Skateboarding is indeed a great thing whether you call it a sport or a way of transportation. If you’re into skateboarding, you might want to go almost anywhere possible riding the board.
While walking goes alongside skateboarding, being able to ride it on sidewalks becomes a necessity sometimes. So, the question is, can you skateboard on the sidewalk? Are there any legislative issues with it?
In short, most US states allow skateboard riders to go on sidewalks. However, busy cities like NYC, FL, MIA, etc., might hold you back to an extent. Let’s get this thing cleared up and see if you’re allowed to skateboard on the sidewalks.
Can You Skateboard On The Sidewalk?
If you love skating and ride your board often, riding it everywhere including the sidewalk, street, park, anywhere you go, is a great thing.
Riding the skateboard in a skate park or an open place is an ideal option. But, when the question is whether can you skateboard on the sidewalk or not, things need some extra discussion.
Well, it’s the most common question we get from skaters, and today we will explain it.
It Depends On The Laws And Regulations
Skating on the sidewalk depends on the laws and regulations of the state or country you’re living in. Some states see skating on the sidewalk as nothing harmful, while some prohibit it by law.
Hence, the rules and regulations are almost the same for skateboarders that are applicable for a person riding a bicycle on the sidewalks. Therefore, you don’t require any special license for riding your skateboard on the sidewalk.
Different States Have Different Approaches
In some cases, things could be different when it comes to the state approach to skateboarding. If you’re living in the busiest states like Auburn, Alabama, Los Angeles, California, Miami Beach, Florida, NYC, etc. you can’t skate anywhere/anytime you want.
For skaters, they have some rules and regulations and you’re bound to obey that. For example, skating in unwanted locations is prohibited in NYC. In California, you can’t skate around until you’re 18 while others may require you to be over 12 years.
So, before you come to a conclusion, go ahead and check your state laws about skateboarding. You can go to your respective state website and find that out. We’ll see how you can check your own state laws regarding skateboarding in a bit.
How To Check The Rules And Laws Of Your State For Skateboarding On The Sidewalk
With three easy steps, you can inform yourself about the rules and regulations for skating on the sidewalk in your area. These are:
Step-1: Search on the local government website
Step-2: Call your nearest police station (not 911)
Step-3: If your city/town has a transportation department, contact them through email or call.
What Happens If You Violate Any Of The Rules
If unfortunately, you break any of these rules, you may get some penalties for violating the skateboarding laws. Breaking the skateboarding rules and regulations may include warnings, fines, and arrest charges (very rare).
In addition, the penalties completely depend on whether the charge against you is for the first time or repeated offenses.
What About Electric Skateboards?
As aware of a typical skateboard, you might want to know about electric skateboards too. Because getting an affordable electric skateboard has become easier than ever, and everyone wants one. If you already have an electric skateboard, here’s what you should know about riding it on sidewalks:
In general, the answer is yes, you can ride your e-board on the sidewalks. Well, unless it’s forbidden by the rules and regulations of your state. So, it’s all about the rules and regulations of the area you’re living in.
However, we’ll suggest you ride your electric skateboard on the road instead of sidewalks. (sidewalks are made for pedestrians, not for something with wheels that goes really fast). Besides, riding on the sidewalk is bumpier and less comfortable because of cracks or pebbles.
Thighs That You Need To Follow To Ride Your Electric Skateboards On Sidewalk
For any reason, if you ride your electric skateboards on the sidewalk you need to follow the following rules:
- Control your speed, slowly move over the pedestrians
- Always follow the laws of your state, stop at intersections
- Watch the signal before the cross
- Don’t ride without proper safety gear, helmets, etc.
- Don’t go without lights at night
Look For Warnings
The rules above are applicable, unless there’s no signboard of warning, you should consider it legal in your area. As long as you won’t hurt other pedestrians, riding on the sidewalk with your skateboard is absolutely fine.
While riding your skateboard, you should always keep in mind that there is no difference between you and the runner. Just make sure that you don’t run into your neighbor and don’t break a state or federal law.
Can You Skateboard On A Rough Sidewalk?
You might want to ride your skateboard on a “rough sidewalk” to get a different test or more adventure in skateboarding. Although you can do that, it’s not advisable as an ideal action.
What Happened When You Ride Skateboard On Sidewalk
First thing first, riding on a rough sidewalk will damage your skateboard wheels. Secondly, the dirt and debris will jam the bearing of your skateboard and may alter the fastness and smoothness of your skateboard.
Even in some cases, dirt can completely lock the bearing of your skateboard. And, you can’t use it again unless it’s cleaned properly.
Besides, we all know that smooth surfaces are ideal for skateboarding as it helps the rider to ride faster and ride for an extended period. On the contrary, rough surfaces are totally opposite to that.
Remember, riding on the rough surface will never give you much pleasure; instead, it’ll make your riding harder. Plus, you’ll encounter balancing and controlling problems.
How To Ride On A Rough Sidewalk?
After knowing all these, if you still want to ride on a rough sidewalk, we’ll suggest you go for large and soft skateboard wheels. As soft and big wheels will allow you to crush the coarse and rough surface with their excellent gripping quality.
You shouldn’t go skating on a rough sidewalk if your skateboard wheels are hard and small. Because you must contact the surface of the sidewalk for skating and when on the rough surface only big and soft wheels can assist you with that.
Can You Skateboard On The Sidewalk Of Private Property?
You can only skateboard on the sidewalk of private property if there are no restrictions by the property owner. In most cases, property owners don’t give any conditions for that.
However, some property owners may forbid skating on their property along with the sidewalks between their land. In that case, you have nothing to do as it’s entirely their right.
You should always keep in mind that if any injury or fatality occurs during skating, the private landowner isn’t responsible for that. It means for any accident ( including if you hurt yourself or someone else), it’s totally your fault, and only you’ll be accountable for that.
Irrespective of whether the landowner put any sign of forbidding skating or not, you’re still the one who’ll be liable if you get injured.
On the other hand, property owners also don’t have any right to take your skateboard or assault you physically. For any reason, if you deny the property owner’s proposal to vacate, they can call the police without harming you. In that case, we’ll advise you not to mess with them.
It’s always better to take the permission of the landowner for skating without breaking the law. If you approach with respect, rarely will anyone refuse your proposal.
Can You Get Punished for Riding Your Skateboard On A Sidewalk?
If the area you’re living in does not forbid skateboarding on sidewalks, you won’t get punished for that. According to the law, to get punished, you need to do criminal activities or break the law.
Remember, skateboarding isn’t a crime. On the other hand, you won’t find it listed as criminal activities or illegal in your local, municipal, provincial, and federal laws. So, tell us, why would you get punished for such activities that aren’t listed as criminal activity or forbidden in your area.
In most regions around the world, there are no major rules and regulations for skating. However, in some countries like the US, there are some laws for skateboarding in some states that restrict certain actions.
Each state and city have different laws and guidelines for skateboarders. It’s always a better option to check the rules and regulations of each state before you go for riding.
Check the laws of your state from Municode to know: Can You Skateboard on the Sidewalk or not. If there is no restriction from the governing authority, you can ride your skateboard on the sidewalk and enjoy your ride.