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Learning to Skateboard

As you learn any sport it is important to start with the basics. You need the right gear, and you need to become comfortable with the equipment. Once you familiarize yourself with the basics you can move on to tricks and faster riding. Below are some tips on finding the right board for you, along with some tips on moving forward with the sport of skateboarding.

Finding the right board for you:

There are a few different types of skateboards you can try. The professionals and store clerks at any skate shop can help you find the right board for your interests.

  • Longboards: are great for riding the streets, cruising to work or going for a casual ride with friends. Longboards are also great for beginners, however they are not designed for tricks.
  • Skateboards: These boards take a little more practice to learn how to ride smoothly. These are the boards you will mostly see used at the skate park. Skateboards can also be made custom where you can choose your own wheels, trucks, bearings and deck. However, custom boards are more suited for experienced riders who know exactly what they are looking for.

Ensure you have the right safety equipment:

Before taking your board for a ride, ensure you will stay safe by purchasing the right set of skate shoes. Shoes such as flip-flops will only ensure that you hurt your ankle. You will need to find a pair of shoes with the right grip and ankle support. You will need a shoe with an even and flat sole. In addition to the right type of shoes, you will also need protective gear and a helmet. Knee pads, wrist guards and elbow pads will surely come in handy as you learn to skate. You can expect a few falls as you progress through different levels and stages of skateboarding, protective gear will greatly help avoid severe injuries.

Learn the fundamentals:

Before a bird learns how to fly, it needs to figure out how to use its wings. Same thing with skateboarding. Before you are able to successfully execute tricks you need to know how to stay on the board and ride it comfortably (without falling).

Goofy or Regular?

Find out which way is most comfortable for you to ride. Board riders have one of two stances: “regular” is the stance with the left foot forward, whereas “goofy” leads with the right. One way of figuring out which way you should start is standing with your feet together and have someone gently push you from behind. Whichever foot comes out first is the foot you most likely should have in the front. If you try one stance and you find you are very uncomfortable, especially once you start to turn, try leading with the other foot.

Practice:

Try standing on the board and catching your balance. Skateboarding is all about balancing. Once you are comfortable just standing on the board try pushing off. Long pushes will typically make your ride much smoother and will help you stay balance. Now go out and find a smooth place to learn to ride!

Greg

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