Once upon a time, eleven year old me chanced upon Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 for the PS2. This was my first introduction to skateboarding, and I loved it.
It was the perfect mixture of soundtrack, humor, and 90s style. THPS4 had a massive impact on me, and I spent hours soaking up the culture in front of the TV.
As much as I wanted to, I never got around to actually learning to skate.
It was just something I never had the confidence to try, skating always seemed beyond my abilities, and I’d probably hurt myself.
I decided I was going to learn, accepting the fact that it would be painful, and that I would look like an idiot. Better now than later on when my bones refuse to heal, right?
The first thing I did was some research – Here is helpful guide to the anatomy of a skateboard, that explains everything so much better than I ever could.
Armed with the knowledge of how a skateboard works, I now had to learn how ride one.
I enlisted the help of my mate Jed, who happens to be an extreme sports aficionado.
Jed’s top tips for riding a skateboard are
- Figure out if you are better suited to regular or goofy stance
- Bend your legs and keep your center of gravity low, with your front foot over the front bolts
- Push off, lean forwards and put your weight on the front foot to stay balanced
- Get the leg you pushed with back on the board, and turn your body facing sideways with feet over the bolts
- To turn, lean in the direction you want to go (duh)
- For sharper changes at low speed, place your back foot on the tail of the board and push down. At the same time, swing your front leg in the direction you want to go
Jed didn’t actually teach me how to stop, so I looked at this website, which says to rotate your front foot forwards as if you were pushing, but use your pushing leg to gently apply friction to the ground, keeping your balance on the front foot.
Or you could just bail every time
All in all, I really enjoyed learning how to skate. I got a little too cocky towards the end, and tried riding a micro skateboard (which is much harder to balance on). Naturally this ended with a smackdown, but I learnt a lesson in taking it slow at least.
I also discovered spray on bandage, which stings really badly, but covers your wound in a clear layer of skin like substance. It stops infection, waterproofs the wound and speeds recovery.
Truly we live in the future