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    saesk8_admin
    Keymaster

    We are still early adopters of this new technology, and as such, should aim to preserve ourselves as much as possible and avoid injury so we can continue to spread the gospel truth that is electric mobility!

    But how much safety gear is too much? How much is not enough? What do I buy? When do I buy it? When do I wear it? Why wear it? All these questions are answered below…

    THE GEAR LIST

    For beginners just starting out, you should prioritize your safety gear purchases in the following order:

    1. Half lid/dome helmet
    2. Padded/reinforced, closed toe shoes
    3. Wrist guards and/or padded or slider gloves
    4. Knee pads
    5. Elbow pads
    6. Full face helmet
    7. Chest, shoulders, back pads (protective vests and jerseys)
    8. Ankle braces
    9. Padded shorts
    10. Neck brace

    As you progress with your first PEV and start to ride faster you will progress down this list. Once you get your second PEV you may require more gear or higher quality gear.

    HELMETS

    There are many types of helmets that are suitable for PEV riding.

    1. Bicycle helmet:
    These half helmets provide the minimum amount of protection, however are well ventilated and breathe well in summer. Your ears are not covered and make wearing music and hands-free devices easy. If you have a larger budget, try and get one with MIPS, but if you don’t have much money just get something that meets the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2063:2008. You will find these codes written on stickers on the helmets. Try and also get one with an adjustable retention system wheel at the back – this provides a better fit so you don’t rely solely on the chin strap. These are the lightest helmets which make head movements easy. Weight: under 300g

    2. Skate helmet:
    These half helmets typically provide the same protection as a bicycle helmet. Sometimes they will have other new technologies, which you should research individually. Many now also include MIPS. Skate helmets do not breathe as well as a bicycle helmet. These are still quite light weight helmets. Weight: 200g – 500g

    3. Snowboarding helmet:
    These half helmets provide greater protection than a skate or bicycle helmet, as they are rated for collisions at higher speeds. These also provide ear coverings, which make them excellent half helmets for winter. They do not breathe well, as they are designed for cold climates. The material inside the helmet is usually a warmer material as well, adding extra protection against the cold. Sometimes the ear coverings can interfere with sunglasses or hands-free/music devices. These helmets are reasonably light weight. Weight: 200g – 500g

    4. Downhill mountain bike helmet:
    These full-face helmets provide excellent protection and are rated for large and fast impacts to the head and chin areas. The best brands usually have MIPS or other new technologies to add further protection. They breathe the best out of all the full-face helmets, with adequate ventilation for summer – but they still get hot. Avoid black if you ride through summer! These helmets do not typically provide eye protection. They are also heavier than the previously mentioned helmets, making head movements like shoulder checks more difficult. Peripheral vision is cut slightly but still quite good, unless wearing goggles. More expensive versions have removable chin bars, which is helpful for drinking and eating without removing the helmet. Weight: 500g – 1.5kg

    5. Motorbike helmet:
    These full-face helmets provide the best protection (when paired with a solid chin bar) as they are rated for road bike speeds. Many have bad ventilation however if you have a bigger budget, you can get better ventilation helmets. They get hot, especially when the eye protection shield is down. They are the heaviest of all the helmets on this list, as they require extra protective materials. Shoulder checks are the most difficult and the peripheral vision is the least. Suited to winter riding. More expensive versions have removable chin bars, which is helpful for drinking and eating without removing the helmet. Weight: 1 – 2kg

    There are many other types of helmets, such as triathlon helmets which we do not recommend. When buying a helmet, always try the helmet on first – do not buy online without having tried a helmet on. It can be difficult to return them. When trying on a helmet, take your glasses/sunglasses with you and ensure they fit with the helmet on.
    Helmets come with many different methods of fastening around the chin – try and purchase click and lock strap helmets, or ratchet style strap fasteners for full face helmets. The D loop “threaded strap” fasteners on full face helmets can be time consuming and fiddly for beginners, which leads to frustration and not using the chin strap at all – this can be a fatal mistake. Please see the below media to understand the difference between the two main types of fasteners for full face helmets.

    SHOES

    Skate shoes are best in order to have the largest contact patch with your grip tape or pedals possible. Skate shoes are completely flat on the bottom which provides better grip. Some brands provide additional padding and reinforcement around the side and bridge of the foot, as well as the ankle area – these are wise investments. Once again, do not purchase anything online until you have tried them on in person – shoes included.

    If you are riding on a carbon deck and/or with polyurethane wheels, it can be beneficial to purchase thick memory foam inner soles in order to provide more cushioning for bumps and cracks in riding surfaces. If you are used to wearing skate shoes normally, do not get inner soles with pronounced arch support. If you are used to runners, you may need arch support inner soles when switching to skate shoes.

    Skate shoes come in two main types: cupsole and vulcanised. Cupsole are firmer and provide better support and comfort for long rides, whereas vulcanised are softer and provide more “board feel” than cupsole shoes. This makes vulcanised shoes better for tricks, complex footwork and cornering. However if you intend to ride long range, cupsole shoes will provide much better support and you won’t have to take as many breaks to rest your feet. Board feel is generally only experienced on polyurethane wheels; if you have pnuematics wheels you might as well buy cupsole shoes as they are harder wearing. Having one pair of each is best if you do a bit of both.
    Globe, DC, and Etnies all make excellent cupsole and vulcanised options with reasonably thick padding, but are slightly more costly. Vans and Converse are also very well known for their vulcanised range being comfortable and cheaper, however they don’t have as much padding for safety. Vans generally are for wider feet, and Converse generally are for narrower. If you want to protect your ankle, hi-top skate shoes are better than low cut. This may also prevent twisted ankles when running off.

    Electric unicycles are different from electric skateboards and Onewheels when it comes to shoes – higher cut boots like motorcycle boots or hiking boots can be beneficial to get more sideways contact with the wheel, and locking into your pads.

    For the love of all that is pain-free, do not ride in sandals, thongs or slides. Fully enclosed toe shoes are a must. Dress shoes such as heels or slip-ons and business shoes such as loafers are also a big mistake. Runners and sneakers can be alright, if a snug and comfortable fit and not riding too fast.

    When choosing socks, try to get thick wool or nylon socks, or at the very least socks that do not slip inside your shoes. Thin cotton socks can be dangerous if the material is soft enough to move your foot around inside the shoe. Experiment at very low speeds while carving before attempting to take corners at high speeds.

    WRIST GUARDS / GLOVES

    Wrist guards are best for PEV riding, as locking the wrist out from stressful/hypertensive movement is absolutely a top priority. Gloves are great, but superficial injuries to your fingers can be stitched back together. Protecting your joints is far more important, so prioritize wrist guards first.

    If the weather is not too cold, fingerless gloves are best, in order to allow the accurate functioning of electric skateboard remotes. Operating the thumbwheel or trigger may be more difficult with full finger gloves. If you are on an electric unicycle or Onewheel (no remote), there’s no harm in going for the additional protection of full finger gloves – however in warmer weather you may opt for fingerless gloves.

    If you have a larger budget, some companies make both fingerless and full finger gloves with built-in wrist protection, and even palm protection such as pucks or sliders. These are fantastic and should be seen as a wise investment – however if you have a low budget, you can get some reinforced gloves and cut the end of the thumb or index finger off for easy control of the thumbwheel/triggers. If you do get full finger gloves for winter, ensure they are touch screen compatible.

    KNEE PADS

    If you fall forwards (common fall), your hands and knees are most likely to hit the ground first. Sliding out these falls will mean you will need to rely on your knees, and like hands they can take a long time to heal from injuries. Knee pads vary in quality and material, both hard shell and soft shell. Some require you to pull them over your feet and up your legs, other can strap on simply without removing your shoes – we recommend the straps for convenience. Ensure the fit is good – the most important strap is the one directly behind and slightly below the rear of the knee – this will ensure the knee pads do not fall down while moving. Three strap knee pads (extra strap on the thigh) will stay in place better than twin strap knee pads, but cost more.

    ELBOW PADS

    If you fall backwards (less common fall) or roll sideways, your elbows may hit the ground first if your hands cannot. Elbow pads are not as expensive as knee pads, so you should try and opt for better brands/products if your budget allows. On rare occasions when your PEV takes off from underneath you, due to a mistaken trigger touch or foot slip off, your feet follow with the PEV and leave your elbows and butt likely to hit the ground first. Always practice good remote handling and turn the remote off when not in transit.

    UPPER TORSO PADS (CHEST, SHOULDERS, BACK)

    Generally protective jerseys and vests come with three different areas of protection: chest, shoulder and back. They can also come in long sleeve versions with elbow protection, eliminating the need for independent elbow pads. These upper torso pads can be very helpful in protecting your body when rolling sideways in a fall. The most important protection would be the shoulder – as forward falls may result in awkward rolls where the shoulder strikes the ground first – even before your hands. These falls can be devastating to the shoulder joint and collarbone, but are typically not common, as the hands instinctively take most of the momentum out of a forwards fall. The hard tortoise shell-like back and spine protection can be valuable when rolling into obstructions like trees and gutters.

    ANKLE BRACES

    Preventing the ankle from twisting and rotating, these devices lock the ankle which make them helpful for EUC but might inhibit certain movements on ESK8 and Onewheel. Traditionally worn by OG skateboarders – not commonly used in PEV riding. Very similar to wrist guards, with some including hard plastic inserts to improve rigidity.

    PADDED SHORTS

    Snowboarders frequently wear padded shorts, so that when you come down on your hips or butt you can reduce the impact. We can also do the same, but rarely does this type of protection come in handy. I have seen some bruised hips from falls though, so if you feel like the added protection it is an option. They are generally very hot to wear – being snow sport gear – so best in winter.

    NECK BRACE

    Rarely used by PEV riders, neck braces can be valuable in stopping whiplash and neck twist on impact. These must be used in conjunction with a helmet to be effective. Typically, these are used by dirt bike and downhill mountain bike riders.

    WHEN DO I WEAR IT?

    You may hear some PEV riders quote a common phrase: “All the gear, all the time” or online may abbreviate to “ATGATT”. This idea is to provide the best level of protection possible at all times, because it is hard to plan and prepare for all outcomes in life, and today might be the day you really need a piece of gear you’ve bought. Of course, it gets hot in summer and sometime we only want to ride half a kilometer down the road for an ice cream.

    A helmet, closed toe shoes and wrist guards should be worn practically all the time, regardless of speed, skill level or surface conditions/terrain. The first thing you throw out to protect yourself when you land is your hands – and when hands get injured, they can take a long time to recover, as it is difficult to live a normal life without full hand mobility.

    A helmet is to protect you from severe brain damage, which can either kill you or make you wish you were dead.

    Closed toe shoes are also extremely important, being the closest part of your body to the ground when riding, and the first thing to hit the ground when you “run out” a fall.

    Sometimes you won’t see us wearing every piece of safety gear we own, as it takes quite some time to put it all on and ensure it is fitted correctly. So here is a rough guide of what you should be wearing depending on conditions and circumstances:

    – Riding?
    HELMET AND SHOES

    – Riding a short distance slowly?
    HELMET, SHOES AND HAND/WRIST

    – Riding for a longer distance faster?
    HELMET, SHOES, HAND/WRIST, KNEE AND ELBOW

    – Riding on a longer commute to work?
    HELMET, SHOES, HAND/WRIST, KNEE AND ELBOW

    – Riding with friends or on a group ride?
    HELMET, SHOES, HAND/WRIST, KNEE AND ELBOW

    – Riding offroad?
    (FULL FACE OPTION) HELMET, SHOES, HAND/WRIST, KNEE AND ELBOW

    – Racing offroad or on the track?
    ALL THE GEAR YOU OWN!

    – Doing tricks?
    ALL THE GEAR YOU OWN!

    BUT I DON’T WANT TO WEAR ANY SAFETY GEAR!

    Eventually, when the law is changed and PEVs are made legal in South Australia, helmets will be compulsory. If you don’t want a fine or to be stopped by police, wear one. You aren’t legally obligated to wear any other protective gear, so it is your choice – but just beware. Pain and suffering await you – because everyone falls eventually. Most falls occurs in the first year of riding PEVs – the beginner stage. Protect yourself early, and you will be able to enjoy riding for your entire life.

    If you still don’t want to wear any gear, come talk to some of our members about their injuries, and how long it takes to heal. Personally, one of my last falls was onto my wrist a year ago – without a wrist brace or gloves. I had daily pain from moving my wrist for three months, and even now the same pain comes back when I work with it on long days. I was stupid to be riding with bare hands, and I learned the hard way. Do you want to learn the hard way? It’s your choice!

    I have only had one fall in the year since, and it was onto wrist guards and knee pads. I was riding again in 5 minutes with no pain or inconvenience.

    We also highly recommend sunscreen (not just in summer) and wearing black or colours instead of white, as white is stained by sunscreen. Sunburn and skin cancer are no joke.

    THE FALLS

    There are a few different ways you can fall off a PEV – either braking too hard and falling forwards, accelerating too hard and falling backwards, hitting an obstacle on the ground (like a curb) and flying forwards, the drive train of the PEV locking up and flying forwards, taking a corner too fast and falling sideways…I’ve done all of these and more! The only reason I’m still alive and not suffering is because of technique and safety gear.

    The run out:
    The most important fall to learn is the run out. The action is exactly as the name suggests – the PEV is no longer under your feet but you are still in forward momentum. You must start running in mid air in order to stay on your feet. This can minimize the damage to your body greatly! Technically this isn’t even a fall, but a near miss! Have you ever seen the Olympics? It’s a bit like the triple jump! When you first make contact with the ground, you need to leap forward if you are still moving faster than running pace. With each leap you make, you will lose momentum which will bring you down to running speed. Practice this on a soft surface such as grass, and see how quickly you can bring yourself to a stop from a running pace. It is important to keep your knees bent while doing this – straight legs can cause problems like dislocations.

    The forward roll:
    When you can’t run it out, because you are moving much too fast, you will need to roll. One roll is the forward roll. After making one point of contact on the ground, reach backwards with one arm underneath your body. This arm will be the shoulder you try and land on the ground to roll on. As you roll, tuck your head with your chin as close to your chest as possible. This can be a tricky fall, and requires some practice on a grassy surface. Just try it from a standing position first, then try it while moving forward. It is important to keep your elbows bent while performing this to avoid dislocations or severe joint shock. This is not a good fall when heading uphill – try to roll instead.

    The forward slide:
    If you can slide on your hard shell knee pads, this is a great fall. You want to bend your knees and go into a praying position (don’t ask the Lord for help yet though!) and lean backwards as though you want to sit on your feet. This fall only works if your feet have not already been caught on the ground and are trailing behind you. This is also a good fall if you are already close to the ground; if you were crouching on your board or sitting on your EUC this is the best fall, provided your knee pads do not slip down and expose your knees.

    The side roll:
    When you take a corner too fast and/or lean too far over, you may find yourself falling onto your side. The most important thing to remember here is to NOT tense up. Remain as loose and as calm as possible. You will roll sideways, sometimes several times before you come to a rest. If you are wearing a bulky backpack, you might become jammed and slide along rather than roll. Just go with it, it’s the easiest fall! I once rolled halfway into a creek, it was great. The side roll is much easier to perform, so if you cannot do a forward roll, try and change the alignment of your body while falling, so that your body is aiming sideways. You can do this with your first point of contact with the ground, using a foot or hand to push either left or right. Stay as loose as possible after you push outwards – like a rag doll!

    The butt slide/slam:
    Unfortunately, this is one fall you won’t have much control over. Your PEV has gone off forwards without you and you are going down backwards, either at pace or standstill. Do your best to come down evenly on your hands and elbows if they have pads on. I hope you are wearing tough pants. Make sure your elbows are bent – don’t reach for the ground with straight arms. You should also straighten your body out in midair so that you don’t come down in a seated position – this will minimize lower back injury.

    BONUS ROUND – ON YOUR FACE!

    When riding around rivers you can encounter a lot of bugs and other things that want to get into your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, etc. Wearing glasses/sunglasses along with a balaclava or mask can help greatly. If you have a prescription you should be wearing while riding, in order to see obstacles ahead clearly. Sunglasses are great for the glare off car windscreens on a hot day, and just in general to stop your eyes burning out of your head.

    Prescription glasses:
    Goes without saying, pretty important and a very basic level of eye protection.

    Clear safety glasses:
    Cheap and handy for night riding if you don’t have a helmet with eye protection.

    Tinted safety glasses:
    A lot cheaper than sunglasses and with excellent eye protection ratings.

    Sunglasses:
    Try to wear cheap ones to start with, because your expensive sunnies will go flying and smash to bits while you are learning.

    Bone induction audio sunglasses:
    These are bulky and difficult to pair with a helmet, but being able to hear your environment is extremely helpful, whilst still being able to listen to music! Generally rated for sports, which means excellent eye protection.

    Mountain bike / snowboard goggles:
    Normally worn in conjunction with the downhill mountain bike helmet, these goggles provide the best protection of all from impacts. The padding around the eyes can help prevent broken cheekbones and noses.

    Balaclavas, neck warmers, face scarves, half balaclavas or plain old masks can all be very helpful depending on the riding conditions. In winter, they can help keep your nose and ears warm, while in summer they can keep the bugs from getting into places you don’t want them to be. Wool or nylon are generally the best materials, similar to the materials used in quality beanies.

    Thank you for reading. Hopefully this helps you get started riding PEVs safely. If you have any questions about this guide, or anything that might be missing or inaccurate, DM me or any admin.

    • This topic was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by saesk8_admin.
    • This topic was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by saesk8_admin.
    • This topic was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by saesk8_admin.
    • This topic was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by saesk8_admin.
    • This topic was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by saesk8_admin.
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