Is skateboarding at night something that you haven’t experienced yet? Have you imagined yourself skating up and down the multi-story car park in the after-hours? Or, do you think it’s too dangerous to do so? Well, skateboarding at night can be dangerous but it’s not all there is to it.
A lot of skateboarding junkies prefer to go out at night. In fact, Rodney Mullen, one of the world’s most famous skateboarders, has a special memory of late-night skating. But what makes skateboarding at night so interesting? Keep reading.
Do you know that skateboarding used to be called a Californian phenomenon? It was in 1963 that the popularity of skateboarding was at its peak. It was during this year that surfing manufacturers such as Makaha, Jack’s and Hobie initiated real skateboarding competitions. However, for some reason, in the following years the fame of skateboarding just died out.
Then came Frank Nasworthy’s urethane wheels in 1972. The invention of these wheels paved the way for skateboarding to become popular once again in 1975. Today, skateboarding ceased to be just a Californian craze. It has given birth to other non-Californian skateboarders such as Bob Burnquist, Shane O’Neill and Leticia Bufoni.
Skateboarding at Night: Why Do It?
To experience the thrill
Skateboarding at night is a thrill-filled activity. Yes, it is true that skateboarding in the dark can be dangerous. But, for some, it could mean a lot of excitement as they find themselves plunging with their boards into the darkness. This is the time when they feel as if their feet are one with the skateboard.
Others say skateboarding in the dark is much like flying. You cannot see your board yet you can feel it under your feet. You fly and descend along with your board. And, if you’re skateboarding at night, you know exactly how this feels like. Planning to try it soon? Go ahead and see for yourself just what the word “ecstatic” means.
To relax and unwind
Thinking about relaxing after a long day at work? Go skateboarding at night. During the day, you ride while keeping in mind the traffic and the commuters. You would be very careful not to hit anybody and be hit by a car. At night, things like these will no longer be much of a concern.
There is no traffic and there aren’t many people around you. Most of the time, it will only be just you, your friends and your skateboard. This translates to a relaxing way of skateboarding. You enjoy the company of your friends and your skateboard. Then you go home feeling de-stressed.
To practice tricks
Are you too shy to practice your tricks with many people around you? Do it at night! When everybody else around you sleep or sits at the couch watching Netflix, there you are in the middle of an empty park practicing.
Skateboarding at night gives you the liberty to practice some tricks as much as you want. You can also make mistakes several times and it wouldn’t matter. Nobody’s there to laugh at you. Mastering your tricks becomes easier when getting embarrassed is one less thing to worry about.
Skateboarding at Night: How to Make It Safe
Choose the right place.
Skateboarding at the wrong place is one surefire way to get injured. Note that skateboards are meant to be used on smooth surfaces. If you’re doing it on rocky roads, chances are high that your board will get damaged while you also get injured. Wet and poorly-lit places must also be avoided.
Some of the best places to go skateboarding at night include garages, skateparks, parking lots and empty streets.
Know your limits.
Did you know that newbie skateboarders account for one-third of skateboarding-related injuries? This goes to show that if you’re a beginner, you have to know first the dos and don’ts of skateboarding. Getting hurt is part of learning to skateboard. But experiencing broken bones and head trauma are proof that you’ve already taken the sport too far.
Use a high-quality skateboard.
Time and again you have been told that skateboarding at night can be risky. If you’re doing it with a low-quality board then you’re doubling the risk. How do you choose the best skateboard? First, consider your level. If you’re a beginner, then look for the one that’s perfect for beginners.
Next, think about your weight. Note that not all boards can withstand a 240-pound skateboarder for long. Other things to keep in mind are the trucks, wheels and deck flexibility. Don’t just focus on the deck graphics. Your board has to be durable and easy to maneuver.
A cheap, low-quality skateboard can easily get damaged. You don’t want to find yourself falling off the board just because the wheels went loose, right?
Learn the right way to fall.
Have you ever wondered why professional skaters don’t get themselves injured each time they fall off from the board? This is because they’ve already mastered the right way to fall. One way to do it safely is to land on your back or shoulder.
One of the first reactions when falling is to resist it by throwing your hands out. Consequently, you find yourself having fractured wrists and extremities. But, when you consciously see to it that you land on your back or shoulder, you are less likely to become injured.
Another way to fall safely from the board is to fall sideways. Fall on one arm while you also protect your head as you roll towards your back. This reduces your risk of getting seriously injured because your weight will be evenly distributed on the entire back of your body.
Wear protective gear.
Choosing which protective gear to buy can be daunting. This is true especially if your budget is limited. Would you like to know which one to prioritize? If you’re still a beginner who is starting to invest in these gears, the following must be your priority:
- Bright-colored clothes
Wearing bright-colored clothes will make you visible at night. This doesn’t always mean you have to wear those neon-colored safety vests. Just make sure your clothes are bright enough for others to see you. Don’t make the mistake of wearing dark clothes that car drivers will only be able to see you just when they’re about to hit you.
Can you use a helmet designed for biking? Yes, you definitely can use a multi-sport helmet. Wearing a helmet has been proven to save lives. If you have experienced a big slam while skateboarding then you know how important it is to have a helmet. This protective gear comes in many sizes, shapes, designs and brands. Choose one according to your preference.
Skateboard helmets can either be full-faced or half-lid. There is also an LED helmet. What’s the best kind of helmet? The best helmet is one that meets the U.S. CPSC Safety Standards. Of course, safety also goes well with comfort. Look for a helmet that has moisture-wicking ability so that even when you sweat while skateboarding, your head still feels comfortable.
A headlamp is crucial for ensuring that the path in front of you is well-lit. Wearing a headlamp can help you clearly see potholes and other road obstacles that you could possibly encounter at night. It also comes in various styles and prices. You may choose one that’s below $20 or opt for a more expensive one.
What are other important features to look for in a headlamp? Other features to look for in a headlamp are water-resistant, USB rechargeable and LED mode for night vision.
- Board light
This is the kind of light that you can attach to the board deck. It can also be attached to the trucks. It has to have the capability to cast off light as fast as three to ten feet. This helps you see what’s in the road ahead.
A good board light is also one that is able to resist vibrations, as well as from the impact each time the board hits the road. It is also better to look for the one that’s water resistant and lightweight. Other board lights are also USB rechargeable.
- Wrist, elbow and knee pads
These pads are very important because they prevent your wrists, elbows and knees from getting fractured. But, how can you tell if the pad provides enough protection? The best pads are equipped with a very hard polypropylene plastic and an ultra-soft EVA padded material. It should also be able to retain its shape quickly after the impact.
The best pads should also have Velcro straps that are tight enough to ensure protection, proper fit, and comfort.
Skateboarding can be an extremely versatile pursuit. But before you even think about morphing it into your own pleasure and desire, think about safety first. As your sight narrows downward, make sure your board is durable enough to withstand any road bumps. As you extend further in the midst of the night, see to it you are well-equipped with all the necessary protective gears.