Skateboarding is one of the most popular street sports that you know of that has existed for the longest time. You can see mostly teenagers from the street riding their boards and doing their board flips. But what if you don’t know how to ride a skateboard, to begin with?
In this article you will find out, the different types of Skateboarding, what gear you will need to get started, and how to start learning the basics.
You can learn how to skateboard if you are determined to do so. Although it takes a lot of practice, courage, and confidence, it will be all worth it once you were able to ride your skateboard successfully. It will be much better if you can already do some skateboard tricks as well.
What is Skateboarding?
Skateboarding is a street sport that uses a skateboard and performs tricks while riding it. This will also be included in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan according to the announcement made in 2016. Since skateboarding is as popular as other sports, it is a good addition to see it in the Olympics.
Types of Skateboarding
1. Freestyle Skateboard
Its the oldest type of skateboarding that you need to apply tricks while riding your skateboard on a flat surface.
2. Slalom Skateboard
This refers to the downhill skateboard racing.
3. Downhill Skateboard
It’s an advanced form of skateboarding that promotes high speed.
4. Vert Skateboard
This is an exciting way to ride your skateboard on vertical walls
5. Street Skateboard
It is the type of skateboarding that you do in the streets while transitioning to tricks as you move around.
6. Park Skateboard
It refers to rising in skateboard parks and trying to make use of the features of it while doing your skateboard tricks.
7. Pool Skateboard
You have to use a swimming pool to skateboard. Without the water of course.
8. Cruising Skateboard
This skateboard style is using your skateboard as your mode of transportation to go to some places you want to cruise around.
9. Off-road Skateboard
You will need to have a skateboard especially designed for off-road skateboarding. It means that you will have to slide through dirt and sand.
What Made Skateboarding Popular?
Skateboarding is popular and is a classic sport. It all started between the years 1940-1950 in California. They wanted to have something to do when the waves were not high enough to go surfing. They called it sidewalk surfing and became popular since then.
Learn How To Skateboard Guide
1. Find the Perfect Skateboard
If you want to learn how to skateboard, the first thing you need to do is to find a skateboard to use. You can check out some skateboards and decide which one will work best for you. It’s important to start with the beginner’s skateboard at first since you are about to learn the basics of skateboarding.
Types of Skateboards
This type of skateboard has a curved nose and tail. It has a concave part to help you do your tricks in the long run. It mostly has a length of 30 or 31 inches and usually 8 inches wide. You can use it in skate parks or on the streets. Once you know the basics, you can also use it to do some tricks.
Also known as longboards. It has a longer and flatter appearance. Since it’s twice as long as the classic skateboard, it’s more stable for beginners. Although this cant is used for doing tricks, it’s the best skateboard to get while you’re still learning. This is also great transportation if you want to use it to go around to some places nearby.
2.Wear Appropriate Footwear
If you are a beginner, you need to make sure to wear skate shoes. This way, you will not have a hard time keeping the board under your feet. It has a better grip compared to your normal sneakers. You can get them from brands like Vans, Airwalk, Converse, and other brands that offer them.
Don’t try to skate while wearing a pair of sandals or even rubber slippers. It will not only be uncomfortable for you to move around, but it can also hurt your ankle. You will likely fall as well if you are not wearing appropriate footwear. Accidents can happen almost instantly without using the right shoes.
3. Safety First
Before you even ride your skateboard, keep in mind that you need to be safe at all times. Since skateboarding is not as easy as you think, you have to wear some safety gear to protect you when you fall. You can fall a lot especially if you’re just starting. Even if you think that you can ride without falling, you will have to wear them.
Safety Gears When Skating
This is the most important gear while riding a skateboard. Since skaters can fall during practice, the head should be protected at all times. Using a helmet while riding a skateboard is also for strict compliance for skaters in most states. So don’t get caught without it. You can buy them from a sporting goods store and find a sturdy helmet that fits your head well. You can invest in a good helmet since you will be using them a lot anyway.
- Knee Pads
The knee pads can protect your knees whenever you fall. Don’t try to appear as if you are invincible and forget to wear them. You’ll never know the impact of each fall while you’re still learning how to skateboard. It will help your knees to be intact so that you can enjoy skateboarding longer. If you end up getting fractured by neglecting your knee pads, you will never be able to ride a skateboard again.
- Elbow Pads
Another important gear that you should not miss is your elbow pads. Since you’re just a beginner, better have your elbow protected from harm. You have to expect that learning how to skateboard can cause you some accidents. No matter how careful you are, you will fall. This is because you’re still trying to learn how to calculate your moves. So don’t risk yourself to get hurt so bad without the right protection.
4. Where to Start Skateboarding
Now that you have all the important stuff, it’s time to find a place to practice and learn how to skateboard. Find a flat surface like your driveway or a parking lot. This is the best place to start if you are not yet comfortable with your board. Once you think you are ready to go out there, you can go to the skate park nearby. That way, you can take advantage of the other skaters you can catch some tricks from.
5. Find a Friend to Teach You
The best way to learn how to skateboard is to find a friend who knows how to and ask him to teach you. That way, you can have fun while learning how to skateboard. It’s also an effective and faster way to learn. If you have friends who are on the advance level, you can learn skateboard tricks from them as well. It’s way better to learn with friends than to just do this on your own.
Learning the Basics of Skateboarding
Now that you know the basic things about skateboarding, it’s now time to get on that skateboard. You can start from the basics and master it. Once you have it mastered by heart, you can eventually learn some tricks.
1. Stand on the board without falling.
Make sure to stand property on the board with your feet angled sideways. Line up your feet with the truck screws where the wheels are attached to the board.
- Regular Foot
Your left foot is placed forward and you will be us in your right foot to push. This will be your starting position before the skateboard moves as you push.
- Goofy Foot
This means that you will have your right foot to be placed forward on the skateboard. You will then use your left foot to push so you can start riding.
2. Start pushing the skateboard.
Try to give it a gentle push so that your board will start to move. If you are using the regular foot, use your right foot to push and put it back on the board. Avoid going too fast at first so that you can get the hang of it first. You can go faster when you think you’re ready.
Once you can catch your momentum, you have to keep on practicing to put back your right foot at the back of the board. You can also bend your knee a little to keep your balance while riding. Just push gently until you are more comfortable with your board.
3. Keep on Practicing
Practice indeed makes it perfect. So you have to keep on practicing to feel more comfortable with the skateboard. Push a little bit more when you slow down. This way, you can get used to riding your skateboard more comfortably.
Speed up a little when you feel confident enough to do it. You can get better balance if you are riding faster than slower. But don’t overdo it to avoid accidents. Tighten your trucks as well if you experience speed wobbling as you ride your skateboard.
4. Learn how to turn.
Make sure to get comfortable first with pushing and riding before you go to this step. Once you get the hang of it, you can now learn how to make a turn. You can’t just always go in a straight line while skateboarding. It’s also the best way to save yourself from having to stop whenever you run out of tracks.
You can try turning the skateboard by shifting your weight. That way, you can control the board with gravity. You can ride with your knees flexed. Then shift your weight forward to turn right and rotate your ankles to turn the board on the left side.
5. Learn how to stop.
If you want to stop riding your skateboard already, you can just simply put your feet down once you have slowed down. Avoid doing it when you are still at full speed. You don’t want to end up getting hurt because of the sudden shift. Just try to drag lightly until you slowed down.
You can also try to shift your weight back and scrape the board’s tail into the ground. Some longboards have a plastic brake built-in but others don’t have one. So better check for this feature before buying your skateboard. This can come in handy if you want to have more convenience when you take a break from riding.
6. Learn how to fall.
Since you can’t avoid falling while you are still learning how to skateboard, it’s better to at least learn how to fall properly instead. This way, you can avoid getting hurt and get injured seriously. Its a part of skateboarding so you need to always make sure to wear your protective gear so that the impact of the fall will not affect you as much if you are not wearing them.
Here are some tips:
- Keep your arms loose
It’s better to have your arms lose since if it’s rigid, you will have more chances of getting injured. You need to use it as a cushion instead to break your fall. This way, you can avoid getting your arms broken in the process.
- Try to roll out
You can practice to roll out whenever you fall from your skateboard. This is the best way to fall since you can avoid getting the full impact of the fall. It can give you some scratches but it will have lesser damage than breaking some bones.
- Jump ahead
As you are getting better with skateboarding, you will already know what possibly can happen if you fall from it. If you think that you might get hurt so badly while still riding your skateboard, you can just escape in advance. It’s better than to just wait what will happen.
Learn Some Skateboard Tricks
Once you have mastered the basics and practiced how to fall properly, its now time to learn to do some tricks. If you want to be a very good skater, tricks are one of the requirements to be considered as one.
- The Ollie
This is one of the tricks to learn once you have mastered the basics. Doing the ollie means that you have to pop the board up to the air and land on it safely. Practice it while you’re standing on your skateboard. Just rock it, then try to pop it in the air while you’re not in motion. This way, you can practice more until you think that you are ready to do it while riding your skateboard.
- Pop Shove It
It’s the same as doing an ollie but higher. Then you have to give it a nudge with your front foot to make it spin 180 degrees.
- The Kick Flip
This is another impressive skateboard trick that the same as pop shove it. The difference is when you nudge it, you have to kick the little area where the board rises.
- The Grind
This is not an easy trick so you have to do it step by step and practice it multiple times to do it perfectly. The grind involves a skater to slide along a surface like the railings of the stairs, etc.
Dropping in takes a lot of guts and you have to be skillful before attempting it. This is the same skating exhibition you see on TV when a skater slides down in a high place and does some flipping tricks while you are on air.
Benefits of Skateboarding
1. Great Way to Stay Fit
Skateboarding can be an overall fitness routine for you since its an active type of sport. You will have to keep on moving and riding which can help you to maintain a healthy weight.
2.Achieve Physical Endurance
If you skate every day, you will notice that you will not easily get tired compared to before you start skateboarding. This involves a lot of physical movements and makes your body to be stronger and have better stamina.
3. Be More Flexible
Skateboarding tricks can be a great way to make your body to be more flexible. Since you have to keep on practicing these tricks, your body will adapt to it so you can do it as perfect as it can be.
Skating is also a form of exercise since you have to have to keep on moving as you push the skateboard so you can ride it. It can release endorphins that can help you fight stress and stay healthy.
5.Precision and Falling
To become a good skater, you need to be precise with every move you make. This is the best way to achieve more precision so you can apply it in everyday life. Falling properly can also be mastered so in case you get caught in a rough situation, you know when to fall to save yourself.
Learn how to skateboard is not as complicated as you think it is. Sure, its not also easy especially when it comes to learning the tricks. But it will all worth it as you get more comfortable riding your skateboard. It can also provide a lot of health benefits for the skater. Although falling from your board is a guarantee, it will develop your skills and eventually become a good skater the way you want yourself to be.