Skater trainers are the new fad and beginners often wonder if they actually work. Some claim it helps, others say it’s just marketing. The real question here is if you should learn tricks stationary or while moving, and do you really need Skater Trainers for that?
Skater Trainers work for complete beginners who fear to step on a skateboard for the first time. They help to make you feel comfortable on a skateboard and prevent it from slipping out under you. They don’t work to learn tricks faster, in fact, they can slow down your progression once you learned the basics.
So for some, they work for some and for others they don’t. Building up some confidence and getting to know how a skateboard behaves and feels is the key to progression. So let’s dive a bit into how you can progress faster, with or without the help of SkaterTrainers.
The Moving vs Stationary Debate
The question is not so much if you should get skater trainers or if they work, it’s about learning tricks stationary or while moving. Let’s stir up a hornets’ nest, the debate between learning tricks stationary or while moving. When you look closely at the arguments you see why some skaters prefer, them and why others say it’s nonsense.
I’d say the biggest issue here is that new skaters often want to progress too fast. Instead of knowing how to properly push a board and learn to balance, they go straight to ollies and kickflips. Once you know how to ride a skateboard and know how it behaves, then it’s time to move on to basic tricks like manuals, shove-it, etc. Skipping the basics will make it harder to progress later on.
I’ve seen so many new skateboarders immediately go for ollies and kickflips without even knowing how to push a skateboard. Sure, it’s a good way to injure yourself and it happens more than you think. Many of those people gave up within weeks, not to be seen again near my local skatepark.
Pros and Cons
In essence, there isn’t really anything wrong with learning tricks stationary, many skateboarders learned it this way. Sure there is quite a difference between landing a trick while moving and doing it stationary. It’s just much harder to land a kickflip while riding.
Whether you decide to learn a trick stationary or while moving, as long as you got the basics down you should be able to learn it both ways. Practicing a trick stationary also helps you to get a bit of feeling for the trick. It helps you go through the motions involved and helps to lock in muscle memory.
Often skateboarders start out stationary because doing a trick while moving is scary. This shouldn’t be so much of an issue of you have control over your board. Sure, tricks are always scary the first time but most of the time it isn’t that bad. In fact, its good to fall now and then, it usually isn’t as bad as you think it is.
Keep in mind that falling while doing a trick stationary is worse than while in motion. You’re more likely to roll an ankle or pop your shoulder because you have less control. Landing a trick in motion can actually be easier. There’s just more time to react and when you have momentum it’s easier to roll when you fall.
Another benefit is popping a trick over obstacles while moving will help your brain and muscles to learn to control your board at different speeds. You will need this when you’re ready to jump on and off an object. When everything moves at the same speed, landing a trick is much easier.
Reasons to Buy SkaterTrainers
Mainly the psychological factor, skatertrainers can help you feel more confident on a skateboard. Skateboards can be intimidation to complete beginners and skater trainers take away some of that initial fear.
They will stop your board from slipping out under you, and they do really work in that sense. This way you can start rocking your board a bit without having to worry about falling on your face. If you decide to buy them, make sure to only use them to become comfortable with your board, not for learning tricks.
If you really think it will help you progress faster and are scared of standing on a board, go for it. Just know that there are cheaper alternatives and most of them are completely free. Anything that you can use to stop your board from moving will work, even a patch of grass (though wet grass is bad for your bearings).
Don’t take them to the skatepark though, practice in a place where no one can see you so your friends won’t make jokes about it for the next 20 years ;).
Reasons to Not Buy Them
SkaterTrainers are (in my opinion) a waste of money. You can almost get a set of Bones or Spitfire wheels for the same amount of money and get so much fun out of quality wheels. I bet that in fact, better wheels would help you progress faster.
If you know that you should focus on getting comfortable with your board, you might as well tighten the nuts on your wheels so they hardly spin anymore. It would stop them from moving, make sure you have spacers between your bearings or otherwise you might crush them if you tighten them too much.
Locking your wheels in cracks, a piece of carpet, or a rubber mat is the same principle; to stop your wheels from moving. Tape some old socks or drying towel around your wheels, should also work. Another cheaper option is to get a Kryptonics skateboard from Walmart, they don’t move at all (I totally stole this one from a Youtube comment and thought it was hilarious).
Anyway, it’s up to you. Though there are some minor benefits, you could also consider spending your money on something else.
SkaterTrainers aren’t really necessary and shouldn’t be used to learn tricks. They are great for complete beginners who are scared of stepping on a board the first time. They can help you to get comfortable with your board and it won’t take off when you’re not expecting it. Use them for just that, getting yourself familiar with how a board behaves and ditch them as soon as you’re not scared anymore.
You could also use the money to buy better skateboard parts instead, which will help you more in the long run. The most important thing is to get comfortable riding a skateboard. Learn how to push and carve, try to ride fakie, and cruise around. Once you got that down try some kickturns (both ways) in your local park.
Spend some time riding up and down ramps, different surfaces like asphalt, pavements, and slick tennis courts. Once you got that down, move on to some really basic stuff like manuals and shove it. There are so many tricks that don’t require your to kickflip or ollie and they even look impressive. This is the way.