How to Skateboard
Ready to try skateboarding? This guide takes you through all our beginner tips & tricks to help you learn how to skateboard.
Here's what we'll cover:
Step one is determining which foot to put in front and which foot to push with. A good way to test is to imagine you are on ice or a hardwood floor in your socks and you want to slide. When you start the slide which foot do you instinctually lead with? This will give you an indication as to which stance you might be. But you should still try to ride both ways and see which stance feels more instinctual. Your front foot provides stability on the board, so many times whichever foot is easier for you to stand on its own, will be your front foot.
Regular footed means you feel more comfortable with your left foot in front.
Goofy footed means you feel more comfortable with your right foot in front.
A smooth, lesser-used sidewalk or bike bath, or an empty street or parking lot are all great places to learn how to ride your skateboard. If the sidewalk has huge cracks all along it, we'd recommend finding somewhere smoother.
It's best to learn the basics of pushing and riding around before going to a skatepark. Skateparks can often be crowded and chaotic and isn’t an ideal place to learn. If it’s the only good place around for you to learn, try to find an area where you won't get in the way of more experienced skaters.
1. Bend Your Knees
A low, relaxed stance is helpful for all skateboarding tricks because it gives you the ability to immediately adjust your balance in any situation.
2. Be Determined
Practice and dedication is the best trick for learning to skate and most other things in life. Skateboarding is hard, don’t expect to be good right away. Its difficulty is part of what makes skateboarding so gratifying and brings people back day after day.
3. Be Ready to Fall
Falling is an unavoidable part of skateboarding. We recommend investing in a helmet and protective gear that will help keep you healthy so you can keep skating and falling for life!
4. Use Quality Equipment
Skateboards from department stores tend to have poor quality parts and won't perform as well as boards from actual skate companies, which can be frustrating and make them discouraging to ride. We stock a large selection of quality gear from all the top skate brands.
5. Be Confident
Don’t worry about how you look or how good you are. If you're skating hard, trying new tricks and being mindful of others, you will earn respect from your fellow skaters. No matter how basic the trick, all skateboarders love to see another skater push their limits and progress their skills.
Pushing is the first and most important skill to learn on a skateboard.
- Place your front foot at a 30-degree angle near your front hardware bolts.
- Bend your front knee so your back leg can reach the ground.
- While balancing all your weight on your front foot, reach down and push off with your back foot.
- Return your back foot to the board at a slight angle near the back hardware bolts.
TIP - It helps to practice balancing only on your front foot. Once you are confident doing this, you'll be able to push continuously whenever you need.
Turning is very intuitive and will come naturally as you spend time on a skateboard. Your trucks are designed to turn your board as you lean from side to side. Here's some tips:
- Bend your knees and get low before leaning into your turn.
- Lead with your shoulders and apply pressure with your toes or heels in the direction that you want to turn towards.
- Once you complete the turn, bring your body back to its natural stance and roll away.
TIP: Adjust your kingpin tightness until you find what feels best to you. Looser trucks give you less stability, but turn more easily. Tighter trucks give you more stability, but restrict your ability to turn.
Kick turns allow you to turn sharply at slow speeds and are very helpful for getting around obstacles or switching directions on a ramp. We recommend first trying this trick on flat ground without rolling.
- Place your back foot on the kick tail and lean back slightly to lift the front wheels off the ground. This allows you to rotate the front of the board in the direction that you wish to turn.
- As you lift, lead the with your shoulders and torso. Your board will turn in the direction that you point your head, shoulders and hips.
- Once you complete the turn, reapply weight to your front foot and roll away.
Foot braking, or dragging your foot on the ground, is the first and most important way to stop a skateboard.
- Just like a pushing motion, balance your weight on your front foot and bring your back foot to the ground.
- Instead of pushing, gently drag the sole of your shoe on the ground while keeping most of your weight on your front foot.
- Once you make contact, you can apply more pressure to slow down more quickly.
- Hold this position until you come to a stop, or put your foot back on the board once you’ve reached your desired speed.
TIP - Abruptly stomping on the ground can also slow you down quickly, but it is much more likely to throw you off balance and off your board.
Learning how to throw down your board is an essential skill in skateboarding. Once you master this, you can get started with some speed without having to lay down your board and push from a dead stop.
- Hold the nose of the board with the arm that’s on the same side as your front foot. So if you’re regular, hold it with your left hand, and if your goofy hold it with your right hand.
- Take a step forward with your pushing foot and extend your arm holding the board, letting it hang in front of your front leg. As you start your next step lower the board and drop it under your front foot so you can turn that step into the first push.
- Try to get your front foot into place so you can just start riding without having to readjust your feet a bunch. It might look and feel clunky at first, but eventually it will be second nature and you’ll be able to throw down onto your board at a full sprint.
Still Have Questions?
We’re here to help. You can call, email, chat or IM during business hours seven days a week. Our customer service staff skates…a lot. They know their stuff and are happy to help you with all things skate.