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Skateboard: A Guide for Beginners and Enthusiasts
Skateboarding is a fun and exciting sport that can challenge your body and mind. Whether you want to cruise around the city, perform amazing tricks, or compete in events, skateboarding has something for everyone. But before you hop on your board and start rolling, you need to know some basics about skateboarding. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about skateboard types, tricks, benefits, and safety.
What is a skateboard and what are its components?
A skateboard is a piece of wood or composite material attached to two pairs of axles with a total of four wheels that a skater uses for transportation or for executing tricks. Skateboarding is powered by your feet, but there are also electric skateboards that require no kicking or pumping.
A complete skateboard is made up of three basic parts:
Deck: Skateboard decks are the wooden or composite material platform upon which the trucks mount, and its where you place your feet. To ensure your shoes dont slide off the board, the topside of the deck typically has grip tape, which is applied in different styles based on the skaters preference. The bottom skateboard design is usually artwork or plain. The deck size varies based on the height, weight, and shoe size of the skater, as well as their riding preferences.
Trucks: The axles that hold the wheels are called trucks and are secured to the board with four bolts per truck. By adjusting the kingpin and loosening or tightening the pressure on the bushings, you can set how loosely or tightly the trucks move. This determines how easy or hard it is to make turns and is tuned to the board, rider, and usage. Your trucks should measure roughly the same width as your skateboard. The height of your trucks is determined by the diameter of your wheels and how you want to ride.
Wheels: There are four wheels on every skateboard, with two wheels on each truck. Wheels come in different diameters, with different uses: Smaller wheels (5053 mm) are used for street and trick skaters, as theyre easier to turn; average wheels (5459 mm) work best on vertical (vert) ramps and are good options for beginners; and large wheels (60 mm or more) are for longboards and rougher terrains. The wheels turn via bearings (two per wheel for a total of eight per board) and are judged using the ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee) ratingsizes 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, with the higher numbers being of better quality and precision. Wheels also have different hardness ratings, with soft wheels being better for higher speeds and downhill skateboarding, while hard wheels are more tuned to doing skateboard tricks.
How skateboarding became popular and an Olympic sport
The first skateboards started with wooden boxes or boards with roller skate. wheels attached to them. These early skateboards were inspired by the surfing culture and were used to ride on flat surfaces or down hills. Skateboarding soon became a popular sport and a form of self-expression for many young people. In the 1970s, skateboarding evolved with the introduction of new technologies, such as polyurethane wheels, kicktails, and curved decks. Skateboarders began to perform aerial tricks on ramps and pools, creating a new style of skateboarding called vert. In the 1980s and 1990s, skateboarding expanded to include street skating, which involved using urban obstacles such as stairs, rails, ledges, and benches. Skateboarding also became more mainstream with the rise of skate magazines, videos, games, and competitions. In 2021, skateboarding made its debut as an Olympic sport in Tokyo, Japan, showcasing the best skateboarders from around the world in two disciplines: street and park. What are the benefits of skateboarding for physical and mental health?
Skateboarding is not only a fun and exciting sport, but also a great way to improve your physical and mental health. Here are some of the benefits of skateboarding:
It improves balance and coordination: Skateboarding requires you to balance on a moving board and coordinate your movements with your eyes, legs, feet, and arms. This helps you develop your proprioception, or the awareness of your body in space. Skateboarding also improves your reflexes and agility, which can help you in other sports and activities.
It strengthens the legs, arms, and core muscles: Skateboarding works out various muscles in your body, especially your lower body. Pushing, turning, jumping, and landing all engage your leg muscles, such as your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Your arms and core muscles also get a workout from steering and stabilizing your board. Skateboarding can help you build muscle strength and endurance, as well as prevent injuries.
It increases stamina: Skateboarding can be a vigorous aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up and burns calories. Depending on your speed, terrain, and intensity, skateboarding can burn between 150 to 500 calories per hour. Skateboarding can also improve your cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
It relieves stress: Skateboarding can be a great way to relieve stress and improve your mood. When you skateboard, you release endorphins, which are natural chemicals that make you feel happy and relaxed. Skateboarding can also help you cope with anxiety, depression, and anger by providing an outlet for your emotions.
It has fun: Skateboarding is a sport that allows you to express yourself creatively and enjoy yourself. You can skateboard alone or with friends, in different places and environments, and with different styles and tricks. Skateboarding can also boost your self-confidence and self-esteem by challenging you to learn new skills and overcome obstacles.
Different types of skateboards and their uses
There are many types of skateboards available in the market today, each with its own features and advantages. Here are some of the most common types of skateboards and their uses:
LongboardA longboard is a skateboard that is longer than 33 inches (84 cm) and has larger wheels than a regular skateboard. Longboards are designed for cruising, carving, downhill racing, freeriding, sliding, dancing, or commuting.A longboard is ideal for beginners who want to learn how to balance and ride smoothly on flat or downhill surfaces. It is also suitable for experienced riders who want to enjoy long-distance rides or high-speed thrills.
ShortboardA shortboard is a skateboard that is shorter than 33 inches (84 cm) and has smaller wheels than a longboard. Shortboards are designed for performing tricks on ramps, rails, ledges, stairs, or other obstacles.A shortboard is ideal for advanced riders who want to showcase their skills and creativity on street or park terrain. It is also suitable for intermediate riders who want to improve their technique and learn new tricks.
CruiserA cruiser is a skateboard that is similar to a shortboard but has softer wheels than a regular skateboard. Cruisers are designed for cruising around town or campus at moderate speeds.A cruiser is ideal for casual riders who want to have fun and explore different places on their board. It is also suitable for riders who want to combine skateboarding with transportation.
Electric skateboardAn electric skateboard is a skateboard that has a battery-powered motor that propels the board forward. Electric skateboards are controlled by a handheld remote or an app on a smartphone. Electric skateboards can reach speeds of up to 25 mph (40 km/h) and have a range of up to 20 miles (32 km) on a single charge.An electric skateboard is ideal for riders who want to experience the thrill of skateboarding without exerting much effort. It is also suitable for riders who want to travel faster and farther on their board.
Different types of skateboarding tricks and their difficulty levels
Skateboarding tricks are maneuvers performed on a skateboard, usually involving the rotation of the board, the rider, or both. Skateboarding tricks can be classified into four categories: flatland, flip, grind, and slide. Here are some examples of each category and their difficulty levels:
Flatland tricks: Flatland tricks are performed on flat surfaces, such as the ground or a ramp. They involve balancing on one or two wheels, spinning the board, or hopping over obstacles. Some examples of flatland tricks are ollies, manuals, shuvits, and 360s. Flatland tricks are usually easy to learn and are the foundation for other tricks.
Flip tricks: Flip tricks are performed by flipping the board in the air with your feet. They involve kicking or flicking the board in different directions, such as frontside, backside, inward, or outward. Some examples of flip tricks are kickflips, heelflips, varial flips, and tre flips. Flip tricks are usually hard to learn and require precise timing and coordination.
Grind tricks: Grind tricks are performed by sliding the trucks of the board along an edge or a rail. They involve balancing on one or two trucks, while moving forward or backward. Some examples of grind tricks are 50-50s, 5-0s, nosegrinds, and crooked grinds. Grind tricks are usually moderate to learn and require speed and balance.
Slide tricks: Slide tricks are performed by sliding the deck of the board along an edge or a rail. They invo