Go Skateboarding Day is a month away! What are you going to do for it? One great option if you live in the area is the first event of the 2013 Dew Tour - the Ocean City Beach Championships:
"The best in skateboarding and BMX will converge on the beach to compete in Skate and BMX Vert, Skate Bowl (Pro and Legends divisions), BMX Park, BMX Flatland, Surf and new Skate and BMX "Battle at the Beach" Street Sessions. Among the top athletes competing are Baltimore native Bucky Lasek, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, Tom Schaar, and Brazilian bowl dominator Pedro Barros. Scotty Cranmer, hailing from Jackson, New Jersey, will compete in BMX Park along with Kyle Baldock. In addition, Steve McCann attempts to take the BMX Vert win away from living legend Jamie Bestwick."
"I can't wait to get back to Ocean City for the Dew Tour," said Lasek. "I always look forward to competing in front of friends and family at the beach and Dew Tour has a great atmosphere for competition and family vacation."
The 2013 Dew Tour will be available on NBC, NBC Sports Network, Dew Tour Live on DewTour.com, NBC Sports Live Extra and the NBC Sports Live Extra App.
"A major public festival that will celebrate invention and creativity in skate culture. Innoskate will highlight the contributions skate innovators make to society through demonstrations, hands-on education activities, public programs with inventors and innovators, and donations of objects to the national collections. Activities will also include discussions and demonstrations of evolving technology such as decks, wheels, trucks, board design, materials, etc., as well as innovations in tricks that fueled further technological innovations. Hands-on activities related to skate culture may include aspects of board design and fabrication, use of new materials, and/or the engineering and physics of making decks and performing tricks."
If you can make it, this would be an awesome place to spend Go Skateboarding Day! Talk about memorable, and being part of something huge. It's wonderful to see the world recognizing the creative and innovate nature of skateboarding, and to see that being shared with everyone.
In August of 2012, the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center invited Rodney Mullen, the "unquestioned leader and pioneer of street skating" (their quote), to visit us to discuss the role of invention and innovation in American life. "It was a truly wonderful day in which we exchanged ideas and views not only about skateboarding, but about the role and importance of creativity and innovation to building a better society." You can watch the Rodney Mullen video on YouTube.
If any of you readers are planning to go, I'd love to hear your impressions!
"Thank you soooooo much for the ollie advice. It worked out awesome. Actually, I'm mastering the ollie right now. However, I can't ollie up curbs. I read your guide on that, but it was still a bit unclear to me. I can ollie down curbs, but not up. This is really something I need to learn..."
You're right, it is! And, this is a VERY common problem with ollies. We learn to pop the board and control our fall, but if the ollie isn't very high, then we can't do much more with it than jump off of things. Which, is a TON of fun, but there's so much more to do!
The trick is usually in making the ollie higher, by lifting up your feet more. This is the key. You really want to slam those knees into your chest! Fore more details, check out the How Can I Make My Ollies Higher? skateboarding FAQ! AND, if you have mastered getting your ollies higher, leave some advice below for other skaters on how you did it!
Mother's Day is Sunday - what will you be doing? If you're in California, the Skateboard Moms and Sisters who Shred would like to invite you to the Laguna Niguel Skatepark for the 10 year anniversary of the Mighty Mama Skate-O-Rama!
"This year, raffle proceeds will help build a children's library at the nonprofit Delhi Center in Santa Ana. This vibrant community center, led by CEO/skater Armando de la Libertad, was founded in 1969 and offers a wealth of services including Head Start, after-school tutoring and English language education."
Read more on the Mighty Mama Website. For the rest of the world, what are YOU doing this mother's day? If you have any ideas, events, or stories, post 'em below!
Zumiez is bringing you a bunch of free skateboarding entertainment, stuff, and excitement. The 13th Annual Zumiez Couch Tour - an epic day filled with buzz-worthy live music, pro skateboard demos, celebrity meet and greets, am skateboard contests, DIY activities, and free giveaways from sponsors, will start off in Seattle on May 25th, and end in Chicago July 2nd. And the best part of this tour is that it's FREE. Absolutely free.
Also, the Zumiez Couch Tour will have 9 of the 30 stops from the Zumiez Best Foot Forward Am Contest Series. I'll have more on this contest soon, but just a teaser - this AM contest is free to enter, and you can win prizes from tour sponsors, and an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the Zumiez Best Foot Forward Finals. The Top 3 Finalists will also win a trip to California to skate with some pros (who, I don't know yet!).
Zumiez has been doing a lot over the last few years to support local skateboarding, and to get skaters pumped up. It's good to see, and free is always a good price! Check out the Zumiez Couch Tour Announcement for more details on cities, dates, and what to expect!
One thing we love to argue about is who makes the best decks. And it's tough to get two skaters to agree! Personally, I've never had a problem with Zero - I love em! But I know some guys HATE them! I think it all has to do with them being jealous... Or maybe they were beat with a Zero deck as a kid... or maybe they SHOULD have been!
I have my Top 10 Skate Deck Brands list, but I'd love to know more about what you guys, my readers, are thinking. Which boards are the best in YOUR opinion? Leave a comment below, or post your thoughts on our Readers Respond page.
SkateFest / Sk8 For a Cause is a huge amature skateboarding / charity skateboarding event held on the East Coast. If you can make it, it's a lot of fun, and the money goes to help kids. Also, it's a great contest to compete at, and get seen! Here's a quick blurb:
"SkateFest / Sk8 For a Cause is back and bigger than ever. Now in its 7th year, SkateFest has raised over $30,000 for the Children's Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Skaters making a positive contribution to the community, raising money for sick kids, awesome! Last year over 1,000+ spectators and 350+ participants, from ages 5-50, took part in this annual skate competition and fundraiser."
Read more on the SkateFest / Sk8 For a Cause event profile page.
Skateboarding, like any athletic activity, can get repetitious if you aren't careful. You can get stuck on the same trick, reach a plateau, and it gets boring. I got this email from a reader, and I think many of you might be able to relate:
"I'm having some problems with my skating. Unfortunately, the fun seems to be sucked out of it. The only legit tricks I know are the Boneless 180 and the Ollie (not over or off of anything). Now I can barely skate for half an hour without getting bored. I don't have any friends who skate that live close enough to me to hang out with a lot, and the same tricks get tiresome... It's a passion I don't wanna give up, just revive the spirit of it."
If you've been in this situation, then you know that it can be very frustrating. Check out the new skateboarding FAQ, How to Get Off the Boring Plateau, and get some ideas for what to do. And, if you've been through this yourself, feel free to leave a comment below about what you did to push through!
Spring has sprung, and skaters are coming out to enjoy the sun! A lot of you are looking for a new skateboard for this season, or to upgrade the board you have. Check out my article, Build Your Own Pro Grade Skateboard, and get some ideas for your new board, or what parts to upgrade. Upgrading can be as simple as buying a new set of wheels, or new bearings!
And if you want a cheap and simple way to tune up your skateboard, think about buying a new set of bushings. They're cheaper, and will make your skateboard ride like new. If youve become a veteran skateboarder, you might want some softer bushings. Or, if you prefer to put more weight into your turns, you might want some stiffer ones. Check out How to Replace Your Bushings for simple instructions.
And if you don't want to spend any money at all (understandable), you can always simply clean your bearings, tighten those trucks, and hit the streets!
This is a VERY common problem for new skaters. Skateboarding is kind of cruel this way - the ollie is the most important trick to learn, and it's ususaly one of the first tricks new skaters try. But it's also one of the hardest! It's complicated - you have to do like three different things, all at the same time, and you're trying to do this while you aren't even comfortable standing on a skateboard yet! I'm saying all of this so that you'll know that problems with ollies are normal. But stick with it! You'll get it!
The biggest piece of advice that I have for skaters like this guy who wrote in, is to have someone else watch you ollie. It can be anyone, really. It can be a friend who skates, but it can also be a friend who doesn't. It could even be your mom. If the person doesn't skate, then jsut print out the Learn How to Ollie instructions, and have them read through them first. Then have the person watch you try to ollie, and give you feedback on what they think doesn't look right. You can have them watch the How to Ollie Video too, if you want.
You see, the trick is that there is SO much going on in your head when you try to ollie that you could easily be doing something wrong and not even know it. If you've been trying to ollie for more than a few weeks, and it feels like something's wrong and you don't know what it is, then give this method a shot. It might work.
Feel free to post below if you have any other help for this skater. I'm sure he'll appreciate it. Need more help? Check out Ollie Problems. Once you know how to ollie, check out What Comes After the Ollie?