If you consider to pick up skateboarding but are a bit on the fence, worry no more. Skateboarding is a great work out and you’ll make many friends along the way. It’s really not as hard as it looks, is great for your mental condition and feels rewarding. Here are 20 reasons why you should start skateboarding!
1. You make friends for life
If I could go back in time and meet my younger self I would thank him for deciding to start skateboarding. I made many friends back then and we had a huge group of people skateboarding every day. We shared everything on our troubled teenage minds and I still see many of them after 20 years. In fact, every year we have a reunion where we go skate and hit the pub to share memories afterward.
Skateboard friends are the best ones you can have (with a few exceptions) and they stay friends for life, even if you don’t see each other for years.
2. It’s relatively cheap
Skateboards aren’t really expensive compared to other sports, it’s comparable going to the gym and paying for a subscription. Even though you break decks and shred your shoes, it’s still a lot cheaper compared to other sports. When I look at my mountain bike components and compare those to skateboarding, it’s dirt cheap.
Of course, depending on the gear you buy and how often you break a deck costs may vary. Wheels and trucks can last for years and you can get a good complete beginner skateboard for around 70 bucks.
3. Go anytime you like
Depending on the weather you can go skateboarding anytime you like. You don’t have to drive somewhere (unless you’re visiting a remote park), you can just grab your board and go. When the weather is bad you always have the option to visit an indoor park or skate inside your or a friends garage.
4. Healthy exercise
Skateboarding is a great exercise. You burn a ton of calories and can keep going for hours. Skateboarding makes your legs and core stronger. Your dominant leg might get a bit muscular compared to your other leg. Skateboarding can be a replacement for cardio and pushing yourself will greatly improve your overall health and fitness.
5. It’s not that dangerous as people think
Skateboarding isn’t dangerous at all. This misconception has to do with the early days of skateboarding when the technology wasn’t quite up to par as of where we are today. Bad gear breaks and leads to injury and it happened a lot back then. It’s actually a relatively safe sport compared to others and scientific studies confirm this.
Basketball or football is much more dangerous when you look at the statistics. Just don’t do anything you aren’t ready for and skate according to your level. Most of the injuries have to do with attempting something beyond your skill level. Slowly build up and work your way towards tricks.
6. Great for commuting
A skateboard is a great means of transportation. They aren’t bulky and can be carried around easily. Just using a skateboard for commuting help you learn to balance and once you’re comfortable you can move on to more advanced stuff. Just hopping curbs and riding the streets or is fun.
7. It’s for all ages
Skateboarding is for all ages and not just for kids. I know people that started skateboarding in their 30’s and got pretty skilled. Sure it takes a bit more effort when you’re older but anyone can learn how to skateboard. I see older and younger skateboarder enjoying their passion together, age doesn’t really matter.
8. Great for reflexes
Skateboarding requires a lot of focus and control. You’ll improve your balance and you’ll learn how to fall properly. This saved me a couple of times in near traffic accidents. If you have a hard time focussing on something, skateboarding might help you to work on that.
9. Increase your happiness
Skateboarding makes me happy and I’m sure this goes for many skateboarders out there. Even on bad days you still get a lot of enjoyment out of a skating session. Landing a trick you’ve been practicing for a long time really gets you stoked. You just want to keep going back and learn the next thing.
10. You don’t have to become a pro to enjoy yourself
No matter how good you are or how bad, you always master at least a few tricks. While it sometimes can be frustrating not getting that kickflip down. just move on to something else and don’t overdo it. Frustration usually makes you less focussed.
You don’t have to be a pro. Skateboarders at all levels enjoy themselves and skate to their ability. More skilled skaters know what it’s like to learn basic tricks and most of them respect you for even trying.
11. Build up confidence
Skateboarding helps you to become more confident in general. You need to force yourself and commit when attempting something that seems scary at first. Once you pushed yourself and land the trick you’ll feel much more confident when going after your next trick.
12. It’s unlike any other sport
Many skateboarders don’t like regular sports and sure as hell hate visiting the gym. They want something different and dedicate themselves to learn the art of skateboarding. Skateboarders used to be misfits that didn’t quite fit in with the regular kids but that was a long time ago. Many of my skateboard friends come from a completely different background but we all shared out passion for skateboarding. Nobody cares about your ‘social status’ as long as you don’t act like a dick.
13. Progression is rewarding
Once you get the basics and know how to balance you’ll start to progress. Tricks that seemed impossible are now within reach. Practicing over and over again until you land a trick after 300 attempts is one of the best feelings in the world. Your dedication pays off and you earned respect.
As you keep practicing you notice you progress more and more, at some point you’ll pop that kickflip 9 out of 10 times.
14. It just looks rad
Even the most basic tricks can look impressive. Skateboarding looks really difficult and risky from a non-skateboarder perspective, many don’t get how these skaters pull all that stuff off. Sooner or later you encounter that guy which shouts “hey man, do a trick” from across the street. It’s annoying but I can’t blame them.
15. Failure makes it even better
Skateboarding is failing over and over again until you get it right. And when you do, get ready for that sweet adrenaline rush. Pure dedication and devotion until you pop your board just right is one of the most rewarding feelings you can encounter. You work hard for it and it takes blood sweat and tears. Crying is not an option though, pain is part of failure so just get up and try again.
16. It’s the best pointless workout
I’m not sure if skateboarding has contributed anything in my professional life. I never got paid for shredding, except that one time where I and my friends got invited to do a skate demo. I sucked but my friends didn’t and we got a weekend of free drinks, food, and free accommodations.
The memories and friendships I gained are priceless, so I guess it’s not pointless at all! You get to work out and enjoy yourself, beats lifting weights (talking about pointless workouts).
17. Build up a tolerance for pain
You’ll slam into the ground over and over again until you learn how to fall properly. Not trying to demotivate you here but the pain is part of skateboarding. After a while, you just shrug it off and most of the time it hurts a few seconds and you just go at it again. Got to nail that trick down, no matter what. The fear will go away and it won’t hurt as much as it used to as you turn into a more seasoned skateboarder.
18. Forget about your problems
Skateboarding is better than visiting a shrink in my opinion. I don’t think of anything else when I’m riding my skateboard, it’s just me and my board. My brain stops worrying about any problems I might have and when I go back home if feel great. My skateboard is my personal therapist and I can make an appointment anytime I want. Except when it rain (raises fist angry against the clouds).
19. You can do it alone or with friends
The great thing about skateboarding is that you can do it solo and have a blast, but it’s even better if you have a couple of friends to join you. Skating with friends is very motivational and you learn a lot more from others. Get the most out of it and visit a park to get to know people. Be nice and you’ll make friends easily, they can help you land tricks and instruct you on what to do to improve.
20. It’s not that hard to learn
Skateboarding might look difficult but it really isn’t. The hardest part is to keep going if you feel like you’re not progressing. It takes some time to get the basics down before you progress. Many beginners make the mistake of trying to ollie and kickflip on day one. This is just a really bad idea and it will get you frustrated. Learn how to balance first, how to properly ride and how to fall before you move on to ollies.
I recently wrote down a couple of tricks for beginners that still look impressive. These aren’t hard to master and will boost your confidence, you can check them out here if you feel like it. Just don’t make the mistake of skipping the basics!