All athletes are prone to injury. Skateboarders are no different. The irony is, many times skaters do not think of themselves as athletes & the classic sense, yet are sometimes more at risk given the ‘extreme’ nature of what they do. Whether it is airing out of 10’ bowl or ollie-ing a staircase, the penalty for failure at the very least is impacting a very hard surface and coming to an abrupt halt, expressed by Newton’s law of Force = Mass x Acceleration, where the concrete always wins. Yet many skaters, (who tend to have youth & plenty of ego on their side), do not warm-up, stretch, wear protective equipment, or cross-train with other forms of exercise, in order to improve strength, joint-integrity & flexibility. No other elite athlete would train or compete with such personal neglect.
Most of us skate for fun and couldn't care less about competition or elite performance – this is true. However, no matter why you skate, getting injured SUCKS, especially if you can’t skateL
The intent here is not to sound preachy. Skateboarding has always been about non-conforming & expressing individuality, and is certainly not considered a mainstream or conventional sport (though this perspective seems to be rapidly changing in our society). In fact many of us came to love skateboarding because there are no coaches and no rules or because it was an outlet from ‘normal’ team sports. Indeed skating is as much an art form as it is a sport. This is not intended to be a political discussion, or about the obvious protective benefits of wearing helmets and pads – we wouldn’t waste your time!
This is about INCREASING longevity as skater: Taking care of your body & your joints so you can skate longer & pain-free. Injuries are inevitable if you skate long & hard enough, but you can take steps to prevent most of them, minimize their severity and recover more quickly. In fact, skating is an amazing full body, functional exercise, and a path to a fitter, healthier mind, body & soul.
What can you do? Much of it you know already, especially if you ever played other conventional sports. LISTEN to your body. Put in the time. Pay your dues, and your body will love you for it. Your joints, tendons & ligaments will be STRONG when you need them to: