How to Conquer Fear of Skateboarding

It's a Rational Fear -- Here's How to Get Past It

Conquering your fear is a huge part of skateboarding. Rolling along on a small wobbly plank of wood, doing tricks and trying not to eat pavement -- it can and should be scary. You can get hurt skateboarding. Your fear comes from being aware of that fact. But not being able to conquer that fear holds you back. Here are some steps that might help you get past your fear of skateboarding.

Take Your Time

A lot of the time, fear of skateboarding comes from pushing yourself too hard.

Maybe you just bought your skateboard last week, and today you're trying to jump off a ramp. If you are scared, well, that might mean that it's a little too soon for you to try jumps. Take your time with skateboarding -- learn at your own speed. Being relaxed and loose helps your skateboarding in so many ways. Relax, breathe and learn at your own pace.

Fall a Few Times to Reduce Fear

That might sound weird, but falling actually helps build confidence in skateboarding. Every time you wipe out, you get a little bit better. Your body starts to learn what not to do. You can also practice falling. For example, if you are skating on ramps but you are afraid of dropping in, then practice running up the side of the ramp and dropping to your knees (you'll want knee pads for this). Just run up, drop to your knees and slide back down. Then, if you fall while dropping in, you know how to fall. This should help reduce your fear.

Ramp Up Slowly

As you learn to skate, there are some things that are just scary to do. For some of these, you can slowly build up to having more confidence. Here are some examples:

  • Dropping in -- Dropping in is one of the scariest things to do for the first time. Find smaller, shorter ramps and practice there first. Then build up to higher ramps slowly.
  • Ollies -- First, practice on grass or on your living room carpet. 
  • Hills -- Skating down hills can be terrifying. Start with small hills and work your way up. 
  • Jumps -- Jumping off of kicker ramps can be fun, but unless you know how to land, the trip can end with some pain. Practice riding off of smaller edges like curbs and work your way up.

Practice

Most skaters don't want to hear this, but practice is very important in skateboarding. Practices help your body learn to skate and develop your reflexes. 

Commit Yourself

You can't skateboard halfway. You need to commit to it. If you are trying a trick, you must commit to seeing it through, or it simply won't work. If you don't commit to tricks, you are more likely to hurt yourself.

When All Else Fails

Sometimes, however, you just need to push through it. Just reach deep, grab a hold of your courage and do it. Whatever the trick or maneuver is, if you know it's at your level, and you are as relaxed as you are going to get, and you've practiced and ramped up as much as you can -- if, after all of that, you are still scared, then just do it. You might fall, you might get hurt, but that's OK. Falling and failing is part of learning. You'll heal (if you wore pads), and you'll just try it again later.

But that time, you'll be wiser and closer to landing the trick.