By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Skateboarding injuries have increased with the rise in popularity of the sport, only in the United States, there are more than 6 million people who regularly skate. Imagine what that number is when you include the whole world. One of the main concerns of all these people is falls and, by extension, the injuries derived from them. But what does this have to do with balance? Contrary to what many believe, studies say that most falls are a loss of balance and not due to performing a trick. Here are some strategies to improve your balance.
First of All... Please Treat Your Foot Problems!
The ankle and foot assembly are fundamental postural catchers. They give a lot of position information to the body. Therefore, a poorly healed sprain, heel pain from a previous fall, and even discomfort in the support of the big toe can completely alter the perception of position.
Determine Your Preferred Posture
It is important to find and use a preferred position to maintain balance on a skateboard. The two main positions that skaters use are known as "regular" and "goofy". Try both positions to see which one is more natural and comfortable for you.
Stand on the Skateboard Over a Carpet or the Grass
Before trying to balance while riding the skateboard, start by balancing on the skateboard while standing. The easiest way to prevent the skateboard from moving too much is to place it on a carpet or on the grass. Then stand on the skateboard and focus on improving balance.
Train Your Brain
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)
The first thing to understand is how the body works. You have to be aware that the inner ear is the main component of body balance. Inside the inner ear is the endolymph, a liquid that is in an "inner container" of our ear. If we do a sharp turn or some trick with the skateboard that involves a sudden movement, the endolymph will continue to turn and our body will continue in another direction, so our nervous system will receive information from two different sources. This can give a feeling of loss of balance. The best way to train our brain is constant practice. Only in this way the brain will learn to interpret the information, which will be correctly processed and sent to the muscles!
Your Body is Your Main Instrument
Muscle "synergy" is the perfect coordination of agonist muscles (performing the action), antagonists (braking, controlling and performing eccentric effort) and stabilizers. The best skaters in the world have a perfect muscular synergy and speed of receiving and interpreting body position information far superior to other people. The solution to this is quite simple, dedicate to your body at least one hour of training per day, it will not only improve your performance in skateboarding noticeably but also your life in general.
And remember guys, it is never a bad idea to use the necessary protection methods while practicing: helmet, elbow pads, knee pads ... etc.
Read also: How To Develop Your Own Skateboarding Style
Read also: Skateboarding: How To Fall With Style