How to safely drop in on a skateboard
Dropping in on a quarter pipe or half pipe can be extremely difficult to learn. Not for the reason you might think. Not because it's hard to do. Learning to drop in is hard because it's hard to muster the courage to try it!
I have seen countless videos of when dropping in has gone terribly wrong. And people have gotten seriously injured trying to do it.
Am I going to get hurt if I drop in on a skateboard?
Don't freak out! I have dropped-in many times on many different sizes of skate ramps. I have never gotten hurt from dropping-in.
Most of the accidents that happen from dropping in involve running into someone because the skater didn't look around before going down the ramp, or when the skater is obviously scared and doesn't commit to forcing the board down to the ramps surface and rides out on the back two wheels. This makes the skaters upper body lean backwards while his/her lower body keeps driving forward. This is what we don't want to happen. If you commit to the drop and force your wheels down to the ramps surface then the worst thing that can happen is that you run into someone. So look around you and all that will happen is that you will successfully and safely drop in on a skateboard ramp.
I'm too scared to drop in on a skateboard.
Ok! Let's solve this problem. This fear is what will get you hurt. Dropping-in on a skateboard ramp is very simple, you just have to lean into the ramp and stay perpendicular to the ramp surface. If you're scared, you will not fully lean in, and this can be very dangerous. The only danger about dropping in is your own fear.
Dropping in on a quarter pipe or half pipe
Follow these quick steps to safely drop in on a skateboard ramp.
- Place the tail of the skateboard on the coping of the ramp
- Place one foot on the tail of the skateboard
- Begin to lean forward and shift your body weight towards the middle of the skateboard, at the same time lift your other foot up and onto the front bolt heads.
- Force your front foot down as you continue to lean forward and
- Smack your front wheels onto the surface of the ramp.
- Roll away and cheer!
The motion for dropping in
Getting ready to Drop in
(READ THIS ARTICLE WHILE YOU ARE ON THE BACKDROP OF THE RAMP)
To get yourself set up to drop in. Grab the nose of your skateboard and place the tail (wheels down) onto the coping/edge of the ramp. While keeping all of your weight on your back foot, lift your front foot and place them over the bolt heads near the nose of the board.
Shifting your weight forward 100%
By now all of the nasty fears you might have are kicking in. I am adding this section as a separate step so you can understand the importance of leaning out and into the drop. As I said before, you need to commit 100% to leaning into the drop. You are more safe leaning too far forward than leaning backwards.
Start to force the nose of the board down to the surface of the ramp.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't push the nose down with your front foot alone, lean your body into it.
Look how far I lean my upper body into the drop before my front foot drops at all. The trick to dropping in safely is by shifting your weight downward and forward first, then pushing your foot down onto the ramp.
What I am doing is positioning my body to be as perpendicular to the surface of the ramp as possible before I push the nose of the board down.
Leveling out and dropping in
Last thing that needs to happen is forcing your foot down fast and hard. I want you to hear your wheels hit the ramp.
My younger brother explained this by saying squash the bug. Slam your wheels down like you were trying to squash a bug on the ramp. If there is an actual bug on the ramp, please don't squish it.
Roll away from dropping in on a skateboard ramp
That is pretty much everything you need to know. Be sure to lean into the drop. One more bit of advice, you don't need to be totally sideways. I face forward just a little bit. This way if your backfoot slips off the tail you knee could bend the way it naturally does.
Afraid of dropping in on a skateboard.
If this walkthrough doesn't help quell your fears of dropping in on a ramp. Then don't try it yet. Instead spend some time pumping up the ramp and just rolling back in fakie. Or drop in on a bank instead. Just get more comfortable with your ramps. Then go for the drop in!