Tricks, although not the fundamental essence of skateboarding, do tend to take up the vast majority of time and dedication put into a person’s skating time. With people spending hours, days, weeks and even years trying to figure out how to take their skating to the next level of progression. There are many aids to help us on our quest, be they instructional DVDs, advice from friends or online tutorials. These aids, helpful as they may be are not the font of knowledge they appear to be. Reading and watching skateboarding is all well and good, but, as with most physical activities, knowing the theory is only a small part of the over all execution.
There is always a personal key to each trick (one could almost say a trick to the trick), this key varies form person to person and can be as simple as standing up straight when popping a trick or even down to the relationship between the back foot popping and the amount of swing in a person’s shoulders. No two people are completely alike, this is as true for society as a whole as it is for skateboarding, and as such the approach for each trick will be different, sometimes so subtle that initially it will be impossible to gauge any mistakes, but as one begins to become more familiar with his/her own strengths and weakness they will be able to identify what techniques work for them and which mistakes they are prone to making when learning tricks.
The frustration of repeated failure is often increased by reading and viewing general guides or tricktips as it would seem that the trick is completely laid out for the audience to grasp and understand. This is completely natural, as the aforementioned guide is written to the specification of what works for the writer, and this, although a good general guide, should not be taken as gospel, as we have discussed before, every approach varies and the one being described may not work for the audience.
In conclusion, although tricktip media is helpful, it is wise not to rely on it for learning those elusive flips and grinds. No amount of reading can make up for the experience of trying and getting to know you and your board better. It is this time and patience with ones’ self that makes learning tricks a far more natural process, whilst building up knowledge of the skater’s individual approach and strengths. A key factor to this success is to enjoy the learning process, getting frustrated helps no one, if frustration looms, take a step back and try something else for a while, just enjoy skateboarding, the trick will still be there later.
Please read our begin ‘Getting Started‘ guide for trick tips for an Ollie, Pop Shuv It or Kickflip.