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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Skate Progress Planner: Planning Your Way To Reaching Your goals

Making a Skate Progress Planner is one of the quickest and most effective to chart your progress when learning new tricks. The first step is to write down all the tricks you want to learn and decide the order in which you want to learn them in.

You’ll definitely want to refer to your initial goals list when doing this. Make one for flatland tricks and another one for grinds or freestyle tricks. Here is a sample trick learning progression for flatland tricks:

Pop Shove-it
180 Ollie
Kickflip/ Switch Ollie/ Nollie
Heelflip /Varial Flip/Nose Manual
360 Flip/ Casper Flip/Switch Pop Shove-it
Backside Flip/ Switch Kickflip Frontside Flip/ Switch Heelflip Hardflip/ Switch 180
Frontside Heelflip
Backside Heelflip /Switch 360 Flip
360 Heelflip (Laser Flip)… etc.

You may choose to learn some tricks at the same time. For example in the sample progression I gave, the Ollie and Manual will be learned at the same time.

Block Some Practice Time
Now, decide how much time you can dedicate to skateboarding every day. You want to dedicate about 30 minutes in each practice session. Set aside a number of days you will use strictly to practice and other days to skate with your friends.

Using a monthly calendar, or creating one in your Skateboard Success Journal, block the amount of time you want to practice and skate every day. “Practicing” refers to working solely on something new while “Skating” refers to doing anything you like.

Here is a week in my sample calendar:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
P 30


S 30


P 45 min P 30 min P 30


S 2 hr

As you can see, I took Thursday and Sunday off. I decided schedule my practice sessions during the week and skate with my friends on Saturday and Monday.

Now, look over your goals list and transfer your goal deadlines onto your calendar. Write in the trick you want to learn under the date you decided you would learn it by.

You want to do this at the beginning of each month. Do not go too far into it and fill out a schedule for the whole year. Concentrate on one month at a time.

Be 100% honest with yourself: if you schedule a practice or skate session, then you must follow through and do it! Don’t skip it if you’re not feeling good or a little sore. It is consistency that turns into long term results.

Practice Sessions: Do more with less!

You will be dedicating all of your practice sessions to learning the goal trick(s) for the upcoming deadline. In other words, during your practice sessions, you must focus exclusively on the trick you intend to learn by the next deadline.

That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to do any other tricks. A Kickflip here and there won’t hurt, but you want to focus the majority of your time on learning the new trick. Save the tricks you already know for you skate sessions.

Why does this technique work so well? Because you are dedicating all your energy to learning the trick. Before, when learning a new trick, you would try out a new trick a couple of times, do something else, try it again, and do something else.

Every time you stop trying the new trick and switch to something else, your body partially forgets what you were just working on.

By giving all of your attention and concentration to learning the new trick, your body will quickly pick up the muscle actions and movements required to execute the trick much, much faster.

In a 25 minute practice session, you will average about 125 trick attempts (5 attempts per minute for 25 minutes) How many trick attempts do you do in a 25 min skate session?

The Reason We Aren’t Learning As Fast As We Could

When I first started skating many years ago, I never thought about practice sessions. Constantly practicing tricks was stupid, I thought. I always skated with friends and did whatever I want.

This was also the reason why I was such a slow learner.

I learned the Kickflip over a period of 6 months, skating almost every day. Each skate session averaged about half an hour. I would probably try about 10-20 Kickflips every session. After 6 months, I had attempted a total of about 1680 Kickflips (18 Kickflips /session x 4 weeks/month x 6 months x 4 sessions/week) before landing one.

However, if I had used the practice session technique, I would only have to do about twelve 25 minute practice sessions to have 1680 Kickflip attempts under my belt! I could have learned the Kickflip in only 13 days, practicing 25 min a day! Also, I’m a slow learner; I’m sure most of you would not need over 1600 attempts to land a trick.

And all this is just learning tricks by merely attempting them. Combine practice sessions with goal setting, visualization, and Success Questions and your learning time will be dramatically reduced!

I truly cannot express how powerful these techniques are!

If you follow through with your practice sessions correctly, you will be amazed at how fast you can learn a new trick. Don’t be surprised if you learn a brand new trick in one or two sessions!

Now that you’re pumped to skate, let’s move into what goes on in a practice session

Preparing Your Practice Sessions

You want to prepare your practice sessions by watching some videos of your goal trick to get you excited and give you a clear picture of what you want.

Search tutorials on Youtube or watch skate video parts of the trick you want to learn. Also, be sure to read as much on the trick tips as you can. It’s a good idea to print out a copy of Part I of this book and keep a copy of the trick tips handy when you practice.

Pre Practicing Technique I: Stretching

Before getting on your skateboard, you should first stretch. Before you groan and close out of this book, understand this: stretching is a powerful part of any program that increases flexibility, balance, circulation, and reduces stress and the chances of injury.

Have you ever noticed that you skate better in the summer than the winter? It’s because your muscles are looser in the summer due to the warm temperatures and as a result, they work better.

The type of stretching we will focus on is dynamic stretching. Unlike static stretching, which involves holding a position and reaching to the farthest point, dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement.

Some dynamic stretching exercises you can do are high knee runs, butt kickers, hops, skips, lunges, slides and leg kicks. Refer to this website for a comprehensive list of dynamic stretches.

Pre Practicing Technique II: Visualization

After you have warmed up your body for about 2-5 minutes, it’s time to begin the second part of preparation: visualization. Sit in a relaxed position and see yourself successfully landing your goal trick.

Imagine the feeling of the board meeting your feet, landing and rolling away. Visualize for about 5 minutes before actually attempting the trick.

I know this seems long and pointless, but trust me- it’s going to be well worth it when you land that 360 flip after a couple hours of practice. The mental side of skateboard is just as important as the physical.

Now you’re finally ready to skate!

For the remainder of your practice session, practice the trick. Remain completely focused and do one attempt after another. Aim for about 5 attempts per minute. Visualize yourself landing the trick perfectly between attempts. Ask yourself Success Questions along the way and be sure to drink plenty of water!

Learning a Trick

You have to decide what “learning a trick” means to you. It might mean you’ve landed it once. It might mean being able to land it every 1 out of 10 times. It might mean being able to land it 50% of the time. It is ultimately up to you to figure out what you consider as “learning” a new trick.

Reaching your Goals

But what if you do not learn a trick by the deadline you set? Do not worry; you can overcome this one of two ways. You can start learning the next trick you planned on and just schedule in some additional practice sessions to work on the previous trick.

Or, you can simply reschedule. This is why we plan out every month. Just give yourself a couple of additional practice sessions to learn the trick and push everything else back.

Just because you do not learn a trick by your deadline doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You only fail if you choose to give up. Even if you pass your deadline, as long as you learn the trick, you have succeeded.

The purpose of the deadline is to motivate you and push you to achieve what you set out to learn. The outcome we are after is being able landing the trick.

When starting out, it may be difficult to plan out your months because you aren’t really sure how long it takes for you to learn a new trick. After learning three or four new tricks, you will begin to get a good idea for how long it takes to learn a new trick.

But what if you are ahead of schedule? What if you learn a trick in two days that you planned on learning in two weeks? Congratulate yourself, you little speed demon. You may either use the remainder of your practice sessions as skate sessions or just move everything closer and begin working on your next goal trick.

How to defeat frustration: remove the blocks that are preventing you from achieving what you want!

Frustration is a feeling every skater experiences at least one time in his life. It happens to everyone, even professionals! Whether you have trouble learning a new trick, hurt your ankle, or have difficulty landing a trick you already know, you have experienced and will experience frustration, no matter how long you have been skating.

Frustration is a part of the learning process and a part of life. We see professional skaters slam, throw, and break their skateboards out of anger and get the idea that it’s okay to feel frustrated and respond that way.

However, frustration, if handled improperly, can be detrimental to your success as a skateboarder. Frustration lessens your passion for skating and can ultimately cause you to quit.

Dealing with Frustration

The best way to handle frustration is to not focus on it at all! It is a natural law that we will get more of what we think about.

If we feel frustrated, we will experience more frustration. In the same way, if we focus on what we intend to do instead of what’s we cannot do, we will get more of what we want!

There are many ways of achieving this and they all involve changing our states. We can do this through asking ourselves positive, Success Questions, visualizing ourselves succeeding, or taking a break…

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