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No matter how good you are at skateboarding there’s always room to progress. In this article, I’m going to share with you 8 effective tips on how to get better at skateboarding.
Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced skateboarder surely you want to improve your riding skills and get better. These tips might give you an idea and a plan to grow your skateboarding skills.
Let’s get straight to that.
1. Start with the basics
If you’re a new and aspiring skateboarder you need to have a solid foundation in order to progress and get better at skateboarding.
Without that, you won’t be able to perform better and grow. Start small, get comfortable just skating, pushing, turning, and maintaining balance on the board.
Once you feel sufficient with the way the board behaves underneath your feet making simple movements you can move further on with tricks.
There are even super basic and easy tricks to master first like:
- Body varial;
- Hippie jump.
Once you’re comfortable cruising around and nailed those basic tricks we move on to our next tip.
2. Learn to ride in different stances
Riding solid in different stances is what makes a good skateboarder. It makes you a more versatile and creative rider by making more complicated and gnarly tricks.
After getting comfortable in your normal stance, whether you’re a Regular or a Goofy rider try changing it. First, you can try riding Fakie. That means riding backward in your normal stance.
Then try riding with your back foot forward which is a Switch stance. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to Nollie. That is riding backward in a Switch stance.
It may sound very confusing at first but get this. You have 2 feet and 2 ways to go (forward and backward) which makes it 4 possible stances:
Watch this video explanation to better understand possible stances:
3. Skateboard as much as you can
Simple as that. While this may sound funny or too obvious, there’s actually a good point in that. You probably heard the saying:
“Practice makes perfect”
In order to get better at something, you have to do that repeatedly for a long period of time. Same with skateboarding. Ride as much as you can.
Use your skateboard as transportation. Instead of taking public transportation, bike or a car get to your destination with a skateboard. You’ll get more comfortable in different situations, adjust to various surfaces, and improve reaction time, and balance.
While riding you still can hone tricks, even the simple ones like the Ollie, or practice more switch riding.
Here’s a fun video example of how you can ride to your local grocery store to buy some bread. 🙂
4. Ride with friends/peers
It’s a known fact that doing something in groups like learning is more effective than doing it by oneself. There are even research dedicated to that topic. That also applies to skateboarding.
Riding with your friends and peers is not only fun, but it also generates a live competition feel. This pushes the boundaries of your comfort zone. Naturally, you’ll be progressing by challenging each other. People tend to copy other people’s behavior. For skateboarding, it is tricks and style.
Not only that, but people can also give you valuable feedback and advice. That can help you improve and correct your mistakes. Once in a while, you might even receive praise or a compliment that can boost your confidence.
Finally riding with friends brings us to the next tip on which they can aid.
5. Film your riding
If you have the possibility to ride with friends/peers you can ask them to film you.
Watching how you ride from an observer’s perspective will let you know what kind of mistakes or flaws do you have. The video material will give you a picture of what your riding skills are.
The benefit is that you can make an instant review of your riding and make adjustments. Especially during a session if you were filmed on a smartphone or any other camera that has a preview option.
Also over time, you can compare your riding to how it was before. You can analyze yourself and actually see the improvements/downfalls.
6. Try different setups
Skateboards consist of three main parts:
Depending on what kind of parts you have is going to affect your riding style. Each part has its own characteristics with small features, details, and nuances. Selecting the right ones for yourself can greatly improve your riding.
It’s going to be quite expensive to buy multiple different parts just to try and test something out. So it’s a good idea to ask your friends or peers what kind of setup they have and take it for a spin. This might give you an idea of how different setups feel and ride. And possibly make a decision to change your setup.
I find these guides on how to choose the right parts quite detailed and thorough:
- Guide to choosing a skateboard deck
- Guide to choosing skateboard wheels
- Guide to choosing skateboard trucks
7. Skate at different locations (parks)
After riding for a while at a certain spot or skatepark you get used to it and develop some kind of a habit. You know what the features are and how to approach them. You get used to the surface. And you’re feeling quite confident at that exact spot. But what happens if you come to a different spot?
That’s right, your riding might not be that awesome anymore. So try to change your locations once in a while. This will help you adapt faster to different environments. And make you a more versatile skateboarder.
8. Train at home (bad weather/conditions)
Not always there’s going to be sunshine outside. Or perhaps you’re living somewhere where there’s wintertime most of the year and there’s no indoor park.
By training at home on a bad weather day in the offseason (e.g. winter time) you’ll maintain physical activity and confidence. There’s quite a lot you can do to keep your body in shape.
Regular exercising will keep you fit, and hardier, and will reduce the risk of injury. Sometimes you can take a huge hit when falling down. If your body is trained you’ll recover faster, and the impact might not be that big. For a workout routine, you can check out my article on exercises for skateboarders which dives into this topic in a detailed way.
There are several reasons why you should stretch, especially if you are a skateboarder.
Regular stretching before skateboarding will make your muscles more flexible, thus increasing the range of motion. This can greatly improve the way you skateboard, like adding more style to your tricks, for example extending a leg on that nose bone grab.
Stiff muscles are more likely to get sprained during extensive movements. So this is another major reason why you should stretch, it will help reduce the risk of injury.
There are different types of balance boards out there. But the main concept is that you have to maintain your balance on a board that stands atop a roller.
With balance boards not only you can stand balancing but also practice tricks. Thus training your muscle memory and maintaining skills. Plus 15-20 minutes actively spent on a balance board is good cardio training for you.
To sum up, everything, if you really want to get better at skateboarding, stay focused and consistent. Ride as much as you can, stay dedicated, and never give up. Train whenever possible, and seek mentoring and advice.
And most important you gotta have patience. If you train hard over time you’ll progress fast.
In the end, I’d like to share these 3 YouTube videos I personally find quite helpful and inspiring: