a skateboard on the road

Safety First: Tips and Precautions for Handboarding Enthusiasts

Handboarding, also known as fingerboarding, has risen tremendously in popularity over the past decade. But along with the fun comes inherent risks that handboarding enthusiasts should keep in mind.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline key safety tips and precautions to help fingerboarders stay injury-free and enjoy the hobby responsibly.

many colorful hand boards

Know the Risks

While hand boarding doesn’t involve the same high speeds and impacts as regular skateboarding, certain risks remain that should be considered:

Finger/Wrist Injury

Repeated finger flicking can lead to joint pain, tendonitis or sprains over time, especially when attempting complex tricks. Gripping the board tightly for maneuvers can also strain fingers.

Eye Injury

Fingerboards or parts flying off during tricks pose a threat to eye injuries. Fingers flicking near the eyes is another hazard.

Choking Hazard

The small parts involved in hand boards pose a choking risk for younger kids if pieces become detached and swallowed.

Repetitive Strain

Poor posture and repetitive finger/hand motions during extended sessions can result in muscle tightness or chronic issues like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Distraction Injury

Enthusiastically doing tricks without regard for surroundings can lead to collisions with objects or people, falls, etc. Lack of spatial awareness while handboarding is a safety issue.

Head Injury

Attempting tricks too high up without adjusting for landing risks falling and hitting one’s head on the ground or objects below. Stay low.

Dental Injury

Falling with a handboard in your mouth can chip teeth. Keep boards away from face when doing tricks.

General Safety Guidelines

Keeping these common pitfalls in mind, following some general best practices will help minimize injury risk:

Use Protective Gear

Wearing protective finger braces and pads helps absorb impact and strain on fingers attempting demanding tricks. Protective eyewear like sports goggles is also recommended.

Take Regular Breaks

Take short breaks every 20-30 minutes during handboarding sessions to rest fingers, hands, arms and eyes. Avoid marathon sessions without rest.

Maintain Proper Posture

Hunching over a handboard for hours strains the back and neck. Be mindful to sit up straight and adjust your posture.

Do Hand & Wrist Stretches

Stretching the hands and wrists before sessions helps warm up joints and tendons reducing strain. Yoga poses for wrists and forearms are ideal.

Use Ergonomic Supports

Resting forearms or wrists on a pillow or foam pad takes pressure off joints when handboarding extensively.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water prevents muscle cramping and fatigue that can lead to overuse injuries.

Listen to Your Body

If fingers, hands or arms start feeling strained, stop and take a longer break. Don’t play through moderate pain as it may worsen.

Secure Fingerboards

Ensure the fingerboard is firmly gripped before attempting tricks to prevent it from flying out of hand into the face/eyes.

Control Landing Zone

Clear the area around the handboarding zone to prevent collisions with objects. Have spotters if needed.

Cushion Fall Zones

Use padded mats or soft surfaces under handboarding areas in case of falls. Avoid hard floors.

Kids & Beginners

Special care should be taken to promote safety for younger handboarding enthusiasts:

Supervise Closely

Actively watch kids under 10 during handboarding to ensure proper technique, posture, and attentiveness. Don’t let them play unattended.

Teach Proper Bracing

Show beginners how to brace the base of palms on the surface for stability rather than straining fingers and wrists. Reinforce often.

Use Training Ramps

Younger kids should avoid advanced tricks. Begin with simple ramps and inclines to learn to balance.

Check Equipment

Frequently check the tightness of all screws, bolts, and components on beginner boards. Replace immediately if loosening.

Enforce Breaks

Mandate regular 10-minute breaks for young kids after 20 minutes of play at most. Their smaller hands tire faster.

Limit Sessions

Keep hand boarding sessions under an hour for children under 12. Increase gradually as their finger strength builds up.

Watch for Discomfort

If a child indicates fingers or wrists hurt during or after play, have them rest completely for a day or two to recover.

Remove Small Parts

If younger siblings are around, remove any loose small parts after sessions where toddlers can reach them.

Teach Spotting

Show kids how to spot friends trying risky new tricks to assist if needed. Promotes attentiveness.

Control Heights

Ensure kids don’t attempt tricks from dangerous heights where falling could lead to serious injury. Stay low.

Avoiding Bad Habits

Some common poor hand boarding habits can exacerbate injury risks:

Hunching Over

Bending the head and neck forward strains the spine. Sit upright.

Death Gripping

Holding the board too tightly tenses muscles. Relax grip.

Extending Fingers

Overextending fingers to reach tricks hurts joints. Move the whole hand/wrist instead.

Bouncing Leg

Letting the leg nervously bounce strains the core. Keep steady.

Bad Wrist Angles

Avoid bending the wrist up or down sharply. Keep neutral.

Ignoring Pain

Playing through moderate finger pain can cause lasting damage.

Rushing Tricks

Trying to learn tricks too quickly with poor form leads to finger sprains. Build up gradually.

Distracted Use

Doing tricks while walking or looking elsewhere raises injury risk. Stay focused.

Excessive Force

Flicking the board forcefully and erratically raises the risk of losing control and collisions. Remain smooth.

two skateboard

Hand Care Strategies

Implementing proactive hand care strategies helps reduce the risk of repetitive strain:

Regular Massage

Massaging fingers, hands, wrists, and forearms boosts circulation and loosens muscles.

Daily Stretches

Taking time to properly stretch hands and wrists keeps joints limber.

Finger Exercises

Simple finger stretches and exercises are done daily to guard against tightness.

Rest Days

Taking occasional full days off from handboarding allows recovery.

Cold Therapy

Icing fingers and wrists after sessions reduces inflammation that leads to injury.

Ergonomic Grips

Using padded grips on boards protects from vibration and shock.

Proper Nutrition

Eating foods rich in bone & joint health nutrients keeps connective tissues resilient.

Warm Up Sessions

Always spend time before intensive sessions warming up hands to avoid straining cold muscles.

Massage Tools

Using massage balls and rollers helps provide deep tissue relief to affected areas.


Consume turmeric, ginger, and fish oil supplements to fight inflammation-causing damage.

Environment Precautions

Besides physical safety, fingerboard enthusiasts must also take care to promote a safe, clean environment:

Organize Cords

Keep trick charger cables neatly coiled and away from boards to avoid tripping hazards.

Secure Objects

Stow loose items that could fall and be damaged during energetic handboarding.

Remove Debris

Sweep the area first to prevent rolling over bits that could fling up.

Monitor Noise

Be conscious of handboarding noise levels to avoid irritating others nearby.

Proper Disposal

Responsibly discard old wheels, boards, and parts rather than littering or allowing access by unsupervised kids.

Supervise Charging

Don’t leave charging boards unattended to prevent overheating risks.

Check Local Laws

Abide by any public space restrictions in your community on allowable hand boarding areas.

Care for Surfaces

Avoid damage to tables and surfaces by using protective pads underneath handboards.


Ensure indoor fingerboarding areas have proper ventilation if using spray adhesives.


Wash hands thoroughly before eating after handling boards, wheels, lubricants, etc.

Weather Precautions

Avoid using boards outdoors on wet, snowy, or excessively windy days when you may lose control.

When to Seek Medical Care

While most hand boarding pains subside with rest, seek medical advice if experiencing:

  • Persistent finger, hand or wrist pain lasting over a week
  • Locking, crunching or popping sensations in fingers/wrists
  • Numbness or tingling in hands
  • Loss of strength gripping objects
  • Pain at night or when not handboarding
  • Visible swelling lasting over 48 hours
  • Inability to move fingers fully

Don’t try to play through moderate to severe hand pain as further damage may occur. Seeking prompt medical assessment helps diagnose the severity and recommended treatment.

Preventing Complacency

It’s easy to become complacent about safety when hand boarding feels so simple and routine. But staying vigilant is key:

  • Don’t overlook proper warm-ups before sessions
  • Monitor play areas for new hazards
  • Replace worn-out grip tape promptly
  • Check board hardware for looseness before each use
  • Upgrade safety gear as abilities improve
  • Research new tricks thoroughly before attempting
  • Reinforce safe habits continually, especially for kids
  • Never hand board under the influence of drugs/alcohol

Remaining thoughtful and proactive day in and day out keeps safety top of mind.

Encouraging Safety-First Culture

As leaders and influencers, professional hand boarders play a key role in cultivating an overall culture of safety and responsibility:

Advocating Safety

Pros must emphasize safety when interviewed. Encourage wearing protection, responsible trick progression, speaking up about pain, etc.

Modeling Best Practices

Elite fingerboarders lead by example – wearing protection, taping wrists, doing wrist exercises, etc.

Community Monitoring

Veterans calling out or constructively criticizing young pros taking excessive risks to progress too fast.

Event Safety Requirements

Competition organizers mandate minimum safety gear, on-site medic support, proper warm-ups, etc.

Responsible Content Creation

YouTube/TikTok stars using content warnings for videos, avoiding showcasing reckless behavior.

8 hand board

The Bottom Line on Safety

Hand boarding delivers immense fun and satisfaction with the right safety awareness. While risks remain, following sensible precautions, listening to your body, and leveraging protective gear greatly minimize injury potential.

Safety-conscious habits ensure many more years of happy handboarding ahead. So get out there and keep pushing the sport forward – carefully and responsibly!



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