Welcome to Skateboarding 101! This page will go over the extreme basics of learning how to skateboard and is designed just for beginners. You should definitely have these maneuvers down before you move onto easy skateboard tricks. The information we will cover in Skateboarding 101 is getting on, pushing, stopping, turning, and falling. Let’s get started!
How to Get on a Skateboard
Obviously the first step to get on the skateboard. If you are having difficulty doing this already – do not fret, we will start with the absolute basics. Following the video will be written instructions if you prefer to skip the videos.
Getting on a Skateboard
Here are the steps you should take to get on a skateboard for the first time.
1. Figure out which is your dominant foot
The first step is to find out how you are going to be standing on the board. To do this stand with your feet together and free space in front of you. Slowly lean forward until you have to catch yourself from falling with one foot. If you catch yourself with your right foot you are going to have a normal stance. If you catch yourself with your left foot you are going to have a goofy stance.
2. Use a support to get on the board
Hold onto something sturdy that’s height is between your waist and shoulders. Stand to the opposite side of the board of your dominant foot. Hold onto the support and place your dominant foot on top of the board parallel to it. Bend your knee and then place your non-dominant foot behind and perpendicular to your front foot.
3. Get on the skateboard without a support
Do the same thing as step 2, but work on balancing yourself. Place your dominant foot on the board and quickly bend your knee and place your other foot on the board. Pivot your dominant foot so both feet are parallel to the skateboard. To practice your balance, just stand it place and try to prevent the skateboard from moving.
Hooray! You have completed the first step of Skateboarding 101 – getting on the board.
Now that you have successfully managed to get on a stationary board and balance on it for a bit, we are getting into something a little tougher – getting on a skateboard while running. We will go over two techniques – while the skateboard is rolling on the ground and when you place it from your hand to the ground.
Getting on a Skateboard – Part 2
1. A stationary skateboard
In this part we are going to assume the skateboard is stationary and you are running up to it. Take a few slow steps up to the board and jump so that both feet land on the board at the same time. Your feet should land on the bolts and be perpendicular to the skateboard. Bend your knees a little bit when you land so you can balance yourself when you start moving on the skateboard.
2. A rolling skateboard
This time you are going to give the board a small push with your foot before trying to land on it. Instead of landing with your feet at the same time, land with your dominant foot first followed by your back foot.
3. Getting on while holding the board
Hold the board in your right hand if you are goofy footed or your left hand if you are regular footed. Run with the bottom tip of the board dragging on the ground. Release the board in the direction you wish to go and then immediately jump on the bolts with your dominant foot, followed by your other foot.
If it takes a while to get the hang of it and maintain your balance do not worry! Just take your time and make sure you are able to easily manage all of the above steps before moving onto the next lesson – pushing.
How to Push on a Skateboard
Now that you have completed the first part of learning how to skateboard, it is time to move onto the next part – pushing. During the first few steps you were either stationary on the board on came to a complete stop fairly quickly. In this next step, you are going to learn how to keep moving on a skateboard by pushing off the ground to continue your momentum.
If you have a goofy stance, have your right foot on the front bolts and slightly tilted to the left. Your bodyweight should all rest on that foot and be in the center of the board. Your eyes should look forward and your shoulders should face forward. Bring your left foot up and push the ground in a straight line behind you without touching your board. Your heel should never touch the ground and you should only push with the top of your sole. Practice by getting the timing and force of the push down.
The exact same thing as above, however you are going to have your left foot on the board and be pushing with your right foot.
How to Stop on a Skateboard
Hopefully you have already learned to how ride a skateboard and are able to balance yourself for a bit, but now we are going to go over how to stop on a skateboard. Below is a video with 10 different techniques you can try to find out which is most comfortable for you.
1. Tail Scrape
Push the back end of the board into the ground and slowly come to a stop. This can be difficult to control for beginners.
2. Heel Scrape
Very similar to the tail scrape except this time your foot is a little further back and you are only using the sole of your shoe. You can combine both the first and second method so your shoes and board last longer.
3. Side Scrape
Put your foot down on the side of your skateboard and push your heel into the ground. This will wear out the bottom of your shoes very quickly.
4. FS Powerslide
This is not really for beginners but might be worth a try. It involves moving the back of your skateboard 90 degrees so both of your feet are facing forward.
5. BS Powerslide
The opposite of the FS powerslide and much more difficult. Instead of bringing your back foot to the front, you are going to bring your front foot back and be skidding backwards.
6. Powerslide against the wall
This is the same technique as number 4 but you are using a wall or solid object to stop your momentum.
Combination between a powerslide and tail scrape. You should master both of these techniques before you try the bluntslide.
8. Hand Powerslide
Lean in the direction your shoulders are facing and slowly bend over to the ground and place both of your hands on the ground.
9. Pop in Da Hand
As the name suggests, you will pop the board up in the air and catch it with one hand.
10. Abandon Ship
Just jump off of your board. This will generally happen when you are too scared to do a trick and want to bail early. A little further down the page we will cover the sister technique – falling.
How to Turn on a Skateboard
Know what is even cooler that riding in a straight line? Turning! Check out our two different techniques below to learn how to turn on a skateboard.
The most basic turning maneuver can be done by applying pressure to either the inside or outside of your board. If you are uncomfortable with your balance, you can practice on a stationary board by putting pressure on your toes and then your heels. If you want to get started turning while on the move, the best practice is to find an open downhill area so you don’t have to continuously push to maintain momentum.
How to Kickturn on a Skateboard
Next, here is a more commonly used technique to turn on a skateboard. This will take a little more practice. Watch the video to learn how to do a proper kickturn.