Learning to skateboard as an adult (Part 2 - "Just cruising")

May 12, 2022

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Theoretically, this is a continuation of a series of posts. Check Part 1 too, if you liked this one.

Skateboards are a fun toy. You stand on a deck on wheels, you push a bit, the wheels roll - feels pretty good.

Some has played with their toys for a long time, raising the entry bar to skateboarding a whole lot. I suspect that's the reason retro-style "cruiser boards" are back. I had a few myself!

cruiser launching my tech deck over the cruiser board's wheel

Skateboard in 2022 is tough, hardcore and borderline homoerotic like Mike V. Rocking a plastic colorful banana-board creates a way safer image.

All of the sudden you do it for fun, fitness and micro mobility.

How to start "just cruising"

There are no advantages to a different board shape imho (shorter, without the nose), rather then standing out, screaming "i'm just cruisin', bros, this aint for real", so if you have read Part 1 and bought yourself a normal skateboard with softer wheels - congrats!

In case you have chosen to stick to hard wheels for skatepark-only - I suggest you get an affordable cruiser from decathlon for 60-80$. I've been rocking one for years, before I re-purposed it's trucks for my frankenstein build i'm currently using.

cruiser board 2 it goes smooth in the street, can go fast in the bowl and it has a nose!

Where to go

Berlin is mostly perfect for skating, so unless your neigbourhood is all brick road - skate everywhere! In parks, on sidewalks (once you are more confident), plain in the street. Opportunities are endless.

And you aint doing any tricks, or power-slides, or DANCING like those weird longboard people do. You're just cruisin', real chill.

I love to play a podcast or some tunes in my headphones and just explore the city on my cruiser board. Also, if there's a cool downhill section - I WOULD GO FOR IT! (please stay reasonable and safe!)

My girlfriend keeps saying we need an electric winch, to drag her on a skateboard uphill too. One day, when i get richer, i suppose, i'll buy one of these:

A lot of your daily walking~ or "few stops by bus" routes can most probably be done on a board too, and it's way more fun (unless it's winter, perhaps). Soon you will notice how confident and stable you are on a board, how life is getting more fun.

Next let's explore a few things adjacent to just cruising the streets.

"Just" bombing hills

"Bombing hills" means going downhill, fast. You won't need any special tricks to get into this, only confidence and plain stupidity. There's no shame in wearing a helmet and pads. Start with leaner smaller hills and always make sure there's no traffic around.

And of course be careful

Pump tracks

Once you have tried riding downhill a bit and feel good doing it, I highly recommend you try riding a pump-track (put on pads or at least a helmet, just in case). Two pump-tracks I know in Berlin are Mellowpark and Pumptrack Berlin Gatow. Both are excelent and lotta fun.

Mellowpark is a huge BMX/Skate/whatever you ride outdoors park with buncha wooden parks inside. The entrance is a symbolic 3eur or something. Inside: buncha families grilling, drinkin beers and chilling, while their kids shred the ramps.

Pumptrack Berlin Gatow is free. You'll most defo encounter buncha scooter kids, but overall it's a very friendly cute place, and you should go check it out too.

And bonus-tip: a lot of skateparks have a good "pumping line" you can do in laps too. First that comes to my mind is Berlin Heidelberger Platz skatepark.

There's no shame in doing only a quarter of the track first.Perhaps even start with a few first sections. Once you'll get comfortable (and you will, sooner then you think) you'll be shredding those in LAPS till your legs get tired.

Both your cruiser board with it's soft wheels and your park skateboard will be good for a pump-track. And please bring a helmet, set a good example.

Bowls 🍜

Pumping in a bowl is a bit more tricky to get into. The idea is same as on the pump track: "Get smaller when you go up, extend your legs on the way down", but unlike the pump track you'll need your turns to be tighter.

Also, usually there's a queue of people, only one person can ride the pool safely, so people go for short few-second runs, taking turns. Once you bail - you're out.

Say "Hi!", ask about who's going next and what are the rules once you're there. It won't hurt. Usually the person closest to pool coping, ready to drop in is the one who "wants to go next".

Two very basic maneuvers you need for bowl are kickturn and drop in. Of course you can give it a try or two without these, for curiosity's sake, but you wont be able to pump in circles like all the other cool kids without these two.

Drop in gives you initial speed, kick turn will help you in angles and both will make your run in the bowl an absolute spectacular 5 seconds of joy and hype.

I keep seeing people on their amazing surf skate boards climbing down the pool on all fours for 20 sec, then wigglin ass 2 minutes straight not being yet able to make a turn, then climbing for another 20 sec out.. If you can't make turns yet and have issues simply riding on flat ground - you have no business in the pool just yet.

Go skate a parking lot, get your turns tighter, get comfortable rolling in/dropping in and then join the club as a well-respected and universaly loved member.


I hope you're a bit less concerned with lack of flip-tricks under your belt and have a good idea of what else to try with your new hot purchase. Keep skating and stay safe.