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Skateboarding can be exhilarating, challenging and a great way to hang out with friends. Yet beginners can find it hard and lose motivation very quickly. So where should beginners start? Hopefully you've got your board set up and are raring to go!
These 5 steps will help you build confidence on your board, and are the basics needed before you attempt those tricks you want to master!
It’s important to get the right shoes. Skate shoes are designed with durable sides and flat soles to maximise the grip on the board. Proper skate shoes provide good support and allow you to manoeuvre around the board with ease. Beginners often fail to wear the right shoes, it is more important than you may think!
There are two main stances when skating. Regular foot means that your left foot is on the front of the board. Your right foot is at the back and is used to push. Goofy foot is the opposite. Your right foot is forward and your left foot is at the back pushing. A mongo foot pusher is when you push with your front foot. This should be avoided as it’s a less balanced method and is hard to progress to tricks. The feet should be behind the bolts at the front and back with your front foot slightly more forward facing.
- Push Off
Its important to start on the right surface. A long driveway or parking lot is ideal. Area's around the city can also be very suited to beginners skateboarding. Beginning on any area with pebbles, cracks or holes should be avoided as they contribute to falls. When pushing off your front foot should be facing forwards. When pushing, the back foot should start the push from in front of the front foot on the board. This avoids the feeling of the board ‘getting away’ from you. You should aim for long, controlled and smooth pushes. After a number of pushes and having picked up enough speed, confidently place your back foot on the board behind the bolts. Your front foot should then shift to face more side on.
Once you have picked up some speed and feel confident, you can begin to turn the board. Try to turn the board by shifting your weight onto your heels or onto your toes. Remember to keep your knees bent to ensure a low centre of gravity. Beginners will fall a lot but that soon! The tightness of the trucks will determine how easy it is to turn. If they are tight, it will be harder, and easier if they are loose. The trucks can easily be loosened or tightened by turning the large bolt in the centre of each truck. Beginners will want to play around with what feels the best for them.
- Stopping/ Falling off
The easiest way to stop when still a beginner is to take small steps, or slide with your back, pushing, foot. Another method is to grind the tail of the board along the ground and let the friction stop you. However, this will damage your board over time. Turning is a good way to slow down to a pace where you can use your foot to stop. Once you begin to ride faster you can learn and try other methods to stop Part of beginners learning to skate is learning to fall off. When beginning it can be a good idea to wear protective gear, as falling is going to happen a lot! When falling, try to keep your arms loose to avoid breaking a wrist. Also try to roll with the fall to avoid heavy contact with ground.
So grab a board, jump on it and master those basics!
That Ollie you dream of isn’t too far away! One day you'll be able to skate like a pro!