Considering you are an avid skateboarder, and your friend’s therapist’s advice is to distract him from depression, you can try inducting him into the world of skateboarding for the first time.
Since the resurrection of skateboards – and longboards – in the 1990s, people seemed to be continuously delighted to the sports. It’s something that we’re all thankful for because skateboarding and longboarding are just some of those activities that will be able to give us such a thrilling experience. Not to mention, the feeling of going downhill at high speed and flipping through the air with a board under your feet can bring joy into your friend’s depressive life.
“Depression and anxiety are an example of the way our body speaks to us. ” –Stacy Donn Cristo, LMHC
In case you want to help the depressed fellow, you may give him a crash course about the various deck styles that he can choose from according to the skateboarding or longboarding style.
Competitive skateboarding is similar to park skateboarding in such a way that both styles get performed in an enclosed space. From its name itself (competitive’), its edge is that riders do their tricks in exchange for a prize, e.g., cash, trophy, or medal. There is also a jury who will judge their abilities.
This deck style is perfect for skateboarders who want speed as they cruise through the ramps or sidewalks or just about any place without an obstacle. The idea is that the rider should be able to glide (no other tricks) for as far and as long as he or she can without having to stop to gain momentum. Also, some individuals travel using pintail or fishtail longboards since it’s a convenient form of transportation and traffic-free.
There had been some discussions that the dancing deck style came from the boardwalk-style for surfing, but no one proved this claim. Nevertheless, the rider has to perform various walks and turns and spins for it to be called dancing. Among all those moves that enthusiasts have developed for this specific style are Choppin’ the Wood, Spin Big, Cross-Stepping (Peter Pan), and The Shanker.
If downhill racing is one of the oldest competitions, freeriding is the oldest of all styles. For skateboarding, watching a lot of people do freestyle is the happy part of any game as riders tune in their moves and tricks to their chosen song like a great ballerina. Meanwhile, freestyle is probably known as freeriding when it comes to longboarding because the boarders are free to ride their longboards however they want. Aside from that, some decks are specially made for freestyle, so if you are into it, make sure to get one.
This skateboarding style is designed for a controlled area, such as a skate park, and the obstacles are combinations of vert and street skateboarding since they make use of rails, half pipes, quarter pipes, and stairs. Since park skateboarding constitutes doing tricks in an enclosed recreation area, the skateboarders still need a narrower type of deck that can make the riders’ flips much easier for him or her.
Many like the feeling of going fast down a slope or terrain because it can give them a sense of freedom; that’s why downhill skateboarding is one of the most enjoyable activities to try. Not to mention, it’s among the most ancient of them all as some enthusiasts say that it is being done since the 1970s. It is where longboarding and skateboarding meet. After all, downhill racing may be part of skateboarding styles, but it uses longboards even before. Drop-through (trucks situated in normal position) and top-mount (trucks right at the bottom) longboards are the types of decks that are perfect for this style.
If you have ever tried doing the waltz, you will know what you have to do when you are already on top of a longboard and about to slalom. The reason that those two unrelated things follow the same principle: to change steps to be able to move around the whole space. In slalom, the skateboarder has to swerve around all the prepared obstacles that he or she will see along the way. For pedestrian slalom, in particular, he or she has to knit in and out of hindrances that are located on an ordinary location.
The type of deck for slalom is directly proportional to the length of the course that the rider has to accomplish. Meaning, the longer the path is, the longer the deck should be. The shorter the track is, the shorter the board should be.
“Depression is exhausting to the person suffering from it. Just accomplishing the bare minimum can seem like too much work.” –Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC
If you want to see your friend get better and stay away from his depressive thoughts, skateboarding or longboarding is an exciting activity to suggest to him. It is an excellent source of distraction, in the sense that it will pump his body with adrenaline and (hopefully) be able to allow him to heal from depression. Nonetheless, before that, you should help him choose the best deck style.
On the other hand, your friend may also benefit from talking to a therapist online through BetterHelp. It is an online platform that is dedicated to assisting and guiding individuals into understanding their mental health issues and living with them with acceptance and love for self. Watch client success stories on this link to get a better perspective of what this mental health tool is all about.
“Someone who’s socially isolated and doesn’t have a lot of social contacts may not feel lonely at all, but someone else may feel lonely even when they’re surrounded by lots of people,” –Amy Sullivan, PsyD.