You’ve sat back long enough and watched pro’s like Rodney Mullen getting huge air on the vert ramp. Every time you walk past a skate park, you’re in awe of the pint sized kids shredding it up. You wonder, why can’t I do it? To put it simply, you can! Regardless of whether you are five or fifty, taking up a new sport can be daunting but with a little concentration, dedication and practice, it’s absolutely achievable. Starting from scratch? Follow these beginner skateboarding tips and you’ll be on your way to achieving an Ollie in no time.
Choosing a Board
It’s a general rule of thumb, that if you don’t get the right gear from the get-go, you’re going to struggle to learn. I say this because when people decide they want to take something up, their first choice for testing it out is by purchasing a cheap and nasty version at a department store. I’ll admit, I’ve got a dodgy exercise bike from the time I was going to get fit and a crummy used-only-once tent collecting dust in the garage – both of which are from Kmart. The same mentality goes for buying your first skateboard. A deck set found at a department store will be made of cheaper materials creating an unsafe learning environment and making it harder for you to achieve tricks with the proper method. No matter what kind of skater you are, always use a reputable brand like Penny Skateboards or head to a specialty store for advice on the right board for you.
Gearing up: Safety 101
As a newbie, it’s only natural that you will receive your fair share of falls, cuts and bruises. Even if you reach pro level, you’ll still get them! Trust me, there’s nothing worse than a cracked skull or broken leg pushing your training to a halt. It’s for this reason that investing in the proper safety gear should be your biggest priority. A helmet is the first obvious choice, but considering you’re going to be doing a lot of falling, a pair of hand, wrist and knee guards will absorb the bumps and protect your joints.
Step One: Finding Your Balance
You’ve got the board and the gear; now it’s time to start the action. Before you get too crazy, you need to be able to feel comfortable on your board. Set your board on the grass or in a place where you aren’t spontaneously going to roll down a hill and stand on it. Next try jumping on it, balancing on the front or back wheels and moving your feet into different positions. The idea is to get used to the feel of you board and the movements it makes.
Determining Your Stance
There are two ways to stand on a skateboard: Regular and Goofy. No stance is better than the other, it’s completely up to whichever feels comfortable for you. Regular stance is where your left foot is placed at the front of the board, allowing you to push with your right, while Goofy is reversed with your right foot resting at the front of the board, pushing with your left.
Got any newbie skateboard tips? Let us know in the comments below.