It can be scary to imagine your daughter going down a large ramp on a skateboard or maybe falling onto concrete or a rail. Is skateboarding really safe enough for my daughter? Will she get bullied?
These worries are normal and come with being a parent. It’s a good thing that you’re worried, but skateboarding doesn’t need to be as dangerous as one might think. Usually, skating’s reputation precedes it in this case.
In this article, I’ll use statistics to show you exactly how dangerous skateboarding is compared to other sports and go over safety steps you can take to make sure your child stays safe.
Let’s get started.
Also feel free to check out my mega-post about getting your daughter set up with a board and gear, sexism in skating, and non-profits to help out.
Is Skateboarding Dangerous?
Several studies have found that skateboarding is not particularly dangerous when compared to other sports. The actual rate of injury incidence is low and often low severity. Most serious injuries included an upper limb meaning that you are more likely to break an arm than your leg. (source)
You’re more likely to go to the ER playing basketball than skateboarding according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Actually, most sports are more dangerous than skateboarding when it comes to injuries that will land you in the hospital. (source)
So research points out that skateboarding is no more dangerous than most other sports you can play. It has a lower ER room incidence rate of injury than most sports so it could actually be considered safer in this regard. You can see the total incidence numbers for 2019 below compared to other sports.
How to Help Your Daughter Prevent Skateboarding Injuries
A parent never wants to see their child get hurt.
So what can you do to help your daughter avoid getting hurt while skateboarding?
Wear Protective Gear
The number one thing you can do to help your daughter skate safely is to provide her with some protective gear.
This at the very least means a helmet, but also could include knee and elbow pads or even wrist guards. She might be hesitant to wear a ton of skating gear because she might think it is uncool. Yet, as a beginner, she absolutely should.
Beginners have little to no board control, don’t know how to fall, and are at a much higher risk of becoming injured. One way to help her wear her protective gear is to sign her up for a skate class or skate lessons. During the class, all of the participants will be wearing helmets and other gear. This will help her understand the importance of protective gear and help her feel less like she stands out.
ACTION STEP: Order some basic protective gear from an online retailer or from your local skate shop.
If you’re curious about the best brands for safety gear and how to size helmets, pads, and guards, check out my more in-depth article here.
Perhaps the best way to help your daughter get started in skating is to sign her up for a local class or lessons. Skating in a group is preferred to one-on-one lessons at first. This way she will be with other absolute beginners and also might be able to make friends.
There are many complicated aspects of skateboarding and it truly is an extremely difficult sport. So any instruction early on can make a world of difference. Beginners fall often and it can be very discouraging. Having someone to help you get started correctly will help them avoid an injury early on. A skate class can also help to instill good habits like wearing a helmet.
ACTION STEP: Search for any local skate classes and look at the times and pricing. Are the times and pricing something that can work for your family?
Are Girls Bullied in Skateboarding?
While women skaters have been present in skateboarding since the advent of the sport in the 60s, women in skateboarding dwindled in the 80s and 90s as street skating started to gain popularity.
That doesn’t mean there haven’t always been amazing women skaters from all decades, but skateboarding has traditionally been mostly male.
There has been talk of women skaters not being respected or being bullied by guy skaters. This can happen just the same as it can in any sport or school setting. Generally, the skate community is extremely positive and welcoming. The only unfriendly skaters might be very young and immature so there is no need to worry about this too much.
You can help your daughter by signing her up for skate lessons until she is more confident on her board or by going with her to the skatepark.
As always bullying can happen, but just be proactive and listen to your child to recognize any signs of bullying. There are actually a few programs specifically designed to support and help girls in skateboarding.
What Equipment Does She Need to Start?
There are a few essentials needed to start skating, but you should be able to get started for $200 or less. Also, once you buy the initial equipment, skateboarding can be an extremely cheap sport. This depends if you pay for lessons or not though.
Unless you’re buying the most expensive versions of most of the products you need, you really shouldn’t spend over $200 for everything. Also, keep in mind that any items marketed for girls specifically are just marketing ploys. There is no difference in the skateboards, shoes, or anything that boy skaters use compared to girl skaters.
You might be tempted to think that any shoe will be fine for her to skate in, but this really isn’t the case. Skate shoes have some distinctive features such as a flat sole, minimal tread, and a thick upper that are needed to learn any tricks on a skateboard. You can’t do an ollie in sneakers with a thin upper.
If you want to learn more about how a skate shoe is different than a normal shoe and what are the best brands out there, check out my in-depth guide on skate shoes here.
Skateboard Sizing for Children and Teens
Skateboards are sized by their widths and generally the smaller the width, then the smaller the board. For children and small teens, you can look for skateboards with widths in the 7 inches to 8 inches range. Having a large skateboard isn’t really an issue for kids as it increases stability and even small children can move them easily.
Don’t go for boards over 8 inches in width as these are meant for fully grown adults and people who want more stability in their ride. Most all reputable skate companies will carry boards as small as 7-inch width boards. Expect to pay at least $50 for a quality complete skateboard.
Amazing Women Skaters to Get Inspired From
There are and have been a ton of amazingly talented women skaters to look up to. Of course, your daughter can look up to any skater that they want to, but if she wants some female talent then check out these women skaters listed below. You can also check out my article that goes into more details about their careers and accomplishments here.
- Lizzie Armano
- Alexis Sablone
- Leticia Bufoni
- Patti McGee
- Sky Brown
- Rayssa Leal
- Momiji Nishiya
- Leo Baker
- Vanessa Torres
- Cara-Beth Burnside
- Elissa Steamer
- Misugu Okamoto
- Samarria Brevard
Skate Like a Girl
The last thing I want to mention here is an organization called Skate Like a Girl. This organization is mostly present on the west coast, but they are super active in producing female skate content, hosting female skate camps, and even providing financial assistance for those in need.
If you have any more in-depth questions about your daughter skateboarding, I would suggest that you reach out to this organization. Reach out at email@example.com.
So that’s it.
Statistics show that you have no reason to be worried about your daughter skateboarding as compared to any other sport. She might even be less likely to end up in the ER while skating.
There is some equipment you will need to get started, but you should be able to buy it all for around $200. You shouldn’t pay more than that in total. Especially as she is a beginner and might quit after a few weeks.
To help her to skate safely and encourage her, the two best things to do are provide her with safety gear and sign her up for a skate class. Safety gear will keep her protected when she falls and skate lessons will help her get started correctly and skate with other beginners.
There are also great organizations that exist specifically to help women feel more comfortable in skating and create safe communities. Check out Skate Like a Girl.
Anyway, I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading, and look out for more content by Board and Wheels.