Any skate enthusiast knows that their sport is not without peril. No matter how good you are, there is going to come a time when you are going to wipe out. When choosing action sport accessories, you should focus on the areas of your body that are the most likely to sustain trauma such as the head, hands, and knees. Protecting those regions is of paramount importance so you don’t sustain an injury that might lay you up for months or cause serious damage.
The most important action sports item to protect you when skating is a helmet. If you are on a tight budget, then you will want to focus on spending the most amount of money on a helmet to provide your skull with optimum protection. Anyone skateboarding or longboarding needs a helmet. Ideally, the helmet you choose should have excellent coverage at the base of the skull. When picking out a helmet, there are two certifications that you need to look for, the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM Certification) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC Certification) If you see that the helmet boasts a ASTM F1492-08 certification then you know that it covers skateboarding or longboarding. Typically, the CPSC certification is more for cycling but any certified helmet is better than no helmet. It is also not uncommon to find a helmet that is dual certified with both the ASTM and CPSC which is ideal, especially if you enjoy both action sports. Also, be sure to check the label to see if the helmet is good for a single impact or multiple impacts.
Slide gloves protect your hands from a direct impact or slide. They are typically made of a breathable mesh material that absorbs sweat. The gloves needs to be lightweight but durable. Slide gloves feature a hand puck that you can use for sliding across the pavement. Ideally, the puck needs to be placed towards the heel of your palm so you can apply pressure with your hand. A puck that is placed in the center of the hand is often inadvertently grabbed by the user which puts the fingers at risk. Some gloves also boast finger and thumb pucks.
Knees and elbows can take a beating if you wipe out. You will need hard shell pads with support braces. The pads are either constructed from neoprene or a thinner, more breathable material. The shell must be hard to withstand contact with concrete. If your knees or elbows come into contact with concrete the hard shell successfully protects your limbs from the blunt force of the impact and the interior padding provides cushioning. The pads should fit perfectly so that the shell does not snag on the concrete but instead slides smoothly across the rough surface. If you will be skateboarding over a wood surface then you might be able to use simple foam knee and elbow pads but hardcore longboarding and road skateboarding requires a firm shell.
If you enjoy longboarding or skateboarding then it is imperative that you outfit yourself with key action sport accessories to make your ride both safe and enjoyable.