Longboarding is very similar to skateboarding. Whether you do it on the road or on a skate park, it’s not necessarily a dangerous sport and hobby. But it’s only as safe as you make it out to be. This means that longboarding, like any extreme or high-impact activity, still comes with risks of injuries—albeit minimal—that could be mitigated by the appropriate safety gear.
If you or your child wants to get into longboarding, it’s very important that you’re aware which safety gear you’ll have to wear. While this is a fun hobby, it’s not one without risks so at the very least, you’ll want to keep yourself protected. Don’t let fun get in the way of your safety. So as you start with this hobby, it’s important to complete the gear.
To get things started, here’s an ultimate list of the safety gear checklist to guide you through your shopping process:
- Wrist Guard Or Wrist Brace
While a wrist guard or wrist brace is commonly used for injuries on the wrist like carpal tunnel syndrome, you can still wear one while hitting the streets.
A good wrist brace is made of neoprene or nylon fabric that allows good mobility of the hand as you longboard. You can also wear one when you go biking or golfing. A wrist guard is important for the following benefits it brings:
- It reduces the likelihood of sprains and strains on your wrist.
- It keeps the wrist warm and comfortable.
- It reduces pain and inflammation on the wrist.
- Long Board Slide Gloves
Another crucial safety gear that people should wear when they go longboarding are longboard slide gloves. When you’re cruising downhill, you’ll want to be quick with your hands. This may not always require sliding, but when it does, you need to wear slide gloves.
A sliding glove includes a palm (or sliding) puck. This includes a thermoplastic material, which produces low friction and a stable glide. This can help protect your palms from any possible impact on an unforgiving pavement or road.
Among all the injuries that you can risk yourself getting, one of the most fatal can easily be severe head trauma. Therefore, the first thing on your shopping list would be getting a helmet that has a good fit on you.
First off, a good helmet will have an EPS foam coating that expands upon impact so that your skull is protected from severe concussions. This is a very important standard, as strong impacts can also lead to traumatic brain injuries, which can lead to serious injuries on your body and life.
To be sure that you’ve got a good standard helmet with you, make sure only to buy from sellers that are well rated by safety associations. You wouldn’t want to depend your life on a bootleg helmet that hasn’t passed any safety certifications now, would you?
Especially if you’re still a beginner or your kids are still starting longboarding, a kneepad is another must. Balancing on a longboard isn’t as easy as it seems, so scraped knees are quite common.
Minor scrapes are fine, but what you want to protect yourself from are knee fractures and ligament tears. This is where kneepads come in. Kneepads can help prevent injury from happening by balancing the weight that’s exerted on the knees.
To convince you that a kneepad is a good buy, here are some of the benefits of wearing one:
- Stability On The Knee Joint. A kneepad can reduce the time and the severity of a collision when you don’t fall directly on your knees—literally. There’s a small barrier between the knee and the ground when you wear padded kneepads. Even if you’re older and you suffer from arthritis, for instance, you don’t have to stop yourself from enjoying this hobby and sport. You can still longboard when you also wear a kneepad.
- Ensures comfort: Especially when you’re long boarding for a long time and your knees may start to feel the weight of your body’s pressure, a kneepad may help in relieving pressure by, again, absorbing some of the blows your knees would normally receive.
- Elbow Pads Or Elbow Sleeves
Third on this list are elbow pads. When you wear this, you’re not only protecting your elbows from injuries, but you’re also regulating better blood flow to help with overworked tendons while you longboard—or do any other sport and exercise, for that matter.
That said, here are some reasons why you should also wear elbow sleeves when longboarding:
- Brings Better Recovery: When you’re injured, your recovery can be faster when you wear elbow sleeves. The compression and the pads on the elbow pads or sleeves increases the blood flow around the arm and muscle area. This creates a warming effect, which is also helpful for boosting recovery.
- Protects Your Elbows: Injuries in your elbow and arm area aren’t just painful, but they can also be annoying. Think about the many day-to-day activities you have to do with your arms—cooking, studying, working, writing, doing the laundry, carrying kids, to name a few. These will all be hampered when you can no longer move your arm as you used to because of the injuries that it suffered. Elbow pads protects your elbows from major injuries through its cushioning, so when you do land on your elbow, you land on the cushion as a layer of protection and not just your elbow directly.
To enjoy the benefits that elbow sleeves bring, however, it’s also necessary that it’s tightly fitted and suited for your elbow. Here’s how to ensure a good fit:
- If you feel you need a tighter fit, you can always go one size lower;
- Get yourself measured accurately by using a tape measure—especially if you’re buying your elbow sleeves or pads online.
5. Hip Pads
Apart from your elbow and kneepads, hip pads will also come in handy. When you longboard, you can expect that you’re going to fall on your hips more frequently than usual. This is the innate nature of longboarding and skateboarding in general where balance is king.
A hip pad protects your hips and waist area because of the layer of cushion that it has. So when you do fall and slip, the cushion helps your hips not to land directly on the ground, minimizing the injury. Hip injuries can also be serious, depending on the severity of the impact, so you have to protect yourself accordingly.
With this checklist, are you now ready to go longboarding? It’s a fun sport and hobby to do for any age—even kids—as long as you can keep balance! Plus, it’s not necessarily that difficult as well. While very few get injured with longboarding, this doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down and not wear the right gear. You need to protect yourself so you can keep longboarding for as long as you want while minimizing the effects of injuries.