4 Essentials To Prepare For Downhill Skateboarding
Downhill skateboarding is one of the most exhilarating yet dangerous sports that calls for the coordination between body movements and mental stability at the same time.
In reality, this extreme sport can involve a lot of injuries, especially among inexperienced and ill-prepared riders. These injuries range from sprains or bruises to severe torn ligaments and bone fractures.
Thus, it is crucial to carefully equip yourself with safety gear and rigorous technical practice before embarking on this challenge.
With that in mind, let's explore what to prepare for your next downhill racing.
See also: Top 9 Best Downhill Longboards in 2021
List Of Downhill Skateboarding Essentials To Pack
So, without further ado, here comes our list of downhill skateboarding essentials.
A Quality Skateboard
First and foremost, there are lots of boards on the market, but all you need is a skateboard that matches your boarding level and feels right under your feet.
By ‘feeling right,’ we refer to the gripping ability of the board. A rule of thumb is that soft wheels grip better. They also allow you to have a sense of balance while performing downhill techniques.
The downhill deck size should also be suitable for your shoe size. For example, if your shoe size is between 6.5 and 9, you should go for skateboards with 7.5 or 8 inches wide for plenty of foot space.
An experienced rider who hyper-focuses on technical flip tricks often goes for boards with narrow deck width, preferably about 8 inches. But if you are a beginner, choose one with a wide deck shape.
Another aspect to consider is the mounting of skateboard trucks. We highly suggest that you go for boards with truck sets lower to the ground (also known as the drop-down deck) as it will keep you more balanced during the breakneck speed on downhill roads.
Our point is that you should try out as many downhill skateboards as possible to decide which one is for you. The same can be applied when choosing a skateboard for kids or when you want to choose the best cruiser skateboards.
Head is the most vulnerable body part when it comes to doing extreme sports. Thus, a helmet is another must-have in your downhill skateboarding bag to keep your head intact from unexpected situations.
A half-shell helmet should fit snugly around your head, with EPS foam as thermal/ force resistance and an adjustable strap secured against the chin. It is also crucial to wear the helmet properly by not letting the shell droop too much to the front or the back of your head.
Most importantly, the helmet must be certified by at least a national standard such as CPSC or ASTM-F1492 to guarantee the ultimate protection.
We don't recommend full-face helmets for downhill riders as they are poorly ventilated and can block your vision of debris or rough ground across mountain roads.
See also: Top 12+ Best Skateboard Helmet Reviews in 2021
Elbow And Knee Pads
If you are a beginner downhill skater, your elbows and knees stand a higher chance of being wounded. That is why you should cover them with pads. Remember to choose pads that are sturdy yet can facilitate your joint mobility without causing any discomfort.
Clothing And Gloves
As for clothing, we believe casual pieces will do just fine. Don't wear oversized shirts or jeans because they will block the surrounding airflow when going down steep slopes. Even worse, you may accidentally step on the baggy pants and fall off the board.
It is advisable to use a leather suit, which is a lighter version of motorcycle suits. It clings tight to your body and allows for more aerodynamic momentum. Thus, you can drive up your downhill speed significantly throughout the game.
Skateboard gloves with an added Velcro puck are also very useful in decreasing the speed or turning between corners. Not to mention, they help alleviate the potential damage to your palm during unexpected falls.
Regarding downhill skateboarding, you should learn to maintain constant balance onboard before moving on to any other techniques. Managing to find your balance point, also known as the center of gravity, allows you to maneuver the board direction on demand.
Another downhill technique to wrap your head around is foot braking. Slowly try putting your back foot off the board, gently lowering it to the ground and sliding it until the board halts.
Once having mastered these two basic tricks, you can try other advanced positions such as turning and aerodynamic tucking.
That wraps up our article for today. To summarize, protective gear is a must when practicing any sport, not just downhill skateboarding.
Don’t be embarrassed if someone laughs at you for being overprotective. Safety is no shame. Plus, it provides you an incentive to be bolder and try out new styles of skating.
In addition, you should also have the right mindset before practicing this sport. It's understandable to be afraid. Yet, tell yourself that by practicing it over and over, you can overcome your fears and succeed. Believe in yourself before you can do it.
Good luck with your experience!