Learning 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:
- Best Skateboards for Beginners
- Skateboard Stance (Regular or Goofy)
- Where to Learn Skateboarding
- Beginner Skateboarding Tips
- How to Push on a Skateboard
- How to Turn on a Skateboard
- How to Stop on a Skateboard
- How to Manual on a Skateboard
- How to Drop In on a Skateboard
If you don't already have your first skateboard, we recommend choosing a setup that is mostly semetrical with a size proportional to the size of your feet. Softer wheels are best for beginners because they roll smoothly and are less likely to get hung up on cracks and rocks. If you want to learn more about how to choose a beginner skateboard, check out our Skateboard Sizes & Buying Guide.
Step one is determining which foot to put in front and which foot to push with. Try both to see which feels more natural.
- Regular Stance means you feel more comfortable with your left foot in front.
- Goofy Stance means you feel more comfortable with your right foot in front.
TIP - Stand flat footed and have someone nudge you forward. Whichever foot you use to catch yourself is your dominant foot and should be placed in the back.
Skateparks are not good places to learn the basics. They can be chaotic and dangerous for beginners.
The best places to learn skateboarding are empty parking lots, schoolyards or other large open areas with smooth pavement.
It can also be helpful to practice new tricks on grass. The soft ground will prevent your wheels from slipping out and cushion any falls.
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
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 45-degree angle on top of or slightly behind 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:
- Relax. Stiff joints can't help you.
- Bend your knees and get low before leaning into your turn.
- 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.
- If you keep falling off the side while your board continues rolling forward, your trucks may be too tight. If you fall forward because your deck rubs against the wheels (wheelbite), your trucks may be too loose.
- As you push faster, your board will feel more responsive and turn more easily
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.
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.
Beginner Skateboarding Tricks
Below are some great beginner skateboarding tricks to practice when you get comfortable with the basics of riding, pushing, turning, and stopping.
A manual is when you balance on your back wheels while rolling. When you rolling and balance on your front two wheels, it's called a nose manual.
- Similar to a kickturn, start by putting your back foot on the tail and gently leaning back so the front wheels come off the ground.
- Try to hold your center of gravity right above the back wheels, keeping the front wheels in the air without touching the tail to the ground.
- Keep your back leg more rigid, and let your front leg be looser to adjust your balance.
- Look where you're going, not at your board, and see how long you can hold it!
TIP - Set distance goals and keep track of milestones as you make it farther and farther.
When you're confident enough to ride at the skatepark, the next step is learning to drop into the ramps. It's scary at first, but becomes easy once you overcome the fear.
- Place the tail of your board on the top the ramp with your wheels hanging just over the edge.
- Put your back foot on the tail, pinning it in place.
- Place your front foot near the front bolts while keeping your weight on your back foot.
- Lean forward into the ramp, adjusting your body to the angle of the slope, and quickly press the front wheels down onto the ramp.
- Keeping your knees loose is extremely important. It will help you adjust your balance when transitioning from the ramp to flat ground.
- Continue to lean forward until you start reach the bottom of the ramp and roll away.
TIP - The key is fully commiting to the drop in. It is much better to lean too far forward than too far back. Falling fall forward doesn’t usually hurt much, but falling backwards can shoot your board out and whip you quickly to the ground. Be confident and you can learn to drop in comfortably in one day.
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.
- Skateboard Sizes & Buying Guide
- Skateboard Trucks Buying Guide
- Skateboard Wheels Buying Guide
- Choosing Skateboard Bearings
- Assembling A Skateboard