If you are sitting at home asking yourself, “am I too old to start skateboarding?” you already have what it takes to get on the board. Motivation!
You are never too old to start skateboarding! Sure, your knees may hurt a little more than when you were a teenager, or maybe your back will be sore the next day; we can all agree the feeling of rolling down the street on four wheels is always worth it.
The days of jumping down massive sets of stairs or grinding that long handrail you pass every day on the way to work might seem a bit out of reach, but it should never deter you away from trying something new. With all the different skateboard styles and sizes out there, the perfect setup for you is a quick google search away.
Do I Have To Be Physically Fit?
Skateboarding is extremely physically demanding and requires many fine-tuned muscles to feel comfortable on your skateboard. If you are looking to shed a few pounds or increase your cardiovascular health, skateboarding is a fun and effective hobby! Being physically fit at the start of your skateboarding journey might help you bounce back from a fall or pulled muscle, although not entirely necessary. Pushing around the local skatepark or opting for the skateboard instead of the car when going to the store for a bag of chips will quickly build up the core muscles needed to feel comfortable on a skateboard.
Doing basic stretches and low-impact exercises before stepping on the board will allow your body to move more fluidly and account for all the various movements throughout the session. Skateboarding will undeniably make you tired. The better shape you are in means more time you’ll be able to spend cruising around or trying basic tricks.
What Gear Should I Have?
As with all extreme sports, safety comes first! As we get older, we tend to heal slower, requiring more time in between skating days. If you are looking to get into skateboarding in your older years, it’s imperative to have all the right equipment to promote success. Wearing a certified or otherwise reliable helmet should always be the first item on your list of gear. Skateboards can quickly move in a direction you are not expecting or come to a hard stop catapulting the rider to the hard pavement. These falls are inevitable, so be prepared with the proper safety equipment that can save you from a minor or major injury. Elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards are all great additions to your skateboarding setup.
With age comes responsibility, and many individuals cannot afford to miss work or other important tasks due to an injury brought on by skateboarding. Wearing protective equipment that fits correctly is a phenomenal way to lower that risk.
What Skateboard Should I Buy?
As far as choosing a skateboard goes, there are many options! Since skateboarding can be tricky to get the hang of, we recommend starting with a very wide skateboard! Skateboard sizes are typically determined by the width of the board and are all usually the same length. Having a wider skateboard gives you more room for your feet while significantly increasing stability. Cruiser boards, longboards, and electric skateboards are all great options, although they are not designed for tricks or skatepark riding.
Wide trucks combined with big wheels will also help keep you stable when taking turns or going down ramps. This setup of a wide board, wide trucks, and large wheels are great for carving around concrete bowls or a mini ramp. Once you are comfortable with your setup, try experimenting with different sized boards and other gear to fine-tune your skateboard to best fit your preferences.
Do I Need Special Shoes?
Many companies on the market today explicitly designing shoes for skateboarding in a massive range of styles. Skateboarding shoes are flat with special textured soles to grip the board without sliding off. For beginners, having the right pair of shoes can make a massive difference in skill progression. While low-top shoes may be the most popular style for skaters, high-top shoes provide exceptional ankle support.
Foot injuries are prevalent in skateboarding and can usually be avoided by having the right shoes. As mentioned when talking about choosing a skateboard, trying high-top shoes first will give you a better understanding of what works best for you while giving you the added confidence that they are built with saving your ankles in mind.
What Will The Younger Skaters Think?
The fear of feeling out of place prevents humans from trying new things every day, but rest assured, the skateboarding community is one of the most welcoming groups of people! If you are new to skateboarding or haven’t been to the park in quite a few years, you may feel a bit apprehensive about getting started.
Skaters see other skaters as family solely because they understand the struggle skateboarding poses for novice and experienced skaters alike.
If someone can see you are giving it your best shot, they will support you! Having proper skatepark etiquette will let the locals know you are not trying to crash their party but trying to join the fun! Skateboarders don’t see age, race, or gender; we are all one big family!
Are There ‘Old’ Skaters That Still Skate?
Absolutely! While thousands of people pick up a skateboard for the first time daily, many people have been skateboarding since the ‘80s. You will undoubtedly see skateboarders your age, no matter how old you are when getting started. One of the most notable skateboarders who are still setting new industry norms is the one and only Tony Hawk. Although he has been ripping since childhood, Tony Hawk is still dropping in on massive vert ramps at the young age of 52.
Many skaters grew up at the same time as Tony Hawk, who still skates regularly, bringing new tricks and style to the table. The “Old Man Skate Crew” is a clothing company aimed towards skateboarders who are still hitting the parks or streets over 40. New stories are coming out quite often, highlighting older skaters in their respective communities. You would be surprised how many are out there!
What Type Of Skating Should I Try?
While the most common form of skateboarding today is full of flip-tricks and technical tricks on ledges or rails, this may not best suit the novice skater getting into the sport at an older age. Transition skating is done on ramps or bowls and is extremely low-impact compared to park or street skating. You should also chase after your goals, but transition skating may be the best place to get started. Transition skating offers unlimited possibilities and proves extremely common among elderly skaters due to the ability to fall gracefully and without harm.
Knee pads and elbow pads are great for transition skating as these two body parts are typically the first to come in contact with the ramps. Perfecting the “knee slide” method is an excellent technique for getting rid of the skateboard during a fall and relying on your knee pads to take the impact when sliding down the ramp to a halt. Once you are comfortable with one type of skating, try your hand at another! Skateboarding is all about personal progression and having fun; as long as you focus on those two qualities, you will have a blast on the board!
Age is just a number. We all have different physical capabilities, and what may work for some may not work for you. Trying out new techniques and gear will give you a much clearer idea of what skateboarding looks like for you. Visiting your local skate shop and talking to the knowledgeable staff can give you more information on parks in your area or local meetups with the community.
So strap on those knee pads, tighten the chin strap on your helmet, and get out there! Never push yourself too far past your limits. Going too fast too soon can be a discouraging learning experience that deters you away from wanting to try again. Start slow. Practice makes perfect! As long as you enjoy being out there and give skateboarding your total commitment, you are bound to have a great time.
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