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How To Become A Better Skateboarder
11.12.2014 12:00 AM

Image: Nick Page

One of the great things about skateboarding is there are a lot of different ways to do all the cool things you see the best in the world doing. Sure, certain tricks require certain movements, but for many things it’s all about creating your own style.

Want to skate with your left foot forward? Go ahead. Want to switch it up because that feels more comfortable? Do it. And you can even push off with your front foot while keeping your back foot on the board. It’s up to you!

But if you want to become a better skateboarder then try these tricks that the best in the world have used to help get you to the level you want to achieve.

Here are a few steps.

Step 1. The Fundamentals

Even the pros practice the fundamentals. Any sport you try will always go back to the fundamentals. Pro basketball players still practice free throws and layups. They practice basic dribbling and the basic defensive stance.

Skateboarders do the same thing even at the pro level.

You can go way back to the basics and look at foot position and balance. Go back to working on the beginner-type tricks like the Ollie and the PopShovit. They’re basic tricks, but even for better skaters it’s good to go back and work on them from time to time.

A lot of the basic tricks are the foundation for harder tricks that you’ll learn as you get more advanced. So having the fundamentals down cold prepares you for the more difficult tricks.

Step 2. Practice In Competition-Type Conditions

You can practice until your legs fall off. A lot of pros have done that throughout their life starting in their childhood years. But if you don’t have time for 10-hour practice days then you can still practice and get results and improve.

In fact, if you think about the pros you know they’re busy with other things like sponsor outings, clinics and all kinds of appearances; some of which don’t include skating. So they don’t have time to hit the pavement working endless hours either.

A trick they use is to practice in competition-type conditions. If you want to get better at skating then practice like you’re in a pressure-packed situation. For example, instead of doing the same trick over and over for hours, try doing it at random times throughout the day.

When you have a spare 30 seconds after breakfast, go out and try the trick. Try it one time. Then leave it alone and come back in an hour and try it again.

The idea is that in competition you only get one chance to perform the trick. You either nail it or you fall. You don’t get endless repetition like you do in normal practice. This is a little trick the pros use to prepare for competition.

You might not be doing competitions, but if you prepare as if you’re getting ready for one you can still hone your skills so that you nail it the first time you want to show your buddies.

Step 3. Practice Increasingly Difficult Tricks

Here is a final trick to take your skating to a new level. Try increasingly difficult tricks. Duh…seems simple right? That’s obviously what you do.

But here is the kicker – try difficult tricks and try them in pressure-packed situations and do things that your buddies won’t do.

Your buddies don’t want to ollie over that rail? Work on it until you can do it. They don’t want to kickflip that five set? Do that as many times as you can.

If you want to be different than your buddies you have to do things that they won’t do and it’ll be hard. But here is the thing, when you do increasingly difficult tricks in difficult situations you’ll build a unique kind of confidence. You’ll feel like you’re almost owed the easy tricks because you can do difficult tricks.

Final Thought

Here’s a final thought for you to get better. It can help to have a running mate when it comes to practice. Get a friend out there with you and push each other to get better. You don’t have to do it for hours on end, but go out there and try one trick, one time. See who can get it done first. It may take a few days or even weeks, but see who can go out and knock it down first. Keep push each other and together you should become better skateboarders.

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