The Best Guide to Become a Pro Skater
Becoming a professional skater is probably one of the hardest goals a person can achieve in their life, not even the top 1% of skaters can achieve a sponsor, so imagine how hard it has to be to make a living out of skating.
If you are new to the site you will see that this is a longboarding site, so this guide will be even more helpful to anybody since it is much harder to make a living out of longboarding than out of skating.
We do not have the numbers, but most brands have a couple of sponsored riders and most riders that make a living out of longboarding also have a work in those brands and just get free gear for filming.
That said, we will show you the ultimate guide to making a living out of skating.
Things you have to do for becoming a pro skater
Start Skating Young
There are two main reasons why you have to start early is that when you are younger it is much easier to learn new skills and the sooner you start learning them, the better. Perfecting a skill is not a speed race is a marathon, the younger you start the more time you will have to make mistakes or enjoy the journey.
As it is known, perfecting a skill requires 10,000 hours of practice. What this means is that, if you want to become a professional skater, they will only count the hours that you dedicated to skating, they won’t count the hours that you spent in a hill or skatepark sitting and talking with your friends, only the hours that you spent on top of the board trying things.
To have a perspective of it: if you have a work that has a month of vacation a year, you work five days a week, 8 hours a day and you have an average productivity of 50% in the workforce, it will take you 10 years to master that skill.
This show that if you don´t have a lot of spare time, it will take you a very long time to reach the level of the pros.
Disclaimer: We don´t want to discourage you, we know about people that have to reach a great level in 3 years, but to be like these people you have to live on your board.
The other reason that you need to start younger is that you reach your top human capability when you turn 25, after that everything goes downhill. You won’t learn as fast and you won´t recover as fast from injuries either.
You Have to Love It
You need a lot of passion for a sport to make a living out of it. You have to be the first one in the spot and be the last to live. You will have to have the feeling of joy every second on top of the board.
Skating is an incredibly demanding sport that requires years of dedicated practice and a willingness to push your body to its limits. Without a love for the sport, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the passion and perseverance necessary to reach the highest levels of competition.
When you truly love skating, it becomes more than just a hobby or a sport. It becomes a way of life. You find yourself constantly thinking about new techniques, trying to perfect your jumps and spins, and pushing yourself to try more and more difficult routines. Even when you’re not on the road, you’re always thinking about skating and how you can improve.
But when you truly love skating, these challenges become opportunities for growth and learning. You embrace the hard work and dedication required to reach your goals, and you find joy in the small improvements and accomplishments along the way.
In addition to the physical and mental demands, becoming a professional skater also requires a significant investment of time and money. You’ll need to spend countless hours practicing on the road, as well as investing in equipment, coaching, and travel expenses for competitions. Without a deep love for skating, it can be difficult to justify this investment and maintain the necessary level of commitment.
You have to Skate Smart
This was mentioned earlier but it deserves its section. When we talk about skating smart, we don´t mean that you have to do quizzes while skating, but you think about what you are practicing or what skate-related activities you are doing. Remember that you need 10,000 hours of practice.
Practicing means trying new skills that you don´t know, getting used to the ones that you don´t control that much, perfecting the ones that you don´t master yet and always trying to skate out of your comfort zone to become a better skater.
The only way that you have to find out how good you can be at skating is by trying for a long time.
You will not get pros by trying for a week or a month, you have to try for months and even years. The length of it will depend on your current skill level, but if you are reading this article you probably don´t have any idea yet, so I bet you still have a long journey ahead.
If you develop a practice plan it can help you keep track of your progression and might make it easier for you to follow it.
One of the biggest issues that skaters make is not trying competitions and just being natural. Yes, we get it, skateboarding is a way of expressing yourself, you have to be natural and you have to enjoy it. All that is true, but there are three main reasons why you should compete in skateboarding.
First, you have to expose yourself to new situations. If you skate all the time in the same spots you won´t be able to adapt to new situations. Events sometimes build ramps for a day that will make you skate differently, or they just happen to be in a place where you are not used to skating. This way you can also measure how other riders are doing, the tricks they know and what´s the skill level around your area.
Next, you will be able to meet new people and network, one of the best ways to start a career in most fields of life is networking and the sooner you learn the better, remember that people that work in a brand are people, and if you get along with them your probabilities of them sponsoring you might increase. Remember that you have to be good to get the sponsor, being friendly is not enough.
Last but not least, competing will get you more exposure, there will be people posting content about the event, and if you do a crazy trick it can go viral, at least locally. There can also be other riders there that like the way you skate and it can be a great way to start creating a community and a following.
As you see, there are a lot of reasons why attending competitions is really important for becoming a pro skater.
Build your Personal Brand and Socials
Now that you know that you have completed it and people are looking for you because they loved how well you did and how nice of a person you were, they have to find something interesting to give them.
The Best Social Proof that you could have is a following, if you have one brands will see it.
The other reason why is important to have a following is because the brands that could sponsor you, need you to make sales, since the bigger their revenue you help them reach, the bigger chances you have of getting a better sponsor
Have an Extra Skill
This is never considered by most people but after over a decade in the industry we came to realize that people that has a complementary hobby will help them to grow a wider community. It has to be something that you really like, you don´t have to master it as much as skating, but you have to be above average.
Knowing this second skill can help you in different ways it will be an extra asset to your profile. This skills can be both complementary or non complementary to skating. Here will make two listing mentioning some of them them.
The complementary skills are the ones that will directly add value to your skating progress and career. Some examples of them are:
- Filming and photography: If you are good at taking pictures or filming videos it will help you a lot in your career since
- You will be able to teach people to film your best shot.
- More skaters will want you to make the content of them, helping you skate with people that are more skillful than you.
- You will be able to share the content that you create, both yours and other people, helping you grow a community faster since you have more content flow to post.
- You can make some extra money on the side filming and taking pictures of people that like your content and want a sesh with you.
- Video and photo editing: this Skill is pretty similar to the one before, the only difference is that you will have to stay more time in front of a computer editing content instead of being out there. But the good thing about is that if you are skillful enough you won´t need to have the best shot for creating good content, and it will save you a lot of time filming.
- Content Strategist and Planner: This seems like a nonfunctional for skating will help you create content smart, instead of posting a trick a day, this person will be able to follow the trends and will create the perfect content for each period, helping him or be on the wave and gain more followers than the rest.
The main conclusion is that you have to develop a skill related to the digital world and digital Marketing since it will help you grow your brand or your community online. We love these skills because the will give you the most visibility and will help you get a sponsor through content creation, and if it doesn´t work, you will have a portfolio that will help you find a better job.
Non Complementary Skills
As we mentioned earlier, building your social brand and growing a community is important for becoming a pro skater. Creating content exclusively about skating will send you into the deepest skating niche, especially if you longboard since there are even fewer people and it will be harder to get known.
It is important to not be afraid of showing yourself as you are, it can create better connections with your following. For example, if you play guitar and make music, and you are also a good skater, it is going to be more likely that you get more followers than a person that only skates since you can add more value and can differentiate yourself from others that only skate.
Some of these activities or skills can be close to skating, for example, if you are great at downhill skateboarding, it will be much easier for you to surf or snowboard than it would be for a person that has never ridden any kind of board. This will make people see you as a more skillful person or with a gift and they will be more likely to follow you and you could grow a bigger community of people that skates and people that doesn´t.
Remember that if you have never posted any other type of content than skating, the beginning will be weird for your audience, if they are used to only seeing skating videos, they most likely won´t like the new content. But if you keep skating hard and doing other activities, the people that follow you for skating will keep following you and end up ignoring new content and you will be able new followers.
F.A.Q. Of Becoming a Pro Skater
There is not specific equipment for becoming a Pro, there are people that have done it with horrible Gear, but it is true that the better your equipment the safer will be to improve your skills. Remember that it is important to have the equipment required for your discipline, it won´t be wise to try to become a professional longboard dancer with downhill trucks.
Here is the guide to start learning to choose the perfect gear for your discipline!
The best and fastest way to improve your skills is to:
- Skate with Skaters with more skill than you
- Attempt to Events
- Film yourself to see what you are doing wrong
- Watch trick tips videos and practice those tricks.
- Practice until perfection
- Once you dominate a trick, include it in a line.
If you follow this guide, you will start improving your skills and will be closer to becoming a pro!
There are not specific requirements to become a Professional Skater, but there are some tips that will help you be focused.
- Have healthy lifestyle
- Try not to have addictions that could distract you from skating.
- Stretch and do complementary workouts to improve your overall physique.
- Try having an organized lifestyle.
There is every kind of competition and event that will help you become a pro. Remember that there are more factors that will influence becoming a pro, not just being the best. Go to your local events and skate your best, this will help you grow a good reputation in your community.
Every rider’s journey is different, this depends on the environment you skate, how big the community is, if you have the chance to create great content, or if you win a lot of events.
You may jump a few steps, or become a pro from night to day, but, overall the normal journey that a rider has to become professional is:
- You get a discount from your local store.
- You get sponsored by your local store and get free equipment and clothing. This step normally comes with a bigger discount in case you want to buy more gear.
- You get your first brand sponsor, normally a small brand that only makes boards and sends you one or a few boards.
- You start getting other sponsors that send you, hardware, wheels, grip tape, and/or trucks. These sponsors are normally harder to get since the boards are the easiest and cheapest to make.
- You start riding for an International Store. This option is better than your local store since they normally sell all of the brands that you skate for, sell products online to a wider audience, and normally will give you a small budget to go to events and do road trips with other riders.
- You land a big brand. This is a huge step, since the small brands that were sponsoring you could only send you a few gear and the big brands could send you on the world tour with unlimited gear. This change means, that you have a bigger budget for skating and more gear for skating.
- You start getting your first monthly payment. It can be small, maybe a brand pays you 100$ a month for skating, but it is the first real sign that you are becoming a pro.
- You Start Making a living! Until now, we were talking about budgets, it meant that the brand send you money for skating but you still had to work, or live with your parents (probably both). Maybe it is because you changed brands, changed the contract with your sponsors, and with, the money that all your sponsors send you combined (or maybe just one) you can travel, compete, film, pay rent, eat, and cover all your necessities from skating.
- Once you can be making a living out of skating, you will be able to create content daily and improve your skating. This will help you improve your skating and non-skating skills, which will lead you to sign other deals and start working with non-skating brands, which will help you start making more money and giving more visibility to your skating sponsors.
- Once you have reached this level, you are at a level that few people in history have come close to. Now you will decide what’s next, be the next Tony Hawk? Design your own video game? Create your brand? You decide how to change the industry.
But remember, let´s start getting your first small discount in your local store!
As we said priorly, the range of salaries can depend tremendously on different factors, because you can count: budgets for trips, events prices, etc…
A skater is considered a professional when he starts making the minimum wage, in Europe and North America it is around 1200$. 90% of pro skaters make between 1000 and 3000$ per month.
The top 10% can make 10.000$ a month, but it is very rare that a skate makes that much. This clearly shows how skating is a passionate sport that people don´t do it for money, but for love.
Well, I think that I have extended myself a lot, if you have read all that text, you are a champ. You had the dedication of reading all this text, so you probably will have the dedication to achieve your goals. I hope I have helped you find a way of how to become a pro.
Keep killing and keep being so rad!