What new Skaters in Barbados need to know
Not many people know there’s a vibrant scene with many Skaters in Barbados, but it’s like one of Barbados’ best kept secrects that shouldn’t even be a secret. If you’re reading this article then I guess you’re thinking about getting into skateboarding. You might be wondering “Where do I start?”, “Where can I get a board and equipment?” or.. “What’s a truck?”. Don’t worry, hopefully this little guide will help you on your way. Let’s break down all the things you’ll need, one by one, starting with the…
The first thing you will probably want is an actual skateboard to ride on yeah? Well you’re in luck, you can find complete skateboards as well as all the parts needed to build a customized board here on this website. Alternatively, you can also check out Blu Motion Skate Shop and Streetwear.
Unfortunately this is one of the harder things to get for Skaters in Barbados right now, but you’re definitely gonna want a decent pair of skate shoes, note I said skate shoes and not just any old running shoe or basketball shoe you might have laying around. Although those can work, they’re not the best choice for riding a skateboard. Skate shoes are built with a large flat bottom, to better grip the board, and often with other features like reinforcement in areas where you’ll likely wear the shoe down. Some examples of good skate shoe brands are: Vans, HUF, Adidas, Supra, Es, Nike SB, Emerica, Lakai, and DC. You can find some of these locally at:
When you’re now starting out skating you might feel a bit safer when you have a helmet and pads on, so this might be something you might want to consider (for yourself or your child). Check out Blu Motion Skate Shop and Streetwear for safety gear.
Standing on your Board
Before you go off trying to kickflip down the post office 9-stair set, you might want to get comfy standing on your board first. Just set it down on the grass, your carpet, basically someplace that it won’t roll away from you easily. Next, try standing on it or jumping on it. Shift your feet around in different positions, get used to the size and shape of it under your feet. You can also try balancing on your back or front wheels only. Experiment!
Figuring out your Stance
Next you need to figure out your “stance”, which just describes the way you stand up on your board. There are two stances:
- Regular footed – you skate with your left foot forward
- Goofy footed – you skate with your right foot forward
A simple way to figure out your stance is to just try getting on to a board in regular stance (left foot forward, right foot back), then try getting on in goofy stance (right foot forward, left foot back). Take your back foot off the board and place it onto the ground but keep the front foot on the board near where the bolts are and push with your back foot, then put it back onto the board after you’ve gained some momentum and make sure your toes are pointing toward the edge of the board and not towards the nose. That is you should be riding “side ways”. Keep pushing around and rolling around and see which stance you prefer or find more comfortable.
Well, now that you’re moving I guess it’s time to figure out…
How To Stop
There are a few different ways to stop on a skateboard. Here’s a few:
- Foot Braking – The easiest way is to take off your back foot and drag it on the ground. Before you do it, first make sure your front foot is facing the nose and not the side of the board. Your body should also be turned to the front instead of the side of your board.
- Heel Drag – Basically, you put the heel of your back foot so that it is sticking off of the back of your skateboard a bit, and lean back so that the front of your board comes up into the air. Step down on your heel, but make sure that the front half of your foot is still on the board. Your heel should drag a short ways, and you should stop. This will take practice – you may fall on your back a few times, and launch the board out in front of you a few times while you learn.
- Bail! – When all else fails, just jump off of your board! If your knees are bent while you ride, this shouldn’t be too hard. And if you jump forward, your skateboard will usually stop. Just remember – buying a new skateboard is much cheaper and easier than getting a broken arm, or a new face!
Moving on now to…
How To “Carve”
Carving is all about leaning toe-side or heel-side, to get your board to turn in that direction. It’s really simple. Push your board, and while rolling, put weight on your heels/toes. You will slowly turn that direction. The harder you push on your heels/toes, the sharper your turn will be. While skating around, you will be using this a lot. Go out to the street or parking lot, and try pushing forward and carving around things. Try pushing right at something that you don’t want to hit, like a curb, and see if you can carve around or away from it.
If you lean your upper body toward the direction you want to carve, you will find it even easier. If you want to carve especially deep, try bending your knees a lot, and crouching low on your board.
This video goes over most of the basics
Getting Hurt and Getting Back Up
Skateboarding can be painful to learn. It’s very normal to get hurt while skateboarding. You can wear pads all over your body, but you will fall, and you’ll likely get hurt before you get good enough to catch yourself. Besides wearing a helmet and pads, there are some things you can do to help reduce the damage.
The biggest thing is, when you fall, try to NOT use your hands to catch yourself. This might be kind of hard to learn, but if you lose your board and you are going to smash into the ground, you should try and let your shoulder and body take it, rolling with the blow as much as you can. Catching yourself with your hand is a great way to break a wrist, and while wearing wrist guards can protect you from this, it’s dangerous to get used to using your hands, because at some point you will skate without the wrist guards.
So, those times you do get hurt, what do you do about it? The best thing to do is to get up if you can, walk around and shake it off. Every time you fall, your body will learn to avoid doing that again. You shouldn’t get hurt too badly from skateboarding, but broken bones are pretty common. If you think you’ve broken a bone or hurt something bad, get it checked out. You’ll hate yourself if you find out a month later you were hurt badly, but the wound healed wrong and now things are twice as bad. If you see a doctor, take the doctor’s advice! Wounds heal, and you’ll be fine in no time. After you’re better, the most important thing of all is for you to get back on your board, and keep skating.
Skate Lessons in Barbados
If you want someone to help show you the way, you can try out the Learn to Skate with True Love skate workshop provided by Mikul Miyagi of True Love Skateboarding on Saturday mornings. There’s also another skate lesson class with Irie Wilson of Irie One Skateboards and Apparel on Friday afternoons. Both lessons are held at the F Spot DIY skate park in Christ Church.
Good Luck on your skate journey and most importantly Have Fun!