June 22, 2024

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I’m an Adult Learning to Skateboard. Let Me Explain.

4 min read


“Come on, Jon! Just commit!”

I was 15, dithering at the top of a mini ramp as my pals egged me on. I leaned ahead hesitantly and dropped in.

Wham. The board shot out from less than me, and I slammed backwards into the ramp.

That was pretty a great deal the extent of my skateboarding expertise. Considering that then I have typically trapped to the sluggish, regular rate of endurance sports activities like functioning and nordic skiing. But following spending most of a weekend actively playing the reboot of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 last calendar year, I felt the urge to go outside and do the true factor. I was reminded of the skating lifestyle I by no means engaged with and motivated by many others discovering—or rediscovering—the sport all through lockdown.


Popping the board upward with the back again foot and leveling it out in the air by sliding the front foot ahead. Rodney Mullen done the initial flat-floor ollie in 1982.

In the spirit of the marathon teaching designs I diligently followed in a long time earlier, I appeared for a routine that would be acceptable for an harm-averse grownup and would aid me learn to pop an ollie (see sidebar)—the foundational trick of avenue skating. No dice. Skateboarding, it turns out, doesn’t attract a whole lot of exercise obsessives seeking to routinize the understanding procedure. So I devised my have, dependent on suggestions from qualified skater and fellow Minnesotan Davis Torgerson.


Falling difficult although skateboarding.

Torgerson informed me to watch skateboarding videos—not just YouTube clips, but also basic skate films—to fully grasp the stream of skating. Stretching also can help in averting injury. But primarily he pressured investing a lot of time on the board and staying client. “Learning to skate is about obtaining a comprehensive feel for the board beneath you,” he said. “Trust me, it is tricky to learn. I have been executing it for almost 20 decades and I slam every time I go skate.”

The schooling schedule I settled on (see “My Just one-Month Ollie Approach,” down below) was gradual going at to start with. Just pushing myself all-around proved to be a lot of work, and I was uncertain I’d get airborne in only a thirty day period. But a couple weeks and numerous stumbles later, I acquired comfortable. Yoga served my sore muscle tissue recuperate, and seeing skate video clips kept me encouraged. More usually than not, I went out yet again following logging my every day practice hour due to the fact I’d experienced some epiphany I preferred to check out.

A few months in, I was self-confident sufficient to endeavor an ollie. Immediately after a couple times, I figured out the sequence of motions when holding on to a fence. Then I minimize myself unfastened. Later that working day, I crouched down, popped upward, felt the board rise to my toes, and landed on all four wheels with a fulfilling clack.

The author performs an ollie

By the end of week 4, I was equipped to get the board a couple inches off the floor. Which is not a whole lot, but it was an ollie—my ollie—and it felt rather fucking interesting. I realized I could not prevent there. Looking at which trick to conquer subsequent, I took to heart one more suggestion from Torgerson.

nollie frontside hurricane

An innovative rail trick that Davis Torgerson pioneered.

“The only suggestions I have in terms of tricks is to get addicted,” he stated. “You ­almost have to lie in bed at evening pondering what you are likely to test, how a lot more difficult you are going to dedicate.”

Although, as of this producing, I’m only a month in and my ollies barely obvious a crack in the pavement, I can say that I’m addicted: heading to the park each individual day, figuring out tricks, seeing the crafted landscape in a new way. I possibly will not at any time hit a nollie frontside hurricane like Torgerson, but maybe I’ll ultimately fall into a mini ramp.

My One-Thirty day period Ollie System

There are two issues you want to realize success at skateboarding: endurance and a whole lot of exercise. In this article was my two-hour day by day routine.

1. Just one hour on the board. Thirty minutes warming up and practising what I’d uncovered so considerably, and 30 minutes operating on a new trick or ability.

Rodney Mullen

The godfather of avenue skating. Phrases really do not do him justice.

2. Thirty minutes of yoga, with an emphasis on stretching, balance, and equilibrium. For the duration of the pandemic, I started following the YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene. (There’s even a lesson exclusively for skaters.)

3. 30 minutes looking at skate films. Some favor­ites incorporate Torgerson’s component in Boon­doggle, Entire world Industries’ Trilogy, and nearly anything with Rodney Mullen in it.

To guideline my development, I focused on the pursuing abilities:


Pivoting on the rear wheels to change direction.


A wheelie. Balancing on the entrance or again wheels whilst rolling.

7 days 1: Pushing, turning, going begins.

7 days 2: Kickturns, manuals, finding on and off the board in various techniques.

7 days 3: Driving diverse terrain, browsing a skate park, setting up to ollie.

Week 4: Ollie, ollie, ollie.

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