Beginners Guide on How to Fall off a Skateboard

Richmond Bendu Aug 27, 2022
9 People Read
Man falling on a skateboard
Table of Contents
  1. Where Should you Practice Falling?
    1. Practice Falling on Grass
    2. Practice Falling on Ramps
  2. What does incorrect falling look like
  3. What does falling wrong lead to
  4. How to Fall Correctly
    1. Rolling
    2. Sliding
  5. Falling on a Smooth Surface VS a Rough Surface
  6. Falling on a ramp or bowl
  7. Falling from a high place
  8. Do you Need Protective gear?
  9. Falling with protective gear
    1. Knee pads
    2. Wrist guards
  10. Do Clothes Protect you From Falling?
  11. An Example of What Can Happen if You Don't Learn to Fall safely
  12. Conclusion

You will fall no matter how good you are at skateboarding; it is better to accept it and learn how to fall correctly than to try to avoid falling.

If you use the wrong technique, you will hurt yourself, but if you take the time to learn to fall properly, it can even be fun. I wish I had learned to fall off a skateboard when I started; this is your chance to learn it yourself.

Let's look at what is right and how you can avoid making the mistakes I did when I started.

Where Should you Practice Falling?

You need to choose a safe environment when you start to practice falling. You will naturally get better over time, but it is crucial to speed up the process if you want to avoid injury. Let's take a look at where you should practice falling.

Practice Falling on Grass

It is best to start practicing falling on grass; here, you can learn how to fall properly on a skateboard on a soft surface to avoid hurting yourself. Falling correctly on a skateboard usually involves rolling or sliding; it is better to practice rolling on grass to avoid ruining your clothes.

Start with a low speed and roll up to a patch of grass; when you hit the grass, your board will either slow down or stop completely. You will fall to the ground, and your instinct will tell you to catch your fall with your arms, but it's important to avoid doing this.

Fall forward and roll over one of your shoulders while you tuck your head in to avoid serious injuries. It should look like you are in a fetal position while rolling; this way, your shoulder takes most of the impact, but it won't be damaged because you are rolling.

It is important to practice rolling many times until it's embedded in your muscle memory. An excellent way to see if you have practiced it enough is to have a regular skating session. Then, if you fall and roll instinctively, you can stop the training and practice with real scenarios instead.

Practice Falling on Ramps

When you are skating on ramps, it is best to slide if you fall. Most of the time, you fall down from a ramp; this makes it possible to fall safely by simply sliding down.

If you have knee pads, the best way to fall is by doing a knee slide down the ramp; you will need to practice sliding down the ramp on your knees, but it is probably the best and safest way to fall on a ramp.

If you don't fall down the ramp, but at a flat area or towards a new ramp, you should stretch your arms out. When your arms hit the ground, don't stop your momentum but drag yourself forward, sliding on your stomach to keep the momentum forward instead of straight into the ground. If you learn to slide correctly, you can avoid many injuries.

Remember to stay loose; you don't want to catch your fall with your arms; you want to use your arms to slide. I'm not saying it won't hurt, but if you do it correctly, you can get back on the board instantly or after a short break.

What does incorrect falling look like

Incorrect falling looks stiff and static, while correct falling looks loose and smooth. This is because when you fall incorrectly, you try to stop all your momentum at once instead of using it by sliding or rolling.

What does falling wrong lead to

If you fall incorrectly, you will end up with the most common skateboard injuries like wrist injuries, broken wrists, broken bones, and hurt or broken tail bone.

You can hit your head and get long-lasting injuries if you are unlucky. The same goes for your wrists and other body parts; I fell on my wrist five years ago, and I still have trouble with them today.

How to Fall Correctly

Falling correctly involves sliding or rolling. There are some special scenarios where you can land perfectly safe after falling off the board, but I don't count that as falling.

Rolling

You should roll when you can to avoid road rash and when there is a lot of downward momentum. If you look at parkour videos, you will see that they also use the rolling technique when they jump from a high place, it is the same principle when skating, but it will look messier since you are falling instead of jumping.

With a roll, you want to try to land on your feet first and then roll over your shoulder; tuck your head down until the roll is over to protect yourself. Most of the pressure will be on your shoulder, but since you are rolling, you will be fine.

Sliding

You keep the momentum going forward when you slide instead of trying to stop it. Depending on the situation, you will slide on your stomach or your back.

When you slide on your back, you most likely fall backward. Try to kick yourself backward when your feet touch the ground; by doing this, you keep the momentum instead of suddenly stopping. Try to keep your head up when you slide on your back. If you're not careful, you can hit the back of your head on the ground.

It is the same principle When you slide on your stomach. Again, try to kick from the ground to keep the momentum forward, but in this case, you should also use your arms to drag yourself forward into a penguin slide. If this is done correctly, you can minimize the damage you take and, most of the time, come out of the accident unharmed.

Falling on a Smooth Surface VS a Rough Surface

When falling on a smooth surface, you can slide without worrying too much about road rash. Also, it is much easier to get out of a fall without any injuries. Skate parks often have smooth surfaces to skate on, so I usually try new tricks or push myself when I'm at a skate park.

When you fall on a rough surface, you will get road rash if you have enough speed. Falling will hurt more in general, but it isn't the end of the world. I like to roll more when I fall on a rough surface to avoid road rash, but rolling doesn't work in every situation. If you end up in a situation where it is a rough surface and you can't roll, don't hesitate to slide. A road rash will heal fast, but broken bones won't.

Falling on a ramp or bowl

You should rarely roll when you fall on a ramp or bowl. Instead, you should either slide with your body or do a knee slide if you have knee pads. The surface on ramps and bowls is usually smooth, so you don't need to worry about getting road rash.

Falling from a high place

If you try to ollie down stairs and fall, you should aim to roll most of the time. You got a lot of downward momentum, so trying to slide with the help of your arms will damage your wrists. Instead, roll over your shoulder and tuck your head in; it will look like you are in a fetal position. By doing this, you can avoid serious injury.

Falling from high places puts a lot of stress on your feet; you should invest in some good insoles if you have the money. Falling from a height is when you can fall hard, you shouldn't try anything from heights unless you have learned to fall correctly.

Do you Need Protective gear?

If you are a beginner, you should use protective gear! When you learn to fall, you will mess up at the start. If you don't have wrist guards, you can end up straining your wrists or even breaking bones. as you get more experience, it is safer to remove the protective gear. Still, you shouldn't compromise your safety when it comes to skating, so I recommend sticking with your protection.

With knee pads, you can slide out of many falls, and with elbow pads, it won't hurt as much when you slam into the ground.

The most important gear that many avoids is a helmet. Many people don't like the feel of using a skateboard helmet, but when you are a beginner, you don't have the experience you need to ride without one. Of course, after you have control, you can decide if you still need it, but I recommend using your helmet throughout your skating journey.

Falling with protective gear

Falling with protective gear makes you feel a lot safer. If you mess up, the protective gear helps you out; this is why it is perfect for beginners.

Knee pads

When you fall with knee pads, you can often slide on your knees to avoid taking any damage; this is a technique you need to practice, but it will definitely be worth it.

Wrist guards

You don't really need wrist guards if you fall correctly, but you won't fall perfectly every time. Wrist guards have saved me more times than I can count, and I recommend that you get yourself a pair.

With the stomach sliding technique, you need to push yourself forward with your hands, and if you mess this up, you can sprain your wrists; with wrist guards, you can avoid hurting your wrists when you mess up.

Do Clothes Protect you From Falling?

Clothes protect you from falling to some degree, it only helps a little with cushioning impact, but they can save you from getting road rash.

When I try new tricks, I wear long pants and a hoodie unless it is too hot outside. This way, I can slide and roll out dangerous situations without worrying about getting road rash. If you only wear a t-shirt, you will still get road rash, but less.

An Example of What Can Happen if You Don't Learn to Fall safely

Five years ago, I was skating down a really steep hill when a plant wrapped around my wheel, and I fell fast to the ground. Unfortunately, I hadn't spent any time practicing falling, so I ended up trying to stop all the momentum with my arms and wrists.

I ended up spraining one wrist and breaking the other, and even now, I haven't recovered from the fall. I got stiff joints, but luckily they will get better as long as I train my wrists. I hope this makes you think about learning to fall and start using protection.

Conclusion

It is important to learn how to fall safely on a skateboard. If you memorize the right technique, you can go through many skating sessions without hurting yourself. Take the time to learn to fall before you try anything advanced on a skateboard.

You should use protective gear, especially skateboard knee pads and skateboard wrist guards.

If you fall with the wrong technique, you can end up breaking bones and getting permanent damage.

Table of Contents
  1. Where Should you Practice Falling?
    1. Practice Falling on Grass
    2. Practice Falling on Ramps
  2. What does incorrect falling look like
  3. What does falling wrong lead to
  4. How to Fall Correctly
    1. Rolling
    2. Sliding
  5. Falling on a Smooth Surface VS a Rough Surface
  6. Falling on a ramp or bowl
  7. Falling from a high place
  8. Do you Need Protective gear?
  9. Falling with protective gear
    1. Knee pads
    2. Wrist guards
  10. Do Clothes Protect you From Falling?
  11. An Example of What Can Happen if You Don't Learn to Fall safely
  12. Conclusion