What are the rules of skateboarding?
As much of a rebellious sport that skateboarding seems to be, there are different styles of skating with different written and unwritten rules. We will break down the rules of park skating competitions, street skating competitions, street skating and the game of skate.
Park Skateboarding Competitions
In World Skateboarding, competitions consist of four rounds: the Qualifier, Quarter Final, Semi Final, and Final. Each round consists of 2-4 runs of 40-50 seconds. During their runs, skateboarders can perform air outs, grinds, stalls and flip tricks along the bowls and copings to score. The degree of difficulty and originality are taken into account when scoring the skateboarders' runs.
Street Skateboarding Competitions
Street competitions are also one of the skating events in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It is held on a course with stairs, rails, hubbas, benches, quarter pipes and ledges. To score points in a street competition, athletes can grind or slide on obstacles, do flip tricks off stairs, and even do switch tricks.
Switch tricks are when skateboarders position their opposite foot from their main stance at the front of the board. For example, if a skater rides with their right leg forward he is "goofy" footed and the opposite stance would be "regular" footed which is the left foot forward. These tricks are given a higher score because they are much more difficult to perform.
In World Skateboarding competitions, there are also 4 rounds: the Qualifier, Quarter Final, Semi Final, and Final. In the run format, skateboarders get 2-3 runs that are 45-60 seconds long. Judges score their runs on a scale of 0.00-100 points. Five judges score the run, and the highest and lowest score are removed and the three are averaged out to give the skateboarder their score.
The highest score of the competition wins.
Street skating makes up a significant portion of skateboarding culture. It consists of using urban environments such as stairs, handrails, curbs and ledges for skating.
This style of skateboarding is often done in front of private or public property which prohibits skateboarding all together. However, the skaters engage in the activity anyway because of the rebellious nature of the sport and, for some, it is how they get paid.
There are not really any rules in street skateboarding, but there is etiquette that skaters try to follow.
No snaking: Snaking is when you cut in front of someone who was about to try a trick. If you are with a group of friends, a natural order of who is next up to try the trick is created.
Don't show people up: If someone is trying a trick that you already have down, do not try that same trick in front of them to show them up.
Watch out for cars and pedestrians: It is always important to keep your head on a swivel when street skating to avoid injuring yourself or other people.
It is okay to fall: Falling is inevitable in skateboarding, but you should try and get up as soon as possible so other skaters who are trying to land in that same spot will not run into you. Also, when you fall, you should yell "board" if your skateboard starts rolling away so other people can be aware.
Game of S.K.A.T.E.
The game of skate is a fun and competitive aspect of the sport that is generally played with two people. It is a lot like a game of "horse" in basketball. Here is how it works.
The objective of the game is to land a trick that your opponent will bail on, which will give them a letter. The first person to miss enough tricks to spell "skate" loses. You and the other skater decide who goes first by playing rock paper scissors, which is called ro-sham-bo in skateboarding.
If the first player does not land his or her trick, it is the other player's turn. Once a trick is landed, the other skater must properly land the trick on his or her first try in order for it to count. Dragging your toe or putting your hands on the ground will not count towards the trick.
If the skater on defense is close to landing the trick, the skater who originally landed it can give them another try, which is called a rebate. If the player who is on defense has one last letter before he or she spells "skate," then that person gets two tries on the trick.
If they do not land it in two tries, they receive the last letter and the other person wins.
What should you not do when skateboarding?
Do Not Snake: If a skateboarder is approaching an obstacle do not cut in front of them. This is extremely dangerous and can leave both of you hurt.
Do Not Tailgate: Tailgating is when you follow a skateboarder too close. There should be distance between you and other skaters in the park you are at.
Do Not Sit on Obstacles: Sitting on obstacles such as ledges or quarter pipes can be extremely dangerous and disrupt the flow of the skatepark or skate spot.
Where should you practice skateboarding?
Skateboarding is a sport that requires constant practice. Here is a list of places where you can practice your tricks and learn some new ones.
- An actual park
- Empty parking lot
- Indoor skatepark
- Carpet or grass
Should I wear a helmet while skateboarding?
A big concern of skateboarding are brain injuries that occur from falling. Falling is inevitable if you are going to be skateboarding, so the best way to protect yourself, especially if you are a beginner, is to wear a helmet.
Once you get used to falling, you will learn how to fall properly that will prevent other injuries from happening. However, accidents happen so it is better to wear a helmet so you can protect yourself from minor to traumatic brain injuries.