Cross stepping

  CROSS STEPPING

Cross Stepping. The key to efficient longboarding on land and sea.

Tips to improve smoothness
Cross training for surf cross stepping
Cross stance trimming
Cross stance hood ornaments
Switch stance cross stepping
Save board space: Dig and kick your cross steps

 

This page examines cross stepping and walking on moving boards in detail.

 

Tips to improve smoothness

Maintain foot contact as long as possible. You can achieve this by pressing forward off the ball of your foot, then reaching with the ball of the foot when you bring the foot down.

If you keep the back foot turned in and the front turned out, you should be able to make contact with almost your whole foot on the board. It gets critical when you press up onto the toe and ball of the foot, because then the rail can easily tip.

Press on your board with your feet for control. To maintain pressure on the control surfaces of your board and trim at all times through the walk, the knees must be flexed.

Try to keep your upper body on the same plane and don't bob up and down while walking. Try to make it feel as though your upper body were on a dolly moving up a track on the board. The feet flow underneath you, absorbing the motions of the board.

 

Cross training for surf cross stepping

Cross stepping on a skateboard is pretty hard but it's much harder on a surfboard. The lateral, sideslipping motion as you move up a surfboard can't really be imitated on a longskate. A surfboard pitches, rolls, and yaws like a boat, but a skateboard only rolls and shoots forward or back when you step wrong. It's more forgiving, only it won't seem so when you're on your pavement-skidding butt after a blown cross step. So wear wrist guards or gloves and thick shorts. On some of these pictures you can see the single wrist guard on the skater's right hand offering minimum protection. On others he wears them on both hands with gloves.

Remember, cross stepping on a skateboard takes away the hardest element, the moving wave, and you still have lots of work to do to cross step your surfboard. All you can do is get really competent on the longskate and hopefully you won't suck walking on a surfboard.

 

Cross stance trimming

It's important to be able to ride your board well completely crossed. Make sure you can do a carving frontside and backside turn while in the crossed position. In these pages are several examples of cruising and turning in cross stance.

The cross step should not be something you rush through to get to your stable normal stance. Pause on the cross step. Besides being more smooth all around, there's a good functional reason to stop on cross steps as opposed to side by side stances.

Cross stance implies that you're about to do something. It leads into tricks. Cross foot is a twisted "windup" position, and when you initiate any move from a strong windup position into a relaxed followthrough position it's always a more positive change. If you step off the cross step back into a turn it will be a very pronounced weight change. If you step forward off a cross stance it will put you solidly in trim or on the nose.

On the other hand if you stop in side by side stance when you have a critical step to take you may get "froze foot", rush, stumble, or shuffle. This happens when you take only two steps off the tail and are stuck on the middle and have two steps to go to the nose. Take that third step and hold it crossed and everything will be set up for a step to the tip or a retreat to a solid trim position.

 

Cross stance hood ornaments

Most static or "hood ornament" moves like nose wheelie-ing, nose side slipping, and hanging five or ten are done from regular stance or parallel stance. To add variety, you can do these moves in cross stance. The feel is different, and the difficulty level is higher.

 

Switch stance cross stepping

Skating switch stance may help your cross stepping. When you step into cross stance from a switch stance it may actually feel pretty good. This is because cross switch stance puts your normal front foot forward. Your feet turn to the other side of the board, of course. If you can cross step switch stance it will set up other advanced tricks, like nose 360s and walking up and down the board. Practice it and your regular cross stepping will seem easier.

 

Save board space: Dig and kick your cross steps

Unless you have a seven foot skateboard, you will have to take small steps if you want to get four of them in when cross stepping to the nose. For taking small steps it helps to "dig" your heel toward the shin you just crossed. This will conserve space.

On a 44" board or greater you can get four or five steps after coming out of your turn if the feet are right next to one another.

When backpedaling you "kick" the toe toward the calf you just crossed to tighten the feet close together. Walking on your board with feet parallel to it eats up walking space. Try to angle your feet across it, at about 45 degrees.

 

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