Skateboarding Myths Debunked, Volume 1: Skateboarding is Dangerous

THE MYTH

Skateboarding is a popular activity with an estimated millions worldwide calling themselves active skateboarders heading into 2020. Its popularity is non-contested, yet so many young people avoid stepping on a skateboard for the first time.

The greatest skateboarding myth is that the activity is inherently dangerous. That stepping on a skateboard means with absolute certainty that your child will get a concussion, broken bones, and do irreversible harm to their developing bodies.

While there are many risks both children and adults take skateboarding, there are equally as many risks in mainstream sports, if not more. One way to mitigate risk while skateboarding at a skatepark is remembering S.K.A.T.E. SAFE

  1. Start Simple
    1. Buckle on your helmet, warm up by engaging in simple skills first, or get a lesson from a more experienced skateboarder or skateboard educator.
  2. Know Your Limits
    1. Be patient with yourself; progress your skillset with caution.
  3. Always Have A Plan
    1. Think through everything you do at the skatepark and skate with a purpose
  4. Take A Look
    1. Look for other skateboarders before you start riding, inspect skatepark conditions and the intensity of the skatepark.
  5. Earn Respect
    1. Understand how other skateboarders are using the skatepark, wait your turn, and help beginner skateboarders. 

Watch our S.KA.T.E. SAFE video to learn more about skatepark safety and etiquette. 

THE MYTH, DEBUNKED

According to Stanford Children’s Health youth participants in mainstream sports like football and basketball experience a higher rate of serious injury than those who take up skateboarding.

Basketball generates approximately 4,200,000 youth participants, with more than 170,000 (4% of participants) children ages 5-14 reporting injuries requiring emergency room treatment. Tackle football reported 839,000 participants with 215,000 of those children reporting serious injury. That’s nearly a quarter of the youth population. 

Conversely, skateboarding statistics show that of 2.4 million youth skateboarders nationwide, 66,000 of those were admitted to the ER for serious injury. That number accounts for 2.75% of the entire US Youth Skateboarding population.

Additionally, a study by the US National Library of Medicine concluded that “despite its negative image…skateboarding does not appear to be a dangerous sport with a low incidence and injuries encountered being not severe.”

What these numbers share is that skateboarding is arguably less dangerous than many mainstream sports, but not without risk.

WHY SO SCARED? 

So what are children and even some adults so afraid of? The answer to that question lays within a long-believed stereotype:

If you skateboard, you’re a bad kid and you will get hurt. 

USSEA has developed methodology that makes learning to skateboard simple and easier to learn. The USSEA Learn to Skateboard Youtube Series is the perfect resource for beginner skateboarders interested in learning in a fun, educated way with a minimized risk of serious injury. 

WHAT LEARN TO SKATEBOARD DAY MEANS FOR YOU

LTS Day exists to break barriers and develop an inclusive and positive space for children and their families to learn to skateboard, while increasing the number of people skateboarding around the world. 

Families, skateboarding educators, and skatepark owners around the country host and attend Learn to Skateboard Day with shared goals in mind – to promote safety as children learn to skateboard, connect families and children with skateboarding educators in their community, and to establish a safer and more inclusive skateboarding community. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Bring LTS Day to your community! 

It’s simple: Organize an LTS Day event at your location. All you need for the free event is:

  • a flat space suitable for putting on an event.  Indoor, outdoor, gyms, sports courts, parking lots, and yes, skateboard parks, are all perfect locations
  • A small number of easily-procured items such as skateboards, and helmets, tables, signage, and other items commonly used at an event. To receive access to the LTS Day resource kit enter your email here.
  • Volunteers who like supporting children learning new skills

To find a Learn to Skateboard Day event in your area visit www.LTSDay.com.

For skateboard educational resources and information on how to become a USSEA Certified Skateboard Educator, visit www.USSEA.us.

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