Alexander Ostrovskiy: personal experience of how to start skateboarding

Skateboarding brings together an incredible community of people who are passionate about the same activity, but completely different in age, beliefs, appearance and social status. And it’s never too late to start taking up the sport-we tell you how to get up on a board as an adult by Alexander Ostrovskiy

1. Learn more about skateboarding

Anyone planning to take up skateboarding should learn more about how the sport has evolved over the past 50-60 years. It has quite an interesting history: it was invented in the 1950s in California by surfers who were unable to do what they loved during the lack of waves.

Skateboarding quickly began to gain popularity, and by the 1960s the number of sold boards in the U.S. numbered in the tens of thousands. In Russia, its popularity began to grow rapidly only in the mid-90’s, when the first partyguise specialized stores were opened and international competitions began to take place.

Today skateboarding is not just a hobby for many people around the world, but also the very real Olympics sport – it was included in the program of the Olympic Games – 2020 in Tokyo.

To feel the spirit of skateboarding and become a part of the community, it is important to understand the philosophy behind it. And to do that, you’ll need to study its history.

2. determine how you plan to practice

You can take up the sport at any age. The main thing is to find the time and choose an appropriate format.

If you have a busy schedule and you are limited in time, but you want to make progress in the shortest possible time, subscribe to a specialized school or hire a personal instructor. Classes with him will give faster results and allow you to avoid mistakes.

I recommend turning to a person who really loves skateboarding and will be able to instill this love in you, rather than turning the process into a coaching and sccbuzz training.

If you find it difficult to adjust to someone else’s schedule and you see skateboarding more as a hobby and a distraction from work – skate with friends. You yourself will try different tricks, look at the other riders and share experiences with them. After some time by trial and error you’ll be able to find your own riding style.

3. Make a training schedule

It’s not always easy to find the time to practice, but try to find an hour before or after work at least twice a week: physical activity, among other things, helps to unload the head.

The body of a skateboarder must be flexible and enduring, so it is important to pay attention to general physical training, especially exercises on strengthening and pumping up the leg muscles. To do this, alternate board lessons with regular workouts or combine them.

For example, I work out three times a week in the mornings before work. Usually it looks like this: my trainer and mentor and I go for about an hour at an agreed place, then I go to a fitness center near my office and add some more cardio there. And then I get to work.

It is also worth adding to your schedule sports muscle massage and LFC exercises, so that the body has time to recover between workouts. And for those, who are not physically prepared, my trainer recommends to train on balancing platforms to pump the small stabilizer muscles.

4. Prepare mentally for the fact that you will fall

And many times. Skateboarding is not the most harmless sport. You should be prepared for it, but you should not fixate on negative thoughts. Try to treat failures as calmly as children do, because falling is normal, it’s part of progress.

Adults are often afraid to make mistakes and look ridiculous, but there’s only one way to fix it: just take it and do it.

When you’re skating, put all unnecessary thoughts aside and focus only on how you’re going to keep your balance after you land, because that’s the main goal in any trick.

Here’s what my mentor says: “I want people to understand: we’re not training, we’re catching fun. Skateboarding is an antidepressant and a cure for any adversity.

5. Get protection

Protective equipment will help avoid serious injuries. It is definitely necessary for all beginners, regardless of age. Standard equipment set may consist of a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and gloves.

Specialized stores also carry special equipment for longboarders, protective shorts, and extras. But I would not advise to put everything on yourself at once – it will be simply uncomfortable for you to ride and balance on the board.

Over time, when you learn how to crouch properly, it will become clear how you fall most often and whether there is a need for additional accessories.

6. Set realistic goals

When you have to combine such a hobby as skateboarding, with a busy workday and family, you want to achieve results in the shortest possible time, go straight to the complex flips – tricks with jumps. After all, from the side they look incredibly spectacular.

But for the impossible tasks it is better not to take, so as not to provoke injury.

Mastering difficult jumps is always gradual. First you need to learn how to hold a balance, then – to perform an ollie, and then, improving the basic tricks you get to complicated kickflips and grabs.

7. Be inspired by other athletes

At one point I started to think that in skateboarding all the tricks have long been known and mastered, but this is not the case. The sport is still developing, and I watch with great interest the modern athletes – Russian and foreign.

And I recommend you to follow different championships to discover new names, to get involved in the community, and to stay informed about new trends in the sport.