Skating is hard, there’s no doubt about it. Even after decades of practice you still might get out to your favorite skate spot and feel like a total uncoordinated doofus.
There’s no need to fret, though, we’ve all been there. And fortunately for you, we’ve learned a few secret techniques that can trick people into thinking we’re way better skaters than we actually are.
So while being good at skating might be hard, it’s actually not so hard to look like you might be good at skating. Give these bluffs a try and see if it doesn’t get you a bit more respect at your local spot.
STRETCH… A LOT
There are a million benefits to stretching, and one of them is that it’ll help convince people that you’re not quite as bad at skating as you may actually be.
As soon as you show up to the spot, hit a couple of laps to find the best place to post up–you’re going to want some place where you can be easily noticed while also not being in the way–and then run through a long and slow series of stretches. Once you’ve gone through one series, do another lap, maybe pop a couple of flatground ollies, and then return to the stretch-spot for a second round. Continue in this fashion until you’re ready to leave.
Anyone that’s taking the time to check you out won’t know what to make of your skill level. “Maybe the best is yet to come,” they’ll think. “Dude just needs to warm up first and then they’ll probably rip.” This bluff can be emphasized by doing a little twist and grimace move while you’re rolling between stretch seshes, showing everyone that your back is tweaked so you can’t really huck down the set like you normally would.
If no one knows what stance you ride, no one can really talk shit! If you find yourself rolling for more than a few feet, pivot off your nose and cruise around in reverse for a while. Make sure not to do any swongo pushes–that’ll instantly blow your cover. Just keep your shoulders square no matter which way you’re rolling and soon you’ll be as astonishing as the Venice park Skategoat guy.
GO FAST, DO 5050S
When in doubt, just do laps around the spot and 5050 every ledge you can easily get your trucks on. Don’t try and get fancy, just keep it stupid-simple and kiss the ledge like it pays your rent. The rest of the time you should be doing those long, over-extended pushes like you’ve seen in that black and white photo a billion times.
If you want to spice it up a bit, throw in a couple of quick powerslides between pushes to make a little noise and get a couple more eyes on you before you hit the next grind. Push, powerslide, push, grind and repeat until the whole park is forced to contend with the fact that you are indeed good at at least one thing.
KICKFLIP TAILSLIDE TO FAKER
This one sounds complicated, but it’s actually easy, which makes it the perfect move to cloak your limited abilities in disguise of, “you almost had it”s. You don’t even need to be able to land kickflips or backtails to do this one–just fling the board a bit and turn your shoulders a tad while putting one foot on the ledge and boom, you’ve just leveled up.
Once you’ve done this a couple of times it might be good to combine it with some of the tactics mentioned earlier as well. So fling a fake kickflip tailslide, and when it doesn’t work out, skate back to your stretch spot while holding your lower back and reaching the other arm up to the sky in a dramatic motion.
LAND 2 TRICKS –> FAKE A NOLLIE HEEL
If by some miracle you happen to land two tricks in a row, you probably shouldn’t risk trying to land another and exposing yourself for the amateur you actually are. It’s better to commit to the bail, and no trick looks better to kick out from on flat than a nollie heelflip. There’s just something about the way that trick pops behind you that makes it seem like you’re too good to even bother landing it.
SHRUG EVERYTHING OFF
Neither anger nor happiness looks cool to the critical skater, so adopt a sort of Stoic resignation to whatever happens during the sesh. Just witness someone land an NBD that’ll put them on the front-page of Instagram tomorrow? Give it a respectful head nod and nothing more.
The point here is to prove to everyone around that you’ve already seen it all. The highs and lows of any skate sesh are nothing new to you, the seasoned skater that’s been through the grinder and back again.
BOUNCE AFTER 20 MINUTES
If you show up to a skate spot, do fifty 5050s, a couple powerslides, a nice long stretch and a few kickflip tailslide fakers, you need to get the hell out of there before people wisen up to your scam. Make sure to make a big deal about it when you leave too. Go around and dap everyone up whether you know them or not, this way everyone will think you’re such a spot local you deserve de facto respect.
To take this tactic to the next level you can even fake a FaceTime call that loudly lets everyone know you’re on your way to either film a trick in the streets or link up with someone in the sheets.