The Secrets of Skateboarding

  • 145 Page in depth guide of tricks
  • Features how-to, troubleshooting, and other skate secrets
  • Written by underground skater Tony Waters
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How To Make A Skate Video

Let’s face it: everyone loves showing off. One of the best ways to display your skateboarding skills is shooting a skateboard video. Whether you want to send it to a company for a sponsorship or simply upload it onto Youtube for fun, you need know the basic guidelines and tips to produce a good video.

The Tricks

The tricks are by far the most important part of the video. Even if there’s no music, the film angles are bad, and the quality is poor, the tricks are still what they are. In other words, extra things such as music, angles and film quality can only enhance what you already have. They cannot make up for what’s not there.

You need to be a good skater first and foremost. Video editing cannot make up for that. You must be a solid skater.

Try tricks on different things. Have a well balanced variety of tricks. Skate as many different obstacles as you can. Keep in mind what traditional skate videos have and try to “twist” it a little. Bring back an old school trick if you have to.

With that said, the tricks you choose to include in your video also reflect your personality and style. Don’t go out of your way to film a trick you probably wouldn’t normally do.

If you’re mainly a street skater, don’t film any vert parts for your video (unless you are truly good at vert too). Let the video be a mirror of the style of skating you normally do.

Do not include too many of the same type of tricks back to back. Even if you Kickflipped a huge gap or stair set more than once, but pick the best one and stick with that.

Do not be afraid to try something huge. Perhaps this is the time to try that huge gap you’ve always dreamed of skating. It seems that people will tend to try harder, think bigger and take more chances when they know that what they’re doing is being filmed.

There is nothing else that finishes the video better than something big. Whether it is footage of landing a trick down a huge set of stairs, flipping a gap, or simple jumping on to the curb, it’s always a good idea to include a standout trick in your video.


I am definitely not a director or cameraman, but I know quite a bit about what it takes to make a successful skate video. As the star in the video, it is important to let the camera man know what you want him to do. Do not just skate and let him film. Plan ahead by thinking about what angles you want and how you want it to be filmed. After all, it is your video.

Ask your cameraman to stay close to you. He should be riding his skateboard too, so he can roll at a good speed and follow you. Make sure he stays as close as he can. The closer the footage, the better.

However, be sure the camera person know where they’re going and not be too close, so they can focus on filming and not worry about falling or the lenses getting hit.

Sometimes it is good idea to record the same trick from different angles. Notice how much this is don’t in professional skate videos. If it is possible, have a second camera man filming from a different angle and replaying the two different shots back to back.

Be sure to use a high quality video camera. Do not use footage captured from a poor digital camera or a cell phone. If you’re slight serious about making a skate video, make sure you invest in a decent video camera. It’s worth it.

Perhaps you should think about investing in different types of lenses. One of the most popular lenses, and my favorite, is the fisheye lens. Go for lenses that distort images into a barrel. The price varies by brand, but they run anywhere from $70-$900.


Some creative editing will definitely spice up your skate video. Be sure to splice segments appropriately. One important tip is to keep the tricks short and sweet. No one really cares about the 5 mental minute preparation period before a big trick. Just show the trick.

Also be sure to show yourself rolling up before you do your trick as well as riding away. However, you shouldn’t make it too lengthy. It’d be boring to watch someone ride up to a gap for 7 seconds, do a Kickflip and ride way for another 6.

One thing to keep in mind: don’t go overboard on the editing. That means no crazy transitions, flashing letters, sound effects etc. Keep it simple.

The Song

Last but not least, you have to pick the appropriate song for your video. Let’s face it: most people don’t really care much about the song playing in the background.

While it won’t make or break the video, the song you choose is still definitely a vital part of the video. You want to carefully select a song that’s congruent with your personality and skating style.

There are no set rules when finding the right song but you want to cater to both the viewer’s sense of and seeing as well as hearing.

Here are some tips on choosing the appropriate song:

–   Choose a song that related to the skate course. For example, if you have some footage at Love Park, you might want, What is Love or Where is the Love. If you’re skating in New York, find a good song about New York City.

–   Pick a song that reflects you. The song you choose will tell a lot about yourself. If you’re a happy go lucky guy, perhaps pick something upbeat and poppy.

–   Pick a song that matches your style of skating. If you skate hard and fast (i.e. you go for big drops, gaps, etc), you might want a hard and fast song. If your style is pretty relaxed (some freestyle, manuals, ledges and curbs) you might want to pick a slow, ambient song. The choice is ultimately yours.

–   Avoid mainstream songs. They are an instant turn off. Unless the song is very closely related to your style, then you should not choose a popular song. No one wants to hear “Crank Dat” over and over again.

Other Things to Include

You might want your video to be more than showing off your skating abilities. It can show your flaws and mistakes as well.

Include a bails section at the end if you want. It’ll be fun to watch (as long as they’re not too painful) and provides a genuine quality to your video. You may even want to include it at the very beginning of your video, as Daewon Song did in his DVS’s Skatemore part.

If you’re making the video for fun to show your friends and have a good laugh, include some non-skateboarding parts. Have little skits or just anything that can make your video more entertaining.

Other ideas include have a brief introduction of yourself. Tell the viewers about yourself. I’m sure people want to know about the things that have influenced you and made you who you are today. This is especially important for a sponsor-me tape, as companies want to know the people they are sponsoring.

With that…

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