You may think that skateboarding is all about those fancy tricks and the skateboard culture that you see on TV. Starting first in Hawaii and California in the 1950s, it is now one of the top 10 sports in the world. In 2016 it was announced that it will feature at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
In recent times, skateboarding has become a popular means of traversing short distances. There are bound to be apprehensions before taking up the sport if you are new to skateboarding. This is mostly due to the perception that skateboarding is only for thrill-seekers.
Today you even have electric skateboards. You can hop on one and let the electric motor do the work. The best electric skateboard 2020 offers you speed, stability, and easy maneuverability. They are preferred over the traditional ones for short commutes as they are comfortable and easy to use.
If you are new to skateboarding, it is essential to be well prepared before you start. To make it much easier for you, our experts have compiled a list of 10 things to know before you begin skateboarding-
Choosing your first skateboard
There are different types of skateboards available in the store. A skateboard designed for high speeds or doing fancy tricks is not suited for a newbie. Not only are these boards expensive, but they also require considerable skill to ride. You need to ensure that you enjoy the sport before investing that much money.
It takes some time to get the hang of a skateboard. Early falls and mishaps may discourage you. It is best to choose a beginner’s skateboard that will help you master the basics easily. A flat board will give you a better balance than the high-end curved ones.
Longboards offer better foot room and are easier to maneuver, unlike the shortboards. Skateboards with smaller wheels are more comfortable to ride. Just because you are a beginner, don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest board available. Invest in a quality board that is safe to ride.
The importance of protective gears
Even for experts, skateboarding is fraught with the risk of falling. The head, face, hands, wrists, shoulders, and ankles are especially vulnerable to injuries.
It is essential to invest in right protective gear such as helmets, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow guards. These play a huge role when it comes to reducing the severity of injuries.
Importance of skating shoes
Shoes are a vital accessory for any sport. For skateboarding, you can buy a specially made shoe like Etnies, Vans, DC’s, Nike SB, or Adidas. These shoes give you a good grip and ensure support and protection for your feet. In general, you can go for any shoe with a flat bottom and a good sole that will grip the board.
Learning to fall
Shouldn’t it be learning not to fall? Well, the goal is to be straight up in a skateboard. But falls are inevitable when it comes to skateboarding. Even the pros fall! So, it is essential to learn to fall safely.
While falling, our body instinctively becomes rigid and hands reach out to break the fall. This will only increase the severity of the injury. It is essential to relax our muscles while falling. It would help if you rolled while falling to soften the impact. This isn’t easy, though.
You can practice falling on soft surfaces such as grass. Over time, you will become better and condition your body for a soft fall while skateboarding. This will drastically reduce injuries.
Learn to skate in a safe place
You need to ensure that skateboarding is not dangerous to you or those around you. Perfect your skateboarding basics in a safe place. Ensure that the surface is flat and bump-free. You can tackle challenging surfaces after perfecting the basics. Avoid crowded places and pay attention to the local law.
Get a pro to help you out.
A session with an expert skateboarder will give you a head start. You can vastly improve your skills and learn new tricks during practice. They can offer you helpful advice from their experience. Importantly, they were newbies at some point of time and can help sort out all your newbie blues.
Watch skateboarding videos
There are numerous skateboarding videos and tutorials on YouTube. You can pick up new tricks and tips from there. Also, these videos will aid the development of your muscle memory. You can start practicing with confidence after benefitting from the collective experience of others.
The old adage- practice makes perfect, applies to skateboard also. The more you practice, the better you will become. The muscle memory will improve, and your skills will become better. Start slowly, though. Too much practice can be counter-productive. Choose a safe place for your practice.
Tricks and fancy moves
Tricks and fancy moves will up the oomph factor. But they are not for newbies. A failed trick is not only embarrassing but also a demotivator.
Many a beginner has been turned off the sport due to this. Tricks and fancy moves will become easier as you improve your skills. Doing them before perfecting the basics is not smart.
Never give up
Many newbies give up halfway into the practice. Skateboarding requires immense skills that cannot be developed overnight. Expert skateboarders have reached there after hours of practice and hard work. It is easy to feel frustrated after a few falls.
But remember, in the long run, you will realize that the joy and thrill of skateboarding are well worth the initial hiccups.