Electric skateboards have gotten more and more popular over the last several years. We now see them popping up in cities around the globe. Whenever a personal transport device gets more popular we need to ask the questions whether it is safe or not. So, are electric skateboards safe?

Well, it depends. They can be ridden very safely but due to its attraction to beginners, I would say that eboards are not very safe. It is very tempting for an unskilled rider to try out electric skateboards. Many e-skateboards have a lot of power. They not only accelerate but also go very fast. One further reason that electric skateboarding is so dangerous is we ride these boards on hard pavement. If we take falls on hard tarmac our body will probably get injured. But if you master your skills and wear proper protection gear electric skateboards can be so much fun!

An electric skateboard fascinates many people who’ve no experience at all on a skateboard and enabling to ride at speeds that only experienced longboard downhill riders would even try.

They look like gadgets, but they carry the power and speed of a tiny electric car – but unfortunately without the protective casing. Just a single push on the remote control, even in beginner-riding-modes, can surprise you with immense torque and acceleration.

When it comes down to safety it is like with every other safety issue as well. It depends on how much awareness we rise and what we do to decrease risk factors. Riding an eboard can be dangerous – yes! But so can driving a car and even taking a shower! (in fact, most accidents happen at home) But we can do things to keep us safe and diminish hazard factors. We can wear at least a helmet and additional protective gear. We can ride with safe speed and a lot of further things too, which I will them in this article.

Check out my articles on the best protective gear for electric skateboarding:

Are electric skateboards dangerous?

Electric powered skateboards have been in the market for decades now but the debate still exists – are they dangerous? People think that they hold a threat to not only the boarder who is riding it but the surrounding people as well. However, all personal transport devices (cars, motorbikes, bicycles) can be risky to surrounding people. Since cars and motorbikes are faster, I think that they definitely are even more dangerous to people.

Accidents occur and even deaths are reported from riding an electric skateboard. Handling big lithium-ion or Lithium-Polymer batteries can also be dangerous. Riding on wet roads is not a good idea, additionally, the technology of eboards also has its flaws as well. So, shall we even take the risk on riding electric skateboards?

In my opinion yes! Crossing the street or climbing up your stairs can be dangerous too – that doesn’t imply we stop doing that. Electric skateboards can safely be ridden too! You just need to have proper safety equipment coupled with good practice and some sense on how to safely ride on the streets.

Electric skateboard accidents and crashes

Electric skateboard accidents happen all the time. One of my best friends slipped while e-boarding and had serious bruises and abrasions. The reason that electric skateboarding is so dangerous is we ride these boards on hard pavement. If we take falls on the street our body will get injured. I researched a lot and have read some studies regarding the most common injuries in inline-skating, cycling, longboarding and skateboarding.

Most common injuries

Electric skateboarding is relatively new to the public. Therefore we haven’t collected enough data to statistically display which injuries are the most frequent ones. However, cycling, inline skating, skateboarding and longboarding already have some years on their backs and these sports are relatively comparable. Hence if we take data from skateboard, longboard, cycling and inline skating accidents and injury studies we should be not far from statistically relevant data for electric skateboard injuries.

The most common injuries among skateboarders, longboarders, and e-skateboarders are:

  • Abrasions and bruises
  • Hand, wrist, or shoulder injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Ankle and knee injuries

Falling with speed on hard pavement can lead to abrasions and bruises. Are the most common injuries in electric skateboarding. Hand, wrist, or shoulder injuries may occur when electric skateboarders lose their balance and fall on an outstretched arm. Head injuries, including concussions (these are the greatest danger to electric skateboarders) these injuries, can lead to layovers in a hospital, permanent impairment, and — in extreme cases — even death. Ankle and knee injuries are also quite common. They occur when borders have not warmed up their body enough and avoided falls by jumping down from the board.

Electric skateboard deaths and fatalities

This leads me to the most severe accidents – falling off and hitting your head. It can be a life-changing or even life-ending event, this is what makes electric longboarding really dangerous. Over 75% of cyclist deaths are from head injuries. This is statistic is very relatable to electric skateboarding. You are reaching similar speeds and it’s arguably even easier to fall off an e-skateboard than off a bike.

It is not very common that people die when falling down from their electric skateboards but it unfortunately happens. But if you read about fatal electric skateboard incidence you will probably notice that almost all of the deaths occurred because the Rider suffered serious brain injuries and was not wearing a helmet. To prove my point even more 88% of cyclist deaths could have been avoided had a helmet been worn. Hence we can prevent the worst-case scenario by wearing a decent helmet.  Helmets are important.(https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/6-fatal-accidents-involving-hoverboards-electric-skateboards-and-scooters)

Electric skateboard batteries on fire

Sometimes Electric skateboard batteries Catch Fire. Lithium-ion batteries are the esk8 standard but some manufacturers use Lithium-Polymer batteries as well. Big Li-Ion and Li-Po batteries are pretty energy-dense and therefore they can catch fire or even explode if not handled properly. Normally this happens if you overcharge the battery or if the battery was damaged before that. Commonly Lithium-ion batteries are a lot safer than Lithium-Polymer batteries but it also happens lithium-ion batteries catch fire.


Fortunately, the majority of the electric skateboards available on the market are pretty safe. Li-Ion batteries also need to have a Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) certification. The battery design must have been tested to a test standard referred to as “UN38.3.”  Almost all of the reputable electric skateboard brands on the market use batteries with this certification. If you’re still paranoid you can use a special charge bunker to charge your lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries.

How do eboard crashes occur?

When we fly off an electric skateboard it surely has a cause. But what are the causes, how do crashes occur? The most common accidents happen when electric longboarder and skateboarders:

  • Ride beyond their skill level (Lose control and fall)
  • Run into cars, bikes, pedestrians, skaters or another e-boarders
  • Skate on improper or irregular surfaces (rails, curbstone, cracks in pavement)
  • Ride in rainy conditions (wet and slippery surface)
  • Going too fast (downhill or too much throttle)
  • The remote control disconnects
  • Regenerative braking stops working on some boards if the battery is fully charged

Riding beyond your skill level

A lot of beginners cannot judge their riding skills properly. An electric skateboard can accelerate very fast and can achieve speeds that only serious downhill longboarders achieve. Without enough practice and skills, it’s very hard to ride a powerful machine like an electric skateboard.

Traffic

The most serious concern when riding on the street is traffic. Traffic is not in our hands, even if we ride courteously and carefully crazy car drivers can crash into us. Electric skateboards are still fairly new. Just a few people know what they are and can expect their speed, but the majority could under-estimate your speed and hit you. Therefore we should stay away from traffic as much as possible and ride at reasonable speeds. We also should try to practice our awareness and sensibility in critical traffic situations.

watch out for pedestrians

Rain

When the streets and roads are wet they are very slippery. It is not a good idea to go on a riding session if the pavement is wet. Making turns is more dangerous and the braking distance will increase dramatically. The probability of flying off your board is unfortunately greatly increased. Especially if you’re a beginner, avoid riding in the rain or in wet conditions.

Rough pavement

Riding with an electric skateboard on the rough ground can be dangerous as well. Cracks and holes on roads can be real obstacles for Hour Wheels. The streets we drive on or made for Carter’s could we all noticed cars have bigger tires and wheels electric skateboards. Hence we should not drive at the same speed as cars do. Please be careful when riding on rough pavement.

Speed – riding too fast

We travel with velocities which not nat for a human being. We are often riding with speeds higher than 20 mph over the ground on asphalt. If we take a fall we don’t have a thick protection layer out of metal as we have in cars. Excess speeds are more likely to lead to a crash. The rider has less time to react. If you double your velocity your stopping distance will be tripled.

Speed Wobbles

I know high speeds can be tempting and exciting but also very dangerous. As you increase speed, each input from your body to the board is amplified. If you don’t have the balance or strength to hold the board straight you probably will wobble. If you’re riding fast and your electric skateboard doesn’t have trucks and bushings which are made for speed, or your ankles and calf muscles are not trained enough these speed wobbles can occur. If it already happened to you know that they are scary as hell! The likelihood of losing control and balance and flying off your board is very high!

How to solve the wobbly situation:

  • Try turning in one direction, as consciously carving will often steady the board and stop the wobbles.
  • Lean over your front foot and slowly let off the throttle to reduce speed until the speed wobbles stop.
  • Tightening the kingpin on your trucks (especially the rear truck) may also help to reduce speed wobbles. Just be sure not to over tighten so you can still freely turn.
  • Over time, frequent riding will strengthen the stabilizing muscles in your ankles, calves, and legs eliminating the frequency and severity of speed wobbles. So practice, practice, practice!
  • One essential thing is to stay calm and try to relax as tense leg muscles and yourself panicking can exacerbate the problem.

Speed wobbles come from the back truck and are more likely to happen if your trucks are loose. Remember to keep your back truck tighter than the front to avoid too much steering input from the rear. You can also keep your weight forward (over your front foot), then speed wobbles should happen less. Tightening your back truck will help you.

Visibility

If you ride at night we sure want to be see the ground beneath us. We also want to be seen by other traffic participants. So our motto is “see and be seen”! To see the pavement properly you need some good head and tail lights. Some additional lights and a reflective vest is always a good idea. If you want to learn more about these please check out my article electric skateboard lights.

Remote control disconnects

Another very dangerous situation to happen is when your remote control (RC) disconnects from your eboard. Sometimes we forget to charge the battery of the remote control so it gets empty during our rides. In these circumstances, the RC will switch off and therefore there will be no connection. At other times of times, the connection between the RC and the Bluetooth receiver of your e-skateboard stops due to technical problems (often Bluetooth frequency disruption).

Brakes stop to work

The regenerative braking system of some electric skateboards stops working if the battery is fully charged. If the battery is fully charged a lot of eboard companies advise you not to ride down a hill at the beginning of your ride because the regenerative braking system would overcharge the battery, hence the braking system stops working.

How to ride your electric skateboard safely – 13 safety tips

Practice and train additional braking techniques.

I´ve written it already a few times in this article. It is important that we practice and train breaking techniques when normal regenerative braking system fails.

Plan for the worst case scenario – Practice “the right fall”

This tip maybe sounds obvious, but be honest. Have you ever practised to fall right? Do you know how to fall right, so you won’t injure yourself? I doubt that. Once again: Sometimes you ride with an eboard with speeds compared to a motorcycle. If you take a fall at high-speed on asphalt you want to be sure that you know how to fall correctly.

Make sure your batteries are charged (remote control too)

Before you take a ride just check the battery of your board. Without charging the battery you won’t have acceleration and braking. And be sure to check the battery of your remote control too! If you don’t have juice in your battery your remote control then you don’t have acceleration nor breaking.

Make sure you’re being seen – (nighttime = light time)

Have you ever seen a bike rider cycling through the night without any lights? Don’t be that fool and buy some decent lights and reflectors for night riding.

Be cautious, slow down when you see other people or vehicles

Also a very obvious tip. But sometimes when riding becomes a lot of fun I experience a “flow state”. I sometimes drift in a focused-on-riding and not focused-on-traffic kind of mindset. I will become more careless. Because of that, I can’t stress this enough for myself and maybe for your future self as well. Watch out for traffic, other persons or vehicles. Please don’t let yourself get injured because of negligence.

Tighten you back truck

Tightening your back truck is an simple fix. Especially if you are a beginner and are planning on pushing the throttle to the limit. Speed wobbles come from the back truck and are more likely to happen if your trucks are loose. You can also keep your weight forward (over your front foot), then speed wobbles should happen less.

Be careful when your passing dogs

Watch out for dogs. Try to get past them very slowly. They don’t seem to like the sound. I have been chased a few times now.

Oil your bearings

You should oil your bearings from time to time. If you skate in wet conditions spin the wheel a few times before the next ride to prevent them from seizing up, which could happen and throw you off your eboard.

Ride on biking paths

Don’t go near oncoming traffic and try to stay away from cars and trucks as much as possible.

Don’t ride beyond your skill level

Both in terms of where you ride and at what speed. Riding beyond your skill level can be very dangerous especially at high speeds. Speed wobbles, traffic, negligent car drivers. Skill up so these threats can be eluded. Practice, practice, practice!

Don’t let inexperienced riders without help nor helmet on your eboard

Inexperienced electric skateboarders can be very incompetent in judging their riding skills. Inform them about every possible danger and give them detailed and decent e-board instruction. Give them a helmet and try to help them. Be a guide and hold them by the hand for their first right.

Be careful when letting young children ride

Same here. We want to let our children riding an electric skateboard, but it can be very dangerous for them. Give them a helmet and try to help them as good as you can, especially for their few first rides.

Do basic maintenance regularly

I think this is a no-brainer. Please maintain your eboard regularly. Check your wheels, trucks, brakes, bearings, remote control, battery, truck tightness and check even all the screws that hold your electric skateboard together. (especially if you ride rough surfaces)

Bottom line: Being safe is a lifestyle that ensures you will enjoy many more fun skateboard rides. Let me know in the comments below if you have additional safety suggestions.
Electric skateboarding can be so much fun! Enjoy your rides!

Recommended Protective and Safety Gear

So now we know that electric skateboarding can be very dangerous. Therefore we should protect ourselves and wear decent protective gear!

We definitely need a helmet when riding on electric skateboards. Knee and elbow pads are also a good thing to have. And gloves can be very practical and pain saving too. I would never recommend protective gear which has not proven to be safe. And although safety is by far the most essential factor for choosing your protective gear I only picked gear I personally would wear too!

Check out my articles on the best protective gear for electric skateboarding:

Check out my article on the best electric skateboard helmets that actually look nice.
Click here to get my article on the best knee and elbow pads for electric skateboarding.
If you want to learn more about the best lights for eboards click here. If you are interested in gloves and wrist guards check out this article. You can get an excellent overview of the best protective gear for eboarding with my article on safety gear.

Additional safety gear

  • Impact Shorts
  • Reflective Vest

Final words

Thank you for reading my article! I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed it and that my post provided value to you! If you have any recommendations I am open to hear them!