The Board Blazers Blog


10 Ultimate Skateboarding Apps

If you’re a skater, you’ve probably got a smartphone, and the typical apps installed: Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat… all the usual apps for skating are great. But to get the very most out of each skate session, we’re bringing you the best ten skateboarding apps you’ve never heard of! From games to tracking apps, to education to skate spot locators, it’s all here! All of these apps are available for both apple and android devices; some are free, and others charge a minimal fee. Let’s get going!

Skatespots

First things first – you’ve got to know where you’re headed to shred. Everyone has their favorite spots, but this app uses crowdsourcing to share the skate knowledge with everyone! As a user, you can view and add geo-tagged skating locations – everything from skate parks to a rad curb you love can be shared with all of the apps users. Skatespots is super helpful especially when you’re traveling, or have moved to a new place. Instant skater knowledge at your fingertips! For best results, use the map feature to zoom in to your desired area, hit “reload” and watch the locations populate in front of your eyes. Don’t forget to add your favorite spots to the app so that other users can find and enjoy them too!

 

Shreddit: Skateboarding

Another way to find a sick skate locale is to use Shreddit, the skaters' version of Facebook. While it’s not as intuitive when it comes to locating potential skate spots (if that’s your only use for an app, go with Skatespots), but it gets the job done. Plus it’s a killer online gathering community for all things skateboarding. You can follow skater friends and celebrities, plus watch skateboarding tutorials and lessons if you’re trying to master that next trick. This app covers a board spectrum of needs for every skateboarder, plus it’s just fun to hang with your online crew.

Riders Skateboarding

If you’re looking to learn or perfect you trick skateboarding game, this is a must-have app. Covering a broad swath of extreme sports (skateboarding, BMX, snowboarding, etc.), make sure you download the app specifically for skateboarding when you’re getting started. You’ll be able to view instructional narrated video lessons, watch user clips of others performing the trick, and eventually upload your video once you have something to share. And if you’re new to skate speak, hit up the dictionary function – it’ll keep you up to date on all the must-know lingo, bro.

Skatematic Skateboard Videos

While we’re on the subject of videos, check out this app that has anything and everything related to skateboarding in video format. It lets you watch any of the videos from skatematic.com. You’ll never again be without your inspiration from Thrasher, Transworld, Huf, and many more! It’s like Hellaclips in app form; unlimited access to any skateboarding video at any time. Sick.

 

Ride

With Electric skateboarding quickly growing in popularity, the Ride app has burst onto the scene at the perfect time. Allowing you to connect your Eskateboard to your mobile device wirelessly, you can now track you ride! Taking down every detail from route to speed, Ride will give you all the data you could ever need and more. You can share your rides with other users and track your progress over time. It’s an incredible tool for growth in the sport, but also fun when you just want to kick it and fly down the pavement.

Skate Dice

If trick skating is more your jam, enter SkateDice. The four spinners (think slot machine style) will randomly select tricks for you to perform. If you think you’ve mastered it all – think again! SkateDice will keep you on your toes with new trick combos as often as you tap your finger. The four spinners represent stance, frontside/backside, spin, and kickflip/heelflip. Each combo of four is challenging and fun to attempt. If you’re looking for a rad Saturday at the skatepark, look no further! And if you’re into the game of S.K.A.T.E., adding this to your game would be…a game changer (see what we did there?)! Try rolling different combos and see who gets to S.K.A.T.E. first!

Quik

Often people assume that you need expensive and complicated software to edit photos and videos – not true! Quick is an example of an easy to learn, easy to use, and low-cost video editor that no skater should be without. It can take raw GoPro footage and turn it into professional looking content in minutes. If you want to level up your Instagram or YouTube game, you NEED this. While it might not have every single option that the expensive software would, it does have all the tools you need to make your vids look rad, and you can do it all from your mobile device!

Colorstory

Similar to Quik, Colorstory is like photoshop light for your mobile phone. The worst picture can come out looking magazine-quality in seconds. All of the standard photo editing features are here and more. The one-touch curve editor alone is outstanding. Plus it comes preloaded with piles of amazing filters, and the ability to choose their intensity. Ever sat on Instagram trying to make your shot look sick and thought of a tool you’d love to have? It’s in this app, we promise. No pro photography skills needed – snap a pick, and a few clicks later it’s looking like skateboarding gold.

Skate Nerd

So you're into gaming? While this app won’t have you digitally skateboarding in dream locations (but keep reading, we’ve got you covered there!), you will grow your nerd quotient for skate knowledge! Like the Jeopardy of skateboarding, this app has trivia from the entirety of skateboard history. If you’re new to the sport and looking to learn, or an old pro who thinks he knows it all, try it out and test your skills. How many levels can you master?

 

Touchgrind Skate 2

We have to have a mobile skateboarding game, and this is far and away the very best. The game is fingerboard based, and you control the board by tapping and sliding your fingers across the screen. You can skate in a variety of dream locations and compete against yourself, the computer, and other users. And don’t worry about the hokey computer game music – you can play your own iTunes, Pandora station or Spotify playlist while you digitally shred.

Skate Space

Ok, we get it: the English translation is terrible in this game. But really, who cares? If you can look past the grammar, this is the most expansive and customizable skate simulator available. You can design your own skate park, make a custom character, and pick the perfect trick list. Then, share your creations with friends and skate them together in real-time. Yeah, the stamina meter is dumb. But this game is still the best reflection of the personality, free spirit, and endless possibility that defines skating in the real world. 

While there are tons of apps for skateboarders out there, these are our top pics for quality and usefulness. We hope they take you to places you’ve never been and help you master the trick you’ve been after for ages. So what are you waiting for? Download an app and get out there!


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What's The Best Age To Start Skating?

what's the best age to start skateboarding?

Because it feels irresponsible to do otherwise, let's start off with the Skateboarding Safety warning:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

* Children under age 5 years old should never ride a skateboard.
* Children aged 6 to 10 years old need close supervision from an adult or trustworthy adolescent whenever they ride a skateboard.

When young children are involved in skateboarding accidents, they are often injured severely. Skateboarding is a special risk for young children because they have:

* A higher center of gravity, less development and poor balance. These factors make children more likely to fall and hurt their heads.
* Slower reactions and less coordination than adults. Children are less able to break their falls.
* Less skill and ability than they think. Children overestimate their skills and abilities and are inexperienced in judging speed, traffic and other risks.

 

All right. We good? Are all the lawyers gone?

Here's the thing--YES, skateboarding can be dangerous. But also, it's dangerous at any age. There's never a time in your life that you can get on a skateboard and be guaranteed to get off unscathed.

So instead of continuing to scare you, let's celebrate some young skaters that already exist.

 

A Short List Of Young, Bad-A** Skaters

Or at least skaters who got their start young. And when I say young, in most cases, I mean really really young.

1. Sky Brown

Sky Brown is from Miyazaki, Japan, and is already a pro skater at age 8. She's been tearing it up from (clearly) a super-young age, and is the youngest female skater ever to compete in the Vans US Open Pro Series

2. Brighton Zeuner

I've talked about Brighton Zeuner elsewhere on this blog because she is SO COOL! At age 11, she was the youngest female athlete to be invited to the X games, AND she took home the 2016 Vans Park Series World Championship!

3. Jagger Eaton

As reported by GrindTV (editor's note mine):

"I can't believe I've been competing at the X Games for 4 years now," [Editor's note: When he was 11!] Jagger told GrindTV. "I've done Big Air for two years, Street for two years and it never gets old. I enjoy this event every time I come and I'm so thankful that they keep inviting me because I never want to stop coming!"

4. Tyshawn Jones

This interview from young pro Tyshawn Jones has him reminiscing about when he was 12 or 13, skating in the Bronx and happened to run into someone that changed his life forever. Teaser quote:

"If you want something, you’ve got to really be on it, you’ve got to practice every day, you’ve got to make sure you’re good at it and don’t just do it to make it—you’ve got to actually love it.

5. Alex Midler

Now 16 years old, Alex first started skating when he was 3, and quickly fell in love with it. Today, he's sponsored by a ridiculous number of companies, including Redbull, GoPro, and Nike SB.

6. Asher Bradshaw

Asher Bradshaw was 10 years old when he landed a 900--for reference, this is a trick that Tony Hawk first landed when he was 31. ONLY twelve other skaters have landed this trick. Go Asher!!

 

A Shorter List Of Old, Bad-A** Skaters

So yes--there are all the incredible youthful skaters. Amazing! But also, have you noticed that people tend to think of skateboarding as just for young people? 

Here are 4 examples of skaters arguably well-past the societally-prescribed "skating prime," but not letting that stop them in any way.

(Editor's note: Yes, I know that 50 is not "old." But it kind of is in professional-athlete years. Just roll with me here.)

1. Lance Mountain

If you're 42 and think you can't get asked to skate as part of a team, think again! Lance Mountain, a lifelong skater, was asked at age 42 to represent Flip. Today he's 53 and still shredding it! Click the link to browse through his illustrious career.

2. Steve Caballero

A self-described "professional skateboarder, artist, musician, hot rodder, motocross enthusiast and vintage motorcycle collector," Steve Caballero skates right past the you're-too-old-for-this noise at age 61. He was also part of the infamous Bones Brigade, and is credited with inventing a ton of tricks, including the "Caballerial."

3. The 'Sisters of Shred' - 50+ year old moms who skate

Okay, wow. Are you looking for something to seriously brighten your day? Then please watch and enjoy this short documentary on women over the age of 50 who are both continuing to skate and learning to skate. 

4. Neal Unger

I'll let you behind the curtain for a moment. If you Google "oldest skateboarder," Neal Unger dominates the search results--probably because of this well-filmed mini-documentary that shows his spiritual approach to skateboarding. Teaser quote: "As I gain more balance in life, I also gain more balance on my skateboard."

Conclusion

What's the best age to start skating? Whatever age works for you. Start slow, wear safety gear, and tune out the haters.


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10 Sick Skate Spots Without A Skatepark Nearby

It's easy to rock at something with the best equipment, tons of time to practice, and every resource at your fingertips. But it can be frustrating to be so passionate about boarding and feel like you don't have a place to really practice. But that's not what skating is about: working with what you have, hanging with friends, trying that ollie until you've got it perfect, making do with a park bench – that's what makes skating unique! The team here at Board Blazers is passionate about working with what we've got, and that's why we're so pumped to bring you this list of the 10 best places to skate when "there's no skate park near me!"

1. Community college/University campus
Most every city has a community college or even a university nearby. These are killer places to skate because they typically have large paved or concrete areas, tons of benches, parking lots with curbs, big staircases with rails, and loads of other awesome skateboarding opportunities. As a bonus, the campus is usually less busy on nights and weekends so you can really go big! Campus security can be a bust, but be cool to them, and they'll be cool to you. Click here to find a community college in your hood!

2. Malls with large parking lots
Similar to community colleges, malls and corner shopping centers with large parking lots have a ton of opportunities for skaters: lots of curbing, handicap ramps, rails, and open expanses for cruising. Plus, they're usually well lit at night. As always, be safe and look out for cars (and pedestrians) since parking lots can be busy places at any time of day.

3. Parking garage
Take the elevator to the top floor and bomb the ramp all the way to the bottom. The possibilities here are pretty much endless: get some serious downhill speed, curbing, long stretches of sloped concrete, stairs, railing, the occasional bench or garbage can-get creative! However, be EXTREMELY cautious and careful while skating a garage. Cars will not be expecting you. It's best to try for a time at night when the garage near you is less busy.

4. The back of warehouse stores
Make sure you hit these places up after hours, but with multiple loading docks for trucks, plenty of handrails for workers' safety, dumpsters, pallets, and who knows what else on any given night, these places are like Disneyland for skaters. With huge expanses of wide open concrete, and little traffic after the store's closing time, this is a great place to meet up with your friends, bump some tracks, and get to work perfecting your latest trick.

Need to find the perfect spot to skate?

5. Community park
Stuck in suburbia? Don't be too down about it. Almost every community has parks that can be awesome for skateboarding. Every park is different, but most of them have lots of paved paths, benches & railings, playground equipment, shady ramadas with picnic tables, basketball courts and tons of other killer skating opportunities.

4. Large suburban neighborhoods
Are long cruises your jam? Most housing areas provide lengthy stretches of pavement or sidewalk. Use these to take a sweet night ride either alone or with your skate crew. Big neighborhoods provide a sweet cruising spot without having to cross major street traffic. Don't get stuck in the same rut, try different routes through your hood, and take a swing down some new streets!

6. Local attractions
Live near the beach? Cruise the boardwalk and grind on those retaining walls. Got a large sports arena nearby? Go check it out on day where there isn't a game, and you have it all to yourself. Is there a local museum in your city? Might be a killer spot after hours! Anything and anywhere that is paved is your playground! See what kind of awesome local haunts you can find.

7. Bike or pedestrian paths
Loads of cities are becoming more bike-friendly, and while our feelings are a little hurt that they don't always include skaters in their plans, we can forgive them. Especially since those super long (often MILES long) stretches of concrete or paved pathway provide us with ample spots to cruise, practice tricks, meet up with our crew, or whatever that day holds. Look for spots where paths cross under major streets - underpasses can be killer for tricks & jumps. Major bonus if you can find large drainage pipes! Look out for hilly places on pedestrian paths – you're likely to find some stairs and handrails there that would be perfect for grinding! Click here to find a list of bike paths near you!

9. Your own house/street
It's not as fun or exotic as a beach boardwalk or an amazing skate park, but there's nothing like being familiar with a spot to help you improve your consistency, especially when you're trying to master a new skill. If you're short on time or freedom to wander, you can enjoy a great skate on your home turf. Crank some tunes and hit the pavement – you'll be glad you did.

10. Keep your eyes open and look around!
Your new favorite skating spot could be literally just around the corner. Get out there with your friends and go find a great spot! Keep your eyes open while you're driving around town; you might see the perfect place. Get creative – you'll be surprised what you might find. Take a cruise on your board to some new spots and just take it all in. You might just find a sick secret place to grind. Want to share your spot with your crew? Check out these tips for how to best use skateboarding forums online.

As always, remember to be safe while you skate. Always wear a helmet, be careful to obey local laws and look out for vehicles. And, if you're skating at night, Board Blazers are always a good idea. Don't skate in places that are restricted or fenced off. If you're asked by security to leave, just move on and remember that the next best skating spot could be right around the corner.

Image sources: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.


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How To Learn To Skateboard By Yourself

So you want to learn to skateboard, but you’re not so keen on the idea of paying for lessons. And it’s helpful to know exactly where to start, especially if you’re trying to make the transition from “Total Beginner” to “Won’t Make A Complete Fool Of Myself At The Skate Park.”

Assuming you already have your skateboard and safety gear, here are the steps to learn to skateboard by yourself.

1. Practice your stance first

Find a soft place, like a patch of grass or a floor of carpet. This is the time to get comfortable with your stance and the feel of the board. 

Figure out if you’re regular- or goofy-footed; that is, if you’re more comfortable with your left foot forward or your right foot forward. 

Once you’re in position, bounce a little bit, feeling how the board moves and flexes. Practice getting on and off the board and finding your balance.

2. Fall

Or rather, practice falling properly. Think of it this way--you’re going to fall, so get the anxiety about when out of the way. You also want to practice your form to help minimize injuries.

Stay loose, and try and roll out of every fall to minimize the damage.

3. Start skateboarding on a level surface

First, practice pushing off with your rear foot, and bringing it back onto the board in the stance you practiced in step 1. Then, try a wide turn, leaning your weight in the direction you want to turn and feeling the board slowly carry you around. 

Once you’re comfortable with the wide turn, and you’ve done it successfully a few times, try a sharp turn. To do this, gently put some pressure on the back of the board and lift the nose off the ground just a smidge, then swing the board in the direction you want to turn.

You’ll also want to practice stopping, which consists of you gently putting your back foot on the ground and dragging it along until you come to a stop.

4. Watch skaters to learn tricks

Once you’re at a place where you can pretty comfortably stay on your board and turn without falling off, it’s time to take things up a notch.

This means hanging out at skate parks and watching more experienced skaters land some sweet moves. Pay close attention to what they’re doing, and think about how you can practice it at home. 

You’ll also want to find some good skate videos, for the same reason. Chances are, you’re bound to find experienced skaters doing something awesome that you hadn’t even considered!

5. Use SkaterTrainers to practice your tricks

Isn’t it a bummer when you know the parts of a trick, but you can’t practice them individually?

Well, with SkaterTrainers, you actually can. These are nifty little wheel-stoppers that hold your board in place and allow you to try tricks in slow motion, practicing your moves without fear of the board sliding out of control.

SkaterTrainers

 

Another possibility is to return to that starter patch of grass and practice there.

6. Go skate!

You can stand on a board, push off, turn, and land a couple basic tricks. Now, you’re ready to start really learning--but to get to the next level, you’ll need to find some friends at the skate park.

Scope out intermediate-to-advanced skaters, ask if they’ll show you how to do that thing they just did, and BAM--skater friends!

Conclusion

Learning to skateboard by yourself can be a process of trial and error--but by taking it slow and practicing these basic steps, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the board.

Experienced skaters--what are your tips for beginners? Let us know on Instagram @boardblazers!

 

Photo credit: Erich Ferdinand//flu,


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Best Skateparks in the U.S.

Skateboarding is one of the most popular extreme sports in 21st century America. The roots of skateboarding began in California back in the 1950s when young adults used to surf the streets on wooden boards (and there were certainly no skate parks in those days!). Skateboarding really took off in the 1970s and became part of the mainstream in the late 1990s thanks to the success of Tony Hawk, video games and the X Games. Since then, impressive skate parks have been built all over the country (and the world), and here we’ll rank the top 10 skateparks in the U.S.

#1: Burnside Skate Park (Portland, OR)

Located under the east end of the Burnside Bridge in the city of Portland, Burnside Skate Park has been featured in numerous skate magazines, video games and is considered a classic skate park by skateboarding pros.  This quintessential skate park was created in 1990 and features some of the sweetest wall rides, bowls, quarter pipes, hips and bumps. Burnside Skate Park has continuously grown and developed over the last 26 years.

Burnside Skate Park

 

#2: Skate Lab (Atlantic Beach, FL)

First opened in 1997, Skate Lab is considered to be the best skateboarding venue in the state of Florida. Offering a huge collection of ramps, rails and jumps, Skate Lab is known to push skaters to their limits. The finest features of the Skate Lab are huge indoor and outdoor areas so that the weather is never an obstacle.

Skate Lab (Florida)

 

#3: Denver Skate Park (Denver, CO)

Situated along the Platte River, north of Downtown Denver, this skate park offers an incredible view of the famous Rocky Mountains as you grab some air. Sprawling in size and tremendous with its obstacles, Denver Skate Park has something for every kind of skater. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or an expert skater, the extensive street course and the bowls of the park are open late into the night (perfect for Board Blazers we say!).

Denver Skate Park

 

#4: David Armstrong Extreme Park (Louisville, KY)

Formerly known as Louisville Extreme Park, this public skatepark in downtown Louisville features a 24-foot full pipe — one of the biggest for any skateboarding park in the United States. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year — this free entry skate park gained national attention after being featured in Tony Hawk's Secret Skatepark Tour video in 2002. If you like some real challenges, this is one park you just have to ride.  

David Armstrong Extreme Park

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#5: Lincoln City Skate Park (Lincoln City, OR)

Recognized as one of the largest skate parks in the state of Oregon, Lincoln City Skate Park keeps on getting better and better. This skate park is an collection of five mini parks and was expertly designed by Dreamland Skateparks.  Every year the skate park enters a new phase or gets an upgrade with a new concrete design. Thrasher magazine has even christened it as "The Gnarliest Skatepark in the World” due to its many unique features.

Lincoln City Skate Park

 

#6: FDR Skate Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Similar to Burnside Skate Park, FDR Skate Park was created by a few skateboarders who were hungry for some concrete to skate in the city of Philadelphia. Distinct for being located beneath an overpass of Interstate 95, FDR Skate Park has been recognized by both Thrasher and Skateboarder magazine as “a skateboarding paradise”. This park also features obstacles like the 4-foot “Dome” and the 60-foot long “Bunker”. FDR Skate Park was also featured in the Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground video game.

FDR Skate Park

 

#7: Vans Skate Park (Orange, CA)

Offering indoor and outdoor skateboarding, Vans Skate Park in Orange County is the best place to see veteran skateboarding pros like Steve Salba, Jeff Grosso and Christian Hosoi in action. After making skate shoes for nearly a decade, in 1999 Vans decided to make a premium skate park in California. With the reformation of the famous Upland combi-bowl and an enormous wooden street course, Vans Skate Park doesn’t disappoint in the center of the SoCal skate scene.

Vans Skate Park

 

#8: Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park (San Jose, CA)

With its plethora of bowls to choose from, Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park is one of the most unique skate parks in the country, and at 68,000 square feet, it’s the largest skate park in California. The skate park offers the world’s biggest cradle (70 feet long) plus several wide pipes, street courses, thimbles, pools, a mega wall and bowls. If you have the adrenaline, this skatepark has everything to satisfy it!

Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park

 

#9: S.P.O.T — Skate Park of Tampa (Tampa, FL)

Since hosting indoor and outdoor skate contests since its inauguration in 1993, S.P.O.T have been featured in several skateboarding videos since. The constantly changing world has skateboarding has made sure that S.P.O.T has both beginner and pro courses. The biggest event on S.P.O.T’s calendar is the annual Tampa Pro contest, held annually at the beginning of March.

Skate Park of Tampa

 

#10: Rob Dyrdek/DC Shoes Foundation Skate Plaza (Kettering, OH)

What sets this skatepark apart from most others is that, by incorporating landscaping and art, it resembles a public square and a multi-use park more than a standalone skate park. It is the first major public skate park designed by pro skater Rob Dyrdek in partnership with DC Shoes. Instead of featuring the usual half pipes and bowls, Rob Dyrdek-DC Shoes Foundation Skate Plaza is designed more for street skateboarding and features urban terrain elements such as benches, rails, ledges and vertical ramps.

Rob Dyrdek-DC Shoes Foundation Skate Plaza

 

Hit us up on Instagram @boardblazers and tell us your favorite skatepark!

 

About the Author: John Dev is a professional blogger who loves to write about his passion for skateboarding and longboarding. A big fan of the sport, he is also an in-house blogger for SkatesUSA. In his free time, he longboards on his Loaded Complete Tan Tien 2012 longboard. This is his second guest post for the Board Blazers blog.


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