How to learn boardslides fast & overcome fear to commit (+ exercises)
You've probably opened this page because you want to learn boardslides and you're looking for a trick tip? Well, you've come to the right place to learn boardslides but this isn’t gunna be a normal trick tip...
Instead, I’ll be showing you a bunch of skate tasks and exercises that I’ve just used with one of the skaters I'm coaching to go from not being able to commit to landing perfect boardslides in a few weeks.
Not only will these help you figure out how to actually do the trick, but maybe more importantly they’ll help you overcome the fear of the trick.
How do we actually boardslide?!
Even though it might look simple, doing a boardslide isn't as easy as just popping in, landing on the rail and sliding. There's a lot going on behind the scenes when we do this trick, so let's start off by breaking down what's actually happening when we're doing a boardslide.
This will help us get a better idea of what we need to focus on to learn the trick and what kinds of exercises we should choose.
First off when we actually pop into the trick there's a big shift in body position that occurs. Not only are you jumping up onto something, you're also rotating and then having to resist further rotation as you land on the rail.
You have to then restabilise your body in this new position - a skill known as dynamic stability - but the new challenge being that now you're balancing on a narrow fockin' rail!
It's pretty insane that this is even possible.
Anyway, once you land on the rail there's hopefully going to be a slight flex in your ankles, knees and hips. This isn't just to absorb some of the impact, but also to give your muscles leverage to actually work and stabilise you.
Keeping your legs completely rigid essentially makes your muscles unusable, whereas flexing your joints puts them in a better position to contract and function.
Ok we're on the rail and now a lot of internal body shit is kicking off. As we're sliding and balancing, literally thousands of times a second messages are getting sent back and forth between different parts of our nervous system (the command center of movement) with information on things like the position and movement of our joints and limbs, the activation of our muscles, etc., and then whether or not any changes need to be made to stay balanced.
Maybe you need to swing your arm a bit, or change the angle of your left hip, or activate certain muscles to resist rotation.
This all happens mainly unconciously to keep you balanced and stable in a boardslide (or any other trick), and the more you practice, the better this feedback loop works.
Finally you get to the end of the rail, turn out and either eat shit or roll away. A lot of resistance to movement and rotation is needed here and again your joints need to flex to allow your muscles to work and contribute to stability and absorbing impact.
Later on I'm going to show you a bunch of resistance training exercises you can do to turn your body into a better stabilising machine, but number 1 when it comes down to getting better at boardslides is actually getting out there and skating. So let's hit those skate tasks first.
The skate tasks
These skate tasks are designed to help you progressively break down boardslides so you can work on a piece of the trick in a simpler, less scary way. They'll help you build confidence and develop the main skills needed to actually do the trick.
In my opinion there are two main skills to learn for boardslides:
1. learning to get your weight on top of the thing you're sliding, and
2. getting used to sliding.
The skate tasks will be focused on gradually teaching you how to get comfortable with each of these skills.
For a breakdown of each task check the video above starting at minute @2:59.
The main focus of the exercises I've included in this video/article are to improve core control & awareness along with the ability to resist movement in all three planes of motion.
For all these exercises you're going to want to lock in something called "the stack". This is a way of aligning your body into a position that offers the most stability, and one that allows better movement of your joints.
The goal is to find the neutral middle point of your pelvis with your ribcage stacked top of it. Check out the picture below or @9:28 in the video above for a detailed breakdown of how to get your stack going.
The exercises I've included in this video/article are just a small part of a complete program for skateboarding. If you've already got a program that's missing movements like these, add them into your current program. Check them out at @9:54 in the video above.
If you don't have a training program or don't know how to program your own workouts then check out the NBD training programs here.
The NBD programs are full skate focused workout programs full of exercises to hit all areas of skateboarding. From balance and stability, to resilience and longevity, pop and quick footedness, and everything else you need to skate and feel on point.