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  1. #1
    Concrete Kahuna Jraice's Avatar
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    Question "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it exist?

    I have seen tons of articles on how to pump but most of them look like science papers instead of skate papers.

    Does anybody know where I can find a simple easy to understand pumping for beginers tutorial or can somebody just explain it to me?

    Seems like you want to carve left and right hard and as you carve weight the board (push) to bounce into the next carve but what do you add to that in order to get forward motion?

    I did a little attempt on my new loaded pintail (R2's and 75mm bigzigs) I got today and sometimes I felt a little momemtum but not for long... Not even sure if it was a slight dip in the road or my pump :/... Also it feels more pumpy on the flexier part of the board (feet closer together) but most say to keep them near or on the trucks...

    So any more simple explanations?


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  3. #2
    Concrete Kahuna Lee W's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    Think of a vertical pole being up the middle of the board, and through the middle of your body. Try to twist the board around this "pole", using your feet and hips. For this style of pumping you don't really need to use much of the flex of the board. The pintail pumps very, very well like this.

    Push up to a jogging speed before you try to do this, it makes it a lot easier.

    When you get this style of pumping, just keep experimenting with your timing and technique. Eventually transitioning between this style of pumping, and a more bouncy pump using the flex of your Loaded will be natural.

    This way that I've described is a lot like wiggling, but it is very very effective. You will be able to pump uphill once you can do it properly, without much difficulty.
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    Concrete Kahuna Jraice's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    So should I be moving forward around the pole when turning toe or heelside?

    Anybody have a video of this type of pumping it sounds like the easiest... And uphill! How steep! That would be awesome!!!

    Oh and I think I said this in another thread about a similar technique or maybe it was a reply to you...?

    But is it like a holla-hoop? So you are carving as you move forwards and back (a circular movement) moving your hips and waist as if it was a holla-hoop?

    I was just standing on my pintail trying to replicate the basic movement but without a video idk I am kinda stuck...

    Sounds effective but I might look like a goon doin' it but I guess if I am moving uphill that will look sick.

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    Concrete Kahuna AJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    Propelling yourself with turns ("pumping", "power-turning", or "gyrating") is an extremely subtle technique. It is based on very precise, balanced, and rhythmical weight shifts. When done well, pumping looks almost effortless. For that reason, beginners do not readily appreciate the skill involved. Yet power-turning is one of the most difficult skills you can learn on a skateboard. Further, it is one of the best examples of using a skateboard to "skate" in the purest sense of the term — to glide powerfully. Also, it is one of the best teachers of true style.

    Power-turning is also known as gyrating because, when done properly, your body and your skateboard will be gyrating relative to one another. In other words, your body will be rotating in one direction above your skateboard, while below you the skateboard will, relative to your body, be moving rotationally in the opposite direction.

    In biomechanical terms, pumping is one of the most complex techniques that can be performed on a skateboard. A very elaborate explanation is called for here. Read carefully, and try to visualize what your read.

    The trucks on your skateboard must be loose enough to steer easily (though as you improve you should try to keep your trucks tighter — you’ll have more power that way). To start pumping, you must get yourself going a little bit faster than what your top speed would be if you kick-turned from a dead stop on flat ground — about 4-5 mph. This is approximately the right velocity to begin pumping for most riders on most skateboards. Due to the limitations of current truck designs, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to gyrate at slower speeds.

    Slalom racing is basically the art of gyrating as fast as possible while weaving through a series of cones or gates. Slalom racers usually use very specialized equipment, and a very special stance. Called a semi-parallel stance, it is half-way between a standard surf-style position and a parallel ski-style position. If you would like to power-turn on a street, vertical, or freestyle board, and if you would like to integrate gyrating with other moves on varied terrains, I recommend that you use a conventional surf-style stance.

    Stand as though you were going to traverse (turn back and forth). Keep your rear foot forward of the tail, right on top of the rear truck, or slightly forward of it, so that you will have the best leverage on the steering mechanism. Your rear foot should be at a 90-degree angle to the longitudinal axis of the board, or angled very slightly forward. Your front foot should be angled forward between 15 and 30 degrees, and placed above or slightly behind the front truck, according to your preference. Ride with your knees bent, back straight, arms relaxed and extended. Your pelvis should be turned slightly forward, so that it is square with your front foot. This slight

    forward twist should continue up your spine, so that you can face where you’re going. Your weight should be spread fairly evenly. Your knees should bend straight over the feet so that no undue strain is placed on them. Don’t pronate your ankles, either, as this places them at greater risk of injury and robs your movements of balance and power.

    Remember that as you bend your legs to lower your center-of-gravity, it becomes increasingly important, and increasingly difficult, not to slouch. The following images may help you keep your back straight while bending your knees. Think of lifting your upper body out of your hips, by scooping your abdomen in and up from the groin level. Try to feel your body weight pressing straight up from your heels, and imagine a cord pulling your head toward the sky.

    Before I go any further, it is necessary for you to understand what is meant by "weighting" and "un-weighting" (also known as "compressing" and "de-compressing"). This is extremely important not just for power-turning, but for virtually all high-performance techniques and situations. By and large, the most powerful and skillful skateboarders in the world are those who have thoroughly mastered weighting and un-weighting. Weighting means just what it implies — putting weight onto your skateboard, more even then your actual body weight. You can do this on flats by letting your weight start to drop, and then catching yourself and quickly pushing back upward. When you pump down a transition, you are weighting your board. Weighting also increases traction, and so helps you to steer quickly in high-speed situations.

    Un-weighting means taking weight off of your board. This is not a jump, but a matter of slightly lifting your body — so that it is momentarily suspended, with no weight flowing through your legs. You can start un-weighting by pushing up with your legs, but to add length and control to the weight-less phase you must follow through with your abdomen. Try to learn how to stretch your stomach upward very quickly and forcefully after a slight leg thrust. Un-weighting is essential for skating up transitions and for maneuvers such as power slides. You must take your weight off of your wheels before they will let go.

    A good place to practice weighting and un-weighting is on a bathroom scale (non-digital variety). This will give you a direct indication of your success. If you are weighting properly, you will see the needle swing far beyond your actual body weight. If you are un-weighting properly, you should see the needle swing toward zero, even though your feet are still on the scale. Of course, you will find that it is impossible to weight without first un-weighting, or to un-weight without first weighting (unless you allow yourself to free-fall). This is the way it should be, because when you are actually skating, weighting and un-weighting work together.

    When you are practicing on your bathroom scale, try to gain control of how fast the needle swings. Depending on the situation, you need to be able to weight and un-weight at different speeds. For instance, on a large ramp, you would want to compress and de-compress more slowly than you would on a small ramp.

    Now, back to power-turning. It is absolutely essential that you center the pumping action in your pelvis, or hips. It will help if you imagine that your lower abdomen is the strongest part of your body. This idea may seem very confusing at first, but with time it will become comfortable and natural. Try pretending that you have a nuclear reactor at your center-of-gravity, exploding with energy.

    It will be easier for you to understand and learn gyrating if I break it into two parts: pumping front-side and pumping back-side. When you are really gyrating, though, the two merge into a single technique.

    The names that are used to designate turns on a skateboard depend on where the turns are done: on flat surfaces or on banked/vertical terrains. For example, turning toward the front of your body on a flat surface is usually called a "front-side" turn, because you are turning toward your front. On banked and vertical terrains the terminology is reversed, for reasons relating to the surfing origins of skateboard bank-riding. For example, a kick-turn toward the front of your body would be called "back-side" on a ramp, since in the middle of it your back is toward the wall. In this article I will use the standard terminology for flat-ground turns, since power-turns are almost always done on flat or slightly-sloped downhill surfaces.

    To learn to pump front-side (toward the front of your body), begin by carving a back-side turn. (During a back-side turn, your center-of-gravity should be positioned so that more of your weight is over your rear heel, and your pelvis should be turned toward your back.) Next, weight the board. Then, in a smooth, coordinated manner, you should simultaneously do three separate things:

  6. #5
    Concrete Kahuna AJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    Continued:


    1. With a powerful but subtle snap, twist your pelvis slightly toward your front-side, while allowing the twisting momentum to flow gently through your torso and arms.

    2. Drive your center-of-gravity slightly forwards at a diagonal, from a point where more of your weight is over your rear heel to a point where more of your weight is over your front forefoot. At first, it may be easier for you to think of pushing off of your rear heel.

    3. Decompress, or un-weight. If you are performing the first two steps properly, un-weighting will become a natural follow-through. Just remember to use your abdominal muscles to accentuate this step.

    You must initiate these three movements with the muscles in your hips and abdomen. Try to feel that you are pulling your pelvis — and the skateboard — with your stomach muscles. It may be easier to start these motions with your legs, but your pump will be less powerful and efficient. As always, leg action should follow and accentuate what you start with your hips. If you are

    using your hips properly, your legs will naturally add their power to the motion; you won’t even have to think about them. Throughout the pump, think of letting your pelvis ride the skateboard while your torso rides atop your pelvis. Also, concentrate on your posture — feel tall and lifted, even though your knees are bent.

    To learn to pump back-side (toward the back of your body), begin by carving a front-side turn.(During a front-side turn, your center-of-gravity should be positioned so that more of your weight is over your leading forefoot, and your pelvis should be turned toward your front.) Next, weight the board. Then, in a smooth, coordinated manner, you should simultaneously do three

    separate things:

    1. With a powerful snap, twist your pelvis slightly toward your back-side, while allowing the twisting momentum to flow gently through your torso and arms.

    2. Drive your center-of-gravity slightly rearwards at a diagonal, from a point where more of your weight is over your front forefoot to a point where more of your weight is over your rear heel. At first, it may be easier for you to think of pushing off of your front forefoot.

    3. Decompress, or un-weight.

    It may sound strange to drive your weight backwards. Yet if you follow the above steps for pumping back-side, you will actually accelerate forward. Again, you must initiate these three movements with the muscles in your hips and abdomen. Although it may be easier for you to start these motions with your legs, your pump will be less powerful and efficient. As before, think of

    letting your pelvis ride the skateboard while your torso rides atop your pelvis; and concentrate on your posture.

    It will help you to practice pumping in large circles, so that you can focus on learning to pump in one direction at a time. When you do this, remember that you must reposition yourself for each succeeding power-turn by steering very slightly in the opposite direction.

    To really get the pump going, you must connect front-side and back-side power-turns seamlessly, so that they become one motion — a gyration. Your pelvis should be moving in an oval or elliptical path, whose long axis cuts diagonally through your deck, as indicated in the diagram. At the end of one decompression, your weight will settle, or compress, and become the start of

    the next decompression. You must precisely coordinate slight snapping twists of the pelvis, foot-to-foot weight shifts, and the cycle of weighting and un-weighting with definite points along this path.

    It may seem now like you need to remember to do an impossibly large number of things. With practice, though, you will find that the technique assumes a definite and natural rhythm. And you will begin to feel that you are powering your skateboard almost entirely with your lower abdomen. As you get better, you will be able to gyrate while turning primarily in one direction — then

    you will be pumping more powerfully toward one side, but you will still be gyrating.

    The energy of the pump comes from weighting and un-weighting, which create what is known, in physics, as centripetal forces. If an object is turning and a force is applied to push or pull the object toward the center of the turn (a centripetal force), the object will accelerate — its forward velocity will increase. When you drive your weight upward as you diagonally shift it during each half of the gyration, you generate a centripetal force. Through your skateboard’s wheel grip, you have pushed against the riding surface. The ground resists the pressure you have applied against it, and so in effect pushes you back. A component of this push is directed toward the center of your turn; therefore, you accelerate. Another way to explain the pump is to say that you have pushed (through the wheel grip) off the ground, while steering the board to follow you in the direction toward which you have pushed.

    With tight trucks, you have to weight your board more to get your trucks to turn. When you gyrate with tight trucks you create larger centripetal forces, which in turn accelerate you all the more. Most of the world’s top slalom racers keep their trucks quite tight, and this is an important part of their success. It takes greater strength and endurance to pump a board with tight trucks, but you’ll feel the difference in greater speed and acceleration.

    I don’t recommend that you try to gyrate as fast as slalom racers, unless you aspire to be a top competitor in that event. Although slalom racers achieve great velocities, the amount of power they generate with each gyration appears to diminish as they increase the rate of gyrating. Also, they must tense their upper bodies a great deal to maximize their gyrations-per-second. I find that power-turning is more enjoyable at a slower pace. It is still possible to generate tremendous velocities, and the feeling of power you get from a slower, more controlled, more concentrated gyration can’t be equaled, in my opinion.

    Gyrating can help you link a wide assortment of moves without having to take a foot off to push. It looks damned smooth, and feels incredibly cool. A note of caution — You may find that pumping becomes addictive. It is a truly magical feeling to propel yourself indefinitely, without ever touching the ground or lifting any of your wheels.



    Captions to diagrams [not included here]:

    Path of pelvis during gyration. Your center-of-gravity will move beyond the edges of your feet and board. Relative to your body, your skateboard will move in an oppositely-directed elliptical path — thus the term "gyration".

    Lines at the ends of oval or ellipse indicate approximate axis of hips at each extreme of the gyration. This axis should fluidly alternate in perfect rhythm with the gyration.

    When your weight settles here, twist your pelvis to your front-side, drive your center-of-gravity forwards at a diagonal, and un-weight.

    When your weight settles here, twist your pelvis to your back-side, drive your center-of-gravity rearwards at a diagonal, and un-weight.

  7. #6
    Concrete Kahuna Jraice's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    So it sounds like when turning left (im goofy) I should be going forwards in the circle the first poster recommended and should be going backwards when turning right?

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    Concrete Kahuna Lee W's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    It helped me the most to just be on a street skateboard/longboard with a tail. Take one push, and then use the tail to lift up the front wheels and do the tic-tac back and forth motion to get your speed up. Realise what you're doing? You're going side to side with the back wheels to move forward. Now try that same motion without lifting the front wheels (this can be hard/impossible if it's a street skate with tight trucks). Now try it on a longboard, but after a few good pushes.

    Yes it looks goofy at first, but you can make it look a bit more drawn out with your arms. And you will feel like an idiot learning it. People will stare at you while you pump towards them on a bike path, but when they realize how fast you're going doing it, they'll stare at your board and wonder what you're riding that you can do that on, when instead it's all in your technique...
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    Addicted Cruiser mojomuskrat's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    It is kinda like hoola hooping while turning back and forth in rhythm. My mother in law saw me pumping once and said it looked like I was hoola-hooping.

    When I learned, I just started swinging my arms, and next thing I knew I was maintaining speeds over distances. Watch some slalom vids, and imitate their arm movements.

    You also want to really force the board to turn in the different direction, don't just ride it. During your carve to the left, don't just lean right and wait until it changes direction. Use your foot to pull against it to go left. It is like carving the board faster than it wants to go.
    Last edited by mojomuskrat; 08-01-2007 at 06:40 AM.

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    Concrete Kahuna pavedwave's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jraice
    Seems like you want to carve left and right hard and as you carve weight the board (push) to bounce into the next carve but what do you add to that in order to get forward motion?
    ....Also it feels more pumpy on the flexier part of the board (feet closer together) but most say to keep them near or on the trucks...
    Sounds like all you need is a stronger 'pop' coming out of each turn to accelerate.

    As Lee noted you're usually going to hear of either a twisting/hula/gyrating/wiggling analogy (where feet are closer to the trucks), or a weighting/unweighting analogy (where you're springing out of the board's center). Both are correct, just two completely different ways to pump. For longer rides i'd just keep alternating between both of these.

    Here's a vid where a couple of us compress into turns, then straighten a little, and use arms to pop out of each turn. The other two guys are doing more of a fast "wiggling" or gyrating pump most of the time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZDL-NGb3gs
    Quote Originally Posted by Momona Boe View Post
    next time play with your balls and tell them you're kickflipping your junk

  11. #10
    A Heaping Helping Of Boner Pie Order of the 'Fish bucksaw87's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    sounds like you have the right idea. just gotta keep on practicing dude...once you get it, you'll be like "oh so THIS is pumping"...it's one of those *poof* moments where it just clicks.
    keep in mind that your abs are gonna get tired, so if you feel a weird feeling like you just did 30 situps, then you've got the right motion down. i also find it helpful to lean a tiny bit forward, so your weight would be more over your front foot...that seems to help me get more snap out of my back foot and more power out of my front.

    edit: if you're gonna be around tonight, hit up flashchat...i'll prolly be there, and so will a lot of other people who can offer advice on pumping
    yes, an uber-grippy, square-lipped slalom wheel IS the best for sliding
    Quote Originally Posted by xjason11x View Post
    Jeeze people weren't joking when they said the fish was rough.

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    Concrete Kahuna Jraice's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksaw87
    sounds like you have the right idea. just gotta keep on practicing dude...once you get it, you'll be like "oh so THIS is pumping"...it's one of those *poof* moments where it just clicks.
    keep in mind that your abs are gonna get tired, so if you feel a weird feeling like you just did 30 situps, then you've got the right motion down. i also find it helpful to lean a tiny bit forward, so your weight would be more over your front foot...that seems to help me get more snap out of my back foot and more power out of my front.

    edit: if you're gonna be around tonight, hit up flashchat...i'll prolly be there, and so will a lot of other people who can offer advice on pumping
    LIke what time? Perhaps I can...

    Anyways I chose to skate to work instead of drive so Ill be leaving in a few and working on my pumps whenever its not DH...

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    A Heaping Helping Of Boner Pie Order of the 'Fish bucksaw87's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    i'll prolly be on around 9pm eastern or so...but around that time, flashchat lights up, so there's usually a lot of people in there from then til about 3 or 4 eastern
    yes, an uber-grippy, square-lipped slalom wheel IS the best for sliding
    Quote Originally Posted by xjason11x View Post
    Jeeze people weren't joking when they said the fish was rough.

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    Addicted Cruiser Jazlikethat's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    People are giving alot of lengthly advice here, but the thing is everyone pumps differently. All that can help, but I learned to pump by following pavedwave's advice in another thread. He said just watch a video of someone doing it, then go out and experiment. It's really not all the complicated once you figure it out.

    Oh and very very important, make sure you have some soft bushing, for Randal's I believe it's yellow. I'm using a mixture of white orange and blue khiros (the softest in their kit) on my pumper.

    P.S. thanks pavedwave, I figrured out pumping like 2 days ago and went 2 miles w/o touching
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    The biggest thing is remember that you're pushing with your front heel and rear toe. And then, just think about really shoving your weight into every pump. Finally, for the most part, the bigger the board, the bigger the pump. ie. you can't pump a 44" carver like a TS board.
    Last edited by Santa : Today at 06:14 AM.

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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    wow! i'm impressed. it's pretty cool how much knowledge people now have for something as esoteric as pumping a skateboard.... that being said:

    the concept of pumping a skateboard is not an easy one to pick up... it is not for dummies. that book or option simply does not exist. blathering idiots? well... that's whole 'nother story.
    if you can't understand what's right...
    ...there will be nothing left.

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    Addicted Cruiser pete..'s Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    will it be harder to pump my vanguard using the wiggling style you described than the weighting and unweighting method? it seems like i need more board closer to my front truck so i can be right over it.

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    slobberton the knobberton I Support The Fish
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    Just really got a feel for my Vanguard. Get going at a good speed (maybe two hard kicks?) and I put my front foot where it's supposed to go and my back foot a little forward in the "SUPER FLEX" range, really weight and unweight while carving, you'll feel it. I got a ton of looks, maybe because I looked like a total idiot focusing on the ground with my arms flailing, but it was so nice.

    I'D RATHER DIE ON MY FEET THAN LIVE ON MY KNEES.


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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    Just keep practicing. Eventually you'll get where you're going, stop and think about, and realize you only pushed twice. At least that's what happened to me!
    Quote Originally Posted by aceofspades24
    chris i just noticed your car is eating (or crapping) your longboard!!! quick go save it!!

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    Concrete Kahuna Jraice's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    Sweet I gave it a few trys probably a combined 45 minutes of pumping...

    I didnt quit get it and I think I need to practice on some longer trails and such to see if I am really getting anywhere but a few times I could feel acceleration and it wasnt just a slope but it matched my carves...

    I am going to try putting my back foot a little more forward so i get more flex but I found a combination of the weighting and unweighting and the slight holla hoop motion works well... Sometimes I feel like I am just carving but with a lot of pop between carves and the slight waist rotation...

    One question, I am a goofy rider (right foot forward) and if I do the spinning of the hips which way should they be moving... Clockwise or counter clockwise? On my way to work I was doing clockwise but it felt unatural, with the couter clockwise I feel more normal and can pump (well attemp to that is) at a faster rate between turns...

    Is that the correct direction? It seems like it would correspond best to the way the weighting unweighting article talks about transfering your weight on your feet...

    After I get cleaned up Ill go give it some more goes...! And yep I have randalls with yellow bushings, back is a turn tighter but the front is as loose as it gets (any looser and the kingpin nuts nylon lock would not be doing anything.)

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    Concrete Kahuna Lee W's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Pumping for Dummy's"... Does it excist?

    Quote Originally Posted by pete..
    will it be harder to pump my vanguard using the wiggling style you described than the weighting and unweighting method? it seems like i need more board closer to my front truck so i can be right over it.
    I really enjoy transitioning between the wiggling and unweighting style on my vanguard. Do a few wiggles to get up to speed, then start blasting away with the drawn-out weighting/unweighting/bouncing pumps once I'm at an ok speed.

    For the wiggling style I have my feet right at the wide parts of the footpads. Pretty close to both trucks. When I do the weighting/unweighting I leave my front foot in the same place, and shift my back foot 2-4" closer to the nose. This gives me more flex and snap in my carves and pumps. You'll feel the rhythm of your board's flex, and that will determine the frequency of your pumps. The Vanguard is a very fun board to pump, but it takes up a lot of energy.

    And Jraice, although that hip rotation analogy and everything is very good and very well detailed, I had a lot of problem learning from it. However, after I knew how to pump it made total sense. It's good to analyze you're technique after you know how to pump to a decent extent, but to learn from that it's almost overwhelming. You are thinking of what you "should" be doing to pump, instead of searching for the feel.
    Roggs Fibreglass Dancer
    LBL Old Skool Dancer
    Loaded Vanguard Flex 3
    Earthwing Drifter
    S9 46" Supercruiser
    Element Popsicle (it was $50 Canadian, give me a break...)
    Old School 80's Board

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