By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Sliding on things with your skateboard looks great, for sure. Even it’s on rails or on pools, grinding and sliding tricks are something every skateboarder should learn. But we all have to admit that these moves looked daring and scary when we first tried to get them right. Don’t worry about that! We’re sure that you’ll get some hard hits while learning how to boardslide, but that’s part of the process. We’ll give you some tips so you spend less time on the ground and more time skating.
Find a Short, Simple Rail
The first thing to do is to look for a rail. But don’t look for a long, thin and inclined rail over some stairs. Find an easy rail to start. Most skateparks have rails for different levels of skateboarding, so find a flat one with a big surface to focus more on the movements than on maintaining the balance over your board.
Also, make sure that the rail you’ve chosen is slideable. The best way to ensure this is putting some wax on the rail. There are a lot of brands that sell skateboarding wax and it’s pretty cheap, so make sure the rail is waxed before you jump onto it.
Don’t Be Afraid!
Photo: Jason Lee (Unsplash)
We know this advice might sound really basic, but we have a good reason to tell you to be confident when trying a boardslide. This trick consists on making an ollie beside the rail, do a backside turn to land on the rail with the bottom of your skateboard and then slide until the rail ends. So, the most important part of this trick is learning how to keep your balance on the board while sliding and, at the same time, without falling.
That said, the best way to learn how to balance is to jump onto the rail with a good amount of speed, and also to jump on the start of the rail, not on the end. That will give you a good starting point to your boardslide. If you don’t feel safe, all you have to do is to jump off the board.
Keep the Steps In Your Mind
Remember: you need to pull an ollie, do a backside turn and land on the rail with the bottom of the board. One of the most common mistakes while attempting this trick is landing on the rail with you board at an angle. Your landing has to be as perpendicular as possible to the rail. So keep that in mind, and do everything step by step. Ollie, then turn backside and land. You don’t have to do this all at once, and make sure to get every step done correctly before you attempt to do a full boardslide.
Watch Your Positioning!
As we told you before, the key to this movement is to balance yourself over the board without falling. To get this, remember to bend your knees slightly when you get onto the rail. The easiest way to fall while doing a slide is to move your body backward, so don’t do it! Try to maintain the center of gravity of your body as close as possible to the center of your board, and your feet should be over the bolts that hold the trucks to your skateboard.
Watch your slide carefully. If your board is sliding a little bit ahead of you, move your body forward. If your body is ahead of your skateboard, move your body backward a little bit. Once you’re hitting the end of the rail, don’t rush, In order to land correctly on the ground, you will have to do a frontside turn, but do it when the rail just finishes, not before. If you rush here, your trucks will hit the rail and you will also hit the floor.
We know it sounds complicated, but the only way to do it is to try it. And when you achieve your first boardslide, you will notice that it’s easier than it appeared to be. From that point, it’s just about improving the trick. Falling may look like shit, but the good SHIT® happens when you finally get it.
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