The Skateboard Moms' Blog

A Blog by Women Skaters, for People Everywhere.

Are you ready to drop in? June 19, 2008

by Patti

When I was a brand newbie, I obsessed about learning to drop in.  I thought of nothing else.  I had to do it, and I couldn’t move on until I did.

And, eventually, I learned, after many painful, failed attempts.  I think I had been skating about 4 months when I finally dropped in successfully.

Very frankly, if I had it to do over again, I would advise myself to work on the basics of rolling around … pumping, carving, kickturns, going fakie, tictacs … all of that … before trying to learn to drop in.

I say this for one reason, and only one reason:

The reason you drop in is to get more speed.  If you don’t need more speed, because you don’t know what to do with it on the opposite wall, there’s no reason to drop in … yet.

If I had it to do over again, I would learn to drop in after I had my pump dialed … by “dialed” I mean able to pump around a bowl at full speed from a dead stop in the bottom, having slid there on my butt.  If you know how to pump when you learn to drop in, you will learn to drop in more easily because, when you drop in, you have to pump immediately after you slam the front truck down to right yourself on the board again as you make your way down the transition to the flat.  If pumping feels foreign to you … as it did to me as a brand new skater … learning to drop in is going to be more difficult.

I’m not saying you can’t learn to drop in if your pump isn’t dialed, I’m just saying that the logical progression seems to me to be: (1) basic bowl/ramp skating skills first, (2) dropping in second.

Skatemom Patti drops in at Butte, Montana

Skatemom Patti drops in the bowl at Butte, Montana.


21 Responses to “Are you ready to drop in?”

  1. Barb Says:

    My heart literally starts to pump harder every time I look at that photo. Every picture might be worth 1,000 words, but the five that come immediately to my mind are:

    Fear, excitement, anticipation, stoke, YAY!

    I agree with Patti’s comments, especially about learning the basics first. In my way of thinking, though, there’s a reason to drop in other than the practical reason of gaining more speed.

    For me, the simple act of dropping in is like the cherry atop a sundae. The brass ring. The gold star! I feel a little let down if I don’t at least try to achieve it at least once per session, even if it’s just on the smallest ramp at the park. (Beginners, please remember I have been skating since the early 1970s!)

    But back to Patti’s point.

    I am a big advocate of nailing down the basics first. Learn to *ride* a skateboard in the classic sense. That means reaching a point where you’re comfortable pushing your board around the neighborhood, where you can navigate bumps and cracks and rocks and come to a stop when you need to. Learn to weight and unweight as you turn. Learn where to place and move your feet. All this comes with practice. Cruising around the neighborhood instead of the safe confines of a skatepark will help force this issue. 😉

    Don’t forget to wear your gear!


  2. Dan Hughes Says:

    Great advice Patti!!! Wisdom beyond your years of skating!!!!

    I continue to be impressed with how much and how quickly you’ve advanced as a skater. Keep on skat’n!


  3. Anne in ATL Says:

    Great words of widsom, Patti and Barb!
    And so true………..

    Anne in ATL GA


  4. JoJo Says:

    Hello Patti! This is so true what you are you know I’ve been sk8ing four a little over 4 months now. AND I FINALLY DROPPED IN… I had help at first, but last night we went out and I tried with no assistance. MAN, to finally get it down feels so great… I started off low about 2 feet and moved up to almost 4 feet by the end of the evening. It may sound small to smoe , but hey little by little is my motto. I cannot say I’ll be ready for more until I’m confident I can land with less wobble, but getting it down and rolling into the next waves feels so great!! I love reading all your messages you inspire me to do more. Thanks PAtti…Keep Skating!!!

    JoJo (West Covina-CA)


  5. Laurie, CT Says:

    Thanks for the info. It makes me feel alot better since I’m not mentally ready to try even the littlest drop. I am still trying to master everything else you mentioned.

    Your insight is the first time I have heard it put that way “dropping in is to attain needed speed”. I don’t need that much speed yet, so I’ll just keep on doing the other stuff for now.

    Thanx Patti.


  6. video Says:

    I will never forget my first drop in. beautuful memories

    Take a look at this video. Excellent skateboarding by a young danish skateboarder – now on flow for Emerica, Toy Machine, RVCA and BORDER Skateshop. This boy Mads Tobiassen has a major potential, that´s for sure


  7. louie Says:

    i am going to drop in this saturday i am a bit scared


  8. Crystal Says:

    I agree about learning the basics, I knew the basics when I first tried droping in and I got it down the same day… it was on a pretty small half-pipe so I supose that makes it easier but still I think it only took four or five tries, and I managed to fakie-rock and roll on it too… although when I later tried this on a bigger half-pipe it took about forty fallson the same day) to get it down and all I had was a helmet…


  9. edinskates Says:

    Edinburgh Skatepark Needs your help – please sign and pass on!

    You may or may not know the length of time that Edinburgh skateboarders have been campaigning to get a concrete skatepark built but has been a long struggle surpassing at least a decade which has involved several people and several hundred hours of effort.

    A new application is currently going through the council planning department for the skatepark to get built in the city’s Saughton Park. This application available for viewing and for people to add their comments.

    This is where we are asking for your support so we can finally get this park built.

    You can offer support by accessing the link at the bottom of this article.

    This will open the planning application. In the top left of this window, there is a button labelled Submit Comments, this will open a form where you can add your details, lend your support and add any comments to support the application.

    Please note: It doesn’t matter whether you’re from or in Edinburgh at all, it’s all about support for the park in general so go complete the form!


  10. Mad props on a great website and great blogging! Great inspiration for women and men, girls and boys. keep it up! and let me know if you are ever in the Denver area! parker has a rediculous new 35,000 ft park you gotta check out! Come by the shop too!
    8 Track Ride
    16524 Keystone Blvd. in Parker
    Lincon and Jordan behind Sonic Burgers


  11. Ed Says:

    Just wanted to let you and your readers know about Nancy Chang who runs Skate Like a Girl (, a nonprofit that teaches girls how to skate in Seattle and Portland. Nancy has recently been nominated as a L’Oreal Woman of Worth. Please take a minute to vote for her here before November 24:

    Thank you!


  12. Jesse Says:

    If you can try starting out on a smaller mini ramp and getting the feel for it then work your way up to bigger half pipes, this way you’ll get more experience and confidence to drop in the bigger ramps.


  13. Great Story! By the way there is nothing cooler than a skater mom, I always secretly wished my mom knew how to skate. You Rock!


  14. Great Story! By the way there is nothing cooler than a skater mom, I always secretly wished my mom knew how to skate. You Rock!


  15. I agree 100%. Not only should you not drop-in until you really NEED to drop-in, but, you should be comfortable with basics first. Basics like a roll-in. Of course, in the earliest parts of learning, even the roll-in can be a challenge. Like this video of one of my students…


  16. b-mac Says:

    Love the blog…wish you would update more often!


  17. Mike Shinobi Says:

    Nice!! Skateboarding is fun!


  18. Bill Says:

    Good Drop MAMA!! Keepin the youthful Vibes.


  19. Kollasch Says:

    Trick guide: Dropping in – Colorado Springs Skateboarding Examiner
    For many casual skateboarders, the prospect of half pipe and vert tricks can be frightening. However, starting small, any skater can work their way up to big air. The first step on the road to high flying tricks is to be able to ride in the half pipe, quarter pipe, or bowl.


  20. belkins10 Says:

    My son is i 2nd grade and wants to go to the skatepark for the first time. I’m kinda nervous. Should I be? I have a video of his skills on YOUTUBE. He’s just getting started. But his tricks look cool in slow mo. LOL, doesn’t EVERYTHING look cool in slowmo? LOL. Check it out >>


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