Skateboarding and biking are two popular activities. They provide a sense of freedom and excitement for individuals of all ages.
Still, they both carry risks, but many wonder if skateboarding is more dangerous.
Here’s what you need to know…
Yes, skateboarding is more dangerous than biking. It’s more injury prone, harder to control, and has more impact on the body than biking.
When riding at a moderate speed, you’re still safer biking than skateboarding.
As we go further, this article will compare the risks of skateboarding and biking using different factors.
This way, you’ll get to know why we arrived at this conclusion in the first place.
Keep reading below…
|Factors (Which is More Dangerous)||Skateboarding||Biking|
|Level of Impact||✓|
Note: The table above summarizes which is a more dangerous sport – skateboarding or biking if compared with different factors.
Table of Contents
According to statistics, biking has more injury cases each year than skateboarding.
In 2020, there were around 494,000 bicycle-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms in the United States.
This estimate was provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And this includes only emergency cases, not minor injuries.
Meanwhile, around 86,000 skateboard-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms in the same year. This report included only emergencies and was from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Biking can be more dangerous when you look at the number of injury cases a year, particularly emergencies, compared to skateboarding.
Interacting with a bicycle is a lot easier and more comfortable than a skateboard. In other words, riding a bicycle requires a little guidance and not so much effort.
Unlike biking, you need to properly learn almost everything in skateboarding. This includes balance, coordination skills, and even braking.
This makes skateboarding a lot riskier since controlling them requires so much effort. That said, here are two aspects of handling that make biking safer than skateboarding:
Bicycles have handles, which you can use to turn in any direction. That’s little effort compared to skateboarding. Controlling a skateboard isn’t easy.
And this is not something you can do without practice. There are no handles for control. Instead, you lean backward to turn. And this can be risky and require practice.
It’s easier and safer to stop a bicycle. It has hand breaks, which are easy to use even without a guide!
In addition, braking on a bicycle can save you from hazards by far. A skateboard doesn’t have breaks like bicycles do.
Braking, in skateboarding, is something you have to learn to do. To brake, all you’ll have to do is pop up the nose of the board to brake.
Alternatively, you can drag your back foot on the ground to brake. These techniques are not what everyone can do perfectly unlike braking on bicycles.
Moreover, they’re less reliable when it comes to preventing hazards.
Skateboarding can be more dangerous because it’s not easy to control, unlike biking. No handles, and no braking system.
Skateboards are meant for plain and smooth surfaces; there’s a reason behind this! Their hard wheels don’t support any kind of surface, especially irregular ones.
Even a small pebble or sandy area can bring you down or send you flying. This can rarely happen with a bicycle!
Bicycles go smoothly on almost every terrain—plain, uphill, or downhill. Their wheels are designed to move on irregular surfaces and roll over high obstacles.
This includes low curbs, sandy areas, railroad tracks, gravel pebbles, tree roots, potholes, or large sidewalk cracks.
Since we might not know what to expect on the road, riding a bicycle is a lot safer than a skateboard.
Skateboarding can be more dangerous because it’s risky on irregular grounds. Rough surfaces, and pebbles, can easily bring you down. Skateboards are designed for only smoother grounds, unlike biking.
Bicycles reach higher speeds than skateboards. Still, skateboards are fast but do not in any way match a bicycle’s speed.
In the event of a collision or crash, speed increases the risk of injuries. It also increases the level of damage.
This means the higher the speed the more the risk of injuries. And this makes biking more dangerous than skateboarding when you consider speed.
Biking can be more dangerous because it can reach high speeds than skateboarding. Speeding on a bicycle likely brings about serious damage.
Skateboarders often attempt risky maneuvers, such as jumping over obstacles and performing tricks on rails and stairs.
These maneuvers have now become part of skateboarding. Today, it’s not so cool to skate without landing even a basic trick.
While these are fun, they are also very risky; they can lead to serious injuries if not done properly.
Bicyclists typically do not engage in these types of maneuvers, making them less prone to injury.
Skateboarding can be more dangerous because it involves dangerous maneuvers, especially landing risky tricks.
Level of Impact
Skateboarding has more impact on the body than biking. It’s less comfortable since you have to be on both feet as you ride.
Skateboarding naturally puts pressure on your legs, and this brings about leg injuries over time. This means you don’t need to fall or crash to suffer injuries.
A bicycle is built to offer comfort and not put so much pressure on the body. Since you sit as you ride. This equally means your weight is focused on your lower body.
It’s quite easier to counter a fall when riding a bicycle. Skateboarding falls happen when you least expect them.
Funny enough, practicing how to fall properly is important in skateboarding. This is because there’s a high chance of crashing when you skate.
Skateboarding can be more dangerous because it has so much unhealthy impact on the body, especially the legs. In other words, you wouldn’t need to crash or fall to suffer injuries.
Skateboarding can be more dangerous than biking!
In skateboarding, it’s easy to make these mistakes when you don’t practice enough. Skateboards are hard to control—no steering handles, no breaks!
Moreover, the majority of skateboarders can’t do without landing risky tricks. Get them wrong and you could be in the hospital.
In addition, you’re only safe riding a skateboard on smooth surfaces. If you come in contact with irregularities on the floor, you’ll likely crash.
As per reports, biking might have more emergency cases, but this doesn’t make it more dangerous than skateboarding.
These cases are mostly because of a bicycle’s speed. Biking is also more likely to have collisions with other vehicles.
How To Avoid Risk in Skateboarding?
- Always wear proper safety gear – helmets, elbow pads, knee guards, wrist guards, closed-toe shoes, etc.
- Check your skateboard before use, especially the bearings and wheels.
- Replace worn-out parts from time to time.
- Practice skateboarding gradually. Do not begin landing dangerous tricks you’ve not yet mastered.
- Practice your balance and coordination. It helps you get more comfortable on the board.
- Always choose safer environments to skate. It should have a smooth surface; be free of obstacles; not be crowded.
- It’s safer to skate with friends. This way, you’ll watch each other’s backs.
Is Skateboarding as Fast as Biking?
No, skateboarding, in general, is not as fast as biking. Skateboards have an average speed of about 5–12 mph.
Bikes are faster and can reach speeds of about 25 mph on average. Even when skateboarders reach high speeds, they normally can’t keep that pace for longer periods.
Biking is faster because bicycles are built for movement at high speeds. A bicycle is ahead of a skateboard not just in terms of speed, but also distance.
Any cyclist can change gears to increase speed. Moreover, you can pedal to go faster. But when you skate, there are no gears or pedals to boost speed.
You instead kick backward with one of your legs to go faster. And this only gives you limited speed.
Can You Use a Skateboard Helmet For Biking?
Yes, you can! However, it offers a limited level of protection for biking, unlike biking helmets.
Hence, it’s not the best choice for biking, especially when riding at high speeds. Both helmets have different shapes, construction, and ventilation systems.
Hence, they offer different levels of protection and comfort. Skateboarding helmets are built to withstand and protect the head from low-impact crashes.
Biking helmets, on the other hand, are built for high-impact crashes. And this normally results from higher speeds, unlike skateboarding.
So to be on the safe side, I recommend you use biking helmets for biking. Using the appropriate helmet for the right activity offers maximum protection.
RECOMMEND READING: DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BIKE HELMET AND SKATEBOARD HELMET
In summary, skateboarding can be more dangerous than biking. This is true when you compare speed, handling, and terrain.
That being said, here’s what to remember:
- Skateboarding is more injury prone.
- A skateboard is risky on irregular surfaces. However, bicycles will ride safely almost anywhere.
- It’s hard to control a skateboard making them less safe. Bicycles need little or no guide to handle them.
- Biking is only more dangerous than skateboarding when you ride at high speed.
- It has a more negative impact on the body than biking
Talking about the impact of skateboarding on the body. Since skateboarding isn’t like any major sport, it must be low-impact, right?
Find all your answers regarding this in our article – Is Skateboarding Considered Low-Impact Sport?