With spring here and summer coming up faster than a jet engine powered skateboard, it’s almost time to fish the board out of the back of your closet. You know the one; it’s been sitting under some clothes, and you need to wash those shirts anyway. If springtime isn’t your jam, summer is less than six weeks away.
We want to help you transition into the next season with a few tips on how to get the most fun out of your summer riding. No matter your skill level, there is nothing quite like that first ride after an extended winter break. To get you back in the spirit of the skate season, here are a few things you may or may not need advice on for the coming season.
Half the battle is finding a good skate spot
Find a nice open area with a smooth surface
Sidewalks have cracks, roads have cars and skateparks can be crowded.
Some of the best places to practice and learn new tricks are empty parking lots. If you are lucky you can find one with perfectly smooth pavement to master all your new tricks for the summer (bonus points if they have lights for night skating). Take a few moments to assess if any rocks or sticks need to be swept away this will save you in the future, trust us. Empty parking lots typically mean no one will bother you when it’s time to learn that new trick or just cruise around on the new wheels to see how they feel. Whether alone or with friends, there is nothing quite like having the place to yourself.
Bring more water than you think you’ll need. One of your homies is for sure going to forget theirs. There is nothing worse than getting out to that super sick remote skate spot and realizing you didn’t bring any water and have to cut the session short. Whether it’s a gallon jug or your favorite hydro-flask, don’t forget to hydrate during the peak summer heat. Your body will thank you later. Plus, what if you encounter some dehydrated wildlife out in your remote expedition adventures? Having extra water will help your forgetful homies or even that random squirrel that keeps getting super close. Being prepared makes the sessions longer and less stressful, so always pack water and all your other skate session essentials.
Remember when you got your first board and everything was fresh, new and super exciting? That feeling doesn't have to end. You can keep the energy alive in your normal skateboard routine by challenging yourself to learn something new this season. Heck, learn several new things so when the inevitable winter comes you don’t kick yourself for not trying that new trick you have been daydreaming about.
Sometimes the hardest part about learning something new is just trying it for the first time.
Have a board with a tail? Then why not learn one of skateboarding’s most versatile and satisfying tricks:
Ollies are one of the cornerstones of skateboarding. Learning how to ollie can unlock the door for new terrain and make skateboarding to the store with your friends a whole new world of fun obstacles you never noticed before. Don’t be that guy or gal who’s kicking themselves thinking they can’t learn. All it takes is some practice.
Since we have been getting requests for this one and we enjoy giving the people what they want, here are 3 tips on how to Ollie the Bustin Shrike.
-Mount the trucks on the smallest wheelbase.
-Having a larger tail will make ollies on the shrike easier to pop.
-The smaller your wheels are the easier it is to get off the ground.
Where to stand
Compared to a normal size skateboard the shrike is definitely bigger, but that doesn't mean your stance (feet placement) needs to be. When you first attempt to ollie on a shrike you might think your feet need to be more spread apart to accommodate the longer board, but this isn’t actually the case. The best rule to follow is keep your feet a little more than shoulder length apart. Your back foot should be on the tail but not hanging off. Try and keep the end of your shoe a few millimeters from the end of the board for the most popping power.
Don’t forget to Jump!
When learning to ollie, one of the hardest parts is synchronizing the moment your tail hits the ground with jumping up to continue the motion of the board. The best way to think of this jump is that it’s similar to shooting a basketball from the 3 point line. Envision yourself as a spring that’s ready to bounce up when the tail taps the ground. Just like when you shoot a 3 pointer and your feet spring off the ground slightly, an ollie requires the same muscle memory. The difference is you are landing on a board with wheels, so once you figure out how to keep the board under your feet the only place to go is up.