Skateboards have no brakes, so it’s entirely unclear how skaters slow down or brake when moving at high speed. Slowing down a skateboard is a common problem among skaters. A teenager walked up to me at the park and asked: “how do you slow down a skateboard?”. He’s seen me do it a couple of times so he wanted to know. I taught him how to do it and I’ll do the same for you.
So how do you slow down a skateboard? Slowing down a skateboard is not as easy hitting a button. There are more than way of slowing down a skateboard and each one of them requires knowledge of how to ride a skateboard. The three techniques that enable you to slow down on your skateboard are foot braking, power slides and carving.
Whether you are new to skating or you have learned the basics of rolling a skateboard. Slowing down your skateboard at will whenever you skate should be the next phase. Not knowing how to slow down skateboard isn’t suitable for a skater. The risk is so apparent, crash, accidents which can cause bruises, cut, bone fracture, etc.
This article is going to teach you how to slow down your skateboard. No matter how fast you have been moving. So, here goes!
How Do You Slow Down A skateboard?
There are more than one ways to slow down a skateboard. There are different techniques and you can just as easily choose one that would work best for you. I’ll be giving you three techniques and if you’re keen, you can learn all of them and practice them often.
To get started, make sure you are good at riding your board on a flat surface with ease.
Find a large size garage hill to practice. Start by riding from the top of the slope down. When you are going down the hill, take your back foot off the board, leaving your lead foot on the front part of your board. When you need to slow down, take your back foot off the board and skit it alongside your board. The friction from your foot in contact with the ground would reduce your speed. Apply extra pressure to the foot, sliding on the ground for a quicker stop. While you use the front foot to help guide the direction of the board.
This technique takes a lot of practice, especially with speed. But with time, you will find it very easy to take your foot off the board. Foot braking is effective at a low speed. But not so well at high speed, which can compromise your stability. More so, people make the mistake of putting their foot all at once on the ground to break, which is terrible as it can ruin your shoe and also throw you off balance.
When placing your foot on the ground, start with the heel, then apply pressure while you land the entire foot on the ground, increasing the pressure. This process is more effective in slowing down your skateboard and would also keep your stability in check.
Using Power Slides
Make sure you are good at riding the skateboard on a flat surface with ease before considering this technique.
The powerslides come in handy when you are going with a lot of speed. You have your front foot at the front truck and your back foot near the tail. So, while going with speed, you push your board hard, turning it at a 90° position. This has to be done when moving with speed. Like I earlier said, make sure you can ride your board well, and you have learned the basics of riding and turning with a skateboard.
Powerslide is a more advanced technique than foot braking. So, if you are very good at riding, this is one of the methods you should learn. While turning your board at a 90° position, you lean your upper body back while your foot pushes the board forward. You have to put a lot of weight while forcing your board to go ahead because it takes a lot of pressure on your wheels to slide forward. Since it takes a lot of power to make your wheels slides; practice more so you get better.
Power slide is using your weight to push forward on the front part of your board. There are some cases whereby you lean your body too far back or too far ahead. Leaning too far causes your wheel to stop and fall back if you lean too back or front from the board if you bend too front. This is why you have to find the exact weight where your balance is going to be neither far too back nor far too front so your wheels can slide easily.
If you feel you have slipped far back or far front or your wheels start to grip, turn your wheels back to the normal rolling position. This will ensure you are still balanced on your board to try again.
Power slides can be scary because it requires you going with a lot of speed. But with practice, you should get the hang of it. There are different types of power slides, four-wheel slides, 2-wheel slides using either front wheels or back wheels, etc.
Power slides are handy, especially (4 wheels slides) when you are going downhills. It helps to slow you down and keep you in control of the speed. Wheels play a significant role in power slides, the harder the wheels, the more comfortable they slide. Soft wheels don’t slide well nor grab the concrete as the hard wheel does. Power slides can cause flat wheels. So, the more you slide, the more your wheel gets flat, and when skating, it gives off an awful sound. So, make sure you have a proper wheel before you start practising power slides. And note, the more you practice, the easier it gets.
Carving or advanced carving is a way to slow yourself down, especially when you begin to wobble. Since it doesn’t need you to take your foot up or change stance or balance, it only requires you to turn and commit to those turns. You start by bending your knees more than usual and, at the same time, looking at where you are rolling. Then turn your shoulders, which will also convert your hips and, thus, instinctively put more pressure on your feet.
This would let you dig deep into these carves and transition back and forth more like surfing the wave. This method is a little bit difficult because the transitions come a little bit quicker. But the more time you transition, the more time you shed speed.
So that’s a wrap. Remember, take your time to learn these tricks, and always jump off the board if you feel unsafe. Keep practising to get better.