10 More Things Only Skaters Understand: Part 2 Insights on Skateboarding

Dive deeper into skateboard culture with these 10 unique insights only skaters grasp. Part 2 of your skateboarding guide!

How well do you understand the thrills of skateboarding, like the sense of pride when you finally nail a killer trick or the unique friendship in the skating community? We’ll bet there are some intricate nuances of the sport that only those who frequently skate truly get. Living the skating lifestyle isn’t just about riding a board; it’s about embracing an entire subculture with its slang, etiquette, and unspoken rules.

In this piece, you’ll delve deeper into things only skaters understand. We’re talking about those small, often overlooked elements that form the backbone of our experiences on the board. From understanding what it means to ‘respect the spot’ to coping with fleeting moments of sketchy rides, this is your journey inside a skater’s mind.

What makes pro skateboarding so intriguing to watch?

It’s not that we’re vultures finding joy in other skaters’ misfortune. It’s more like we can relate too much to those gnarly spills. Watching some of the worst pro skateboarding bails is like a rite of passage. It helps to remind us how unpredictable this shred life can be, and, let’s face it, there’s always that sense of relief knowing it wasn’t you!

Image of a group of skateboarders chatting together. Source: unsplash
Image of a group of skateboarders chatting together. Source: unsplash
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

10 more things only skaters understand: part 2 insights on skateboarding | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

How does skateboarding culture unite the most unlikely people?

Skateboarding is a solid choice for meeting different, diverse, and extremely cool people. I mean, look at Steve-O. The Jackass star carved out quite the skating career for himself. Skating teaches us perseverance, creative problem-solving, and the value of pushing against our limits. These 10 Surron habits you must develop aren’t just about skateboarding; they’ll definitely change your life game!

What unusual skateboarding practices are distinctive to skaters?

If you’re a skateboarder, you’re a member of a unique tribe that spans the globe. Our experiences are so distinct that they often fly over non-skaters heads. I’m here to decode five wonderful scenarios—rituals, if you may—with skaters nodding in agreement.

1. The transcendental pre-shred rituals

Before each shred session, we have our meticulous pre-ride checks. It could be as simple as tightening the old trucks or giving our grip tape a solid rubdown. This ritual can almost feel meditative. The anticipation of the ride, the sound of wheels gliding on the ground, and the pre-ride checks make it a killer experience.

This is a moment of mental preparation as much as a technical necessity. We visualize the maneuvers, conditioning our bodies to commit to the kickflip or the ollie. It’s a solid part of skate life that many outside our circle find pretty weird. But almost every skater can attest to these fundamental minutes before the action starts.

2. These shoes were made for skating, and that’s just what they’ll do

Speaking of shoes, the sneaker obsession is real. Skaters are pretty particular about our kicks. And this isn’t because we’re all secret hypebeasts! See, a substandard shoe can lead to some seriously sketchy skating. As a skater, your shoes are your interface with your board—a critical equipment component.

It’s not uncommon for us skaters to become profoundly attached to that one pair of sneakers that feel ‘just right.’ We’ll skate them to the point of ruin, and when inevitably they give in, we mourn the loss and start the search anew.

3. Skate-spot wanderlust

Beauty with a rich skating history, or maybe it’s a hitherto unknown location, a hidden gem begging to be skated. The thrill of discovering a new spot and the potential of uncharted territory is like a siren song for skaters.

Perhaps we’ve seen our skate heroes shred there, or perhaps we’ve heard of the most hated skaters in history having a go at it. The wanderlust for the perfect skate spot is fundamental to our skate psyche; once you’re gripped by it, there’s no turning back.

4. The art of baggy pants folding

Remember MC Hammer and his parachute pants? They’re nowhere near as baggy as some of our jeans, but they’ll do for this pop-culture reference. Baggy jeans are our uniform, a symbol of freedom and rebellion. But every skater knows the struggle is real. When we’re busting a move, we can’t have our pants tripping or getting caught up in our wheels.

Despite the potential pitfalls, baggy pants remain a steadfast symbol of skate culture. How? The art of skillful baggy pants folding: Yes, you heard me right; we’ve perfected the jeans roll-up to avoid nasty fabric-wheel interactions.

5. The despite-all-odds commitment to the board

Is it pouring rain? We’re still checking the weather update in hopes of a dry spell. Is it freezing outside? It’s time to learn some of the best winter skateboarding life hacks. There could be hurricanes, zombie apocalypses, or the biggest scams in skateboarding, and we’d somehow find our way to our boards.

It’s that intense love, the joy that comes after landing a trick after hundreds of attempts, and the sense of achievement that keeps us steadfast. Every scrape or bruise is a badge of honor, a testament to our unwavering devotion to the board. To us, it isn’t a choice; it’s a lifestyle! That, my friends, is something only a skater understands.

6. The unique language of skateboarding

Talk about being part of a tribe; we skaters even have our language! From ‘kickflip’ to mongo,’ our language is rich with unique expressions. This lingo serves as an identifier that you’re part of the team. The beauty of our skate-speak? It’s ever-evolving. Walking into your favorite skate shop, you’ll likely hear some new slang. Catching up on it is part of the fun, and using it fluently is the dream!

7. Spot respect 2. 0—it’s not what you think!

We discussed spot etiquette earlier, but let’s dig deeper. Respect goes beyond just cleaning up or waiting your turn. It’s also about respecting history and, believe it or not, spotting fake skaters! Older spots often carry stories and memories; they’re our versions of skateboard museums. And then there are posers—people brandishing a board and donning the look.

8. The joy of DIY ramps and rails

Building your ramps or rails, to most, might seem insane. Still, to a skater, it’s an unmatched achievement. It allows us to stretch our creativity and take matters into our own hands. The satisfaction of landing a trick on something you built yourself is a feeling second to none. Plus, we learn side skills like carpentry, problem-solving, perseverance, and even patience!

9. The unspoken rules of wear and tear

Yes, we wear our beaten shoes with pride. Yes, we ride our scratched boards like trophies. To the untrained eye, this might seem odd, but to us, it’s all part of the game. We don’t just wear or ride these items; we build them. Every scratch and every mark tell a story—all part of our skateboarding journey.

10. The lesson of failing forward

This is something I believe is most special: we learn very quickly that to progress in skateboarding, you’ve got to fail a lot. Failing is part of the pursuit; each setback is just a step forward in disguise.

Image of a skater wearing white long sleeve and brown pants. Source: unsplash
Image of a skater wearing white long sleeve and brown pants. Source: unsplash

Is spot etiquette a real thing?

Absolutely, and any skater worth their salt knows it. Respecting the spot isn’t just about trash picking, though that’s important too. But it’s about more than that. It’s about the small, almost trivial, things we do, like not sitting on a ledge that a person’s trying to trick us or understanding that skate spots aren’t just our playgrounds; they’re community spaces.

The common skateboarding injuries we avoid by being cautious at our spots are just one aspect of the equation.

My encounter with skate lingo

Full disclosure: as a novice, I thought I was quite cool using the word ‘mongo’ casually. I thought it was, you know, a fellow skater. Imagine my embarrassment when a 12-year-old corrected me at the park! It’s a skating faux pas: skating with the wrong foot forward.

“Skating isn’t merely a sport; it’s a philosophy, a way of life that shapes our thoughts and actions. Be it the willingness to fail, respect for attributes like perseverance and creativity, or the deep-seated love for the community, our philosophy reflects in all aspects of our existence.”

Looking back, I believe these mishaps, misunderstandings, and discoveries make my skate journey worthwhile. If my faux pas resonates with you, you might enjoy this list of people you didn’t know to skate; it’s a fun read!

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We’ve talked a lot about the unique aspects of skateboarding culture that can seem somewhat outlandish to those outside the community. Now, if you’ve got those burning questions popping in your head, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the FAQ section.

Do all skaters wear baggy pants?

Not all, but yes, baggy pants are quite popular in the skateboarding community. It’s part culture, part comfort. The loose fit offers greater ease of movement while performing tricks, and let’s admit it, they look pretty cool, right?

How pro should I be before I join a skateboarding community?

The skateboarding community’s beauty is that it accepts all skill levels. So, you can be a beginner, an intermediate skater, or a pro skater. The skateboarding life hacks are all part of the shared learning experience.

Do I need to build my skating ramps and rails?

Not. However, crafting your ramps or rails can be an exciting DIY project for some. It gives you creative freedom, and the thrill of landing tricks on something you built is unique.

Final thoughts

Going from a complete rookie to someone who can talk the talk and walk the walk (or should I say, skate the skate?), I’ve come to appreciate the many nuances of skateboarding. These unique experiences give this sport an edge, making it not just a hobby but a way of life. Which of these things can you relate to the most? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered the phenomenal aspects of skateboarding culture that only skaters fully understand. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Skateboarding is more than a sport; it’s a philosophy.
  • Skaters have unique pre-ride rituals that prepare them for their sessions.
  • Skaters are united by shared experiences, like falling and getting back up.
  • The skateboarding culture has unique traditions like DIY ramps and baggy pants folding.
  • Despite the challenges, the joy of skateboarding comes from the thrill of the ride and achieving personal goals.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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