By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Falling (correctly) is as important as keeping yourself on the board. Ask yourself a question: of every single video where a skateboarder finishes a trick perfectly, how many takes were needed before the final one? If you said any number superior than x most probably it’ll actually be x squared. The falls that succeed the trick are utmost mandatory, as such the skater must be quick to land without harm. As a space guardian would often say: ‘It is not flying, it’s falling with style’, and by style he did not mean sunglasses, a cool leather jacket or a neat hairdo; it all comes down to the proper movements and postures any skater must master before mastering the trick itself. Here are the basics:
Crouch and Balance
Most tricks must be performed while crouching, not only to gain speed but to lower your center of gravity; that way the body will endure more at an unavoidable thrashing event because of a balance break. The crouch position is a self-aware and further automatic stance that provides both safety and balance while swinging in the performance of a trick. The body also must not be tensed or stressed; we tend to confuse awareness with stiffness, so when the moment of the fall is inevitable, we react by tensing our limps. The best way to avoid a harmful fall is to be as loosened up you can be, that way it’ll be harder for your limps to take most of the damage. Sounds almost unnatural, but it’s doable if you have enough body conscious.
Plus, as long you keep your center of gravity as low as possible, you’ll minimize the chances of falling and also increase the chances of landing without significant harm. In short: as long you’re closer to the ground you’ll reduce the distance between your body and the surface, meaning that the impact will not muster enough force to literally screw you up. So, crouch!
Tucking Position and Rolling
If you’re not too busy while minding your falling into a bruise or worse, remember that you can also adopt a position to safeguard your head and face: if you feel like falling, tuck your elbows and head in, this way you’ll safe both your face and your head by lowering your center of gravity as your stomach, back and butt absorb the impact. Of course they can be harmed also, but landing on this three sites are easier to predict and think quick enough to do it without free falling. Focus always on your fleshier body parts and avoid the boney stuff.
The other method is by applying the old reliable roll-falling technic, the same one that you were taught at school if by any chance you catch fire on your body or clothes. In order to avoid an important impact in a single zone of your body, as you fall you should try to take advantage of the momentum you were acquiring. As you fall and roll both the impact and pain will have enough surface area to be diminished along your body, evading with it a high amount of pressure in one spot that may result for example in a fracture or a hit to an organ. So, you either crouch, loose, tuck o roll; these four major technics can really save you from close calls.
This doesn’t mean you don’t need the appropriate gears to protect your head, elbows, knees and hands, for these parts are also the most heavily armored that require as much protection as possible. Do not fear and keep trying without bailing out, for every fall you’ll take you arise once again stronger than before.
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