Getting moving on a skateboard is the easy part, but stopping is more critical to your physical well-being. Like most things in life, there are many ways to get it done. The important thing at first is that you learn how to stop a skateboard, and yourself, to avoid wrecking.
Learning to reliably stop will keep you safe, but developing a method that doesn’t tear up your equipment is vital as well. Skateboards are expensive, and the method some people use to stop does a lot of damage, especially to the tail. We will discuss this method first, then we’ll talk about how to stop a skateboard while doing little to no damage, which is ideal.
No Tail Dragging
The easiest way to stop a skateboard is also the most damaging to it. Simply by pressing the tail all the way down until it contacts the concrete, it is possible to drag the tail along the pavement. This scraping stops the board with friction, but counting on it soon leads to a ground-down, razor tail. Once the tail is worn in this way, it will begin to chip, and its pop will be permanently gone. So, don’t do it. This video demonstrates it.
Heel or Toe Dragging
Like tail dragging, but much less destructive to your equipment, this method works well and is reliable. As you are riding, put the weight of your rear foot on its heel and simply dangle your toes off the side of the tail.
Then, press down to lift the front wheels as you would if you were going to drag your tail, except drag the bottom of your shoe on the ground instead. It takes some getting used to, but the rubber on the sole of your shoe will stop you much faster than dragging the wood on the tail because of friction.
The sister method to toe dragging is heel dragging, but the concepts are the same. Instead of putting the weight of the back foot on the heel, though, put it on the balls of the foot. Hang your heel off the back of the board, and wheelie until the heel drags the concrete. Either toe dragging or heel dragging will save your board and stop you quicker than most other methods.
Push Foot Reverse
Another method for stopping is to use the foot you use for pushing to leverage your weight against the pavement. This is also one of skateboarding tricks for beginners you should know. The key to this method is to keep most of your weight on the foot that stays on the board. As you step off with your push foot, apply pressure on the heel of your shoe, rolling it on the ground.
You will likely need to do this a couple of times to stop completely, depending on the speed you are carrying. You will stop quickly this way, but the method takes some practice to master. This video shows how to do it as well as how to toe drag. Ignore the part about tail dragging. Do the same thing, just keep the tail off the pavement.
Sometimes, you just know you aren’t going to stop quickly enough. As you approach an obstacle with speed for a trick, various things can happen that force you to abandon the attempt. Usually, someone or something is unexpectedly in the way, but sometimes things just don’t feel right and you need to stop before the situation gets worse. Dragging a foot may or may not work in this scenario, so the best thing to do is get away from your board.
To accomplish this, simply step off the board and start running. This video shows how to run out, as well as rolling out – a critical maneuver for falling.
Now, a skateboard, especially one with good wheels and bearings, can move much faster than most people can run. If you are traveling at break-neck speed, running out might not be an option. In this case, drag a foot until you have slowed to a speed you think you can run at, then bail. Don’t be a hero and try to save your board; save yourself. Your board can survive a much bigger tumble than you can.
After a while, knowing when to stop and when to bail will become intuitive. You should never approach an obstacle intent on bailing, but sometimes it really is the best option. Live to try the trick again when everything is right. Foot dragging and running out are not expert moves, but even the experts do it. You won’t see it much in videos because every mistake is edited out, but everyone has to put on the brakes from time to time.
The goal of this article was to explain how to stop your board without damaging either it or yourself. If it helped you out, please share it with your friends, and share your comments and opinions below. Remember, ultimately it doesn’t matter how you stop, as long as you do it safely.
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