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riding Archives - Braille Skateboarding

Grab your board and lets hit the skatepark

The skatepark is often a haven for skaters everywhere. A safe area with obstacles and ramps you wouldn’t normally find in the street. In some areas, it’s the only place where you can try out new obstacles and really push yourself.

It can also be very intimidating and scary for new riders. You’ve probably seen those “skaters VS. …” videos on YouTube, and might have been turned away from going to the skatepark. You don’t want to get in other people’s way or crash into somebody while they’re doing their line. But by following these simple guidelines, you’ll be able to feel safe at the park and push yourself in a way you never thought was possible.

Let’s get started

Wait in line and don’t be a “snake

If there’s a line of people who want to ollie down the 5 stair, don’t cut in front of everybody else. This is probably the most annoying thing you’ll find other skaters doing. If you’re not sure if anybody else is going, just ask them.

Whenever you go up to a new obstacle or space in the park, just wait your turn and make sure no one else is going in that general area so you can avoid hurting yourself and others.

Be aware of your surroundings

The skatepark is a fast moving environment. You have skateboards, bikes, scooters and everything else you can think of moving around and flying about. Always look around you before you do your line. The last thing you want is to crash into someone and hurt yourself or others. So always look around and make sure the coast is clear. 

Most skateparks are meant to flow from one part of the park to another smoothly, so it’s always good to check all the possible areas that people can come in from.

Don’t rest your board on the coping if you’re not dropping in

One thing you’ll find is people just standing on their board on a ramp while someone else is doing their line. While this my not seem like a bad thing, you run the risk of the board dropping into the bowl while someone else is doing their line, or they may be going where you are. For a safe distance, stand a few feet back and go when the coast is clear.

Take turns on the mini-ramp

If you’re practicing and learning the basics of the mini-ramp, you’ll probably spend a lot of time riding around and going in circles and trying to get used to the motions. Or, you’re trying to learn the rock to fakie and tail stall, so you spend a lot of time on it.

And that really is a good thing. Practicing this stuff really does take time. But, make sure that you’re taking your turn, and then let someone else go. One day, you’ll get a lucky and no one else is at the skatepark or practicing at the mini-ramp. When that day comes, skate it all you want.

“Board!”

Every once in awhile, you’ll hear someone yell “Board!” at the skatepark. This is simply to signify that their board is either shot up in the air and could fall, or it got away from them while doing a trick. If this happens to you, be sure to yell board so it doesn’t hit someone else. Taking a skateboard to the head isn’t a pleasant experience. 

When in doubt, communicate

Communication is key at a skatepark. Not sure if someone’s going down an obstacle? Ask them. Someone’s sitting down on a bench you want to do a trick on? Kindly ask them to move. You don’t need to be snotty or mean about it. Everyone at the skatepark is there to have fun, so the nicer you ask them, they’ll be more than willing to do it. 

Don’t be mean or rude to the kids

This really should go without saying, but if you see someone who’s younger and learning, try to help them out. Don’t yell at them or make them cry just because you probably could. We all have to start somewhere, and you don’t want to be the reason why that kid quits skateboarding all together. 
If they keep violating any of the other guidelines, talk to the parents if they’re there. This is a good way for the parents and kid to learn what to do and what not to do at the skatepark. 

Don’t “one up” anybody

If you’ve been to the skatepark enough times, you’ve probably seen someone struggling with a trick that you can do in your sleep. If another skater is struggling doing a kickflip down the 5 stair, don’t go right after them and do it in front of them.

This shows a “I’m better than you” attitude, and displays a lack of empathy. Chances are, you didn’t do it first try. You had to work at it for awhile until you finally landed it. Let them have that same type of satisfaction. If you do it in front of them, it increases the rate of them feeling bad and wanting to give up, which is the opposite of effect we’re trying to make.

Instead, try encouraging them and giving them tips if they’re willing to receive it. Cheer them on so when they do land it, they have someone to thank.

Don’t sit on the ledges

Most skateparks have areas to sit and store your stuff. But everyone always ends up sitting on the ledges and obstacles. It’s fine, but someone may want to be skating that ledge. It’s just a good, general rule to be aware of when at the skatepark.

Make the Skatepark a safe environment

Skateparks can sometimes have a bad reputation in the community where all the “bad kids” hang around. This isn’t true, more often than not. If you see something illegal or something that shouldn’t be happening at the skatepark, be sure to report it and alert your local officials if it’s safe to.

The more appealing and safer the skatepark is, the more beginner skaters will want to use it. The skatepark is open to all walks of life of all ages. Let’s make sure it stays that way!

Clean up after yourself

Since the skatepark is a communal spot, be sure to take all of your trash with you instead of leaving it around the park. We want the skateparks to be a healthy, fun environment so we can keep them around. When the park has trash and litter everywhere, it makes it less appealing for skaters to go there.

A good, stable rule is to leave an area cleaner than you found it. Trust me, everyone will be thanking you later!


And that’s it! If you follow these, you’ll have a great time at the skatepark. And if you violate any of them, an apology will normally do the trick. So grab your gear and head off to the skatepark!

Want to learn how to ride at the skatepark? Check out Skateboarding Made Simple. We have seven volumes that you can buy in a package, or separately. They start out teaching you the basics, and then teach you how to land harder tricks, so you’re always progressing. You can check it out here!

Stepping on a skateboard for the first time can be an intimidating experience. Braille Skateboarding is here to put your fears to rest. Before we get into the specifics, we recommend you check out the video below. When you’re finished watching the video you should read the post that follows. This will really help you understand the mechanics of riding a skateboard.

How to Skateboard Tutorial

Are you ready to get riding?

It is so awesome that you will be learning to skateboard! Skateboarding really is fun, but it’s important to spend a lot of time in the beginning just working on basic riding. Think of it like riding a bicycle. If you’ve learned how to ride a bicycle then you know that you didn’t start by doing wheelies and hitting jumps. The first step was learning how to ride around without falling off. Riding a skateboard is very similar.

The difference is that instead of pedaling, you’ll accelerate by pushing with your foot. Stopping without brakes is as simple as putting your back foot down or stepping off the board! Be careful if you’re going fast; you’ll want to let yourself slow down before trying to step off the board.

Foot Position

The first thing you need to figure out is which foot are you going to put forward.

A good way to figure it out is if you were to slide on something slippery like ice, which foot would you put forward? Whichever one you choose decides which stance you should ride.  Left foot forward is regular and right foot forward is called goofy stance.

If both stances feel similar, don’t worry. Eventually one stance will become more comfortable. It may just take a few days of trying out both stances. Some skateboarders will use one stance when street skating, and switch to the other stance for transition skating. Take your time, experiment, and you’ll figure out which foot to put forward before you know it.

Pushing

Now that you have your stance figured out, you’re going to need to learn to push. Pushing is similar to walking, so when you first start off, just walk up to your skateboard and walk onto it and start pushing with the other foot. By doing this, you will determine your stance. If your stance is regular you’re going to step onto your board with your left foot first and push with your right. For goofy stance, you’re stepping on with your right foot and pushing with your left.

Something you may want to avoid is “pushing mongo”. This is when skateboarders use their front foot to push, keeping their back foot on the bolts near the tail of the board. Although this may feel more comfortable when you’re starting out, training your back foot to be the pushing foot will help you set up faster for tricks and result in a stronger, faster push.

Plus it looks more natural and will help you develop a cleaner style. When riding in the switch stance, however, some skateboarders will push mongo as they are already used to pushing with that same foot.

One thing to get used to is that when you are pushing with your back foot, your front foot is facing straight, but once you get both feet on the board you turn your front foot sideways.

While you’re pushing, your chest should be facing forwards (the direction you’re moving). After pushing, return your back foot to the rear of the board and pivot your front foot from straight to sideways. At this point your chest should also be facing sideways (the direction your toes are pointing).

Turning

There are two ways of turning your board. They are a carving turn and a kick turn. With the carving turn you will need your trucks a little looser and when you lean one way or the other, the board will follow into a turn.

Keeping your shoulders parallel with the board will keep you riding straight forward. As you open your shoulders up and lean on your feel side you begin carving frontside. If you do the opposite by turning your shoulders in while leaning on your toe side, you will begin carving backside. You may find one direction easier to carve in at first. As you ride your skateboard more you’ll start to carve both ways comfortably.

For a kick turn you are going to want to push down slightly with your back foot down on the tail until the front wheels just barely come off the ground.  Once you’ve gotten to this point, turn your shoulders a little and the board should turn with you.

To perform a frontside kick turn you will open your shoulders up, lift the nose end of the board up slightly, then turn the board towards your heels. A backside kick turn requires you to turn your shoulders inward, lift the nose end of the board up slightly, then turn the board towards your toes. With a little balance and a lot of practice, you’ll be kick turning like there’s no tomorrow!

Riding Everywhere

It’s important that you spend a lot of time riding your board around and get comfortable with pushing and turning. These two steps are the foundation of all of skateboarding. A lot of times we see a beginner who wants to get right into tricks, but basic riding is the most important step. You should spend a long time on this one step.

Riding your board more will help you develop a cleaner and more visually appealing style! This makes a huge difference in how your tricks look and feel. We want skateboarding to be the best feeling in the world for you, and the easiest way to achieve that is by mastering these fundamentals before anything else.

The more time you spend on your board the better, so take it with you places. Ride it to school, work, the store. Ride everywhere you can and pretty soon riding will feel incredibly comfortable for you. Almost as easy as walking!

-Aaron Kyro

Learning to ride your board will take some practice but following these steps will help guide you through the process. The more you practice and get comfortable, the easier it will get!

You’ll be amazed how quickly you progress as you skateboard from point A to point B every chance you get. Riding your board soon becomes second nature. Once you’re at that point, the world transforms into your playground. Now that you’re having fun, be warned! Even the greatest skateboarders in the world will still fall off their board and slam from a well placed pebble. Like ripped shoes, this is an unavoidable aspect of skateboarding. Take these falls with pride, knowing that every great skateboarder has been in that same position before.


Moving Forward

Once you have riding down it will be time to start learning some tricks! There are articles here and here that go over beginning tricks, but you should also get Skateboarding Made Simple Volumes 1-7. This is the 7 part lesson plan that will take you from beginner to advanced skater.

Regular, goofy or mongo? Show us how you ride your skateboard! Braille Skateboarding wants to see you riding! Film a quick clip of you pushing your hardest and post it on Instagram tagging @brailleskate and #brailleskate. Let us know which piece of advice helped you the most so we can highlight that and we can get more people riding their skateboards!