Many consider injury to be an expected “cost of doing business” when it comes to skateboarding. However, it actually ranks behind basketball, bicycling, football, soccer, and baseball in annual visits to the ER, so you may want to steer loved ones towards board sports over courts and playing fields. Regardless, it does happen, and when it does it certainly hurts to be sidelined because as you know, skateboarding is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. Not being able to ride is akin to not being able to walk for many.
But just because the passion to get back out there after a broken bone, fracture, sprain, or muscle tear fuels your return, you need to be proceed with caution. Below, we have provided both common and unanticipated tips to riding after you’ve sustained an injury.
5 Steps to Getting Back into Skateboarding After Being Injured, While Reducing the Risk of Future Injury
1. Work with Your Physician and Physiotherapist
We know you’re amped to get back on the ramp and concrete, but unless you want to be back in a plaster cast, brace, or boot, you will need to follow a regime provided by your physician in addition to a physiotherapist.
Your family doctor will help gauge your healing process, but they are more reactive in nature. That’s why it’s a good idea to take things a step further with a physiotherapist, as they will work with you to not only return you to your favorite activity, they will set you on a path that factors in reoccurring-injury prevention. A physiotherapist will put you on a regime with exercises that mimic body functions and movements common to skateboarding, while addressing your most recent ailment (i.e. torn achilles, etc.). Given that they will likely get you on some Bosu ball work to help restore balance, you may want to invest in one (or an Indo Board and the like) for use at home which will expedite your recovery.
We know it may not be in everyone’s budget, but if your medical plan or finances allow, you won’t find a better way to complement doctor’s orders. Even one session with a physiotherapist can make a world of difference.
2. Take Your Time
Your physician (and physiotherapist?) will let you know when you can start testing the waters again. But even with their thumbs-up, let your body be your guide. If you feel discomfort, stop, and schedule another appointment with the doc. If you find it’s nothing more than residual pain, you should still take it easy because it will impact the way you ride and can set the table for another mishap. Would you rather three more months without skateboarding while you fully heal, or a year out because you didn’t wait and ended up getting injured again in the process?
Just be patient and ease back into it until your comfort level returns. It eventually will.
3. Warm-up Before Sessions
When is the last time you saw someone do knee-to-the-chest holds, leg stretches, and side bends before a session at your local skatepark? It just doesn’t happen. But did you know that many common skateboard injuries (muscle tears, calve strains, etc) can be prevented with a proper warm-up?
A warm-up is essential to both prevention and recovery, so if you’re returning to skateboarding after an injury, you need to incorporate a warm-up before each session, including those quick jaunts to the grocery store. Spend 5-10 minutes stretching your lower extremities before you ride, which should include gentle stretching and rotation of the hips, calves, pelvis, thighs, and ankles. Add a 5-10 minute post-skate cool down to the mix for good measure.
4. Wear Appropriate Protective Gear
This should go without saying, but it does need to be reinforced for those who are returning after a hiatus. Beyond the helmet, you will want to directly protect the recently impacted area. Recovered from a knee injury? Wear knee pads. Returning after a calve strain? Pull up some full length compression socks. You get the idea.
5. Get Back on Board with an e-Skate
Given that most of the muscle tears, strains, and sprains that keep you from skateboarding are found in the lower extremities, the act of pushing off of the concrete is what scares you most.
This is where recent technology has stepped in. No, they haven’t come up with a way to turn you into the Six Million Dollar Man (or woman) for a few hundred bucks, but it’s the next best thing – electric skateboarding.
With the right e-skate, you’ll be able to ease back into skateboarding after injury recovery, without having to put your body to task. But only premium quality boards will do, ones that come with a longer charge time, extended range, and the ability to navigate terrain you’re accustomed to on your daily commute. View our complete line-up of electric skateboards, including the newest and most affordable premium e-skate in Canada.
Remember, there is no substitute for following doctor (and physical therapist) orders, so be sure to consult with them accordingly before riding again.