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Mastering Tricks with Popsicle Skateboards: A Step-by-Step Guide

Skateboarding is not just a sport; it’s a lifestyle. And if you want to dive into the exciting world of skateboarding, one essential item you’ll need is a popsicle skateboard. These versatile and maneuverable boards are perfect for mastering tricks and taking your skills to the next level. This step-by-step guide explores the art of mastering tricks with popsicle skateboards, providing insights, tips, and explanations.

Popsicle Skateboards
Popsicle Skateboards

Choosing the Right Popsicle Skateboard

Before you can start mastering tricks, choosing the right popsicle skateboard that suits your style and needs is essential. Consider the following factors when selecting your board:

  • Deck Size: Popsicle skateboards usually come in various sizes, ranging from 7.5 to 8.5 inches in width. Smaller decks offer more control and are ideal for technical tricks, while larger decks provide stability and are great for ramps and cruising.
  • Deck Material: Most decks are made of seven-ply maple wood, which balances durability and flexibility. However, some brands offer alternative materials like carbon fiber for enhanced strength and lighter weight. Choose what suits you best.
  • Truck Width: The width of your skateboard trucks should match the width of your deck. For example, if you choose an 8-inch deck, you’ll need 8-inch trucks. This ensures proper alignment and optimal performance.
  • Wheel Hardness and Size: Wheel hardness is measured on the durometer scale. Softer wheels (78A-87A) offer better grip and are perfect for street skating and technical tricks. Harder wheels (88A and above) are more suitable for ramps and smooth surfaces. Additionally, larger wheels provide more speed, while smaller wheels offer quicker response.
  • Grip Tape: Grip tape is the gritty surface that covers the top of your skateboard deck. It provides traction and keeps your feet from slipping off. Choose a grip tape brand that suits your preferences in terms of grip and design.

Remember, the right skateboard is about personal preference and finding the right balance between stability and maneuverability.

Mastering the Basics: Ollies and Kickflips

Now that you have your popsicle skateboard, it’s time to dive into the basics. The two fundamental tricks every skateboarder should learn are the ollie and the kickflip. These tricks serve as building blocks for more advanced maneuvers.

Ollies

The ollie is the foundation of almost every trick. It allows you to launch your skateboard into the air and clear obstacles. Here’s a step-by-step guide to mastering the ollie:

  • Start with your back foot flat on the skateboard’s tail and your front foot centered on the deck angled slightly diagonally.
  • Bend your knees and crouch down, preparing for the jump.
  • Pop the tail down with your back foot while simultaneously sliding your front foot upwards towards the nose of the skateboard.
  • As the tail hits the ground, jump using your legs and lift your feet towards your chest.
  • Level out the skateboard by extending your legs and catching it with your feet.
  • Land with both feet squarely on the bolts, knees bent to absorb the impact.
  • Practice the ollie motion repeatedly until you can consistently pop the board and level it out in the air.

Kickflips

Once you’ve mastered the ollie, it’s time to take it up a notch with the kickflip. The kickflip adds a rotational flip to the ollie, creating an impressive trick. Here’s a step-by-step guide to mastering the kickflip:

  • Start with your feet in the ollie position, your back foot on the tail, and your front foot angled diagonally across the deck.
  • Perform the ollie motion, but as you slide your front foot up, flick the edge of the skateboard’s nose with your toes to initiate the flip.
  • While the board is flipping, please keep your eyes on it and prepare to catch it.
  • Once the board has completed the flip, extend your legs, and catch it with your back foot on the tail and your front foot over the bolts.
  • Absorb the impact by bending your knees and landing with stability.
  • Start practicing kickflips on flat ground before progressing to higher obstacles or gaps.

Remember, mastering tricks takes time and dedication. Break down each scheme into smaller parts or motions and practice them individually before attempting the maneuver.

Progressing to Advanced Tricks

Once you have a solid foundation with ollies and kickflips, it’s time to progress to more advanced tricks. Here are a few popular tricks to set your sights on:

1. Heelflips:

Like kickflips, the board flips with a backward rotation instead of a forward.

2. 50-50 Grinds:

Grinds involve sliding the trucks of your skateboard on an obstacle, such as a rail or a ledge. 50-50 chores involve grinding with both trucks.

3. Pop Shuvits:

A trick where the skateboard rotates 180 degrees horizontally beneath the skater’s feet while staying on the vertical axis.

4. Boardslides:

Similar to grinds, you slide the board sideways along an obstacle using the bottom of the deck instead of grinding on the trucks.

These are just a few examples of the countless tricks you can learn with popsicle skateboards. Experiment, get creative, and most importantly, have fun!

Staying Safe and Protective Gear

Skateboarding is an exhilarating activity but can also be physically demanding and risky. Safety should always be a top priority. Here are some essential tips to stay safe while skateboarding:

  • Wear a Helmet: Protect your head by always wearing a certified skateboard helmet. It can save you from serious head injuries and concussions.
  • Elbow and Knee Pads: Invest in elbow and knee pads to protect your joints from impacts and abrasions.
  • Wrist Guards: Wrist guards can prevent fractures, sprains, and other wrist injuries, especially during falls.
  • Skate Shoes: Wear sturdy skate shoes that offer grip and support. Avoid loose or open-toed footwear that can hinder your performance.
  • Warm-up and Stretch: Before jumping into tricks, warm up your body with light exercises and stretch to prevent muscle strains and injuries.
  • Skate in Designated Areas: Stick to skate parks or areas specifically designed for skateboarding. Avoid crowded and traffic-prone areas where accidents are more likely to occur.

By following these safety measures, you can minimize the risk of injuries and continue enjoying skateboarding to the fullest.

Conclusion

Mastering tricks with popsicle skateboards is a fulfilling journey that requires patience, practice, and commitment. Remember to select the right skateboard for your needs, master the basics of ollies and kickflips, and progress to more advanced tricks at your own pace. Always prioritize safety and wear protective gear. So go out there, embrace the skateboarding lifestyle, and let your popsicle skateboard become an extension of you as you conquer the streets and skate parks with style and finesse. Keep pushing your boundaries, and who knows, one day, you might even invent a trick that leaves the skateboarding community in awe!

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