If you are thinking of how to build a mini ramp, then the tools required will include the following – a hammer, impact drill, an electric jigsaw for cutting transitions. A saw to cut 2x4s because mini ramps are made with a lot of 2x4s, tape rule, a decent assortment of drill bits, level; the ramp has to be on the same level. You will also need a chalk line used to see where you place your 2x4s under the plywood when you have started building, as well as a heavy-duty pencil.
The mini ramp will be in two sections, the 8-feet wide and 4-feet wide section which can then be combined later. You must measure the length of the 2x4s with the transitions.
To get the transitions perfect, you take one of the 2×4 and place it on the plywood. For this ramp, we would make a 7-foot transition. So, put the 2×4 on the plywood and screw it together in the middle of the 2×4 precisely at 7 feet. Then you drill a hole at the other edge of the 2×4 and fit a pencil in it, so it touches the plywood. Then mark out the height of the plywood from the 2×4 lying on it with a pencil.
The 2×4 will pivot at that point. Once it’s done, you drag the 2×4 edge fitted with a pen, so it marks a perfect tranny on the plywood. After this, you saw out the marked part of the plywood to get your transition. Flip the other side of the plywood and place the cut-out transition on the other side. Trace and then use your saw to cut it out to get the second transition.
The next step in building the ramp is marking out a line on the transitions. You mark a line every 8 inches on the transitions where you will insert the 2x4s. Start from the bottom of the transition. Make sure the 2×4 is in a level position with the transitions on all sides.
Screw the 2x4s to the transitions; you would want to use at least three screws on each side. Start with the front and back, so the rest of the 2x4s fit in well. Now, the reason we make marks on the transition is, so we don’t measure each time we want to fix it in a 2×4. The line will guide us on where to set the 2x4s with the transition. I recommend using two 2x4s for each line, so there’s extra support for the ramp.
Since we are building a 12 feet wide ramp, remember I said it would be in two sections, 8 feet wide and 4 feet wide. Together makes it 12 feet. So, two 2x4s on each line would hold it up.
The next part is building the flat bottom. You’ll be using a ratchet, just like the one in the image below, to hold your ramp in place. I found this extra strong ratchet (on Amazon) if you are looking for a ratchet that does what it says on the tin.
You take four 2x4s from a rectangle so that you would have four sides. The flat bottom depends on how you want it. But a lot of flat bottoms give you enough time to set up. Let’s say, for example, you want to make 8 feet flat bottom; you start with the rectangle as earlier stated. The length should be 4 feet wide, while the breadth should 7.75 feet long. On the middle section, the 2x4s will be 45 inches, so they are different sized 2x4s than the outside. Make the inside 2x4s be 8 inches apart.
The next phase is coping. Coping is the essential part of a mini ramp; Make sure your coping is 2 inches at least in diameter. This reason is that 2 inches is the right size for your trucks to lock into for skateboarding tricks on mini ramps. We are making a 12 feet mini ramp, so the coping should be 12 feet long too. The length of the coping depends on the length of the mini ramp you want to build.
After fixing the coping, the next step is the deck. The deck is something you will stand on. It could be 2 feet or 4 feet depending on the standing space you want in your ramp. It’s smaller than the flat bottom because it has to fit right into the templates. Make it 94.5 inches so it fits between the template and can butt up right against the coping. The deck will be 4 feet away from the coping.
With this, the skeleton is ready for sheeting. At this stage, where you connect the transitions to the flat bottom, it must be all levels. So, you push them all up together, and you screw the part of the transitions that touch the flat bottom together, both sides. Screwing at least four different parts would hold it firm. After joining the transitions with the flat bottom, there would be a line where they joined that is perfect for your plywood to match.
Use 2 inches screws for sheeting, that is when you are covering the skeleton with the plywood. Each sheet should have at least four screws on each rim going across. When you put your transition first layer up to the flat bottom layer, stand on it, walk from the bottom up, so it doesn’t get warped in the middle.
Start screwing from the first 2×4, second, and so on so that it bends with the wood rather than starting on the top and going down. Screw by every foot on the plywood. Then fix the deck to the edge of the transition. Avoid any angle and make sure it’s flush with your transition and screw together. Also, put 2x4s at each corner of the deck and screw, so they support it well. For the coping, make a small hole using a drill and use a screw of 3/8 inches, so the screw head doesn’t go through.
Make eight holes in the coping, drilling every 3 feet. Drill 4 screws to hold the coping to the transitions. The other four holes are countersinks so that the screw heads go through the coping. You should use a ½ inch sheet of plywood for the first and second layers.
Then a Masonite for your third layer if it’s indoors or plywood if it’s outdoors.
It’s good to have three layers, so you don’t break through when skateboarding and hurt yourself. If you follow all the instructions here, you should be able to make yourself a durable good mini ramp.
It’s typical for every newbie or novice to chicken-out at their first attempt and skateboarding is no different. Most times, even when we fully kit out with the full protective gear, the fear of the first attempt still lingers. If you have friends to cheer you for every fall, you take that is a plus on your skate ass, but if you don’t or rather prefer to learn the hard way, then this post is for you.
The first step of overcoming your fear of skateboarding is to tell yourself you are willing to learn and you are ready to practice. This you can call level zero; level zero is the attempting and practice phase. This stage, you may start to feel like you “gat it,” but in reality, you ain’t “gat nothin’.” If you attempt a technical trick or anything beyond your skill and level of practice, you will hurt yourself!
As mentioned earlier, the fear you feel is completely normal, but what is not “normal” is holding onto the fear.
You have to be ready to;
Master basic skateboarding technique
Learn to ignore or overcome your fear
Accept falling as part of becoming a better skateboarder
Build your confidence but do not become overconfident
Start with simple tricks
Practice, practice, practice…
Fear will limit your ability to become a better skateboarder, so you must commit fully and ask yourself this question – am I ready to overcome my skateboarding fear?
To help you overcome your fear of skateboarding, below is a list of some tried and tested tips that have helped me and many skateboarding friends to become better over the years
Skate tip #1 – Master the Basics
Many skateboarders seem to think the startups don’t matter. They begin trying out and practising different tricks like kickflips, ollies, and other technical skateboard moves. This is the major reason why most skateboarders pick and get used to the wrong posture, which becomes a problem in the future as there are not properly acquainted with their boards. By the time they get used to just tricks, they would lack the basic knowledge to fall safely.
Skate tip #2 – Start trying out Tricks Slowly
Tricks are complex no matter how easy they look; one wrong move could make everything go sour. Tricks are a mixture of moves, turns all taking place in different phases. Before you go rotating your deck, practice landing on your two feet, and if you find a trick too hard to learn, you do not need to waste time; there are so many tricks to learn and you could come back to it later.
Sometimes you may need to be a master at trick A and B before you could even attempt trick C and D. The key here is to give your brain some time to process and master each process and then every other thing will fall in place.
Skate tip #3 – Get motivation from music
With the help of your favourite music, beating your fear will be a lot easier. Although it can be distracting when you are about to perform a trick, try not to listen to music at high volume if skateboarding in areas where there is vehicular traffic.
Skate Note- depressing music doesn’t help – a bit of upbeat opera just might do the trick though!
Skate tip #4 – Have faith in Yourself
Anything humanly achievable is possible, you just need to convince yourself that you can do it. The main thing is to tell yourself, “I am ready, I can do it” (please don’t do this if you haven’t mastered the basics of skateboarding). You need to accept that you may fall on the first try, and with a little more practice, you are bound to do better. There will be times when fear or nervousness become overwhelming, you might have to trust your instinct and just go for it.
This is because you might not actually be ready – some tricks can be really complex- and if you don’t deliver the right phase of each trick properly, it could lead to a bad ending. So take baby steps and do not completely ignore your fear when trying each trick.
One thing you should avoid is peer pressure, while there’s always a chance that your friends will be able to do certain things you can’t do – you will get better with time! If you succeed in using your fear as a tool method, then a little encouragement from friends will not go amiss.
Skate Note- try railing on stairs to dwindle your fear.
Skate tip #5 – Start landing on soft ground
Some tricks are better to be practised near or on grassy areas, in case of a fall. It helps you prepare for the impact of falling on concrete or coal tar ground.
Skate tip #6 – Fall Properly
Overcoming your fear becomes easier when you learn what makes you fall and how you should land from a fall. Practice your falls on soft ground (grass). Always wear your protective gear and learn how to land with your arms and other ways to fall with minimal injuries.
Weirdly, pain can help you to improve your skateboarding – so unless you seriously hurt yourself, you don’t need to stop when you take a tumble!
Skate Note- if you are not wearing your protective gear, practice how to roll when you fall with your hand in a defence position in front of you.
Never fall with your hands behind you.
Even after practising how to fall, always wear your protective gear.
Skate tip #7 – Land with one foot at a time
Some skateboarders are scared of placing both feet on their deck, if you are in this category, start with one foot.
Land on one foot before landing on the other (land on your front foot, then your rear foot, if this suits you better).
Skate tip #8 – Let your brain process every trick
When skateboarding, skateboarders who perform really well are those who can focus only on the moment. So, as much as possible, you need to concentrate and see every trick in your mind. All your concentration needs to be on your breathing and body posture; relax your muscles, prepare your mind, and go for it.
Skate note – most times it is better to skateboard with relaxed muscles and healthy body. If your muscles are sore, skateboarding could be a dangerous activity.
Skate tip #9 – Don’t Beat Yourself up
Don’t take it to the extreme and beat yourself up mentally, if your fear is holding you back. There is no need to be mad at yourself or use substances to boost your confidence or influence your skateboarding performance.
Allow your frustration to yield motivation. With time you would get to and exceed where you want to be.
Skate tip #10 – Don’t skip the protective Gear
Most skateboarders often overlook wearing the correct skateboarding protective gear, especially once past the beginner phase. So many people complain about being uncomfortable when wearing protective gear or some are just lazy to grab their gear before going out.
The point is that protective gear is a necessary evil, like it or not – ensuring kids wear the right skateboard protective gear is extremely important. They help protect you from body contact on a hard surface (it is better to have a 50% impact on concrete than 100%).
Skate Note – Do not take unimaginable risks because you are wearing protective gear, you could still land yourself in an emergency room.
Skate tip #11 – Master one trick at a time
You do not need to hurry when learning to master a skateboarding trick. Practice makes perfect! Be a master at one trick before moving to another; if you fail at a new trick, practice the old one, then go back to the new trick. Aim to become better at it by practising the different phases to avoid building a mental block/fear.
Skate tip #12 – Accept failure
The chances of you nailing a trick at the first attempt are often about 10% mark. You should look at skating as you view life, you fall ten times, stand up and try again. One trick to improve yourself is to stop overthinking every skateboarding trick. Once you start thinking about falling, you significantly increase the chances of it happening.
Skate tip #13 – Focus on yourself and not others
Constantly watching others will eventually lead to fear of being overwhelmed. You may have a friend or know someone who is killing every trick and learning at “flash velocity”. It’s fine!
Yes, it should motivate you, but not to the point where you perform tricks you are not ready for – if things go wrong, you might end up making things worse. Learn each move at your own pace, not others; with the right practice, you would become perfect.
Skate tip #14 – Learn to skateboard in public
The fear of skateboarding in public is something mainly experienced by beginners. The feeling that everyone can tell you are a newbie.
The thing to remember is that even if they do make fun of you, it will only be for a short while because with enough practice, you’ll also become a master. You can begin practising in less crowded areas until when you are ready to face the public.
Skate tip #15 – Practice with a Friend
There are many skateboarders out there who are willing to teach/ help you through the process. Try to join a skateboarding group (these are some in London area) to get tips on tricks.
Joining groups like this will help motivate you and improve your performance. You will meet a lot of people with talent, passion, and zeal. If you don’t like big crowds, then try hooking up with a friend or two that are also into skateboarding. Practising with them will do a lot of good to you, even if you are all newbies – it really doesn’t matter.
Skate tip #16 – Videos help
There are so many skateboarding videos online now that the hard part will be separating what works from all the waffle. Watching YouTube videos will help prepare your mind for each phase of the trick you want to deliver.
While videos will not help prepare your muscles, it is an easy way for you to learn stance, feet position, balancing and how to get in the zone.
Final Thoughts on How to Overcome Fear of Skateboarding
One of the main things I have tried showing you in this article is that skateboarding welcomes falling and overcoming fear. And for you to succeed, you have to learn to overcome your fear of skateboarding and learn to fall, correctly.
Many people do not skateboard anymore because they tried to do tricks that ended up hurting them, tricks they weren’t ready for. Some skateboarders skipped the basics, while others fail due to being overconfident and do it without protective gear.
The key is learning to trust yourself and practice, practice, practice..
Asking what is a pro skateboarder is a question that is often asked as there are many skateboarders out there but only a few are actual pro skateboarders. Going pro in skateboarding is a smooth ride to making a living from the sport. To be referred to as a pro skateboarder is not something that comes easily.
Skateboarders usually need to work hard to be promoted to a pro rank.
Let us take a look at what pro means, particularly in skateboarding, who decides who a pro is and how to identify a pro skateboarder.
What is Pro in Skateboarding?
Becoming a pro skateboarder is when you cross the line from skateboarding for fun (an amateur) and to skateboarding for money (a professional). It means being able to earn a living from skateboarding. Pro skateboarders live off of skateboarding.
They travel around for competitions and have sponsors who invest in them and expect a return on investment in them. This way, they get money from competitions and sponsors. Pro skateboarders are paid to skateboard and receive monetary benefits from their sponsors.
A pro skateboarder is one that has made it past it being a hobby. They receive lots of free items like skateboards, shoes, helmet and other accessories from sponsors.
A skateboarder can be very good, join in competitions and still be called an amateur.
The number of years spent practising and visiting skateboard meetups is not also a factor in being recognised as a pro skateboarder. A skateboarder can spend a number of years in a team and still not be confirmed a pro, but a skateboarder on the same team can spend a fewer number of years and become a pro shortly after.
Being recognised as a pro skateboarder is a whole different ball game. It really doesn’t matter if a skateboarder is a member of a popular team, joins a team in competitions, has been in the game for long, skateboards beautifully – he/she may still not break into the rank of pro skaters.
A skateboarder cannot be called a pro in the game simply because people feel he is a good skater. So, how then do skateboarders become pro in skateboarding?
How Do You Know A Skateboarder Has Gone Pro?
The skateboard brand company will often decide who is pro or not. A company can decide to make the skateboarder a pro when they decide that the skateboarder is good enough, and his decks will sell. This is confirmed by giving the skateboarder a pro deck.
A pro deck is one that has the name of the skateboarder embedded in it. In other words, when a company sees that a skateboarder is good, they give him a pro deck. When such decks are sold, a certain portion of the money goes to the skateboarder.
How money from such sales is shared between the sponsor and the skateboarder is usually spelt out in the terms of the contract and can easily be measured.
Such a decision comes when the sponsor values the skateboarder and feels he deserves to be paid more and can generate income for him in return. Therefore, while the pro is making more money by being a pro, his sponsors are also benefiting from him.
It is important to note that pro in skateboarding has gone beyond just having a pro deck. Sponsors from other industries such as clothing, shoe companies and the likes print name of pro skateboarder that they sponsor on their brands.
A pro skateboarder does not have to be restricted to just having the one sponsor. A pro skateboarder can have contracts with different sponsors.
The good thing is you do not need to be on a team to be recognised as a pro skateboarder. Some prefer to skateboard alone while others prefer to be in a group.
Some Reasons Sponsors Make a Skateboarder a Pro
If a skateboarder has been with a company for a long time without being confirmed a pro, another company can offer to promote him to a pro rank as bait to lure him to their company.
Companies that want better skateboarder on their team, use such incentives to win the hearts of their favourite skateboarders.
When companies enter an agreement with a skateboarder, it is often agreed that, if the skateboarder spends a number of years with them, he will be made a pro.
If the company values the skateboarder to pay him more, then the company will make the skater a pro.
When a skateboarder is good with particular tricks in skateboarding and is consistent with making good videos, a sponsor can see the value in promoting the skateboarder to a pro rank.
Sponsors lookout for those that are good at doing great tricks and stand behind them.
A skateboarder’s good relationship with team members and fans can attract sponsors to make him a pro. Sponsors lookout for skateboarders that will promote them anywhere and be good ambassadors of the company.
In recent times, the social media presence a skateboarder has can attract sponsors to him. This shifts from just having a pro deck to other areas. One of the things sponsors look out for in a skateboarder is the fan base and online interaction.
A skateboarder that has successfully attracted millions of fans on social media is a big asset to sponsors. The reason is that social media has become a major hub of building brands. Once a skateboarder has engaged supporters on his social media handles, sponsors begin to scout for him.
Nowadays, a skateboarder does not have to wait for a sponsor to find him. He can write to companies that he wants to be their brand ambassador. If the company is ok with him, then they enter in an agreement and set the ball running.
How do Pros In Skateboarding Make Their Money?
The amount of money pro skateboarders earn is not fixed. It often depends on the agreement between the sponsor and the pro skateboarder.
There are various ways pro skateboarders can make money from being skateboarding. It is left to the skateboarder to explore the countless opportunities available. Most of the earnings here are quoted in US dollars as there are more examples to use.
Sponsorships: Pro skateboarders can earn a monthly salary. This is called a retainer fee. Companies sponsoring them pay them a monthly allowance. They also give them freebies, sponsor them to competitions, and cover all-expense-paid trips to events.
Deck Sponsor: The majority of pro skateboarders have pro decks. Companies pay them a huge ransom for this. Pro skateboarders can earn on average between 1000 – 3000 dollars per month.
Wheel Sponsors: These companies pay pro skateboarders about 2000 dollars and above.
Trucks: Truck sponsors pay less. Pro skateboarders earn about 250 dollars from these sponsors.
Shoe Sponsors: Shoe sponsors pay more as there’s a higher chance of their brands being seen. They pay so much that pro skateboarders can rely on their earnings from a shoe campaign and make a living from it.
Royalties: Pro skateboarders receive royalties when items that have their names on them are sold. The amount is based on an agreement between the company and the skateboarders. Some have pro shoes, pro board, pro wheel, etc. Sponsors can then print the name of the skateboarder on a product. When any those products then get sold, the pro skateboarder also gets paid.
Photo Incentives: When a pro skateboarder has a photo appears in a magazine and the sponsor’s logo is shown as well, the sponsor will also pay for it.
Contests: Pro skateboarders win cash prizes in competitions when they emerge a winner.
Ads: Pro skateboarders get paid when they advertise the company’s products and services or wear branded items in ad campaigns.
Evolution of Pro Skating
Pro skateboarding is not what it used to be years ago. Things have changed. The skateboarding evolution can be broken down into different eras.
Different eras witnessed different changes and below are the eras in more detail;
First Era (the 1960s)
This era was not about having a pro deck. Sponsors also made skateboarders go pro by giving them magazine coverage. Pro skateboarders were able to get a better payday check from a magazine publication.
In 1977, skateboard company owners began inscribing their names on their decks.
However, pro skateboarding took another turn with the emergence of skateboard magazines. This kicked off when a magazine photographer took a shot of Tom ‘Wally’ Inouye. It happened that Wally was skating close to where the photographer was shooting someone else for Tom Sims team. Upon noticing Wally while skateboarding, they asked him to put on Sims jersey and took a photo of him on a skateboard.
That photo started the pro journey. From then on, companies will ask skateboarders to put on their products, take pictures and pay them.
Later on, the pros did not stop at being in magazines. They also joined in skateboard production. Pro skateboarders advised producers on how to make good decks. This is because they understood what a good board should feel and look like. They became advisers in the industry.
Pro skateboarders were also requested to scout for young talents for sponsorship.
Second Era (the 1980s)
In this era, skateboarders got pro contracts by winning competitions. Pro skateboarders made their money winning in competitions. Pros that thrived were the ones that took part in competitions. This phase of the job description reinforced magazine coverage. Magazines covered pros that performed new tricks in competitions. Pro skateboarders that did participate in competitions soon lost relevance.
Companies paid skateboarders to win contests. Most skateboarding activities were competitions.
Winning competitions, skateboard sales, and making demos became the major source of income for pros.
Skateboarding was not very popular in this era, and there was not so much money in the industry. Pro skateboarders could not solely rely on deck sponsors. They did lots of demos, and competitions for sponsors to make more money.
The era also gave birth to video making for professional skateboarders.
In 1984, Stacy Peralta made the first skateboard video and the success of his video paved way for other pros to start making their own videos. This is how skateboard videos got popular and video making was added to a pros job description.
Some amateur skateboarders got signed as pros because of their performance in videos. Videos helped bump up the popularity of a skateboarder and increased their board sales.
Pro skills shifted from being a good contest skateboarder or a demo skateboarder to a video skateboarder. Whoever was able to tell a story and made impressive films became more dominant. Those that relied only on pro models found it difficult to survive in this era.
Those that did fantastic moves in live videos or tricks in progressive videos were the popular ones in this era. Some popular pro skateboarders in this era were Ed Templeton and Mike Valley.
Fourth Era (the 2000s)
Pros got sponsorships from brands who just wanted to be associated with the skateboarding lifestyle. Energy drinks, clothing, and other companies came onto the scene.
A pro skateboarder could get money by simply advertising for the brand in any form. Even if it was just showing the public that they consume the item. Some pros didn’t have board sponsors but had sponsors from other industries.
Sponsors then determined what a pro skateboarder could do for them. Some sponsors asked pros to wear their branded shirts, caps or hold up their drinks in public view whether in videos, photos or live events.
Fifth Era (the 2010s till date)
In this era, sponsorship comes from endorsement. Social media also plays a major part too. Pro skateboarders use their social media presence to promote brands. Sponsors look at a skateboarder’s social media presence before making him a pro. They do not look at their skateboarding ability but how strong his social media presence is.
These sponsors come from different industries and judge a skateboarder not by his skating skills, but by how popular the social media presence is.
With all that said, the core role of promoting the game itself is important and this is not something all sponsors understand. After all, it is the ability to skateboard that attracts huge fans on social media and beyond.
In the world of skateboarding, skater trainers are a relatively new trend and lots of beginner skateboarders constantly wonder if they truly work. There are also a lot of questions to be answered, with some people saying they work amazingly well, while others categorically say they don’t work and are just a marketing scheme.
The focal point for a beginner to skateboarding is how to ride without falling off and learning how to do tricks. Are tricks meant to be done when in motion or when stationary?
And whatever the options are chosen, are skater trainers a must-have and how do skater trainers work? The truth is skater trainers do work for beginners who are frightened of falling off a skateboard. Skater trainers will help them feel comfortable and can sometimes eliminate their fear of seeing their boards go off with a mind of their own. Trainers generally do not really help you learn tricks faster, if anything, they kind of slow your progress.
The trick to mastering skateboarding is to have absolute confidence and a desire to understand your skateboard and how you can be in sync with it. Trainers can work for some people and be a total waste of time for others.
The Moving vs Stationary Debate
The real question is not just a case of whether skater trainers work or not and if you should use them, it’s more important to consider whether the tricks you want to learn can be learnt while moving or when stationary. Studying both sides of the arguments closely will help you come to your own conclusions as to why some skaters trainers do work and why some argue that it’s just a money-making strategy.
You see, like every other exciting activity, skateboarding beginners are often too keen to advance too fast. There are processes to everything and step by step guide on how to progress in every sport. Skipping steps will not really benefit you, on the contrary, it will impede your progress in the long run. You must first understand how to be in sync with your skateboard before you can attempt to learn ‘basic‘ tricks.
Pros and Cons
As is with every debate, no sides are actually completely wrong, an idea just works better for certain people more than it works for others. In the same vein, learning tricks while moving on a skateboard works for some people, while learning from a stationary position works for others.
Of course, there is a difference between landing a trick while moving and achieving it while stationary.
Whatever method you choose to use, it will work for you as long as you have pegged down the basics of skateboard riding. When you practice a trick from a stationary position, you have a better feel for the trick and it’ll help your muscles remember how you did it.
A major reason skateboarders go with learning while stationary is that performing a trick while in motion is more difficult and kind of scary. Of course, they cannot be blamed, because lots of tricks are always scary the first time (I still find certain tricks difficult after multiple attempts), but it’s actually not as bad you many would think.
It is actually okay to fall down once in a while.
Also, while we’re here, you should know that falling while doing a trick stationary causes more damage than doing it while moving. You’re more likely to hurt your shoulders and ankle because you are in less control of the situation. The impact is also a bit more on the joints in your body.
If you fall off your skateboard while moving, however, it’s easier to roll when you fall because you have already gained momentum.
Reasons to Buy Skater Trainers
The number one reason why people use skater trainers is probably more psychological than physical, in that it helps them feel more confident on a skateboard. Getting on a skateboard for the first time is a bit daunting for most beginners and having skater trainers that remain fixed on the boards will turn the fear down a notch.
Skater trainers are also designed to stop your skateboard from sliding out from underneath you. Once you have them in place, you can work through the motions without being worried about falling and hurting yourself. My advice is if you choose to get a pair of skater trainers, ensure you only use them to get a hang of your board.
Do not use them to learn tricks, that’s not such a good idea.
However, if you truly believe skater trainers will accelerate your learning curve then you should totally go for it. You should know though, that there are cheaper options if your reason for getting trainers is your fear of your board slipping from beneath your feet while practising your balance. You can train on a patch of grass or carpet, something that will cushion your landing if you do fall down.
Reasons to Not Buy Skater Trainers
In my opinion, skater trainers are a waste of money. You can buy yourself a set of Spitfire or Bones wheels for the same amount you would get trainers. They are more fun and the truth is that I think with better wheels, you will progress faster.
If your wanting to get skater trainers is because of your inability to control your wheels, then you could just tighten the nuts on your wheels so they stop spinning. Locking your wheels on a piece of carpet, or rubber mat does the same thing. You can also tape a drying towel and on some socks on your wheels.
Anyhow, the choice is yours to make. If you really want skater trainers, then go get one. Or you could choose to use any one of the other tips I mentioned.
Skater trainers have their perks. While they’re great to some extent, you should never use them to learn tricks. I can suggest that beginners get them but not rely on them. Especially if you are scared of stepping on a skateboard for the first time. They can help you get accustomed to using your board and will stop your board from moving when you don’t expect it to. You can totally use trainers for that.
However, the minute you have gotten comfortable with the board and you have mastered your fears, get rid of the trainers. Skater trainers are okay to use until you get comfortable riding your board. They won’t help you in the long run.
On that note, instead of getting a pair of skater trainers, you can consider buying better skateboard parts that will help you a lot more in the long term. What is more important is that you get as comfortable as possible riding a skateboard. Whatever what you go about doing it, does not matter, what matters is that you are actually doing it.
Skateboarding has evolved over the years. Once upon a time, a skateboard was just a wooden board, a set of wheels, and a pair of trucks. Some people will call anything that resembles it a skateboard when it fact there are some differences. On the one hand, longboards are larger, they do not have kick tails, and they are oftentimes confused for cruisers. While skateboards, on the other hand, are totally different from cruisers and longboards.
The three boards have significant differences. Cruisers are used for short commutes and they are portable, skateboards are for landing technical tricks, and longboards are riding long distances. Even though their parts may look similar, they were designed for completely different purposes.
Skateboards are stiffer than more flexible longboards
Longboards usually have invited trucks
Length: longboards 36″ and above, skateboards 30″-32″, and cruisers between 25″ and 30″
Wheel size: longboards are 60mm and above, cruisers are between 55mm and 65mm, skateboards are between 50mm and 60mm
Longboards and cruisers have softer wheels
Cruisers: short distances, longboards: long distances and downhill, skateboards: technical tricks
Cruisers, skateboards, and longboards all have different shapes
Longboards and cruisers have more momentum than skateboards
Longboards and cruisers can ride rough surfaces
This article is not to convince you to pick any one of these three but to present you with their attributes to enable you to make a choice for yourself. Before you decide, make sure you know exactly what you want when choosing a board. Take into account your need, where you live, the nature of your road, do you want speed or tricks, etc. When you have answered these questions, you can then proceed to make your decision.
Regular skateboards (like this double trick skateboard) are mainly built to perform technical tricks. The length varies from 30″ to 32″ and their width from 7″ to 9″. Street skaters usually prefer narrow decks while vert and bowl skaters prefer wider decks. The shape is quite different from cruisers and longboards. A skateboard has a nose and kick tails which are used for flipping and jumping the decks.
Classic skateboards are designed for popping ollies, doing flips, grinding ledges, and sliding boards over rails. This is where the main difference between skateboards and both longboards and cruisers lie.
Unlike longboards and cruisers, skateboards are not meant for transportation. Even though they were not made for that, they could actually be used for it if you have the right wheels. But unlike cruisers and longboards, it requires a lot more effort.
Among the three board options mentioned here, longboards (like this special edition one) are the tallest and they have different sizes. They also have different purposes and come in shapes that compliment that purpose. Longboards are built to ride long distances and also do some extreme stuff like downhilling (racing downhill). Longboards are the fastest among all three and they are perfect for carving.
Longboards can easily handle rocky and rough roads unlike the classic skateboard and they offer the smoothest ride. They are heavier which makes them difficult or inconvenient to carry around.
Compared to cruisers and skateboards, longboards have slower acceleration and because of their size, they are not as responsive but they allow for greater speed.
Longboards have different types of trucks as compared to cruisers and skateboards. Their trucks are wider because the boards are wider. Their trucks also have more height, this is to prevent the board from coming into contact with the wheels.
Similar to cruisers, they have big soft wheels which usually starts at 70mm. Bigger wheels most times means more comfortable rides which make longboards great for riding on rough terrains.
Longboards are made for different purposes and their shapes reflect that. On longboards, drop decks are usually lower in the middle than they are at the ends of the board. This helps the rider stay balanced throughout the ride. Longboarding beginners are always advised to use drop decks.
Longboards are more expensive than skateboards and cruisers but they last longer because they are not used for doing more technical stuff. If you have to choose a longboard, make sure to choose the right type. There are boards designed for carving, long-distance riding, and riding downhill so identify which type you want before getting it.
Cruiserboards (like this Retro one) are made primarily for commuting. They are easy to just ride around and also convenient to carry from place to place. Generally, cruisers have flat surfaces but there are some cruisers that have some concave and elevated tail. This makes it possible to hop on and off curbs and also to correct the board quickly.
You can find cruisers in different shapes and sizes. They are lighter than longboards and taller than regular skateboards. They provide comfort and balance and they support quick acceleration.
Unlike longboards, cruisers aren’t meant for downhilling and are not very suitable for carving. Their wheels are also smaller than that of a longboard’s but bigger than that of regular skateboards. The wheel size is between 55mm to 65mm. They usually also have softer wheels to ride on rough terrains or roads.
Cruisers do not have a universal shape. This makes it a bit difficult to recognise a cruiser when it is seen. They are not designed to land technical tricks like the ollie or curb grinding. You will find that some cruisers have wheel wells to fight wheel bite and some of them have extended riser pads to handle this same problem.
Like I said before, they come in different shapes and the one you choose depends on your preference. Their length is between 25″ and 37″. If you are a beginner and you want to go for a cruiser board, make sure you get something that helps maintain your balance.
Shape – Key Differences
Regular skateboards have the shape of a popsicle and they have an angled tail and nose to pop the deck. They have concaves which enable them to do technical tricks. There are some cruisers that have a little bit of concave but they are mostly more mellow when compared to skateboards. Some cruisers also have a tail which helps the rider jump up and down curbs while some are flat.
Longboards do not feature a tail or nose with an angle. Sometimes you’ll find a few that have a bit of concave where some are flat completely. They are longer than the other boards which makes them much more stable.
Trucks – Key Differences
The trucks all have certain similarities: they all have bushings, hangars, baseplates, and kingpins. The difference lies in their construction. Longboards have reversed trucks. This means that they are inverted, i.e. the trucks are put together the other way around which allows for more maneuverability.
Longboards trucks are usually wider than the rest to match the width of its board which is usually between 150mm and 180mm axles. Their bushings are also much softer than that of regular skateboards which make carving and turning easier. Downhill longboards are quite different. They need stiffer bushings to prevent the board from becoming unstable when going at high speeds.
Longboards also have reversed or inverted kingpins sometimes. This allows for more stability and they are quite slower than cruiser/skateboard trucks. The downside is they do not allow for technical tricks.
Size – Key Differences
Cruisers go from 25″ to 37″ in length. Skateboards are usually a bit bigger and wider than cruisers. They are between 30″ and 32″ in length and the width ranges between 7″ and 9″. Longboards, on the other hand, are way bigger. Some longboards are as long as surfboards and they are between 33″ and 59″ in length and the width varies between 9″ to 10″.
Responsiveness and Flexibility
Longboards do not feel the same as cruisers and skateboards do. They are usually very flexible which makes it easy to carve and make bigger turns without becoming unstable. It’s easy to ride over cracks and small bumps without feeling it but that is not the same for skateboards.
Skateboards are more responsive but are infinitely stiffer and have less momentum than longboards. Riding into cracks and bumps can throw you off your board and cause an injury. If you go cruising on your skateboard, it gets really uncomfortable after a short while. You’ll feel discomfort in your feet and you will sweat a lot.
Which One Should You Go With?
If you want to do technical stuff, you should pick a regular skateboard. It is harder to learn to ride a skateboard but if you can get the hang of it, you can ride everything(cruisers and longboards inclusive).
If your goal is to visit skateparks, jump off and on a few curbs, do an ollie or get a kickflip down, then you don’t have to think so much. The skateboard is what you need. It will not be the easiest journey, but learning how to ride the skateboard will be a reward in itself.
Longboards are good for travelling long distances. They can take for miles without much effort on your part. So if you need to ride long distances, a longboard will work for you. It is not recommended you use them for cities or crowded places because it gets really hard to reduce your speed once it’s on the move.
Cruisers are meant to take you from point A to B when the distance is not long. Cruisers are very portable and they are great for community short distances. If you need to ride the bus, you will find it easy to hold on to it and because it doesn’t take up much space, you can just put it in your backpack. If you’re on campus and you’re looking for an easy, more convenient way to commute, go for the cruiser. Their maneuverability and size make it easy to avoid people, cars and any type of obstacles.
If you stay in an area where there lots of bumps, inclines and hills, you have to go easy with your speed because cruisers become unstable when going too quickly.
Should You Choose One Over the Other?
I cannot categorically say that one board is better than the other because they all have different functions and uses. They are all designed for specific purposes so you can’t really make a comparison.
Longboards are great for travelling long distances and allow for great speed with so much effort from the rider. Some longboards are built for steep hills and extreme speeds while some are great for long relaxing rides.
Cruisers are in between a longboard and a classic skateboard. With some cruisers, you can do a couple of tricks while still giving you a comfortable ride even on rough surfaces. They are easy to carry around and great for commuting short distances.
Longboards, skateboards, and cruisers are all great to ride. They’re fun in their own way and provide a great activity for riders. Though their materials and construction vary, they are all made of similar components. Their riding techniques are also the same except for the longboard where the feet is positioned differently because of the board’s shape.
Final Thoughts on Skateboard vs Longboard vs Cruiser
If you are a beginner and you wish to get one of these boards, I would recommend you don’t purchase them off the internet especially as it is your first time. It helps to see all the different boards as they are in real life than in a picture. You also get to feel the texture of the board and test it before making a choice.
Visit any shop around you that sells them and tell them your budget. Most of the guys who work there know their stuff and in a great place to give you advice.
If you decide to get one online, test it out on your carpet first so that in case you have to return it, the board will remain clean. And also make sure your shoes are clean.
Also, get yourself a helmet and knee pads while you’re at it. Learning to ride most times will involve falling and it is best you are well protected.
So, you’ve just got a new board, your very first skateboard no less and now you’re wondering about grip tape for skateboards. Well first, I should tell you, welcome to the world of skateboarding. Now, did your board come pre-gripped or not, maybe you just don’t know, or you aren’t quite sure. So let me put it in words that you might find a lot simpler, “can you stay on your skateboard?”
If you can easily stay on your new skateboard, then it’s most likely pre-gripped, if not, then you’re at a loss. Okay, it’s not really a loss, you are just missing a part, a really important part. What you are missing is the grip tape, and without it, staying on your board won’t be easy.
You see, for a skateboard, one of the most important and essential parts is the grip tape, and here’s why.
I know most of us are already aware of how important using it is to use grip tape for skateboards. The normal thing most people do is to just get one at the point of getting your new skateboard. However, for the few who are not aware, let me explain to you, why you need grip tape for your skateboard and how much grip tape for skateboards would typically cost.
First of all, let’s look at what you need grip tape for and what the ideal size to buy is. It is important to at least know what they look like, right? Skateboard grip tapes are grainy or sandpaper-like sheets with an underside that is extremely sticky, in which you adhere the sticky underside to the deck surface of your skateboard.
Using Grip Tape for Skateboards?
The main function of skateboard grip tape is to provide the traction or grip necessary for you to keep your foot on the board when riding, especially if you are keen to learn or do tricks. Hence, regardless of what style of skateboards you are ride, it is essential you adhere a grip tape to your board, well, if you want to stay on.
Also, apart from providing traction, grip tapes provide the extra bonus of brightening your skateboard and showcasing your personal style. This is because, while most grip tapes come in plain black colour, there are a lot of them which come clear or with different designs of your choice.
You can also get a die-cut grip tape, which will display the colour and design of your skateboard deck underneath it. In all, getting a grip tape is the final step of the completion process to get your board street-ready.
Now, when it comes to buying grip tape, it is mostly a straight forward process. However, there are some minor details that often affect the price of it. For one, the price of a grip tape differs due to the size of it, as well as the company producing it and the design. The most important part, however, is the grip tape size.
When it comes to grip tape size, the first thing to know is that the standard grip tape size is 9” x 33”, which is standard for most skateboards. But if you’re using an old school skateboard, you might need to check out your board’s dimensions and get a larger size, maybe a longboard size which is usually sold at 12” x 4”.
Now, a standard grip tape on Amazon can range from between £5 and £15. However, there are also some cheaper brands which can be found for less than that. Also, there’s some high-quality grip tape that comes in bundles, which you can use for as many as 20 boards, these come in rolls like this Jessup Skateboard Griptape Roll.
So there’s basically a price range for everyone’s pocket, you just have to know what you want, in terms of size, colour and if you want something that expresses your personality. Before looking at any more grip tape, let’s help the beginners to skateboarding understand how to apply grip tape to your new skateboard.
How to Apply Grip Tape
So here’s how to apply grip tape to your skateboard.
The first thing you do is to peel the bottom sheet off the grip tape, right before you carefully place the grip tape, with the sticky underside facing down on the surface deck of your skateboard. After you’ve done that, you should get either a box cutter, a pair of sharp scissors or razor blades to cut the grip tape into the perfect fit for your skateboard.
Also, for the best results, that is, near-perfect grip or traction, you should try adhering the grip tape up to the edges of your skateboard surface deck.
How to Remove Grip Tape
Grip Tape Reviews
So the next bit to talk about, which is the reviews, is for again, the beginners. For every seasoned skateboarder, we know that although there are a lot of brands for grip tape, there are three brands which have stood out over the years. Those three are Jessup, Grizzly and Mob, and they are top tier brands when it comes to grip tape.
Now, when it comes to grip tape in general, there isn’t much fuss, so you don’t need to overthink anything, all you need is to get a good grip tape. And a good grip tape is one that is very reliable and is most likely to outlast the board itself. Over the years, these three brands have shown that they are exactly what we need, as they are all reliable and perfectly fine.
However, they are obviously not all built the same, so let’s focus on three different areas – application, durability and pricing.
Application: When we talk about the application, we are really considering the quality of the grip tape adhesive and if it messes up the otherwise easy process of applying the grip tape. Now, in this area, all three are just peachy perfect. When it comes to the grip tape adhesive, it is always of top quality and it definitely makes applying it to your board as easy as can be.
Durability: Here, our main focus is the durability of the grip, that is, how reliable the grip is and for how long it can last. In this area, once again, all three brands are top-notch and lack any real difference you can fault. The durability is solid and long-lasting, so if this is a deciding factor for you like it is for me, you can have your pick from any.
Pricing: Now, as all things that have to do with the demand and supply of a product, there’s always a difference when it comes to the prices of said product. This, as you’d expect, applies here and it is basically the major difference between the three top grip tape brands. In light of this, the price range between all three isn’t significantly far apart, while Mob and Grizzly are in average price ranges, Jessup is a bit more affordable. Hence, Jessup grip tape has the edge here, I guess.
In summary, now you should know what size grip tapes for skateboards should work for you, what type of colour design you get to bring out your personality and the basic features of the grip tapes available. So, if you are a beginner to the world of skateboarding, I truly hope this article helps – so you don’t find grip tapes as daunting as some might make it out to be.
Also, if you are a bit undecided on which grip tape to buy, just know that you don’t need to stress or overthink it, just go for one of the suggestions on this page or a grip tape that best meets your needs.
Again, just focus on what’s important when you’re new to skateboarding. Getting good grip tape will help make sure you stay on your board and have your skateboard street-ready.
It is normal to feel a bit confused when trying to pick out your first skateboard for beginner adults. There is a lot to consider when faced with the different sizes, trucks, wheels, and even weight range that a skateboard can have.
As a beginner, you shouldn’t just opt for something that looks good but looks for a skateboard that is stable, rolls smoothly and requires next to no maintenance.
You don’t need to get an expensive truck if you cannot afford it, choosing a basic truck and bushings will work just as well. Wheels and boards – a typical deck of 8”- 9” inches, is suitable when choosing a skateboard for beginner adults. Wheels also do not need to be too soft as a hard landing will be the least of your worries when learning to skateboard.
To recap, the basics you need to focus on when deciding on your first skateboard are;
Be smart and don’t spend too much on the first skateboard
Choose basic accessories to go with it – grip tape, trucks and bushings
Don’t worry about how hard or soft the wheels are, what you should focus on is your first attempt.
Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the 20 tips to choosing a suitable skateboard for beginner adults that would serve you well and last you a long time.
Skateboard Tip #1: Skateboard Balance
If there’s one thing you need to get right when it comes to skateboarding, it is balance. Many skateboarders have their personal preference when it comes to the width of their board and they can even tell the difference if they were to use a new board with a different width.
A skateboard with an 8.5-inch width is suitable for a beginner, and then with time, you could switch to a narrower deck (8” inches). Usually, you will find it hard to perform flips and pops with a wider board; in the end, you must be sure that the size of your trucks and deck tally.
It’s all about finding your balance.
I can feel the difference between a somewhat wider skateboard deck and a narrower one like 8 Inch. I just feel more confident, but one can argue that this is a personal preference. And when you begin, start with the basics rather than jumping into ollies, it will go a long way to help and prevent fear – see the previous post on how to overcome your fear of skateboarding.
Skateboard Tip #2: Pick the Right Width
This is important, and as stated earlier, picking a wider board has its downside, though you will need it to learn stability as a novice. If you must use a narrower board to learn skateboarding, then go for something in between like 8.25” inches deck. With this, you may not start performing kickflips immediately, but what’s the rush if it prevents you from injuries.
If you are happy to risk it, you can start with an 8” board. It is worth bearing in mind that you there’s a chance you will initially find it unstable, but with enough practice, everything will get easier.
Skateboard Tip #3: Start with a mellow or medium concave
If you don’t know a concave shape is, it is the curved shape along the y-axis of the deck. Great tricks are aided by the concave – they make your deck flip faster, but they can be less stable.
As a beginner skateboarder, it is best you begin with a medium (mellow) shape concave.
Never go for a steep concave until you have mastered 89% of skateboarding (this type of hollow is very responsive but less stable).
The concave is the curved shape across a decks y-axis. More concave makes your deck flip faster but makes your ride less stable. Go with a medium shaped concave, also called mellow concave.
Skateboard Tip #4: Pick the Right Wheels
As a beginner, start with medium-hard wheels instead of softer ones. Such wheels will let you ride smoothly. Thus, you get to practice and perfect pushing and skate switching. For street-skating, go for wheels with a durometer of 96a and 99a; if you prefer to cruise, then 78a and 87a is a good fit.
As you progress, you can then switch to using harder wheels when you feel you have the control. The sizes also matter, as both bigger and smaller wheels will give you a high velocity, but tricks will be limited, unlike small but hard wheels that are suitable for technical ricks.
Skateboard Tip #5: a little about trucks
The only thing that matters about trucks is the width; the wheels should stick out- that should be your cue when picking out one. The width of your truck ought to match your board. Using a medium or low truck would help you balance properly, unlike using a high truck, which are suitable for steering but not great skateboard choice beginners.
Just stick with lower trucks and as you progress, the tricks and flips will become easier.
To avoid wheel bite, make sure your wheels are not too big to the extent that they are touching the deck. The chart below will throw more light on this.
Axle Width (inches)
Deck Width (inches)
8.75 – 9.75
8.25 – 8.75
7.75 – 8.25
8.25 – 8.4
7.9 – 8.2
Skateboard Tip #6: SkateboardDeck Length is not a big deal
The length of the deck you pick doesn’t matter. Go for the regular size, and everything should be fine. The smaller sizes are for kids unless you want to do a full split.
If you need anything longer, then you should go for a longboard; in fact, if you are not tall, the length should be the least of your worries.
Skateboard Tip #7: Know your Bearings
If you are going to spend money on your bearings then you should stay away from the cheap Chinese knockoffs on the internet. Go for the Bones Reds bearings – a decent bearing system that lasts a lot longer if you are able to avoid water, mud, and dirt.
You should also consider adding spacers between your bearing; they are hollow and pipe-shaped, yet small in size. Their duty is to prevent damage to your bearings as you fix the nut to the truck axle.
When setting up your skateboard, place a bearing on the wheel, then add the spacer before placing the other bearing. Spacers are cheap, although they have no negative impact on your skate performance, but you should try to get them.
If high steering power is important to you, then softer bushings are recommended. If your aim is to keep the trucks tighter, then harder bushings are what you want.
If you find that your bushings feel too loose, then try tightening the nuts on your truck axle.
Skateboard Tip #9: Is Cruising Your Thing?
You might want to start cruising when you ride; it will help you learn to balance before going into tricks. If you are looking to learn tricks first, then it will only waste your time and scare you in the event of any mishap happening.
Learning the basics will teach you to balance, and if cruising grants you that, you should go for it. To learn how to properly cruise, get a board of 8.5” to 8.25” inches with soft medium wheels of about 96A and a sixty millimetres wheels; these specs will you skateboard without issue.
Anything above that wheel size will need higher trucks or riser pads. If you want to stick to just cruising then go for softer wheels, they will do the job fine.
Skateboard Tip #10: What Riser Pads to Choose
Riser pads help provide additional dampening when riding in the street – think of them as like a car suspension. Riser pads are cheap and are usually placed between the deck and the truck’s baseplate.
If you have large wheels, riser pads will help prevent wheel bite. Riser pads also help reduce the pressure cracks caused by the impact of the truck’s baseplate.
Skate tip #11: Get some Grip Tape
Even with just the standard grip tape, you will be just fine. It is like a sandpaper material atop your deck; it prevents you from slipping off your board. There are a lot of cool prints nowadays, so have fun shopping, but never go cheap knockoffs- they would last long.
Skateboard Tip #12: Picking the Right Brand
Every skateboard brand is just as good as they are bad, but as long as you pick a pro skateboard board, you will do just fine. Be sure that the deck is made of maple wood with at least 7-ply layers. It is worth noting that many brands get their decks from the same manufacturers and just rebrand them.
Skateboarders are often quick to judge boards when sometimes they are simply the ones that are at fault, and this is because they skipped the basics and lack adequate control over their board.
Skateboard Tip #13: Protective Gear is a Must
It goes without saying that you can still get injured while wearing protective gear, but what is 100% impact compared to 40%. Most skateboarders tend to develop the habit of skipping protective gear just as they skip the basics; this is dangerous.
Some say they hardly fall; please don’t take such chances, protect yourself.
Skateboard Tip #14; Blank Deck or Graphic Deck?
Blank decks are cheaper than decks with graphics on them. As a skateboarder, however, it is pretty much an obligation to buy graphics to support the industry in developing more genius technology.
Those funds also go towards funding contests and inviting pro skateboarders to invitationals.
So unless you are specifically into plain blank patterns or not able to afford graphics, then just go with the graphic deck option.
Skateboard Tip #15: Spend less on your First Skateboard
As this is your first skateboard, you don’t need all the expensive equipment and skateboard accessories like ceramic bearings, hollow trucks, top-notch wheels, and expensive decks.
A complete skateboard setup can easily get expensive, so wait until you become a better skateboarder – then you can begin changing parts as you go along.
Skateboard Tip #16: You do not Need a Penny board
It will benefit you a whole lot more if you avoid the plastic Penny boards, especially if you are looking to get one to practice with. These boards are not great for performing tricks; they are manufactured to be too small and just too narrow!
What you’ll end up with is a frustrating trail of woe throughout your use. So unless you plan on riding one for work reasons, it should be your last choice for skateboarding.
A Penny board is more suitable for beginner kids rather than beginner adults.
Skateboard Tip #17: Your shoe size doesn’t matter
Don’t let anyone fool you; shoe size does not matter. It is all down to personal preference, a skateboarder with large feet can use a small board if he feels comfortable with it and vice versa.
As long as you can maintain your centre of gravity, you would have no problem riding a board of your choice (do this by assuming a crouch position).
Only tall skateboarders should worry about how wide or long their skateboard deck is.
Skateboard Tip #18: Getting a Complete Setup
If deciding on what setup will work best for you will stress you out or you really don’t know how to go about it, then you can get a complete skateboard setup. And if you want to enjoy the experience of setting it up yourself, youtube videos can also help if you don’t know what to do.
One bonus to buying a complete skateboard is that you can identify what parts you would like to change in the future while having the opportunity to test them first.
Skateboard Tip #19: Buying your Skateboard
Avoid getting your board and skate equipment from superstores like Tesco, ASDA (in the UK) or Walmart, Target (in the US). You may see a cool-looking skateboard in one of these stores but chances are they are made with inferior materials, low-quality wood, fake plastic, and all. They can snap upon one ollie, both proper and improper landing.
It is best you avoid such skateboards; it will only discourage your skateboarding spirit, create fear, or help you waste money (if you go ahead to buy).
Skateboard Tip #20: Don’t be Timid when learning
When you finally get all you need, there is no need to feel timid about taking your first ride, you might be cautious but don’t be too scared, it will only develop fear in you.
You can begin skating in an area with lesser crowds or in skate parks (do this early in the morning as they are usually empty at this time) and gradually proceed to busy areas when you gain more confidence.
Skateboarders won’t tease you; rather, they will gladly help, so there is really nothing to worry about in general.
These tips will guide you through the early journey of your skateboarding life, try not to wear skinny jeans as you need the freedom to skate most especially perform tricks. Look to get yourself some decent skateboard shoes with socks because your feet will definitely get sweaty and soggy.
Don’t forget to wear your protective gear.
Lastly, you can skate with a friend or two, it will help you catch up/ learn faster, and if you can afford it, you attend skateboarding classes if you like. If you can’t, see more of our post and watch videos online. Have a fun-skating day!
Skateboarding is very famous among teenagers, kids, and adults as well. It is one of the most popular recreational sport out there and a lot of persons are really digging it. A lot of children are into skateboarding and a lot more are interested in learning. But it is important to know that for your kid, there are precautions you must take to make sure they are safe when they go out to ride.
So is skateboarding safe for kids? It is important to remember that skateboarding can lead to accidents and injuries if some measures are not taken to prevent them, and as a parent, that is more or less your duty. And considering the many benefits your kid can get from skateboarding, I think it is a worthy sport to get your kid involved in.
So if your kid is interested in learning how to skateboard and you are concerned, stick with me for the rest of the article to find out if you should let them and how to keep them safe if they do go out there.
What Age Is Safe For Kids To Start Skateboarding?
Generally, the answer to this question is dependent on you and your kid. When kids are interested in something, they are interested in learning how to do it. So if your kid wants to skateboard even at 2 years of age, they will definitely get the hang of it howbeit slowly.
Know that if your kid shows interest in skateboarding and they haven’t tried skating yet, then it is on you. Chances are that you’re not sure of letting then get on board. Just have it in mind that with skateboarding, it is ‘the earlier the better‘. The earlier your kid starts learning and practising, the better they’ll get at it as they grow up.
Proper Safety Gear
Before your kids go out to skate, it is important you inspect their board and their gears to make sure they are safe and intact. Remember, your kid is just a kid, and may not be as thorough as you the parent or guardian, so it’s important ‘you’ do the inspecting.
Make sure to check that their wheels are in place, the bearings are the way it should be and their deck is perfectly safe. When this is done, make sure they are wearing all the recommended safety gear to ensure their safety out in the skateboard park.
There are a number of items your kid will need to skateboard safely, which must be provided and worn before riding.
A good helmet is the most important of all safety. With the severity of issues, one can sustain from head injuries, it shows how important your kid needs a helmet. So get them a helmet that fits perfectly, designed specifically for skateboarding. Never let your child go skateboarding without wearing a helmet.
Wrist guards protect the wrist from sprains, scratches, and bruises during a fall. So, you get the gist. In some cases, you can get a package which includes a helmet and other accessories.
Elbow pads and knee pads also protect your kid during falls to prevent serious injuries that may land them in an emergency room.
You can also choose to provide them with some safety googles to shield and protect their eyes.
Safe Places To Ride a Skateboard for Kids.
Skateboarding is a lot of fun and some of its beauty is in the daredevil acts some skateboarders give. While that is all fun, it is not for your kid. There are places you should never allow your kid to ride their boards because of the danger it presents to your kid.
Make sure you inspect whatever ground you want your kid to ride on. Be certain they are void of cracks, tree branches and leaves. Those are hazardous to riders and worse still for children skateboarders.
Have these in mind when deciding where your kid should ride.
The street is a danger zone for kids to skateboard in. So make sure they never ride in the street until you’re very sure of their competence on the skateboard.
Skateboarding in bad weather conditions can cause all kinds of accidents and be especially dangerous for kids. Riding in the rain, snow or icy ground is a bad idea. So whenever the weather is bad, keep your kid indoors.
Skate parks are often the safest places for kids to ride their skateboard. But when you take them there, make sure to obey all the rules and keep a watchful eye out before entering busy areas.
Only let them skateboard in places where there isn’t much crowd so they can have enough space to ride without colliding with other riders.
Keep your kid away from all traffic.
Like adults, kids will fall while learning how to skateboard. It is a part of the process. So the best way to avoid injuries is to teach the best ways to fall without hurting themselves.
Here are some ideas on how to teach them how to be safe while riding.
Let them practice falling on soft surfaces.
teach them to land on the fleshy areas of their body instead of on their joints
Teach them the basic tricks before progressing to the more technical stuff.
Benefits Of Skateboarding For Kids.
Skateboarding provides a lot of benefits for your kid. Aside from the great sport that skateboarding is, it provides a load of advantageous and numerous health benefits for everyone who engages in it.
So here are some benefits your kid gets from skateboarding.
Teaches Patience, Practice and Consequence.
Kids are known to have pretty short attention spans except they are truly interested in whatever they are engaged in. If your kid loves skateboarding, it is a great way to teach them the lessons of patience, practice and consequence.
Skateboarding borders on taking calculated risks and doing so in a controlled environment. Your kid gets to learn how fast things can go bad if they don’t learn how to control their skateboards and navigate it properly. And this, they can only achieve with dedicated and constant practice.
They Make New Friends.
The skateboarding community is a pretty welcoming place where everyone is united because of their love for the sport. It is easy for your kid to expand their social circle and bond with other kids over something they all love.
Gives Them Room to Workout.
Skateboarding is a great way to keep fit. It requires the engagement of one’s entire body; excluding the legs and feet. Your kid employs a lot of physical movement when learning to skateboard especially when learning the more technical stuff – like the tricks they can pull off.
A Great Way to Relieve Stress.
Believe it or not, children go though stress too. It might not be at the same magnitude as adults, but they get worked up too. And skateboarding is a great way to relax and let loose. It helps them get their minds off things since you need a level of concentration and focus to learn skateboarding.
It Teaches Them Perseverance And Physical Endurance.
In skateboarding, a vital lesson that is taught is how to get back up when you’re knocked off your feet. This is a great and important lesson to teach your kids and skateboarding is a great way to do so. It teaches your kid how to dust off and try again no matter how many times they are knocked to the ground.
It Is Fun
How can you describe skateboarding without mentioning how much fun it is? Kids are suckers for fun and skateboarding is just another healthy way to let them have it.
So there you have it. Teaching your kids how to skateboard isn’t the worst thing on earth. In fact, far from it. It might be one of the best things you let your kids do.
Skateboarding has a lot to offer your kid and if you do things right, they can learn the sport without getting hurt.
Skateboarding is a great off-snow board sport and a lot of the skills you learn in skateboarding will help in your snowboarding as well, particularly in the freestyle area.
So if you’re wondering, does skateboarding help you snowboard? The answer is yes! Roughly about half of the pro snowboarders were at some point skateboarders as well. From what studies have revealed, it’s quite common for a lot of snowboarders to be skateboarders as well.
Skateboarding helps you to learn snowboarding fast, you might not even need to join a class. Learning to ride a snowboard is a bit more difficult, but learning the tricks will be a lot easier.
Snowboarding is a very active sport and getting to grips with the technique can often take some time. As an avid snowboarder, you might find that you’ve already got the technique nailed, but when you need to take some time off during the warmer weather, coming back to the slopes in winter, you may feel a little rusty.
Skateboarding and snowboarding have a few things in common, the biggest difference is that your feet are strapped to a snowboard and you’re taking it up against snow instead of concrete.
Carving, doing tricks and riding work a bit different though.
So many people use skateboarding to help them transition to snowboarding or practice on it when they can’t snowboard. So, does skateboarding help snowboarding?
Keep reading and find out.
Skateboarding Versus Snowboarding; Comparisons
There are so many similarities between skateboards and snowboards that people use them for cross-training in the summer. As you skateboard down the street or your nearest hill, you’ll feel like you are right there on the slopes and you can practice your technique.
Many of the tricks from skateboarding transferred over to snowboarding. Once you get used to a snowboard it much easier to learn these tricks if you know how to skateboard. The only other thing that comes to mind is that you stand sideways on both a skateboard and a longboard.
Here are some comparisons between both;
Stance and Balance
One of the things that make skateboarding and snowboarding so closely related is the stance – which many often refer to as ‘surf stance’. It is basically, standing sideways on your board when facing travel direction.
Both have goofy (right foot in front) and regular stance (left foot in front). There is this also something called board feel. If you know how to ride a skateboard, a snowboard takes less time to get used to. The steering has some similarities, mainly how you distribute your weight on your back and front. Making a turn is different though. Both sports require bending the knees a little to maintain balance.
Even though a snowboard is typically longer than a longboard, your stance on both types is similar in width, about shoulder width. Your feet are closer to the tips on a longboard than on a snowboard.
Where things may differ is that you may not have as much of a ‘duck stance’ on a skateboard than on a snowboard. Your feet are generally more parallel on a skateboard.
Another key difference is that on a snowboard, your feet are strapped through the bindings, whereas they are free moving on a longboard. As a result, balancing is a bit different, since you can lean forward or backwards a lot on a snowboard without losing your board, something you can’t do on a skateboard.
Your natural balance is similar when riding a skateboard or a snowboard. However, when riding a skateboard you have the 4 wheels rolling on the ground, whereas on a snowboard you ride mostly on the edge of the board – you typically don’t ride on the flat except in more advanced scenarios. Edge riding is a key difference with skateboarding.
The body motion for carving, on the other hand, is very similar on a skateboard and a snowboard – e.g. using your head, shoulders, and upper body to initiate turns. On both, you shift your body weight to lean onto an edge for turning. On a skateboard, leaning makes your wheels turn, whereas, on a snowboard, it makes your board edge into the turn.
Stopping on a skateboard is often done through foot braking or bailing and outrunning, which you can’t do on a snowboard since your feet are strapped to the board. Stopping on a snowboard, however, is very similar to power sliding on a skateboard, making your board skid across the slope by shifting your weight off and pushing out.
Sliding on a longboard also bears a huge resemblance to making beginner turns on a snowboard which typically involves constant sliding on the ski run.
Turning and Curving
On a skateboard, you just lean in the direction you want to go while applying a bit of pressure to your heels and toes. When you want to turn a snowboard, you use your whole body to make turns. When it comes to the learning curve, most people agree skateboarding is harder to learn than snowboarding.
Stepping on a skateboard on pavement will make it roll immediately, with the possibility of the board shooting out under you.
On a snowboard, you’re bound to the board and initially parallel to the slope so you’re pretty safe at first. If you fall off a skateboard, you risk hitting the concrete and hence you can get hurt pretty badly even a very low speed. On a snowboard, you’ll fall in the snow – even if there’s ice, it’s typically not as bad as concrete.
Cost and Accessibility
Snowboarding is a lot more expensive compared to skateboarding.
Not only the equipment like a board, boots and clothing, also your lift tickets can be expensive. On top of that, a trip can become even more expensive consuming booze and paying for accommodation.
You can practice skateboarding anywhere, in flat areas and parking lots for flatland tricks, on bike lanes for cruising, on nearby hills for free riding, or in city streets and skate parks for street, transition, and pool skating. You can practice tricks such as Ollies and kickflips anywhere without having to spend a dime, and access many city skate parks for a very small fee.
In contrast, most people will need to go through some effort and make time to travel to a ski resort to go snowboarding.
As mentioned earlier, skateboarding has a greater risk of hurting yourself even when riding slowly by hitting the pavement with your body or head. That is why it is important to wear a very good skateboarding helmet before attempting to skateboard.
Snowboarding is not as bad since you’re riding on snow most of the time and you can slide when you fall. Little falls hurt a lot more when skateboarding due to impact and road rash.
Practising skateboard tricks can also result in constant bruises on knees (unless you wear kneepads), shins, and ankles.
Snowboarding can also result in serious injuries from falling downhill at high speed. The mountain environment can also be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, particularly on more advanced slopes.
All in all, skateboarding is probably riskier than snowboarding at a beginner level.
One thing is for sure, your balancing skills from one sport will no doubt help you pick up the other much faster.
Unlike “normal” non-boarder newbies, skateboarders who start snowboarding are typically able to link turns and ride down a slope on the first day. As I mentioned, carving turns down a hill on a skateboard is very similar to doing so on a snowboard – a skateboarder mainly need to get used to riding the edge and pivoting on the front foot.
The reverse is not always true: being a snowboarder doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to find your balance on a skateboard right away as riding on wheels often takes more practice.
A lot of skills transfer from skating to snowboarding.
Unfortunately, the actual basic riding of a snowboard is quite different. However, if you are a longboarder and love doing slides, you will pick it up quick because beginner turns are one constant slide from the top to the bottom.
As a snowboarding instructor, it can be hard to teach new snowboarders the balance and stance that is needed to become proficient at snowboarding. It’s a good idea to suggest that new snowboarders try out skateboarding first to get to grips with the movement. The skateboarding to snowboarding transition is relatively easy as they are so similar and it’ll mean that any new snowboarders will be able to get straight onto the slopes and enjoy some of the winter snow.
With the longboard, you use the same stance as you would with a snowboard, and they are around the same size, making it easier to teach snowboarders if they’ve given skateboarding a go in the first place.
Some say skateboarding is easier, others say snowboarding is easier. Both are right because there are a few aspects that are easier to learn when snowboarding and the other way around.
In my opinion, however, riding a skateboard is easier to learn, like pushing and just cruising around.
Once you get how balancing works, you only have to move your weight around and slightly press your feet when steering. Riding a snowboard is a bit more difficult than riding a skateboard. You easily make too much speed and don’t know how to stop. When starting you often get your snowboard’s edge stuck resulting in a slam. Even though snow is a bit softer than concrete, it still hurts.
Skateboarding tricks, on the other hand, are much harder. There’s a mental part that makes it more difficult, you need to commit to a trick to land it.
Why Skateboard Tricks Fail
Fear is often a cause of why tricks fail. A boardslide, for example, is way more difficult on a skateboard because you need much more control. A boardslide on a snowboard is easier because you just need to make a small jump, have a larger sliding area, and your feet are attached to your snowboard. Same goes for jumps, much easier when snowboarding – plus landing in snow beats landing on a hard concrete surface.
So it’s a bit of both. You’ll learn to ride a skateboard faster but the tricks are harder. Riding a snowboard is harder but the tricks are easier for the average person. Skateboarders and snowboarders agree that skateboarding is more painful when things go south. And of course, you would rather land on snow than hitting concrete.
If you’re thinking of picking up skateboarding outside of the snowboarding season, go for it!
It’s probably easier to learn how to skateboard if you already know how to snowboard. Your feet are closer together and you can jump off. When it comes to the more technical stuff you probably have a harder time learning. An ollie on a skateboard is quite different as doing an ollie on a snowboard. Board slides should be easier though, you already know how a board reacts when you slide, still you need to be able to ollie a bit.
Just like snowboarding, learning to skateboard means getting the basics down before you go to the technical stuff. Start slow and don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing.
So, for the question – does skateboarding help you snowboard? The answer is YES!!! Skateboarding can improve snowboarding;
Helping you balance on a moving board while in a surf stance
Teaching you how to carve into turns and how to slide to shed speed
Helping you master freestyle tricks common to both sport.
Skateboarding and snowboarding are complementary sports, and many riders cross-train for one by practising the other. Skateboarding can easily and inexpensively be practised outside of the snowboarding season.
Skateboarding lets you stay in shape and hone your balancing, carving, downhill, and freestyle skills from Spring to Fall. Conversely, snowboarding, if you have the time and budget for it, can keep you riding when it’s too cold and icy out there to skate.
Snowboarding is a great sport, and there is no feeling like being on those slopes. It’s important to remember, however, that skateboarding is quite similar to snowboarding and it can be the perfect solution for those who cannot snowboard throughout the whole year.
A variety of options can flash through your mind when thinking about skateboarding. You will be forgiven for asking yourself if it’s a surfboard with four wheels attached to it. While waves help guide a surfboard, the rider’s feet help propel the skateboard. A skateboard can take an individual a short distance on a road and can even be used to perform stunts.
So if you’re wondering how to progress faster in skateboarding, then this post will explain everything you need to know. But first, let’s look at skateboards and what they consist of. A closer look at the skateboard shows that it consists of three parts: The truck, the deck, the wheels. What an individual stands upon when riding is called the deck. It’s best described as 32 inches long, 8 inches wide and less than one and the half-inch thick. The truck which is made of metal holds the deck to the wheels. The wheel’s inches which are about one and a half in diameter are made of polyurethane.
On its own, this cannot be used to describe what skateboarding is. An array of skateboarders have helped define and influence the growth of skateboarding.
The Goofy: The skateboarder’s right food is in front while standing.
The Mongo: The skateboarder pushes the deck with the front foot.
Skateboarding Safety Tips
Always ensure you wear a helmet before getting on the deck for a ride. All skateboarders should wear a helmet. Also, knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads tend to be a good idea for everyone, especially people who are new to skateboarding. Mouthguards are also good protection against chipped or broken teeth.
On average, 85,000 people are treated in the hospital emergency rooms for skateboard related injuries. Over the years, skateboarders have also been killed by head injuries and collisions with cars.
The Reason We Aren’t Learning As Fast As We Could
There are a number of different reasons why people can get bored with skateboarding while learning. The main reason is the ‘stuck in a particular spot syndrome‘ – in other words, the inability to progress. In the process of trying to nail an Ollie, some skateboarders can get stuck. They also fall off the deck countless times. This could be particularly frustrating for the learner which could lead to giving up, heads dropping amongst others.
A skateboarder tells a story of his journey from practising to becoming great at skateboarding. In his words, “Practice sessions never crossed my mind when I initially started skating. Practising tricks was a waste of time I said to myself. I was only interested in skating with friends in whatever way I wanted; a factor that contributed to my slow progress in learning”.
It took him 6 months to learn to kickflip and he skateboarded almost every day with a session lasting about thirty minutes. He tried scores of kickflips every session. Over the six months period, he had attempted a total of about one thousand six hundred and eighty kickflips.
Being conversant with the techniques acquired in the practice sessions, it would take twenty-five minutes to attempt 1680 kickflips which would have been learned in only thirteen days
The combination of the practice sessions with visualisation, goal setting, and success questions dramatically reduces the lengthy time in learning. They are indeed powerful techniques and if diligently followed, one can learn a new trick in a session or two at most.
Preparing Your Practice Sessions
Preparing properly for practice sessions can be achieved by watching numerous skateboarding trick videos to have a clear picture of what you want to achieve. You can also read up on the different kinds or types of trick trips available.
Pre Practicing Technique I: Stretching
Stretching is a key factor in this technique. This is because it increases flexibility, balance, circulation and reduces and most importantly the dangers of getting injured.
There is a high tendency that you skateboard better in the summer than the winter. This owes partly to your muscles being a lot looser in the summer, which is due to warmth in temperature which results in better muscle efficiency.
The focus would be on dynamic stretching. This is different from static stretching which involves maintaining a position till you get to the farthest. Dynamic involves the movement of parts of the body. Unlike static stretching, which involves holding a position and reaching to the farthest point, dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body and carefully increasing reach and speed of movement.
Knee runs, butt kickers, hops, skips, lunges leg kicks and, slides amongst others are some of the dynamic stretching exercises you can practice.
Pre Practicing Technique II: Visualisation
When you have stretched your body for between five to eight minutes, the second aspect of preparation can take off which is visualisation. This involves sitting in a comfortable position and seeing yourself nailing the trick.
Before attempting any trick, it is good practice to visualise for about three to five minutes. Station yourself in a particular spot and imagine in your head the board meeting your feet, landing and rolling away.
You might think it isn’t worth your while but I can assure you it is well worth it when you perform the three-sixty flip after hours of consistent practice.
Just so you know that the mental aspect of a skateboard is equally important as the physical aspect.
Practice the trick you have learned over and over again while keeping your focus intact. Also, keep asking yourself success questions as you progress. You should also remember not to get dehydrated.
Every person learning how to skate can get frustrated one way or the other. Don’t be fooled; even an amateur who became a professional was once frustrated. It could come in the form of a fall from the deck, an ankle injury, slow progress to perfection. It is a phase that will come and go – it all depends on how you deal with it.
On the road to skateboarding perfection, frustration is that route you must ply whether you like it or not. The response to frustration could vary from slamming their skateboards to breaking it entirely.
Not handling the frustration properly can mar the entire process and hold you back from being as successful as you should be.
Dealing with Frustration
One of the best ways to deal with frustration is to not pay attention to that whatever it is that frustrates you. With skateboarding, you should look away from things that would frustrate you because the more you think about it, the more you can end up getting wrong.
Secrets of How To Progress Faster In Skateboarding
Whatever it is – amateur or pro skateboarding – it is safe to say it is 80% mental and 20% physical.
The Attitude of Great Skateboarders
The mindset you have is fundamental to doing well at skateboarding. This is because without the right mindset anyone would experience difficulties learning. The effort of trying to come up with a new trick would become enormous and in general, confidence would be lacking.
Possessing the right attitude is essential becoming successful at skateboarding. Having the right attitude will give you confidence in your ability and allow you to consistently improve.
Anything Is Possible
Belief is also important. You need to believe in yourself that whatever challenges or obstacles that come your way you will overcome them. The potential of being a great skateboarder has to be nurtured with self-belief. Irrespective of the potential, if self-belief, is lacking, then the greatness in you cannot come alive. Whatever you choose to believe in, is what you become.
There Is No Competition
There is no competition. You are only in competition with yourself to always try to improve from where you left off. Imitating someone you see online could be fatal as it would only limit you and your ability to get better.
The quote below is a testament to buttress the fact that you are not in competition with anyone but yourself to get better by the day. You need to carve out a niche for yourself and be unique in your way. Let dedication and selflessness speak for you and put you at the pinnacle of what you do.
No one can be like you. They can only look like you. It is only you that can do what you can do best. So try to develop yourself by learning a trick or two each session and watch yourself become a case for perfection. There is real fun in skateboarding. Embrace it.
Skating with better people increases the chances that you will progress a lot quicker. You get to learn more tricks from them, master the ones you already know to perfection through them and learn a lot of new stuff together. If you learn with people better than you are complacency would set in and there would be a level of regression. However, leaving your comfort zone to advanced territory tends to be a stepping stone to fast progress.
Set Goals and set deadlines
Setting goals can be a huge step in your journey to progress faster in skateboarding. Just like any game player trying to learn a new skill, you just need to dedicate yourself to the task ahead.
Each accomplishment made, helps to justify the amount of time you dedicate towards learning to become a better skateboarder. By writing down your goals on a piece of paper, a jotter or by creating a to-do list you are able to monitor how well you’re doing and how many tricks you have mastered. So if you ever get to the point where learning becomes more difficult, going back to what you have written will help you strengthen your resolve.
Setting deadlines also helps to control the amount of time you spend learning and practising your skateboarding tricks.
When you put a time frame in place, chances are that you’ll notice that it doesn’t take as much time to learn a trick as earlier thought. All that is usually needed is an extra push, the kind of push you get from setting deadlines.
I believe that these few tips would go a long way to settling nerves to help you along in the learning process and remember, learning never ends.
Skateboarding has become very easy to learn and in the shortest amount of time possible. However, it is important to note that the mind must be engaged vigorously. With a positive mindset, you will progress faster than expected. This is because if you believe it you can do it. Make sure you focus only on things that will improve your skills and see your mistakes as a learning process