A Guide to Holding Your Board
An illustrated look into skateboard-handling etiquette.
Skateboarding’s an intricate thing. Yeah, there are a bunch of tricks and things to learn on the board, but what you do when you’re off it also says a lot about your style and overall demeanor. Like animals in the wild, bros and broads at the bar, how you hold your stick could be letting others know a whole lot about who you are and how much ripping you’re actually doing. Here’s a breakdown of nine essential holding techniques and what skaters associate them with when we see them.
1. The Rusty Sailor
Best way to advertise your board graphic. Kind of like the lunchbox or suitcase way of carrying your ride. Also the best way to fray the left or right hip-side of just about every article of clothing that you wear. Choose wisely young grasshopper!
2. The Teddy Bear
This hold’s about snuggle and warmth. As the name suggests, it involves holding your board like the stuffed Teddy Ruxpin that you coddled as wee little lad. It allows for a firm clutch, while still liberating the hand for you to hold your water/coffee/beer or skate beverage of choice. Other known aliases include the man purse and doggie daycare. Nothing to shy away from, as most seasoned gentlemen of skateboarding are neither unafraid to show sensitivity for their board or tote a man bag.
3. The Pinch
Pinch of salt? Pinch of pepper? Whatever the case, pinching seasons all main dishes and is pretty much the hold of choice for the average ripper. This no fuss, no muss, technique has been perfected over the decades and worn down its share of thumbs. Watch out for griptape burn!
4. The Backpack
The cavemen did it. The Mayans did it. The remote indigenous tribes of the Amazon still do it. And, of course, skaters do it – carry their weapon of choice on their back. Now, thanks to the magic of overseas manufacturing, basically all of the big skateboard brands have their own version of the skate backpack. Ironically, 95% of skaters don’t own one themselves. Why? Too utilitarian, thus chic, thus uncool? Sounds about right. All good though, almost every skater above the age of 40 (that still rides bowls consistently) owns one. Old men that skateboard aren’t worried about a damn thing!
5. 8-Ball Corner Pocket
Whoa there Pilgrim, watch where you’re aiming that thing! This hold is believed to be conceived during an epicly aimless session in Suburbia Skatepark, USA, where some John Wayne-loving lass started wearing his board like gun in holster by tucking a wheel in his pocket.
6. The Hang Glider
Great for stretching the mid-back and shoulder area. Also a great way to avoid having to do any hand-held favors for anyone, as both are locked into place behind the nose and tail to sustain the weight of the board.
7. The Table Waiter
Our personal favorite. Similar to the rusty sailor, just without the grip to shred your garments. Light, effective, easy to maneuver, and like the name suggests, you can get away with placing a few brews or things as you waddle along between tricks and sessions.
8. The Ghetto Blaster
Though we’d like to give Chad Muska credit for inspiring this one (because he’s actually known for lugging a real boombox), we’ve got too much respect for the dude. Besides, nobody wants to be named after a holding technique that only the local skatepark hobo does when tripping on a batch of lackluster mushrooms.
9. The Mall Grab
A classic. Probably the most revered skateboard holding technique of all time! While many like to scoff at the idea that the “mall grab” is a put-down (referring to the idea of poser/unexperienced skaters buying boards at the mall only to strut with them), it may very well be the most effective way to handle a board. Shit, it’s probably the best way to wail on somebody with it! Security. Jackers. So kids, don’t believe the hype, practice the mall grab every now and then (in absolute privacy), it could wind up saving your life!