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 A Beginners Guide to Skateboarding – Hints and Tips

Whether it be used as a quirky mode of transport, a way of keeping fit or simply just as a fun sport, skateboarding seems to have remained just as popular as it ever was if not more.

Choosing the Right Board

Starting out in skateboarding naturally begins with buying a board.

 There are two main types of skateboards; the regular board which is more suited to riding around and performing tricks and tends to be a better choice for beginners and there are a variety of longer boards which are more suited to higher speeds and longer distances. 

Boards don't need to be expensive and can be very durable but for anyone who is undecided about whether skateboarding is really for them, most indoor skate parks will rent them out.

Getting Started

Learning to stand and balance on the board may sound simple but can be quite complex when really analysed. 

Riders are generally considered to be either `regular` or `goofy`; `regular` riders stand with their left foot forward and `goofy` riders with the right foot. 

Beginners may want some expert advice and tutors can be found at many of the larger skate parks, but in most cases, riders get into skateboarding through friends or are self-taught. 

There are many guides available online to give a few starting tips such as:-

  • When pushing off, ensure that the foot on the ground is ahead of the foot on the board to ensure the correct weight displacement – many people push from behind which can lead to the board escaping. 

Displacing your weight and driving the board from side to side (carving) should help you to speed up and this is commonly referred to as `Tic Tac, Tic Tac`.

 

Wearing the Right Gear

There are many rider websites available which actually specialise in shoes that are good for skating, though be careful not to sacrifice practicality over design. 

You can skate in regular shoes of course but it can be considered quite dangerous if you don't have the right grips on the sole. Skate shoes are designed with a large flat sole to grip the board better and many contemporary designs will have reinforcements on those parts of the shoes that are vulnerable to being worn down. 

For those skaters that want to go the whole hog, then the same rider websites tend to sell the styles of clothes that prove popular with skaters – comfortable, casual and light-weight clothing as worn by the company's riders themselves.

Safety

Many skaters might consider helmets to look `stupid` and so take the risk of not wearing any form of protection on their heads. Given the dangers that can be involved in skateboarding, particularly when riders graduate into performing high-risk tricks, it really isn't worth the risk. There are a number of well-designed helmets available and most skateboard parks will actually require you to wear one.

Protective pads can also make a difference, particularly for beginners who might struggle to balance at first. Elbow pads and knee pads are much more subtle than they used to be, and wrist supports can help to prevent some potentially very painful accidents.

Skateboarding competitions are held all over the UK for amateurs and more experienced riders and 2008 marks the first National Skateboarding Championships held in the UK since the 1980`s. 


Skateboarding Tricks - How to ollie.

 

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