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Simon's Skate Tips - Vert Skateboarding

Picture of skateboarder, Tony Hawk, skating vert.
Courtesy of EXPN
Photo of Buck Lasek skating vert at the X Games.
Courtesy of EXPN
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,
I'm scared off dropping in off a ramp or into a skate bowl. What should I do? I need some tips for skating vert.
falloffboy

Hey falloffboy

Learning to drop in off a ramp or into a skate bowl is hard - not because it takes a lot of skill, but because it takes a lot of guts. When you look over the edge of the ramp, your mind probably says something like, "I'm going to bail big time and it's really going to hurt," or "My skateboard's going to go flying, I'm going to get a monster road rash, everyone else in the skatepark is going to think I'm a massive poser, and a web site will be created dedicated to my uselessness as a skater." Now, all those things may happen, but if you're ever going to learn to skate vert, you need to take that first plunge over the edge and drop in. Here's a few tips that'll help make that first "drop in" a little easier.

Vert Skating - Helpful Tips

  • Before dropping in, it's important you know how to ride your skateboard comfortably. You don't really need to know how to kickflip or do any other crazy tricks, but you do need to know how to ride because once you drop in, you'll get going pretty fast.
  • Wear a helmet! Most skateboard injuries happen to skaters during their first month of skateboarding, when they don't really know what they're doing. Make sure your brain is protected.
  • Check out the ramp or bowl before dropping in. Get a feel for the surface and terrain.
  • Find a line. When you're at the top of the ramp or bowl, take a look where it goes. For your first time, try to find a line that ends with a flat area that doesn't have a lot of other skaters around. You don't want to drop in and go slamming into a group of your fellow skateboarders. You'll be the least popular guy at the park and probably end up getting hurt even more.
  • Set your tail. Put the tail of your board on the metal edge along the top edge of the ramp. Your back wheel should be hanging down over the edge of the ramp. Hold your skateboard there with your back foot across the tail. Your front wheels should be out hanging in the air, and your board will be slightly angled up.
  • Go All In. This is the scary part. Take a deep breath and put your front foot over the front trucks of your skateboard. Stomp it down with all your weight until your front wheels hit the ramp. You need to have faith in your board and yourself. Don't hold back and be committed. It's all about being confident and believing in yourself. Holding back = Big Crash. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
  • Ride it out. Once you've dropped in, just bend your knees and ride it out. Remember: dropping in is 90% mental, 10% physical. Believe in yourself and always wear a helmet.
  • 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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