Whether you’re ten years old or in your thirties, it’s never too late to learn how to skateboard. Unlike traditional sports, there are no coaches, practice times, or game days. There’s no keeping score or time limits in skateboarding. There is nothing to prove to anyone but yourself. Below are five basic beginner tips to help you get you started on your skateboarding journey,
Choosing your gear
There are six components to a complete skateboard: skate deck, grip tape, hardware, trucks, bearings, and wheels. There are multiple brands, various sizes, and applications for all these elements that suit personal preferences. To give you a better idea of all these elements, watch these pro skateboarders explain their chosen skateboard gear in our setup video breakdowns.
Figure out your stance
There two main stances in skateboarding: regular and goofy. Someone who is regular stands with their left foot in front and right foot in the back. As for a goofy stance, it’s the opposite; the right foot is forward, and the left is in the back. Not quite sure which stance you are? Here’s a secret tip that may help you figure out which foot you lead with. Have someone give to a gentle shove from behind that lunges you forward. Whichever foot you step out with first is the foot you lead with in front of the skateboard. By no means is this a guaranteed way of finding out which stance you are, but merely a starting point to find which stance feels most comfortable.
Push with your back foot, not your front foot
After you figure out which stance you are and feel most comfortable with, next is learning how to push on a skateboard. First and foremost, do not push with your front foot. Not only is this bad etiquette, but you’ll also have less control of the skateboard.
To push on a skateboard, you will want to place your front foot at a slight angle and right below the front hardware bolts. With your shoulders angled at about the same degree as your leading foot, be sure to bend your front knee so that your trailing foot can make contact with the ground. While balancing your weight on your front foot and over your knee, plant your back foot to the ground and push it behind you. While in motion, return your back foot to the rear of the skateboard by the bolts.
The more comfortable you feel pushing and riding around on a skateboard, the more it will help you bring things to the next level, like learning to drop in on a quarter pipe or performing tricks.
There are two ways of turning: carving and kick turns.
Carving is when you lean from side to side (toes and heels) to steer yourself left and right. To initiate a carve, first bend your knees and begin to lead with your front shoulder in the desired direction. Depending on the direction, start to apply pressure either on your toes or heels. This will force the trucks and skateboard to lean towards one side and begin to turn. During this whole process, your wheels shouldn’t leave the ground.
A kick turn allows you to turn more quickly and perform sharp turns compared to carving. A kick turn also requires the front wheels to come off the ground, so get ready to use your balance skills. To start a kick turn, place your back foot on the skateboard’s tail end and gently lean back. As your front wheels begin to lift off the ground, turn your shoulders and body in the direction you want to go. The board’s nose will follow in the same direction your head, shoulders, and hips are pointing. Finally, once you have turned, transfer your weight back to your front foot, pushing the front wheels back to the ground, and roll away.
Learn the Ollie. It’s the gateway to all tricks.
By far, one of the most important tricks you will want to learn how to master is the Ollie. It is the building block to all tricks and the gateway to unlocking all the possibilities skateboarding offers. To best explain how to Ollie, watch this video featuring skateboarder Chris Cole as he breaks down the Ollie step by step.
How to Ollie with Chris Cole.
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