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Riding A Half Pipe :: Skateboarding Tips

By: Simon

So ya love skateboarding, but still haven't mastered the ollie? Having problems landing your kickflip? Why not and he'll get an answer for you.

Hey Simon,
My dad just made me a half-pipe in the backyard but I've never been on one before. How do pros keep going fast on them without pushing?

Hey sk8r3six0

Before you step into that sweet new half-pipe your dad made you, put on a helmet and some pads. A ton of skateboarding injuries are suffered by rookie skaters who don't know what they're doing, so throw on some safety gear (your head, elbows and wrists will thank you later.)

To get the speed and height to do high-flying Mctwists and grabs in a half-pipe, Tony Hawk, Andy Macdonald and other pros use a technique called pumping. To pump in a half pipe, a skater drops into a crouch while crossing the flat bottom of the U-shaped pipe. As a skater enters the sloped part of the ramp, called the transition, he or she straightens their legs and rises up. By raising their center of mass, just at the beginning of the ramp's arc, a skater gains energy and increases their speed.

Pumping in a half-pipe is kind of like pumping on a swing. To get the swing to go higher, you lift your legs as you pass through the bottom of the swing's arc, then drop them at the top of the arc. Each time you do this, you gain a little energy and swing a little higher. However, if you're just starting out in a half-pipe, don't drop-in right way. Start out by rocking back and forth on your board in the middle of the pipe. This will help you get used to the feel of the pipe and improve your balance on your board. Once you feel fairly comfortable, drop into the pipe, start pumping and go catch some air!

Do you need some cool skateboarding tips?, to Simon. He might not no everything, but he's been skating for a while and certainly knows more than your Mom does. Remember: never push mongo, and always wear a helmet.

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