My first ever ramps session consisted of amazing teaching, tricks and words of wisdom. Whilst still within my first month of ramp skating, I am already much more confident and can see my progression.
However, sometimes progression is hard to see, especially if it is your own.
During my first ramp skating experience, Dirty Ballerina gave me plenty of advice which has become more and more relevant as the month has progressed.
I have followed the advice of learning every trick in both directions and have spent plenty of time skating in a switch stance to help minimize having a weaker side, which could really affect my confidence in learning new tricks in the future.
Something else I learned is not to be too discouraged at the beginning of a session, when I seem to have forgotten all I’d learned the previous time. This was an important lesson I needed to learn in order to not become frustrated and give up on the whole ramp skating thing.
Allow me to further explain;
I finish a session feeling hyped as I’ve just nailed a new trick and improved my technique. Although tired, I can’t wait to skate again another day and improve further.
But the next session doesn’t start as the previous one ended. I may have dropped in on the higher ramp last time, but when looking down at it, I now feel the same nervousness I did before dropping in for the first time. I start somewhere else and find that the tricks I learned before are also just as difficult as the first time I ever attempted them. I feel as if all the work I put in during the last session was for nothing and I’m back to step one again.
I want to take off my skates and just give up.
But no matter how frustrating it may be, sometimes you need to take a step back before you can take a couple of strides forwards.
I work my way up to dropping in on the higher ramp and practice the same tricks as last time and ten minutes later, I feel confident enough to progress onto new skills. I’m happy again and can once more enjoy myself.
Sometimes all it takes is ten minutes to remember the balance, stance and feel of the previous session before you can move on. Although it feels like a long time and is easy to become frustrated, it’s only ten minutes.
Ok, some sessions it’s longer than ten minutes, but giving up is the worst thing you can do. Just remember that the longer you spend practicing the same skills, the less you’ll have to relearn the next time you decide to strap wheels to your feet.
This is a natural part of the learning cycle, but I hope the knowledge that this feeling will only last for a small percentage of your skate time will help anyone new to the wonderful world of ramps to not give up and become the skater you know you can be.
I would love to say that you only experience this frustration when you are still beginning to learn, however I have not been ramp skating long enough to say whether or not that is true, but I’ll keep you posted as I continue my crazy, slightly dangerous, but totally awesome ramp skating journey.
Persistence is key to mastering anything and skating is no exception.