How To Grind Essay, Research Paper
How to Grind
Well you want to learn how to grind. The first thing that you need to know is how to stall. Stalls are essentially
skating up to an object, jumping onto it, holding there for a couple of seconds, and then jumping off. This can be
anything from a stair, to a curb, to a car, to the coping on a vert.
To begin learning stalls, it is easiest to do it by going straight at the object you want to stall on, lets say a stair.
Slowly skate up to the stair, and at about a foot away jump up onto the stair. Do your best to land between the
correct wheels, as that is the purpose of this exercise! If the jump is giving you trouble, you can start by stepping
up onto the stair, but keep in mind that the ultimate goal is rails!
After you get this down, you can begin practicing variations that will keep you busy for a while. You can try a
backside stall, or one in which you do a jumping 180 and land on the stair. Or you can go with a rewind after you
do the stall. Or just any combination of the above. How about a 180 stall with a 360 rewind? In any case, do your
best to learn how to stall as that is the foundation of all grinds.
Before you actually move onto grinding, you need to wax the object you are trying to grind on. It’s not hard at
all, and it will only take a few seconds and a few cents to do.
First off, you need to get the wax. Though most any wax will do, I personally stick with the Paraffin wax, found in
the canning section of just about any big grocery store. Its about $1.50, and is about 4×4x8″ or so.
Some other types of wax that I have heard work are candle wax, crayons, Sex Wax, Chapstick, and even soap. If
its got a waxy feel to it, it will most likely work for making whatever surface you want to grind on more slippery.
Speaking of waxing up surfaces, here are a few tips that will help you wax up your surface a bit better.
First off, make sure you have a decent sized grinding area to wax up, I wouldn’t go for anything under
about 10′. Next, you bust out the wax and proceed to coat the top of the curb, stair, planter, whatever you are
grinding, with a THICK coat of wax. The basic idea is that you want your wheels and frame to slide across the
layer of wax, and not grind or catch on the curb. So as a rule of thumb, put on enough wax so that you can feel
both the wax and the curb about equally. Make sure you are making a nice thick strip, about 6″ or so, along the
top of the curb. When you are grinding, only the top will be slid across, so don’t bother waxing the bottom. In
any case, just make sure to apply it fairly evenly, and try to get it down in the grooves. This will help the wax be
spread all over the curb, and thus help you slide better.
Now that you have the curb waxed its time to try some grinds. The first and easiest grind to do is a frontside.
Find ,or get, yourself a low and shallow bar to practice on. Things like the barricades in front of car dealerships,
metal bars around walkways, and bike racks are good places to start. Approach the bar slowly, taking care to run
perfectly parallel to it, and be slightly to one side. As you near the bar, jump up nice and high and turn 90
degrees while watching your landing spot. Much like a batter in baseball, watching where you will be landing is
essential to success. Spread your legs about shoulder width apart, and absorb the impact in your knees. Skate
back around and try again, and again, and again! You want to keep doing it so it becomes second nature to you.
A couple of key things to remember are your landing, your stance, and your commitment. When you land, you
must be sure to land between your tiny middle wheels. Otherwise you will catch on your wheels and you will go
flying. If you have all big wheels you can’t grind. Your stance is also very important. Think of yourself as trying to
stand on a tightrope. Try and stand erect, with your arms stuck out for balance. When you try to correct a
mistake, adjust using your hips and arms, and not your knees. Also be sure not to overcorrect, as many others
and myself tend to do. As for commitment, not enough can be said about it. If you go up to a rail and only give
50%, you WILL fall and hurt. Commit and trust yourself. If you think you can do it, you are halfway to doing it.
After all, stalls aren’t that much different than frontsides.
So now you’ve grinded on the curb a bit, and some of the wax is off. What to do? Hopefully by now you have
ground away some of the surface and it is becoming smooth on its own. This is why frequently ground planters
and curbs work so well. But even the best curb will still need to be waxed again and again to keep it grindable.
If you start to catch on the curb again, bring out the wax and get to work. The stuff is cheap, so don’t skimp on it.
One other point of warning, don’t put too thick of a coat on a handrail or you will regret it!
If you are feeling bold enough to try another grind don’t worry there are plenty yet to learn. The next
grind that you should learn is a backside. Doing a backside is almost as easy as doing a frontside. The one catch
is that you are landing with your back to the rail so it is much more difficult to see where you are landing.
Obviously you will need to practice backside stalls on curbs and planters before you work up to rails and slider
bars. And after practicing there for a while your body should learn how to twist and land correctly, and so rail
slides will come naturally for you.
Assuming you already can do a backside stall, the slides will be easy to do. First, you need to find a
low and not-too-steep bar to practice sliding on. Just about anything will do. Once you are ready, start out by
approaching the bar slowly, and at a fairly slight angle. As you near the front of the bar, jump high, and pull your
legs up. Keep an eye on your landing spot as you rotate through the 90 degrees and as you are coming back
down, unwind and drop your legs onto the bar. The only hard part in doing backsides is getting your legs onto
the bar properly. Always watch where you are landing, otherwise you will fall. Also be aware that you may have
to jump higher and harder to get on properly. Once you are on, your legs should be about shoulder width apart
or so, and you should be grinding in the space between your middle two wheels. As with any trick, the key to
having a successful backside in your bag of moves is practice. Just keep at it, and don’t expect to learn it in 10
minutes, a hour, or even a week.
So to sum up, concentrate on your landing, your stance, and committing to the rail. Just as in
frontsides, once you are on you just glide it out, but getting on is the hard part! And to reiterate the commitment
issue, if you go up to a rail and only give it 50%, you will fall and possibly get hurt. Trust your skills, and know that
you are giving it your all, but even then you still may fall. Once you get over this mental block, it will all start
coming to you.
There are many more grinds to learn such as a soul grind, acid grind, miszou grind, royales, unities, and
personally my favorite the alley oop fish brain. The whole trick on learning how to do these tricks is patients.
Only in time will the tricks form. Don’t get discouraged cause you can’t do a trick. Just remember it is hard to do
what you’re doing and most people can’t even skate, let alone jump up onto a rail and grind down it.
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