Beginner Skateboard Gear
If you are aiming for a safe ride, it is imperative that you get proper skateboard gear to enjoy your ride without any danger to yourself. The first thing to get that is highly recommended is a good pair of skate shoes. You can do skateboarding in regular shoes, but they can prove dangerous. Skateboarding shoes come with a flat bottom that enables them to get a firm grip on the skateboard’s deck. They of times comes with added features such as reinforcements in areas that are most likely to wear out.
Protective Gear: Then, like any sports on wheels, putting on protective gear is imperative to avoid fatal injuries of any kind. In fact, putting on helmet before entering skate parks is mandatory in most places. Apart from helmet, kneepads and elbow pads are also important protective gear that can protect you from getting serious scathing of skin on concrete surfaces on your driveways or ramps etc. wrist braces are also recommended but using hands to break your fall is not advisable.
Standing on a Skateboard
Now that you got the protective gear on, you are ready to start your exhilarating journey on your skateboard. The very first step is to become comfortable standing on the skateboard and learn to balance. If the board is borrowed or you got it already built skateboard from the shop, it is highly likely that you will feel a little bit uncomfortable.
Do not place your skateboard on a concrete surface for your virgin stand on the skateboard. It is better to put your skateboard on grass or a carpet to be on safer side. Once placed on a softer surface, try standing or jumping on it. Try balancing on the front or back wheels only. When you are on the board, move your feet in different positions to get the feel of the board and getting comfortable at the particular situation.
Skateboard Stance: Goofy vs. Regular
This depends on personal preferences. Some people are comfortable with goofy or regular stance while standing on the skateboard. You can either put your right foot or left foot forward; whichever suits you. This differs from person to person.
Putting best foot forward: Your preference should be the one that helps you to feel comfortable with your stance. Just like there are right handed and left handed people, same goes for putting the left or right foot forward; it depends on an individual’s orientation. You can use both interchangeably as per your convenience. Right-footed stance is Goofy and using left foot forward is considered regular.
Get Your Skateboard Rolling
Start by cruising around in empty space like a parking lot. Take your front foot and place them on the skateboard so that our toes are on top of a front truck or a little back.
Now with your back foot, push off to get the skateboard rolling and once it is moving, put your back foot on the board. When you slow down, push off a little more to gain momentum. To turn, especially if you are going downhill, lean in the direction you want to switch. This will get you to turn slowly in your desired direction. However, once you get used to skateboarding, you can set by balancing for a split second on your back wheels and swing your front wheels in the direction you want to go.
Take Your Time Learning
It is quite imperative not to rush into turning like a pro. Take your time learning and practicing your turns and become comfortable with it. Once you are comfortable moving on a flat surface, next, you can choose an easy hill without any traffic. Spend some time skating on it and practice your descent. You can enter skate parks earlier as well when there are fewer people there and practice your moves.
How to Stop on a Skateboard
Foot Breaking: The simplest way of stopping the skateboard is to take off your back foot and start dragging it on the ground. It will take a little practice and focus before the riders can safely stop their movement whenever they need.
Heel Drag: This is another way, which needs practice as well. Put the heel of your back foot, so that is sticking out of the back of your skateboard and lean back a little so that the front comes up in the air. Then, step off on your heel making sure that front half of your front foot is still on the board. For a short while, drag your heel, and this will be able to stop your skateboard. You may fall on your back quite a few times before you master the stopping of skateboard smoothly and safely.
Powerslide: Powerslides, made popular through Tony Hawk video games, are trending but they are quite advanced method of stopping. It looks cool but still, it is not recommended for the beginners.
Bail: And when nothing works, follow your natural instincts and jump off the board. When your knees are bent while riding the board, landing should not be too hard. If you jump forward, it usually stops the skateboard. It may get your skateboard damaged, but its better be your skateboard and not your arms or face.
How to Carve on a Skateboard
Leaning toeside or heelside to get the board to run in that direction is called carving.
First, push your skateboard and put weight on our heels while on the move. This will help you turn slowly in that direction. The harder you drive on your heels, the sharper your turn will be.
In skateboarding, this move is used a lot. You should choose an empty space, and practice carving a lot if you want to master it. For instance, try moving right at something that you are not aiming to hit and try carving around it.
By leaning your upper torso towards the direction you want to carve, carving will be easier for you. Carving on a skateboard or a snowboard has same rules and moves. For deep craving, try bending your knees and crouching low on your skateboard.
How to Skate at a Skatepark, and Over Flow
When it comes to skateboarding, the experience of skating over ramps, down slopes or a skateparks is completely different from that of streets or parking lots. They are different surfaces with different dimensions all together.
Skating Over Flow
The diving curves of the skateparks are sometimes called “flow.” Skateboarding overflow and going up and down the slopes of skateparks is not easy. It takes focus and lots of practice to master it. The first thing to do is to keep your weight on front foot always. You should make sure of that while riding over a big bump, downhill or through a skatepark. You should be relaxed through the flow and make sure there is no traffic around.
Transfer Your Weight
Here is a useful tip to this key; when you roll up a ramp or a slope, pause and ride back down and this gets front foot changed. This is because your front foot is the one that is facing the direction you are going, it does not matter whether it is right or left. While riding up or down the hill or slope, you should shift your weight from one foot to the other when on top.
Bend Your Knees
The second tip that can help you master the slopes is to keep your knees in a bent position and as relaxed and loose as you can. This helps you absorb the shock you experience on impacts of bumps and changes. As a thumb rule, you should know that the more relaxed and bent your knees are, the better you cope with bumps and slopes. Avoid huncing your shoulders too much though, and try to keep your back relaxed as well.
How to Kickturn
When you become apt in stopping, starting and carving, you can begin practicing kickturns.
Balancing for a Moment: Kickturning refers to the ability to balance on your back wheels for moment and swing the front of your board to different direction. This takes a lot of practice and balance.
Once you are good with kickturning, practice kickturning in both directions. Try to perform kickturn while moving as well as while skating on ramps.
Getting Hurt Skateboarding and Getting Back Up
Any sports with wheels involved tend to get you injured, one way or another. And it could be a painful experience at that. It is a routine matter that you can get hurt while skateboarding especially if you are a beginner. You, of course, have your protective gear for the same reason, but still, you can get hurt. Apart from wearing your protective gear, you can take specific steps to reduce the damage.
Don’t Use Your Hands
It is recommended by experts that while falling, avoid using your hands to break your fall. If you lose your balance and are going to hit the ground, let your shoulders and body take the fall, rolling with the blow as much as you can.
I try to break your fall with your hand, there are great chances of breaking your wrist in the process and although, you might wear wrist guards to protect your wrists against that, there are times when you don’t wear it and out of habit falling on your hand might damage your wrist.
Shake It Off
If you experience a fall, get up if you can, walk around and shake it off. Every time you fall, your body will learn not to do it again. Skateboarding does not hurt too much, but broken bones are common amongst skateboarders. And if you think you are hurt or have broken something, do consult a physician right away.
Skate and Create
Once you get comfortable with basics of skateboarding and cruising easily around, you might like to perform some tricks that you have seen and heard so much about and are ready to do them yourself. Some of these street trucks are:
The Ollie: Too excited, most skate enthusiasts try to do it too early. It is a famous trick and quite famous among the skateboarders.
Pop Shuvit: It is an awesome trick to learn along with the Ollie as it takes a set of very different skills to master it.
Manual: This will help you master the balancing act. Manual can be integrated with other tricks.
Rail Stands: Sometimes, it also comes to be known as Primo stands. This trick is not as easy as it looks. In fact, it is a lot tougher.
Other than the aforementioned tricks, there are various others as well like, kickflips, grinds etc. that you can learn with time and practice.
Skateboarding is a fun sport and gives you a high dose of adventure and action. However, like any trade or sports, you can enjoy it to the maximum once you learn it properly and practice it. Skateboarding is a game that needs your focus and lots of practice. It also calls for patience, as it can prove disastrous if you rush into advanced stages without learning and mastering the basics first. Take your time and move ahead to advanced levels step by step for skateboard beginner. And once you are there, enjoy and HAVE FUN!