How to Improve Your Skateboarding
Want to get better at skateboarding? It’s easy if you know how. Follow these tips and you’ll be executing perfect ollies, flips and fakies in no time.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
One of the biggest barriers to success in skateboarding is the fear factor. We get it – the risk of falling flat on your face when dropping in is pretty scary! But only by taking a (sometimes literal) leap of faith will you acquire the skills to improve. Sometimes the reality is far less terrible than what we imagine, so even if you do fall, you’ll probably be OK. In fact, once you’ve ‘failed’ a few times you’re likely to build up a level confidence that will help you progress to the next level. One important thing to remember is that you have to commit fully to a trick once you’ve started. If you freeze midway, you’re actually more likely to fall or injure yourself.
Just to be on the safe side, always wear protective gear including a helmet and knee pads, to mitigate the damage you can do when you do (inevitably) fall.
Start small and build gradually
As with any skill, the best way to learn is to pitch your practice at the right level. If you’re too ambitious too soon, you might be left feeling deflated and demotivated when you don’t master the skills as quickly as you hoped. So give yourself small, bite-sized goals that will leave you feeling confident and motivated. Use smaller ramps with shorter drops until you get the hang of them and want to progress. Practise your ollies on a soft surface like grass or carpet.
Change your routine
Sometimes it’s easy to get obsessed with perfecting a particular technique or routine. But that won’t help you improve in other areas. Help keep things fresh by altering your goals, trying new things and even getting out and skateboarding in different places. That way, you’ll develop better all-round ability and, importantly, you’re less likely to get bored and give up.
Get together with friends
Skateboarding with friends is a great social activity, and it can really help you develop your skills. Take inspiration from what others are doing, and try to emulate it. Set each other challenges for a bit of healthy competition.
Watch an action replay
Want to know where you’re going wrong? It’s so difficult to tell exactly what’s happening when you can’t see yourself performing a trick. By videoing yourself, however, it’s amazing how much information you can pick up, that can then be used to hone and improve your technique. That’s especially true if you can see yourself from multiple angles and in slow motion.
Just keep going
It’s been said that to master a skill and do it well, it takes 1,000 hours of practice. The exact timeframe isn’t as important here as the principle: in order to improve your skateboarding, you’ll need to put in the hours. Set aside some time each week to practise, and after a few sessions you’ll begin to see some steady improvement.