If you've ever Googled "beginner skateboard tricks," you know how much garbage is out there. Articles that try and pass off a turn or a stop as a "beginner trick" are a dime a dozen, as are articles that claim kickflips or rail grinds as beginner-level.
Enter Vilias Left, of VLSkate. Self-described as a skateboarder from Southern California, he makes an ongoing series of "how to" videos that all skaters could benefit from.
One of these awesome videos is his "10 Easy Beginner Skateboard Tricks" video, which hits the nail on the head--10 tricks that are easy to do, but look impressive, and make beginner skaters feel like they're progressing. (Which gives you the confidence to keep skating and get bolder!)
Without further ado, here, gif'd and essentially transcribed for your benefit, are these 10 tricks. Enjoy and skate!
1. Chinese Nollie
To pull off the Chinese nollie, "all you have to do is give the board a little push forward to bounce the front wheel off a crack," says VLSkate. "This will cause the board to pop up off the ground." The best thing about this trick is that you just need to know how to do a little hop on the nose of your board to pull it off. "Just keep in mind," VLSkate adds, "that you're not hitting the nose on the ground--you're just barely lifting the back wheels up, and the rest is just staying on top of the board."
Next up--the biebelheimer. Not so much a trick as a cool way to get on your board, but it certainly is that! VLSkate explains it: "All you have to do is grab the board with the nose and your fingers on the opposite side. Then, turn the board around 180 degrees so that the grip tape would hit the ground--and the most important part is to make sure it's slightly angled when you throw it down. That causes the flip over."
How to practice? Stand still and practice getting the board to flip over. Also, to make this trick work, you don't need to scrape the tail on the ground.
3. Nollie Shove It
For the Nollie Shove It, "You barely have to put your foot on the nose, and you don't even have to pop it. All it takes is the smallest shot motion with your feet and the tiniest little hop. That's all you need." The gif makes it clear, and VLSkate also has a more in-depth explanation in his pop shove it video.
The boneless is also less about popping your board, and more about jumping off your foot. "All it really takes is setting your feet up in a position where your front foot can easily come off the side and onto the ground," says VLSkate. "You just leave your back foot on and grab with the hand, jump off your foot and jump back on the board."
5. Fakie Frontside 180
Can you ride fakie? Can you pop your board? Then with the fakie frontside 180, "your momentum does the rest of the work." VL Skate describes the secrets; "Just pop, twist your body, and land back on the board. If you are having any trouble with the regular front-side 180 I would recommend this one instead."
6. Hippie Jump
"[The hippie jump] is so easy, because all you need to know how to do is jump," VLSkate says. "The main important factors are that when you jump you don't accidentally press on the tail or the nose--and when you come down, don't land on the tail or the nose. Just stand above the bolts the entire time."
How to practice this one? "Just practice jumping a whole bunch. It can be scary, but the great thing is that you can start small and work your way up."
7. Rail Stand
For the rail stand, "All you have to do is set your feet up so your front foot will be pushing down the side in order to flip it over." It's kind of a four-step process:
- Give it enough pressure until it flips.
- When that happens, your back foot hangs on the back wheel, and as the board turns, you step over and on top of it.
- After that, you bring your front foot back and you're standing on your rail.
- Then, all it takes is a slight push forward, and you're right back on top of the board.
The best way to practice? "It's best to learn this trick while holding onto something, but it only takes a few times and you start getting the feeling of it," VLSkate says.
8. Fakie Casper Flop
This trick uses the same pressure mechanic in the rail stand, to flip the board over onto its back--and then you place your back foot on the tail and flip the board over. "It's a lot easier than it sounds," says VLSkate, "and all it really takes is practicing while standing still a few times. Just practice flipping the board over by pressing down and off to the side, and then practice flipping it back over with both your feet--then put both together and you have it." He adds, "It's kinda stupid, but I like it."
9. 180 No Comply
For the 180 no comply, "Just like with the boneless, you want the front foot to be in a location where it can easily step off the board, and your back foot should be slightly on the tail so that you can get some spin out of it. You just press down and scoop the tail around."
How to best practice? "You can practice standing still, and the same with the back foot scooping motion, and eventually just put them together and make sure that you jump back on the board."
10. Nose Pickup
"If you master picking up your board the normal way and you even got the little fancy way where you kick it up with your foot, this is the opposite version of that," says VLSkate, adding that it can be done a lot quicker if you're cruising fast. "And it looks cool. While you're rolling, you situate your front foot onto the nose, and you pop straight down with your toes and reach down and grab the board."
How to practice? "There's not too much other than practicing popping the nose down. You just want to make sure you are not stopping down on the nose, because that's going to make the board fly up."
In VLSkate's opinion, these tricks "are the perfect combination of easy but stylish, and I think that it's important to stay motivated: you feel like you are improving. Progress is progress, and even the easy tricks can be added to make you a better overall skater."
Loved these tricks? Go be friends with VLSkate on YouTube or Instagram.
And let us know which trick is your favorite. (I'm a fan of the Hippie Jump--Greg prefers Boneless.)