Skateboarding is a lot of fun. Falling on the other hand isn’t, and falling off a skateboard at 20+MPH is even less fun. Trust us—we’ve done it. Believe it or not, there’s actually a right way (and a wrong way) to fall off a skateboard. While many experienced riders are familiar with proper falling technique, bad habits that form early on linger, well, like a bad habit. The results often lead to sprains and broken bones; to avoid serious injury, it’s important for new riders to understand not only how to fall off a skateboard, but when. Whether you’re new to the sport and are looking to learn or you’re an experienced rider in need of a desperate refresher, Evolve is here to help.
No matter what you’re doing, falling and landing on your hands is never a good idea. However, it’s an especially terrible idea when you’re falling at top-speed on an electric skateboard. The human body might showcase some tough-as-nails, almost stoic resilience, but the fragility of the bones that compose your wrists is comparative to glass. That’s why it’s best to be vigilant and err on the side of extreme caution if you can help it, lest you want to sprain or break your wrists.
But what are you supposed to do when landing on your hands is seemingly the only option? It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll ever run into a scenario where you absolutely have to land on your hands. There’s always another way. We recommend tucking and rolling. Otherwise referred to as “breaking your fall,” tucking during a fall and subsequently rolling out of it will absorb most of the impact, spreading it throughout your body. This is actually why free-runners and stunt professionals roll at the end of their jumps.
Many riders, when they fall off a skateboard, fall forward. Under this circumstance you want to tuck your forward most shoulder in toward your stomach, bringing your arm across your body. It’s important to avoid landing on the ball of your elbow. If this happens, it’s going to hurt—a lot. Instead, let your shoulders and hips do most of the work. If you land on the broad part of your shoulder, with your head tucked in of course, the momentum created from both the forward motion and the angle of your roll will distribute the weight diagonally across your back down to your hip. This is, circumstantially, a best-case scenario—and no two crashes, wipes, or slams are the same.
Nevertheless, as a best practice, it serves as the perfect foundation. Because it can mean the difference between a bruise and a broken bone, regardless of a situation’s nuances, your body will thank you for understanding how to fall on a skateboard. So even if you wipeout in the middle of a deep, horizontal carve, lift your hands, tuck, and roll. Obviously rolling forward here is out of the question, but a side or back roll are certainly in the realm of possibility.
Before you even step on an electric skateboard, to help you form good falling habits, we recommend you practice falling and rolling in grass or on tumbling mats at the local gym. This will train your mind and body to react instinctually.
If you’re wondering how to fall on a skateboard, don’t forget about your gear! Safety equipment is generally a passive means of protection, but knee and pads or guards can actually be used to proactively keep you safe. When tucking and rolling might not be the most viable option or you’re not exactly comfortable with it yet, consider your equipment.
Guard sliding is a pretty cool technique used by more experienced riders who already have a grasp on falling. The goal here is to not necessarily land on your pads per se, but ultimately to use them as a means to an end. For example: if you’re sliding your hand along the ground in the middle of a gnarly carve and decide to bail, you can use the plastic guard of your wrist pads to slide you to safety. There will still be some sting and your wrist may hurt a little afterward, but it’s a small price to pay considering the alternatives. Given the nature of this technique, it is often best reserved for low-speed slams where you fall backside, typically during a failed carve. If you’re falling frontside off your electric skateboard, run it out, tuck and roll, or try and slide forward using your knee pads. Although, commonly used in pipes, a knee slides is a great way to bail out of a frontside carve that’s just a little too deep. Under no circumstance, if you fall off a skateboard, should you ever intentionally land or slide on your helmet.
No one is perfect, and even the best riders are prone to accidents. Falling is a very real and rational fear, but don’t let it keep you from experiencing the thrill of riding an electric skateboard. As you can see, there are a handful of different techniques that you can use to stay safe and mitigate minor to serious injury. Now that you understand how to fall on a skateboard, all that’s left to do is get out there and practice, practice, practice.