Learning How to Skateboard for Beginners: A Must-Read Guide!
Have you finally decided to learn how to skateboard but aren't sure where to start?
Skateboarding is a fun sport that anyone can learn with the right guidance and practice.
When learning how to skateboard for beginners, it is vital to take everything step by step. Don't start practicing tricks directly. Instead, get comfortable with your board before you start anything.
To help through the learning process, we've put together a guide to skateboarding for beginners. However, before starting, make sure you own the best skateboard for beginners.
From need-to-know tips before you begin skating to basic tricks, we've covered it all.
If you're eager to know more, then keep reading.
Things to Know Before You Start Skating
Before you start skateboarding, there are a few things you need to know:
Selecting Your Skateboard
First and foremost, get yourself familiar with the different components of a skateboard.
This is the top part of the board that you stand on. It is usually made of wood, but you can also find some plastic or metal models. The front on the deck is called the nose, while the back is referred to as the tail.
Deck Shape and Style
Skateboard decks are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The shape and size of your deck are dependent on your preferred style of skateboarding. However, as a beginner, you can get anything with a deck size between 7.5-inches to 8-inches.
In addition, skateboard decks are available with different graphic art designs. You can personalize your board by selecting a design that fits your preferences.
The grip tape is a layer of sandpaper glued onto your deck. It ensures your feet stay firmly planted on the board as you perform tricks.
The trucks are metallic and are attached to the bottom of your deck. The wheels of your skateboard are attached to the ends of the trucks. Your trucks need to be strong and durable as they help you steer and perform tricks on your board.
Located inside your wheels, bearings ensure your board glides smoothly along the ground. You'll find metal or ceramic bearings in the market. As a beginner, you can stick to metal bearings. Just make sure they're frictionless.
When you start learning how to skateboard, you're bound to fall a few times. It's important that you're prepared to deal with these falls.
Firstly, when you go out to skateboard, make sure you've emptied all your pockets of any sharp or breakable objects that can cause injury.
Next, ensure you have the correct protective gear. Your helmet needs to fit securely on your head. It will fail to do its job if the fit is too tight or too loose.
We also suggest getting knee and elbow pads as they lessen the impact and protect you from getting scratches.
Your skating environment is also important. We suggest learning how to stake in your backyard or a non-crowded area in a park. If the ground is too uneven or slippery, you'll have a more challenging time balancing and maintaining control of your board.
The safety of others is also something you need to take into account. Make sure the place where you're practicing skateboarding isn't crowded. Don't skate in places where there's a danger of colliding with other people.
Getting Over the Fear of Falling
As we mentioned earlier, when learning how to skateboard, you're bound to fall a few times. And that's perfectly alright. To lessen your fall's impact, you can start by practicing in an area with grass around.
We also suggest trying to fall onto your knees or wrist. If you're wearing protection, it's going to lessen the impact.
Don't let a few falls dampen your spirits. Instead, try to figure out why you keep falling. Is there an issue with your board? Maybe the ground isn't as even as you thought it was? Or is it a balance issue?
If it's the latter, then just keep practicing.
Practice Makes Perfect
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. It's okay if you can't get the hang of it the first few times. No one becomes a skateboarding pro overnight. It takes a lot of time and practice.
If you're eager to learn, we suggest you appoint a certain time in your daily routine just for skateboarding. Once you can ride your board, we suggest using it to commute to different places. Regularly skateboarding will help you become more comfortable with your skateboard.
How to Skateboard for Beginners
Now that we have a few basic tips down, let's look at some of the techniques you can practice:
Figuring Out Your Stance
Firstly, you'll need to figure out your stance. You'll either be riding your board regularly or goofy. In the case of the former, you'll be riding and pushing with your right foot on the board—vice versa for the latter.
There's a simple way you can figure this out:
- Stand up straight with your feet far apart from each other.
- Next, ask someone to give you a light push.
- The foot you use to steady yourself is the one that you'll be placing on the board.
To practice your stance on the board, we suggest standing on your board while it's still. Stand on with your feet aligned to the width of the board, bend your knees a little.
Try shifting your weight back and forward to figure out how to balance yourself.
Once you're comfortable with your stance, it's time to practice pushing. All you need to do is place your front foot on the board, push your board using your back foot, and place it back on the board.
The act of pushing itself is quite simple. However, maintaining your balance on the board while it's in motion can be a bit difficult for beginners. The key is to keep practicing.
It can be easier if you break it down to practice. First, just practice pushing, don't put both your feet on the board. Once you've got the hang of it, you can practice placing both feet on the board after you push.
If you want to learn how to steer around obstacles, you'll probably need to learn how to carve. We can divide this into three simple steps.
First, you'll need to find your balance while your board is stationary. This is similar to how you practiced your stance:
- Stand on your board with your feet aligned to the width of the board.
- Then use your toes and heels to rock back and forth.
To practice the frontside carve, you'll need to learn how to turn inwards:
- While you're skating, push down on your board using your toes.
- Then lean forward with your chest with your arms on your sides.
- Use your shoulders to steer.
The backside carve is done in a similar manner. However, this time you'll need to practice turning outwards:
- Bend your knees and use your heels to push down on the board.
- Lean back slightly as if you're trying to sit in a chair and use your shoulders to steer.
You may need to practice this a few times before you get the hang of it.
If you've mastered the carve, the kickturn is another technique that will help you change directions and maneuver through various obstacles. This technique can be quite useful when skating at speed.
See also: 10 Easy Skateboard Tricks for Beginners To Learn
You can practice the kickturn in two parts.
For the first, we suggest you practice turning while your board is not in motion. It's best to practice this on an even, gravel surface:
- Step onto your board and shift your weight onto your back leg.
- Make sure your back leg is straight.
- Bend your front leg to raise the nose of your board in the air.
- As the nose lifts in the air, use your back leg to turn the board. When lifting the nose, don't lift it so high that the tail is touching the group.
Practice this a few times until you're comfortable performing this technique.
Next, you need to learn how to kickturn while riding your board:
- As you're skating, shift your weight to the tail while bending your front leg.
- Use the heel of your back leg to apply pressure onto the tail, so your nose raises.
- Use your shoulders to steer.
Learning how to turn is super important when it comes to skating. We suggest you spend extra time learning this as it'll be useful when learning other techniques.
If you want to level up your skating techniques, the tic-tac is an excellent place to start. Not only can you use knowledge from some of the previous techniques, but it also helps gain speed.
As you're riding the board, you can perform small kick turns to help gain more speed.
- Simply use your back foot to help lift your nose towards the right.
- Repeat this step, only make sure your nose is moving towards the left.
It'll be easier to learn how to tic tac if you practice your kickturns while stationary first. Once you've got the hang of it, you can try performing them while you move.
You can't claim to know all of the basics if you don't know how to pick up your board. There are multiple ways skateboarders use to pick up their board. Let's look at two easier methods that you can learn.
The regular pick up is quite easy and doesn't require a lot of time to learn.
- Start by placing your board on the ground.
- Then, place your foot on the tail of your board.
- Apply pressure onto your foot to pop the board into the air.
- Hold out your hand to catch the nose as it pops up.
And that's about it.
If you want to level up from the regular pick up, we suggest trying the nose pick up:
- As you're riding, slow down and take your back foot off your board.
- Apply pressure onto the nose with your front foot.
- As the tail pops up, you use your hand to grab onto it.
Practice this a few times until you're able to perform a nose pick up accurately
Learning how to skateboard for beginners may seem a bit tough, but a little guidance and practice can take you a long way. Don't be discouraged if you fall down your board a few times. Just use our advice and keep practicing, and you'll eventually get the hang of it.