Why Is Controlling Speed Important?
Controlling speed is incredibly important, as accidents can happen quickly. As a professional skateboarder, I’ve witnessed many collisions and falls that occurred because the rider lost control of their speed. Going too fast around blind corners, over uneven pavement, or with other people or vehicles nearby drastically increases the risks. A momentary lapse in judgment or loss of braking ability can lead to impact injuries in the blink of an eye. It’s always best to ride assuming others don’t see you and may suddenly change direction. Maintaining a safe speed affords more time to react to unpredictable situations, which helps avoid crashes. Speed should always be moderated, especially in crowded areas.
Tip 1: Practice Braking
As a veteran skateboarder, practicing efficient braking techniques is key to controlling your speed safely. There are two main brakes to consider: the front and rear brakes. The front brake is most effective for slowing down quickly, but it can also cause the board to lock up and skid out if grabbed too hard. The rear brake provides a more gradual slowing, which is safer for beginners still gaining confidence in braking. When first starting out, practice braking in an empty parking lot, going slowly and testing how hard you need to squeeze each brake to slow down comfortably without skidding. Make braking a gradual motion, not a sudden grab, and always be aware of what’s behind you so you don’t dash into oncoming traffic. Developing a light, responsive braking touch will serve you well as your skills progress.
Tip 2: Ride Within Your Ability Level
It is important to ride within your ability level and know your limits. As an experienced rider, I always make sure to assess conditions before picking up speed. Starting out, ride more slowly in open areas without distractions to learn how your board handles. Progress gradually to faster speeds and more challenging terrain as your skills develop. There’s no shame in taking a conservative approach, especially if the roads are busy or you have passersby. It’s too easy to suddenly bite off more than you can chew and make a mistake if your legs tire or you try advanced maneuvers before you’re ready. Be confident yet cautious; go fast enough to have fun but not so fast that you risk losing control. Your safety depends on an honest self-evaluation of capabilities versus limitations.
Tip 3: Use Lower Speed Modes
Electric skateboards often have different speed modes to suit varying skill levels and environments. The higher ‘pro’ modes allow for maximum speed but take more finesse to handle safely. If you’re new to electric boarding or in crowded areas, stick to the slower ‘beginner’ modes. These affordable, safer speeds are perfect for practicing fundamentals like braking and carving without risking losing control at higher velocities. Don’t get overconfident just because the juice gives your board horsepower; you still need to pay close attention to road conditions and obstacles to avoid accidents. Listen to your gut, too; if you feel uncomfortable with speed, drop it down without shame until you develop riding mastery. It’s better to enjoy yourself at a pace that doesn’t jeopardize your well-being or others’ by getting in over your head speed-wise before you have the skills to manage it.
Tip 4: Avoid Hills
Maintaining control when braking on hills can be tricky, even for experienced riders. Going down an incline, gravity greatly increases your speed, making it difficult to regulate. Bombing up steep slopes risks losing traction and tumbling backward. Whenever possible, avoid steep hills entirely by taking an alternate route. If you must ride on an incline, though, proceed slowly in low gear. When ascending, stand up and power carefully. For declines, engage both brakes gently from the outset instead of braking hard at the end. Always be prepared for your speed to surge faster than expected. Having full control avoids potentially fatal accidents. Hills demand extra caution; slow and steady wins the race where slopes are concerned.
Tip 5: Wear Protective Gear
Protective gear should always be worn when riding electric skateboards, especially at higher speeds. A helmet is mandatory to prevent traumatic head injuries in the event of a fall. Other essential safety equipment includes wrist, elbow, and knee pads. As an experienced rider, I’ve had my fair share of spills over the years and can assure you that padding protects your skin from road rash. Skate shoes provide support on the deck, while gloves help in a slide and offer shielding for hands. Even with experience, accidents can happen, so why risk your health? Broken bones can take far longer to heal than simply wearing a few extra layers. Your brain and body are precious, so prioritize safety. Gear is a small price to pay for risking your life every time you ride. Don’t become yet another statistic; protect yourself by fully suiting up each time you board.
In conclusion, maintaining control of your electric skateboard starts with responsible speed management. Whether practicing efficient braking, riding within your limits, using safer beginner modes, or avoiding challenging terrain, control enables confidence to fully enjoy the ride. Taking simple safety precautions reduces the risks enormously. Boards provide quick, fun transport but also handle radically differently than regular setups. Paying attention to control prevents crashes before they happen. As a lifelong skater, I’ve seen how years of hard falls and spills come with the territory. But conscientious adherence to basic techniques, conditions, and protection means you may experience thrills without losing your health. Respect your board, and it will respect you. An empowering, lifelong passion awaits anyone willing to learn responsible control. Now get out there and carve safely!
- Q1: I’m nervous about hills. Any other tips?
- A: Consider wearing back and knee pads too for extra protection. Ask an experienced friend to ride with you for safety in numbers. And remember, if a hill feels too steep, it’s okay to turn around or walk.
- Q2: How long until I can go faster?
- A: Most guides recommend waiting at least 10–20 hours of practice in low-speed modes before significantly increasing speeds. However, every rider’s abilities progress differently based on factors like natural athleticism, so listen to your own comfort level above all else.
- Q3: What if I do fall? Any tips?
- A: If you slip, try to roll instead of digging in your limbs to disperse impact. Protect your head first. Once stable, check for injuries and call for help if needed. Don’t get back on until fully assessed. Falling is normal, though, so get back at it once you feel okay again.
- Q4: How should I store my board when not riding?
- A: Fully charge the board indoors away from weather elements. Store on its kicktail with wheels off the ground. Consider a padded skateboard bag for transportation and added fall protection. Always disconnect the power when transporting a vehicle to avoid accidental triggers.
- Q5: What’s the best way to improve my braking?
- A: Practice emergency stops at low speeds regularly in a vacant area until the motion feels second nature. Experiment with different brake amounts, and try alternating between foot and remote braking. Building muscle memory takes time, but it will serve you well when seconds count