How Do I Fall Safely While Skateboarding?

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If you fall is there a proper way for to land without hurting yourself and ending up in an EMS vehicle to the nearest hospital? Sometimes safety gear is just not enough!  Learning how to fall safely will not only keep you safe and relatively pain-free, it will also help build your confidence so you can try new tricks and push yourself further without fear of wiping out. 

Types of Skateboard Falls

There are three types of falls off your board:

  • Falling off: This happens when you lose your board and stumble without hitting the ground.
  • Bailing: If you know you suspect are going to fall hard, you can bail on the trick before it's too late.
  • Slamming: Worst case scenario -- when you hit the ground. You lose control of the trick and slam bang, you're eating dirt.

Falling Methods

This is a critical question and it would be great to simply learn not to fall at all, but falling is part of skateboarding. It's unavoidable, however, you can avoid serious injury learning to call correctly with these two methods:

  • Learn to run out of tricks. This is where you try something and the board goes wrong, and you catch yourself running. It takes some getting used to, but if you do this right you'll get out of a lot of falls!
  • Learn to not catch yourself with your hands. Your natural instincts when you fall are to throw your hands out, but when you do this on concrete from a skateboard, you'll break your wrists.

You can buy wrist guards for skateboarding, and if you are afraid of catching yourself with your hands these can help, but it's better to force yourself to learn to fall differently.

How to Fall Safely

When you fall, roll to land on your shoulder or back instead, tucking in your elbows. You might want to actually practice this a little! Go out to your yard or someplace sort of soft and stand on your skateboard. Then simply fall forward and roll to land on your shoulder. The roll takes the energy out of the fall. If you can, roll with the fall -- land on your shoulder and let the force of the fall play itself out with the roll. It'll hurt a little, but not that bad. Keep your limbs loose to absorb the fall; stiffening up increasing the risk of breaking bones. 

If you are skateboarding on ramps, then kneepads give you a great way to fall. You want to teach yourself to always fall to your knees and slide down the ramp. You can actually practice this and it's fun, too. Just run up the side of a ramp, drop to your knees and then slide down. If you are skateboarding on vert ramps, then get a good running start and get as high as your can before dropping. Practice like this for a while to get it in your head.

Falling is a big part of skateboarding, but if you learn to minimize the damage from your falls and wear a helmet and pads, you should be ok for the most part.