What has four wheels, is made of wood, and has riders taking it around the neighborhood for some unabashed fun? A skateboard! And that act of taking it for a ride is called skateboarding. Coming out from its ancestor, surfing, skateboarding started as a way to keep the surfers entertained when the waves in the sea were flat. While surfboards assisted surfers to never keep their feet on the water, even when they were on the water, skateboards added wheels (quite literally) to their motion on ground. From its modest beginning to it being an art, a job, a recreational activity, and even a mode of transportation (and a very good one indeed) today, skateboarding has come a long way since then. In the recent years, it gained much popularity as a sporting art as many skateboarders came up with neat tricks like wheelie, pivot, Ollie, hippie jump and many more that encouraged many towards skateboarding. Skateboarders like Tony Hawk uplifted the level of this sporting art to a newer height. Films like Grind, Lords of Dogtown etc brought the much-needed fame and popularity to the sport. If you have been a fan of skateboarding or want to take it as a recreational activity or transportation medium but are clueless as to how to skateboard, continue reading. In the following lines, we provide you with tips that would assist your learning of this new sport.
Learn How To Skateboard
It’s recommended that you learn to skateboard on a new board instead of lending it from your friend. Here’s why – you’ll have to take into consideration the length and size of the board, wheel size, hardness, and height according to your comfort; lest your zest dies on the very first spot on which you trip yourself. Make sure to buy one from a professional sports shop and don’t hesitate to shed a few extra bucks.
Purchase/Borrow Safety Gear
Since you’re just learning the basics of skateboarding, chances are you’ll fall or trip a lot, at least more than what you expect. That’s why you definitely need to have proper safety gear. Purchase your own or ask your friend if he could lend you his. You’ll need a helmet and protective pads (knees and elbows). You’ll need shoes that are specifically made for skateboarding. These shoes are built with large flat bottoms that allow you to have a better grip on your skateboard.
Find Your Spot
Before you find your spot, find a flat surface where there’s no traffic. Once that is done, find your spot on the skateboard. Try standing with left foot forward (regular stance) and then right foot forward (goofy stance). Keep in mind that the foot that feels the most comfortable in handling the board should be in the front, so choose your stance accordingly. The other foot needs to be on the rear side of the board. Don’t try to get into motion yet, just try to get the feel of it all.
Push It Into Motion
Did you get the feel of it yet? Yes? Then open your eyes and stop making that titanic pose, for it’s time to set sail. Keep your back foot on the rear of the board and push with your front foot. This will help you in the long run when you’ll move on to doing tricks. While you push, try to shift your body weight forward by bending your knees. It will help maintain speed for a longer period of time. While the skateboard is in motion, keep both your feet on it and try to balance yourself.
After falling and practicing a few times over, try to make it stop on your own. There are several ways of stopping a skateboard. The easiest way to do it is by taking off your back foot and dragging it to the ground (foot breaking). The other way is a heel drag; where your back foot is still on the board but only the front end of it. The heel of your back foot should be touching the ground while you drag with it. However, leave the heel drag for when you’ve practiced enough and have a fairly better grip at all of it.
Learning to skateboard demands practice. Move on to the next level only when you feel you have mastered the basics. If possible, have someone who’s good at skateboarding teach you.