At least for once, you wondered what forces drive a skateboard. They could come from the wheels, the rider’s kicks, or some energy from the skateboard.
Before answering that, does a moving skateboard have energy in the first place? Yes. However, we first need to identify the power running over a skateboard’s body. That way, we’ll be able to understand the energy found in a moving skateboard.
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The Energies Running on a Skateboard
We learned in grade school two common energy types: potential and kinetic. Kinetic energy is the energy vested in a moving skateboard. On the other hand, skateboards which are idle at their locations have potential energy.
Let’s amplify the discussions through these illustrations.
1. Dropping in on a skateboard
Suppose you’re dropping in on your skateboard from a skate ramp. The deck’s tail sits on the steel coping, locked by your back foot. No mechanical work nor motion is present, only your mere positioning.
The energy that rests on the skateboard at the top of a ramp is potential. But once you press on the skateboard’s front truck bolts and the front wheels make contact with the ramp, all the stored potential energy converts to kinetic energy.
2. Pushing a skateboard
Another example is the manner of simply pushing your skateboard. But this time, the skater’s kinetic energy transfers from the body down to the skateboard.
When you push your skateboard, the mechanical work starts on your body, particularly your legs. As soon as your muscles release power, the energy transfers to the skateboard. Then, the latter responds by moving forward or accelerating.
Is there potential energy before pushing a skateboard? Yes.
Generally, before we do any physical work, there is already potential power stored up. This concept also applies to skateboards because the potential energy already exists before any action or trick occurs.
Is a moving skateboard kinetic or potential energy? The rationale
The ground or ramp surface has potential energy. With the wheels in contact with either of them, energy transfer and conversion happen, and you get kinetic skateboarding.
Later, energy transfer happens again, but it’s between the ground and the skateboard.
The moment the wheels roll, potential energy moves up to the skateboard. In transition, it converts into gravitational potential energy once the wheel rotation reaches half completion.
Then, in the second half of the wheel’s rotation cycle, the mentioned gravitational potential energy becomes kinetic once more.
From the physical features of a skateboard down to its tendencies, science plays a significant role in skateboarding. We can’t head into the road and skate parks without knowing how energy and momentum affect our rides.
So, does a moving skateboard have energy? Yes. It’s kinetic energy, the one found in objects in motion. Otherwise, it’s potential energy. These concepts are simple, and it’s possible to identify where these energies transpire.
Hi, I am Charles Harris. I opened this site to write as much as I can about my biggest passion – skateboarding!
I started as a clumsy yet passionate rookie 10 years ago to now a still passionate yet much better skateboarder! But I have to tell you, the whole journey has always been fun and rewarding, indeed not without hardship.