There is no doubt that a helmet is a great protective gear to save you from a head injury. There is no harm in wearing it. Still, many longboard riders don’t like to use a helmet while riding. We know there are rules for motorbikes. They must wear a helmet according to the law. But, is it illegal to ride a longboard without a helmet? Does riding longboards fall under any federal law or restrictions in the first place? You’ll figure that out soon!
This article will tell you everything you need to know, and whether you can ride your board without wearing a helmet or not. Read on!
Is It Illegal to Ride a Longboard Without a Helmet?
Great question! I would say it depends on some factors. More specifically, your location plays an important role to determine whether not wearing a helmet is illegal. Let me explain it more specifically. In the public’s opinion, both longboarding and skateboarding are pretty much the same in many cases. Unlike skateboards, longboards run really fast if you want, even if you have a cheap longboard below $150 which translates into a necessity of a helmet.
There is no denying that longboarding and skateboarding are quite popular these days. As a result, local ordinances and laws are also active in such sport. So, riding a longboard without a helmet in public streets can be illegal if there is any local law about it.
If any person is not familiar with this sport or hobby, he may think negatively about this. So, you must choose a location for longboarding wisely. You can’t ride on private property without taking the permission of the owner.
When it comes to safety, you should always think about it first. In my opinion, safety gear is a must when you talk about longboarding. But, you will find many people who don’t care about longboard safety equipment.
No wonder, your longboarding maximum speed limit can increase to more than 40 MPH when you go downhill. So, wearing a helmet will save you from any unexpected head injuries. For this negligence, many local governments enacted laws called ‘reckless operation.’ For instance, you can talk about NYC Skating law where such laws or road rules exist.
According to that law, if anyone witnesses you longboarding or skating recklessly, they can file a report against you. That is the reason, you should always be careful about local skateboard helmet laws and regulations while riding.
On the other hand, California law is pretty much strict in this case. If you are someone who is under 18, you must wear a helmet while riding a longboard or skateboard.
On top of all these, in almost every town in the US, you may find a curfew law. These laws are enacted to reduce the crime rate and to increase child protection. Although this law may vary depending on the location, this tool will help you to find out curfew laws in your location.
Why Longboarders Don’t Like Helmets
There are many reasons why longboarders don’t like helmets. Below I will mention some points to resemble their mindset:
- According to many longboarders, if you ride under 15 mph, it’s like running. Unless there are a few exceptions, you won’t fall from a longboard so often. That said, it’s not riskier than tripping over a crack, that can also happen while running. As your helmet is not mandatory for jogging, so is for longboarding either. However, a beginner should wear a helmet.
- When you fall at a lower level of speed while longboarding, the risk of head injury is pretty much low. Because in most cases, you will be able to save yourself from falling. In that case, gloves and wrist guards will be the real help compared to wearing a helmet.
- When you ride at a real low speed, you just need to practice having good reflex actions. Because in most of the cases, it will be the main skill which will save you.
- When you talk about pro-level longboarders, they won’t fall backward easily. If it happens, it may cause a serious level of head injury. But it will only happen in extremely rare cases. Because when you ride a longboard, it will always offer you forward momentum.
- Helmets are pretty uncomfortable for many longboarders. Many of them don’t like the sweat around their head. Hence, you will not enjoy your riding at its full potential. Besides, many riders don’t want to take the hassle of carrying a helmet
However, expert longboarders also recommend wearing helmets when it comes to free or bowl riding and going downhill. Otherwise, they think a helmet should be an optional gear.
Advantage Of Wearing Helmet While Longboarding
There are also many advantages to wearing a helmet. It’s one of the most important safety gear. Needless to say, it will help you to reduce head injury to a great extent. Longboard injuries can be mild and of course, they can be so severe as well.
Even many experienced longboarders may become seriously injured. If you face a head concussion during a ride, you may need to go to the emergency room soon. Many longboarding accidents can happen due to improper board setup. For instance, a wheelbase can cause serious injury.
Injury can happen anytime. Maybe you are riding on a flat surface. But a sudden hit on a crack can change the entire situation instantly. It doesn’t matter for whatever reason an accident happens, wearing a helmet might save your day. Because the helmet is specially designed to give your head the ultimate safety.
Besides, in some locations, it may already become mandatory to wear safety gear. So, wearing a helmet will keep you safe from any health hazards. It also keeps you safe from any unexpected law and regulations-related issues.
What Types Of Helmet Should You Wear?
I hope you already know about the importance of wearing a helmet while riding a longboard. So, you may think about one question. Which helmet will give you the maximum safety? There are many types of helmets available in the market. But, not every type will ensure your maximum safety.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a cheap or expensive longboard, you should always go for a proper helmet for longboarding. You can go for a basic bike helmet. Because they come with hard shells but of course they are soft padded.
You can also go for a certified half-shell helmet. Some helmets are designed for mountain bikers. Those are pretty much cheaper but strong and heavy. However, they are not that heavy like motorcycle helmets.
You can try a mountain biking helmet too. But, you should never go for motorcycle helmets. Because unlike bicycle helmets they are super heavy and can destroy your overall comfort.
When you do downhill longboarding, it is a wise decision to use a full-face helmet. Without any doubt, your jaw will be protected along with your head in case of an accident. Besides, some helmets will offer you extra benefits. Some come with anti-sweating and anti-smell properties. Some helmets are more durable when some will offer you great ventilation.
Here are some basic helmet tips which will help you to get maximum effectiveness from it.
- You should wear it low in the front, it will give protection to your forehead.
- You must fasten the buckle properly
- Make sure that the chin strap is properly tighten
- You should adjust your helmet with utmost care
- You must inspect it regularly to find any damage
Longboarding is a great form of sport that is quite popular among many hobbyists. Many people love to ride longboards as this sport helps in many ways. But the fact is, many people don’t want to wear a helmet while riding a longboard. Although they have some logic to do that, it is always recommended to use one.
I hope, it’s now clear to you whether is it illegal to ride a longboard without a helmet or not. In a nutshell, it can be illegal to ride a longboard without wearing a helmet in some states. Besides that, you cannot ride in public while bothering regular commuters and people on foot. Keep your rides in a skate park and places where you’re allowed to ride it by your local law.