Pumping is a skateboarding technique that involves riding a board without pushing, by generating momentum through weight shifts. It’s a smooth, fluid, and efficient way of riding, which conserves energy and allows you to ride longer distances. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of pumping and show you how to master this skill.
Understanding The Principles Of Pumping
Pumping on a skateboard is all about harnessing the natural forces of gravity and kinetic energy. When you push on the skateboard, you give it energy, and it starts to move. To keep the skateboard moving, you need to continuously add energy to it by pushing. Pumping is different because it doesn’t rely on pushing to generate momentum. Instead, you use your weight and body movements to transfer energy to the skateboard, keeping it moving forward.
The key to pumping is to understand the physics of motion and weight distribution. When you lean forward, your weight shifts to the front of the skateboard, causing it to compress and store energy. When you lean back, your weight shifts to the back of the skateboard, causing it to decompress and release energy. This transfer of energy from the compression and decompression of the deck is what propels the skateboard forward.
Practicing The Basic Pump
Now that you understand the principles of pumping, it’s time to practice the basic pump. Start by standing on the skateboard with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Keep your arms outstretched to help you maintain balance.
To begin the pump, lean forward and shift your weight to the front truck of the skateboard. As you do this, the deck will compress, storing energy. As you reach the bottom of the compression, start to shift your weight back towards the back truck, allowing the deck to decompress and release energy. Repeat this motion, leaning forward and back, to keep the skateboard moving.
It’s important to practice the basic pump slowly and smoothly, so you can get a feel for how your weight transfers from the front to the back of the board. Once you’ve got the basic pump down, you can start to increase your speed and fine-tune your movements.
Advanced Pumping Techniques
Once you’ve mastered the basic pump, you can start to explore more advanced pumping techniques. Here are a few to try:
Carving: Carving is a technique where you alternate between leaning on the front truck and the back truck, creating a smooth, flowing motion that resembles surfing. To carve, lean forward to compress the deck and store energy, then lean back to release the energy and carve in the opposite direction.
Ollie pumping: The ollie is a skateboarding trick that involves jumping and flipping the board into the air. You can use the same principles of pumping to perform an ollie pump. To do this, lean forward to compress the deck, then quickly jump and extend your legs to release the energy and propel the board into the air.
Air pumping: Air pumping is a technique where you use your weight shifts to generate airtime on the skateboard. To air pump, compress the deck, then jump and extend your legs to release the energy and propel the board into the air. As you’re in the air, shift your weight back and forth to generate more airtime and keep the board in the air longer.
In conclusion, pumping on a skateboard is an important skill that every skateboarder should learn as it helps to maintain speed, conserve energy, and increase flow while riding. It requires proper technique, balance, and timing. To master the pump, it’s important to practice regularly and make adjustments to your technique as needed. With practice, pumping can become a natural and enjoyable aspect of skateboarding.