Skateboarding for Taller Skaters

feet up close while skateboarding

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For skaters who are taller or heavier than average, skateboarding may be a bit harder to master as the athlete's center of gravity is much higher and the force required for movement is much greater than that of smaller and skinnier skates.

However, height should not serve as a deterrent for young athletes wanting to learn to skateboard; after all, professional skateboarders Tony Hawk and Andrew Reynolds are big guys, so it's no excuse to not try to learn the skill—tall athletes just have to work harder to master skateboarding.

Along with an increased understanding of balance and forward momentum, some taller and heavier skateboarders opt to get larger, wider boards to learn on before moving on to more challenging boards. Although these do help with the learning process, all skateboarders—especially larger skateboarders—should use the proper safety gear to prevent serious injury.

Is a Bigger Board Necessary?

Some bigger skaters get wider, or larger boards to compensate for a heightened center of gravity and the amount of effort required to move the skater forward. While this does work to decrease the difficulty level of learning to skateboard, broader boards are only really good for ramp riding—if larger skaters want to do tricks, they’ll still want smaller boards as the makes doing technical tricks so much easier. Yeah, bigger feet will get in the way, but with practice, these larger athletes will do just fine.

As a result, larger skateboarders should approach skateboarding like everyone else, and, just like any other skater, if they find themselves wanting larger boards, then they should go get them.

Really, the key to being a better skateboarder when you're larger or taller than average is to put in more work to offset your different center of gravity and strengthen core muscles so you can propel yourself forward with relative ease. Unfortunately for larger athletes, there are no shortcuts to help offset these inherent disadvantages.

Even Tall Skateboards Need to Protect Themselves

One thing tall skateboarders can do to help lessen the possibility of injury while skating is to wear more padding because they hurt more when they fall and taller athletes have a higher likelihood of falling. If you can stand looking slightly lame, wear some more pads, but you should also always wear a helmet, plus maybe some elbow pads, wrist guards, knee pads if you are on ramps or even padded shorts.

So, the bottom line is, if you are a larger skater, unfortunately, there isn't any quick fix to get good at skateboarding. It's going to take work, but not an unreasonable amount. On the plus side of being a large skater, if you collide with anyone at the skatepark, they will likely lose in the exchange. People won't mess with you as much. If you take to bombing down hills, you should be able to get up to wonderfully dangerous speeds. Plus, if you get at all good, you'll attract more ladies than puny skaters.

See, it all works out! Relax, have fun, and take learning to skate at your own speed. Don't compare yourself to other skaters—enjoy yourself, keep practicing, and you'll learn to skate just fine!