“I love skateboarding, but I’m having trouble with my confidence. How can I fix that?”
We get told this a lot, whether it’s in Skate Supports, comments or skaters at the skatepark. Confidence is a tricky thing. It’s hard to progress in skateboarding when you’re not confident in your skills. Yet, it’s hard to be confident in what you’re doing when you’re first learning. So, how do we fix that?
Confidence is defined as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” When you have confidence, you can roll up to the skatepark and not care about what anybody else says. Confidence is the ability to keep trying a trick again and again until you get it. You’ll stay up all night, because you know that you will keep going at it until you land it.
So, how do you get to that point? What’s the key to building confidence? While there isn’t a straight, clear cut way in building confidence because everyone is different, here are a few tips that we’ve found help.
When you practice, you’re pushing yourself. You’re trying something new. As you start out, the best thing to do is practice and make sure you’re having fun while doing it. Just. Keep. Practicing.
When you’re practicing a lot, you’re going to run through a lot of emotions. You’ll probably go from being excited, to being angry, to wanting to give up, to getting more excited because you’re almost close, and then super excited because you finally landed it. Just know, this is completely normal. You have to stick with it and persist. Once you land it and you can do it in your sleep, then you know you’re confident in landing it. That’s one step closer to building overall confidence.
When people want to help you, they will give you constructive criticism or tips on how to land a trick. That’s what you should listen to. Don’t listen to those who want to put you down and persuade you to stop skating.
This becomes more apparent when you’re at the skatepark. Some skaters don’t want other skaters coming to the skatepark to get in their way, or don’t want them to overcrowd the skate park. Whatever the reason is, I’ve seen skaters tell younger kids not to skate at the park or just convince them to quit at all. Which the often end up doing.
Unfortunately, it’s more common than it should be. We want to build up the skateboarding community, not decrease it. If you come across anyone who does that, just don’t skate near them, don’t listen to them and keep skating. If anything, prove them wrong by persisting.
Another way is to keep learning. Not only does practicing help, but learning is also a key part in building confidence. Watching videos, reading books and anything that will help you with any part of skateboarding will increase your confidence.
This also goes hand in hand with keep practicing. You can study different skate support videos or slow-motion videos of kickflips and really be able to see what the feet are doing, and what you’re doing. This is helpful when learning the trick, or just trying to improve it. Always keep learning.
Another good way is to keep up with the industry. Watch skate contests, follow your favorite skaters on social media, read books, etc… The more you know about the industry, you more excited you tend to get about being apart of it, and thus making you want to get better. You will also get inspiration, which pushes you, again, to progress even more.
Getting involved with your local skating community allows you to meet new people, learn more about the industry and be able to do some awesome things in your local area. Once you’ve done a few, you can create a name for yourself and become better yourself at skating and helping others skate. It’s a great way to build confidence.
A good way to do this is reaching out to local skate shops, or after school skateboarding clubs. People are always looking for help. Especially local skateboarding groups that want to promote skateboarding as a fun, enlightening sport that can actually help a lot of people and make the community a better place.
While skateboarding is an individual sport, there’s nothing quite like spending a day with your friends skating around the streets. By skating with others, you’re learning from them and maybe even teaching them. The best thing is, they’re there to help you and push you forward. They cheer you on, give you tips and anything they can do to help you push you further.
More often than not, skating with others helps your confidence because you’re in a group. You generally feel happier and willing to push yourself more when your friends are with you. They will also stay with you until you land that trick. They pump you up and give you tips so you can go home happy!
Skating and practicing every day gets you more comfortable on your board and also ensure you keep progressing, and you can progress faster.
If you’re just starting out, try this for a week. Take your board to school, work, the library, etc… Practice whatever trick you want to learn and actually do the steps every single day. And do it for 10, 15 or 20 minutes. However long it takes. You’re putting time in and will be able to land it when you’re done.
Going to the skatepark for the first time can be very scary when you’re just starting out. It’s not as scary if you’re with your friends. Similar to the skating with friends section above, going to the skatepark with your friends makes it more fun because you always have someone there with you. So you can focus your attention on having fun and learning new tricks.
As you’re starting out, it’s simple to look at what others can do, and why you’re not as good as them. Most of the time, it’s because you want to land a trick, or land a bunch of tricks. For many people, that trick is the ollie.
But once you land the Ollie, and spend all that time and you feel like giving up, and then persisting and finally landing it, you feel like you’re on top of the world. Once you land a trick that you’ve been having trouble on, you’ll instantly feel more confident about yourself and more confident going to skate with others.
Anything we miss? Leave a comment below! If you’re having trouble with your tricks and want to learn how to fix it, Skateboarding Made Simple is what you need! You can pick it up here!
Also, be sure to submit a Skate Support Request to Aaron, so he can personally help you out. He’s helped many skaters land tricks and fix their problems this way. You can submit one here!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
While you only really need your skateboard to skate, there are a few accessories and tools on the market that will really help you. Most of these items are for when you’re out on the town and skating around the street, though some of these accessories will help you to learn how to skate and stay safe!
It’s important for every skateboarder to have a “skate kit”. Just like a First-Aid Kit will have medical supplies, your Skateboarding Kit should have all the supplies that you may need during a day of skateboarding at the park or on the streets.
If you are missing any of the accessories from our list, don’t worry about it; We are happy to help you get set up! You’ll notice that all of these accessories can be purchased from our Shop. Braille is you’re one stop shop for skateboarding gear, and that’s why we created this post.
The purpose of this list is to give you an idea of what you should bring with you when going out to skateboard. These accessories will not only ensure your Skateboard stays in working order, but they will also help keep YOU in working order! On that note, let’s get right into the list…
Safety first! Although it may not seem like it, Braille and our whole crew take safety extremely seriously. Safety really is first. This is why we’ve included Helmet and Safety Gear first in this list!
There is nothing worse than hurting yourself while skateboarding. When you’re injured, that means you’re going to be taking some time off from skateboarding. This would be enough to drive any skater insane. We recommend safety gear to skateboarders of all levels. If you’re just starting out, safety gear is even more helpful.
The safety provided from the gear can help you build confidence. The last thing you want to do is to hurt yourself and sustain an injury, however, falling down comes with the territory. Since we know without a shadow of a doubt that we’ll be falling down when learning to skateboard, we will always recommends wearing safety gear.
Protect your head with a helmet, protect your wrists with some wrist guards, and use pads to protect your knees and elbows. As you gain more confidence and skills you may feel more comfortable with taking some or all of the safety gear off.
Baby steps! You should definitely pick up the safety gear as a beginner, and eventually, you’ll be clearing gaps wearing whatever you like.
Now that you’ve got some gear to keep yourself safe, the next accessory you’ll need is a tool for adjusting the different parts of your skateboard. If only there was some kind of multi-purpose tool specifically made for skateboarding… Oh, wait! There is such a tool, and we are here to tell you all about it!
Whether you’re at the skatepark or out in the streets, a skate tool will help you out in a pinch. These tools fit all the screws and bolts of your board and make it super easy to tighten trucks, swap out wheels, and even set up an entire skateboard. Every skater should have one of these with them at all times!
The best part? Skate Tools are pretty cheap! You can get them from most local skateboard shops for around $15-$20. Don’t feel like making a trip to your local shop? Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you!
We offer a professional 5-in-1 Skate Tool that can be purchased from our shop. Go ahead and pick one up today! We’ll ship it out to you as fast as we can so you’ll be able to adjust your board to your liking A.S.A.P.
Non-abrasive grip tape is taking the skate world by storm. If you’re learning to skate and don’t want to completely destroy your shoes, Non-Abrasive Grip Tape is a great option. While it may be a little more expensive than traditional grip tape, Non-Abrasive Grip Tape will last longer and it’ll end up saving you a lot of money in the long run, since you won’t be going through skate shoes nearly as fast.
The rubber grip tape works with the rubber lining on your shoes, so you still can get the flick on your tricks, without the worry of destroying your brand new shoes. With the rising price of skateboarding shoes nowadays, you’ll quickly realize how budget-friendly Non-Abrasive Grip Tape is once you give it a try!
If you have a fresh deck that needs some grip, we recommend picking up a sheet of this Grip Tape from our shop. Check out this Non-Abrasive Grip Tape Test video we made, and place an order today!
The safety gear will take care of you, the skate tool will take care of your board, and the non-abrasive grip will take care of your shoes. Is there anything left to take care of the obstacles that we skate on? There sure is! Show that grind box some love and apply a glorious layer of wax to keep you sliding and grinding…FIRST TRY!!!
Whether you’re street skating or skating at a skatepark, wax is a must-have. No one likes grinding a ledge that is too crunchy or sliding on a rail that is straight-up sticky. Wax is used on surfaces and ledges so that you can slide or grind smoothly along the surfaces/ledges with your board and/or trucks.
If you find yourself getting into your slides and grinds then immediately losing speed, wax is sure to cure what ails you. For use on benches, rails, ledges, etc… Just make sure you don’t add too much wax to the obstacle you’re skating! Too much wax can cause injuries and be difficult to remove, so using just a bit at a time is best, as you can add more when necessary.
By this point, your Skateboarding Kit should be almost complete. We even have an accessory that will help you progress in your skateboarding and learn new tricks and skills! Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, we aren’t making any of this up, folks. That’s right! Our video tutorial series is a must-have accessory that will take your skateboarding to the next level.
Last, but definitely not least, is Skateboarding Made Simple. These tutorials are INCREDIBLE! SMS takes you through each trick and breaks them down step by step. Skateboarding Made Simple makes it so easy to learn to skateboard and has helped thousands learn to skate. If you’re just starting out, or are having trouble with your tricks, SMS is the right thing for you!
Additionally, Skateboarding Made Simple is available as a DVD, instant digital download & on iTunes & Google Play. Go ahead and check it out to progress even faster with your skating!
What do you keep in YOUR skate kit? We want to see! Take a photo or quick video tour of all your gear. Bonus points if you have Braille accessories! Tag us on Instagram @brailleskate and use #brailleskate and #brailleskateboarding for a chance to get your photo featured on our website and social media.
Anything that we miss? Leave a comment below!