Kickflips, half pipes, 360 nosegrinds… if you’re going to take up skateboarding, then you better start learning those terms. Getting to grips with the lingo is one thing, as is actually being able to actually move on a skateboard without falling off, but what is equally important is looking the part of a skater.
One of the main things which connect famous skateboarders like Tony Hawk, Chris Haslam, and Ryan Sheckler, is that these guys all dress incredibly cool and are instantly recognizable as skaters.
So, it’s your first day of skateboarding school – what do you need to bring?
It seems painfully obvious, but you won’t do very well as a skater without a decent board. Some choose to make their own, of course, but as you probably won’t be that knowledgeable about boards, then best leave it to the experts. Right now, there are boards to suit many different tastes. Longboards are great for cruising in the city, Penny boards are awesome for skating a little bit here and there but without being too serious (both boards aren’t ideal for tricks), but if you simply want the standard skateboard, then you can buy everything already set up and not worry about certain specifications. If in doubt, go into your local skate shop and chat about what kind of board you want.
When it comes to choosing skate shoes, you’re really spoiled for choice. Circa, DC, Emerica, Globe, DVS, Vans, and even Nike all produce cool-looking skater shoes to fit all tastes. These shoes are usually built a bit tougher to handle the rigors of skating, but they come in so many great styles and colors. The main thing about skater shoes is that you shouldn’t treat them as untouchable and never let them get messy. These shoes are here to look cool, but also get a bit scratched and dirty! It’s often a sign that the messier the shoes, the more seriously you take skateboarding.
As a skater, this is definitely where you get to show a bit of your personality and have fun with the look. We’re talking caps, beanies, backpacks, jackets, hoodies, keychains, patches, and especially sunglasses. After all, any self-respecting skater cares about his or her look, and no one is going to look favorably at you if you’re wearing Gucci or Prada sunglasses. Go for Ray-Bans because they are always cool and have street cred. The brand you wear does have importance, because some companies are made by skaters for skaters, and these are the people who care not for fashion shows or trends.
While it’s not a physical thing to own as such, skaters all have swagger and a ‘do or die’ mentality. They constantly risk injury when attempting dangerous tricks and boarding down incredibly steep hills, but it’s for this cool swagger that everyone loves skaters. This attitude can’t be obtained instantly, but the more you skate, the more swagger you will have and the cooler you will be. Looks are one thing, but skaters understand that the skills don’t come easily. You have to work hard for them and try every day, even if sometimes you hurt yourself and fall down.
Of course, the main thing to keep in mind when deciding to become a skater is to not become too obsessed with the look, that you actually lose sight of skateboarding itself. The two go hand in hand, and one shouldn’t be treated higher over the other. Practice, get the gear, find your swagger, and you’re on your way to becoming a real skateboarder.
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