Leaving is one of the main techniques of skateboarding. Requires proper body positioning and overall skater engagement.
Technically, skateboarding is not difficult and the move opens up a new, wide range of skating opportunities.
However, beginners are often afraid of throwing themselves over the ledge. And this is completely normal and understandable.
They reach the top, look down for the first time, think twice and quickly give up on the idea. The good news is that once they nail it, fear is no longer part of the equation.
Leaving is an easy trick. The most important variable is mental preparation – you have to give yourself completely to it.
From a physical point of view, everything is quite simple. That’s 10 percent skill and 90 percent determination.
If you don’t enjoy doing it right away, do it step by step. Do not worry.
First things first – put on a helmet.
Start practicing the fall technique by jumping on your skateboard when it is stationary.
Run and jump on the board to train your brain to keep your weight forward and not fall. When you feel comfortable with this movement, try to relax on the curb.
Then move on to soft bank ramps. They are less steep and easier to ride and will help you figure out how to handle the lower transition.
You can also try it on the mini ramp of the skate park or at the bottom of a simple half pipe, pumping back and forth and going up and up.
If you can get to grips, you basically relax, but without the classic drop from the top.
You can even try on flat ground or a small hill – just take all the weight on the hind leg and then put it on your front leg.
Once you become familiar with the steepness of the various surfaces and the balance, and your confidence builds, start working upwards at more challenging angles.
The trick to a good descent is to keep your weight forward on the skateboard while descending a half, quarter, ramp or bowl.
Let’s break down the easiest way to get on a skateboard:
1. Lock the board, with the hind leg placed squarely on the tail and the nose protruding above the ramp;
2. Carefully place your front foot, centered above the bolts and just below the nose of the board;
3. Lower your front shoulder down and confidently transfer your weight to the front leg;
4. Allow your body to swing and lean forward while keeping the board level;
5. Bend your front knee, let the front leg go down, and transfer your weight to the nose of the board;
6. Punch the front wheels down into the ramp;
7. Roll down;
8. Before reaching the transition, be sure to balance your weight evenly between the two legs;
Commitment is key
The release process must be completed quickly.
Don’t overdo it. Don’t ask questions. Do not spend minutes at the top of the ramp, gaining the courage to stop.
Commit to falling without hesitation. Otherwise the board will fire and you will slip and injure yourself.
Obviously, if you do it too fast, you will sink and fall straight to the ground.
In other words, do not place your hind leg too far to the edge of the tail and do not place your front too far down to the center or too high to the nose.
Focus on moving the body weight forward and pressing the nose down relatively quickly.
“Leaving is a game of the mind. For almost every skater, dropping out is like a ritual,” said Peer Welder and Peter Whitley, authors of “Mastering the Skateboard.”
“When you can’t do it, it hangs on you like a curse. Once you can do it, you feel liberated and ready to explore mini-ramp tricks at any pace you want.”
The biggest challenge to dropping out is to face the fear of falling.
Beginners tend to lean back when they fall, but this is a fear response mechanism that you should avoid.
Make sure you are in a hurry with the front wheels and keep your eyes focused on the area you want to reach.