For better or worse (and believe us, it’s usually for the worse) people make up a lot of strange and silly skateboard facts. As a result, there are a lot of skateboarding myths out there. While it’s difficult to exactly pinpoint how most get their start, one thing is for certain: most of them aren’t just wrong, they’re dead wrong–which is a real shame. You see, fiction always speaks louder than the truth because, let’s face it, it’s often far more interesting. While we can spend all day sorting fact from fiction, we’ve decided to point out some seemingly popular beliefs and strike them down. Without further ado, let’s put an end to some silly skateboarding myths once and for all.
False. As far as false skateboarding facts go, this one is among the most common. If it were true, then you wouldn’t see professional riders wearing helmets and pads. Now, of course, not all professionals choose to wear protective equipment (and in a lot of competitions it’s a necessary requirement), but there are those who definitely do. Whether or not you choose to wear protective gear is up to you. We can’t recommend it enough. But don’t trick yourself into thinking gear can hold you back. If you currently ride without any protective gear and are having difficulty landing some tricks, it’s most likely not your gear but rather your fear. Who knows, maybe with a helmet and some pads you’ll be able to give an extra 10% for 100% success.
False. Skateboarding is undoubtedly dangerous, that’s one skateboarding fact we can’t deny. Did you know that a reported 176 people enter the ER each day as a result of skateboard related injuries? That’s way too many! Most reported injuries aren’t too serious however, but to us, sprains and dislocations are always serious because they hurt… they hurt a lot. While injuries can happen for variety of different reasons, you almost always shouldn’t intentionally land on your rear. Doing so will not only cause immediate pain, it can severely injure your spinal cord. It’s ideal to fall on the pads of your gear (if you’re wearing any) or run out of failed tricks. While either option won’t guarantee you don’t hurt yourself, each does go a long way to keeping you safe out there.
False. We’re not exactly sure how this one got started, but nevertheless, it has been in circulation for a while now. While there are obvious differences between skateboards, longboards, and electric decks, there are also obvious differences between the rides within those categories. Whether it’s a subtle difference in shape and pop or a huge difference in weight and construction, no two decks are exactly alike. While you can’t always give something a test ride, a little bit of research will help you make the best decision. Choose wisely!
False. We stopped listening to the news a long time ago. Contrary to what the news and your parents might have told you as a kid (or what they’re telling you now), skateboarding doesn’t make you a terrible person. Like any other sport, skateboarding can be extremely healthy as it can cultivate a sense of comradery and culture. It’s also a means of identity; the activity itself is an open and outward outlet for self-expression that can be hard to find anywhere else. So, while there are plenty of things that do, in fact, make someone a terrible person, it’s safe to say that skateboarding is not one of those things.
False. Well, kind of. A lot of professional skateboarders are under the age of 30, with most being in their early to mid-20s. But that doesn’t mean it’s exclusively a young person’s game. Sure, things might get difficult with age, but if you’re an older adult, you shouldn’t let age alone keep you from the experience. And that’s actually one of the many beautiful things about electric skateboards–just about anyone can ride them. If you’re looking to get into the sport but can’t seem to get the whole pushing thing down, an electric skateboard is the best place to start. Not only are electric skateboards completely practical–especially for the commuting adult–they’re fun and easy to ride. Plus, think of all the gas money you’ll save! So, while there is some truth to this skateboarding fact, it’s not exactly true. Age is, after all, relative—and we believe you’re as young as you feel!
False. Come on, did you really believe this tired skateboarding myth? This is one of the biggest so-called “skateboarding facts,” and it couldn’t be more wrong. While skateboarding is certainly more popular amongst men, it’s not a “boys club.” Women obviously do it too–and they probably do it better than most men. And, furthermore, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that women shouldn’t skateboard or that they can’t. So please, check your ego and insecurities at the door. If you’re looking to check out some awesome professionals that also happen to be of the female persuasion, check out Patti McGee, Elissa Steamer, Lacey Baker, and Lizzie Armanto. More recently, South Korean longboarder Ko Hyojoo has started to take the scene by storm with her longboard dance videos on Instagram and YouTube. Her longboard style and technique are seriously impressive; you might even learn a thing or two just from watching.
In conclusion, the next time you hear someone espousing very questionable skateboarding facts, look into what you hear. Stop falling for the same old myths. Like most myths, skateboarding myths are primarily perpetuated by the vocal majority and the media. If you’re at the local skatepark or cruising down the boardwalk and you hear any of the above, put an end to it right then and there. Better yet, point them in our direction, and we’ll teach ‘em a thing or two about a thing or two. After all, not all myths are good myths, and some legends are meant to die.