How to Do a Darkslide: Master the Classic Skateboarding Trick

Learn the art of the darkslide in skateboarding. From proper board positioning to execution, master this standout trick with our guide.

Have you ever watched a pro skater execute a darkslide and thought, “Wow, really? How’s that even possible?” Well, let me tell you, it’s not as insane as it looks. It’s a mixture of precision, control, and, yeah, maybe a little bit of crazy. Today, we’ll learn how you can add this killer trick to your bag. Ready to shred some griptape and slide into the world of darkslides?

What is a darkslide?

A darkslide is a uniquely challenging skateboard trick that requires you to flip your board upside down and slide on the griptape. Trust me, it looks insane and is a solid choice trick to add some flair to your skate routine, but it’s also gotta be done right. It’s risky, daring, and yes, it’s gonna take some getting used to.

Image of a skater doing the darkslide skateboard trick on a railing. Source: unsplash
Image of a skater doing the darkslide skateboard trick on a railing. Source: unsplash
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

How to do a darkslide: master the classic skateboarding trick | 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 to do darkslide?

Alright, now that you’re stoked to learn, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how to pull off a darkslide.

Step 1: Approach the obstacle

To kick things off, you should approach your chosen obstacle. This could be a rail or a box, as long as you can slide on it. Get your speed right– not too slow, not a big fan of going too fast– and place your feet properly. This means having your back foot on the tail and your front foot just behind the front bolts.

Step 2: Flip and land

This is where things get interesting. You’ve got to pop a half-frontside flip onto the obstacle, which is basically a frontside 90-degree half-kickflip. Easy, right? When you land, make sure your feet are on the nose and tail of the board right outside your truck.

Step 3: Slide and balance

When you hit the slide, lean forward. This isn’t just to look cool– it actually helps you stay on the board and sets you up for a smooth exit from the darkslide.

Step 4: Exit the darkslide

Now for the grand finale. To exit the darkslide, you’ll need to apply some pressure on the tail, push down and back, and lift your front foot. Make sure you get out of the way so the board can flip back over and roll away, fakie.

Yes, darksliding is a pretty dope trick, but like any powerful move, it’s not something to be taken lightly. There’s a lot to consider when you’re trying to flip your board mid-ride and slide on the griptape. So, let’s line up some dos and don’ts to keep you rolling smoothly.

This trick with a specific boardWorry about ruining your regular board
Start with dark-stalls on small obstaclesJump straight into full-scale darkslides
Wax your obstacle generouslySkip waxing, or you’ll risk too much resistance
Practice getting the feel for itRush the process
Go at it with decent speedCompromise speed, but also don’t go overboard
If you want to nail the darkslide, it isn’t just about memorizing steps. You’ve got to understand the trick, visualize it, and then execute it with precision. Here are some additional pointers to keep you on track:

What are some tips on doing the darkslide?

  • Start grinding smaller obstacles and gradually work your way up.
  • Keep the board close to you when you flip for the slide.
  • Once you’ve got the hang of it on flat surfaces, try adding some downhill to the mix.
  • Be patient. It’s not a race. Take your time, and with practice, you’ll start to see progress.
  • Wear protective gear. This trick can truly be a board breaker and a bone cruncher.

My darkslide journey

As a relatively new skater, attempting my first darkslide was, in a word, wack. I was used to keeping my board right side up, and flipping it to slide on the griptape felt completely unnatural. After several failed attempts and a few bruises later, I started to understand the appeal.

Image of a skater sliding down a railing with a skateboard. Source: unsplash
How to do a darkslide: master the classic skateboarding trick | image of a skater sliding down a railing with a skateboard unsplash | skateboard salad

Darksliding is a reminder that obstacles aren’t just to be overcome; sometimes, they should be approached from a whole new angle!

Each failed attempt brought me closer to that perfect slide, and despite the falls and frustrations, I found the journey strangely satisfying. Darksliding is a reminder that obstacles aren’t just to be overcome; sometimes, they should be approached from a whole new angle!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There’s a lot to take in when you’re learning a complex trick like the darkslide, and naturally, you might have plenty of questions flooding your head. So, let’s address some of the common questions skaters have about mastering this trick.

How can I practice darkslides without ruining my board?

Great question! Darkslides can be rough on your board, especially on the griptape. The best workaround? Get a dedicated board specifically for practicing darkslides. This way, you don’t have to worry about thrashing a good board and can focus on mastering the trick. More details about board maintenance can be found here.

Are darkslides harder on different surfaces?

Absolutely. Like most skateboard tricks, surface friction plays a significant role in how well you can execute a darkslide. A smoother surface with less friction, like a well-waxed rail or a smooth ledge, will make the trick easier and more fluid.

Do darkslides damage my shoes like other flip tricks?

Truth be told, darkslides can actually be easier on your shoes than some other tricks. Following the “slide don’t scrape” approach, your shoes slide on the surface, which generally causes less wear than scraping tricks. But like anything in skateboarding, shoe damage is pretty much a given over time.

Final thoughts

Mastering the darkslide might seem like a daunting task, especially for newer skaters. Still, with consistent practice, patience, and the right techniques, it’s definitely within reach. Like I said, it’s about precision, control, and a hint of crazy, but it’s also about embracing challenges and pushing beyond your comfort zone. Check out this article on What Makes a Good Skateboard to make sure you’ve got the right kit before embarking on your darkslide journey.

So, are you going to give the darkslide a shot? 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. Check out my full blog for more skateboarding tips and tricks. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article took a deep dive into the darkslide, a formidable and daredevil skateboard trick. Here are some key takeaways:

  • The darkslide involves flipping your board mid-ride and sliding on the griptape.
  • Darkslides rely heavily on speed, balance, and precision in performing the half frontside flip onto the obstacle.
  • The trick can be hard on our board, so consider having a designated board for darkslides.
  • You should always wax the obstacle you’re darksliding and go at it with decent speed.
  • Learning the darkslide can improve your overall board control and balance.
  • Darkslide practice can be more manageable by starting with smaller obstacles and progressively tackling larger ones.

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

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