Skateboarding Basics

Skateboarding Basics

Lightest Skateboard Trucks Reading Skateboarding Basics 12 minutes Next Longboard Basics

If you're new to skateboarding, it's important to start off on the right foot (no pun intended). There are a few things that all beginner skateboarders should do to progress quickly and safely, and we have compiled all you need to know in this very article.

[Love Etnies? So do we.]

What Should A Beginner Skateboarder Do?

First and foremost, it's important to figure out which type of skateboarding you are most interested in. The different types of skateboarding are as follows (note, there are also different types of longboard skateboarding):

Street Skateboarding

street skateboarding

Street skateboarding is the most popular form of skateboarding. It involves tricks and maneuvers performed on sidewalks, stairs, handrails, and other urban obstacles. Street skateboarders often compete in organized competitions called "street contests."

Transition / Vert Skateboarding

vert skating

Transition (or vert skating) is a type of skateboarding that focuses on tricks and maneuvers performed on half-pipes, quarter pipes, and other vertical ramps. Vert skaters often compete in organized competitions called "vert contests."

Park Skateboarding

park skating

Park skating is a type of skateboarding that focuses on tricks and maneuvers performed on man-made obstacles such as rails, ledges, boxes, and ramps. think street skating but in a purpose-made park. Park competition has now been added to the Olympic Games.

Freestyle Skateboarding

freestyle skating

Probably the oldest style of skateboarding. Freestyle skating is a type of skateboarding that focuses on tricks and maneuvers performed on flat ground, without the use of any obstacles.

Choosing your Skateboard

Now you have an idea of your discipline, let's find the right skateboard deck for you. Not all boards are created equal, and you'll want to make sure you get one that suits your riding style, and skill level and is sized for you.

It is worth noting here that while most boards are made from Maple wood, some new materials have come out in recent years, such as the Powell-Peralta Flight construction or Santa Cruz VX. As a beginner we recommend sticking to Maple as it's cheaper.

We recommend a complete skateboard if you are brand new as it will come fully built with all components from grip tape to the wheels, so you can ride right out the box. Let's find out what size skateboard you should get.

We would highly recommend picking up a skateboard helmet and protective gear too, then it's time to hit the streets and start practicing.

Am I Goofy or Regular Skateboard Stance

Once you have the gear, we want to answer the most basic question in skateboarding: should I ride goofy or regular?

Regular skateboarding is when you have your left foot on the deck, and push with your right foot. Goofy stance is when you have your right foot on the deck, and push with your left foot. Whichever way feels most natural is the way for you. Simples.

Goofy v Regular Skateboard Stance


How Can I Teach Myself To Skateboard?

There are a few things you need to do in order to teach yourself to skateboard. First, you need to find a good spot to skate. This spot should be flat and smooth, with no obstacles in your way - an empty parking lot / car park is perfect. Once you've found your skating spot, you need to warm up your muscles so that you don't get injured while skating. To warm up your muscles, you can do some simple exercises like jogging in place or doing jumping jacks. After your muscles are warmed up, you're ready to start skating!

Pushing, turning and stopping your skateboard

Way before attempting any tricks, you'll want to get (really) comfortable with pushing, turning, and stopping the board. Here is a great video that covers everything you need to know:

To start skating, you need to push off with one foot while keeping the other foot on the board. As you're pushing off, lean forward slightly and shift your weight onto the front foot. Once you've gotten some speed, you can start to shift your weight back and forth between your feet to keep yourself balanced and start to carve. You can also use your back foot to slow down or stop by dragging it on the ground.

[What size skateboard should I get?]

Is Basic Skateboarding Hard?

One of the most common questions that beginner skateboarders ask is whether or not skateboarding is difficult. The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including prior experience with other sports, natural coordination, and specific skating goals.

For those who have never stepped on a board before, sure, skateboarding can seem daunting. As with learning any new skill, this takes time. We recommend getting super familiar with just cruising around, carving and turning before even attempting any tricks. The more comfortable and balanced you are on the board, the easier you'll find progressing to new tricks.

[What are the best cheap skate shoes?]

Progression: Learning basic skateboard tricks

Once you master the basic movements, it's pretty likely you will want to progress to the Ollie and other flip tricks and grinds. Here is our guide to 20 Beginner Tricks and a few videos we found helpful:

Leanring to Ollie

Pub Quiz Knowledge: The Ollie (jumping your skateboard - the basis for most tricks) was invented by Alan Gelfand.

10 Easy Flatground Tricks

Skateboard Tricks without the Ollie

Is skateboarding dangerous?

Skateboarding injuries were up 20% from 2020 to 2021 and 4th in overall ER visits overall from 2013-2021! To prevent a serious head injury check our top 5 recommended skateboard helmets

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

There are four main types of skateboarding: street skateboarding, vert skating, park skating, and freestyle skating.

Street skateboarding is the most popular, and most easily accesible, form of skateboarding. It involves tricks and maneuvers performed on sidewalks, stairs, handrails, and other obstacles in urban environments. Street skateboarders often compete in skateboarding events called "street contests". Since 2022 skateboarding has now officially been recognized as a 'professional sport' in the eyes of the Olympic Games, with the first ever Olympic skateboarding event being held in the purpose built Ariake Urban Sports Park.

Vert skating is a type of skateboarding that focuses on tricks and maneuvers performed on half-pipes, quarter pipes, and other vertical ramps. It's origins go back to skaters like Tony Alva shredding swimming pools back in the 70s & 80s during the LA heat wave. The surf culture moved from Venice Beach (United States) to the dried up pools as riders swapped their surfboard for a skateboard. In more recent days, pros like Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero from the Bones Brigade have put vert skating back on the map. Learn everything about the origins of vert skateboarding here.

Park skating is a type of skateboarding that focuses on tricks and maneuvers performed on man-made obstacles such as rails, ledges, boxes, and ramps. Park skateboarding is often divided into two sub-disciplines: transition skating and street skating. Transition skaters focus on tricks and maneuvers performed on vert-style obstacles, while street skaters focus on tricks and maneuvers performed on street-style obstacles. Park skateboarding also made its Olympic debut as a new sport in 2022.

Freestyle skating is a type of skateboarding that focuses on tricks and maneuvers performed on flat ground, without the use of any obstacles. This was popularised by skaters like Rodney Mullen who rose to fame during the 80's with appearances at the Oceanside Freestyle skateboard competition amongst others.

One other type of skateboarding you may be interested in is cruising. Cruising can be done on either a skatebaord or longboard. If your sole purpose is sidewalk surfing and cruising we recommend switching out some larger and softer wheels that wont get hung up on small debris and rocks on the ground.

As with any skill, there is no one definitive answer to the question of whether or not you are a good skateboarder. However, certain objective criteria can be used to measure your skating ability.

In general, a good skateboarder is someone who can safely and confidently perform basic tricks and maneuvers, and who is also able to progress to more difficult tricks and stunts over time. If you feel like you meet these criteria, then chances are good that you are a good skateboarder.

However, if you're still not sure, there's no harm in asking for feedback from other skaters or from a qualified instructor. With a little practice and perseverance, you'll soon be able to tell for yourself whether or not you've got what it takes to be a good skateboarder.

Skateboarding is often seen as a rebellious activity, but it can actually be extremely beneficial for kids. Skateboarding helps to build strength and coordination, and can also teach kids important life skills such as perseverance and goal-setting.

One of the biggest benefits of skateboarding is that it helps to build strength and coordination. Skateboarding requires balance, agility, and power, all of which can help your child develop important motor skills. Additionally, because skateboarding is a weight-bearing exercise, it can also help to strengthen bones and muscles.

Another great benefit of skateboarding is that it can teach kids important life skills. For example, skateboarding requires perseverance and dedication in order to learn new tricks and progress. Additionally, skateboarding can help kids to set and achieve goals, as they work towards mastering new tricks or landing big airs.

Skateboard wheels are one of the most important parts of a skateboard, and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and durometers. There are many factors to consider when choosing skateboard wheels, such as the type of skating you will be doing, the surface you will be skating on, and your own personal preferences. You can learn more about choosing skateboard wheels in this article.

Unlike roller skate wheels, skateboard wheels can range in size from 50 millimeters to 100 millimeters, and are made from polyurethane. The hardness of skateboard wheels is measured on the Shore scale from 1 to 100, with 1 being the softest and 100 being the hardest.

Softer wheels are better for street skating or skating on rough surfaces, while harder wheels are better for skate parks or smooth surfaces. Use this guide to find the best skateboard wheel for you.

[Read all about kingpin on skateboard truck.]

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best skateboard for beginners depends on a number of factors. However, there are a few key things to look for when choosing a skateboard for someone just starting out. We have covered this extensively in full articles, which you can find below:

  1. 10 Best Skateboards

  2. Best Skateboard Deck Brands

  3. Best Skateboards for Adult Beginners

We highly recommend not skating anywhere outside of an empty carpark until you can safely stop on your skateboard.

If you're having trouble stopping on your skateboard, there are a few things you can do to improve your ability to stop. First, practice this without moving. Make sure that you're using the correct foot placement when stopping. You should have your front foot placed near the front of the board (over the truck bolts) and your back foot placed near the back of the board. Take the back foot off and gradually lower this to the tarmac, with the heel touching the ground first. Get used to that 4/5inch lowering movement as you go from the deck to the ground with your pushing foot.

Once you have this down, progress to a slow roll, following the same basic principles above.

Lastly, make sure to always wear proper safety gear when skateboarding, including a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and wrist guards. This will help protect you from injury if you do fall while skateboarding.

[Check out the best skateboards for 7 year olds.]

Thrasher, Transworld Skateboarding, Big Brother and Sidewalk are some of the OG most popular magazines, however mostly the 'magazine' has shifted online. You can still subscribe to Thrasher, but the others have pretty much become blogs / instagram pages. They are still full of rad articles though.

Richard Lawrence "Larry" Stevenson was the inventor of the kicktail, the bent-upwards end of a skateboard, which made most of today's skateboarding tricks possible and essentially revolutionized the sport. Wikipedia

Nope. Street luge is more commonly associated with longboarding, but involves the rider laying on the deck and riding the hill on their back.

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