Skateboarding is an exhilarating sport that requires skillful maneuvers and the proper technique for holding your skateboard. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, knowing how to hold your skateboard correctly can significantly impact your performance and overall experience on the board.
This detailed guide will examine numerous skateboard-holding techniques, focusing on the correct methods and addressing common myths. So, let’s get started and learn the ideal grip!
The Proper Grip: How to Hold Your Skateboard
The Standard Hold
The standard hold is the most common and recommended way to hold a skateboard. This grip provides a secure and comfortable hold, ensuring optimal control over your skateboard. Follow these steps to achieve the standard hold:
- Position your skateboard horizontally with the grip tape facing up.
- Put your dominant arm under the skateboard, ensuring it stays in the middle of the trucks.
- Curl your fingers around the bottom edge of the deck, allowing your palm to rest against the grip tape.
- Keep your arm relaxed and close to your body, supporting the weight of the skateboard.
Remember to position the wheels and trucks towards or away from your body based on your preference. This grip is versatile and suitable for various situations, offering comfort and protection for your board.
The Shoulder Hold
Another popular grip is the shoulder hold, also known as “stocks.” This grip allows you to carry your skateboard on your shoulders, similar to how you would carry a bag or backpack. Follow these steps to achieve the shoulder hold:
- Position your skateboard horizontally with the grip tape facing down.
- Place the skateboard across your shoulders, ensuring that the wheels and trucks face toward you.
- Lift your arms up and behind the skateboard, clutching the top edge of the deck.
- Allow the skateboard to rest against your shoulders, securing it with your arms.
While the shoulder hold provides a unique and stylish way to carry your skateboard, it may become tiring after an extended period. Additionally, be cautious of your grip, as holding the skateboard by its deck can make it easier to lose your grip than other methods.
A nose pinch is a simple and convenient way to carry your board when you don’t need to hold your skateboard for an extended period. Follow these steps to achieve a nose pinch grip:
- Stand your skateboard vertically, with the graphics facing outward.
- Grasp the front kicktail of the skateboard, also known as the nose, and lift it.
- Hold the skateboard with your hand securely wrapped around the nose.
The nose pinch grip can be used when temporarily holding the skateboard, like between tricks or during short transitions. While it won’t cause any damage to your board, be aware that holding your skateboard this way for an extended period can strain your hand.
Avoid the Mall Grab
One grip that should be avoided is the mall grab. The mall grab involves holding your skateboard by one of the trucks, typically with the grip tape facing inward. This grip was popularized in the past but is generally frowned upon in the skateboarding community. Here are a few reasons to avoid the mall grab:
- Risk of Damage: When you hold your skateboard by one of the trucks, the kicktail hovers close to the ground, making it susceptible to accidental strikes against curbs, stairs, or other obstacles. This can lead to chips, splits, or other damage to your board.
- Grip Tape and Clothing Interference: Holding your skateboard with the grip tape facing inward can cause the grip tape to rub against your clothing or leg, potentially damaging your clothes or causing discomfort while walking.
- Loosening of Bolts: Holding your board by the trucks can place additional strain on the bolts, potentially causing them to loosen over time. While this is a minor issue that can be easily fixed with a skate tool, it’s best to avoid unnecessary wear on your board.
- Hygiene and Maintenance: Skateboard trucks can accumulate dirt, debris, and skate wax, mainly if you grind. Holding your board by the trucks can transfer this dirt onto your hands, making it less appealing and potentially unhygienic.
While holding your skateboard with a mall grab grip may seem comfortable or trendy, it’s best to adopt alternative grips that offer better protection for your board and align with skateboarding etiquette.
Holding a Penny Board
Pennyboards, known for their miniaturized plastic design, require a slightly different approach when holding them. The same holds and grips used for full-size skateboards can be applied to penny boards despite their smaller size. Here are a few ways to hold a penny board:
- Just Hold It: Penny boards are compact enough to be comfortably held in your hands. Simply grasp the board with your hand, ensuring a secure grip. This method is convenient for short distances or quick transitions.
- Hold It on One Shoulder: Due to their reduced length, penny boards can be more challenging to hold across both shoulders. However, their lightweight nature makes them suitable for resting on one shoulder. Place the board diagonally across your shoulder, allowing it to rest comfortably.
It’s important to note that while penny boards can be held similarly to full-size skateboards, their smaller size and lighter weight make them more versatile for various grips and holds.
Using a Backpack
If you need to transport your skateboard over longer distances or while keeping your hands free, using a backpack with skateboard straps is a practical solution. Skateboard-specific backpacks often feature two Velcro straps that securely hold your skateboard in place. Here’s how to use a backpack for carrying your skateboard:
- Choose the best skateboard backpack with skateboard straps, or purchase one separately to attach to your existing backpack.
- Place your skateboard vertically against the back of the backpack.
- Secure the skateboard by wrapping the straps around the trucks, ensuring the board is tightly fastened and won’t slip out.
Using a backpack with skateboard straps provides a convenient and hands-free way to transport your skateboard, mainly when walking or commuting longer distances. This method ensures the safety and security of your board while keeping your hands free for other activities.
Why Holding Your Skateboard Correctly Matters
Holding your skateboard correctly not only ensures the safety and longevity of your board but also affects your overall performance on the skateboard. Here are a few reasons why holding your skateboard correctly matters:
- Board Protection: Holding your skateboard with the correct technique prevents unnecessary wear and tear on your board. Improper grips like the mall grab can expose your skateboard to potential damage, including chips, scratches, and loosened bolts.
- Comfort and Control: Holding your skateboard allows you to maintain a comfortable grip, reducing strain on your hands and arms. It also provides better control over the board, ensuring stability and maneuverability while riding.
- Safety: Holding your skateboard in the correct position helps prevent accidents and injuries. Keeping the board close to your body and securing it properly minimizes the risk of unintentionally tripping over the skateboard or hitting others.
- Skatepark Etiquette: Properly holding your skateboard is not just about personal convenience; it also demonstrates respect for skatepark etiquette. Using the correct grip techniques shows that you understand the culture and norms of the skateboarding community.
Now that we understand the importance of holding your skateboard correctly let’s explore the different techniques and grips to master the art of holding your skateboard.
Tips for Comfortable and Secure Grip
Now that you know the various techniques and grips for holding a skateboard, let’s explore additional tips for achieving a comfortable and secure grip.
Choosing the Right Position
When holding your skateboard, choosing a comfortable position and allowing optimal control is essential. Experiment with different positions and grips to find what works best for you. Consider weight distribution, ease of movement, and personal comfort preferences.
Maintaining a Firm Grip
Maintaining a firm hold is crucial throughout your ride or while carrying the board is crucial. Avoid holding the board too loosely, as this can lead to accidents or loss of control. Keep your fingers curled around the bottom edge of the deck and apply enough pressure to maintain a secure grip without straining your hand.
Considering Your Surroundings
Be mindful of your surroundings when holding your skateboard. Avoid swinging or moving the board excessively, as this can pose a risk to others nearby. Additionally, be aware of obstacles such as stairs, curbs, or low-hanging objects that may come into contact with your board while holding it. Adjust your grip or position accordingly to prevent accidental damage.
Transporting Your Skateboard
In addition to learning how to hold your skateboard, it’s essential to explore different methods of transporting your skateboard when you’re not riding it. Whether you’re commuting to a skatepark, traveling, or simply need to carry your board for an extended period, here are a few options for transporting your skateboard:
Skateboard Straps and Bags
Skateboard straps and bags are specifically designed to make transporting your skateboard easier and more convenient. These accessories typically feature adjustable straps or handles that securely hold your board while allowing for comfortable carrying. Look for straps or bags that offer durability, padding, and ease of use.
Skateboard carriers are another practical option for transporting your skateboard. These devices attach to your skateboard and provide a handle or strap for easy carrying. Some carriers even allow you to attach your skateboard to a backpack or bag, providing a hands-free transportation solution.
If you frequently need to carry your skateboard for short distances or during quick transitions, skateboard hooks can be a handy solution. These hooks attach to your belt or pants, allowing you to hang your skateboard securely when not in use. Skateboard hooks are lightweight, portable, and easy to use.
Customizing Your Grip
While holding your skateboard correctly is crucial, there’s room for customization and personalization. Enhance your grip and add a touch of style to your skateboard with these customization options:
Adding Grip Tape Art
Grip tape art is a popular way to personalize your skateboard and make a statement. You can purchase pre-designed grip tape art or create your unique design. Applying grip tape art adds aesthetic appeal and provides additional grip and traction.
Exploring Different Grip Tape Textures
Grip tape comes in various textures, offering different levels of grip and feel. Experiment with different grip tape textures to find the one that suits your preferences and riding style. Some skateboarders prefer a coarse texture for maximum grip, while others may opt for a smoother texture for a different feel.
Using Grip Tape Accessories
To further enhance your grip and customization, consider using grip tape accessories. These accessories, such as stencils, stickers, or cutouts, allow you to create intricate designs or patterns on your grip tape. Get creative and express your individuality through unique grip tape accessories.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Hold My Skateboard However I Want?
While there are recommended and optimal ways to hold a skateboard, ultimately, you can hold it however you feel comfortable. However, it’s essential to be mindful of certain grips’ potential risks and drawbacks, such as the mall grab. Consider the safety of your skateboard, your comfort, and your respect for skateboarding culture and etiquette.
Does the Way I Hold My Skateboard Affect My Performance?
How you hold your skateboard can indirectly affect your performance by influencing your comfort, control, and overall riding experience. Holding your skateboard correctly allows for better balance, stability, and maneuverability, enhancing your riding skills and performance on the board.
Can I Hold a Longboard the Same Way as a Skateboard?
While the basic principles of holding a longboard are similar to holding a skateboard, there may be variations due to the differences in size, shape, and weight. Longboards are typically longer and broader than skateboards, requiring a slightly different grip. Experiment with different holding techniques to find the most comfortable and secure grip for your longboard.
Mastering the art of holding a skateboard is an essential skill for any skateboarder, whether a beginner or an experienced rider. By understanding the correct techniques for holding your skateboard and exploring various grips, you can ensure your board’s safety, longevity, and performance. Remember to choose a grip that feels comfortable and secure, consider your surroundings, and explore customization options to add a personal touch to your skateboard. With the right grip and a confident hold, you’ll be ready to hit the streets, parks, and ramps with style and ease. So, grab your skateboard, find the perfect grip, and let the shredding begin!