Personal Qualities for Becoming a Good Skateboarder

Skateboader at a skate park, jumping over a rail.
Daniel Milchev / Getty Images

Most people imagine that it takes certain physical attributes in order to take up skateboarding and become good at it. And of course, becoming a great skateboarder is easier if you are blessed with great balance and other physical gifts. Just as important, though, are the proper mental attributes. With self-drive and a willingness to commit yourself to mastering the sport, even individuals with modest physical skills can not only enjoy the sport but can become quite good at it. 

Learning to skateboard is all about pushing yourself to learn the skills, and having a personal commitment to the sport. 

A Willingness Push Through the Learning Pains

A great many would-be skateboarders take up the sport because it looks cool, but it's only those who you can bear up to the bumps and bruises of the learning curve and push themselves through it who will get really good at it. You can, of course, become a moderately good skateboarder with a trick or two under your belt without ever getting much more than maybe a scraped elbow or two. But skateboarders who go to the next level are those who reconcile themselves to the fact that skateboarding is a tough, contact sport, and those who want excellence enough to push themselves and accept an occasional sprain or even more. 

No one suggests that a would-be skateboarder should be unsafe—wearing proper safety gear and knowing your limits is the mark of any good athlete. But great skateboarding and maximum enjoyment come to those who can push themselves physically—a trait that will necessitate a bit of pain on a regular basis. 

Commitment to the Required Time and Investment

To get really good at skateboarding—to get really good at anything, for that matter—you need to put your entire self into it. 

Skateboarding is not a particularly expensive sport to learn and master. The equipment isn't overwhelmingly expensive, and a skateboarder who wants nothing more than casual sidewalk cruising need not spend much at all in the way of money or time. But the skateboarder who wants to get truly good must be willing to live by another standard—to invest the money in good equipment and proper safety gear, and maybe even in lessons from experts and travel costs for competitions and workshops. 

Even more critical for developing excellence is the investment in time. As anyone dedicated to any serious hobby or avocation knows, you must invest as much of your free time as possible in order to get really good at it. This means that other hobbies may need to go by the wayside, and even social activity may need to be sacrificed in the name of skateboarding.

Anybody can learn to simply skate around and perhaps learn an ollie that lifts you an inch or two off the ground. But if you want to get good at skateboarding, a much more serious investment of your whole self will be needed. 

For skateboarders who invest themselves in becoming the best they can be, it's well worth it. The dedication in becoming a great skateboarder will pay dividends in whatever you attempt in life.