Tips on Tricks

Though Skateboard-City is a great place to get "Trick tips", practicing skateboarding in itself is the best way to learn new tricks. Skateboarding, when you really think of it, is really just the manipulation of your body's weight and muscles. To do a kickflip, or an ollie, or simply just to ride the board, you need to shift your weight from side to side, bend your knees, turn your hips, your shoulders… and this idea is exactly what I'm talking about.

So this guide is for those people who want to get tips on practicing tricks in general, not a guide for a specific trick.

So heres a list of things you should be looking at next time your wondering why you just can't get that trick down the way you want it. Post comments if you think you have more esentials to skateboarding, and I'll throw them on this page.

When you go out skating next time, put your mind to really considering where your shoulders are and why they're there. Everybody does tricks differently, and thats part of the reason this guide exists, to help you get in touch with yourself. When you ollie, you may find that your shoulders are parallel to the board [length-wise]. When you kickflip, you might notice the same thing. But then when you're doing a 180 in either direction you may notice that your shoulders are spinning as you pop, or before you pop, or maybe they're not spinning and your just turning your hips a little bit to get the board and your feet to do a 180. When you're learning 360 flips, take note of your shoulders. They're extremely key.

If you slow-mo any clips of people doing tricks, take note of they're shoulder positions; at one time they are and when. You can really advance your bag of tricks by doing this, because your shoulders are what makes your body really turn, so if you figure out something new, the rest of the motions might just click into place, and bam, a new trick! When your doing tricks like 180's, you will notice huge variations of styles. Take note of these things, and try them out on your own. Notice what happends after you land your trick, do your shoulders keep spinning, does that throw you off balance?

Popping is used in a huge variety of tricks in skateboarding, and its what give you the height. An average-skilled skater may notice that they're regular kickflips are high, they are caught well above the ground and they are clean. But when they try the nollie or switch kickflip, the board may be bouncing of the ground during rotation, or they may always be tick-tacking after the trick. So here is where you really have to stop for a second and consider all the differences and similarities between your own switch and regular skating. One thing your going to quickly notice is that your popping leg for switch tricks may be a bit less quick and forceful. The only thing you can do to improve that is to do lots of switch tricks, or possibly try some workouts. Your going to notice your weight aswell, which goes along with the strength of your leg. You may find that when you go slow your weight balance is fine on switch, but once you get faster, you get a bit wonky. Think about it, and fix it.

The mechanics of popping nollie and fakie are going to be different from regular and switch because your nose is popping and so your board may be getting caught on the ground's surface and slowing down. It may be getting a bit more verticle aswell, which means your going to need to shift a little bit more weight into your non-popping foot to do that kickflip cleanly, and have it balance out in the air.

Another very sneaky but important thing about popping and overall trick height is your hands. If you find your regular kickflips are high, but your switch ones aren't, it may not be because of your leg strength, but because of your arms. When your popping, keep your arms down and then as your jumping bring them up. The inertia from your arms floating upwards is going to get your body up higher, and if your shoulders and everything is in the right spot, your going to be pretty happy with this discovery.

One more thing, is the timing of your pop. If you take a second to think about how popping works, you may come to the outcome that your jumping of one foot, and at the same time popping the board. You may also consider that you could be jumping of two feet, so the sequence may be:
-front foot jumps and lifts up
-part of your bodys weight has already begun moving into the air
-you shift your wieght to your back foot, and pop, and once again shift the weight to your front (your bodys now floating up)
-you now kick out, shifting your weight, and balancing it out this time around.

-you catch the board and ride away smoothly

Body Position
In certain tricks (varial heels, 360 flips, pop-shove its…) your going to find it may not be so easy to keep the board underneath you at all times without jumping in a certain direction. The only thing you can really do to solve these kinds of problems is to expirement and take note of your board's and body's position after landing. Try jumping in certain directions.

The solution to these kind of issues is always going to be the same; after enough practice you won't even need to think about where to jump, you'll just find yourself in the right place. But– you can't get to that point without experimenting and consciously considering your position, and your boards.

Good luck, hopefully you found this guide useful. The main idea is to inspire some thought as to how and why you can do tricks. If you take some time to think about things, you may find yourself learning quicker and having more fun.