Mastering the Basics
Before learning how to do tricks on your skateboard, it is essential to be comfortable with the basics of pushing and stopping.
PUSHING - One of the first things you should be comfortable doing on the board is pushing. This entails taking one foot off of the board, pressing it into the ground, and placing it back onto the board, consequently propelling you forward. If you are regular stance, your pushing foot will be your right foot. If you are goofy stance, it will be your left foot.
STOPPING - The next basic you must master is stopping. There are a number of ways to stop on a skateboard. The simplest way is to take your pushing foot off of the board and drag your foot/heel into the ground. The friction between your shoe and the ground will slow you down to an eventual stop.
You can also drag your back foot toe to shave just a little bit of speed. We don't recommend doing this too much because it will destroy your shoes.
If you want to try to save your shoes, you can do a reverse push. This is essentially stepping off the board and pushing backwards to bring your speed down. At lower speeds (under 10 mph) this is the best way to stop with minimal wear to your kicks.
To stop with the most steeze, you can push the kicktail down and drag it along with your foot. This is going to cause the skateboard tail to wear and thin out over time (called razor tail) but you will look pretty cool doing it.
Last but not least is the classic jump off. This is a relatively uncontrolled way to get off the skateboard, but works if you have to stop rolling in a hurry. The jump off stop is done by jumping off the skateboard (duh) and letting your body carry the momentum forward instead of rolling with the momentum with the skateboard deck. Be mindful of where the skateboard goes after you jump off.
Once you can start and stop comfortably, you're ready to start learning some tricks.
Recommended Skateboard For Learning Tricks
This is the part of the article where we try to sell you something! Ha but really, if you do not already have a skateboard, the Stoked Ride Shop Blank Complete is an excellent skateboard for learning tricks.
Highlights of the Stoked Ride Shop Complete:
- Made in North America
- Several build setups to choose, from entry to pro level.
- Hand built by us in our shop in Torrance, CA.
- Comes with a tool and bar of wax.
First 5 Basic Skateboarding Tricks to Learn
1. Riding Switch
Riding switch means riding the board in your opposite stance. So if you are goofy (right foot forward), this means riding regular (left foot forward), and vice versa. Since it is not your natural stance, it will feel awkward at first.
With solid practice and repetition it will become far less daunting. Not only is it a great way to give your primary pushing leg a break, but it is also a surefire way to impress your peers.
The manual is truly the gift that keeps on giving. It is a trick that skaters from all levels of experience can find joy doing. Even the pros will manual across a sidewalk square or through parking lot lines from time to time. To pull this trick off you must first place your back foot on the tail of the board. From there, you must shift your weight to the back foot and slightly lean back.
This movement will result in the front wheels lifting off of the ground. Balancing in this position is what is known as the manual. Finding a way to shift your weight back and forth to keep the front wheels off the ground is the key to sustaining long manuals. Once you get them down on flat ground, you can take them to manual pads, curbs, and stages.
3. Kick Turns
If you already know how to manual, the kick turn will be no problem. To perform a kick turn on flat ground you will need to set up your feet as if you are going to do a manual. From here, you'll want to distribute your weight to your back foot. Then you will do the same motion as the manual except your head and shoulders will turn in whichever direction you would like to go.
This movement of the upper body is what makes the lower body do its job and turn the skateboard. Once the turn is complete, you will shift your weight back to the center and land both wheels back onto the surface.
Once you have kick turns on flat ground, you can take them to a ramp. The motion here is the exact same, the only differences are getting comfortable with the transition of the ramp and timing the turn. Once you get those two things down, you will be able to kick turn anywhere you please.
4. Pop up
This is a trick that will surely win you some points in the style department. To pull off the pop up you must first remove either your front or back foot from the board and place it onto the ground–depending on which way feels more comfortable.
With the other foot still on the board, you must pop the tail hard enough for the nose to elevate into the air. Once the board is in the air, you must catch it with your left hand if you are regular, and your right hand if you are goofy.
This motion of popping and catching can be tricky to get down. Especially when it comes to executing it in a smooth manner. However, it is a great way to get the board into your hands effectively and elegantly.
5. Running start
When you want to skate towards an obstacle with a full head of steam, you'll want to get a running start. Although pushing is a great way to gain speed over time, getting a running start is far superior in the short term. To start this maneuver, you must first place the nose of the board in your left hand if you are regular and the right hand if you are goofy.
From there, you must run with the board in your hand and start to dip it to the surface of the ground. Once it is low enough and the back wheels are touching, you will let go of the board and jump onto it with both feet. This will propel you forward quicker than you would have been able to by simply pushing.
Level 2 Basic Skateboarding Tricks to Learn
6. Tic Tac
The tic tac is a simple yet addicting trick that skaters at all skill levels can do. At its core, a tic tac is basically a kick turn back and forth (from frontside to backside, and vice versa). However, unlike the kick turn, you do not need to turn as sharply and as wide to pull this trick off. It can be done with quick and easy turns from side to side.
The quicker you do these turns, the faster you will go. Not only is the tic tac a great way to mess around, but it is also a useful way to save yourself from bailing more advanced tricks. It can really be a lifesaver at times.
7. Fakie Kick Turn
The fakie kick turn is, as the name suggests, kick turning while riding in the fakie stance. To do a fakie kick turn on flat ground, you must first ride at a comfortable speed in the fakie position. This means your front foot is placed on the nose of the board with the back foot around the bolts.
Since you will ride fakie, this will be in your opposite stance. However, this is technically not riding switch since your front foot is on the nose in the popping position. Once your feet are positioned correctly, you will turn your shoulders frontside and lift the back wheels off of the ground. From here, you complete the 180 degree turn and return the wheels back to the surface. Riding away in your normal stance.
8. Nose Stall
A nose stall is a versatile trick that you can do both on a ramp and in the streets. However, regardless of which setting you find yourself in, the approach will be the same. For the sake of convenience, let's use a nose stall on a curb as an example. To do this trick, you will have to approach the curb head on with your front foot on the nose and your back foot near the tail.
Approach the curb head on with your front foot on the nose and your back foot near the tail
As you get close to the curb, you will start to distribute your weight from the tail of the board to the nose. You will want to fully distribute your weight to the nose as it slams into the curb. This will cause your back trucks to lift up and you will be balancing on the curb by the nose of your board.
The easiest way to dismount from the curb is to shift your weight back to the tail of the board and stomp your back foot down. This will take you off of the curb and you will have landed your first nose stall.
Intermediate Skateboarding Tricks to Learn
The ollie is the foundation of all intermediate and advanced tricks on a skateboard. It is the trick that gets you onto, over, and around whatever obstacle you desire. To do an ollie, you must first place your back foot on the tail of the board and your front foot a little below the bolts.
The ollie is the foundation of all intermediate and advanced tricks on a skateboard.
The motion of the trick is rather simple. It entails popping the tail down and sliding the front foot towards the bolts. The key to the ollie is timing out this motion so that you can get as much airtime as possible. This trick takes time to develop, but if mastered, will make advanced tricks much easier to learn.
10. Shove it
Every skater at some point in their life has spent an entire afternoon trying to see how many shove its they can do in a row. This is because the shove it is not only a fun trick to pass the time with, but it is also quite easy. To approach this trick, place your back foot on the tail with your toes slightly hanging off and your front foot wherever feels most comfortable–likely around the front bolts.
Scoop your back foot towards your heel to spin the board 180 degrees. Make sure to stay over your board the entire time it is spinning. Once the board comes around, catch it with your front foot.
Follow with your back foot and roll away with both feet near the bolts. With a little practice, it will become second nature and you will be able to officially add it to your ever-growing bag of tricks.
11. Frontside 180
Like the ollie, the frontside 180 is the foundation of many advanced tricks. To learn this one, start with placing your front foot near the bolts with your toes slightly hanging off. As for the back foot, placing it in the center of the tail will do. The trick to the frontside 180 is winding up the shoulders before popping. This will ensure that you get the rotation you need to roll away. Once you pop, turn your shoulders and head in the frontside direction.
Like the ollie, the frontside 180 is the foundation of many advanced tricks.
Your front foot will guide the board through the 180 as you get off of the ground. Once you land and start to roll away in the opposite stance, you must keep your weight balanced and follow through with your shoulders and head. Get this trick down and you will be well on your way to conquering ledges and rails.
12. 50-50 Grind
Once you get the flat ground basics down, it's onto the grinds. The 50-50 is the first grind you'll want to learn. To do this trick, roll up to an obstacle at a slight angle with your feet in the ollie position. Once at the obstacle, ollie and rotate your board slightly in the frontside direction for a frontside 50-50, and backside for a backside 50-50.
This will place both of your trucks onto the obstacle so that you can safely grind through it to the end. At the end, lift up your front trucks and land back onto the ground. Once you learn these, the realm of ledge/rail skating will be at your fingertips.
13. Nose Manual
The counterpart to the manual is none other than the nose manual. The best way to get comfortable doing this trick is by practicing on flat first. Put your front foot over the nose and start leaning in to bring the back trucks off the ground.
Unlike a manual, the nose manual is not very forgiving. If you get off balance and hit the nose into the ground, you're gunna have a bad time. Take your time learning on flat before progressing to a manny (manual) pad.
To learn this trick on a manual pad, roll up to the obstacle head on with your feet in the ollie position. Once you get close enough, ollie and shift your weight to the nose of the board. When you land on the nose and your back trucks are still in the air, shift your weight back and forth–making sure your nose or back wheels do not touch the ground.
Once you get to the end of the manual pad, slightly nudge the nose of the board forward with your front foot so that the back trucks clear the obstacle. As with the regular manual, figuring out how to balance on one end of the board can be a difficult task. Though, once you do get the balancing act down, the trick will be much easier.
14. Rock to Fakie
Rock to fakies are a staple in the world of transition skating. They are a must learn for any skater wanting to level up their mini-ramp and pool skills. To do a rock to fakie, you must first approach the coping of a ramp at a moderate speed. Once you get to the top of the ramp, lift up the front trucks and place the center of the board of the coping. From here, you must shift your weight onto the tail and lift up the front trucks.
This will start your descent back into the ramp. It is important that you stay centered over your board through the entire motion. It is common for people learning this trick to lean too far forward and slip out from the ramp. Though, if you keep your balance in check, you will be just fine.
3 Beginner Skateboarding Flip Tricks to Learn
Learning how to kickflip is yet another monumental milestone in the life of a skater. It is a crowd pleaser and one of the most versatile flip tricks out there. To do a kickflip, you must place your front foot at a slight angle near the bolts and your back foot flush on the tail. As you pop the board, you must flick your front foot forward and out towards the heel side of the board.
Learning how to kickflip is a monumental milestone in the life of a skater.
This will cause the board to flip and then all you have to do is wait until you see grip tape to stomp.
A problem many people have when they first learn kickflips is commitment. It can be scary to land on the board when it is spinning, but the more you work on it, the less daunting it will become.
The heelflip is yang to the kickflip's yin–the pepper to its salt. To set up for this trick, you're going to want to place your front foot near the bolts, with your toes hanging off the side, and your back foot on the tail. When you pop the board, slide your front foot forward and out, flicking off of the corner of the nose with your heel. This flicking motion is what makes the board flip.
While the board is flipping, stay over the board and try not to lean too much in one direction or the other. Once the board spins around completely, stomp down onto the bolts and ride away. Get your heelflips as good as your kickflips, and you will become a much more well rounded skater.
The hardflip is one of the most highly coveted tricks in skateboarding. Due to its name, it has acted as a benchmark of sorts for progression in the skateboarding community. To do a hardflip, you must position your feet in the same way you would for a kickflip with your front foot closer to the back bolts. This will make the flipping part of the trick easier.
When you pop the board, you will need to slightly push the board forward (with your back foot) in the motion of a frontside shove it. With the front foot, you will flick out to the heel side of the board. The key to this trick is in the flick.
You have to make sure you don't flick straight out like a kickflip, but rather to the side. Additionally, you don't need to flick hard to form the trick. A subtle flick of the ankle will do. Learning this trick can be a tall task but once you do, it will be well worth the hard work.
Next Level Skateboarding Tricks to Learn
The nollie is essentially the close relative of the ollie. To do a nollie, you must first place your front foot all the way up on the nose of the board. As for the back foot, anywhere slightly below the back bolts will do. As with the ollie, the key to getting a good snappy nollie is timing.
Popping the front foot down and sliding the back foot towards the tail of the board is all you need to do to pull this trick off. Something that can help with the nollie is pushing the front foot slightly forward when popping.
This makes leveling out the board with the back foot much easier. Landing this trick is as simple as keeping your balance in the center of the board and stomping near the bolts. Once you stomp down, you can ride away clean.
19. BS Boardslide
The backside boardslide is a trick that you can do on just about any obstacle. Though, the easiest and most practical to start with is the flat bar. Approach the rail at a slight angle with your back facing the obstacle. Once you get close to the rail, pop your board and do half of a frontside 180 motion.
Pop your board and do half of a frontside 180 motion
This will land you squarely onto the rail and ensure that you lock in properly. Once on the rail, keep your weight centered over the board and your shoulders perpendicular to the rail. When you start to approach the end of the obstacle, turn your shoulders back to their starting position. As you turn your shoulders, make sure your feet follow this motion and you will be rolling away before you know it.
20. Backside Feeble Grind
The backside feeble is a skatepark favorite. To pull this trick off, you must be comfortable with backside boardslides and backside 50-50s. The easiest obstacle to do a backside feeble on is a small to medium sized flat bar.
To get into this grind, approach the rail as if you are going to do a backside 50-50 grind. Once you pop your board and ollie onto the rail, shift all of your weight onto your back foot and slightly tweak the nose of the board in the direction of a backside boardslide–dipping the nose down.
The trick here is to lock the back trucks into the rail flush enough to keep your weight centered over your back foot. This weight centering will keep you from falling forward or backward off of the rail. Additionally, the front foot is there to guide the entire motion through to the end of the rail.
Once at the end of the rail, a slight lift of the front trucks will lead you off of the rail and back onto the flat ground. Backside feeble grinds are an incredibly versatile trick and once you have them down, the possibility for combos are endless.
That wraps up the 20 easiest beginner skateboard tricks that you must learn! If you have any questions, feel free to give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.