Skateboarding is a popular recreational activity among young people, especially in urban areas. Unfortunately, vehicles and concrete surfaces can be hazardous for adventurous skateboarders. A study by researchers from the University of Southern California revealed that head trauma is a widespread injury among skateboarders who fall or become struck by a vehicle. However, this risk is lowered when an individual wears a helmet. Skateboarders ride many different sizes of boards, and new research suggests that riders of longer boards may have unique risks. According to a study by researchers from Brigham Young University, longboarders may be at a greater risk for head injuries than riders who choose to use a shorter skateboard.
The data revealed that approximately 57.5 percent of all people “who were treated for injuries from either longboarding or skateboarding at a trauma center in Utah between 2006 and 2011” were injured from a longboarding accident, according to NBC News. Approximately 42.5 percent of those injured were injured while using a skateboard. The study included information from 824 people.
The researchers found that longboarders were also at a greater risk of suffering from “head fracture, traumatic brain injury and bleeding inside the skull (intracranial hemorrhage) than skateboarders,” according to NBC News. About 31 percent of longboarders and 12 percent of skateboarders were among those who experienced a traumatic brain injury. The researchers theorize that longboarders are more likely to ride in areas with more moving vehicles and lightposts, increasing their risk of falling and sustaining injuries. Additionally, many longboarders like to ride downhill or weave through obstacles.
The researchers recommend that doctors who treat longboarders for injuries received from the activity should take necessary actions, such as head scans, to ensure that the rider has not sustained traumatic brain injury. To make skateboarding and longboarding safer, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests that everyone who participates in the activity wear protective gear, such as helmets, knee and elbow pads, and protective eyewear.