Cramps are a bummer and they can happen while skating just like any other sport. Strangely enough, these cramps usually happen in a skater’s feet and not his or her legs or back.
The cramps can be annoying at best and end a skate session early at worst. So is why do you get foot cramps and how can we prevent them?
Let’s dive into it.
Why Do My Feet Cramp While Skateboarding?
Your feet might seem like a weird place to get a cramp, but once you understand why you get cramps suddenly foot cramps from skating makes sense.
Cramps are caused by dehydration, muscle overuse, or holding a single position for too long. Getting a cramp in your feet from skateboarding is usually caused by muscle overuse. The muscles used to turn and control your skateboard take time to build up. So beginners often have feet pain, soreness, and sometimes feet cramps when starting skateboarding.
The cramps can be frustrating, but they will usually go away or become less frequent as you skate more. I remember when I first tried to start skating switch. Switch refers to riding with your normally back foot in the front of the board.
I would try and cruise with my friend completely while riding switch and my front foot would get so sore and almost painful after cruising for just an hour. That foot had never really used those muscles needed to turn and keep the board straight before. After some time, it doesn’t get sore like that anymore.
If you are wondering how often you should be practicing skating each week to improve, check out my guide where I ask skaters what they think.
How to Prevent Feet Cramps While Skateboarding
Eat a Banana Before Skating
The reason bananas are good for cramps comes down to three things; potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These are three of the four nutrients that help ease cramps and even stop them from occurring. (source)
It takes some time to actually digest and get the effects from these nutrients so I recommend eating the bananas preferably about 30 minutes before your skate session or at the very beginning of your session. Earlier is better. Luckily bananas are delicious and very cheap.
There are also potassium supplements available that can be digested a bit quicker.
Stretch and Warm-up Before Skating
Skaters are notorious for not living healthy lifestyles. This usually means partying, not exercising, not eating well, and not stretching before they skate.
Don’t be like this.
You’ll skate better and for longer if you take care of your body and that includes stretching before you skate. Stretching helps warm up your muscles so that they don’t get tired and overworked so easily. It’s much easier to get cramps or even tear a muscle if you suddenly start using a cold muscle.
Just 3 or 5 minutes of stretching and rolling around should be enough.
If you are interested in taking this to the next level, check out my guide to exercises that will help your skateboarding with a workout plan.
Take Frequent Breaks
The most common reason that skaters get foot cramps is due to the muscle getting overworked. Other than stretching and eating the right nutrients, the best way to prevent overworking the muscle is to simply give yourself lots of breaks.
Take a breather and talk to your buddies. Or pop a squat and watch others skate. Maybe look at a funny meme. Just do anything to give your body about 3 to 5 minutes to recover a bit.
Doing so will keep the cramps away and let you skate for a longer session overall.
Build Up Your Endurance Slowly
Personally, I will only get foot cramps when I first start skating after a long time off or if I’m doing a new motion.
Usually, with enough skating, you will build up the muscles in your feet and the cramps and even soreness will go away. So, just give it time and keep skating. You only need to push through the cramp phase.
For me, I only got soreness and cramps for the first few skate sessions and then I don’t even notice anything. If your cramps persist even longer, then consider other reasons why your feet are cramping. Are you dehydrated? Do your shoes fit properly? Can you tighten the trucks on your board?
There could be a number of other reasons why your feet are still cramping while skating. If you can’t figure it out after trying what I suggested, then maybe go see a doctor.
This seems obvious, but most people don’t drink the recommended amount of water each day.
If you are dehydrated cramps are much more likely to happen along with a number of other undesired health effects. Try and bring at least one water bottle with you while you skate and be sure to be drinking water the day before you go skate. Honestly, you will be surprised at how much of a difference it makes to
Why Does Skateboarding Hurt My Feet?
Skateboarding shouldn’t hurt your feet.
If your feet are hurting after skateboarding then there’s something amiss. Check the following reasons and see if you can’t narrow it down and find the reason for your feet pain.
There are a number of reasons why your feet might hurt from skateboarding. Your shoes might fit improperly, you might be experiencing excessive muscle soreness, or you may feel pain from the repeated impacts on your feet. Try and narrow the reason down by fixing each issue one at a time. Wear insoles, limit your skate time, and check that your shoes fit properly.
Let’s look at each potential issue briefly.
Your Shoes Don’t Fit Properly
Having improperly sized shoes will lead to pain and discomfort. If you have wide feet and your shoes pinch then this can lead to pain. Maybe your shoes are too tight otherwise and you need a size up.
To test out whether your shoes are the problem or not, just wear them out for a long walk. Walk at least an hour or more in the shoes and see how your feet feel. If they are uncomfortable and in pain, then the shoe’s sizing is the issue.
You Have Flat Feet
Another common cause of pain is from having a condition called flat feet or low arches. This causes a lot of unnatural stress on your joints and feet and is only made worse by skateboarding.
Unfortunately, skating shoes aren’t built for people with flat feet. Skating shoes are flat by design to increase board control and are not built for people with flat feet. The best thing you can do is get a quality skateboarding insole that has a slight heel built-in and provides a lot of cushion.
Footprint’s Gamechangers are by far the most popular skateboarding insole out there and are recommended for those with flat feet.
If you have flat feet and need an orthopedic skateboarding insole, then check out my complete guide to the best skateboarding insoles for flat feet.
You Are Experiencing Muscle Soreness
If you are a beginner skater or you are skating for too long each session then you might simply be experiencing excessive muscle soreness.
When you skate, you are using muscles in your feet that are otherwise unused. The sudden use of an undeveloped muscle can easily lead to overuse and potentially pain. Muscle soreness is common and normal. It will be a dull ache. Cramps can also occur from muscle overuse. (source)
However, if you are feeling significant pain and especially sharp pain, then you have pushed yourself too far and need to stop skating immediately. Sharp pain might also indicate an injury and if you experience this then you should visit a doctor.
If you are having foot pain while skateboarding, then an insole might be the answer. Check out my round-up review post where I compare three brands of insoles that I’ve personally bought and worn.
So that’s it.
Feet cramps are rough and can end a session quickly. These cramps are most likely due to muscle overuse. Try to take it slow and skate many shorter sessions until the cramps and all soreness goes away.
If your cramps still persist, try the other prevention tips mentioned. Eat bananas, stretch, and drink lots of water.
Anyway, I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading, and look out for more content from Board and Wheels.