Did you know that spending a few minutes in the sun each day can do wonders for your mental and physical health? If you’re looking for a way to get outside more this summer to start reaping these benefits, there’s no better option than learning how to skateboard.
Skateboarding comes with a wealth of benefits as well, from stress relief to boosting coordination and reflexes. However, skateboarding can be difficult for beginners, as it’s a brand new sensation and requires a great deal of balance and skill.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to have a few pointers in mind when you step on a board for the first time. To learn some fantastic skateboarding tips to get you off on the right foot, just keep reading.
Get Your Gear
The first step in learning how to skateboard is to make sure that you have all the necessary gear. Now, there’s plenty of skatewear available to browse, but the two main things you need are the skateboard itself and appropriate skate shoes.
If you want to learn how to skateboard well, never try to do so in flip-flops or sandals. These will make riding more difficult and increase your risk of injury. Instead, be sure to wear closed-toe, well-fitting shoes, preferably designed with skateboarding in mind.
In addition to your shoes and board, you absolutely need a helmet. Keep in mind that this is the bare minimum – it’s a good idea to have pads as well for your knees, elbows, and wrists.
This might feel childish or uncool, but there’s nothing lame about keeping yourself safe from concussions and other injuries. Trust us, the first time you wipe out, you’ll thank yourself for putting on the safety equipment.
Pick Your Spot
When you become a skilled skateboarder, you can skate with ease just about anywhere. However, when you’re a beginner, you need to pick a good spot for skateboard practice.
This should be a smooth, level concrete surface. It can be a driveway, a parking lot, or on the sidewalk in your local park, as long as there are minimal cracks, holes, and loose stones. Even a tiny pebble can cause you to crash in the beginning, so be wary of where you start to avoid becoming unnecessarily discouraged.
Skateboarding parks are an excellent choice once you get your feet under you, but you should at least be able to balance on the board without falling down before you go. It can become overwhelming fast if you haven’t yet reached this milestone.
Practice Standing on the Board
Before you can zoom around town, you need to get comfortable standing on the board. If you’ve never stood on a skateboard before, you might want to do this step on grass or carpet before graduating to concrete.
This can save you a crash and allow you to get comfortable with the feel of the board without worrying that it’s going to slide out from under you. Stand on the board and rock back and forth to feel the sway of the trucks.
Whether you’re on grass, carpet, or concrete, you then need to determine whether your stance is goofy or regular. This is your positioning on the board as well as which foot you’ll use to push and comes down to personal comfort and preference.
If you’re a goofy rider, you’re more comfortable with your right foot in the front and your left foot in the back. You’ll push off from the ground with your left foot.
As you might have guessed, regular riders are the opposite. They’re more comfortable with their left foot in the front of the board and push off with their right foot.
One of the skills you’ll need most when learning how to skateboard is patience. As much as you might want to hit the skate parks and go flying down a halfpipe, you have to crawl before you can run.
Once you get comfortable standing on your board and have determined your stance, you can begin pushing off gently on concrete. Push off just hard enough to get rolling and practice moving your foot from the ground to the back of your board.
Go slow and get your balance. It’s helpful to bend your knees somewhat as you stand on the board for stability.
When you start to slow down, move your foot back to the ground and push off again. Do this at a slow speed until you feel comfortable, then increase your speed little by little until you’re riding straight with balance and ease.
It’s Time to Turn
After you’ve mastered going straight, it’s time to turn. how to skateboard Turning a skateboard is all about shifting your weight while flexing your ankles.
If you shift your weight forward, you’ll turn right if you’re a regular rider, left if you’re goofy. By leaning back slightly, you’ll turn in the opposite direction. It’s important to keep your knees bent and your center of gravity low to make turning and balancing easier.
The amount of weight you need to put into your turns depends on the tightness of your trucks. Loose trucks will allow you to turn with minimal pressure while tight trucks require more force.
If you’re finding it difficult to turn, all you have to do is loosen your trucks. Just don’t loosen them so much that your skateboard becomes unstable.
Soak Up the Sun This Summer by Learning How to Skateboard
There’s no better way to spend your summer than enjoying the great outdoors. And spending the summer months learning how to skateboard is a fantastic way to do that.
Remember, the best thing you can do when you first start skateboarding is to be patient with yourself. how to skateboard requires a number of skills that you’ll likely be honing for the first time. Take your time and practice good skate safety and you’ll be hitting the skate parks in no time.
Looking for more tips and tricks for picking up a new outdoor activity? Be sure to check out our blog!