How to Boardslide (frontside/backside, on a skateboard)

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And today, boys and girlies, we’re going to learn how to boardslide (on a skateboard–although you could probably take most of the information here and apply it to boardsliding on a snowboard as well). The reason this trick scares a lot of people is because…well…there is actually a pretty good potential for injury if you’re starting out on a regular handrail at hip-height (if you can start out on a much lower

rail specifically designed for boardsliding like this one, that’s a much better option)–you could fall backwards and smack your tailbone and/or head on the rail and/or ground, or you could fall forwards and do what’s called “racking your sack” 😯 (yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds) and/or hitting

your face on the rail and/or ground. If you’re starting out on an actual handrail you should definitely be sporting at least a helmet. Let’s get started.

Tips

  • If you can’t ollie, well…um, you really need to learn that first. Just saying.
  • When you’re within about 1 foot of the end of the railing, that’s when you start twisting your body back around to your original stance in anticipation of the landing, don’t wait until right when you’re falling off the very end of the railing (also, remember to bend your knees before you land).
  • GET SOME SKATE WAX. You won’t always need this stuff for every rail, but believe me it’ll make things 10 times easier (and smoother, literally 😀 ) when you’re learning. You can get some real cheap here from Amazon: Element Skateboard Wax.
  • A square rail is much easier to balance on than a round rail. Find a square rail.
  • Do not approach the rail from an angle. If you do, the momentum you’re carrying will cause you to continue going in that direction instead of straight forward (parallel to the rail) like you want to. This will cause you to fall off the other side. It will hurt.

What to do

I’ve got two videos here showing you precisely what to do better than I could ever explain it in writing, so I’ve decided to go with that. The first one is, by far, the most entertaining and also the most informative, the second one is kind of an added bonus so you can get a different perspective. Enter Melvin:

And here’s the second one:

Additional Resources and Further Reading

I’ve got a couple other articles on various skateboarding tricks, check these out: How to Backside Flip (360° with kickflip) and How to Big Spin

Also, if you haven’t picked up The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself by Rodney Mullen (inventor of the ollie and holder of 35 world titles), then you HAVE to get it, it’s awesome, filled with information, inspirational, sad, and hilarious all at the same time; it’s THE legend’s story of how he became the best, gave it all up because of his father’s disapproval, and then got it back again. Also, depending on what skill level you’re at, you might want to have a look at Skateboarding Explained: The Instructional DVD, it really is top-notch instruction by one of the best.

About.com has got a really good, detailed (but long) article on how to boardslide if you want (a lot) more information on the trick.

Check out The Berrics’ Trickipedia section, they’ve got a BUNCH of tricks on there with videos for each one.

Also, if you’re looking for information on how to boardslide on a snowboard, The Snow Professor has got it covered.

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