There's no one way to learn how to skateboard. Some people pick it up quickly, while others need more time and practice. The best way to learn is by doing and doing and doing, so just get out there and start skating. Easier said than done for a complete beginner, right? Take a scroll through this guide on how to skateboard - we cover choosing your board, first steps, what tricks to learn and a bunch of other questions you may have. As always, drop a comment with anything we didn't cover and we will be sure to add it in.
- Can I teach myself to skateboard?
- Starting Skateboarding: Things to know before you start
- How to skateboard: step by step guide
- What is the best way to skateboard?
- Learning Basic Tricks
- How long does it take to learn how to skateboard?
- Frequently Asked Questions
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Can I teach myself to skateboard?
First things first, yes, it is possible to teach yourself with little more than the internet. Sure, if you have a friend who skates or can pay a trainer, that may be a quicker route to success, but to answer simply, yes, you can teach yourself to skate.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Start with the basics. Wayyyy before you start trying tricks, make sure you can stand on your board, roll and cruise around comfortably. Seriously, the more comfortable you feel on the board, the easier it's going to be to learn tricks and other more advanced things.
2. Find a good spot to skate. When you're first starting out, it's important to find a smooth flat surface to skate on. We find smooth surfaces like an empty parking lot or driveway to be best for starting out. Avoid rough surfaces like gravel or concrete, or crowded places as they can make it more difficult to balance on your board and may throw you off.
If you only have rougher terrain near you, or simply want to make it easier to familiarise yourself with skateboarding, we recommend some softer wheels like these. They help absorb some of the rougher surfaces and can generally roll over little stones etc much better than a hard skateboard wheel would.
3. Take your time. Learning how to skateboard takes time and patience, so don't get discouraged if you don't get it right away. Keep practicing and you'll eventually get the hang of it!
4. Get some help. If you're having trouble learning how to skateboard, ask a friend or family member for help. They can give you objective pointers and offer moral support when things get tough. Even if they just record you, it will allow you to see where you are going wrong and correct it.
5. Stay safe. This should be at the top, but always wear protective gear when skating, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid skating in areas with a lot of traffic or other hazards. As mentioned, an empty parking lot is a good place to learn before hitting the local skate park.
Starting Skateboarding: Things to know before you start
The first thing you need to do it purchase the right board. Most beginners start skateboarding by purchasing a pre-assembled board, which is essentially a completed skateboard without the customizations that more experienced riders typically make. These boards are often cheaper and easier to get started with than building your own board from scratch. However, you will eventually want to customize your setup or try different skating styles, you will need to learn how to assemble your own skateboard.
How much should a skateboard cost?
The average cost of a skateboard is around $100 for a complete. However, prices can range from as little as $30 to as much as $500. The price of a skateboard depends on several factors, such as the quality of the components, the brand, and the type of skateboard. For example, a basic skateboard may cost less than $50 on Amazon, but for that you will get a Chinese Birch Deck with little to no pop, cheap wheels that flatspot easily and bearings that are slow and need replacing after a few sessions.
When it comes to buying a skateboard, it's important to remember that you get what you pay for. A quality skateboard not only lasts longer (in general) but will be a much better skateboarding experience. We recommend spending at least $75/80 for a fully assembled complete of decent quality.
Choosing a Complete Skateboard
⭐ Top PickStoked Ride Shop Blank Complete
A ClassicSanta Cruz Classic Dot
Our first ever boardElement Section Complete
🤩 Best OverallPowell Peralta Anderson Complete
If, like most beginners, you want a pre-built complete, be sure to check out our guide to the best complete skateboards to get started. If you want to build you own, read on.
Building your own skateboard
Assembling your own skateboard is not as difficult as it may seem at first. With just a few simple tools and a little bit of know-how, you can put together a great ride that will serve you well for years to come. We'll walk you through the basics of assembling a skateboard, from choosing the right components to putting everything together.
Step 1. Choosing Your Components
The first step in assembling your skateboard is to choose the right components. This includes everything from the deck and trucks to the wheels and bearings. There are a few things to keep in mind when making your choices:
Deck: The deck is the most important part of your skateboard, so make sure to choose one that's the right size and shape for you. If you're not sure what size or shape you need, ask someone at your local skate shop for help. We compiled this guide to choosing a skateboard deck to make things easier.
Trucks: The trucks are what connect the wheels to the deck. They come in a variety of sizes, but most beginners will do fine with standard skateboard trucks. Our general recommendation is Independent Trucks, but if you're on a budget we find the Litezpeed Price Point Trucks to be a pretty decent cheaper alternative.
Wheels: The wheels are what make your skateboard move. They come in a variety of sizes, hardness, and colors. Again, if you're unsure about what to choose, ask someone at your local skate shop for help or check out our guide to the best skateboard wheels.
Bearings: The bearings attach to the wheels and allow them to spin. There are different types of bearings, but we recommend ones with built-in spacers for ease of installation. Either Zealous or Dragon Built bearings are our go-tos. For further reading, here's our best skateboard bearings, along with some helpful advice.
Skateboard Hardware: The mounting screws and nuts used to attach your deck to your trucks. These come in both allen key and philips driver types. We recommend allen key as you can tighten down without the worry of the head stripping. Generally we recommend the Fireball Stainless Steel Hardware as they dont rust or strip out like some other brands. They have an image to help you choose the correct size, but 1" or 1.25" will likely be best.
Grip tape: This is the sandpaper-like surface on top of the board. If provides grip to keep you on the board. MOB or Jessups are the industry standard.
Riser Pads: These are optional, but are short plastic or rubber pads that sit inbetween the top of the trucks and the bottom of the deck to add some extra height. They are used to allow you to fit larger wheels and/or provide more turn. You probably dont want to worry about these just yet.
Step 2. Putting It All Together
Once you've gathered all the necessary components, it's time to put your skateboard together. The first (and hardest) part of all of this is going to be gripping the deck. Gripping the deck means applying the sticky griptape to the top side of the wooden skateboard deck. To do this, we think its easiest to follow the below video:
Once gripped, attach the trucks to the deck using your skateboard hardware. Next, attach the wheels to the trucks using the bearings. Make sure that the axle nuts are tight so that the wheels don't come loose while you're skating.
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How to skateboard: step by step
Choose the right skateboard for you. The size and shape of your skateboard should be based on your height, weight, and skating style as per the above recs.
2. Find a flat surface to practice on. No matter the type of skating (Street skating, vert skating, park skating or even longboarding), it is best to start off skating on a flat, level surface like a driveway, sidewalk or empty parking lot. Learning a new skill like skateboarding is hard enough, so this just takes out gravity element and allows you to control the speed of your roll to begin.
3. Put on your safety gear. Skateboarding can be dangerous, so it is a good idea to wear the proper safety gear. This includes a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads, especially to begin with. You don't want head injuries full stop, so at very least take a leaf from Andy Anderson's book and wear ya helmet! Take a look at our top skateboard helmets.
4. You need to find out if you are goofy footed or regular footed. Do this by simply standing on the deck. If you naturally have your left foot toward the center of the deck and your right foot toward the tail, you are regular footed. If your right foot is toward the center and left foot on the tail, you are goofy. Congratualtions. Now you're ready to roll.
5. Stand on the deck as mentioned above. Take the back foot (ie the one that was closest to the tail of the deck) off and push off to start rolling. This is your pushing foot. Use your pushing foot to push off from the ground and propel yourself forward. The lead foot stays on the board, facing forwards the entire time.
6. Lean your body weight to turn. To turn, lean your body weight in the direction you want to go. You can also use your front foot to control your speed and direction.
7. Stop when you are ready. To stop, simply plant your back foot on the ground and bring yourself to a halt.
If this all sounds a little much, check this video for a little more visual guidance:
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What is the best way to skateboard?
There is no single answer to the question of how to skateboard effectively. It depends on a number of factors, including your individual skating style and ability level. However, there are some general tips that can help you improve your skating technique.
Our number 1 tip is simply to practice regularly. The more you skate, the better, and more fluid, you will become. The more confident, balanced and loose you feel on the board, the easier it is to progress and learn tricks.
Another useful tip is to watch experienced skaters and learn from them. Observing how they move can give you valuable insight into proper skating technique. With this in mind, filming yourself skate can be a great way to figure out isues with your technique.
As you become more experienced, you may also want to experiment with different skating techniques. Try different ways of turning and stopping, for example, to find what works best for you. With practice, you will eventually develop your own unique skating style.
Finally, it is important to stay safe while skating. Always wear protective gear, such as a helmet and pads, and be aware of your surroundings. Skating can be dangerous if you do not take proper precautions.
By following these tips, you can improve your skating skills and enjoy the sport safely.
Learning basic tricks
Once you feel confident enough rolling and carving around on flat ground to the point it has become second nature, you'll likely wanna start learning some basic tricks and maybe even heading to some skateparks. We cover this in depth in our 20 easy beginner skateboard tricks article.
How long does it take to learn how to skateboard?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on a number of factors, including the individual's natural ability, coordination, and strength. However, with regular practice, most people can learn the basics of skateboarding within a few days to a few weeks. More advanced tricks and maneuvers may take a long time; months or even years to master.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you do a 180 on a skateboard?
As this is an article on 'how to skateboard', we are assuming you mean a 180 degrees turn and no a 180 degree ollie.
To do a 180 turn on a skateboard, first get rolling, by following the instructions above.
Next, lean your weight into the tail to bring the nose of the board up slightly, while swinging your front foot around in a wide arc until it has spun around and is in the opposite direction to which you started. As you swing your leg around, use your arms and upper body to help generate momentum and balance.
Once you have made it through 180 degrees, lower the nose back down by shifting weight back into the opposite foot (front foot) - you should now be travelling in the opposite direction.
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Other factors to consider
If you want to do skateboarding tricks like kickflips and kick turns, try finding a wide open parking lot to practice in. You can also find some very helpful tutorial skateboarding videos on YouTube that will help you learn new tricks and take your skating skills to the next level. You will feel like a pro skater, like Tony Hawk, in no time with these skateboarding tips.
If it’s your first time, you will definitely want to purchase wrist guards, which are also available on Amazon. You might want to consider a longboard for your first skateboard and invest in a sturdy pair or skate shoes. If you enjoy skateboarding, you might want to try snowboarding next.