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Hong Kong Consumer Council Tests Skateboard Samples, General Points to Consider When Buying

Consumer Council examines 16 skateboard samples, revealing inadequate labeling and safety concerns on May 15, 2023. (Sung Pi-Lung/The Epoch Times)

In a recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Consumer Council, 12 out of the 16 skateboard samples failed to meet European safety standards.

The survey highlighted several issues, including insufficient labeling information on 11 of the samples, which failed to display the maximum weight capacity on their packaging.

There are five samples that exhibited unsafe structural features, such as pointed ends, screws protruding from the skateboard body, and excessively smooth surfaces. These design flaws pose a significant safety risk during usage.

Epoch Times Photo Five samples have unsafe structural features, such as pointed ends, screws protruding from the skateboard body, and excessively smooth surfaces. (Screenshot from Consumer Council video)Safety Concerns and Inadequate Compliance with Standards

Furthermore, the drop test conducted on the samples showed that ten failed to meet the required standards. Half of the tested skateboards couldn’t withstand the weight of the testing tool, leading to fractures and potential injuries. This indicates insufficient support strength, compromising control and stability while skateboarding.

The study followed the European skateboard safety standard EN13613, which classifies skateboards into two weight capacity levels. Class A skateboards can support weights from 20 kg to 100 kg, while Class B skateboards are suitable for weights ranging from 20 kg to 50 kg. Of the 16 samples, only four met these safety standards: three Class A and one Class B samples.

While there are no specific regulations in the United States mandating weight capacity labeling for skateboards, manufacturers should provide this information to ensure consumer safety and enable informed purchasing decisions.

To make an informed skateboard purchase, consumers are advised to carefully review the labeling information on the packaging, including the maximum weight capacity.

It’s also important to inspect the skateboard’s structure before use. Additionally, wearing proper protective strongly recommended to mitigate the risk of injuries.

Epoch Times Photo Use proper protective gear while skateboarding and assess your abilities to prevent accidents. (Consumer Council video screenshot)Lack of Safety Guidelines and Weight Capacity Labeling on Skateboards

Most samples lacked safety guidelines on their labels. It can be challenging for consumers to determine the weight capacity of skateboards due to insufficient labeling. None of the 11 samples indicated the maximum weight capacity on the packaging, which increases the safety risk for consumers.

For example, adults should not use skateboards designed for children’s weight limits, and individuals weighing over 50 kg should choose skateboards with higher weight capacities, such as Class A skateboards.

According to European safety standards, skateboards should display the maximum weight capacity, product name or number, manufacturer or supplier information, and indicate compliance with safety standards.

It is also recommended to advise users to wear protective equipment. Although there are no specific regulations in Hong Kong requiring weight capacity labeling for skateboards, it is essential for all manufacturers to voluntarily provide this information to protect consumers’ right to accurate information.

Three Toy Skateboards Lacked Safety Guidelines and Warning Labels

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of young children engaging in skateboarding. Considering that three Class B samples were marketed for children aged 3 and above, priced between HK$80 (US$10.2) and $150 (US$19.1), the Consumer Council conducted toy safety tests based on European standards. After reasonable misuse testing, these three samples had no parts detachment or sharp edges, meeting the relevant requirements.

However, none complied with the standard labeling requirements, lacking relevant safety guidelines. As skateboards are classified as ride-on toys, they should include appropriate warning labels such as “Caution: Use protective gear and do not use on roads” and reminders to use them under parental supervision and in safe areas.

The labeling on these three toy skateboards needed to be increased. It’s important to note that, according to European standards, the maximum weight capacity for toy skateboards is 20 kg, typically designed for recreational use by children aged four or below weighing less than 20 kg rather than for performing stunts.

However, parents should also know that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend skateboarding for children under 5. This is because children under 5 are still developing control over their large and small muscles and their reflexes, and skateboarding may increase the risk of accidents.

Using protective gear and assessing one’s abilities are crucial for skateboarding safely. In the United States, reports indicate tens of thousands of accidents occur yearly due to unsafe skateboarding practices, such as high-speed,  riding on roads, or attempting tricks resulting in collisions or loss of control. 

Therefore, consumers should exercise caution and prioritize safety while engaging in skateboarding.

Here are some tips to consider when choosing and using skateboards:

Pay attention to the information on the packaging before purchasing and inspect the product’s safety features, such as the maximum weight capacity.
Before use, check the skateboard’s structure for any signs of wear, such as loose screws, wheels, wheel brackets, or the deck, which could pose safety hazards.
It is recommended for both beginners and experienced athletes to wear protective gear to reduce the risk of injuries. Protective equipment includes helmets, gloves, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. Helmets should neither be too loose nor tight, and the chinstrap should be securely fastened. Elbow and knee pads should also be adjusted for proper fit to ensure mobility and protection.
Before skateboarding in public skate parks, beginners should take basic courses and learn fundamental skills. It’s essential to learn proper stopping techniques and adopt protective postures during falls, avoiding impacts on the head and arms. Attempting to roll during a fall can reduce the impact and lower the risk of injuries.
Evaluate the skateboarding environment and determine whether it suits the activity. Avoid skateboarding on roads or in crowded areas. Children using skateboards should always be supervised or guided by an adult to prevent accidents.