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.
Types of Skateboarding
- The Street: The skateboard rider tries to overcome challenges on paved surfaces such as streets
- The Ramp: This type incorporates ramps such as half-pipes or mini-ramps that are typically less than 6 feet high
- The Vert.: The Skateboarder rides on a vertical ramp mostly 10 feet in height that is a larger version of a half-pipe.
- The Regular: The skateboarder’s left foot is in front while standing.
- 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.
Besides getting stuck and falling off skateboard decks, another reason people stop is that they lack the basic idea of the required moves to progress. A lot of people learn by watching YouTube videos and witness how stunts are being performed by skateboarders but get frustrated with their inability to do the same.
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