1. Kickflips aren’t easy! Learn all of the basics before you move onto advanced skate tricks
The kickflip is arguably one of the most popular tricks in skateboarding. And when you see someone at a skate park, or in videos do it seamlessly, you can’t help but think, “I wanna learn that.” And you should! Many will get discouraged once they try and fail. The question to ask isn’t, “why can’t I do this?”, but “how’s my Ollie?”, “How comfortable am I on my board?”. These focus on progressing on all the earlier steps, so the Kickflip is easier to land.
The kickflip is not a beginner trick. You have to be in complete control of the board and feel comfortable on all stages of it. You have to be comfortable landing on it from a certain height, flicking it the right direction with the right amount of speed, etc…
Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do a kickflip right off the bat. Go back to the basics. Ride your board everywhere, get your Ollies and pop-shuvits down. Then, you’ll be in a better place to master the kickflip.
2. Don’t compare your progress to others
Skateboarding is an individual sport, meaning you can progress at any rate you feel comfortable with. You might see someone who’s really good and who’s been doing it a lot longer than you have and wonder, “wow, why am I not there?” You will get there. Put in the practice, aspire to be as good as others and look up to them, and know you can be as good as them if you persist and keep working at it.
3. Don’t be scared to go to the skatepark
We hear this a lot. Beginner skaters don’t want to go to the skatepark in fear of being called a poser or being looked down upon. Ignore that! Just remember that anyone who skates was once a beginner. They didn’t just wake up one day and were suddenly good.
And if you’re not a beginner, but see one learning new tricks, encourage them! Chances are, they’re scared to be there and just want to learn how to drop in or learn how to skate a ledge. The skatepark is the safest place to do that, so help them through it. Make the skatepark a safe environment for skaters to learn and progress, regardless of their age or how new they are.
4. Equipment isn’t everything
There are two sides to this. The first side is you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a new complete and expect that you’re going to Ollie easier. That’s where practice comes in! Chances are, it’s not the deck, grip or shoes that’s holding you back. Put the time in and keep trying until you land that trick. Any regular skateboard will do.
The other side is don’t get a super cheap board. If you’re buying a board from Walmart or Target, it might actually make it harder than it needs to be to learn. So, find a happy medium when buying a board. Whether you need a new complete, or just a new deck, just know you don’t need to spend a lot of money.
5. Skateboard to have fun! Don’t expect a sponsorship
It’s easy to look at these pro skaters and aspire to be them. I mean, imagine making a living off of skateboard. That sounds rad! You get paid to skate and brands pay you to travel around the world and go to competitions. For some, that’s the dream. And if it’s yours, go for it! We’re here to back you up and help you progress.
But, if getting sponsored is your only reason, it will actually make it harder. Sponsors look for those who are really good and having fun. And you should have fun, because even when you get sponsored, you’re still going to be skating and still going to be progressing. It’s not all for the money. The money will come, as long as you’re having fun!
6. Don’t risk injury to impress people
Being safe is a lot more important than looking cool in front of people at the skatepark. If you injure yourself, even if it’s a minor one, you won’t be able to skate for some time. So, if someone at the skatepark asks you to do some crazy drop in or something that you’re not sure you can do, stay safe and hold back. Sometimes, it’s not worse the risk.
7. Don’t end your skate day on a bad note. Don’t let a trick ruin your day.
We’ve all been there. You’ve had a great day at the skatepark, and you’re just gonna end your session with a trick you’ve done a few times before. But for some reason, you can’t land it. You’re throwing your board, yelling at the camera and when you fall, you just lay down for awhile. So, how do you let that not ruin your day?
Go back to something you know how to do really well. Like, you could do it in your sleep. This does a few things, but mostly builds your confidence back up. You know you can skate and you know you can land tricks. So end your session on landing it! Better to end happy than angry.
8. Surround yourself with other skaters. Watching them can help you progress
Skateboarding is an individual sport, but we can’t deny that it becomes more enjoyable when you’re with your friends. The best thing about skating with other skaters is learning from them. You can watch them and see how they drop in or where they put their feet on the board, etc… And if you’re having trouble, they can help you. Skaters are willing to help others learn, because they were in your position at one point.
9. Be willing to try new things on your skateboard
The amount of creativity on a skateboard is limitless. There are all the basic tricks, but there’s more that can be added to those that add up to more diverse, interesting tricks. Don’t stay in one place, but keep progressing and keep learning more tricks. Push yourself forward and learn those tricks, so you can get better!
10. Never. Give. Up.
This applies to everything outside of skateboarding, but skaters need to hear this. If you can’t ollie, keep trying and trying until you do it. Just keep pushing. I’ve heard from many skaters that they tried 1,000 times before they landed their first ollie. You’re starting from the beginning, and it can be awkward for some people. Don’t get beaten down, don’t give up. Just keep trying and you will land those tricks. You’re more than capable!
Leave a comment below with what helped you the most as a skateboarder and any tips we may have missed!!