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Surfing and skateboarding may appear to be totally disconnected at first glance.
One sport is completed with a smaller board in a contained environment on land while the other uses a much larger board size in order to float and ride waves in open waters.
Yet these two are actually more alike then you might realize. Due to these similarities, it is often believed that practicing skateboarding can help you improve your surfing skills, or vise versa.
The truth is, there is no way to directly tell if this is a fact.
However, many skaters and surfers believe that practicing either of these sports will help you perform better with the other as both look at similar principles in order to perform properly.
The main similarities between surfing and skateboarding are the attention to your balance, movements, foot positioning, and overall skill level for completing either of the two sports.
While there are differences, such as the unique challenges presented to participants caused by the differing environments, practicing either can help improve your skills in their shared similarities which will make the sports easier to complete.
Purpose of each sport
The purpose of both sports is similar at their center.
Both surfing and skateboarding are intended to provide their participants with a personal experience completed by performing and learning to maneuver on a board with focus on balance, speed, and control in order to perform a number of advanced tricks.
While surfing relies on the water, waves, and current to help them move and gain speed in the water, skateboarding will rely on more physical elements due to the wheels featured on their boards and their own ability to control their speed.
Both sports take time to master as you will need to start off with basic riding skills and work your way up to more advanced movements.
Beginners will be learning how to stand on their boards, proper position, control their speeds and directions, and starting in areas designed to suit a beginners needs rather than that of advanced surfers and skateboarders.
As they advance, they will learn more about how to perform more daring acts on their boards and enter into more challenging environments that will help them complete these advanced stunts.
Difficulty of the two sports
One of the main differences between these two sports is the difficulty of each.
While there is a large debate on which sport is more challenging to learn than the other, in truth both can be difficult to learn and master.
Both sports present their own unique challenges that are based on their specific stunts and environments in which they are performed.
Surfing is difficult due to the ever-changing nature of its environment.
Unlike in skateboarding, where you will be on a court that is set and consistent, surfers will be out in open water.
Water is a natural force which means you will need to be able to read your environment and adjust accordingly to its needs and changes.
No waves will be the same so practicing with a repetitive court is out of the question.
This can make learning new skills or tricks difficult as you will have to wait for the necessary conditions to present themselves in order to master the skill.
This brings forth the next difficulty of surfing, paddling. While skateboards can simply walk or ride to the area they wish to practice or compete in, surfers will need to exert their own force in order to catch a wave.
Paddling out into the water and reaching a wave in time can be challenging. It requires upper body strength and the ability to predict waves in order to reach them in time.
Paddling can wear you out as you attempt to reach a wave, especially for beginners.
Beginners will also struggle with predicting and reading waves, which might lead to unnecessary paddling in order to reach a wave that is out of their paddling range.
A skateboarder will have their own challenges as well. The main challenge present in skateboarding that is unique to the sport is the injuries.
While surfing can lead to some major injuries on the water, they are not as common or frequent than that of skateboarding injuries.
If you fall off your board in the water, you will most likely be able to get back on your board with no injuries.
However, for skateboarding, even a minor fall can lead to some nasty cuts and bruises.
Injuries occur more often in skateboarding because of this, especially for beginners to the sport or for those attempting to learn a new skill.
These injuries are more severe than those of surfing as the surface you fall on is hard and sometimes rough.
There are a number of injuries you can suffer from while skateboarding, especially if you do not have the proper gear on to fully protect yourself.
To prevent injuries, you will need a sharper understanding of your skills, balance, and agility.
Unlike surfing, you will not be able to bail out of a trick as easily either. In surfing there are ways to avoid a wave or exit it if a trick suddenly feels unsafe or you begin to doubt yourself.
Skateboarding has limited exit points whenever you are beginning a new trick, which can cause you to falter more easily.
The similar requires found in both sports are that of balance, coordination, positioning, and focus on control and speed.
Balance is important in both sports. It will not only help you stand on your board and stay on it, but balance will also help you advance your skills and give your board direction.
Coordination is another key component to both skateboarding and surfing.
This skill will help you with the many aerial tricks performed by advanced riders in both sports.
This skill is also obtained by practicing such sports as surfing and skateboarding.
This means that practicing either sport will help you increase your coordination skills allowing you to transfer that skill to another sport.
Coordination is much like balance in this way and one of the main reasons people say you can use skateboarding as practice for surfing and vice versa.
Positioning of your feet is an important aspect of either sport as it will dictate how you move your board and your ability to control its directions and speed.
Both sports require you to place your dominant foot on the back portion of the board.
This foot is the controlling foot, which will apply pressure to gain or lose speed, turn your board in a specifically desired direction, and help you perform advanced tricks.
Speed and control are important aspects to these sports.
You will need to have a strong handle on both of these skills in order to grow in your own abilities and to learn new stunts and movements.
Both control and speed come from your position, which we know is a trait the two sports share.
Moving your board in different directions and gaining speed or slowing down require the balance, positioning, and coordination skills mentioned in this section.
Does skateboarding help surfing?
Both skateboarding and surfing share many common features. This includes their focus on balance, movement, and overall control of the board.
These two sports, though completed in different areas and requiring some different gear, are very similar due to these shared features.
While there is no way to completely prove that skateboarding can help with surfing, many people believe that due to the similarities shared between the board sport and water sport they can help improve your skills.
Both sports will require you to have a similar stance in order to remain standing once on your board.
Your feet will be positioned on either your surfboard or skateboard with your dominate foot at the back of the board.
The foot features on the back of the board will be the controlling foot and work to turn and perform various tricks on either board option.
Like the stance, the balancing and overall movements needed in order to perform well on a board are similar between skateboarding and surfing.
Practicing skateboarding on days when the waves or weather are unable to support you as a surfer will allow you to practice balancing and overall control over your board.
The main differences between these two sports is the location and conditions of the areas you perform them in.
As a water sport, surfing requires you to be out in the water, catching waves.
This can be challenging as waves can be unpredictable.
One wave is never exactly the same which means you will always need to adjust to it.
You will also need to paddle a great deal in order to catch a wave, which is very different from skateboarding and requires a higher concentration on your upper body strength.
Skateboarding also presents its own unique challenges to its participants as well.
While the area where you are performing will not change or be as unpredictable as a wave, advanced tricks require extreme focus to your skills and balancing abilities.
Skateboarding also presents more frequent injuries which are often more severe than what the average surfer experiences.
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