For many Adventurers, wanting to jump on a skateboard and ride is an innate desire. Whether it is because they saw a friend riding, caught a glimpse of X Games footage on TV or are captivated by an especially impressive YouTube clip, there’s just something about the sport that appeals to everyone. Skateboarding’s ethos is the essence of cool.
While many find themselves unwrapping a board as a gift, few devote the time and effort necessary to achieve true prominence in the sport. Some just don’t have the aptitude, but for a precious few, the skater’s passion remains. These asphalt warriors feel the ultimate life accomplishment is to become a professional.
Unfortunately, it’s tough out there for a skater. Unlike team sports, like basketball or baseball, where a massive infrastructure exists to facilitate the breeding up of talented athletes, those who want to pursue a career in skateboarding must rely largely on their own resourcefulness.
Whether you’re twelve or twenty-five, if you have the dream, we’re here to show you the way.
Here is your pro skateboarding starter guide.
Skateboards may appear indistinguishable to the untrained eye, but the true board virtuoso knows differently. Every inch of your skateboard should be chosen to fit your skill level, your training environment and your aspirations.
From board length to angles to trucks and wheels, all the elements that appear so inconsequential could mean the difference between your success and failure. For instance, hard wheels usually ride much faster than soft.
If you’re a beginner saddled with a set of pro-grade wheels, you may very well get hurt early on and ruin your appetite for riding in the future. Consult eHow for detailed insight on picking the perfect deck.
Once you’ve copped the perfect board, someone’s gotta teach you how to use it. If a professional happens to live in your neighborhood, then you’re golden, but chances are there isn’t. The next best thing is GoSkate.com. Visit their site and find qualified skate instructors anywhere in the US.
More good news: lessons are super affordable. Individual rates are just $47.50 per lesson and group classes are an even more manageable at $30 per head.
GoSkate requires all instructors to have a minimum of 5 years skate experience. These dudes know their stuff and will make sure you do too. Remember that lessons alone won’t cut it, though. As is always the case, expertise takes practice.
Okay, so now you know your way around your craft and you’re no longer a complete freshman. You may have even learned to grind curbs a little and pop an ollie or two when no one’s looking, but what’s next? You can’t become a professional boarder if you don’t have a wide arsenal of tricks.
Assuming the board purchase and skateboarding lessons have left your wallet a little light, downloading the KnowSkateBoarding.com app for just $4.99 will give you access to techniques employed by some of the sport’s premier practitioners.
You can develop your chops at your own pace, whenever you want, and you’ll never have to sacrifice quality of instruction.
Once you’re a pro sponsored by a brand, they’ll hook you up with more tournaments than you’ll know what to do with. Until that day, you’ll need to find a place to show your stuff off so those awesome sponsors will have a reason to want you on their endorsement roster.
Luckily, About.com lists a plethora of non-sponsored amateur skateboard competitions, all over the country, intended for all age groups. Many are free or very inexpensive to enter (around $10) and offer big potential upsides.
Championship prizes can creep up to $30,000 and the exposure is a necessity for anyone looking to make it beyond their local skate park. Be sure to video record all your competitions, no matter how you place.
Even if you don’t walk away the champ (and you probably won’t the first few times you go out), you’ll almost certainly have moments of greatness at each event you attend. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with a top-notch highlight reel.