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Last page update: June 07, 2013

The following is based on my own pumping and racing experience, and on over 550 hours of coaching at my

Slalom Skate School in Moscow, Russia.

Your feedback and back-linking is appreciated.

My email is 8779018@gmail.com




Pump is a set of rotating, angulating, inclinating, and weighting-unweighting movements that allow for an active control of skateboard’s speed and turning line.


Before Pump

A solid one-foot riding skill needs to be developed prior to getting both feet on the skate. It takes about 2 weeks for the lower leg muscles to adjust and get some strength. Balancing on the board and learning the basics then becomes much easier.


It does not matter if you start with pure rotation (which I call Pump-1) or with pure angulation (which I call Pump-2). Both approaches have been successfully tried. Those who start off with learning rotation, sooner or later get rid of all counter-productive rotation in the upper body. Those who choose to start off with Pump-2 soon find out that they have to learn rotation before moving to the next level. Learning 1-2 takes the same amount of time as learning 2-1.

Pump-2 is a compulsory precursor for Pump-4 (Pump-3 is also needed for a strong and solid Pump-4), and Pump-2 and 1 are the two necessary pre-requirements for Pump-3. Jumping and skipping 1 and 2 will set you back down the road. It's up to you which one to learn first, but 3 and 4 will not be mastered without 1 and 2. This is similar to learning to walk before learning to run.





Pump 1 = upper body rotation + sequential transfer of weight from toes to heels. Rotation is essential for pumping the board and is present in all 4 types of pump - more in 1, and less in the other three. To minimize the loss of energy, legs should be tense at all times. They can be bent at the knees or kept straight - it's a matter of personal preference. The feet can be positioned on the board at 90 degrees, or be pointed forward a little bit. It is also a matter of personal choice. Whatever is more comfortable will work. Keeping the feet right over the trucks allows for a more direct transfer of power to the wheels.

One of the most important things at this poing is not to get any rotation in the ankles. It is quite easy to get the skate up to speed  just with the ankels, but this type of pump will be holding further progress rather than being of any help down the line. The feet should move back and forth like a rockering chair. It is this sequential loading of the toes and heals that makes the skate turn. Pumping with ankles will not get you far, but will surely get your feet misplaced on the board and make you complain on the inferiority of your grip tape or the lack of foot stop - both or which aren't needed at this point. Ankles are important in pumping, but it’s better to start using them later on.





Pump 2 = angulation + sequential transfer of weight from toes to heels.


The torque of pump - the most powerful but not the quickest. Fast and strong abdominal and back muscles accelerate the skate via swing-like moves.















Pump-3 = loading and unloading the board

+ a lot of ankle work.


This is the RPMs of skate pump. It’s not nearly as powerful as pump-2, but it’s much more precise and quicker. Because of the higher degrees of freedom in the ankles and the knees, pump-3 allows to make wider turns at higher speeds. If widely-offset Special Slalom and 6-cones-per-second Tight Slalom is your cup of tea, make Pump-3 your best friend.












Pump 4 = (1+2+3)/3

The fastest way to get through most race sources. A compromise between power and precision. Also, an energy saver.














 

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