Skateboarding on the ramps is a step up from normal flatland skateboarding. It can feel intimidating at first, but with practice, it starts to feel more natural and less scary. If you are new to skateboarding you may want to know the answer to the question: How to ride up a ramp on a skateboard?
To learn how to ride up a ramp on a skateboard, you also need to learn pumping that will enable you to generate speed. You need to know when to push down into your skateboard. Your center of balance also shifts when you hit the transition so you will need to tilt to the side slightly.
If you are a skateboarding newbie, we will present you with some tips on skateboarding etiquette, as well as teach you how to do some basic skateboarding tricks, so you may want to stick around. Be sure to also check out our blog and find out which style of skateboarding is better for you: street vs park skateboarding.
Table of Contents
We’ve comprised a list of things that can help you feel at home in a skatepark and make friends in no time. Before you enter the skatepark for the very first time, we recommend that you first learn the basics of riding, pushing, and turning on flat ground. Most of the skateboard rules are pretty common sense and you will learn them along the way. Remember to be positive, respectful, and have fun.
The early bird gets the worm
This saying can’t ring more true when it comes to practicing in skateparks. Skateparks are typically crowded with both skaters and spectators. If you want to avoid crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet, be sure to arrive there early. If you arrive at the park between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. chances are that you will probably have the whole park to yourself.
Familiarize yourself with the surroundings
You need to familiarize yourself with the layout and the flow of your skatepark. Spend some time watching the other skaters. Look for where they are gathering to wait for their turn, where they are starting their lines, and where they are doing their tricks. Try not to block the path of the more experienced skaters by lingering in high-traffic areas.
Know when to apologize
Collisions between riders happen from time to time. If you crash into someone else, always make sure that they are all good, apologize and just brush it off. Skaters are pretty understanding when a collision is just an accident. Nevertheless, try your best to be aware of where everyone else is. To avoid a collision you can just make a simple gesture to point out the direction you are heading.
Wait your turn
Oftentimes you will have to wait for your turn on the runway for a popular obstacle. Don’t snake other skaters as it can really aggravate them since they are waiting for their turn and you are just being a douchebag.
By the same token, don’t try the same trick on the same obstacle that another skater is trying. It’s pretty disrespectful. If you want to try the same trick, simply ask them if it’s ok to try it with them. Most skaters will be chill about it as long as you ask them first.
If your skateboard slips out and flies across the skatepark, yell “BOARD!” That way you will warn people that there is a stray skateboard headed toward them. Try to retrieve your skateboard as soon as possible.
Know where to take a break
If you want to take a break, don’t just sit on the ledges in the park. Chances are that somebody is probably skating it. Sit somewhere out of the way, or outside the park. You may also be interested to learn when you should take a break from skateboarding.
How should your feet be positioned on a skateboard?
Before you attempt to ride up or down a ramp you first need to make sure that your feet are positioned correctly on a skateboard. Your posture also matters. Try to keep your head upright to help you balance better. Neither your front nor your back foot should be on the tail or the nose of the skateboard.
Your shoulders should not be angled forward. They should slide directly over each of your feet. Your knees should be slightly bent. Similar to snowboarding, surfing, and other board sports, you can choose between these two stances for skateboarding, depending on what makes you most comfortable:
- A regular rider – if your left foot is your front foot when you skate, or in other words, you lead with it, while you push with your right foot, you are most probably a regular rider.
- A goofy rider – if your right foot is the one you lead with and you push your board with your left foot, you are most likely a goofy rider.
You can determine what your dominant foot is by simply climbing the stairs and checking which foot you lead with. You can also ask someone to push you gently from behind. The foot you brace yourself with is your lead or dominant foot. Your dominant foot will typically be your back foot on a skateboard and it will be the foot that controls your skateboard. Check out this interesting article to find out if skateboarding makes you flat-footed.
How to ride up a ramp on a skateboard?
Riding up a ramp also entails rolling back down a ramp, so you kinda need to learn both at the same time. Your head should always face the direction you are going. Make sure that you stay perpendicular to the surface that you are skating on, not perpendicular to the ground, as that will send your skateboard flying. You push from the middle in a very specific way that is similar to pumping on a swing where you kick your legs. More on the pumping in the next paragraph.
Pumping is what enables you to generate speed, without using your back foot to push the skateboard. You should first start by simply going back and forth at moderate speed. You need to bend your knees and push down in a crouching motion.
The timing of the pump is extremely important and it takes a lot of practice. You need to push down into your skateboard at the bottom of the transition. Without pumping you will slowly lose speed. It’s worth noting that your center of balance will also shift when you hit the transition, so you will also need to tilt to the side slightly. Check out how to properly fall off a skateboard as it will happen a lot.
How to roll down a ramp on a skateboard?
As you start slowing down the ramp and losing your momentum, you will need to turn your head back. This backward motion of rolling down a ramp with your feet in your particular stance is called fakie. You need to shift your center of balance further back towards your back foot. Dropping your back shoulder will also help you achieve this. Read our blog for more tips on how to ride a skateboard backward.
How to do a kick turn on a skateboard?
Kick turns on a ramp are very useful, as they can get you around inside of a bowl. They are all about generating speed and being able to go up and then come back down. When you are rolling up a ramp, you will get to the point where you will almost run out of speed.
To do a turn, you need to put weight on your tail and pick up your front wheels from the surface. Your upper body plays a massive role in doing the turn. You also need to use your eyes to guide you in the direction that you want to go.
What equipment do you need for skateboarding?
Apart from choosing the right kind of skateboard for you, protective gear is vitally important when it comes to skateboarding. It consists of:
- Helmet – we know that you’ve seen a lot of skaters without a helmet, but we encourage you to wear one. Some skateparks will even require helmets, especially if you are starting out skateboarding. Check out if you can use a climbing helmet for skateboarding.
- Protective pads for knees and elbows – wearing protective pads depends on what type of skating you will perform. In any case, they will definitely prevent or reduce cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
- Wrist guards – their main purpose is to protect your wrists from twisting or breaking when you fall, as you will. If you are just starting out and you tend to land on your hands when you fall, wearing wrist guards is a sensible choice.
We hope that our article has helped you learn how to ride up a ramp on a skateboard, as well as some other beginner skateboarding tricks. Our list of things that fall into the category of skateboarding etiquette will help you fit right in at any skateboard park. Follow the rules, ride safely, and most importantly remember to have fun!