How To Guide
So, you’ve got your first skateboard, and you’re ready to learn a few tricks. But where do you start? If you’re new to skateboarding, you’ll need to get to grips with the basics before you head to the skatepark to show off your moves. By now, you should be familiar with your new board’s components, including its deck, trucks, wheels and bearings.
In this article, you’ll find quick and easy tips and tricks on how to do basic stunts on your complete skateboard, from pushing off, stopping and turning to your first ollie.
Before you head out, make sure you have all of the safety gear needed. This is especially important when trying out tricks for the first time. Wear a correctly fitted helmet, along with elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards to provide protection should you wipe out!
#1 How To Ride A Skateboard
Once you’ve got your kit ready to go, we recommend getting comfortable with your skateboard before attempting any tricks. It can be tempting to head straight out and give it a go, however, it’s just as important to master the basics to avoid getting hurt.
The first step to becoming a pro skater is to get used to the feel of the board. Set your skateboard on a soft surface (on grass or perhaps indoors, on a patch of carpet) and stand with your feet over the bolts. Bend your knees and lean back and forth to get used to how the skateboard moves. Once you’ve mastered this, you’re ready to start skating on a hard surface.
#2 How To Push Off On A Skateboard
Pushing off is simple – it’s all about balance.
Bear in mind that your weight will shift onto your front foot when pushing, so good footing on the skateboard is essential. With the board at a standstill, use your back foot to push you along, slowly at first. Lean forward with a bent knee as you begin to pick up speed. Once you’re happy with your speed, place your back foot on the back of the board (near the tail) – this will aid stability and allow you to steer yourself as you glide along.
#3 How To Turn On A Skateboard
Now you’ve got to grips with skating up and down on a hard surface, it’s time to try out turning. To start, push off, rolling in a straight line. Once you’ve gathered some speed, gently lean in the direction you wish to travel.
For sharper turns, lean your shoulders back in the opposite direction you wish to turn. Build up some momentum and then swing your shoulders into the direction of travel, raising the front of the board at the same time. Make sure your weight is balanced correctly to complete the turn.
#4 How To Stop On A Skateboard
There are several ways to come to a stop while skateboarding. The easiest is to use the foot you use to push off with to slow the board down. Gently place this foot on the ground as you skate along in order to slow down. Be careful not to stomp your foot down as you’ll come flying off the board – start gently and build pressure until you come to a stop.
#5 How To Ollie On A Skateboard
Now you’ve mastered the basics, it’s on to your first trick which is essential in skateboarding – the ollie. Even though it’s nothing more than a basic jump, there is a knack to getting it right and it provides the basis of nearly all other tricks.
Place your front foot between the middle of the board and bolts at the front, and your back foot on the tail of the board. To get yourself off the ground, press your back foot down and lift your front foot up, so you and your board jump up. Once in the air, quickly move your front foot to the nose of the board. The smoothness of this motion will determine just how well you’re able to ollie, so it’s all about practice.
Try to land with your feet over the bolts of the board – both front and back – to keep your balance on landing. It’ll also stop you from landing too hard which could damage the board, or worse, your ankle.
A pro tip is to keep your knees soft throughout the movement.
#6 How To Drop In On A Skateboard
Once you've mastered the ollie, the next trick is the drop-in. It's not complex, but it will take guts as it's how you enter ramps and bowls.
First, you'll need to put your front foot over the front trucks of your kids skateboard. Next, stomp down with your weight forwards until your front wheels hit the ramp. Then, lean into it and put all of yourself into the ramp. Before you start, just make sure you know where you're headed. You'll also generate some speed when you drop in, so keep your knees bent and stay relaxed.
#7 How To Kickflip On A Skateboard
First, gather speed with your feet in the ollie position. Then, begin by bending your knees and lifting the board up as you would if you were able to do an ollie. With a kickflip the aim to flip the board the whole way round before you land – try and get as much air as you can to allow time for the board to rotate.
Now, use your front foot to push forward like you would doing an ollie but at the end of the movement clip the side of the board just back from the nose with the outside of your foot near your toes. The board should then flip beneath you, spinning round completely at least one full rotation.
Finally, it’s time to catch the board. Use your feet to stop the flip and control the landing. A good tip is to catch the board with your back foot, to stop it flying off when descending. To master the kickflip, you’ll want to land with your feet back over the truck bolts.
What tricks will you learn next? If you need a new board, don't forget to check out the best skateboards on the market before making your choice.