By Eddy Matzger
When it’s raining and pouring and dry-land gets boring, the slideboard is the most skate-specific and beneficial alternative to the real thing. Done properly, slideboarding will improve your form and balance, work your quads, glutes and back muscles, and prepare you for any distance.
A team manager applies glue to the aluminum panel.
I recently made five 2-meter-long slideboards for my students for a total cost of about $15 USD (in China mind you). My material list consisted of
I simply glued the panels onto the plywood, screwed the two by fours onto the ends, and glued the foam strips onto the inside edges of the end stops. Voila!
One of Eddy's students tries out a new slideboard.
When the track is too wet to skate on, we simply break out the slideboards, crank up the music, pull some thick socks over our sneakers, spray a little furniture polish onto the sliding surface (though car wax works well, too) and off we go.
Our slideboards are heavy enough and rest on rubber mats, so they don’t slip around when in use. You may need to put something heavy against the ends or have friends sit or stand on them if they move around.
Sometimes we have competitions, like who can go back and forth the most times in one minute, or I’ll hold a broom handle over the middle of the board and see who can get the lowest and slide underneath the longest. When all the slideboards are together, we can even have some silly fun, like working on passing each other from back to front.
One of the hardest things to do is to actually skate on the slideboard, meaning only having one foot in contact with the board at a time and performing a real recovery in mid-air. (See my short YouTube video.)
Our record stands at 114 times back and forth without a touchdown. Unless you are willing to risk serious injury, you should probably not attempt this until you have put in many many hours (or years) and are able to center your weight fully over your bent support leg. An intermediate step towards achieving this goal is to be able to slide across while lifting the toe of your extended pushing leg.
Now who's ready for some record-breaking (hopefully not back or leg-breaking) slideboarding?
Aug. 7, 2009
Video: Eddy demonstrates the proper use of a slideboard.
Since 1988, Eddy Matzger has been the No. 1 name in inline skating and one of the most motivational coaches in the sport. He still races and globetrots. Currently, Eddy is in China training children ages 12-22 for TWINCAM bearings, his sponsor of 16 years. Twincam bearings
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