Is Skateboarding Hard?
Skateboarding is one of the most challenging sports to master. You spend months repeatedly falling on concrete to learn how to land a flip, and these falls can be dangerous without the proper protective gear. Yes, learning how to skate is a painful, frustrating, and unforgiving process that requires strength, balance, and patience.
Continue reading to find out why skateboarding is such a hard discipline to master, plus some tips for building your own skills on the board.
Why Is Skateboarding So Hard?
To be successful at skateboarding requires a mix of coordination, stamina, and persistence; the progression of even the simple tricks takes months of hard work and practice.
Skateboarding is so hard compared to other sports because of the level of punishment you take daily; failing at a move often means slamming the total weight of your body into a slab of concrete.
Your body understands the dangers of hitting this hard surface, so it constantly works against you to prevent accidents. The resistance in your body may mean that you fail to get into the correct positions and don’t land your tricks properly.
How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Skateboard?
There’s no set answer to this as people adapt to the board differently. Suppose you have a snowboarder, for example, who decides to take up skateboarding as a summer hobby. They will likely find the transition to this sport much easier than the average person.
In general, people who possess solid strength in their core and a good stamina level will learn how to skateboard more quickly than those who don’t. That’s why it’s predominantly young people who take up the sport.
Realistically, if you’re just starting on a skateboard with no prior experience, you can expect a timeframe of at least one year to master the basics and be able to perform some of the simple tricks, such as an ollie.
If you skate around three to four times per week, you can expect a progression similar to the table below. But don’t be disheartened if your progress doesn’t match this standard. Everyone is different, and it’s more important to have complete mastery of a skill before you move on to the next one.
Months of Learning
What you’re working on
Skills you’ve mastered
One – Two
Standing on your board
Three – four
Feeling comfortable maneuvering your skateboard
Standing on your board
Turning and stopping
Five – Six
Comfortable to manoeuver your board.
Ollie (may not yet be proficient)
How Often Do I Need To Skateboard Each Week?
If you want to get proficient at skateboarding, you’ll need to participate in at least two skating sessions each week. A session is defined as a period that lasts between one and two hours.
Other factors can help or hinder how long it takes you to master the basics, including age, fitness, core strength, and having the bravery to commit to new moves.
How Do I Learn To Skateboard?
There’s no shortcut to skateboarding; it takes a lot of hard work and practice. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to start with the basics – such as balance, stance, and pushing – and work to master them until you feel stable and confident on the board.
Failing to master the basics of skateboarding properly can seriously hinder your progress as you begin to attempt more complex moves and tricks.
Some tips for getting started on a board include:
- Begin by placing your board on grass or carpet so that it is stable and can’t move.
- Lean sideways, forward, and backward to get a feel for your board and see how it responds to your movements.
- Look for a safe spot (free of traffic, obstructions, etc.) where you can try out your first skate.
- Stand on your board and practice your balance before your start to move.
- Once you feel comfortable, place your feet correctly and give a slight push off the ground. Only push one time and ride it out to see how it feels.
- Complete this process until you feel comfortable and stable on your board.
Another skill you’ll need to learn to become proficient at skateboarding is how to fall. You’ll inevitably take a tumble at some point during your skateboarding practice. Falling, after all, is just a part of the process of learning to skateboard.
So, learning how to fall correctly and minimize the impact on your body is essential for keeping your body fit and healthy and not allowing a tumble to stall your progress.
Plus, if you get comfortable with falling and your body gets used to the sensation, you’ll be less apprehensive about fully committing to new moves and can focus on getting your feet, shoulders, and the entire body into the correct positions to execute the move effectively.
What Is The Easiest Trick In Skateboarding?
There’s no easy trick in skateboarding, as even the basic disciplines come with challenges—for example, one of the most well-known tricks is the ollie.
To do an ollie requires you to jump up while flicking your back foot on the board’s tail. As you jump, your front foot must push forward against the board at an angle. Then your back foot needs to catch and level out the skateboard, which is now airborne.
Even in the most “simple” trick, you need full-body coordination and agility in the lower body. You can ruin this trick if you lean to the side, turn your shoulders, or fail to jump straight up.
Does The Skateboard Make A Difference?
Yes. A quality skateboard will enable you to perform better, more quickly, whereas a cheap board could add weeks or even months to your progress as you navigate substandard wheels, deck, and bearings.
If you’re serious about becoming a skateboarder, start with a quality product. You’ll want to spend $130 to $180 for a model to complement the learning process. And picking a board from a reputable brand helps make skateboarding a lot easier to master.
Which Factors Affect How Hard It Is To Learn Skateboarding
We’ve already discussed how age, experience, and the right board can make a difference to your progress as a skateboarder. But these aren’t the only factors that come into play, and there’s a range of things to be mindful of if you want to get the most from your practice.
Make sure you wear the right shoes. You’ll need a canvas shoe with a flat sole as a bare minimum. Professional skating shoes are your best option, but anything that allows you to feel the board beneath your feet will help you progress faster.
Wear protective gear. You may not think you need it when you’re just starting, but you should be wearing protective gear – particularly a helmet – to prevent injury to your body any time you step on a board.
Find an appropriate place to skateboard. Skating through the bustling streets of a city is hardly a good location if you’re just starting. Instead, opt for parking lots or abandoned buildings where there are fewer obstacles, and you can focus on your skating rather than everything that’s going on around you.
Additionally, skating with other people can help your progress. It is nice to make friends who share your passion, and they’ll be able to give you some tips on how to improve and help you make progress more quickly.
How Can I Get Better At Skateboarding?
In one word? Practice. Practice is the key to mastering skateboarding, and there are no easy shortcuts. You can, however, monitor your progress to see what you’re doing well or where you could improve.
If you skate with friends, ask them to watch you and give you tips on how to improve. Or, try videoing yourself so that you can watch the footage back. You can also use online forums such as Reddit if you want some advice on a particular move or technique. Here, thousands of people are willing to share their tips for improving your skills.
Skateboarding is a complex discipline to master, requiring hard work, stamina, strength, and resilience. It has a steep learning curve and is one of the most physically punishing sports that you can partake in.
Plus, it takes a lot of time and effort to become good at skating. So you’ll need to put the hours in and be patient while you master the basics. But, with a positive attitude and a big slice of effort, you’ll see your hard work begin to pay off after a few months on the board.