Skateboarding Injuries & Prevention: A Novice’s Guide to Safe Skating

Master safe skating with this beginner's guide to injury prevention. Learn how to avoid those gnarly slams and avoid injury on your next ride.

Skateboarding is an exciting sport that offers immense freedom and satisfaction when landing new tricks. However, it does come with its fair share of slams, falls, and injuries. This guide will explore the most common skateboarding injuries, how skating affects your body, and tips for injury prevention.

How does skateboarding impact your body?

Skateboarding is a physically demanding sport. Repeated pushing while skating can cause pelvic misalignment over time. This makes your posture crooked if you’re not careful. Pay attention to any developing postural imbalances.

Image of a skateboarder going down the stairs with his skateboard.
Image of a skateboarder going down the stairs with his skateboard.

On the positive side, skating works your core muscles and improves balance and coordination. Your abs, back, and equilibrium get a constant workout as you ride. This also makes your reaction time quicker, as skaters must constantly react and adapt to falls. This skill translates outside of skating situations as well.

However, the repeated slams put a lot of stress on your joints and muscles. This can lead to chronic aches and pains if you are not careful about preventing and recovering from injuries. Jumping down gaps and doing airs on ramps is also hard on the knees and ankles.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Skateboarding injuries & prevention: a novice’s guide to safe skating | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

What are the most common skateboarding injuries?

Here are some details on the most frequent skateboarding wounds you’re likely to encounter:

  • Ankle and shin impacts lead to painful “shinners—scrapes and bruises that can sting. Icing the area and resting helps reduce pain and swelling. One of the most common skate injuries is sprained ankles from landing off-balance. See a doctor for a proper diagnosis and recovery plan for ankle sprains. Evaluate if you need crutches, a brace, or imaging to check for torn ligaments.
  • Falling backward onto an outstretched hand is a recipe for broken wrists and fingers. Wearing wrist guards can help prevent fractures from these types of falls. Heel bruises are also very common from landing heel-first and compressing the fat pad under the heel bone. Treating these with rest, ice, compression, and keeping the foot elevated helps speed recovery.

Repeated impacts from skating and poor posture contribute to developing back problems for many skaters. Proper stretching and core-strengthening exercises go a long way toward preventing back injuries and pain.

Preventing skateboarding injuries

Ensuring that you take the necessary precautions can help you enjoy the sport while minimizing the chances of getting injured. Here are six essential tips to guide you in preventing skateboarding injuries.

1. Learn to Fall Safely

Learning how to fall safely is one of the best injury prevention techniques. Rolling with the momentum instead of fighting against it prevents worse trauma. Try to land on your feet or side and smoothly roll out of the falls. Warming up before sessions and doing post-skate stretching helps reduce muscle strains and injuries when muscles are still cold.

2. Balance Board Training

Balance board training improves ankle strength and stability, which is crucial in preventing rolled ankles.

3. Wear Safety Gear

Wearing safety gear such as helmets, wrist guards, and elbow and knee pads can make a significant difference. These items protect you from fractures and abrasion injuries.

4. Work on Overall Fitness

Working on overall fitness through strength training, especially core exercises, not only prevents injury but also speeds up recovery when you do get hurt.

5. Take Adequate Rest

Make sure to take enough rest days between hard skating sessions. Your muscles and joints need time to recover and get stronger.

6. Proper Footwear

Foot pain is a common issue among skateboarders, and it often comes from poor-fitting skate shoes and inadequate cushioning. Ensure you get properly sized skate shoes with good impact-absorbing insoles. Wearing thick-soled shoes also helps prevent top-of-foot bruising from the board slapping your feet.

How can I recover faster from skating?

Improving overall fitness, proper nutrition, quality sleep, and rest days are essential in speeding up recovery after sessions. Light active recovery activities, such as walking, biking, or swimming, also help in clearing lactic acid buildup and reducing muscle soreness. It’s worth noting that age plays a role in recovery, with younger skaters generally bouncing back quicker.

Image of a skateboarder with the sky as the backdrop.
Image of a skateboarder with the sky as the backdrop.

Is skateboarding good exercise?

Absolutely! Skateboarding provides some great fitness benefits:

  • It burns 400–800 calories per hour, depending on your weight and level of exertion.
  • Skating improves stamina and energy levels with practice.
  • It strengthens the leg muscles, works the core, and massively improves balance.
  • Skateboarding requires substantial coordination skills and quick reaction times as well. Studies show it also reduces the risk of developing heart disease, like other aerobic exercises.
  • Skateboarding intensely works the leg, core, and stability muscles. Adding upper-body strength training like weight lifting, push-ups, or swimming helps make it a complete workout routine.

The fun, flowing nature of skating makes staying motivated to exercise consistently easy!

Effects of skateboarding on mental health

Skateboarding can also benefit your mental wellbeing.

  • It improves mood by triggering the release of dopamine in the brain.
  • Skating helps reduce feelings of depression and social isolation as you connect with a community. Landing tricks build self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • The sport also develops patience and perseverance as you work to master difficult skills. Skateboarding provides a creative outlet as you build your unique style.
  • The concentration required forces you to be mindful and present in the moment, providing an escape from overthinking and rumination. There’s a wonderful feeling of freedom and flow you achieve while skating.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is skateboarding bad for your knees?

Skating strengthens the knee joint muscles and improves mobility when done properly. But repeatedly impacting the knees from big airs and jumps can contribute to early onset arthritis. Listen to your body and avoid skating through knee pain as it appears.

Why do my feet hurt when skating?

Foot pain usually comes from poor-fitting skate shoes and inadequate cushioning. Get properly sized skate shoes with good impact-absorbing insoles. Wearing thick-soled shoes also helps prevent top-of-foot bruising from the board slapping your feet.

How can I recover faster from skating?

Improving overall fitness, proper nutrition, quality sleep, and rest days help speed up recovery after sessions. Light active recovery like walking, biking, or swimming also helps clear lactic acid buildup and muscle soreness. Age is also a factor, with younger skaters bouncing back quicker.

What’s the worst skateboarding injury?

While serious injuries can be devastating, fractures around the ankle joint or elbow or shoulder dislocations from falls often require the longest recovery times. However, major head trauma from not wearing a helmet can lead to permanent brain damage and poses the highest risk.


Skateboarding provides amazing enjoyment, lifestyle, and health benefits. But like any physically demanding sport, you must be smart about injury prevention and recovery. Protective gear, practicing falls, fitness, rest, and listening to your body allows you to continue shredding pain-free for years to come.

Do you have any questions about skateboarding? Let me know your questions in the comment section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and skate on!

This article covered the dangers that skateboarding can cause. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways:

  • Skateboarding, like many sports, carries a risk of injury. Common injuries include sprains, fractures, and contusions, especially to the wrists, ankles, and head.
  • Wearing proper protective equipment, such as helmets, wrist guards, and elbow and knee pads, can significantly reduce the risk of injury.
  • Beginners are more prone to accidents due to their unfamiliarity with the board and techniques. Learning and practicing in safe environments is crucial before attempting complex maneuvers or tricks.
  • Skateboarding in poorly lit areas, uneven surfaces, or high-traffic areas can increase the danger. It’s essential to be aware of one’s surroundings and to skateboard in appropriate areas like skate parks.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

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