Dropping in on a ramp is one of the early skills learned in skateboarding by those who want to ride skateparks and progress their ability of learning skateboard tricks. This step in the skate journey can be viewed as a challenge and sometimes scary. If you relate to this, you are not alone.
When we received these questions at GRO we send them over to Cindy Whitehead for an expert answer.
“I started working of dropping in months ago. I have dropped in on small banks and on a 4 foot ramp with someone holding my hands. Every time I get up there to drop in without help, I feel completely uncomfortable and can’t bring myself to try it on my own. What advice do you have? How did you learn to drop in?”
The thing that has always worked best for me in unfamiliar situations is this – Have a talk with yourself before you go out there and drop in – talk yourself through it. You are your best coach. You KNOW you can do this, tell yourself with utter confidence that you CAN. Talk to yourself and be positive just like you would to a friend who you were encouraging. You got this!! – Cindy Whitehead
“I want so desperately to ride vert. Like straight up, 15 foot and up vert half pipes. But I have only ridden mini ramps at this point. I don’t know what but there is something inside me that keeps driving me toward thinking about vert. So, what is your advice for me to skate vert? Should I work my way up on bigger ramps? Like what should I do in order to skate vert for the first time? I don’t know for sure but I think the scariest part would be dropping in on such a huge ramp. Especially if you’ve never ridden on a vert ramp before.”
“Working you way up to vert via small mini ramps, bigger ramps, and then to a full on vert ramp will help give you the confidence to know you can do it. You can also go to the vert ramp and fakie up from the bottom to get the feel of it – that way you get the feel of the walls, the acceleration when you come down each side, and you’ll start to feel comfortable with how much or how little flat bottom it may have. Next thing you know you will be dropping in and be wondering why you ever hesitated. Have fun & wear a helmet!”
GRO learning tip.
A good way to practice dropping in on a ramp is to master pumping back and forth on the ramp. Once you feel comfortable with pumping, practice tail taps on the ramp. As you are riding fakie (backwards) on the ramp, get the feel of dropping in by tapping your tail on the ramp when you have reached to top point of riding backwards, before the board begins moving forward again.
All of the movement will be in the lower body. The upper body will basically stay in the same position, ready to ride the other direction.
*Once you are at the coping, to actually do a tail stall, then the upper body will move to bring you above the coping on to the deck.
You can start mastering this ability on flat ground first. When you move to the ramp, you can start off learning this skill very low on the ramp, then gradually taking it higher and higher until you reach the top of the ramp and tap the tail on the coping. Once you can do that, you have already mastered the motion. Now take it to the top and drop in!