A Beginner’s Guide to Skateboarding

If you are one bit interested in learning how to skateboard because, say, it looks fun or cool, then why not give it a try? Nevertheless, be warned: you are going to have to get hurt every now and then, and you’re not gonna like it. However, it’ll all be worth it in the end. Skateboarding is tough, and you should know what you’re getting into.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0010.JPG

Step 1: Get a board

Start off with finding the perfect skateboard. Whether you have to beg, borrow, trade, or talk your way into getting one, when you see the perfect one, you will know it. Search store after store and website after website to find the perfect skateboard. Once you see it you should feel a connection, as if it’s your long lost child, as silly as that sounds.

Step 2: Dress like a pro

Knowing that you look cool is a major step up. You’ll feel more confident and less like a newbie or wannabe.

Step 3: Be Smart

Wear a helmet and protective pads. You might not see skaters in skate parks wearing them, but it’s a plain action that is smart to stay safe, especially as an amateur.

Step 4: Stay Committed

Many people tend to fall and give up. Stay committed. Everyone falls at the beginning, and even professionals fall. When you fall, that’s how you know you’re doing something wrong and, consequently, you have a chance to improve it. Not giving up is a valuable skill in your life and you will feel much better about it later on.

Step 5: Goofy or a regular?

Figure out your stance. Try out kicking off with your left foot, and then your right. Whichever one feels easiest is the one for you.

Goofy= Kick off with left

Regular=Kick off with rightGOPR0057.JPG

Step 6: Take it for a ride

Don’t start off hardcore, with ollies, kick flips, and air grabs. Take it slow. Learn to kick off and keep your balance, and maybe even start off easier, like on grass or on a carpet. At first you may want to take your skateboard for a ride somewhere with no people around where there is no pressure surrounding you.

Step 7: Get comfortable

Before you try anything crazy, get used to the feel and size of your board, and get used to standing on it. You should try taking you skateboard out as much as possible, even just for a ride to the corner shop. The more time you spend with it, the more comfortable and in control you will feel.DCIM100GOPROGOPR0064.JPG

Step 8: Practice

Have a schedule for when to practice, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. Just make sure to make it a routine.

Step 9: Breaking

One of the most important things to know is how to stop your board. The best way is to learn to take off your back foot and drag it on the ground. This takes a lot of practice but is VERY useful in case of emergency braking. You could also heel drag or powerslide.

Heel drag is lifting weight from your front foot and then pushing down with your back foot so that the front lifts and the kicktail drags on the ground.

Powersliding is one of the most advanced ways of braking. This is when you spin your board to the side and skid to a stop.

If all else fails when trying to stop, just bail, meaning just jump off your board. If you jump off forward your board will usually stop. This is very dangerous, especially at high speeds, so try to avoid bailing.

Step 10: Carving

Now it’s about leaning toeside and heelside to get your board to turn in the direction you want to go. Try doing quick turns around corners where there are no cars or pedestrians.

Step 11: Speed it up

Try going down a hill at an average speed without falling and turning quick corners.

Step 12: Get cool

Once you have mastered all of the above steps it is finally time to give the tricks a try. Start off with simple tricks like the rollover, throwdown, foot pick up, pop shuvit and (when ready) ollie, kickturn, etc.

Step 13: Show off

You should be proud after everything you’ve learnt. Honestly, if you’ve taken skateboarding seriously, in less than a month you could get to this step. Go to a skatepark and show off your skills. Be proud of what you have achieved and work for even better results! That is how  you get through life and reaching your dreams!

Article by Roxana Lazar
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