Whether the purists like it or not, physical performance is becoming more and more important in the world of skateboarding. There will always be a community of skateboarders who skate simply for the love of it. However, more and more participants are starting to care about the maximizing their physical abilities to become better riders. Take professional skater Torey Pudwill for instance; he works with sports physician Dr. David Sales to keep his body in peak shape (See Training with the Pros). Through an impressive regimin of chiropractic therapy, cold laser treatments, cryotherapy, and more, Pudwill has utilized physical fitness to solidify his position as one of the world’s top skateboarders. He recognizes that in order to achieve consistency in his abilities and to progressively improve, he needs to be in tip-top shape.
Staying in good physical shape for skateboarding can be pretty easy to do if you live in a warm weather climate or if you don’t and it’s currently summertime. Good weather makes it easy to stay on top of your game, maintain consistency in your abilities, and remain in good physical shape. However, skateboarders like me who don’t have the luxury of year-round skateboarding, it’s difficult to not take a step or two backwards every time the winter months roll around. Things like snow, sub-freezing temperatures, and a lack of indoor facilities make skate sessions a rarity. So it’s not uncommon for skateboarders in cold weather climates to lose their ability to do certain tricks or find themselves in relatively poor shape when spring finally rolls around.
Fortunately there are some really simple things skateboarders living in cold weather climates can do to make sure that they pick up right where they left off once winter dissipates. I’ve found that adopting some of these basic habits has made it a lot easier for me to get going on my skateboard again when spring arrives.
1.) Eat better
In the winter time it’s a lot easier to turn to snack foods or make a Taco Bell run. Let’s be honest, junk food is convienent. However, choosing junk food over healthier options deprives your body of important nutrients you need to stay in good physical shape. When you’re active, consuming junk food is a little easier to bounce back from, but when you aren’t, it sticks so it’s important to make good dietary choices. If you want more information on eating right, check out Let’s Move!
2.) Cut back on soda, energy drink, and beer consumption
I know how popular sodas and beer can be among skateboaders, unfortunately these aren’t very good for you if you’re going to be sitting around for a few months in the winter. Their packed with unnecessary quantities of sugars that give the drinks a good taste, but aren’t good for your body. There’s nothing wrong with having these drinks every once and a while, but if they’re an everyday staple for you, you might want to rethink what you’re having to drink.
3.) Aim to run 8-10 miles per week
Running is a little easier to do in the winter time than skateboarding and it’s a great substitute activity when it’s too cold or too wet to skate. I’ve found that running just 2 1/2 miles gets you about the same work as an hour of skateboarding. It shouldn’t take much more than 20 minutes for an able bodied person to knock out a 2.5-mile jog, so take advantage of this quick workout to stay in shape. It’s helped me tremendously in maintaining my endurance and physical abilities when I get back on my board in the spring.
4.) Take advantage of every opportunity to skate
It may seem obvious, but I see dozens of skateboarders who are just too lazy in the winter to contend with the cold temperatures to ride their skateboards. Sure it’s a little more painful to fall down, but if you can get out and about every opportunity you get (sunny, dry weekends) to go skateboard, it will make a big difference in the spring. Don’t let a skatepark or a miniramp covered in snow stop you. Get out there with a shovel and start clearing that sucker off! If you’re really feeling ambitious, bring some blow dryers or towels to dry out the ground once the snow has been removed.
Check out a few more tips on staying in shape during the winter here at KWASports.