By Shawn Yong
Dang, it must suck that you’re stuck in your house now that school is closed. Just what can ya do to make the days seem more fun? Well, don’t worry. The world of skateboarding is similar to that of school, where you can learn something new everyday.
There are a lot of things to learn in skateboarding that take a long time. Even the basics such as pushing the skateboard to move forward and turning can take a long time. So, why even skateboard if it takes such a long time just to learn the basics? Although the basics of skateboarding have a challenging learning curve, it's this learning curve that continues to mature you. As difficult as skateboarding may be, it teaches you the discipline to keep going no matter how difficult the basics/tricks are or how you’re feeling that day because you will consistently fall and bruise yourself at the start. Like learning a unit at school, you start out not knowing how to do the basics, but give it some time and practice and you slowly reach your goal of mastering the basics. It’s when you finally master the basics and tricks after all the time and practice that you put into it that you truly feel the sense of accomplishment—and it’s this sense of accomplishment that makes you want to learn even more skateboarding tricks that are even harder. All of these great things, however, can happen if and only if you have a skateboard, but where can you get one during these times?
With most of the skate shops closed, it’s a lot harder to get the right skateboard for you. So just where can you get your own skateboard? One of the best ways to get a skateboard is to buy an old skateboard from a friend who might not want it. It’s a lot cheaper, and it creates less waste since your friend gave the skateboard to you. If your friend doesn’t have an extra skateboard, you can always buy a skateboard online. If you don’t know what skateboard to get, I suggest you get a Baker skateboard complete and choose a skateboard complete where the width is between 8-8.5 inches.
After getting your skateboard, where can you go to practice? With the state under lockdown, most shopping centers or any place with a big parking lot will be relatively empty. This is your chance to finally get some solid skating done. I skate at my local YMCA where the sidewalks are nice and empty which allows me to practice my ollies. Some basics include finding out if you ride left foot forward or right foot forward, pushing the skateboard forward, and turning left and right. After getting the basics done, you learn the ollie, the foundation for all more complex skateboard tricks to come. The ollie is even more challenging than learning the basics of skateboarding because it requires even more body coordination just to get the skateboard airborne. Before you even start learning the ollie, though, make sure you absolutely know the basics of skateboarding. Without them, learning the ollie will be a lot harder because it requires skilled maneuverability with the skateboard. It’s like trying to solve algebraic problems without knowing PEMDAS—you need to know the basics before you can actually do harder tricks. After learning the ollie, what you learn branches off into multiple paths of tricks that you can learn in which you can choose your own path like ollieing off stairs, or ollie onto a rail and grinding. The tricks on a skateboard are endless and demanding to learn, which is why it’s a great idea to pick up skateboarding during quarantine.