How to Fall off a Skateboard Safely

A guy was enjoying himself by riding down a hill when he realized that it became too steep for him to stop. He then quickly put his hands on the ground and slid into a headfirst flip. Unfortunately, the effect of gravity overpowered him and he wasn’t able to stabilize himself in time, resulting in him hitting the ground face up. But despite being knocked out, the guy was alright after getting back up and walking away unharmed.

Types of Skateboard Falls

You can fall off your board in three ways:

  • Falling Off: when you accidentally let go of the board and fall straight to the ground.
  • One Foot Falls: falling by letting go with one foot, which means you only have one foot on the deck as it falls. This can be either a backside or frontside fall. You usually land on your ass from these types of falls, even though some people like to call them “faceplants” instead of the backside or front side falls.
  • Faceplanting: A more intense fall than the previous two, more commonly called a nose bone-breaker by avid skaters. Specialists call it simply faceplanting. This is when you let go of the board with both feet, resulting in your face hitting the ground while your body is still on the board. This is more common with longboards because boards are longer, giving you a bigger time to react, but medium and shortboards can do it too.

Safer Methods of Falling:

The safest way to fall (usually) is on your stomach. This allows the most time for you to stabilize and put out one of your hands backward to break speed and hopefully avoid injury. A bellyflop also breaks your board less than a faceplant where your weight disperses over a larger area, as opposed to concentrating on the nose of the board. One footfall is more dangerous than faceplanting, as you have one less hand available, and there is a higher chance of your hands hitting the ground with impact first.

 While safe falling only takes a second longer to do, it can be a lifesaver in a critical situation. Landing on your ass will usually jar your tailbone and keep you from getting right back up. Just like with faceplanting, landing on your stomach is better than landing on your feet. A hand or arm out backward will only minimize the damage until your weight hits the ground, as opposed to absorbing some of that impact by catching yourself as a bellyflop does. It’s easy to get complacent about falling but staying active is the best way forward. Things can happen very quickly on a skateboard.

Learn to Run out of Tricks:

 Sometimes, you just need to know when to bail out. If you’re doing a trick that is too dangerous or difficult, fall off the board and run away from it as fast as possible. If you end up faceplanting, this will prevent your foot from getting stuck underneath the board. It also reduces the chance of injury by eliminating any chance of the board hitting you in the back of the head/neck area. This cannot be stressed enough. Even if you can do a trick perfectly, don’t try it when it could be dangerous. Your life is worth much more than a single skateboard trick or career as a pro skater

Learn to Not Catch Yourself With Your Hands:

This is the main cause of hand injuries. While you’re falling, let go. Don’t try to slow yourself down or break your fall with one of your hands. Letting go allows for a smoother landing, and less wear on your board in case you land on it while falling off. It also reduces the chance of an accident, as dropping your hand onto the ground while falling is never a good thing. It can hurt very badly and lead to other injuries such as fingers getting cut up, especially if your fingers are coated in open sores or cuts that tear into them when you land. This can be difficult for people who aren’t used to falling, so it’s important to practice while skating in safer areas like schools, playgrounds (without metal bars), parking lots, etc.

Wear Kneepads on Ramps: 

 If you’re going to run a ramp, it’s highly recommended that you wear knee pads. If your board hits the deck of a ramp and tips over, there will be a good chance that the wheels are going to slam into your legs if they aren’t protected by some kind of padding. Knee pads are also helpful in case you slip on a ramp and start to fall backward. Letting your legs take the bulk of the impact from a hard fall is better than burying your face into the ground or getting hit in the junk. You don’t have to buy some new fancy pants with armor either as some knee pads that are designed for biking will work as well.

Wear Elbow Pads:

If you fall with your hands outstretched, there’s a good chance that you’re going to hit something hard. When grinding, they can scrape up against the rail/object which will lead to some serious skin damage. For this reason, it’s recommended that you wear elbow pads if you are grinding down rails or ledges. The elbow pads will protect your skin from getting torn up by the surface you are grinding, which can lead to infection…which is never fun. 

Check Your Skateboard’s Screws Regularly:

This one is self-explanatory, but it’s important to check the screws on your skateboard regularly. Loose or stripped screws can cause a lot of serious damage to your body if they come loose while you’re riding. If a screw comes out and stays in one of your wheels, that wheel will get ruined from being stripped. While you’re skating, you should be able to feel if a screw is loose or not.

Check Your Bearings Regularly:

It’s important to keep an eye on your bearings while skating so that you know when they need replacing/lubricating. Some signs of bad bearings would be a noise that is hard to ignore coming from your wheels while you’re skating, a feeling that your bearings feel gritty/grindy, or even seeing rust of corrosion around the area of the bearing. If there is rust anywhere on your board it’s best to clean it off with some steel wool and lubricate all of your bearings so they’ll last longer.

Lube Your Trucks:

While you’re at it, check your truck’s hardware/bushings for any signs of wear and tear. Loose hardware can lead to accidents so tighten them down to the point where they don’t slip before re-lubing your bushings if there is any play in them.

Conclusion:

When you are going down a hill, keep both feet on the skateboard at all times. This helps you to maintain control and provides better balance. If you have beginners’ wheels on your skateboard, place your back foot slightly in front of the front foot as you’re going downhill to help with balance. If you have an experienced set of wheels, put both feet side by side as you’re going downhill or on a flat surface to maximize speed.


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Ashley
By Ashley

Hi everyone, I am Ashley, live in Sheffield, England. I'm a Boardsports enthusiast and I've been skateboarding streets since my childhood. As to this site, the goal is to help beginner riders find their perfect equipment so they can have an enjoyable experience on whatever type of board best suits them- whether it be downhill riding or long boarding! Everything written here should be taken as opinion only because everyone's preferences are different, but at least now there will always seem less confusion when looking for gear online.

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