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The Braille Skateboarding App - How it Changed My Mind on Switch Skating

My Profile on the Braille Skateboarding App
My Profile on the Braille
Skateboarding App.
Braille Skateboarding launched it's new Skateboarding App worldwide on November 23rd, 2020. About a month prior to that they did a 'soft launch' via email for anyone living in Australia. I'm guessing this was to give the app a final test in the real world before launching it proper.

Rather than explain what it is, watch Aaron Kyro, founder of Braille Skateboarding, run you through the app in the launch video below.

 In a nutshell the app is virtually everything Braille has to offer accessed right from your phone, from tutorials to the Braille Army Community. The app is free but you can unlock more features if you upgrade to a paid membership.

Braille App Trick List
Braille App Trick List.
One of the apps unique free features is keeping track of the tricks you've learned and giving you an overall score so you have some way to measure your progression.

There is an extensive list of tricks, covering all types of skateboarding, categorized by difficulty. For each trick there can be up to four stances to check off; Regular, Switch, Fakie, and Nollie. When you've successfully landed the trick in all available stances that trick is then considered to be fully learned or 'Completed'. If you mark off anything less than all available stances then the trick is considered partially learned.

A nice feature is the ability to filter the list to see all your completed tricks as well as your partially learned tricks (useful to see which tricks you're working on).

How the App Changed My Mind on Switch Skateboarding

I've been stuck on Braille's Skateboarding Made Simple, Volume 1 for years. I'm fine with that. I don't skateboard that often, maybe two to four hours stretched over a week, in my driveway, and occasionally at my local skatepark. I am trying to improve (or at least regain the level of skill I had in the mid nineties) but I'm not obsessed by improving like I was back then.

However to mix things up a bit I thought, why not try learning all of the SMS Volume 1 tricks as listed in the Braille app? That is, attempt to learn all the different stances listed for each trick.

Unfortunately that meant trying each trick in switch stance (i.e. 'goofy foot' because my stance is 'regular'). I've never learned to skate switch. I've been particularly against it now because it makes me feel like even more of a 'noob' than I already do with my serious regression of ability.

That aside, I decided to try anyway. My goal wasn't to learn everything switch, rather it was to just give each trick a good try in switch stance on the off chance I discover a trick to be easier done switch.

To record my efforts I started a new YouTube Series on my channel called the 'One Trick Series' where, in each video, I would take one trick from SMS Vol 1 and attempt to learn all the available stances. 

At the time of writing I had posted videos for the Ollie, Front Side Ollie, and Back Side Ollie, which you can watch in the playlist below, along with any others I may have tried since. You'll see in the videos, when it comes to switch, I don't just give it a couple of tries and give up. I really get into it with my limited switch ability.

So far, the only switch trick I've successfully completed (aside from 'pushing' which is listed as a 'trick' in the app) is the switch ollie.

Interestingly, over the course of trying just these three tricks switch I've become somewhat more interested in trying tricks switch. Partly because, in order to try tricks switch properly, you need to be moving. If you're not moving then a nollie doesn't look all that different from a switch ollie. What makes them different is the direction you're moving... which does make you approach them a little differently.

Spending more time pushing switch, to get me moving for the trick, I'm obviously getting more confident skating that way. Nowhere near as good as my regular stance but better than before I started.

In fact, trying all of the different stances for each trick in SMS Volume 1 has given me so many more things to try, that I mind even less that I'm still stuck in Volume 1. It has given me four times the number of tricks to work on.

While I don't think I'll become an expert switch skater, I'm definitely more open to trying than I was. I'd even say I'm having fun trying switch tricks.

If you have the Braille App (or even if you don't), and you've never been interested in switch, trying the tricks you know in every stance is definitely something I'd recommend (back in the day quite a lot of the tricks we know today were invented simply because someone thought to try it in a different stance).

Maybe you won't be convinced about switch but it is, at least, a fun challenge.

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