Published on December 27th, 2013 | by Joe Starks0
Exercise Spotlight: Skateboarding
The history of skateboarding is a bit obscure in its early days. The ancestor of the skateboard was certainly the homemade scooter. These were slightly dangerous, usually wooden crafts with wheels meant to entertain young children. During the 1950s California surfers decided to begin “surfing the streets”. No single person is known as the inventor of the skateboard. Many people came up with designs pretty much simultaneously. The early skateboards were dangerous contraptions made from boxes or boards with wheels on them. Since the 50s skateboarding had many ups and downs when it comes to popularity. At the current time it is quite a widespread sport, especially among the young.
How does skateboarding work?
The basics of skateboarding are quite simple. You buy yourself a sturdy board that can take your weight. You must be careful not to buy a board that is either too heavy or too light for you. Afterwards you have to train balancing on your board. Experienced skaters make it seem easy, but it takes some effort to learn to balance on your board correctly. Usually the best method is to find a straight, short distance and run along on it with one foot on the board and the other pushing off the ground.
Once you have the basics down you have to learn how to steer your board. This is all done with body weight. Simply by leaning one way or the other, the board will follow and you will turn. Make sure you practise turning in a safe place, preferable without any places you can fall into.
When you are able to run and steer correctly it is time to decide whether you will leave it at that or you want to train yourself in doing some tricks.
The “Ollie” is the most basic trick of skateboarding, named after the first person who performed the trick. While performing an “Ollie” you kick the back of your board while jumping into the air. Both you and the board jump up and you are supposed to land back onto your board once it lands. It looks extremely cool, but you can get seriously hurt if you’re not careful while training.
You can’t avoid getting a few scrapes and bruises when learning how to skate. Wear comfortable clothes and well-fitting shoes.
Benefits of skating
Skating is an excellent aerobic sport. It is medium intensity and 150 minutes of it per week is enough to keep any adult fit. It can be extremely fun and thrilling, especially if you like to do tricks. Even as a way to get around, skate boarding can save you a lot of gas money and is certainly faster than walking.
If you want a practical sport that gives you that youthful, punk style air then skateboarding can do a lot more for you than just make you fitter.
Downsides of skating
Sadly skateboarding isn’t the safest of sports. It requires a lot of balance and control, so it is easy to fall and get hurt when you aren’t at your best. There have been serious injuries that happened because of skateboarding, especially if you try tricks. Doing jumps and fancy moves can cause serious injuries when you fail and you will fail a lot until you succeed.
In the end it is a matter of preference. Skateboarding is an extreme sport, unless you simply want to cruise along on the streets. If you want to seriously skate and do all the tricks, make sure you are in excellent health and to start out slowly. Nobody became a skating pro overnight, so find a safe place to train and do not rush things. Try easy tricks first.
Skateboarding can be liberating and fun. You can gain confidence and a whole new style. It is not a sport for the very young and the very old, but anything in between is fair game. If you are interested in skating find some friends to start skating together. Having someone show you the ropes can help a lot too!