Starting With The Basics Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Starting With The Basics

Posted on Saturday, October 18, 2003 by Rob

Starting With The Basics
October 18, 2003 by Rob Meronek
Corny photos and goofy video by Barak Wiser

Click the photo above to enlarge it.
I've seen a lot of tips out there on how to learn tricks, but I've never seen anyone mention a method that I've used since the early days of my skating. Way back in the 80’s, I used to live in upstate New York where we couldn't skate for a few months out of the year because of the snow. We'd be doing stuff like this in our basements on whatever object we could find to hold on to. Even recently I used this method to learn switch flips, and I’m some 80-year-old, out of shape, over-the-hill, fat dude who can’t skate for more than 10 minutes without a water break.

Click the animation above to enlarge it.
The technique involves holding on to a rail about waist high while you stand on your skateboard. You’ll want to pretty much have ollies dialed on flat before working this method to learn flip tricks. While holding on to the rail with both hands, you can get much higher in the air if you push down on the rail at the same time you ollie, which gives you more time to think about what you’re doing while you’re actually in the air. I found it worked pretty well for getting rid of that irritating problem when you first learn to ollie – keeping your board going straight instead of ending up slicing to a 180. You can also try all kinds of flip tricks and commit with a pretty low risk of busting your ass, because you have the rail to hold on to. When you ollie, push down on the rail to get your lift. And when you land, put some weight on the rail to minimize the impact and ankle tweak/knee impact factor. It’s as simple as that – hopefully it works for you as well as I found it to work. Have fun skating and laughing at my dorky photos and video below. If you learn a trick using this method, you can thank me by picking up a Rob Meronek Stripper Wallet.

Barak Wiser says he learned a lot of tricks like that also. He only uses one hand - check it out.

Good luck, don't get hurt, and don't quit skating.

Rob Meronek


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