How to Pump Track Surfskate: A Beginner's Guide (2023)

Homepump track tipsHow to Pump Track Surfskate: A Beginner's Guide

Pumptracking has been around for a while.In fact, it’s been around since 1992 when the first pump track was built in NewHampshire. Pump tracks are everywhere these days, but that doesn’t mean theyare any less fun. In fact, they are probably more fun now than ever beforebecause today’s pump tracks have features and terrain that would blow the mindsof skaters from 20 years ago. There is so much to love about pump tracks—theadrenaline rush, flow and rhythm of riding one, the camaraderie amongriders—but there can be a bit of a learning curve to begin with. Read on forbeginner tips about how to pump track surfskate.

How to Pump Track Surfskate: A Beginner's Guide (1)

Surfskate vs. Skateboard

Surfskates and skateboards are both boardsthat allow you to ride on just a single wheel. Surfskates have been around forabout 20 years longer than most people realize, surfskates are not a newconcept. However, the board has gone through many changes over the years.Originally, the boards were made of wood. This changed to fiberglass and theneventually to a composite material which is what it is today. Surfskates comein all shapes and sizes; there are longboards, short boards, flat decks,concave decks and convex decks as well as many other variations. If you’retrying to decide between a surfboard or skateboard, think about what type ofriding you want to do with your board. If you will be doing street skating orvert skating, a skateboard might be more appropriate. However if you plan on doingprimarily free-ride downhill boarding or technical downhill boarding(pumptracking), surfing or wakeboarding, the surfskate would be better suited.

Basics for Beginner Pump Track Riders

Pumptracking is all about pumping your bodyand pushing the bike forward to move. So, you need to learn how to use yourbody and not just rely on your arms. When you get started, it’s a good idea toconcentrate on smooth transitions between pushing and coasting. Try to staycentered over the bike’s contact patch. Don’t worry too much about speed atthis point. Focus on mastering the basics first before adding in additionalfactors like jumps or more difficult terrain.

How to Pump Track Surfskate: A Step-by-Step Guide

First things first: you’ll need a pumptrack to surfskate on. Then, pick the spot where you want to start. When youget there, put your board down and stand with your front foot on the nose ofyour board. This is called “gapping out.” Next, place your back foot over thetail of the board and kick it out. Now you should be in a kneeling position.Push up from this position by employing both legs and arms to gain momentum asyou ride down this awesome new terrain! When approaching a berm or otherobstacle, try not to slow down too much or you won’t have enough momentum toget up it. Slow down enough so that when you reach the top, give a strong pushoff with both legs and arms and keep moving forward. Practice makes perfectwhen it comes to pumping track surfing! Always push yourself at everyopportunity—you never know what features might lie ahead in the next section ofterrain. What once seemed impossible becomes easy with practice. Remember:nobody is born with skills like these (except maybe Connor White)!

Don’t Be Scared, Just Go Slow and Steady

It’s important to not be scared to go slowand steady. It takes time to learn how to pump track surfskate and you willfall a lot in the beginning. Don’t feel bad about it! Just get back up, dustyourself off, and try again. You won’t be able to ride your bike withoutfalling a few times, so don’t worry about that either. In fact, some of thebest riders are those who have fallen the most as they learned more aboutskateboarding. So don’t give up on your first try—you just need some time tolearn.

Tips for Intermediate Riders

If you are an intermediate rider, we havesome beginner tips for you as well. Pump tracks are challenging, and it takestime to get the rhythm down. Be patient and take your time. When you firststart out, it’s best to go on a pump track with a friend who is confident intheir skills so they can show you the ropes or simply be there as a spotter forsafety. Pump tracks are challenging because there is no coasting (ever).Coasting can lull one into a false sense of security because it’s easy to coastwithout the adrenaline rush that comes with pumping but coasting on a pumptrack will only lead to disaster. One way around this is to put your foot downevery few pumps (or even after every pump) just to keep yourself grounded andaware of what is going on around you.

The best skateboards for pumping track

The best skateboards for pumping track aregrip type boards. The reason for this is that they have a skinny shape and widetrucks. This makes it easier to maintain control while riding the pump track.Wide trucks also make it easier to ride much higher speeds without flippingover backward.

Know the basics of pumping before you go.

Before you go and do a pump track, makesure you know how to pump. Pumping is the basic technique that makes pumpingtracks so much fun. If you don’t know how to pump, you won't be able tosurfskate a pump track. It's as simple as that. To learn more about pumping,check out this article: "Pumping for Beginners."

Watch some videos to understand the flow.

If you don’t already know how to pump tracksurfskate, you might have a hard time understanding what is going on. You canwatch some videos to help understand the flow of the course. It might help ifyou find a video that focuses on a single type of turn—like an inside 180 or anoutside 360. You may even want to watch different videos of the same type turn,just to see how they differ.

Stay low and lean back while you’re learning.

The first mistake beginners make is notstaying low and leaning back while they’re learning. Pump tracks are a bittricky, and the best way to learn them is to stay low. This makes it easier togain speed when pumping, which helps you take advantage of the momentum you getfrom pumping. When you’re starting out, don’t try to stand up or lean forward.Just focus on staying low.

Try skimming before you try jumping.

If you never pumped track surfskate before,don’t start off by trying to jump. You could end up hurting yourself because ofthe speed and height. Start with a gentle skimming over the top of the bumps,taking your time to get used to the rhythm. Skimming helps develop a feel forpumping without the risk of injury.

Take your time and enjoy the ride!

Don't try to take on the pump track at fullspeed. That's a great way to get hurt and it might discourage you from skatingit again. Instead, take your time and enjoy the ride. Find your rhythm on thepump track by pumping at different speeds. Your body will naturally adjust tothe rhythm of riding, so experiment with different speeds. Learn how to correctyourself when you lose momentum or grip. A little practice will help you avoidthese mishaps altogether, but if you find yourself out of control, let go ofthe pump and hold onto your board with both hands as you slide down the side ofthe pump track away from traffic (or do this before taking your final run). Getused to pushing off with your toes instead of using your whole foot like on askateboard or bike pedal. This is because of how small a surface area you’repushing off with on a pump track compared to other boards or bikes. Takeadvantage of every opportunity to coast in order to conserve energy whilenavigating hills and obstacles. When it feels right, put all your weight on onefoot while pumping with the other one—this is called "going hard".You'll also want to try going hard with both feet together for an extra burstof speed!

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