How to powerslide on a skateboard

November 16, 2020 | Skateboarding
Powerslide: an effective technique for slowing down your skateboard | Photo: Red Bull

The powerslide is one of the most basic braking techniques in skateboarding. But it is also a trick in itself. Learn how to master it.

One of the first things a beginner skater needs to know when getting into skateboarding for the first time is how to slow down and stop the board.

The most common and basic technique is foot braking.

Nevertheless, the powerslide is also an option for intermediate level skaters and riders going at higher speeds.

It is also a fundamental braking technique used by downhill skateboarders and street riders who enjoy bombing hills.

The trick is to apply just enough force for the wheels to slide sideways.

During a powerslide, all four wheels will stop spinning and instead glide across the asphalt or concrete.

The powerslide requires a lot of speed. It results in a 90-degree rotation of the skateboard while maintaining all wheels in contact with the ground.

The position of the skater's feet is critical in performing a flawless powerslide.

Downhill skateboarding: powerslides are a key technique for reducing speed | Photo: Shutterstock

Powerslide 101

1. Put your front foot near the front truck;

2. Place your back foot near the tail of the skateboard;

3. Bend your knees and adopt a low stance;

4. Push both of your feet and the board forward;

5. Keep your shoulders aligned and lean your upper body slightly backward;

6. Open your arms to help with balance;

7. Let the board slide across the ground;

8. As the skateboard loses speed, start centering your body back over the board;

9. To come out of the powerslide, take your back foot back to reverse the 90-degree rotation;

10. Resume skating;

Although both feet are expected to do their job, your back is the one pushing the powerslide - it's the control foot.

Your front foot will be balancing things out and pivoting the rotation.

Depending on the type and quality of the surface you're riding on, you may experience the wheels grabbing or catching on the ground.

Also, if you don't lean your upper body back enough, weight distribution will project you forward, and you might fall and hurt yourself.

As with all skateboard tricks and techniques, the more you'll practice, the better you'll do a powerslide.

You can start by turning your board 90 or 180 degrees at a low speed. As you get more comfortable with the turn, try sliding and bringing it back.

How hard to push depends on your speed, the wheels, and the surface of the ground - smoother surfaces are easier for powerslides.

Last not but least: the harder your wheels are, the easier they'll slide because they have less traction.

Soft wheels have a better grip and will not glide across asphalt well.

The downside of the powerslide is the flat spots that will slowly appear on your wheels, gradually making them smaller and smaller.

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