Does skateboarding help surfing? There is no science to confirm that skateboarding helps surfing but there are a lot of anecdotal information that may support the theory that skateboarding will help your surfing. Let’s look into this further.
I’d like to state that I am not a skateboarder but I have been a surfer for over 10 years. I tried to skateboard twice, in that 10 plus years of surfing, and neither time ended well (I hit my head on both attempts). Being much older, I prefer not to break bones, get a concussion or have road rash, so my experience with skateboarding ended after two tries.
One thing I must make clear, just because you know how to surf, doesn’t mean you’ll instantly be able to skateboard. I also find water much more forgiving than cement or asphalt.
I’ve also tried several products that claim to help with surfing, the balance board comes to mind, but in my opinion the only thing they helped, was to lighten my wallet. This is my experience but it is obviously not shared by all.
What Are The Similarities
Just like surfboard surfing, skateboarding requires skill and balance and the movement of your body to achieve maneuvers. Skateboarding, also like surfing, has a one foot forward stance and just like surfing, if you skateboard left foot forward you’re considered a “regular footer” and if you skateboard right foot forward you’re considered a “goofy footer.”
Skateboarding relies on a board, just like surfboard surfing, a much smaller board but still a board. The term longboard, is used both in skateboarding and surfing and generally refers to the same thing, a longer board.
In skateboarding, your rear or back foot, just like surfing, controls and steers your board. Skateboarders also lean into turns just as surfers do.
Many of the aerial tricks that the expert and professional surfers perform are named after skateboard aerial maneuvers. Just like the ramp a skateboarder uses to perform these aerial maneuvers, the expert and professional surfer will utilize the wave as ramp to perform their aerials.
What Are The Differences
With surfing, you begin in a prone position (unless you’re stand-up paddle surfing), in skateboarding you begin standing up. The skateboard is much smaller than a surfboard and has wheels attached to it.
The skateboarder will most often use footwear, while the surfer will most often not. Surfers will use their arms and in some cases their legs to get moving, while skateboarders will use strictly their legs.
The biggest difference between skateboarding and surfing is that one relies strictly on land and the other strictly on water. A surfer can’t surf unless there are waves. A skateboarder can skateboard on a flat surface, utilizing the momentum from leg drive to get the board moving.
As stated earlier, surfers need waves and need to catch those waves in order to surf. Skateboarders can use hills and their own momentum to skateboard. Surfers are dependent on swells and tides, while skateboarders aren’t. Wind conditions, can seriously affect if a surfer can or should surf a surf break. Skateboarders are not really affected as much by wind conditions as are surfers.
Skateboarders, generally, do not have to worry about fauna when they skateboard, while surfers will always have the thought of sharks in the back of their mind.
Many professional surfers are also skateboarders. John John Florence and Josh Kerr, instantly come to mind as professional surfers who are also excellent skateboarders. These two professional surfers are known for their aerial surfing maneuvers.
Some surf coaches, recommend using a skateboard to help maintain condition and practice surf maneuvers, when you can’t get to the water or when surf conditions are not ideal.
Some skateboard makers, especially Carver skateboard, claim their boards can mimic the feel of surfing a wave. These skateboard makers also have testimonials that support this claim.
Doing a Google search, I read many forums and posts that claimed that skateboarding helped in their surfing, most in the form of a faster learning curve.
As stated in the beginning of this post, there is no scientific evidence that skateboarding helps surfing but there is anecdotal evidence. There are many similarities as well as differences between skateboarding and surfing.
So, to answer the question, “Does skateboarding help surfing?” the only thing I can say for sure is that it doesn’t hurt surfing. If professional surfers are willingly doing it, and you are willing to accept the bumps and bruises, maybe it not such a bad idea. It couldn’t hurt, at least not figuratively.
Check out my post “Exercises for surfing,” these exercises will definitely get you fit and help you surf longer.
Thanks for dropping in and if you have any comments or questions, please post it in the comments section of this page.