Inline skating can be a fun and rewarding way to get some exercise, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. One of the hazards of inline skating is flying off of curbs. If you’re not prepared for it, this can lead to a nasty fall. This article will discuss how to skate off a curb and what to do if you find yourself flying off of one unexpectedly.
A large part of staying safe as an inline skater is a skate predictably. This is why you need to approach a curb coming from either direction properly. It’s also helpful if you are strong enough to push yourself up the curb with your foot or intelligent enough to turn into the curb before it gets too steep. Generally speaking, though, more minor curbs are safer because they can be approached at an angle instead of straight on.
Things You’ll Need
- Board (I used a street board, but if you use your longboard, make sure to get the appropriate trucks)
- Wedge/Chip (10mm is perfect) (1 per wheel)
- Tools for removing old wedge or chip (2 per wheel)
A Stepwise Guide on How to Skate Off a Curb
Step 1: Preparation
Before starting your attempt, a couple of preparation steps must be taken. First, you should gather all the tools and materials needed for this project. Number two, if possible, use a friend’s driveway or sidewalk instead of the street. This is because it’s much safer and more likely that your board will slide after jumping off the curb rather than skid next to it.
On top of this, get at least one chipper wheel from your hardware store (if you don’t know what they are, ask the worker there). How much you’ll need depends on how large your wedge/chip currently is, but in general, one full-length chip should suffice for most boards. The width of the wedge/chip does not matter so long as it safely increases the wheelbase to at least the length of the truck axle.
If your old wedge/chip is worn down and has become unevenly flat, you can use a metal file to make it even again, but only if the surface is not protruding much (if it is, then gets a new chip or take more off your current one). Remember that any rust on the metal should be removed before filing by sanding it down with an emery board.
Step 2: Remove Your Current Wedge/Chip
This step will differ depending on what kind of hardware your trucks have. For example, if you have basic kingpins, all you’ll need is a wrench, while for TKPs, you’ll need either an Allen key or a socket wrench to remove the kingpin nut (be careful with this step as the metal is much softer than regular screws and quickly strips).
For this step, all I did was line up the trucks at their appropriate angles and mark where the holes of my wedge/chip were with a marker.
After marking them, on the flat part of the chip, I drilled one hole (make sure not to drill past it) on each side making sure that they would fit over our kingpin. After doing this, you’ll need to tap these holes down with a hammer on top of an anvil or another surface like metal/wood (note: make sure to use safety glasses for this step). If you’re using a socket wrench and TKPs, then skip this whole process as your truck will do most of it for you, while tightening and loosening screws into metal is generally tricky.
Step 3: Glue Down Your Wedge/Chip
Step 3 is putting glue on the bottom of the wedge and sticking it down to your board’s baseplate. I recommend using E-6000 glue as many people have had good experiences with it, and it will hold up if you land directly on it (make sure you know what kind of wood your board is made out of first, though). For this step, all you do is apply a generous amount and let it dry for at least an hour.
After drying, make sure to use a marker or pen to trace around your chip to tell where precisely to drill holes for mounting screws (I did not do this, and at least one screw hole was drilled in the wrong place, learn from my mistakes). This is a crucial step in how to skate off a curb.
Step 4: Skate-Off the Curb
Now that your old wedge is out of the way, all you have to do is apply pressure on the truck opposite the wheel with your back foot and lean forward. With some practice, you will be able to jump off curbs without having to remove your board at all. If you were unsuccessful in jumping over it or if your wheel caught on top of it, lift on either part of the deck with your front foot while pushing down on either side of the back trucks with both feet.
This motion will cause any wheel(s) stuck between the curb and pavement to slide out; re-apply pressure for whichever wheel falls out first (do not attempt this method without getting at least one chipper wheel).
Step 5: Land On a Curb
Step 5 is how to land on a curb without catching and falling. When landing, as always, bend your knees before you hit the curb and keep them bent until you’re sure that neither of your feet will catch on top of it. Suppose either does then quickly jump off or push down on either side of the deck with both hands.
For this method to work correctly, you’ll need enough speed to clear the entire curb even after getting one chip per wheel (remember: it’s better to have too much speed than not enough). How fast this needs to depend on what kind of board you have though I recommend using 3-5 mph at least if possible because anything lower will likely require you to lift your front foot and risk catching it on top of the curb.
You Can Check It Out to Pump on a Longboard
Step 6: Finishing Up
After you’ve successfully jumped over the curb, the only thing left to do is pick up your board and re-adjust your trucks (if necessary) by screwing them in further (or unscrewing them if they’re too far out). Make sure, though, that there are no chips or cracks behind where the screws are going into. Otherwise, you won’t have a very secure grip on it. If this happens, get some epoxy putty and fill up any holes with it before continuing to skate.
Another way to prevent something like this from happening again is to get chipper wheels which will allow for less surface area being applied onto curbs allowing for more safety when attempting jumps off of curbs. These steps will help in how to skate off a curb.
You Can Check It Out to Use Skate Tool
Tips and Warnings
- If you are scared to skate off the curb in fear that you might fall, then try practicing in an area without a curb. For example, your driveway or backyard would be ideal areas for this.
- Practice making smaller turns when skating off a curb to help you gain confidence.
- You should always look where you want to go when taking steps off a curb. This will help you position your body in the right direction and help prevent falls.
- Only attempt to skate off a curb in areas that have plenty of room for you to let up on your speed. This will prevent injuries if you fall onto the roadside.
- Skate at your own risk. Skating carries high risks and can result in serious injury.
- Always wear protective gear, including a helmet and knee pads.
- Do not skate near cars or other vehicles.
- Be sure to let up on your speed before attempting to skate off of a curb.
Which Side of the Street Should I Skate on?
Drivers are often confused by the presence of skaters on the road because most are used to seeing people skate on sidewalks. Skating in the street is not illegal. When skating in the street, it is essential to stay as far away from moving cars as possible, but it’s also necessary that drivers can see you so they don’t hit you! Cars aren’t looking for things blocking their lane when they change lanes or turn, which leads to many close calls with disgruntled drivers.
This is why many cities have designated areas specifically for people who want to use wheels instead of walking. However, not all cities have designated areas, and this means skating in the streets may be inevitable.
We hope this article on how to skate off a curb was helpful. So if you set out to do this trick, go off of the curb on your back wheel by popping up your front wheel and landing on both wheels. If you want to be safe, skate over the curb so that you land on one wheel rather than going off head first. If you do this, your wheels may get slightly chewed up, but it will keep your body intact.
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