This in-depth literature review shows that skateboarding has experienced intermittent periods of popularity, with an estimated 6-15 million skateboarders in the US currently involved at all levels of recreational play and competition. Head trauma accounts for ∼ 3.5-13.1% of all skateboarding injuries. Injury occurs most often to the upper extremity (55-63%), whereas thoracoabdominal and spine injuries account for 1.5-2.9% of all trauma and lower extremity injuries occur 17-26% of the time. Few fatal injuries (1.1%) have been reported, oftentimes resulting from traumatic head injuries incurred from collisions with motor vehicles. Although skateparks may be perceived as a safer alternative to street skateboarding, injuries still occur when the skateboarder collides with an object or falls from the board. Factors leading to trauma include fatigue and overuse, age and skill level, inadequate medical care, environmental conditions, equipment concerns, lack of fitness and training, and the detrimental behavior of the competitor. Although not all skateboarding injuries are avoidable, numerous opportunities exist to instill safety involving education, instruction, and supervision and the proper use of protective gear to reduce predisposition to trauma. Future research recommendations include a more standardized data collection system, as well as an increased focus on kinetic analysis of the sport. Legislation involving helmet laws and the increased investment in a safer environment for the skateboarder may also assist in reducing injury in this sport.
Keywords: Skateboarding; epidemiology; injury; prevention; safety.