Skate Etiquette | Sidewalk Basics

One of the best things about skateboarding is the fact that it basically has no rules to abide by. With that said however, there are certain codes of conduct or rules of etiquette that apply to skateboarders the world over.

Rather than rules, these are more like shared cultural beliefs that make skateboarding better for everyone and help to allow new skaters to integrate into existing scenes. Several of the most important aspects of etiquette are detailed below – pay attention to these and you won’t go far wrong!

1)   Snaking

‘Snaking’ means to take a run when another skater is already using the obstacle or skatepark. This is a definite no-no. Never ever drop in on somebody else’s run – wait your turn and show some respect. Snaking is the number one way to get hurt and/or get rejected by existing scenes at your local skatepark or street spot.

2)   Comping

Comping is another faux-pas that younger, less experienced skaters often make without realising. Comping another skater means to follow them around and copy their tricks in an attempt to one-up them. This is completely against the inherent non-competitive nature of skateboarding and will alienate you amongst other skaters. Hyping off other people’s skateboarding is one thing, deliberately comping them to try and outshine them is another. Don’t do it.

3)   Crowding

Skaters need space to skate, so don’t be one of those kids who decides that the best place to congregate is on top of the ledge that everyone is trying to skate. If you’re just hanging out and not skating then stay well out of the way.

4)   Being aware of lines

This is an obvious one but we’ve seen so many skaters get badly hurt because of being unaware of their surroundings. All skateparks and spots have hot spots where lines converge so you need to make yourselves aware of these danger points before you go rolling into unfamiliar territory. It’s for your own benefit. Whenever you go to skate somewhere new to you, take a few minutes to work out where the lines are before joining in.

5)   Anti-social behaviour

One of the most exciting aspects of skateboarding, especially in the streets, is the freedom to do whatever you want with your skateboard. This however does not give you free reign to act like a naughty kid just to prove how ‘hardcore’ you are.

Daubing graffiti, leaving litter and deliberately being anti-social towards members of the public occupying the same space as you is the quickest way to get street spots shut down and ruin spots for everyone. Take your litter home, treat the public with some respect and don’t tag your spots up. The reputation of skateboarding as a whole gets tarnished by this kind of behaviour, so use your brains.

The codes of conduct listed above are the most obvious and important ones as far as protecting yourself and the spots/parks that you enjoy skateboarding. If you see other people failing to abide by the rules of etiquette then it’s up to you to put them right. Be sensible.

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