How to Ride a Skateboard – Step by step Guide for Beginners

Activities and sports that exhibit tricks always catch the attention of almost everyone. This is because of the excitement, and sometimes for a reason that you want to be one of them. One of these sports is skateboarding – if you’re thinking of tricks that are actually made on the street it’s definitely skateboarding. But have you ever wonder how to ride a skateboard and wish to do the same tricks? If the answer is yes, you’re on the right page.

Photo by Zachary DeBottis from Pexels

Riding a skateboard is a bit similar to biking because you need to balance and work on your two feet. If you’re a beginner, one of the main confusion you may be thinking now is which foot should be in front and which should stay at the back. Well, that is one of the most common questions that professional skateboard riders heard from beginners. To get you out from those confusions that can lead you to fear – this is the answer. There are several techniques and a  few steps you can apply when riding a skateboard for the first time.

Step 1: Balancing

The first thing you need to learn when riding a skateboard is “balancing,” which is also the best way to learn biking. In order to start balancing, you need to get your preferred posture. For beginners, it is safe to start with the two most popular positions – regular and goofy. This is how your feet stand on the deck, and it is better to try them both so you can figure out which one works perfectly for you.

Skateboard Beginner

Photo by Nikolay Draganov from Pexels

For the regular position, you need to place your left foot forward while you are facing to the right. Then for the goofy position, everything must be reverse or placing your right foot forward while facing to the left. I’m sure you can imagine how this looks like.

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To get the most comfortable position between these two, you need to spend some time doing both options to see which one gives more comfort and better balance.

Step 2: Stand behind bolts

Bolts are the donut-like piece of metal used to secure wheels of a skateboard. While standing on the board, your feet must be behind the bolts, this will become a mark of a better position for you. Once you get this posture correctly, you will find yourself having a much better balance. This is one of the best ways on how to control your board perfectly.

Why can’t I just position my feet in the middle? Doing this will give you a lack of control, and will also likely break the board.

Step 3: Surface matters

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a pro – you must care about the stability. Since one of the first rules of learning skateboard is to have balance, you should care about where to roll your wheels. Keep in mind that the type of surface will make two impacts on your ride, which is either fast or slow. You can test the surface by holding onto the railing or wall while moving the board slowly with your two feet. This could be the safest mode that you can do.

Step 4: Weight on heels

Your weight pressure must be on your toes, exert force to your toes not to on your heels. This step could cause out of balance for first-timers, and most of the time their attempts will fail. The good thing is you don’t need to make fast and big moves. Instead, try to keep your body weight on the center to gradually shift your weights from heels to toes.

After getting this step correctly, try to bend your knees slightly, the more your knees closer to the ground, the more control and balance you can have.

Step 5: Just push

This must be the most exciting part of your training on how to ride a skateboard. Pushing is about moving, as soon as you get yourself comfortably on the board, it’s now time to start moving. Don’t be afraid, you can start by placing your foot on the board and the other one-off. The other foot will start to push on the ground to move your body forward.

Pushing skateboard

Photo by G. Cortez from Pexels

To do this safely, you need to bend your knees a bit and keep your balance on the center of the deck. In this step, you also need to find a flat concrete surface. In this way, you will be able to practice without any obstructions that can interrupt your push and moving.

Step 6: Now, both feet on board

As soon as you started moving, this is the perfect time to lift your off-board foot back on. To do this correctly, always remember to place your off-road foot behind the bolts. And to make the best position, give your both feet enough space. So when you put your off-road foot on the deck make sure to turn sideways quickly.

After you kick and move, lift your other feet and position it behind bolts at the back part of the deck, as soon as you get into this positions, twist your other feet sideways to achieve the usual position of a skateboarder.

This position will allow you to rock back and forth with less pressure needed. It will also be easier for you to stabilize your foot.

Step 7: Stay until it stops

Don’t be urge the excitement, if you can control the board while it’s moving, this is the biggest progress. What you need to do is to stay on it until it stops moving by itself. Just keep on balancing it along the way until it slows down and completely stops moving.

If you’re doing this on a flat concrete surface, it won’t take long to stop. But if you’ve done this on a surface that is a bit inclined, the board will keep on moving for a longer time. If you’re just starting with skateboarding, it is suggested to practice on a flat concrete surface to avoid unwanted accidents. Too much inclination can lose your control on the board while it is moving, especially if you’re just a beginner.

When the time comes that you’re ready for hills and other inclined surfaces, make sure you know how to stop your skateboard correctly. How can you do this? All you need to do is to put your back foot down on the tail of your board and grind it against the ground, which will then make the board stops moving.

Step 8: Control

Riding a skateboard safely is more about “control,” try to turn around the corners. You may feel unstable at first, but after some practice, you will definitely know what to do and how to keep your balance. Don’t forget to put your pressure on your toes, not with your heels.

Skateboarding Tips for Beginners

Be Determined

If you are really determined to learn how to ride a skateboard, you will give time, exert effort, and patience while training. This is the booster of every will. Skateboarding is hard, especially if you don’t have any idea how to ride it. But after learning how to balance and control your board, everything will follow.

Bend Your Knees

The lower your knees, the more control and force you can have. A low and relaxed stance can help you make almost skateboarding tricks because you will be able to adjust your balance immediately. 

Be Ready to Fall

You cannot avoid falling, even professional skateboarders fall sometimes. This is also the reason why you need to invest on safety gears such as helmet and pads.

Choose Quality

Skateboards that are found in most department stores are not completely the same as real skateboards. Some would leave you frustrated and discouraged after the ride. So if you have enough budget and you really want to experience the real skateboard ride, make sure to buy only from stores that sell standard skateboards.

Be Confident

Just don’t worry about how you look for the first time and how good you are. Learning on how to skate, trying tricks, and being mindful of others, you will definitely earn positive comments from fellow skaters. You will always start from basic tricks before you get into the professional one.

Natural Turn

  • Relax…relax…relax
  • Get low and bend your knees
  • Find the most comfortable position the feels best to you by adjusting your tightness.
  • Avoid tight trucks, this can cause you to fall off the side while the board is rolling. But don’t forget to check if your trucks are too loose because it can cause the deck to rub against the wheels – they call this wheel bite.
  • One of the best things you will discover is that the more you push faster, the more your board feels more responsive and you can turn it more easily.

Kick Turn

  • Kick turns will allow you to turn sharply even at low speed. It can also help you to switch directions on-ramp and avoid obstacles. It is recommended to try kick turns first on a flat surface before getting into quick turns.
  • To do kick turn, you need to place your back foot on the tail and lean back slightly so that the front wheels will get lifted off the ground. This will then allow you to rotate the board in any direction you wish to turn.
  • Make sure to point your head, shoulders, and hips into the direction you want to turn together with your board.

Choosing your skateboard deck:

If you’re just a beginner who wants to learn how to ride a skateboard, it will be helpful if you familiarize yourself with the different styles of the skateboard. You cannot just buy and learn the proper way of riding. Skateboards come in four basic shapes, and each deck style is designed for a specific use. Actually, the shape of these boards will match the style of how you skate. You can build and custom using the components that matches your deck and skating style.

Now, here are the skateboard decks you can choose from:

Old School

If you’ve seen a skateboard that has a flat nose and kicktail – this is the old school style. They have a wider nose and can be an awesome choice for ramps, carving the streets, and skating pools.

Cruiser

If you just want to cruise around, then cruiser is the best skateboard for you. It has a mid-length deck and tail. This type of skateboard is very versatile when it comes to maneuvering, which makes them good for cruising the streets.

Long Board

If you really want to do tricks and at the same time make it as your transportation around, longboard cruiser is the best option. Some longboards are even designed for downhill racing, which is good if you want to learn scooters to compete with race and tricks. This type of skateboard tends to have an asymmetrical shapes.

Short Board

This one is the shortest type of skateboard, and it is designed to get into air and perform tricks. If you’re planning to practice on streets or skating parks, the shortboard deck is a perfect choice. Since they are small, they can be easily throw up on air and make exciting tricks. You will definitely feel the adrenaline rush in there.

Conclusion

Skateboarding is not just showing off tricks, it also promotes health and wellness. Nowadays, society need to be more engaged with this type of activity than to spend hours browsing phone and investigating someone’s life on social media. Skateboarding is not just a hobby, it can be considered a sport. You can socialize, build friendships, learn tricks, make transportation alternatives, and give yourself some excitements – only with a simple skateboard.

Just a quick reminder, before you start learning how to ride a skateboard, make sure to check what type of skateboard really suits you – incompatibility will make your learning progress slow and unsatisfied.

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