Half of the success on a skateboard is commitment. You can be talented, flexible, eat fruit and all that, but if you can’t fully commit to a trick it will never work. For some there’s a mental barrier that they must break through to try and stick a trick, for others there seems to be no barriers at all, some people seem to have too much commitment even. However, for majority of skaters there’s a process that they go through. The process can be long or short, but it is there.
We talked to a couple local skaters to find out more about what do they do to commit. We asked about their process and about a memorable trick that stuck out to them in terms of commitment. This is what we got. Enjoy.
Well basically I just believe in myself and hype myself up in my mind. Trying to imagine how I land that shit. It might sound weird but sometimes I insert thoughts in my brain that I’m like every other pro skater and I know what I’m doing hahaha. Sometimes it helps. Filming with a crew of homies is a big factor as well. But usually I just don’t let myself bother if I don’t get the trick fast and I understand that sometimes it just takes time to wait for the perfect commit. If a filmer shoots the trick very awesome and you check the try from camera and it looks good on video—that helps too!
There was that bump to gap ollie (last clip in my part “Ou, lähme streeti”). I was really struggling with the commitment on that ollie. Police came to kick me out and I asked for 1 more try and they said yes. I landed it. Police was hella nice and cheered me later as well. So that means police is very helpful on committing a trick as well.
I don’t have a good idea what’s my preparation haha. Maybe just skating flat a lot. Or if thinking about doing a trick down the spot and before that I do it more times while warming up. But that’s basically it. When I am at the spot, most of the time I just stare at the spot until I get a good imagination how the trick will work or feel. sometimes you just feel that the body is centered in the air, that’s when I try to stick it even if its not flippin’ correctly, if I struggle I just try to calm myself down and kind of try to do it as I was doing it when not overthinking.
And yeah also to imagine how you land the trick also really helps. In short – when I overdo something I just try to think how I felt when I started doing the trick haha. Because I tend to see that the first 10 tries of a harder trick always comes way easier for me.
Whenever I’ve described my way on how I send stairs or gaps people always look at me confused but this is the only way that really works for me. I’ve learnt to turn off my brain, it’s like a switch where if am about to do a drop, I am gonna just turn off my brain and have an empty head only thinking about the trick that I am trying. Also, the people around me are my motivation, they went out their way to film me or hype me up and I usually feel the need that I must get the clip or at least get a good slam haha.
I think my first 5 stair, Leo Druka was there and he was like how about we jump the 5 and prior I only have done a 3 so I was stressing and told him I don’t know if I can and he just told me “pohuj lec” And it helped me get over the fear and I think the clip is still up on instagram on his profile and you can see me barely Ollie it
I’m building my inner hype. Lots of roll ups and kickouts actually help too. Just making sure everything is safe and sound. Any little distraction is a no go, so I always appreciate when people just give me room. Once I commit, then I can accept the hype around me. Sometimes – there is this small window when I suddenly just feel it in the legs. Because the mind always knows and visualises, but it all comes to feeling it in the legs.
The first try can be the one hardest to try. It can take 10-20 run-ups before you even pop your trick. You can make cues for yourself, like “ok, this is the place which I pop from”, or “this is the perfect speed”. You combine these things while you’re getting comfortable with the run up, and then eventually you say to your homies “Alright, let’s go!” Andrew Reynolds
taps a wall, his board, three times or checks in with the filmer after every roll up. Kinda your mental check list. When you’ve done it, you feel like you’re all set to go and it will be easier to commit. Beers can be exchanged between skaters in order to motivate each other. After the jitters are gone, if you’ll stick with it, you’ll do it.
Commitment often extends beyond the comfort zone, pushing skaters to conquer their fears and boundaries. It’s a testament to their unwavering determination and fearless spirit. Whether it’s attempting a daunting flip trick or conquering a seemingly insurmountable gap, committing to the action is paramount. Skaters must step out of their comfort zones, disregarding their inner doubts and embracing the adrenaline rush. This commitment is not just about landing tricks; it’s about challenging personal limitations, growing from failures, and learning to trust oneself. Skateboarding demands a tenacious commitment that moves beyond comfort, transforming it into an exhilarating journey of self-discovery and triumph.
was a rainy day and we could not skate anywhere else so we went to stroika as it’s semi-under roof. For me to do it I just had to be sure there are no pebbles and rocks on the ground on the run-up. I had couple of tries when I just ollie with the board and throw it away before landing and getting used to it. That time me and Marks tried it, and he did it before me, and for my commitment – that helped a lot. Sometimes I need to see someone else to show me the way, then I feel much more comfortable doing it.
Baby steps mostly! Starting small, warming up, building it up for the main trick! And then its up to friends and myself to scream and convince myself to go for it! Mostly it’s a back to back with some homies. It’s so much easier with the homies there skating together!
Around 2010 I was studying in Barcelona Spain and on the weekend I hopped on a DC trip to Sevilla. The whole weekend I couldn’t land any tricks and on Monday decided to give a shot for an ollie. There is this spot called the mushrooms, it had just been built, its a super rad spot with huge banks and transitions, super smooth! So I moved the guard rails and gave it a couple tries. Security was chasing me as I went in for the land
and straight to the airport! The picture ended up on the cover of Kingpin Mag and for some reason the caption said “kickflip” in stead of ollie.
Illustrations by Arturs Grinbergs