Is It Hard To Skateboard? A Guide To Solve Early Challenges
The image of a fast-moving skateboard could attract the heart of many people, luring them into trying the sport that just made its debut at the 2020 Olympics. But it could also hold them back, especially if they have seen the professionals' spectacular moves and keep wondering, “ Is it hard to skateboard ?”
For those who have the same question, keep reading on. We will clear your confusion and make some recommendations if you're interested in skateboarding.
Is It Hard To Skateboard? A Brief Answer
Like many issues in sports, there isn't a cut-and-dried answer for this question. Riding a skateboard is, without a doubt, harder than writing with a pen. But it's not rocket science either.
If you have never ridden a board or played any sport requiring balancing skill, skateboarding is going to be a tough nut to crack.
Going from other hobbies and activities like football, running, or basketball is a big change as skateboarding focuses extensively on sophisticated skills, even for beginners.
How Hard Is It To Skateboard?
How easily you can have a firm grasp of skateboarding and develop from there, and whether you could eventually perform complicated tricks depends on many factors.
Equipment certainly plays a huge role. A high-quality and suitable board carefully selected for you could go a long way toward making it easier for you to learn the basics.
On the other hand, picking the wrong skateboard for the style you wish to learn makes everything more challenging and even impossible.
Another factor many skaters overlook when they dip their toes into this extreme sport is its psychological side of it.
Skateboarding requires as much patience as courage. If you could put up with failed attempts and hours-long sessions of practice, things would quickly become easier.
Why Is Skateboarding So Hard?
It's normal to feel overwhelmed and discouraged when you start to learn skateboarding. Here are the biggest challenges that could make the learning journey of skaters (especially beginners) bumpier.
Skateboarding is an extreme sport whose the highest levels of difficulty usually involve complicated movements.
When done successfully, these fancy tricks are a beauty to watch and admire. But failures also mean bruises, cuts and scrapes, and in some cases, more severe injuries that require immediate medical attention.
Fear is a natural result of watching people fall from their boards and hurt themselves badly. And therefore, dealing with fear is important in learning and progressing in skateboarding.
Different people respond in different ways to fear. It could be a powerful source of attention that makes us more cautious while making risky moves. Overcoming it allows you to grow your skill set and open up more possibilities.
But many skaters also begin to crumble away under fear and anxiety.
They may hold themselves back and stop thinking about trying more difficult skills. So, as a result, learning to be less fearful and anxious about doing tricks could make skateboarding much easier for you.
Age And Body Fitness
In addition to your mentality, learning to skateboard seriously could take a toll on your body.
At the end of the day, it's an action sport where you move and jump around a lot. This physical requirement means constant pressure on multiple parts of your body.
It may be fine for a kid to push a board casually around a driveway. But it's a completely different beast even for an adult to carry out an Ollie or Gazelle flip.
It's always nice to have healthy body conditions before picking a skateboard for the first time. Besides flexibility, great physical strength is extremely important in skateboarding and could speed up your learning process.
But does it mean older people in their 30s and 40s should give up the idea of riding a skateboard?
Absolutely not. It could be trickier for them to start, but it's never too old to pick up skateboarding, especially if you have only basic and simple goals in mind.
One of the biggest issues for newcomers in their first rides is how to maintain balance without falling.
It could be extremely difficult if you're unfamiliar with a similar sport, but succeeding in mastering it clears a big hurdle in your learning journey.
A mistake almost every beginner makes is immediately trying with a moving skateboard even when they have no idea how to balance on such challenging equipment.
Loss of balance and falls are inevitable, and they could hurt them seriously. It's much easier to learn to balance on a stationary skateboard first before moving to the next level.
How to properly stand and move the feet on a skateboard is an aspect usually overlooked by skaters. But in reality, understanding this skill - for your front and back foot - is a game-changer.
If you feel skateboarding is too difficult, taking a step back and working on placing your feet accurately could help.
Pushing The Board
After gaining confidence with your balance and stance, it's natural to take on a harder technique and learn how to push the board - the foundation of all skateboarding tricks.
But pushing is also a source of problems that make skateboarding harder than other sports.
It's a night-and-day difference between controlling a moving and an immobile skateboard. You could lose your concentration and forget every correct technique you've learned with a skateboard in motion.
How To Take Skateboarding Easy
Is it hard to learn to skateboard? Undoubtedly. But there are a few points you can remember to get better at skateboarding as painlessly as possible.
Get The Right Board
Skateboards on the market come in various shapes and forms. Don't buy an exorbitantly expensive model only to find out later that it's not the right choice for your skateboarding level and style.
Before learning how to skate, carefully research how each configuration and design could affect the way you ride a skateboard.
For example, traditional skateboards have curved tails and noses with a concave for performing tricks. Stick with a classic model like this if you want to ride on the street or at the skate park.
On the other hand, longboards have - as their name implies - a longer body, making them more stable for beginners. They're great for going downhill and cruising, but if you have tricks as your long-term goal, longboards aren't for you.
Put On Protective Gear
Buy and put on proper safety equipment every time you go for a ride.
This measure is even more important for beginners, who are more prone to injuries as they tend to fall to the ground a lot. Even Tony Hawk uses a helmet, so you should do it too.
Safety equipment, such as helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads, isn't only a great investment for your health but also a boost in confidence when learning new techniques.
Wear protective gear that fits properly and complies with safety standards. No matter how your friends may push you to drop your helmet or pads so you could look cooler, don't listen to them.
It's important to note that many states in the US require helmets for all skaters on the street.
Practice At An Appropriate Place
An empty parking lot or a concrete driveway is a good place to start learning skateboarding. Just be fully aware of any potholes, loose stones, and cracks along the way.
For balancing lessons, you could practice on a carpet or grass so the skateboard won't suddenly move out of your control.
When you're ready for more advanced techniques, head to your local skate park to get some experience of real skateboarding surfaces. Stay out of busy areas and start slowly first before you could ride at a higher speed comfortably.
Master The Basics
As we have mentioned, creating a solid foundation by understanding basic techniques first is critical.
Learning how to keep balance on a moving board is a must, and foot placement can make or break your attempts to execute harder techniques.
Learn How To Fall
Even an experienced skater still falls from time to time. It's not embarrassing to practice falling, as it's a natural part of skateboarding.
In addition to wearing proper protection gear, knowing how to fall correctly from a board to the ground will prevent you from getting serious injuries.
The first thing to know is to suppress your instinct and not put your arms out too rigidly, which does more harm than good. Broken or sprained wrists are usually the result of this false falling technique.
Rolling when falling reduces the impact on your body and makes it hurt less, while every veteran should know how to bail out when things are already out of control.
Practice makes perfect. Properly use basic techniques you have learned - balancing, foot placement, and pushing - to frequently cruise around so you can at least feel comfortable at a low speed.
The effort constantly put into practice is the secret that could bring you from the early stage to nailing more challenging tricks.
Is it hard to skateboard? It could be if you're not prepared for the challenges ahead.
But things will be much easier once you know the differences between skateboarding and other sports and give yourself enough time to get used to it. Build a foundation first with some tips and advice above, and the day when you could do several tricks at once isn't far away.