Competition is what pushes this country forward. Our political races and the subsequent actions by the winners are fueled by a desire to improve and best the “competition”. Our school systems even thrive off a degree of competition. Why else would there be awards for “Teacher of the Month” or “Top School in the District”? Competition is also 100% what makes us the top nation for athletics in the world. Year in and year out the United States dominates international competitions ranging from the Olympics to international basketball tournaments. Our country and those who live in it have been bred to love and take place in competitions. A skimboard competition is certainly a part of that.
When I entered my first skimboard competition it was a bit nerve racking. I had no idea what to expect, let alone how to succeed. I was 13 years old. My skimboard buddies and I all decided to enter the Virgin River Classic, because every 13-year-old boy thinks he can win every sport, game or competition you place in front of him. I went into that day with levels of excitement, nervousness, and confusion. After competing for multiple years I still experience the first two emotions, but luckily the confusion part has left. I want to give you seven tips to help you feel collected and ready for your first (or not first) skimboard competition.
1. Good Skimboarders are Conditioned Physically
Skimboarding is a fantastic workout. The better shape you are in, the better off you will be during competitions. As weird as this sounds, part of being a top rider is being able to keep up the entire heat. If there is still 30 seconds left and you are too tired to throw another trick, I’m sure your competition won’t be. So prep yourself before the day arrives.
2.Get There Early
It is always best practice to get to a competition a little earlier than the rest. Here is why. Typically, they need help setting up the runs, and it’s quite the advantage for your say or opinion influence makeup up of the course. Getting there early also allows you some practice laps on the variety of boxes and rails you will be competing on. Practice makes perfect.
3. Talk to the Judges
Don’t be a brown-noser or something like that, but chat up the dudes and ladies who will be judging your performance. Find out what they are looking for, what they don’t like to see on the course and any other valuable information.
4. Warm Up With Riders in your Division
I find it important to spend some time before the actual competition riding with others from your division or heat. It’s good to find out some of their tricks, learn from them and get to know them personally. Some of the coolest moments of a competition are when you feel like you are just having another fun day of riding with your buddies, so get that feeling with your competition.
5. Plan Your Tricks Out
Have a mental game plan of what lines you want to hit. If the course only allows for one feature each run, then figure out what rail or box is your best. Make a game plan of the tricks you want to throw down on each feature. There’s nothing worse than having one run left and not being able to formulate a worthwhile trick in your head. Be prepared.
6. Pace Yourself During a Skimboard Competition
Don’t throw all your heavy tricks out in the first heat. Be sure to pace yourself through your trick progression as well as your stamina. You don’t want to be gassed heading into the final heat, and you also don’t want to be out of new tricks to throw come the final round.
7. Have Fun, Skim On!
This is the most important tip of them all! You’ve got to have fun! If you get beyond frustrated during a competition, you’re missing the point. Yeah, don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to win! But don’t forget why you love the sport! Odds are you will crash a ton and not stick your favorite trick, but keep a level head and enjoy the moment.
Now you are ready! Well, you still need to dial in your tricks, but you at least have some pointers to make your next skimboard competition a little easier. There are tons to take part in! So, be bold and enter the next competition near you! Comment on your experience. Skim on!