The surfy way to push a skateboard
Skogging (skate-jogging) is known as a style of skateboarding, where you constantly alternate your pushing leg in various ways. But there has always been one more outstanding characteristic to it: One-footed riding. Chris Yandall, the inventor of skogging was well known for his one-footed cruising style in between alternating his pushing legs. I think he was very likely the first who ever steered a skateboard using only one leg. If you look at how Steven Meketa performs his high kick skog, lifting one leg high up in front of the body before putting it down for the next kick, the influence of Yandall‘s one footed style is still very visible. This one-footed characteristic of skogging has always fascinated me. Although it appears quite weird at first, it emanates easiness and playfulness at the same time. But when previously performing my skogging workout, I always put a lot of emphasis on the transitions for alternating my pushing leg. This way I neglected the cruising aspect of skogging.
While skogging is good for riding long distances in an efficient way, it can also be a fun exercise while just cruising around with your board. So I wanted to create more variety in my workout and started to skog in a more surfy way with pumping and cruising parts between switching my stances. This led me back to the roots of skateboarding, to the surfy style of the early years, when surfers invented the skateboard to be able to surf on land. I watched the skogging videos of Chris Yandall and I realized, that somehow his style was very surfy, too. So I recently took more time to integrate one footed riding into my skogging and finally realized that one footed cruising while alternating the legs actually is the surfy way of moving with a skateboard by way of pushing.
The immanent way to move a surfboard on water is by way of pumping while moving with the waves. But the most original and immanent way of propelling a skateboard is by pushing it. If we are able to keep standing on one leg after performing a push, we will have the possibility to add some surfy style to the otherwise not very spectacular kicking movement of pushing. While pumping a skateboard will always be an imitation of the movements of surfing on water, pushing combined with one footed cruising is a surfy way to move forward that is unique to skateboarding. Like pumping it also requires a higher skill level. That’s why you can recognize an experienced skater by the way he is pushing. Beginners tend to push in a quicker way, seeking to put their foot back on the board as soon as possible to maintain stability. Experienced skaters will push more easygoing, taking their time to fully swing their leg during a push.
The skogging style of one footed cruising while alternating the legs is the surfy way of moving with a skateboard by way of pushing. It increases balance, strengthens the legs and is an advanced level training for pedidexterity and stanceless skateboarding.
Directing the board from side to side with just one foot standing on top of the deck is a sign of good balance and control. Skogging is the pedidextrous way of pushing and one footed cruising can help you to reach perfection in the art of skogging. Trying to cruise with only one foot on the board will activate and strengthen a lot of different muscles in your whole leg. Try to do one footed cruising while alternating your legs and you will feel if you have really reached the state of true pedidexterity. Even if you are already able to skog easily using both of your legs in an equal way, one footed skating will show you clearly if one leg is still weaker than the other. Although in the beginning it may not be easy to develop the skill of moving your board in a one footed way, once you have mastered this skill, you will find it to be a fun way to ride and enjoy the feeling of freedom coming from possessing the highest possible control over your board.
Text: Frank Thomas