How Dangerous Is Longboarding? Longboard Safety Rules
If you are getting into longboarding, you might wonder - “how dangerous is longboarding?”. Well, the brief reply is: yes. It can be dangerous if you aren't careful.
Disregarding proper safety precautions while longboarding can inflict many injuries. Many longboarders, even the most experienced, have broken a bone or injured a knee because of falling off or crashing their board.
Let’s take a look at how dangerous this sport is and how you can ensure your safety on the board. With proper safety precautions, this is a fantastic sport.
Longboard - What Is It?
In the sport of skateboarding, there are 2 types of boards: skateboard and longboard. It's critical to comprehend the distinction between a skateboard and a longboard to know how dangerous a longboard is.
The board’s size is the major difference between them. Compared to skateboards, longboards are skateboards with a longer length and wider proportions, making them more stable. As a result, beginners prefer to start with longboards.
The length of longboards is typically 42 to 80 inches, whereas skateboards are 30 to 38 inches long. Longboards can reach a speed of up to 65 mph. Speeds on the downhill can be even faster.
However, your speed is largely determined by your riding skills. If you're a beginner learning to control your board, go as gently as possible. Longboarding can be extremely dangerous and lead to accidents if you can't properly manage your board.
Are Longboards Safe?
Longboarding is a sport that involves high speeds. That's why it is not safe. While skateboarders frequently practice in a skate park or open spaces such as parking lots, longboarders prefer to ride on open roads.
As a result, longboard riders are vulnerable to injury if they fall or encounter obstacles like signposts, curbs, running cars, or pedestrians.
Longboarders also want to do tricks and stunts, navigate obstacles, bomb down steep hills or attempt to achieve the fastest possible speeds.
To make matters worse, they are far less likely than skateboarders to wear a helmet because of a desire for “freedom”, or “wind in the hair”.
How Dangerous Is Riding A Longboard?
Longboards can reach tremendous speeds. It's easy to see how risky it could be, considering your only options for emergency brakes are your hands and feet. Nonetheless, not all longboarding activities are equally hazardous.
Below is a quick rundown of the danger levels involved in different longboarding styles.
Is Cruising On A Longboard Dangerous?
Cruising means gliding on the longboard. The movements are not fancy, and riders only ride their longboard at 5-10 mph.
Technically, cruising is the most secure way to ride a longboard. You are riding around on the flat ground in a relaxed manner and do not pick up dangerously high speeds.
The injuries involved while performing this task are minor bruises or scrapes. Additionally, you might trip over a crack or step on a small stone.
Is Longboard Dancing Dangerous?
Dancing is an artistic, elegant style of longboard riding. People move around on the board with both legs, conduct flip kicks or other intricate techniques. It's also considerably more technical than cruising, slightly raising the danger level.
Dancing is usually carried out on flat, gentle slopes or empty streets. However, the speed is significantly faster than cruising. As a result, a fall or a poor weight shift is remarkably more hazardous. You may easily fall while performing a trick.
Is Long-Distance Riding Dangerous?
This riding type is slightly different from cruising. Cruising is when riders go for a ride in the neighborhood park or on their block's road for enjoyment.
Long-distance boarding is simply commuting, meaning that more distances the board will cover. Riders use their board to go from home to school or cruise around town. So, longboards can become an excellent and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
In theory, it shouldn't be any riskier than cruising. But in fact, it is because there are no traffic rules, cars, bikes, pedestrians, and other impediments in the mix.
It’s fairly dangerous when you run into some unexpected situations on the road. For instance, a child darting ahead of you could disrupt your rhythm, causing you to crash or fall.
Is Downhill Longboarding Dangerous?
Theoretically, this is the riskiest activity with a longboard. It's incredibly fun to go downhill at over 40 mph on one thin board with wheels. However, even the smallest error can cause a serious injury.
Besides, a longboard also does not have emergency brakes. If anything unanticipated occurs, the best thing you can do is try to slow down by sliding your hands on the road surface. That’s the reason we advise you to wear gloves with padding.
Is Freeriding Dangerous?
Freeride longboarding is a challenging type of longboarding. It is like dancing, but the emphasis is on drifting and turning at high speeds. It is not as fast as downhill riding but still potentially entails severe injuries if you lose equilibrium and tumble off.
What Are Common Injuries When Longboarding?
According to LiveScience, a new study from Brigham Young University researchers discovered that longboarding might place skaters at a higher risk of serious head injuries than traditional skating.
The researchers examined 824 patients from a Utah trauma center with an average age of 19 who were treated for skating-related injuries between 2006 and 2011.
Longboarders constituted more than half of the participants, or 57.5 percent, and their injuries were more serious.
Longboarders were vulnerable to head fractures, TBI, and intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding within the skull). Longboard injuries are more common in females than in males.
How To Make Longboarding Safe?
No matter how skilled you are on the board, you should never disregard safety precautions under any circumstances. Many riders overlook safety aspects when they gain confidence on their longboard.
Your capacity to regulate your speed, or the environment in which you ride, how you ride, and the safety equipment you employ. They play a role in lowering the risk of injury and accident.
Below are the safety precautions that you should keep in mind before and during the ride:
- Make sure you're wearing a helmet that meets safety standards. Look for the ASTM F1492 or Snell N-94 label on a helmet. This means you get a helmet created specifically to protect longboarders. See also: Top 8 Best Longboard Helmets in 2021
- Put on protective gear: elbow pads, knee guards, wrist, padded shorts, and flat-soled shoes.
- Before riding, double-check that the hardware and wheels are in good condition.
- Keep an eye out for speed wobble. This occurs when the board unexpectedly shifts from one side to another, causing the rider to tumble off.
- To avoid it, crouch and ride straight ahead of the board. Longer boards that have wider wheels are significantly less prone to speed wobbling.
- Check local legislation before riding in public, as this sport is prohibited in some cities. Riding alone or when it is dark is never a good idea.
- Keep an eye out for rocks, holes, and uneven surfaces.
- Never ride while intoxicated or high on drugs or alcohol.
- Instead of jumping or riding on handmade ramps, go to a community skatepark. The location of the park away from vehicular traffic and the ramps are constantly monitored for safety.
- Children under 5 years old shouldn’t take up this sport, and those between the ages of 5 and 10 should skate under the supervision of adults.
- Avoid skating on busy streets.
- Purchase a pair of longboard shoes as they are designed to provide you with a superior grip on your longboard.
- Don't buy low-cost equipment because most of it hasn't been certified or properly tested.
- Before you take on bumpy roads, practice on a level surface first.
- Ride with those of the same levels so that you don't overextend yourself.
- Lower your speed, practice braking, and turning with your body.
Well, how dangerous is longboarding? We hope that after reading our article, you have a better understanding of it. Essentially, there is a risk of injury in doing any sport.
However, with proper precautions, longboarding is an incredibly interesting sport. Follow the safety precautions outlined in this article, and you shouldn't be too concerned. So, abide by the rules, ride safely, and ride responsibly.