Hobby Help: Skating

Photo submitted by Kyle Trotter

by William Libertine

This short article series is dedicated to providing insight on a particular hobby that people might be passionate about. It will provide background info and advice, as well as personal stories to enlighten anyone interested in or currently engaging in the hobby.

Everybody has a hobby. Simply, a hobby is anything a person might enjoy doing for a variety of reasons. Everyone’s different, and everyone has their own pastime, in addition to adding their own personal touch to a certain activity. These can range from drawing or playing video games, to collecting items or reading stories.

Skateboarding is a hobby that can be beneficial if taken on with caution. As with many activities, the risk of injury exists, and therefore safety should always be the number one priority.

One of the most common and key mistakes many novice skaters make is being too frugal. Pro skaters as well as regular experienced riders can all agree that the quality of your board makes a difference. Many kids or even their parents opt to purchase a price-friendly board from their local department store. The problem here is that many of these boards are mass-produced using low quality materials, and therefore are liable to result in an unpredictable riding experience, and can break much quicker.

If you’ve never skated before and want to try it out, a regular board will work fine. If you have some experience and want to get better, it’s recommended you invest in a pro-grade board, at least then you’ll know your equipment isn’t holding you back.

If skating looks like something you’d like to get into, be aware it will take time and practice, as with many hobbies. Casual riding takes patience, but the more advanced riding techniques take much more dedication and time investment.

NAHS senior and intermediate skater Seth Canning gave his advice to newcomers, saying, “Acknowledge the fact you are new. You aren’t going to do cool tricks. It takes time to learn them, and practice is just time. Ride your board to your friend’s house, ride it to Cumberland Farms. Getting out and riding is the only way to get good.”

Along with that, it’s best if you get familiar with your board, as well as balancing yourself on four wheels. Figure out which foot is dominant and practice from there, although some have no preference to which foot they use to lead. Practice balancing on soft surfaces such as grass, moving on to slowly rolling on pavement, until you’re comfortable using your foot to push off the ground and gain speed.

NAHS graduate and adept skater Kyle Trotter shared his experience, stating, “I’ve been skating for about nine years, since fourth grade. Honestly, all you gotta do is keep practicing, pushing yourself, finding friends to skate with and surrounding yourself with skating stuff.”

If the idea of skating piques your curiosity, it’s highly recommended you try it out. You never know what might happen, and it can be highly rewarding.

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