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Why Does My Ankle Hurt When I Skateboard?

Why does my ankle hurt when I skateboard? Ankle injuries associated with skateboarding occur because of varied reasons. Doing rigorous jumps, not wearing skateboarding gear, and having health problems are some.

Skateboarding is fun and magical.

But what happens when you find your ankles standing in the way?

For instance:

  • Feeling pain when landing, doing the spins, flips, or jumps
  • Losing in competitions following ankle pains
  • Failing to unite with your skating friends or make new ones.  

You wouldn’t be happy with this. Would you?

Skateboarding is 4th place in the list of injury-prone sports, after Basketball, football, and cycling, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report 2022. 

Stay with me as I unravel what causes skateboarding ankle pain and how you can avoid it. Let’s get to it!

Why Does My Ankle Hurt When I Skateboard?

Why does my ankle hurt when I skateboard? Your ankle hurts when you skateboard because you’re:

  • Assuming improper form (standing mechanics).
  • Using incorrect footwear.
  • Doing rigorous jumps.
  • Not using protective gears when you should be.
  • Or you’ve weak ankles or underlying health problems.

Signs of skateboarding ankle injuries include;

  • Swelling ankle
  • Redness around the ankle
  • Stiffness
  • Ankle weakness
  • Pain around the ankle and on the leg.
  • Burning sensation on the ankle.

Below, I elaborate on why your ankle hurts when skateboarding!

1. You’re Doing Rigorous Jumps 

Rigorous jumps in skateboarding are done with high intensity and often require advanced skateboarding skills.

Performing rigorous jumps and tricks applies extreme pressure on your ankles.

As a result, the pressure tires your tendons, which may rupture—causing inflammation and tenderness.

If the pressure intensifies, you may get high or low ankle sprains with swelling or soreness.

Again, when you land incorrectly, for instance, landing on one foot, you’re susceptible to a severe ankle injury compared to landing on both feet. 

Poor landing, balancing, and falling because of the jumps cause ankle trauma, sprains, and broken ankles. 

In short, doing rigorous jumps makes you vulnerable to ankle injuries. 

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2. You’re Not Using the Correct Skateboarding Shoes

While inline skating requires you to have inline skating shoes, skateboarding demands you to have flat, comfortable ones.

It would help if you had flat, comfortable shoes that fit you well to provide a steady stand on the skateboard. 

You find walking, standing, kicking, or flipping the skateboard difficult. Big, heavy shoes don’t carry your feet, leading you to trip or fall.

In the end, your ankle may suffer bruises because of falling.

Alternatively, small, tightly fitting shoes make you uncomfortable and cause blisters or strain. 

Altogether, footwear with high heels and long, thick-soled, heavy boots that are small or big suffer your ankles.

Overall, incorrect footwear harms your balance on the skateboard, leading you to strain, and may cause chronic ankle instability.

3. You’re Not Using Skateboarding Protective Gears

Skaters wear skateboarding protective gears on the delicate parts of the body to protect them from injuries. 

A skateboarding helmet, ankle braces, skateboarding socks, wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, and impact shorts will reduce the severity of your injuries if you fall or get involved in an accident. 

In particular, protective gear for the ankle help avoids injury to the ligaments, tendons, and ankle joints. 

For instance, ankle braces keep your ankles secure. It helps your ankles support body weight and prevents sprains or ankle fractures. 

Skateboarding socks, too, work to secure and support weak ankles. Overusing your ankle can cause stress fractures.

In that case, wearing skateboarding socks reduces the chance of ankle stress fractures.

In sum, skateboarding is a physically intensive activity that exerts pressure on the ankle.

Doing it in extreme without protective gear causes ankle pain.

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4. Dislocation, Injuries, and Other Health Problems

Another cause of ankle pain is previous ankle or leg injuries like fractures, broken bones, and sprains. 

Exposing your previous injured ankle to rigorous activity that requires constant ankle movement before it fully heals worsens the injury.

Over time, the ankle swells or sores, often with increased pain. 

In addition, illnesses like arthritis, gout, and diabetes also affect your ankles.

Previous ankle fractures, joint inflammations, infections of the joints, overweight, or rheumatoid arthritis may cause ankle arthritis.

Ankle arthritis damages the cartilage cells causing ankle pain. With time, if not treated, ankle arthritis may call for advanced medical treatment or surgery.

Another health condition is edema. Characterized by swollen legs, feet, and ankles, edema causes fluid accumulation in the leg tissues. 

Therefore, you feel ankle pain because of swelling of the legs when riding the skateboard. 

Persons with gout, too, experience ankle pain during skateboarding. 

Well, gout swells the joint causing them pain. Because skateboarding applies extra pressure on the swollen ankle joint, it can damage tendon sheaths.

Other health conditions are previous: joint dislocation, broken bones, and fracture in the ankle.

Here, your weight and the continuous movement during skateboarding disturb the healing of the injury, increasing ankle pain.

In addition, You may have weak ankles: a case so fragile that intense activities on them cause harm.

Weak ankles strain to support body weight. Therefore they may tear or wear out during extreme skating—the result is ankle pains. 

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5. You’re Skateboarding on Dangerous Grounds

Skateboarding needs smooth, safe, and uncluttered ground.

Skateboarding on irregular grounds or grounds with debris, cans, cracks, and holes damages your skateboarding, exposing you to unsafe riding.

For example, riding with a broken skateboard and damaged wheels.

If you hit debris or holes in the ground, you may trip and fall. As a result, you injure your ankles.

Also, skateboarding on rough surfaces generates extreme vibrations, which the body absorbs.

Often, the vibrations damage your ankles because the ankle tendons may weaken.

So, exposing a weak ankle to physical activities results in ankle pain.

Best Practices to Avoid Ankle Pain
Inline skating V1

It is possible to avoid ankle pain when skateboarding. Below, I explain different ways to avoid ankle pain, so you enjoy skateboarding.

1. Learn the Basic Skateboarding Jump skills Before Performing Advance Jumps

Basics of skateboarding, like pushing, stopping, riding, turning, safe falling, and correct posture (standing upright, slightly bent knees, with your foot placement distributed), saves nine.

Doing safe jumps requires advanced skills. But when you’re still practicing the basics, refrain from them.

With skateboarding basic skills, you can make proper landings and avoid extra pressure buildup that causes ankle injuries. 

Also, you can make preventive turns to avoid hitting or running through an obstacle with skateboarding skills. That way, you avoid other types of injuries, too. 

In addition, when you see yourself losing balance, crouch down slowly to gain greater control and avoid injuries. 

2. Find safe skateboarding ground.

Another essential skill is scanning your environment for a safe space to skate. Avoid places with irregular or unclear grounds. 

Grounds with debris, big sidewalk cracks, and potholes may throw you off balance.

And so, you may break your ankles or incur ankle sprains or fractures.

In short, avoid rough and irregular grounds. Likewise, avoid stairs, ledges, gaps, and rails when you’re still inexperienced. 

3. Always Wear Skateboarding Protective Gears

Wear ankle support braces and skating socks to support your ankles. 

Braces provide extra stability and protection, while skating socks hold your ankles during stretching, thus avoiding stress fracture.

For better grip, find ankle braces that comfortably hold your ankles tight. 

4. Use correct skateboarding shoes.

A correct skateboarding shoe should be secure and flat to help you do flips and stunts without hurting your ankles.

So, find sizable shoes that best grip your ankles and are comfortable to wear. It should be neither big nor small; only fitting.

Here are the features of correct skateboarding shoes.

  • Rubber insole and outsole
  • Compression vents for foot breathing
  • Excellent grip 
  • Ankle support ability

5. Do Regular Inspection and Replacement of Your Skateboard

Some injuries occur because of worn-out skateboard parts. Therefore, regular inspection and maintenance will suffice.

Skateboard inspection involves checking for skateboard wheels, bearings, trucks, and loose screws to determine whether they’re in good condition.

If any of the parts are in poor condition, replace them.

Doing regular inspections and maintenance keeps you from injuries caused by broken skateboards.

Last, for a firm footing on the skateboard, add grip tape to your skateboard.

Best Exercises to Do Before and After Skating for Strong Ankles

Exercises strengthen your ankles and condition your body for better skateboarding.

Here, you’ll learn exercises you should do before and after skateboarding to avoid ankle pain.

1. Flexibility and strength training

Flexibility and strength training involves exercises like:

  • Standing on one leg for a specific duration, say 5 minutes per round.
  • One leg mini squats—doing squats with one leg
  • Squats
  • Balance and catch—playing throw ball with a college while standing on one leg.
  • Jumping ropes
  • Cycling

The above exercises help you gain: stable balance, strong tendons and ligaments, and sturdy legs.

You also lose body weight which amounts to less weight your ankle has to support.

Over time, your ankle will strengthen and increase flexibility to handle ankle problems.

Also, exercises from ice-skating ankle strengthening techniques are relevant for building ankle strength. 

2. Ankle Stretches

Basic stretches on and off your skating ground maintain stable blood circulation, relax your muscles and increase your coordination ability. 

Basic stretches are better warm-up and warm-down exercises which prepares (and relaxes) your ankle for (and after) intense activity.

Here are examples of ankle stretches and exercises for solid ankles.

  • Towel curls
  • Standing heel raises
  • Calf raises
  • Towel stretches

However, doing these exercises when you have previous injuries is risky. 

While therapy and massage can do for ankle trauma or previously injured ankle,

It’s better to consult your doctor for professional advice.

Why is my ankle hurting when I skateboard |wrapping up

When addressing ankle pains while skateboarding, remember to understand the causes first and find solutions.

In that regard, ankle pain when skateboarding should not be a problem now.

In summary, your ankle hurts because you’re;

  • Not using the correct footwear
  • Doing rigorous jumps
  • Skateboarding on unsafe grounds
  • Not using skateboarding protective gear.
  • Have previous ankle injuries or have other health issues.

I hope you found this article helpful!

Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

Navick is a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and internet marketer. By day, he creates content for multiple sites including inlineskaterstars.com. Over the weekend, he goes out skating with friends.

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