Does Skateboarding Stunt Your Growth?

by Ben Smith | Last Updated: May 9, 2022

Skateboarding is a high-impact and physically demanding sport. All the jumping, landing, and falling can be hard on your joints, and you may be wondering: will skateboarding stunt my growth? 

No, skateboarding will not stunt your growth. Studies indicate that young skateboarders experience the same physical maturation as non-skateboarders. And while skateboarding may be a bit dangerous, there are simple ways to prevent serious injuries.

You shouldn’t be worried about stunting your growth, but you should understand the risks associated with skateboarding. In the rest of this article, I’ll cover the benefits and risks of skateboarding and how to skateboard safely. 

What Does Science Say About Skateboarding and Growth?

There are understandable concerns about skateboarding and its effects on a child’s body. With so much jumping and falling, you’d think that it would be terrible for their bones and joints. Won’t it stunt their growth? 

Not so! High-impact sports like skateboarding don’t seem to affect a child’s growth. A study from 2013 found that the experience of puberty did not differ between young gymnasts and their non-athletic peers. 

Boys and girls grew as expected, whether they played a high-impact sport or not. And while skateboarding has not been studied directly, it’s safe to say that your joints will be a-okay. 

However, that doesn’t mean skateboarding can’t affect your growth! There are some dangers you should know about. 


The Dangers of Skateboarding

I think it’s pretty obvious that skateboarding can be dangerous! It’s so easy to injure yourself by falling or landing in a bad way. Here are just a few ways people can get injured while skateboarding: 

  • Cuts
  • Sprains
  • Bruises
  • Fractured Bones
  • Broken Bones
  • Concussions

A cut may only need a bandaid and a hug, but an injury to a joint or bone can have severe effects on a child’s growth. Children and teens have “growth plates” which enable their bones to grow during puberty. 

A bone fracture or break from skateboarding can damage these plates, and may even stop the bone’s growth. Even a sprain can affect a child’s growth plate. Yikes!

With all that said, it may seem like skateboarding is the worst sport for a child’s health. But it’s important to put the dangers in context and to know the best ways to prevent an injury in the first place.

How Dangerous Is Skateboarding for Children? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates there are 50,000 emergency department visits among children and adolescents for skateboarding-related injuries each year. That sounds like a lot! But in comparison with other sports, skateboarding appears to be very safe. 

Studies have shown that many other sports are far more dangerous than skateboarding. Among common sports like soccer, football, baseball, and basketball, skateboarding injuries only account for 2% of all sports injuries

Let me put that in perspective: golfing accounts for 1.9% of all sports injuries. You heard that right, skateboarding is as dangerous as golfing. It’s true!

But not so fast! I’m sure you’re itching to fly down that half-pipe and ride into the sunset, but there are some precautions you should take. A few simple things can prevent severe injuries from skateboarding.

How Can I Skateboard Safely? 

First of all, I don’t care if it’s not “cool” – you should wear a helmet! You only have one head, so you should protect it with a well-fitting helmet. Check out this guide for information on finding the right helmet size for you. 

But a helmet isn’t the only piece of gear a skateboarder needs. You may benefit from having a few more pieces of protective gear: 

  • Wrist guards 
  • Knee Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Eye protection (goggles or glasses)

Wearing protective gear like this will prevent serious injuries like sprains, fractures, and breaks. For a child who’s still growing, wearing protective gear can make a big difference and prevent serious injury.

Also, the environment you are skateboarding in might be dangerous. There are some precautions you should take before you start to skate. 

You should avoid all places near traffic, and check the area for rocks or broken glass. Avoid skating on damp or slick surfaces. For more tips on staying safe, check out this skateboarding safety guide from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. 

If it’s possible, try to find a local skating park to skate. Skate parks avoid traffic and are kept clear of debris. Plus, there are all those ramps and rails to ride! 

grind on bench


Skateboarding won’t stunt your growth, but an injury you get from skateboarding might! You should take every precaution to protect yourself: wear a helmet and pads, and practice in a safe area.

But hey, you might get hurt! And believe me, I empathize with you. But with proper safety equipment, and a bit of practice, you’ll pick yourself up from that fall. You’ll dust yourself off and know you still have time to grow.

Ben is the owner of and has been skateboarding on and off for around 15 years now. It is on this site where he documents what he learns in hopes that others will be able to benefit from it. In his free time, he is skating, watching UFC, or just hanging out with the fam.