How to Ride a Ripstick
If you’ve never tried a ripstick before, you’ll probably be surprised to find that it’s not that hard to pick up if you’ve ever been on a skateboard, a snowboard, or a surfboard before. Before you start, you’ll want to have some safety gear. A helmet is the bare minimum, and you should never ride without one – but elbow and knee pads are also recommended to keep your joints safe.
Next, you need to make sure you’re riding on the right kind of area. Ripsticks are made for carving corners and cruising around gentle slopes. For beginners, choosing a very steep hill or a rocky area is a bad idea. When you find the right place, start by placing the ripstick correctly. Your front foot at the nose of the board should be your least stable foot – the foot that you would normally consider your dominant foot, such as the foot you kick a ball with, will go on the back of the board.
Be sure that your toes are facing to the side, perpendicular to the direction of the board. Stand with each foot in the center of each section of the board, and begin moving your feet back and forth so that the ripstick ends start turning in opposite directions. This is what starts to move the ripstick forward. When you gain momentum, lean your body into the direction that you want to travel, and start cruising. Rather than kicking off the ground like a skateboard, you’ll accelerate by moving your feet back and forth in the same manner.
Stopping is easy – just hop off, or head towards some grass to slow your board down. Learning how to get a ripstick board started is probably the hardest part. Once you’ve figured that out, you’ll have no trouble at all learning how to lean into turns and keep yourself moving.
What to Look for in a Ripstick
When we compared the boards in this review, we looked at these factors:
- The weight limit of the board itself. If you are a full-sized adult, you’ll want a board that can carry your full weight. Some boards are made for children and will only carry a smaller weight load.
- The weight of the board itself. Heavier boards are harder to move but may feel more stable for beginners.
- The dimensions of the board. Some boards are made shorter for those with shorter legs and narrower stances – particularly children. If you are a very tall person, or you have wider shoulders, you’ll want a longer board.
- The average rating. Customer reviews do help show how well a board holds up after many months of use. All of the boards we chose for this review have at least four stars on average.
- The price. Most ripstick boards fall between $40 and $100, but there are a few that are pricier.
For beginners, these factors will be the most important for choosing the right ripstick board for you. More seasoned pros may also want to consider the material the board is made of, and the specific style of casters on the board. Additionally, while most of the boards that made our list are manual, there is one electric ripstick in the bunch. This can be a lot of fun for someone who wants to get a bit more speed with less work.