Over the past couple of years, electric skateboarding has seen an immense world-wide growth in popularity. With more and more people of all ages embracing this new and fun way of transportation, the likelihood of accidents will unfortunately also increase. It is always extremely saddening to read the news of yet another (fatal) injury and it is even more sad to learn that some of the injuries sustained could have possibly been avoided.
Have a look at the following points, to see how you can do your part to stay safe and enjoy your ride!
Gear that protects you (Helmet, knee & elbow pads, wrist guards etc.) is incredibly helpful to protect your bones and life. They may not look as cool, but they are certainly nicer to have than some fractured bones and a lengthy & costly stay at the hospital. (Ask us how we know :-) You may be an experienced rider without having had any previous falls or injuries. But also think about events that are outside your realm of control, especially if you are riding on the streets sharing the road with cars and other (motorized) vehicles.
This video sums up nicely, WHY WE LOVE HELMET, seriously:
Check your setup
A ride on your board will undoubtedly put a lot of stress on your components. Continuous vibration is a key factor that can easily lead to bolts and nuts coming loose. This may have serious consequences, which you need to avoid. The best thing to do is to thoroughly inspect your setup EACH TIME & PRIOR to any skate sessions.
Are your ball bearings still working well or do they need replacement?
Is the belt tension too loose or too tight?
Do any nuts and / or bolts need further tightening?
Is the belt perfectly aligned with the drive gear and motor pulley?
Do wheels and / or drive gears and pulleys need replacement because of wear and tear?
Is the tire pressure for your all-terrain wheels ok?
Are any components (circlips, nuts, bolts etc.) missing?
Are all components free of cracks or serious dents?
Know your surroundings
If you ride a car or a bike you know that potholes, small rocks, uneven terrain or any other small objects on the path can be a nuisance. For electric skateboarders however, they are not just a nuisance but moreover they can be downright dangerous, especially when going fast.
Be on the constant lookout for anything on the road that may cause danger. Riding at night or when visibility is poor, your chances of losing your balance are significantly increased. If you do want to ride at night, then at least use a strong headlight illuminating the path ahead of you. Also, wearing a helmet light and reflective stickers on your jacket will help others to see you and react accordingly.
Falling off your board is something to be avoided…something we are sure you agree with. But sometimes accidents are just bound to happen, be it your own or somebody else’s fault.
Put on your safety gear and from a standing position practice your falling. They idea is that you get comfortable landing on your protective gear (especially the knee pads and wrist guards) so that you instinctively know what to do when you get thrown off your board for real. On impact, proper knee pads will absorb a lot of the kinetic energy.
It is very important to remind yourself that components can fail for a multitude of reasons. Component failure at high speeds is dangerous as this may impede your ability to safely engage your brakes.
That is why you should not solely rely on your board or components for braking. Practice how to use your feet for braking and only go as fast as you feel comfortable to still be able to foot-brake and / or to jump safely off your board.
Wet surfaces may look harmless, but appearances can be very deceptive as with so many other things in life.
Simply put: Wet surfaces and skateboards do not go well together. Even though your electronics may be labeled as waterproof, water ingress may still happen and could cause major issues for your electronic components. In addition to that, wet surfaces can reduce wheel traction and your standard PU longboard wheels can easily give you a very much unwanted and uncontrollable slide of a lifetime. Be smart and don’t go riding on wet surfaces!
A healthy dose of common sense goes a long way, also when enjoying a ride on your electric skateboard. You are sharing the paths with other folks and their reaction time may not be as fast as yours. Anticipate that people may veer into your way and prepare for this accordingly. Always remember: you along with all the thousands of other skaters are ambassadors for this new growing sport. Let us all try to promote this sport in a positive and fun way.
Laws and regulations
A lot of countries have yet to catch up on updating their laws and regulations when it comes to e-boarding. In this regard, some countries are more progressive and forward-thinking than others. Please do check whether or not riding an electric skateboard in your country / state is allowed and what conditions apply. Unfortunately, the absence of specific laws & regulations governing electric skateboards as a mode of transportation DOES NOT automatically make it legal to ride them on public roads. The e-boarding community is growing rapidly along with users of other electric vehicles. We are positive that our sport will gain more acceptance and support from the authorities. Let's do our part to keep e-boarding safe and legal.