5 Ways To Not Look Like A N00b When You Start Skateboarding
We've all been through it: the skatepark scaries. It's hard being new at anything, but even more so when you're surrounded by 3-year-olds who are better than you. What's worse is when you know you look like a beginner, it just sets off the anxiety. That's why we decided to come up with a few ways, tried and true, to look less like a noob and more like an intermediate. All we ask is you don't mall grab (and that brings us onto number 1…)
Don't Mall Grab
The 'Mall Grab' is a common inside joke between skateboarders. It originates from the US and describes kids who carry their board by the trucks, turning up to 'hang at the mall' with their fresh new decks, which have barely been skated just to look cool - the classes' poser.' While skateboarding is, of course inclusive and really anyone can do anything, it will show that you're a beginner if you rock up to any spot holding your board by the trucks. Basically, JUST DON'T MALL GRAB.
Learn how to get onto your skateboard
I'm sure we've all been there; been the person who picks their board up and puts it down in front of them with two hands, fully bent over, while trying to get it perfectly lined up straight. It's not a great look, and it evidently shows you're a beginner - which of course, is not a bad thing and usually, everyone around you will be totally accepting of that. However, most of us pick up skateboarding to improve and to be good at it, in which case, learning to run and jump onto your board will prove to be a much-needed skill as you embark on your skateboarding journey. Many videos can be found on YouTube with a step-by-step guide to get you on your way. Just remember to always put your front foot first!
Learn how to stop
Foot-braking is a beginner-friendly way to stop or slow down when you're on level ground. It does end up wearing the sole of your shoe down, so it isn't the most sustainable way, but when you're on the sidewalk and need to stop quickly, it can prevent you from crashing into people. With this one, you need a lot of control on your board, as you have to slowly apply pressure from your back foot onto the ground. The majority of your weight should remain on your front foot, which should be positioned on or behind the front bolts. If you have your foot too close to the nose, you could end up going into an involuntary nose manny, and no one wants that.
Learn how to pick up your skateboard
One of the things that sets apart the noobs from the pros is the way people pick up their boards. There are so many ways to show your skateboarding style in the trick that's not really a trick. But for the beginners, beginners can start their journey with a skateboard under $150; the classic tail pop pick-up is gonna be your best friend. It's so simple and requires very little practice; as long as you don't pop too hard, you can't really go wrong. Give it 20 mins of applying different amounts of pressure in your pop and moving your dominant hand around to figure out where the board will end up, and you'll have it down.
Get comfortable on the board.
Skate everywhere - in the early days of learning to skate, the easiest way to pick it up quickly is to just skate at every opportunity, so take your board with you when you're running errands, skate every smooth bit of tarmac, every quiet road, every open sidewalk. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will be on the board. That's the most important thing, and it will make learning tricks a hell of a lot easier.
Read next, 8 Essentials No Skater Should Live Without