So, you want to learn how to skateboard. Great! Skateboarding can be one of the most rewarding things you do and will definitely give you experiences and lessons that few other hobbies can. If you really get into skating, it can provide you with years of fun activity with like-minded people and even become a way of life. Truth be told, skateboarding is not easy. However, reading this article will definitely give you a head-start in learning the basics and help you progress faster.

If you really get into skating, it can become a way of life.

Finding the right stance

Finding the right stance can be tricky if you are just starting to learn how to skateboard. If you’ve surfed, snowboarded or wakeboarded before, you’ll probably know which way you are riding. However, if skateboarding is the first board sport you are getting into, there are a few things to take into consideration. You can either ride regular (left foot in the front) or goofy (right foot in the front). 

So, how do you determine which one is for you? There are a few ways to find this out. First, you can do a push or leap test. Ask a friend to gently push you from behind. The foot that you step forward with should be your leading foot. Second, you can also put some slippery socks on and slide on the floor. This should tell you which foot is in front. Third, you can also try kicking a ball. The one you kick with naturally should be your back foot whereas the supporting foot should be the one in front. Usually, you’ll want your stronger foot to be on the tail for more control and better pop. This will also make it easier to push for speed. 

  • Do the push/leap test. Ask your friend to gently push you from behind. The foot that you step forward with should be your leading foot.
  • See which one is in front by sliding on the floor
  • Try out riding both regular and goofy and see which one is for you
  • Remember, there’s nothing wrong with being able to ride both goofy and regular. It’s just called riding switch.

Pushing for speed

When learning how to skateboard, we recommend pushing for speed with your back foot because it helps you keep balanced a lot better. Pushing with your front foot is called ”mongo pushing”. While this is not an indicator of how good of a skater you are, mongo pushing is often ridiculed within the skate community. So, we suggest you to start pushing for speed in the traditional way. 

Start off by placing your front foot close to the bolts near the nose of your skateboard. If you want, you can also keep your front foot more centered on your board. It is up to your personal taste. What matters is that you’ll be able to get ready for ollies quick. Distribute all of your weight on the front foot and squat slightly. Your toes should be pointing towards the nose at this point. 

Put the back foot to the ground next to the board slightly below the front foot and push yourself forward. Congratulations, you have learned how to push for speed! The more your balance is on the front foot, the better balance you will have on the board. You’ll also get more power to your kick this way. As your skill level progresses, you’ll be able to get more speed with every push – and with less effort!

  • Put your weight on the front foot and point your toes towards the nose of the skateboard
  • Squat slightly
  • Place your back foot on the ground next to the board and push yourself forward
  • Put your back foot back on the tail once you have enough speed
  • Get ready to do flip tricks or slide some rails!

Skateboarding can be difficult but also incredibly rewarding!

Turning on a skateboard

Alright, so you’ve mastered pushing for speed. Next up in learning how to skateboard is turning. Easiest way to turn is to push for speed and distribute your weight on the toes or heel. This will make your skateboard turn where you want. The tightness of your trucks also determine how sharp your board will turn. 

If you do not have a whole lot of speed yet, you should also learn how to do ”kick turns”. This means putting your weight more on the tail and lifting up the nose as you turn. To do this, you need to bring your center of balance a bit more towards the tail. However, be very careful not to put all of your weight on your tail. This can result in some painful wipeouts. What you want to do is let your shoulders turn the board instead of doing all the work with your feet. So, before lifting the tail you should turn your upper body to where you want to go. 

  • Turn your shoulders to where you want to go
  • Lift the tail
  • Bring the tail down once you’ve turned enough
  • Don’t put all of your weight on the tail. Otherwise you will slide out

Learn how to ollie

Ah, ollies. The most important trick when learning how to skateboard. Whether you are doing flip tricks, grinding rails or cruising around a bowl, the ollie is the base for every skate trick in the book. Let’s start off by teaching how to do them!

Start off by placing your rear foot on the tail and the front foot close to the center of your deck. The toes of your front foot should be pointing away from the nose at this point. Stay on your toes instead of putting your weight for the whole bottom of your feet. This will give you a lot more control and agility. 

Bend your knees and prepare to jump. The tail should hit the ground right as you begin to extend your legs. Just as your tail has hit the ground push your front foot up and forward towards the nose. This will straighten out the board in the air. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t lift your board immediately. Even professionals spend time working on their ollies to have better control and higher pop. Practice makes perfect. 

  • Place your back foot on your tail and the front foot close to the center of the board
  • Stay on your toes!
  • Squat
  • Slam the tail to the ground as you extend your legs
  • Kick up and forward with your front foot to straighten the board
  • Land and celebrate!

Ollie is the base for every skate trick in the book.

As your skill level progresses, you’ll be able to get more speed with every push - and with less effort!

How to drop in on a ramp

After you have learned how to ollie, it is time to drop in on a ramp. This is a very important if you want to learn how to skateboard in more than just your regular street spots. 

We recommend starting off from smaller obstacles instead of hitting the biggest vert you can find. Every skate park has a more gentle slope that you can practice on. When you learn how to take off from small obstacles, you can gradually move to bigger and steeper ones. 

This is how it’s done. Place your tail on top of the obstacle you want to take off from. Your back foot should be on the tail whereas your front foot should be on the bolts of the front truck. Again, stay on your toes! Shift your weight forward towards the nose and slam your front truck to the ramp. There’s no real downside to putting more weight in the front because falling backwards is always more dangerous than falling forwards. The most important thing is that you commit to to the drop in. If you have a friend with you, they can also assist you by holding onto your hands when you take off. 

  • Start with small obstacles
  • Back foot on the tail, front foot on the bolts of the front truck
  • Stay on your toes
  • Shift your weight forward
  • Slam the front wheels to the ramp
  • Ride away and celebrate!
  • Your friend can hold on to you if you need assistance

Learn how to skateboard like the pros

If you want to learn how to skateboard like the pros, you’ll have to spend a lot of time on your board. Also skating with friends can help you test your limits and progress faster. Better yet, skating with more experienced skaters will surely help you reach another level sooner. 

Get out there and practice. The most important thing is that you have fun!

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