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Getting Started in Skateboarding





Keith Baldassare, 15, wants to make you a better skateboarder. And he has the skills to do it. In September 2008, Keith broke the Guiness World Record of 46 consecutive skateboard frontside ollies on a half-pipe. Keith’s amazing final tally: 348 ollies.

With a few ramps in his backyard, he has a great spot to practice right at home, which he does almost every day. Except that Keith doesn’t call it practicing.

“It’s just having a good time with my friends, being creative, doing whatever we want skating.”

Here are some skateboarding tips from Keith:

TIP 1: LEARN HOW TO FALL

It’s a fact, Keith says. “Be prepared for falls when you’re starting.” That’s why it’s important to learn the right way to take a tumble.

If the fall is too big for you to just land on your feet: Use your feet for a second as a stepping point. Tuck up into a ball (something like a skier’s tuck position), and then tumble and roll onto your shoulder.

And, Keith adds, always wear safety gear!


TIP 2: LEARN HOW TO DROP IN ON A RAMP

Start with the tail of your board on the edge of a ramp. Next, push down with the front foot and stay centered over the skateboard.


TIP 3: LEARN HOW TO OLLIE

You’ll be airborne for this trick, which can be done on either a flat surface or on a ramp.

Kick down on the tail of the skateboard and then level out the board by sliding your front foot forward. Think of it as sort of a jumping motion with the board “glued” to your feet.

This will take lots of practice. But once you master the ollie, you’ll have the foundation for many other tricks.

Find out more about skateboarding basics in the February 2011 issue of Boys’ Life magazine.

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