Ripstik – a classic for Gen Z kids

🕒 4 minutes


Children raised in the 2000s surely remember this novelty-looking two-wheeled skateboard that took extreme skill to ride. Oh, how many bruised knees it has seen throughout its history! Whoever could balance on this board for more than a minute became the coolest kid in the neighborhood. Surely, the manufacturers of the company Razor USA, who invented ripstik in 2006, have lost their major popularity, but who says you cannot ride this board today? Whether you have been wanting to try it out as a kid, but were unsuccessful, or simply for the old time’s sake, you should definitely give this board a go.

How to ride a ripstik

Because of its structure, this caster board is quite difficult to learn how to ride. It consists of two small decks connected with a metal torsion bar coated in rubber with a spring inside. Each deck has only one wheel in the middle. That is why it is so hard to balance on this board.

How to ride a ripstik

  1. To ride a caster board, otherwise known as J-board, you need to place your non-dominant foot on the front deck first.
  2. Then, push with your dominant leg and place it on the tail deck.
  3. Move both of your feet so that they are in the center of the decks respectively.
  4. How to go fast on a ripstik? To gain speed, turn your hips back and forth to wiggle both decks simultaneously.
  5. To make a turn, shift the weight of your body to the foot in the front.

Riding a caster board takes a lot of practice and effort. In order to minimize the possibility of injuries, try getting someone to help you balance and hold your hands at first. Do not forget to wear protective gear such as a helmet, knee shields, elbow protectors, and special gloves.

So how does a ripstik actually work? Well, it is all to do with physics. The trucks of wheels are free to turn, which means that when you are riding the board, they turn sidewards. The force that you use to push it side by side is directed both perpendicular and forward to your desired direction, making you move forwards even though you are riding in “waves”. The same law can describe the movement of ice skaters. The ripstik wheel size is 76 mm which is small enough to be controlled by the weight of your body, so the wheels will not turn in unwanted directions when you are standing on them.

Different types of ripstiks

ripstik vs. ripster

There is an eternal debate about which one is better: ripstik vs. ripster. Both are generally the same thing, however, they vary in size, which makes riding either one of them slightly different. The former is a standard-sized original board of 33.9”x 8.7”x 4.6”, whereas the latter one has characteristics of 26.77″ x 8.74″ x 4.72″. It is better to use a smaller model for beginners, as more room means more adjustments. Although, the full-sized waveboards have a higher weight limit of 220Ibs, compared to 170Ibs, which also defines the age at which both models can be ridden. The lesser the age, the smaller the board should be. So if the question is “What to get for a child: ripstik vs ripstik mini?” the answer is clearly option number two.

How to do tricks on a ripstik?

Once you have learned how to skate properly and feel confident about riding the board, it is time to learn some tricks to impress your friends or maybe make cool YouTube videos.

Some of the easiest tricks for beginners are:

  • A manual. Slide your front foot to the edge of the deck and shift your weight to it slightly. The back deck should rise and you will be able to ride on one wheel.
  • Hang 10. To do it, gain some speed, place your front foot towards the edge of the deck and slide your back foot to the center of the front deck quickly.
  • How to jump on a ripstik? The famous Ollie jump, made popular by skateboarders, is possible to do on a caster board too. Slide your back foot to the edge of the board, shift your weight onto it quickly, move your front foot up along with the board, make a jumping motion with your body, and land with your feet centered on the board.

Ripstik vs longboard

Ripstik vs longboard

The obvious advantage of bigger boards with 4 wheels is more stability, which a caster board cannot provide. It is also preferable for beginners to learn how to ride skateboards first and get acquainted with this type of transport, rather than jump into waveboards from the start. If you are looking for complete safety, but also want to gain speed and seem cool, you should consider electric skateboards, which are gaining popularity now. Nonetheless, the choice is yours!
In the articles you will also find detailed information about bicycle seats and road bike: what it is and how it differs from other bikes.

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