Skate Like a Pro: How to Improve Your Technique
Before you get down on yourself for repeatedly failing that trick, try switching up your learning style. Skateboarding is like anything else—in order to get better, it takes time and dedication. But unlike some other mainstream sports, skateboarding also takes serious guts to get past the fear of wiping out. Before your next session at the skatepark, make a mental note of these six strategies that will help improve your skateboarding technique.
This one seems obvious, but it’s easy to misinterpret what this means. Practicing doesn’t just consist of riding around town on your skateboard (we trust you’ve got this skill down). Just being on your board doesn’t count as practice. In order to get better, you need to cut some time out of your day to intentionally try things you’re not good at. Focus on the skills that are your weakest and do those things over and over again.
Don’t Chicken Out
Okay, obviously there will be times when you have to bail on your board. We’re not saying you should go ahead and take the hit when you’re about to collide with another skater or you know you’ll cause serious injury to yourself. But with that being said, skateboarding and fear just don’t go together. Make sure you wear the right protective gear because the only way you're going to improve is by following through with that trick even when you think you'll eat it.
Sometimes it can be difficult to see what you’re doing wrong from your own perspective. Set up a GoPro nearby or have a friend record you skating, then watch it over and over and over again. Watch it in slow motion. Watch it so much that you get sick of seeing your own face. Then focus on those mistakes you’re making the next time you’re practicing.
Watch the Pros
While you’re watching yourself on video, you may as well watch how the pros are doing it too. Many professionals have admitted that while they were learning to skate for the first time, they watched videos of pros to get better. Watch these videos back to back with your own and you’ll see clear differences in the way you perform the trick.
Visualize Yourself Landing It
This is a technique that’s not specific just to skating. Pros from all types of extreme sports have claimed that visualizing success is a key strategy for getting better. Don’t expect that you’re going to fall epically; instead, picture yourself nailing the trick perfectly before you even get on the board. You’ll be surprised what a difference this makes in the way you perform!
Skate with Other (Better) Skaters
You learn much better when you’re with other skaters who are more advanced than you. Not only will you get an up-close look at tricks that you haven’t been able to land yet, but you’ll also have the opportunity to get some pointers from those who know how to do it. Plus, you’ll naturally challenge yourself a little more when you’re with other skaters that are better than you.
Above all else, just remember that dedication is the key to growing in anything. Skateboarding is a blast, but it also takes hard work. The more time and effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it and the faster you’ll develop your skills.
Credit: Photo by Austin Lamoreaux
- Outdoors Staff