Skateboarding Lifestyle: A guide for beginners & non skaters
Are you looking to get into skateboarding and want to fit in quickly? My article today is on everything a beginner needs to know so they can blend in. I talk about all things skate related, from what boards you need, to what type of magazines you should read. Check it out.
Get the right type of board
If you have the wrong type of board at the skatepark, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. So it’s important you get a proper deck. So you can’t just go and pick any deck from that you see with trucks and wheels. You need to make sure you pick the right one. This is because there are many different types of boards out there and they are all built for different types of skating.
A proper skateboard deck typically comes in the popsicle shape. It has two kicktails, is about 32inches long and is between 7.5 to 8 inches in width. This is what you’ll see under feet of most riders at the park and you should get one yourself.
And for good reason too, the other decks aren’t the best for doing tricks. Some might have heavy wheels, different types of trucks, etc. and they’ll be good for other stuff, just not skateboarding.
Don’t commit these skateboarding sins
Mall grabbing is one of the quickest ways to tell apart a beginner from an experienced skater. Mall grabbing is simply holding your skateboard by the trucks. When skaters do tricks like grinds and boardslide, they wax whatever feature they’re going to be skating. More often than not, this wax ends up on your truck. So if you hold your trucks, you get this disgusting wax and dirt on your hands. So yeah, actual skaters don’t hold their boards this way to avoid getting wax on their hands.
To hold your skateboard correctly, carry it from the middle of the board with the griptape facing away from you. If you carry it with the grip facing you, it could scratch up your clothes.
Don’t blow spots
When you blow a spot, you basically make it unskateable. By unskateable I mean, there will be too many people trying to skate it, or the local neighbors will chase away any skaters they see. Stuff like that.
Blowing spots is uncool and it can be easily done if you don’t know what you’re doing. And if you blow a spot, skaters will be unwilling to skate with you or take you with them to different spots.
So to avoid blowing spots, be respectful to locals, don’t share locations on social media, and try to keep a low profile when you’re out skating them.
Wearing the wrong shoes
Skate tricks require a certain level of finesse that normal shoes can’t provide. And all skaters know this. So if you show up to a session or the park with non-skate shoes, everyone is gonna know you’re an outsider.
Skate shoes are designed with skating in mind. They come with durable soles and uppers so that they can withstand the abuse of doing tricks. Normal shoes would tear within a session of skateboarding, whilst skate shoes will last months. Skate shoes also have better support than normal shoes, and they have a ton of cushioning to help absorb impact forces when you land ollies and big tricks.
Protective gear, yay or nay?
You’ll notice that a lot of riders don’t wear protective gear when skating. This is mostly a personal choice, but it’s also influenced by other riders too.
When it comes to pros, they are very experienced so they won’t fall easily. So it’s not necessary for them to wear protective gear. But also some brands discourage them from wearing protective gear cause it doesn’t look so good for ads. Which is pretty terrible I think.
As a beginner, I actually do recommend you wear some protective gear. Yeah, it may make you stick out a bit, but protective gear will actually allow you to feel confident and comfortable onboard. Slams won’t be as painful and you’ll be able to get to grips with tricks quicker because of the added confidence.
So yeah, you should look into getting a helmet, wrist, and knee pads when you start out. Yes, you might look a bit kooky and the helmet may feel bulky, but you’ll be able to learn faster this way and you’ll be safe too.
How to get sponsored fast?
Getting sponsored is every skater’s dream. You get paid, get free gear, get loads of travel opportunities, as well as all the clout at the skatepark.
The fastest way to get sponsored is through your local shop. These guys are the ones who’ll see you out in the park skating and doing tricks. They’ll probably be the first ones who will recognize your talents and be interested in supporting you.
The best way to get them to sponsor you is to just hang around the shop a lot, hang out with the employees, and just generally be a cool person. If you can be good friends with them, they will likely flow you gear to try out.
Like with most things, getting sponsored is really about who you know rather than what you can do. If you know the right people, then things become easy.
What type of media should you check out?
A big part of skate culture is the type of media we consume. This is everything from videos, to stickers, to clothes, to pictures and magazines. It helps us connect with other skaters, keep us stoked, and inspires us to skate.
It also makes it easy to engage with other skaters too. You could strike up a conversation by asking someone if they’ve seen so and so’s latest video part.
It’s worth following some skate brands and skaters on social media. There’s also nothing more motivating than seeing other skaters land crazy tricks, It gets the fire going and can really motivate you to get out and skate.
You should also pick up some skate magazines and other skate accessories if you can. You’ll feel more a part of the community if you’re repping gear from some dope skate related brands.
Are you ready to get out and shred?
Hopefully, my article has been useful and will inspire you to get out and skate. Finally, keep in mind that skating will have its ups and downs like everything else. You’ll get injured, have crappy sessions, and sometimes won’t feel like you’re progressing at all. It’s important you stay stoked and just give everything time to get better.