Published on October 22nd, 2011 | by Ari0
Guide to longboarding Road Safety
As the sport of longboarding grows so do the injuries and unfortunately the casualties. It seems that every year I hear about a horrible crash or accident where someone passes away. There is no fool proof method to staying safe on a longboard there is no getting around the fact that it is a fairly dangerous sport which is part of the fun and excitement however after skating from Oregon to New York I have put together this guide which may seem obvious to some however maybe just maybe will prevent an injury in which case it has done its job.
The obvious wear a helmet – Let me go further, buckle your helmet, there is almost no point in wearing a helmet if it is not securely on your head. I’ll go even further wear a helmet even when just cruising down the street, wear a helmet when your dog pulls you on your board, wear a helmet whenever you step on the board! I too get lazy sometimes it’s good to keep an extra helmet around or in the car so that you do not forget or if a friend comes over. Helmets start at under $10 so you have no excuse!
Ditch those headphones – Use backpack or cell phone speakers or better yet enjoy the sound of your environment – Yea riding with tunes rocks but when you put on those headphones it prevents you from hearing when a car is coming, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, looking around is important but so is hearing, hey maybe you’ll find yourself out there.
Be predictable – Remember cars do not want to hit you but drivers can be impatient, be predictable do not weave in and out of lanes so that cars can pass you, let them switch lanes, this is called taking the lane, be confident. If the shoulder is big enough feel free to stay to the side. Do not ride against traffic, ride as if you are part of traffic!
So now you are saying OK OK there’s no way in hell I’m gonna take charge and take the lane on a high speed road, that’s fine use hand singles and pull over to the side, come to a stop and let the cars pass. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxJxDOeKbyQ&hd=1&t=3m44s
(Note just watch the first part from 3:44 not the whole video)
Avoid riding at night – Most of us are not professionals but if you must try to use a headlight/taillight/reflective clothing. When riding at night it is hard to see what is in front of you such as pebbles, glass, and road kill, however what may be even more dangerous is a car not being able to see you, invest in some led lights for your helmet or board, try to be as visible as possible both during the day and night.
Follow lane signs – Meaning don’t go straight in a turn only lane, do not blow through red lights.
Learn to stop – Sliding looks bad-ass and can save you but at least learn to foot brake, even better learn to foot brake on both sides for those narrow lanes.
Be loud – If your cruising down the street with lots of pedestrians make it known you are coming, “On your left!”.
Make sure your board is in good condition – Having a bearing seize on you is no fun and you will most likely be thrown off of your board so make sure to have a good set of bearings with all your nuts and screws secured.
I am sure there is plenty of things I missed so feel free to add your safety tips in the comments!