We’re all well acquainted with skateboards, but not everyone will be familiar with longboards. They aren’t far removed from skateboards, and they earned their name because they are much the same as those, but longer. Longboarding is arguably not as popular, but it does have the potential to be more dangerous than skateboarding. Accidents can happen in both cases, of course, but there could potentially be a bigger risk of more serious injuries for those who indulge in longboarding.
Researchers in America compiled a study that ran between 2006 and 2011. It focused on injuries sustained by people who were either skateboarding or longboarding and were treated my medical professionals for those injuries. The study revealed 57.5% of people received their injuries while longboarding, with the remaining 42.5% being hurt while skateboarding. Another news report stated there was a bigger chance of sustaining more serious injuries through longboarding than there was while skateboarding. 31% of those covered in the study suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury).
Are men at greater risk?
They would seem to be. Headway, the brain injury association, has revealed that men are ‘1.6 times more likely’ to be taken into hospital with a head injury when compared to women. Men are also more likely to be involved in skateboarding and longboarding. This shows how important it is to wear a suitable crash helmet if you intend to try any extreme sport of this nature. It could be a life-saver.
One study into the effectiveness of cycle helmets, for example (similar in construction and style to those worn by longboarders), found they reduced the risk of sustaining brain injuries by up to 88%. So, it’s clear the odds of serious injuries could be reduced by taking this simple step, if you decide to take up longboarding.
What about other common injuries you could sustain while longboarding?
While head injuries are clearly among the worst injuries you could suffer from if things go wrong, there is the potential to suffer other injuries as well. Here are some examples:
- Broken bones – easily sustained in a fall from a longboard if you overbalance, the wheels hit an obstacle or you lose control in some other way.
- Cuts and bruises – again, very easy to experience in a fall from your longboard. These can range from grazes to deep cuts if you are unlucky and fall on broken glass or strike another obstacle.
- Slips, trips and falls – we’re all familiar with these, and they have the potential to cause harm if you fall heavily.
- Neck injuries – an awkward fall is quite possible when falling from a moving longboard at speed. Even with a helmet, your neck is unprotected and an injury could occur.
Since longboards are longer than your average skateboard, they are far more stable to ride on. You won’t see many in the UK at the moment, although some of the 59,200 people who were involved in skateboarding in England alone in 2015-16 will no doubt explore the sport and take it up as an alternative. It’s very popular in America, hence the studies that have been done into the safety of the sport and the chances of injury. The increased speeds that are possible on a longboard mean the injuries suffered when something goes wrong could potentially be worse than they would be if the rider was on a skateboard.
How to avoid injuries while longboarding
Firstly, make sure you are aware of your limitations. Don’t go any faster than you feel comfortable with, and don’t assume you are always in complete control. There could be any number of obstacles in your path, and you may only get a second or two to react to them. For example, if you are longboarding on the pavement, you must keep your speed down and give way to pedestrians.
The best place to practise longboarding safely is at your local skate park. This enables you to practise without worrying about other people who may not be aware you’re there. Even then, you must be aware of the area around you. Take your time to learn how to longboard properly and safely, and to hone your skills so you are better able to reduce the odds of being injured. And remember, no one is ever completely safe from injuries, not even the experts who’ve been longboarding for years.
Keep an eye on the surface you’re longboarding on
It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the pavement, in the road or in your local skate park. You should always adjust your speed so you have enough time to keep an eye on the surface beneath your wheels. You never know if you’ll suddenly go over a pothole that will throw you off balance and tumbling to the floor. Maybe an uneven paving stone could do the same thing? You never know.
Poor conditions can easily lead to an accident, even when you’re doing everything right. If you suffer injuries in that accident, it’s worth considering whether you were to blame for what happened, or whether someone else was at fault. It’s not always easy to figure this out, but it’s worth finding out the answer.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline for the help you need today
Did you know you can call us free on 0800 689 0500 to find out more if you’ve been hurt in a longboarding accident and you believe someone else was to blame? You can also ring us on your mobile if need be on 0333 500 0993. When you do, you can chat with an experienced advisor who can assess what occurred and determine if you have a right to launch a no-win, no-fee* claim against a third party.
Getting in touch couldn’t be easier, as you can see, but we also provide an online test that requires you to answer just three questions. Add your details and we’ll be in touch to see if we can help you after a longboarding accident that resulted in you suffering injuries.