Is skateboarding easy? Here's an honest take

Athira Aminuddin
30 Aug 2022 05:27pm
Learning how to skate with founder of Arco Skateshop, Ridhuan Jalaludin
Learning how to skate with founder of Arco Skateshop, Ridhuan Jalaludin
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I have always been into sports but never had the chance to try skateboarding until recently, when an opportunity came to learn skateboarding with an experienced skater, Ridhuan Jalaludin or also known as Awai.

Awai is the founder of Arco Skateshop and Arco Skate School.

With my safety gears in place, I’m all set! One of the essential aspects of skateboarding is maintaining a good balance, so that was how we began our lesson.

Balancing is harder than it seems because the deck can be wobbly! The key is to lean on your stronger leg more, and find the right posture before you feel comfortable to push your the deck forward.

Once I got the hand of skating on flat surface, the next trick was to go down a short ramp. It may not be high, but it was a nail-biting moment for me nonetheless as this is my first lesson after all.

Last but not least, I learned how to perform the ollie. Ollie is a skateboarding trick where the rider and board would leap into the air to lift the skateboard.

This is probably the most difficult part of the lesson as it requires balance, speed and the right technique to ensure the board pops off the ground and lands neatly.

I underestimated how difficult skateboarding could be. Balancing along requires focus, strength and determination because it just feels like falling is your biggest enemy and you don't want to hurt yourself.

From my first lesson (hopefully more to come) here are the three things I learned about skateboarding for beginners:

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INVEST IN A HIGH-QUALITY SKATEBOARD

Before I started the lesson, I had to familiarise myself with the board and the different components attached to the skateboard.

The wooden platform which you balance yourself on is called a deck and it’s covered with a piece of sandpaper to prevent your feet from slipping off the board, and a pair of trucks on the bottom to help you steer.

Awai said it is important to invest in a high-quality skateboard. It may be a tad bit costly for beginners but it is to refrain the skaters from injuries if a low-quality board is purchased where it could potentially lead to other injuries.

WEAR THE RIGHT ATTIRE

Wear a piece of clothing that is thick but comfortable to move at the same time. For instance, a pair of jeans is suitable for skating as long as it does not strict your movement or clothes that are made from thick cotton would be okay.

On the other hand, sports attire is not suitable for skating because if the material is thin, it can easily tear off, which will then expose our skin to rough surfaces and cause more injuries.

DON'T BE AFRAID TO FALL

Skateboarding is not an easy sport. It may seem like a simple board with four tiny wheels but it is not easy to get on board and balance yourself while cruising. Like any other skill, learning to skateboard takes time, practice and a lot of patience.

At first I was hesitant to get on board because I have a fear of falling but I had to accept the likelihood that I will trip and fall.

However, at the same time, it is crucial to keep trying and once I cruise down the ramp, I gained confidence to get back on the board to skate again and try other tricks.

Overall, the first lesson I took would not be my last and I am more than happy to learn more skills on the skateboard. My advice to those who want to try skateboarding is to just try it out and don’t give up.

Having the fear of falling is completely normal but do not let it stop you from trying out a new skill. Plus, who said skateboarding is only for boys anyway?