding gloves help you in many cases. They protect your hands in case of falling. Additionally, gloves with slide pucks reduce friction and allow for controlled movements. Thus, you need them for executing slides and drifts.
Let’s look at the average size and price of these gloves.
|$20 – $40
|$30 – $60
|$40 – $80
|$50 – $100
To minimize the chance of accidents, you must master proper riding techniques and skills. Let’s learn those balancing and carving pro tips!
- Balancing and Stance: To master balancing and have a great stance, you must learn proper foot placement. Place your front foot pointing forward, and keep the back foot perpendicular to the board in that stance. After that, you need to bend your knees slightly.
- Carving and Turning Techniques: Carving is just making a s-shape by turning left and right with your longboard. After mastering it, you can easily turn and lean in whichever direction you want. You can also steer safely without wobbling or sliding out of control.
- Sliding: Sliding is a useful skill for slowing down or stopping altogether. If you can master it, you can control the board’s drift with your body. Thus, you can maintain control during high-speed descents or when approaching intersections.
- Braking: While learning your longboarding basics, you must learn to create friction with your foot. After mastering the basics of braking, you need to learn the Coleman slide. It will help you control the stop at a higher speed and minimize the risk of injuries.
A well-maintained road is what you need for safe longboard riding. Try to avoid areas with stones, trash, debris, or uneven ground. Also, do not go for a ride on wet or slippery terrain, and make sure it is a well-lighted road.
Who will appreciate sudden equipment malfunctioning while having a great ride? You can easily avoid it by maintaining the equipment regularly.
Not only that, timely maintenance helps to extend your board’s lifespan and minimize the repair cost. It also ensures better responsiveness and performance.
The weather also has a great impact on your riding safety. Let’s take a look at those conditions.
- Rain: During rain, the pavement gets wet and becomes slippery. That is, it reduces the grip of the board’s wheel. Also, during heavy rain, you cannot see everything. Thus, you can trip over some obstacles. I suggest you don’t ride in the rain.
- Snowing: Longboards are made to have minimal traction. But you need high traction to control the speed on snow and ice. So, you should never ride it on snow and ice.
- Wind: The usual wind will not affect your riding ability. However, strong winds will make it difficult to control your balance. Also, it can hinder your visibility. So, you could fall.
I have discussed the longboard accidents and some preventative measures. However, you may still go for a ride without protective gear or without considering other factors. So, below, I shared some real-life tragedies that will give you an additional perspective on safety.
In August 2020, Kyle, a longboarder, along with his friend, was going downhill. However, due to overspeed, he flew off and hit his head. He was not wearing a helmet.
As a result, when he fell, there was nothing to protect his skull, and he sustained a six-inch wide fracture. With a lot of injuries, he even suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Also, a lot of longboarders are reported to be in road accidents as they were on the wrong pavement. For example, in 2011 in Georgetown, a boy in his twenties had a terrible accident that almost cost him his life.
So, what should you do if you witness or get involved in a longboard accident? Of course, you need to respond quickly and calmly. Here, I will share some tips to deal with this type of situation.
First, you need to assess the situation you are in. Then, if you can, get away from the area of the accident. You also need to call the emergency help. And, if you are not injured, comfort and calm down the injured person.
After getting a hold of the situation, you need to give first aid to the injured. Let’s take a look at the type of injuries and what you need to do.
- Cuts and Abrasions: First, with water, clean the wounded area. In case of bleeding, try to apply pressure to stop it. Then, with the help of a sterile bandage or clean cloth, cover the area.
- Sprains: If you or someone else sprains their leg, try not to move that area. Let it rest and apply ice for 15-20 minutes. Then, compress it with a bandage and elevate the limb.
- Fractures And Dislocation: In case of fractures, immobilize the affected area. If you can, splint the area. However, do not push that area, or it will worsen the situation.
- Bruises and Swelling: Apply ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes. It will reduce swelling and pain.
- Head Injuries: Stabilize the head and neck of that person. Then, keep the person still. In case of bleeding, try to stop it by pressing some clean or sterilized bandage or cloth.
After first aid, immediately seek medical help. Only a healthcare professional can accurately diagnose the extent of injuries. Also, some complications can appear with every passing moment after the accident.
Like any other accident, a longboard accident is also connected with various legal considerations. Let’s take a look at those liabilities and legal steps below.
Before jumping into legal action for a longboard accident, you must know your and others’ liabilities and responsibilities. I will give an overview of those here. So, let’s check them out.
- Personal Responsibility: As a longboarder, you are responsible for adhering to traffic laws. Also, some areas have their own rules and regulations for cycling, skating, longboarding, etc. If you get involved in an accident due to ignoring those, then it is your liability.
- Private Property Owners Liability: If a private longboarding premise is damaged and a hazardous incident happens, then the property owner will be liable for it.
As you can see, some liabilities are associated with this sport that are difficult to maintain. So, insurance is a safe and almost must-have for longboarders and property owners. Let’s check on different types of insurance that are suitable for longboarders.
- Health Insurance: This type of insurance covers the medical expenses resulting from accidents. It is important to ensure that you receive the necessary treatment without incurring significant financial burdens.
- Property Owners Or Renters Insurance: If you have a longboarding club or skating area, you should get insurance. Because it may provide some coverage for accidents that occur on your property.
- Umbrella Personal Liability Policy: This policy provides additional liability coverage beyond what traditional homeowner’s or renter’s insurance offers. Even for legal actions after an accident, it is helpful.
- Sports Insurance: Some insurance companies offer sports insurance. They cover accidents and injuries related to recreational activities like longboarding. If you are often in accidents, get yourself one of these insurances.
After getting into an accident, both physical and mental trauma can develop. So, I will discuss both physical and mental recoveries now.
To ensure physical healing and rehabilitation after a longboard accident, you need extensive care. Also, this process varies depending on the severity of the injuries sustained. Let us take a look at it.
- Medical Treatment: You need to get medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident. The treatment differs depending on the severity and type of your injury.
- Rest and Recovery: Remember, proper rest is essential for a full recovery. During this time, you must refrain from activities that can exacerbate the injuries. Also, follow the healthcare provider’s advice.
- Therapies: If your doctor advises you to go for therapy, you should act accordingly. It helps to regain strength and flexibility and alleviate pain.
- Maintaining A Nutritional Diet: To increase the rate of the healing process, you need to eat a proper and balanced nutritional diet. Also, drink an adequate amount of water and cut down on junk food.
Psychological trauma is normal after an accident. Thus, a longboard accident victim also needs mental support to heal emotionally. Here, I am sharing some methods that can help you make a good emotional recovery.
- Face Your Emotions: It is okay to develop some fear or trauma after an accident. Do not force yourself to think that everything is normal. Instead, acknowledge that fear. Only by doing so can you overcome this trauma.
- Take Others Help: Try to share your feelings with your friends or family. By sharing these experiences, you can look at that incident more easily. Eventually, you will be able to cope with that trauma.
- Engage In Relaxing Activities: Try to engage in relaxing activities like meditation, yoga, etc., to calm your mind. These activities will bring more positivity into your mind. So, you can let go of that devastating memory.
- Seeking Professional Help: If you cannot gather yourself even after trying the above methods, it is time to go to a doctor. Share all of your fears and anxieties with him and follow his advice. Hopefully, you will recover soon.
If you want to become a professional longboarder, you must enroll in longboard safety courses. These training programs will teach you from scratch.
They will enrich your safety knowledge as well as risk management. Also, by learning and practicing those tips, your confidence will naturally boost.
Here, I will share a YouTube video to visualize the safety tricks and tips for you.
We now know the common longboard accidents and their preventive measures. No matter what, you should always wear protective gear to minimize the after-effects of a fall. Also, do not forget to check on your longboard’s condition before going for a ride.
Hopefully, by following my guidelines and learning from others’ experiences, you will successfully prevent any major accidents. Even if you get into trouble or see someone else in an accident, you can still survive and help others by following these guidelines.