For avid extreme-sports lovers, surfers and skateboarders alike, the debate over whether or not skateboarding can help improve surfing has been going on for decades.
Does mastering a trick at the local skatepark really make a difference to how one performs in bigger waves out of the ocean?
The answer is unequivocally yes – by honing skills such as balance and board control on a traditional setup while gliding on concrete terrain an individual significantly improves their chances in the water.
So if you’re looking to take your abilities from street skating to sea surfing then this article is for you.
Read on and gain insight about why learning both crafts will increase your drive for success.
Is surfing anything like skateboarding?
Even with the similarities in the style of board and physical moves it takes to be successful, surfing and skateboarding share only a few true similarities.
Historically, surfers were looking for the biggest wave or waves that could carry them furthest down the coast, while skateboarders used concrete waves for tricks and maneuvers.
Even if one fails at either activity, its ok; as each sport has an entirely different set of expectations when it comes to performance.
Skateboarding is primarily focused on mastering tricks and landings at skate parks or street spots, whereas surfing is all about feeling out the wave itself- not just catching a ride but also reading it’s energy before standing up and experiencing the adrenaline rush of riding a wave home.
How does skateboarding help with surfing?
The skill set required to succeed in both activities is similar. Skateboarding can help with balance, board control and familiarity with a board beneath you as well as the confidence that comes from mastering tricks in an environment of concrete and street obstacles.
These skills help surfers when it comes to confidently navigating bigger waves or performing maneuvers like cutbacks and floaters when faced with a large swell.
Similarly, the technique for pushing off of a wave or leaning into turns is similar to that used on a skateboard as one shifts their weight to maintain balance on the board.
Therefore, there’s no denying that mastering tricks and skills at the local skatepark can help someone become a better surfer.
It’s no wonder that many who have experience in both sports swear by the benefits of combining the two, and as a result, skateboarding has become a popular way for surfers to stay fit and improve their confidence when out at sea.
How skateboarding can improve your surfing technique?
Skateboarding can improve your surfing technique in many ways, such as:
• Improving balance – Balance is key to any successful surf session and skateboarding allows you to practice maintaining balance on a board.
• Increasing board control – Board control is essential for performing tricks and maneuvers in the water. Skateboarding can help build up the necessary muscle memory for cutting and turning as well as strength for holding on to bigger waves.
• Improving technique – Skateboarding helps with developing good posture, timing, and technique when it comes to reading a wave before taking off.
• Developing confidence – Confidence is just as important in surfing as skill, and skateboarding can help build this up through practice and repetition.
• Increasing fitness – Skateboarding is a great way to stay fit when not in the water, which helps prepare you for more challenging waves.
Basically, skateboarding has become an essential part of any surfer’s training regimen as it provides an opportunity to hone skills in an environment that mimics the ocean. Whether you’re a beginner looking to gain confidence or an experienced surfer looking for something new, skateboarding can help you take your surfing to the next level.
Which skills from skateboarding can be transferred to surfing?
Many of the skills used in skateboarding can be transferred directly to surfing. These include:
• Balance and Stance
Both skateboarding and surfing demand a solid foundation in balance and body awareness.
When you’re on a skateboard, you need to maintain your weight and positioning to avoid falling and ride smoothly.
Similarly, surfing demands a great sense of balance to stand up on your surfboard while riding a wave.
The stance in both sports is quite similar: feet spread apart, knees bent, and body lowered.
This stable posture allows for quick adjustments and easy maneuverability, so mastering your balance and stance on a skateboard can benefit you greatly when it’s time to hop on a surfboard.
• Foot Placement and Weight Shifting
While on a skateboard or surfboard, understanding proper foot placement and weight shifting is crucial.
In both sports, the front foot points towards the nose of the board, while the back foot is perpendicular to the board.
You rely on your front foot to steer and your back foot to generate power for your turns. Additionally, each sport requires mastering the shift of your weight to execute maneuvers.
For example, to gain more speed in skateboarding, you lean forward onto your front foot, and similarly, while surfing, you distribute your weight more on your front foot to trim across the wave.
• Pumps and Carves
Both skating and surfing can involve intricate, fluid movements known as pumping and carving, which allow you to gather speed and navigate your environment.
Pumping in skateboarding consists of shifting your weight between your toes and heels while bending and straightening your legs.
In surfing, pumping requires these same weight shifts along with coordinated upper body movements to generate speed and maneuver across a wave.
Translating these skills from skateboarding to surfing can help you make the most of every wave you catch.
• Connecting Turns
One of the most exhilarating aspects of each sport is seamlessly connecting different turns and maneuvers.
In skateboarding, this might involve linking a set of tricks or fluidly navigating through transitional terrain in a skatepark or pool.
Surfing also challenges riders to connect turns, such as bottom turns, top turns, and cutbacks, on an ever-changing canvas presented by each wave.
The ability to visualize, anticipate, and link movements from skateboarding will significantly benefit your ability to perform smooth, dynamic turns in the water.
• Commitment and Adaptability
Mastering both skateboarding and surfing comes down to the mental game.
Each sport demands commitment and adaptability due to their unpredictable nature. Skateboarding teaches you to be fearless, go for the trick, and handle the inevitable falls and failures.
Likewise, in surfing, you’ll need to commit to catching the wave and pushing through challenges that the ocean throws at you.
Embracing this mindset on a skateboard will help build the mental fortitude necessary to conquer the waves while surfing.
What’s harder skateboarding or surfing?
Deciding which is harder, skateboarding or surfing, can be a tough call. Both require skill, practice, and perseverance to master.
Skateboarding has the benefit of being able to ride on the ground, while surfing requires that you take your board into the water.
It can be argued that due to the potential forces at play in the ocean—tides, waves, wind—surfing puts you at a greater disadvantage than skateboarding when it comes to stability and finding your footing.
On the other hand, learning proper form on a skateboard may take longer due to needing basic balance and coordination skills before even starting out.
Ultimately both sports offer unique challenges that have kept people engaged and entertained for decades.
All in all, skateboarding and surfing may have similarities, but skateboarding offers a unique and rewarding experience for riders that can’t be matched by other activities.
With tricks, stunts and slopes to practice, boarders are able to explore their creativity without having to brave the elements.
Furthermore, skateboarding proves to be an excellent cross-training activity for avid surfers. It helps strengthen the muscles used for balance on a surfboard, making the transition from land to sea even smoother.
Although it doesn’t offer the same rush of catching waves on the open ocean, skating still has its advantages.
There is no doubt that this sport is growing rapidly in popularity as learners discover how enjoyable and beneficial it can be.
As more people take up skateboarding as a hobby they will be able to reap the rewards; not only in terms of improved fitness levels but also with more confidence when out on the waters – so why not create your own two-wheeled story?