How To Get Better At Skateboarding With 3 Lasting Lessons
Lots of new riders want to know how to get better at skateboarding, but the answer is really simple: skate more. The more you ride, the more your body will adjust to the stresses and balance requirements of skating. Skating every day is the key.
Sometimes you will not want to do it. Some days, it’s much easier to just stay inside and not do anything – playing video games and watching TV. But being lazy and doing nothing all day will not help you improve at anything. No, if you want to be a better skateboarder, then skate.
It won’t happen overnight, but if you put everything you have into getting better, then you will. You may not ever get sponsored or turn pro, but if that’s why you skate, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Skateboarding is about progression, and we all do that at our own pace and in our own time. That said, there are things you can do to improve quicker, things like:
There was a time in skateboarding when a new video release was an event. Board shops would run out of their video stock in no time, and waiting for their next shipment seemed to take forever. Those days, for better or worse, are done. There are complete skate videos on YouTube from every era, showing many interesting skateboarding tips for beginners from basic to advance level.
Pros and ams put everything on the line to put their video parts together, and watching them do their thing is inspirational. Generations of skaters have used skate videos as a tool to get hyped for upcoming sessions. For example, check out Thrasher’s 2015 Skater of the Year Anthony Van Englen's part in Alien Workshop’s video Mind Field. If that doesn’t make you want to skate, nothing will.
Just remember, video parts are heavily edited. It can take weeks or months to put together a few minutes of useable video footage. You can glean a lot from a great pro’s video part – where to put your feet, how to shift your weight, etc. – but you are not going to go out and skate like that. No one can. Just be patient and use them to get stoked on what you are about to do.
Skate with better riders
Whether you have friends who skate or not, you are bound to meet other skaters soon enough. When you do, pay attention to how they do what they do. You can learn how to manipulate the board by watching their feet, and how to get your body into the right position for certain tricks.
No matter what trick you’re trying, there is almost always an easier way to get it done, and you will meet people that can do it effortlessly. Not every good rider turns pro. There are a lot of really good skaters that do it for the love, and you’re bound to meet some along the way. Check out Ride Channel’s list of ams that could have cashed in for proof.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You will meet the occasional overly cool person who won’t answer, but for the most part everyone wants to be friends. Some people will go into so much detail on how to pull a trick, that you may get lost. Don’t forget how it felt to be in awe of a ripper. Share the knowledge.
Land or Slam
Give every trick you try 100-percent effort. If you bail, you will never land anything. You are only teaching yourself how to not land the trick, and you may hurt yourself worse than if you had just tried to land on your board.
Look, slamming sucks. There is no pain quite like the sudden deceleration of crashing on concrete. It is unforgiving. But, going at a trick with full effort, regardless of consequences, can lead to success much more quickly. Often, after only a few tries, you will land something that may have taken months otherwise.
Now, I don’t mean to slam just for slamming’s sake. The idea is to put safety out of your mind, like Chris Joslin conquering the Davis Gap.
Empty your mind and be in the moment. Give the effort everything you have and land it right here, right now. There is nothing like pulling off a never-been-done trick first try.
The Roll Away
In skateboarding, there are no drills you can practice and no coaching clinics to attend, and there is no old-timer’s game. This time, right now, is all you’ve got, so let’s start skateboarding guy, and remember to have a look in How to ride a skateboard for beginners. I hope this article helped you find your inner ripper. If so, please share this article or leave a comment below.
Making the most out of every session and having a clear picture of what you want to do will go a long way to making you better, quicker. Watching and learning from better skaters will give you ideas and tips, but then it’s up to you. Bailing out is no way to learn. If you want to learn to skate like a ripper, you’re going to get some road rash. Accept it as part of the game, and pay your dues. You’ll be shredding in no time.