- Skating merit badge requirement 1
Unwritten Rules of Skateboarding
- Never skate alone, and always have an emergency plan.
- Always check the area for possible dangers before skating.
- Skate within your limits.
- Wear all required protective equipment.
- Learn how to fall safely.
- Learn basic skateboard techniques before going to a skate park.
- Do not stop, stand, or sit on skate features.
- Communicate with other users.
Skateboarding Safety Tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission – Like other sports activities, skateboarding has risks. Vehicle traffic, trick riding, and excessive speed can lead to collisions, loss of control, and falls. Even experienced riders have been injured and killed. Take knowledge to the extreme, and follow these important tips for safer riding:
- Wear protective gear when riding—especially a helmet. Wearing a helmet can mean the difference between life and death. Don’t become another statistic.
- Stay clear of moving vehicles. Some of the most common and severe skateboarding accidents involve collisions with moving vehicles. Don’t ride where you are likely to encounter traffic. Never hitch a ride (“skitch”) onto a moving vehicle.
- Inspect/adjust your board before you ride. Always check for excessive play (looseness) and any broken or cracked parts. Serious defects should be fixed by a qualified repair shop.
- Ride during the day. Avoid riding at dusk and dawn or in other low-light conditions where you cannot see or be seen easily by vehicles.
- Inspect your riding terrain. Skateboarders should inspect the area where they will be riding for holes, bumps, rocks, and debris.
- Never ride alone. Accidents happen. Ride with friends and bring a phone. Children under 8 years old should be supervised closely.
- Ride wisely. Don’t ride faster than you can handle. You can lose control of your skateboard at any speed. Never lie down on a skateboard in motion.
How to Fall – When learning how to fall, remember that protective equipment is not a guarantee of avoiding injury. To fall correctly, it is almost always better to fall forward as opposed to falling backward. When executing a “bail” or a controlled fall, it is typically better to fall and go with the motion than it is to try to prevent yourself from falling by trying to stick out an arm or leg to brace yourself. A roll should start with elbow or knee contact with the ground and then a rolling motion across your back, ending with ground contact with the opposing elbow or knee.
Avoiding Speed Wobbles – Speed wobbles happen when a skateboard starts shimmying from side to side. If you can’t control the shimmying, you could be thrown from the board. To avoid speed wobbles:
- Ride forward on the board and crouch slightly.
- Use a longer board.
- Use a board with wheels that are farther apart.
- Be sure trucks, wheels, nuts, and mounting screws are tightened properly.