I'm Scared of Getting Hurt While Skateboarding - What Should I Do?

Two boys (7-9) on skateboard ramp, one adjusting knee pad of other
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Question: I'm Scared of Getting Hurt While Skateboarding - What Should I Do?

Most people are scared of falling while skateboarding - that's why so few people actually do it! I remember the first time I went to a park and tried to drop in - it was a disaster. I kept pulling my back foot off and catching myself, and jumping off the board. I was terrified. I did the same thing the next two times I went to the park, too.

Answer: Anyway, being scared of getting hurt is normal. I get a lot - I mean A LOT of e-mail from people asking about getting hurt. The truth is that falling is just part of skateboarding. Sometimes it helps just to know that other people deal with it too, and that you aren't a whimp or alone. Being scared is normal! When I get on a board it's not like I have no fear at all - a huge percentage of skateboarding is mental. If you think you will fail, or are afraid of bailing, they you have a very good chance of failing and bailing.

I think that lesson is true of a lot more in life than skateboarding...

But how to get over it!? First off, you can seriously make sure you are padded up. For me, when I first started, that gave me a lot of confidence. I had massive knee pads on, elbow pads and a helmet. I think at one point I even had some padded shorts. I looked ridiculous, but who cares?! I mean really, whoever saw me back then might have laughed, but look where I am now!!

Being suited up like an astronaut gave me the confidence to go for it. And the more I skated, the more confidence I got, I started to take things off that I realized I didn't need.

The best way to get over fear though, is to practice until you don't feel scared any more. That might be a lot. That might be several years.

Whatever. The more you do it, the more you will see that you CAN do it, and that you can deal with the falling and the pain.

It also helps to practice with friends, but you need to practice with friends who will encourage you! My skateboarding ability jumped fast when I finally found some fiends who were fun to hang with, and who wanted to encourage me. Sometimes they are better than me, and sometimes they aren't. But just being with good fiends helps. Plus, if they are good friends, they will harass you when you are scared, and help you push through it. Trust me, if you have a good group, peer pressure can be a good thing. If you have a hard time finding good friends like this, then check around for a skateboarding club at your school, a church or other group.

You can also practice falling. That might sound weird, but it's true! Learning how to fall the right way will help you avoid a lot of pain. Read how to fall skateboarding.

Sometimes, you also just need to get hurt. Trust me, if you are padded up and wearing a helmet, you won't break anything too badly. But maybe you'll break a little something - or even something big! But you WILL heal (if you had pads on!). And then you will be better.

When we fall, our bodies learn to not do that again. It's all subconscious, but it's true, and it works.

The truth is, skateboarding is a painful sport. Activity. Whatever you want to call it, you fall and get hurt sometimes. But really, it's not THAT bad. If you wear a helmet and aren't too stupid, you should heal up just fine. And besides, scars rock!! When you're old, you can show them off to your grand kids and amaze them with how hardcore you were!