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!