Don’t start with freestyle

I’ve been hanging a bit on a Discord channel full of people new to freestyle skateboarding. In many cases they are new to skateboarding in general. I think it would be hard to actually enter skateboarding as a freestyler. The sad truth is that starting off as a freestyler, I don’t think people really learn to actually ride their boards. As a result, you get a lot of people who can do some tricks, but barely roll down the street. They lack the fundamental skills and comfort level you get from just growing up skating around your neighborhood. It would be very hard to learn, for example, Walk the Dog, if you can’t even kickturn both ways with control and confidence. Or even tic tac without looking like you are struggling for your life.

It is easy to learn “about” tricks and all sorts of stuff now, but I think it was better back when I started and you learned the very basics really well because it was all you knew about.

I try to be open-minded, but there is one thing of which I am absolutely sure and totally inflexible…and 100% correct.

Skateboarding is about actually riding the skateboard. Ultimately, if you can’t do anything but ride it well, that is enough. Everything else radiates from that core skill, so if you lack that skill, you are not going to be very good on your board.

So if you don’t start with freestyle, where do you start? Just loosen your trucks up a bit and ride around.

3 thoughts on “Don’t start with freestyle

  1. Eric Sanders

    Nicely said Bob. Basics of skating first-find most comfortable stance, learn to push and stop, hours of getting your balance dialed in (yes falls will happen like sliding out on the banana peel), tic tacs lead to kick turns without those everything else will be a harder time to learn, forget the Mutt ollie when starting, kick turns will begat walk the dogs and endovers. Too often I see some new skater trying to ollie with klunker balance because they got a board saw the tube vid and went “Those are easy” without laying down the basics first.


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