Skateboarding is composed of several tricks that might interest you. But as a skateboarder, there are things that you really need to study first before diving into the higher levels of skateboarding. This is because knowing the basics can amplify your skills and will let you achieve development in a smooth manner. Braking is an example of that skill. The importance of learning the simple guides such as this is to get you ready from the complexity you might encounter later on. Knowing this is very critical, especially for beginners, to ensure your security.
Stopping a skateboard plays a very essential role in skateboarding. It has various purposes depending on the situation you are in. For instance, being able to brake while you are skating can prevent you from possible accidents whenever you practice or perform tricks. It cares about your safety because in times of trouble like if you are going downhill and at full speed, you can use that knowledge for you to control the board and stop it smoothly. Proper brakes expel the chances of you crashing in the street or bumping things in front of you. Also, it can help you to learn a powerslide which is a trick in skateboarding.
There are various ways in which you can stop your board while riding it. Each technique is suitable for different situations, so you need to sort out when you should and should not use it. Because there are times that when you perform the wrong technique, you will be in danger most likely. So, you must learn what the best braking guide for you and the situation that you are in is. But you also need to take time practicing them for you to be prepared in case you need doing it. Once you have that knowledge, it will all be natural for you to perform brakes, and in that case, you can do more complex stops.
Listed here are four methods to guide you in making a brake in a skateboard.
1. Jumping Off
This type of braking method is a basic one. As a beginner, you can perform or practice this one while on a stroll in the streets but to be safe only on the sidewalks. This technique is not highly recommended when you are in big trouble while skateboarding because the control of the board will be slippery for you even though you did not mean to lose grip of it.
To perform this method, you have to follow some instructions. First, take your non-dominant foot and place it at the back of the board. Do not be confused about your dominant and non-dominant foot because it is important in performing the technique. Whether your non-dominant is left or right, move it to the proper location, then you should take note to put your weight on your feet while leaning your body forward. This is to observe the balance in the transitions that you are doing. Your dominant foot, on the other hand, must be placed close to the center of the board. If you have difficulty in balancing your body, you can use your hands by lifting it up in the air.
After that, once you get every part of your body in the right position and in balance, you can now use your non-dominant foot to thrust the tail of your board. You have to keep pushing the tail, and at the moment that you feel that it is already touching the ground, then you are creating a friction that will result in making the speed of the board reduce. You can hear a sound that suggests the connection. Remember not to hurry in getting off the board until it stops completely.
There is another way of scraping called heel scraping. Unlike the first scraping, this one uses your heel to stop the board. You can do this by extending your non-dominant foot at the tail of the board until your heel is already outside. If you feel that your heel cannot touch the board, you can now thrust again the back foot, and as your heel touches the ground, you can stop. The only problem with this one is that the shoes will be worn out as the force is transferred to your shoe.
But there are situations where you need to get off the board immediately. This is when you cannot control the board anymore. If that happens, the good thing to do is jump off the board safely. To do that, make sure that both your legs and arms are loosened and as you jump, roll on the ground. You can practice such situations so that you won’t be surprised or panic whenever that happens. Also, ensure the safety of your arms and legs in the fall to avoid any injuries.
2. Braking with Your Foot
This method, as the name describes, will be using your feet to stop the board. However, this is only applicable if you are skateboarding in a plain field. You cannot use it during emergencies or if the road is going down because you might damage your legs and feet. It also highly restricted not to use slippers or open shoes while performing such brakes. This is to assure the safety of your feet which is the hero for the brakes. This is a good basic knowledge if you are just starting to learn skateboarding.
The first thing that you need to do is to bring your foot in front of the board. You can use either of your left or right foot but mostly, skateboarders prefer using their dominant foot. This is because it is a comfortable part that they can easily move. The toes must be facing the nose as it will provide you better brakes. Together with this, take forward your body and your head so that it will be easier for you to balance yourself on the board. This is a good way of not falling down from the board unexpectedly.
Put your weight at the lower part of your body, especially on foot you have brought in front. On the other hand, place the other foot down. If you are confident that everything is good on your foot located in the front, use your back foot to connect to the ground while making sure that your leg is straight. Your heel must be the one to be attached first on the ground. Keep in mind not to put your weight on the back foot or else it will cause you to be taken off from the board. Balance is very important at this moment.
Lastly, to make your back foot connected to the ground, you can put a little amount of force using your shoe. Then, from the front foot, transfer the pressure you have exerted on to the back foot slowly. This is to create a momentum in your transition to a stop. With more force in your back foot, you can attain the brakes faster. This is if you want a quick halt. Tantamount force in your foot is the key for a better and smoother brake on the skateboard.
3. Controlled Slide Stopping
The third method is about stopping your skateboard when you are at a downhill place. Having such a technique is very important since skateboarding in downhills is really dangerous. You cannot use a simple jump off from your board when in this place because it will just give you scratches in your body. When skateboarding especially in places like this, it is vital that you wear proper protective gear like helmets, knee pads and wrist guards so that you won’t get hurt much in case of emergencies. Such preparations will provide you safety even though you are knowledgeable in making brakes.
In performing this brake, the first step is for you to move your front foot or your dominant foot in front of the board, specifically in the nose of the board. It is just like what you did on the second method. The front bolts will exactly be your guide where to put your foot in front. This only useful if you know where it is located. When you find them, your foot must be above these bolts.
With the use of your upper body strength, twist the skateboard sideward at an angle of 180 degrees. To maintain your balance in the transition of position, place your weight on the side so you will be able to turn smoothly. In addition, to prevent you from crashing, incline your body forward, and lower it close to the knees. While doing this step, make sure that you do not touch your feet to the ground.
Next step, you can use your arms to maintain your balance. You will have to operate your hands in stopping the board. When you bent to the back, put your hands on the ground just like what your back foot did in the foot braking method. In this method, it is necessary that you have thick gloves for the protection of your hands from any scratches and pain. If the board completely stops, you can now raise your hands off the ground.
This method also needs multiple practices before you do it in real situations. Practice can be done in shallow downhills only or places with a little amount of slope. This will enable you to control the board while moving on a downhill area.
The powersliding method is composed of more complex skills than the third method. It is not applicable if you want to halt immediately from your board. You can perform the technique if you’re going to enhance your tricks at parks. Make sure that before you do the powerslide, you have checked your surroundings for any interruptions because you might get trouble with the method. You cannot stop immediately with the powerslide, so any barricade in front of you could endanger your life.
After that, bent forward as you transfer your weight towards your heels. This transition will let you perform the method effectively and a controllable body. But in shifting the pressure, your front heel must get a larger force than the back heel. Putting the weight much on the back heel can be harder for you to powerslide. Next, take note that when you shift your body, it should be the same as the direction of where you will do the slide. You will use your hips and shoulders so that your body can accommodate the turn of your body. In a 90-degrees angle, slide the skateboard with the aid of your front foot. A smooth turn is recommended so that you can still maintain stability.
Then, when you finish turning the board, the way for you to make a successful brake is by kicking out the same as where you slide. Incline backward so that you can control your balance while the board stops.
What you have to do after knowing these methods is to practice them not just once but many times until you get comfortable doing it. Not everything can be learned in a single blow. Just like the braking guides because committing even one mistake can already jeopardize your stopping techniques. It is either your board that might be destroyed or your body getting injured. It is not a choice to be made unless you want to hurt yourself.
These are the methods that will guide you in stopping from your skateboard whatever situation you are in. From a level ground up to the downhills and performing tricks, there are techniques that you can perform for a safer skateboarding. Learning every method as a beginner can help you to avoid any injuries as well as the opportunity to learn many more tricks. This is because when you know how to brake the board, you will feel secure and stronger in doing a lot of performances. As you stroll down on the streets and ride on your board, it will be easier for you.