Cruising down a long beach road with the wind softly pressing against your face is one of the most liberating feelings in the world.
Electric skateboarding is super fun and it’s easy to just jump on one and get going, but we need to remember that it is really important to always keep safety in mind.
Here’s my top tips for exercising safety when riding your favourite electric longboard or skateboard:
Don’t Forget To Wear A Helmet
This is one of your mother’s favourite sayings and probably for good reason. Ever since we were kids, learning to ride a bicycle for the first time, we’ve always worn a helmet.
I’m personally thankful that my parents instilled the importance of wearing a helmet in me, because only just recently, I had an accident on my bicycle that landed me in hospital.
I was riding in the park racing my housemates dog, a border collie x whippet, which can move pretty quickly. I took my eyes off the path for a split second to check where she was.
Next thing I know, I’m flying head-first over the front of the handlebars. My head comes into contact with the concrete first, followed by my right shoulder before I even had time to put my hands out to brace my fall.
If I wasn’t wearing a helmet on that ride, I’m confident to say that I would not be sitting here typing this out right now.
The effectiveness of a helmet is controversial and a lot of research has been done to measure if a helmet protects the brain from injury during an accident. But it’s been proven that in low impact collisions, such as those that are more likely to occur when riding an electric skateboard, a helmet is very effective in preventing brain injury.
I would never ride without a helmet, ever.
The Light Of Your Life
A major challenge of riding safely is being seen in the first place. Motorists and pedestrians often have tunnel vision when on their journey, so you need to make sure they can see you.
Without wearing fluoro from head to toe, the next best option to being seen is to attach a set of lights to your board and/or helmet.
To stress the importance of having board lights, here’s a fun fact for you from Holland-Cycling. When riding a bicycle in Holland, you’re not required to wear a helmet, however, it is illegal to ride without proper lights.
Ride At Your Own Ability
Everyone has a different riding ability and you should only ever ride as fast as you feel comfortable.
It will take time, but with practice you will eventually become more confident and you will be able to manage higher speeds without compromising your safety.
Start with the beginner setting on the electric skateboard remote and ride with that for a while. When you feel ready, move up to the next setting. Before you know it, you’ll be whizzing through the streets, feeling confident and safe.
Don’t Drink And Ride
Here’s a big one for you. Mayo Clinic says that 25% of all spinal cord injuries had alcohol as a participating factor. That’s a huge number! 1 in every 4.
Everyone knows how bad it is to drink and drive. Riding your eBoard after a few too many beverages is no different. You’re not only a danger to yourself but others too.
Expect The Unexpected
This is the equivalent of the defensive driving course that you would have taken when going for your drivers licence.
You can’t always expect everyone to adhere to the rules and to be safe on the roads or trails. For this reason, you must always be ready in the case someone comes out of nowhere.
Practicing this one out on the road has gotten me out of a couple of tight pickles in the past.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident that has caused life-changing injuries, there is a lot of support out there. Below are a few I’d like to mention.
Wheels in Motion is a charitable organisation that exists to improve the quality of life for Australians living with spinal cord injuries
Their mission is to find a cure for spinal cord injury. By donating to Wings for Life you can make this wish a reality.
Headway works to improve life after brain injury. It provides support, services and information to brain injury survivors, their families and carers, as well as to professionals in the health and legal fields.