Skateboarding 101: Safety Tips for Beginners
Skateboarding is an active sport where you ride a skateboard while sometimes performing tricks and exhibitions on it. It may also be considered a form of recreational activity or a mode of transportation. A skateboard consists of a board with wheels.
Parts of a Skateboard
A traditional skateboard consists of a deck, grip tape, truck, wheels, bushings, wheel assembly, and nuts and bolts. These parts usually make up the common skateboard but some modern skateboards may have various alterations in their bodies. As a beginner, it is important for you to know the parts of your equipment for safety measures.
- Deck – A skateboard usually comes in different sizes, but the most commonly used ones which are standard in size, are from 18 to 27 cm wide and 71 to 84 cm long. Wider decks offer more stability. Longboards, on the other hand, measures over 91 cm long while penny boards are 56 cm long.
- Grip Tape - It is a sheet of fabric or paper with an adhesive on one side while the
otherside has a rough texture similar to a sand paper. The grip tape lays on top of the board to keep your feet from sliding while you are riding or performing your tricks.
- Trucks – These are made of metal or aluminum alloy and are attached to the deck. It connects the wheels and the deck in place.
- Wheels – Most skateboard wheels are made of polyurethane which comes in various sizes. Wheels with a bigger diameter can move faster and
addsmore stability while smaller ones can roll with lesser force.
How to Ride a Skateboard
The first thing you need to learn is how to use and ride your skateboard. Just follow these basic steps:
- Just simply stand on the deck while allowing the gravity to pull and set the skateboard in motion. You can also launch your skateboard by placing one foot on the deck while using the other foot to push the board from the ground. Usually, riders are more comfortable using the back foot for pushing. However, if you feel more comfortable using the front foot for pushing then this is referred to as a mongo.
- Position yourself in riding motion. Once you are moving, place your foot on the back of the board. Slightly bend your knees but keep your stance in an upright position with a straight back. This will keep you in balance.
- The easiest way to stop your boardis to slow down and gradually position one foot in the road.
Types of Positions
Learning to position and balance yourself on a skateboard may be tougher than it looks. Imagine that you are standing on a deck with wheels that keep on constantly moving. You need to focus and concentrate on getting the right balance without falling over.
There are two ways to ride a skateboard, goofy or regular. You need to find the position that you are most comfortable in.
- Goofy – Your right foot is positioned in front.
- Regular – Your left foot is positioned in front.
- Switch - This refers to riders who are naturally a goofy but chooses to ride regular and vice versa.
Once you figure out which position works for you better, you can start practicing this more often until you get used to it. It is important to identify which posture is most appropriate for your because you can execute a safer ride if you are in a correct stance.
Safety Tips for New Riders
Learning to ride a skateboard isn’t just all about moving your board successfully. The biggest consideration you need to follow is how to use it safely. It all starts with choosing the right gear for you.
Choosing the Right Gear
When picking the right gear it is always best to do your research first. Everything you need to know is available on the internet. It’s always advisable to ask experts to give you tips. You can also scout sports shops to see and feel the actual board.
- Board – Pick a board that will suit your lifestyle and interests. Since there a lot of styles to choose from, choose one that is appropriate for your size and also where you plan to use it. You can either go for a skateboard, longboard, custom-made board, or an electric skateboard.
Skateboards are perfect for doing tricks. It’s easy to maneuver but requires more practice to master your balance. Longboards, on the other hand, are ideal for beginners who intend to use it for cruising on the streets while custom boards are more appropriate for experienced riders who prefer building their own board. Electric skateboards are fun to use and are commonly used for transportation.
- Skating Shoes – Get a good pair of skating shoes because they are designed specifically for skateboarding. Their soles are equipped with a grip so to prevent you from sliding off the board and is definitely safer to use.
- Protective gear – Don’t leave your house without wearing a protective gear. A helmet will keep your head protected in case you fall down. As a beginner, expect that you will fall down a lot. Make sure your helmet is snugly fit with a chin strap tightly secured.
Make sure you also strap on some knee, elbow pads, and wrist guards. These are essential gears especially when you are still learning to ride. A protective gear prevents you from getting serious injuries. It’s better to be safe than to regret it when you’re in the emergency room.
Just follow these safety tips and have fun while you are learning. After all, enjoying the experience is what skateboarding is all about.