The Skateboard Moms' Blog

A Blog by Women Skaters, for People Everywhere.

HOT TIP: How to pump on a half-pipe. October 1, 2007

Filed under: extreme sports,moms,mothers,skateboarding,trick tips,Uncategorized,women — skateboardmoms @ 7:53 pm

Skatemom Patti pumping her miniramp in Virginia.

Skatemom Patti pumping on her miniramp in Virginia. 

Pumping on a half-pipe isn’t easy, and it’s even more difficult to explain. But we’re gonna try, because we’ve all been there, stuck on the ramp, unable to maintain momentum. It takes time and practice to perfect your pump, but you will get it eventually.

Here are some tips that have helped many of us. Everyone learns differently. It’s important to give them all a try!

1. Understand that pumping is a lot like swinging on a swing. If you miss a pump you’ll lose momentum.

2. There are two spots you can pump on each wall of a half pipe: at the bottom of the transition, and at the top. You have to pump both ways, not just going forward.

3. In general, keep your weight centered on your board between your bolts, and keep your body perpendicular to your board and the riding surface. Keep your knees fluid and bent.

4. When you hit the wall you’re unweighting to allow yourself to go as high as possible up the wall; when you start to come back down you’re putting as much weight as possible on the board to shove it forward down the wall.

5. When you weight down at the apex — right as you’re about to come back down — it often helps to reach down and try to touch the board with your hand. That’ll put you in the right crouched position. Stand up a bit again as you get to the flat.

6. Initiate your pump from your calves. Your legs should burn after only a few minutes of pumping.

7. Some people swing their arms back and forth to help with pumping. Others sort of thrust their hips ahead of them or up the ramp to help. It’s all what works for you.
Experiment and have fun!


13 Responses to “HOT TIP: How to pump on a half-pipe.”

  1. tga Says:



  2. Skate or DIY Says:

    Think of pumping on a ramp like swinging in a swing. Only instead of extending your legs on a swing to alter the gravitational pull, you are straightening your legs from a slightly crouched position to push off of the banked transition.

    Tip: The steeper the ramp the easier it is.

    Good luck.


  3. Claudia H Says:

    Patti to the rescue, again… I googled “how to pump skateboard” and this article was listed second… and it’s the clearest explanation about pumping, ever. I just wish I could try it right now. While brewing my coffee.


  4. Claudia H Says:

    …and thanks!!


  5. Yuli Says:

    Could anyone help me out? I’m still having difficulty with it.


  6. Steve Says:

    Do you know how to have fun on your Skateboard?

    Sometimes when someone asks you a question, you have to respond with a question right back at them…..If someone asks you in a derogatory way “hey what tricks can YOU do?” ….Try ignoring their question…let your skating do the talking, and ask them “Do you know how to have fun on your Skateboard?”

    Skateboarding, in my old as dirt opinion.. should always only be about having fun. I don’t care what kind of skating you’re doing, if you’re having fun, you’re skating….if you are out there trying to impress other skaters with your tricks or teasing other kids for not “Skating as good as you” that’s not all that cool…actually kinda lame …If someone we’re to ask me what I’d like to see in Skateboarding….I would say just go out and have fun…be creative..who cares what other people think…..”who’s more foolish the fool or the fool who follows”??? Go out skate..think of cool tricks or just cruise down the street…..some people might know every tech trick, but they can’t just cruise…if you are skating for the right reasons…you’re having fun, if you’re out there trying to be the best skater with all the sickest tricks and making fun of everyone else in the process…then you’re in it for the wrong reasons and you don’t understand skating for how I think it was meant to be…it’s not a competition when you are out there with your friends….so think about it…do you know how to have fun on your skateboard?…that’s the best trick in your bag if you do.


  7. Adam Says:

    steve, you could not be more right.


  8. shoornePoonia Says:

    Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.


  9. 50skatekid Says:

    Well written! I’m going to include this in today’s physics lesson.


  10. Anonymous Says:

    fuck man


  11. Skateboarder Says:

    I didn’t find the pumping part nearly as difficult as getting over the fear of dropping in.


  12. bigoramp Says:

    i agree skateboarder, dropping in the first time is so scary!
    but once you do it a cuple of times it gets alot easier as you get more confident


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