Ultimate Guide to Electric Skateboard Safety

By Matt Powell •  Updated: 03/05/24 •  11 min read

Electric skateboards are changing the way we move, blending fun with functionality. But as their popularity grows, so does the importance of safety features. This exploration focuses on why such features, including quality brakes, lights, a sturdy deck, and reliable control, are crucial for rider safety. Beyond the board itself, personal protective equipment and an understanding of urban riding practices further play essential roles in making electric skateboarding a safe and enjoyable activity.

Understanding Vital Safety Features

Electric Skateboards: The Crucial Role of Safety Features

Electric skateboards have surged in popularity, offering an innovative means of transportation and recreation. However, the thrill of gliding through city streets comes with significant safety considerations. Certain safety features on electric skateboards are not just add-ons; they’re vital for the well-being of riders. Let’s explore why features like quality brakes, lights, a sturdy deck, and a reliable remote control are indispensable.

Quality Brakes: Essential for Control

One of the most critical components of an electric skateboard is its braking system. Quality brakes allow riders to stop quickly and safely, a necessary function in both crowded urban environments and on quiet streets. Regenerative braking systems, common in many models, not only help in slowing down the skateboard effectively but also recharge the battery during the process. Brakes that respond reliably prevent accidents, making them a non-negotiable feature.

Lights: For Visibility and Safety

Visibility is crucial for the safety of electric skateboarders, especially during dawn, dusk, and nighttime rides. Embedded lights, both at the front and back of the skateboard, ensure that riders are visible to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. They also help in illuminating the path ahead, reducing the risk of colliding with obstacles. In the interest of safety, lights are not merely optional but indispensable.

Sturdy Deck: The Foundation of Safety

The deck of an electric skateboard is where riders spend all their time, and its stability directly impacts safety. A sturdy deck made from high-quality materials like Canadian maple or bamboo can support the rider’s weight without buckling or breaking. It also ensures a smoother ride by absorbing vibrations, which in turn reduces the risk of falls. A well-crafted deck, therefore, serves as the foundation of a safe electric skateboarding experience.

Reliable Remote Control: Command at Your Fingertips

The unique aspect of electric skateboards is their operation through a handheld remote control, which commands the skateboard’s speed and braking. A reliable remote control with intuitive controls allows for precise handling, critical in avoiding hazards. The connection between the remote and the skateboard must be consistently strong to prevent potential disconnections, which could lead to accidents. In this regard, the quality of the remote control directly affects rider safety.

In conclusion, while electric skateboards offer an attractive alternative mode of transportation and recreation, the importance of integrated safety features cannot be overstated. Quality brakes, lights, a sturdy deck, and a reliable remote control are not merely optional extras; they are indispensable elements that ensure the safety and security of riders. As electric skateboards continue to evolve, so too should the emphasis on these critical safety features, safeguarding the wellbeing of the skateboarding community.

Image of electric skateboard with safety features

The Role of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is a crucial layer of defense for electric skateboarders, acting as a safeguard against potential injuries. This equipment includes items such as helmets, knee and elbow pads, wrist guards, and appropriate footwear, each playing a vital role in enhancing rider safety.

Starting with helmets, they are the cornerstone of PPE for any electric skateboarder. A helmet’s primary function is to protect the brain, which is particularly vulnerable during falls or collisions. By absorbing the impact, helmets can significantly reduce the risk of serious head injuries. It’s essential for electric skateboarders to choose helmets that meet safety standards, ensuring maximum protection.

Knee and elbow pads add another layer of protection. These pads safeguard the knees and elbows, which are susceptible to cuts and fractures during falls. By cushioning the impact, these pads not only prevent broken bones but can also protect against scrapes and bruises. For electric skateboarders, wearing these pads can mean the difference between a minor tumble and a trip to the emergency room.

Wrist guards are especially important for electric skateboarders. When people fall, they instinctively reach out with their hands to break the fall, putting their wrists at high risk of injury. Wrist guards help stabilize the wrist and distribute the force of the impact more evenly, protecting against sprains and fractures.

Proper footwear, though often overlooked, plays a critical role in rider safety. Shoes with a good grip can significantly improve control over the skateboard, reducing the chances of slipping off. Additionally, sturdy shoes protect the feet during falls and when coming into contact with obstacles or rough surfaces.

Collectively, PPE for electric skateboarders is not just about individual pieces of equipment but about creating a comprehensive safety ecosystem. Each element complements the others, offering a multi-layered defense against a wide range of potential injuries.

The effectiveness of PPE is most evident in its ability to mitigate the severity of injuries. While it may not prevent all accidents, wearing the right protective gear can turn a potentially life-threatening fall into a minor incident. For electric skateboarders traveling at high speeds, this protection is indispensable.

In conclusion, as electric skateboarding continues to gain popularity, the importance of PPE cannot be overstated. It is essential for riders to recognize that, while electric skateboards are a form of transportation and recreation, they also present real risks. Investing in and consistently wearing the appropriate PPE is a critical step in elevating safety and ensuring that riders can continue to enjoy the thrill of electric skateboarding with peace of mind.

Image of a person wearing personal protective equipment while electric skateboarding

Beyond the foundational aspects of electric skateboard design and the critical role of personal protective equipment (PPE), understanding and practicing safe riding techniques in urban environments is essential for electric skateboarders. With cities often presenting unpredictable obstacles and varied terrains, riders must be adept at navigating these challenges to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them. This exploration focuses on key strategies that electric skateboarders can adopt to maintain safety while enjoying the urban landscape.

1. Adherence to Traffic Laws:

Just like cyclists and drivers, electric skateboarders must abide by local traffic laws. This includes obeying traffic signals, stop signs, and yield signs. Riding in the designated direction on the road (usually in the same direction as traffic) and using bike lanes where available significantly decreases the risk of accidents. Being familiar with and respecting these regulations is crucial for safe urban skateboarding.

2. Situational Awareness:

Urban environments are dynamic, with many moving elements such as pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and buses. Electric skateboarders must develop keen situational awareness to navigate through these elements safely. This means constantly being vigilant, looking ahead to anticipate obstacles, and being prepared to stop or change direction at a moment’s notice. Awareness of one’s surroundings allows riders to react promptly to potential hazards, minimizing the risk of collisions.

3. Controlled Speeds in Crowded Areas:

While electric skateboards can reach impressive speeds, it’s vital to adjust speed according to the environment. In crowded areas, such as downtown streets, parks, or near schools, reducing speed is a responsible practice. Riding at a controlled speed ensures that the skateboarder has adequate time to react to sudden changes like a pedestrian stepping onto the path or a car pulling out from a side street.

4. Hand Signals for Turning or Stopping:

Using hand signals to indicate turns or stopping intentions can greatly improve safety for electric skateboarders and others sharing the road. Such signals provide a clear indication of a rider’s next move, allowing for better coordination with pedestrians and vehicles. In urban settings, where interactions with traffic are frequent, effective communication through hand signals can prevent misunderstandings and accidents.

5. Enhanced Night Riding Awareness:

Riding after dark in urban areas requires heightened awareness and additional safety measures. Besides having functional lights on the skateboard, riders should wear reflective clothing or accessories to increase visibility. Understanding that visibility is significantly reduced for everyone at night, skateboarders should take extra precautions, such as riding at slower speeds and avoiding poorly lit areas.

6. Weather Conditions Consideration:

Urban skateboarding demands adaptability to changing weather conditions. Wet roads, for example, can dramatically reduce the grip of skateboard wheels, increasing the likelihood of slips and falls. Electric skateboarders should check weather forecasts before heading out and avoid riding in hazardous conditions. If caught in unexpected weather changes, seeking shelter and waiting for conditions to improve is advised.

7. Regular Maintenance Checks:

The bustling nature of city life demands that electric skateboards are always in top condition. Regular maintenance checks covering brakes, wheels, lights, and the battery not only ensure the skateboard’s optimal performance but also its safety features. Frequent checks allow riders to identify and address any issues before they become safety hazards.


Safety for electric skateboarders in urban environments is multi-faceted, requiring attention to local laws, situational awareness, and appropriate speed management, among other considerations. Additionally, clear communication through hand signals, cautious night riding, adaptability to weather changes, and diligent skateboard maintenance play pivotal roles in safeguarding riders. As cities continue to evolve with the inclusion of more electric transportation options, the importance of these safety strategies becomes even more pronounced, ensuring that electric skateboarding remains a joyful, effective, and safe mode of urban mobility.

electric skateboard in an urban setting

Impact of Maintenance on Safety

Regular maintenance is a cornerstone for ensuring electric skateboard safety, a detail that cannot be overstated. Let’s delve into the why and how keeping your board in pristine condition plays a pivotal role in rider safety.

Firstly, the condition of your electric skateboard’s battery is more than just about range—it’s about safety. Batteries need to be checked regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as bulging or leaks, which can pose significant safety risks. A healthy battery ensures the board operates as expected, without sudden power loss that could lead to accidents.

Moreover, the wheels of your electric skateboard are where rubber literally hits the road. Over time, wheels can wear down, reducing traction and making it harder to maneuver the board. Regular checks and replacements ensure that you maintain optimal control over your skateboard, which is crucial for avoiding obstacles and maneuvering safely, particularly at higher speeds.

The trucks and bearings also play critical roles in the skateboard’s performance. Loose trucks can lead to wobbling, which might cause falls, especially when riding at speed or turning. Worn-out bearings, on the other hand, can impede wheel spin, affecting speed and smoothness of ride. Both should be inspected and tightened or replaced as part of routine maintenance.

Let’s not overlook the importance of keeping the skateboard’s firmware up to date. Manufacturers often release software updates that can improve performance, fix bugs, or enhance security features. Staying current with these updates ensures that your electric skateboard operates efficiently and safely.

In addition, there’s a need for general inspections to identify cracks or structural damages to the skateboard. Such damages can compromise the board’s integrity, potentially leading to breakage during use. Regular examination helps in spotting these issues early, before they escalate into safety hazards.

Cleaning is another aspect of maintenance that might seem trivial but is essential. Debris, dirt, or small stones stuck in the parts of your electric skateboard can hamper its functionality. A regular cleaning routine not only prolongs the life of your board but also ensures that it remains safe to use.

Lastly, the connectivity between your remote control and skateboard should be regularly tested. A strong connection is essential for responsive control over the board. Interruptions in this link could result in loss of control, posing significant risk to the rider.

In summary, regular maintenance of electric skateboards is non-negotiable for ensuring safety. It encompasses everything from the battery’s condition, wheel and bearing integrity, to firmware updates and structural inspections. Just like any other vehicle, an electric skateboard demands attentive care to guarantee not only its longevity but more importantly, the safety of its rider.

Image of various electric skateboard parts being inspected and maintained

Through the lens of safety, the allure of electric skateboarding shines even brighter. With a firm commitment to maintaining our boards, adhering to safety practices, and donning the right personal protective equipment, electric skateboards hold the promise of not just revolutionizing urban mobility but doing so with the well-being of riders at the forefront. Ultimately, the thrill of the ride and the joy of freedom it brings can only be fully realized when every outing ends as safely as it begins.

Matt Powell