Tricks » Beginners Guide to Skateboarding
Beginners Guide to Skateboarding
Awesome, you've decided to start skateboarding!? But, do you really know what you're getting yourself into? Hopefully this little guide will help you out. Ready away...
Get a board
First things first, if you want to skate, you're going to need a skateboard.
If you're not sure about skateboarding, and you're just giving it a go, you might want to buy a "complete" skateboard, which is a skateboard that is fully made up for you already, no assembly required. These are usually cheaper than buying all the parts separately. Complete boards with all the parts being the same brand are usually poor quality. Try aim for a complete board that has had parts individually chosen for it. Ask and find out about what you're buying before you get it.
If you are really serious about skateboarding, I do recommend getting a board that is reasonably above average. This will mean getting a slightly more expensive "complete" skateboard, or building your board by buying parts and assembling it. If you're going to build the skateboard by selecting all the parts yourself, you will need to know about each part of the skateboard. I'll write another article about skateboard parts to help you understand them.
How good you get almost directly relates to how much you practice. Basically if you're not getting out there on your skateboard, using it, then you're not going to improve at it. Simple. Keep in mind that everyone learns at different speeds too. Regardless, I believe that most people can learn to skateboard if they really want to.
Another aspect of getting better is having a balance between practicing things you know, and taking the risks of learning new tricks. Most of the time in skateboarding you will need to take a risk to learn a new trick. How big or small the risk is up to you. Obviously there's also bit of common sense to the order you learn tricks, eg you wouldn't try to 540 on a vert-ramp before you could drop in on a mini-ramp. I recommend learning to skate in small steps. Eg, learn to ollie on the spot, ollie moving, ollie over a stick, over a log, off a curb…. Small steps.
There a some ways that you can reduce the risks of bailing when learning stationery moves:
- Try it on some grass, or some other soft surface.
- Try landing it with one foot.
- Try holding onto something while attempting the trick.
A lot of the time you might not be landing a particular trick simply because you don't have the guts to. As long as the trick isn't out of your league, you just need to build up the courage to do it. You might bail a few times, but after landing it a few times, you'll realize what you're doing right, and probably be a lot less scared of attempting the trick too.
"But I've been trying this trick forever!?", you say. I know it's easy to get frustrated when it seems to take forever to land a trick (or perfect it). Try going back to the person or place you learned the trick from, and find out what you're doing wrong. Alternatively, go to a different source to see if they describe how to do the trick in a different way.
I hate it when people stop skating at a spot just because some better skaters turn up. Don't get embarrassed because you're not as good as them, they were in the same position as you back in the day.
On the other hand, better shouldn't be trying to show up the other skaters. Save that for the competitions. Help out your fellow skater :) It's always cool when you meet friendly skaters who are happy to offer a few tips.
Sure you'll have good days and bad days of skating, but make sure you're having fun while you do it. SKATE is a good game to keep skateboarding with mates fun. I always enjoy skating with mates more than by myself, just as long as they're not the type to skate for 5 minutes, then want to leave. :P
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