SEATTLE — Skateboarding made its debut at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, one of five new sports at the games. In honor of the new Olympic sport, we visited All Together Skatepark in Seattle to try and learn to skate like the pros.
The moment we walked in, manager Marshall Reed assured us that by the end of one hour, he would have us skateboarding down ramps and doing turns.
"Everybody can do it," said Reed. "There's no real rules. We're open to every kind of person that wants to skateboard."
Neither one of us is an expert skateboarder, so Reed started us off with the basics by teaching us to push with one foot only to get a sense of balance.
Both of us skated with our feet too close together on the board, which Reed said that's a common mistake.
"Think of your legs like a ladder,” explained Reed. “The farther apart your feet are on the ladder, the more stable it is. When you put your feet together on the ladder, it tips over."
We moved on to a small ramp where even the slightest decline made us nervous. Most of the time, we didn’t have enough momentum and speed, and we both ended up taking a spill because of it.
"I think the key to being a good skateboarder is to try and try again, don't get discouraged, and practice," said Reed.
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We moved onto a larger ramp, and that's when Jake slipped and hit the ground hard. Luckily, we were wearing wrist pads, knee pads and a helmet to prevent injuries. It did take a few days for his bruised tailbone to heal up.
Lastly, Reed taught us how to pivot the skateboard to do a 180-degree turn.
It turns out, when it comes to skateboarding, Jake's height and shoe size ended up being a disadvantage.
"If he would have started when he was seven, then he would have all the strength and durability on the board right now," explained Reed. “But with practice, you can get good."