How To Stop On A Skateboard
Learning how to stop on a skateboard can be one of the most important things to master. It can be the difference between riding away safely and getting seriously injured if you are going fast.
There are many different ways to stop on a skateboard. Here are the most common strategies that you should learn.
Jumping Off & Running Out
If you are going slow, it’s easy to jump off the board and run out. You can step off with one foot or jump off with both feet at the same time.
Tons of skaters have eaten crap trying to jump off the board even while the board isn’t even moving. The key to not falling is to stay with your weight centered over the board as you jump. If you lean too far off before jumping, the board will shoot out and you will fall.
When going faster, it’s impossible to run out, so you will most definitely fall hard. Sometimes you can slide instead of slam, but if you slide into a solid object or a moving vehicle, you will get seriously injured.
Avoid getting going too fast to run out. If you know you’re going too fast, there are other things you can look for to stop yourself.
Air Braking & Riding It Out
If you get going too fast to run out and you have a clear road ahead of you, especially if the road curves up after going downhill, ride it out.
Watch out for cars and be careful if you have to run a stop sign. Stay calm and keep your weight on the front foot because speed wobbles start from the back trucks. You don’t want to lean too far forward though because you don’t want to get off balance and fall forward onto your face.
While riding it out, don’t be aerodynamic. Stand with your body facing more forward and put your arms out. You can use your shirt or a jacket as a parachute. Catch as much of the wind as you can and it will slow you down a little. It’s not like you will gain speed forever, you will reach a top speed eventually. Air braking reduces your top speed.
Carving To Shed Off Speed
Another thing you can do if you know you’re going too fast is to carve side to side. Start carving before going too fast or you won’t be able to. Make sure that you don’t carve so hard that you will power slide. How hard u can carve while still gripping depends mostly on your wheels. If the board starts sliding, the fall will be much worse.
If you see some grass or soft dirt to the side of where you are riding, ride into it. It will slow you down. Just be careful to lean back because you might get thrown forward if your wheels dig into the grass or dirt. At least if you fall on grass it’s a softer landing than concrete.
The best way to stop is to learn to foot brake. There are different ways to do it, some that work all the time and some that only work when you are going slower.
The way that works all the time is when you stay strong over the foot that’s on the board and drag the other foot on the ground. You want to drag your heel at first because it won’t mess up where your shoes need to grip for skateboarding near the front and the balls of your feet. You also don’t want to stub your toe on anything like cracks in the street.
Some people like to sit down and use both feet. If you do, stay with your butt on the front of the board. It will be more stable than sitting on the back truck. Grab the sides of the board behind you and lean back. This technique is only good if you can sit on your board, which is risky.
The best way to sit down on the board is by grabbing the board somehow and do a one-legged squat down to take a seat. Then put the other leg out. You can start foot braking after you sit down.
Some downhillers like to grab the nose while they foot brake, which can be a good way to transition to sitting on the board.
Even just jumping onto your butt, leaning back, and putting your feet down to brake is better than riding out of control and getting hit by a car. You might get road rash if you can’t stay with your board, but you will still slow down and not slam.
Bail if you have to and look for grass to bail into.
Dragging Your Tail
Dragging your tail is the most poser way to stop. Kids are shown in pictures to be doing this and it is the most stereotypical way to stop on a skateboard. No one really does it though. It doesn’t slow you down that much and is extremely unstable.
Skaters don’t want to ruin their pop, so they avoid dragging the tail. Good skaters will hang their heel off the back of their board and do the tail drag by dragging their heel. This method doesn’t work well when going fast like down a hill though. Stopping this way is the most ideal in the skatepark aside from stepping off.
Power Sliding/ Shutting Down
Power sliding if done well is the best way to stop on a skateboard going downhill. Downhill skateboard racers wear gloves with hard plastic on their palms so they can put their hand down while drifting. This allows for a lot more control. The gloves are also a good piece of safety equipment because you can baseball slide on your hands and toes forward without getting hurt that bad. It’s when you tumble or hit a solid object that you get seriously injured. The initial slam before you slide can also hurt.
When drifting, you want to stay uphill compared to your board. Going over your board, also known as high-siding, in downhill is the worst way to fall. If you have the gloves, you can catch yourself. If not, then you’re going to get road rash and might get hurt worse.
So while power sliding there is a sweet spot where you can balance. If your wheels are harder, you will slip out easier. This is called icing out and isn’t the worst way to fall. Slide on your butt or hip and try not to tumble or slide into anything.
A lot of street skaters who know they are going too fast will power slide and lay back. They know that sliding and getting some road rash is better than slamming or hitting your head without a helmet at high speeds.
Do These Things
Be careful to not get going too fast when riding down hills and know what the hill is like before going down it if you can. Time the green lights and make it through. Yell at cars and wave your arms if you are coming up to a stop sign that you can’t stop for.
Drifting is a whole style of skateboarding in itself. Usually, downhillers will do what is known as a pre-drift to shed off speed to then be able to grip the turn without losing traction.
This is advanced, so skate within your abilities and learn to power slide before throwing one downhills going fast. Knowing how your wheels slide is very important when getting your sliding balance.