Transition skateboarding or tranny skating is all about skating with a transition skateboard with a skateboard deck between 8 to 8.5 inches, taller or higher trucks and wheels that are 54 to 56mm, and 99A and 84B durometer with the best quality bearings. In transition skateboarding, you need flat, stable ground, ramps, and bowls. It’s all about flowing through different setups and finding your balance and speed as you ride. Freestyle skateboarding developed from different transition moves.
What You Need for Transition Skateboarding?
You need the following to learn how to perform transition skateboarding:
Transition skate decks
Transition skateboard decks must be between 8 to 8.5”. It’s best to go for a wider skateboard deck especially when you want to explore ramps and dry pools.
You need trucks that are higher compared to regular trucks as you will skate over ramps, verts, and bowls. But take note, you also need trucks for flat ground. A good point is something medium-high for transition skates which is also the ideal setup for downhill skateboarding
Select skateboard wheels that are from 54mm to 58mm in diameter. The sweet spot is from 56mm to 58mm which is the best for mini ramps and skate bowls. If you want to mix in some technical tricks, use 54mm to 56mm.
We recommend high-quality bearings like the Bones Red standard. These bearings will never fail even when you ride a couple of times. Always maintain your bearings correctly so these last longer and produce the best speeds.
No matter what your skate style is, always wear good quality skateboard safety gear. Use the best-fit helmet with adjustable straps, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads. Don’t forget to wear your grippy shoes so you can grip the skateboard deck better and have improved control over your board.
Assemble your transition skateboard
Prepare the transition skateboard. Start with the deck which is wider than other skateboards decks. This type of deck will help you keep balanced and safe wherever you are. Always buy your transition skateboard from a reputable supplier or brand. Insist on a single-pressed deck from a quality skateboard shop.
Use the right transition trucks. Don’t push low trucks with transition skating. Never ride tight trucks as these won’t work in transition skating, these are only for street skating and cruising.
Use wheels designed for transition skating. Take note that harder wheels are best between 99A and 84B. Using soft wheels is a mistake as you will have to pump more as this type of wheel will only stick to different surfaces. Hard wheels are best for street skating, freestyle skateboarding, and downhill skateboarding.
Choose the best quality bearings for your transition skateboard set up. If you can spend more money on bearings, please do so. Just some high-end bearings are Bones Super Reds, very pricey but will last longer. Some skaters who use this brand say that these bearings can last for more than 10 years.
Finally, wear your safety gear. Whether you’re freestyle skateboarding, vert skating, park skateboarding, or if perform tricks, wear your safety gear.
Prepare the transition setup
The transition setup is a mix of skateboarding equipment including ramps, flat grounds, bowls, etc. If you’re still a beginner, try transition skating during off-hours at the skate park or bowl. Doing so will help you learn better and avoid obstacles as well. Also included in transition set ups: flat ground, vertical wall/vertical walls, half pipe or half pipes, vert ramps, a large ramp, bowls, and backyard pools of different sizes and other obstacles. All these can be found in pool skating, bowl, and vert skating setups.
Different skate parks and bowls have different setups. So it’s best to survey the area first before skating. Don’t be too overconfident and give way to other learners as well. Remember, transition skateboarding is different from street skateboarding as street skaters require different
Ride around first and approach a quarter pipe or a bank to ride up.
Like a real pro skater, ride around first as you try to approach a quarter pipe or a bank. Riding around will also help you build speed as you try to work on different tricks later. Also, riding will boost your confidence, let you relax as you decide the next move.
Slowly work your way to the top
Now that you’ve surveyed the area and have loosened up for the next part of your transition skateboarding, try to ride up. Most pros do some kick turns or a ride fakie to help them roll back when they’re ready.
You don’t need to drop in at once. Just work up and while doing so, practice some tail taps. If there’s a mini ramp, ride it back and then forward so you can improve your momentum.
Pump when you need to
If you feel like you need to, start pumping a little. Just give your tail a short tap or do this just under the coping and then move up until you’re at the top.
Eventually, you’ll feel more comfortable moving around so you may start pumping again. Pumping should be done at the right time. Usually, it can take time until you’re ready to push. Also, pumping may feel so natural that you may do this even without thinking about it.
Start practicing kickturns from the front and the backside
Perform kitckturns at the front and the backside. Don’t hurry, always start slow and steady and each time you do, try to go higher. Most skaters prefer to start with the backside kickturn instead of the front as this is easier to perform.
Practice your moves
Like all skateboarding tricks and moves, practice saves the day. There’s no specific setup for transitioning and it mostly depends on your style and preference. We recommend using a wider board with larger wheels so it’s better to move about in different equipment. Also, it’s easier to pump with wider skateboard decks and you’ll have more control with larger wheels.
Transition skateboarding can be done in parks (park skateboarding) or in streets as long as you have a transition setup. Perform tricks such as vert skating, flip tricks, shove its, backside kickturns, etc. safely.
Here is a video of how transition skateboarding happens. As we mentioned before, there are no right or wrong moves when it comes to transition skateboarding; it’s all about your personal preference and style. There are many videos about transition skateboarding online but this one from Braille Army hits the spot. It has more than 15K views and has received many good comments.
Braille Army has more than 550K subscribers on YouTube and the channel aims to push pools and bowls skateboarding and street skating all over to the free world. It features instructional videos, fun skateboarding riding videos, street skateboarding, and skateboarding tricks for beginners and those who love skateboarding.
Transition skating is an orchestrated way of skating in a skating park or bowl. It’s all about mastering different tricks and learning how to blend everything in pure perfection. Practice well and always wear protective equipment to keep you safe as you train.
What do you think about our transition skateboarding tutorial? Did we miss any steps? Let us know from the comments section below. Like and share this how-to article with someone who wants to learn transition skateboarding.