How To Learn To Skateboard By Yourself
So you want to learn to skateboard, but you’re not so keen on the idea of paying for lessons. Well then it would be helpful to know exactly where to start, especially if you’re trying to make the transition from “Total Beginner” to “Won’t Make A Complete Fool Of Myself At The Skate Park.”
In this blog, we'll show you how to learn to skateboard by yourself. We'll cover everything from choosing the right gear to mastering advanced tricks.
Whether you're a total beginner or just looking to brush up on your skills, we've got you covered. So, grab your skateboard and let's get rolling!
Before you Start Learning How to Skateboard!
Choosing Your Gear - Get a Quality Skateboard
Do you have your skateboard? We recommend the Krown Rookie Complete Skateboard for most kids 8+. If starting younger, instead choose the Meketec Min skateboard. It's shorter length is better suited for younger kids.
If you are looking for some more guidance on this (hey, we get it - it's a big step picking out your first skateboard!) - cruise down to your local skate shop and get their advice. That's what they are there for!
Support Your Local Skate Shop
A brief commercial brought to you by your local establishment. These small businesses are often the lifeblood of the skateboarding community, providing not only gear and equipment but also a gathering place for skaters of all levels.
By shopping at your local skate shop, you're helping to keep the culture alive and supporting the people who are passionate about skateboarding. Plus, you'll have access to expert advice and recommendations that you just can't get from a big-box store.
So, next time you need new wheels, bearings, or a fresh deck head to your local skate shop. Your support will help ensure that the skateboarding community continues to thrive for years to come.
The Right Skate Shoes are Essential
When it comes to skateboarding, having the right footwear can make all the difference. You don't want to be slipping and sliding all over the place in your sneakers, do you? No way!
Instead, you'll want to invest in a good pair of skate shoes that provide plenty of grip and support. Look for shoes with a flat sole, as this will help you feel the board better and give you more control.
Unsure where to start? Check out these sweet skate shoes on Amazon.
Protect Yourself and Wear Protective Gear
Do you have safety gear? The highest recommended of all time is the Triple 8 Helmet and Triple 8 pad set. If you're just learning, I would HIGHLY suggest wearing both a helmet and knee pads set! Avoid serious head injuries and wear a hemet!
You will fall and it will hurt if you're not prepared with the proper safety gear. You can also check out our in depth reviews of the best skate pads here.
Inspect Your Skateboard and Bring Some Tools
Before you hit the pavement, it's important to give your skateboard a quick inspection. Check the trucks and wheels to make sure they're tightened properly and in good condition. You don't want to be cruising along and have a wheel fly off, do you? No way!
Also, don't forget to bring some tools with you in case you need to make any adjustments while you're out skating. A simple skate tool with a wrench and screwdriver will do the trick. Trust us, you'll feel like a pro when you whip out your tool kit to fix a loose truck.
Assuming you already have your skateboard and safety gear, here are the steps to learn to skateboard by yourself.
1. Practice your stance first
Find a soft place, like a patch of grass or a floor of carpet. This is the time to get comfortable with your stance and the feel of the board. Avoid crowded places like skateparks or busy sidewalks until you feel more confident in your skills.
Not only will you have more space to practice, but you'll also be less likely to run into other people or obstacles. Plus, you'll be able to focus on your technique without any distractions.
So, take some time to scout out the perfect spot and start practicing your riding and turning skills. Before you know it, you'll be ready to take on more challenging terrain!
Regular or Goofy (left foot) Stance - Find Your Front Foot
Figure out if you’re regular- or goofy-footed; that is, if you’re more comfortable with your left foot forward or your right foot forward. To figure out which one you are, try standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and then have someone gently push you from behind.
The foot you step forward with to catch your balance is likely your front foot. Alternatively, you can stand with your feet together and have someone give you a gentle shove from the side. The foot you naturally step forward with to catch your balance is your front foot.
Once you've figured out your stance, you can start practicing basic riding and turning maneuvers. Just remember, there's no right or wrong way to ride a skateboard - it's all about what feels comfortable for you!
Once you’re in position, bounce a little bit, feeling how the board moves and flexes. Practice getting on and off the board and finding your balance.
2. Be Patient, and Skate as Much as You Can
When it comes to skateboarding, practice makes perfect. Don't get discouraged if you don't pick up a new skill right away - it takes time and patience to master even the basics. The key is to keep practicing and to skate as much as you can.
Try to make it a habit to skate for at least a little bit every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll become on your board and the easier it will be to learn new tricks.
Respect the Culture and Skateboarding Etiquette
As you embark on this journey, be sure to remember: Skateboarding is more than just a sport - it's also a culture with its own set of etiquette and norms. As you start to get more involved in the skateboarding community, it's important to respect these customs and show some love for the culture.
This means being respectful to other skaters and sharing the space, not hogging the obstacles, and taking turns when there's a crowd. It also means keeping the skateboarding areas clean and not damaging the property.
Overcome Fear and Skate with Confidence
It's natural to feel a little nervous or scared when you're first starting out with skateboarding - after all, it can be a bit intimidating to ride around on a small piece of wood with wheels! But don't let fear hold you back from pursuing your passion.
The key is to start small and gradually work your way up to more challenging maneuvers. Take it one step at a time and remember to always wear the proper safety gear. After all, you are going to...
That's right, step two in this guide is to fall. Or rather, practice falling properly. Think of it this way--you’re going to fall, so get the anxiety about when out of the way. You also want to practice your form to help minimize injuries.
Stay loose, and try and roll out of every fall to minimize the damage. The key is to avoid landing on your hands or wrists, which can lead to serious injuries. Instead, tuck your chin to your chest, roll onto your side, and use your arms to absorb the impact.
And remember, it's always better to bail out of a trick if you're not sure you can land it safely.
Another important safety tip is to limit your speed when you're first starting out. It's easy to get caught up in the thrill of the ride, but going too fast can lead to accidents and injuries.
Take it slow and gradually build up your speed and confidence as you become more comfortable on your board. With a little practice and some caution, you'll be able to enjoy all the thrills of skateboarding without putting yourself at risk.
4. Start Skateboarding on a Level Surface
How to Ride a Skateboard for the First Time
Riding a skateboard for the first time can be both exciting and intimidating. To get started, find a smooth, flat surface and put on your safety gear, including a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.
Remember, it's okay to start slow and work your way up to faster speeds and more advanced maneuvers.
Riding the Board
Riding the board is the foundation for everything else you'll do on your board. Before you can start learning skateboarding tricks, you'll need to master the basics of riding and balance.
Start by standing on your board with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Keep your weight centered over the board and your gaze focused ahead.
Learn How to Push, Turn, and Stop on a Skateboard
When you're ready to start moving, first, practice pushing off with your back foot, and bring your pushing foot back onto the board in the stance you practiced in step 1. Then, try a wide turn, leaning your weight in the direction you want to turn and feeling the board slowly carry you around.
Once you’re comfortable with the wide turn, and you’ve done it successfully a few times, try a sharp turn. To do this, gently put some pressure on the back of the board and lift the nose off the ground just a smidge, then swing the board in the direction you want to turn.
You’ll also want to practice stopping, which consists of you gently putting your back foot on the ground and dragging it along until you come to a stop.
Practice Riding Backward (Fakie) and Switch Foot
To ride fakie, turn your board around so that your front foot is now on the tail and your back foot is on the nose. Push off with your back foot and use your front foot to steer and control your direction.
It can take some practice to get used to riding fakie, so start slow and work your way up to faster speeds. Another important skill to practice is riding switch foot, which means riding with your non-dominant foot forward.
This can be challenging at first, but it's important to develop both sides of your body and become a more versatile skater.
5. More Basic Skateboarding Skills
Once you've mastered the basics of riding and turning, it's time to start learning some more advanced skateboarding skills. Here are a few to get you started:
Try Riding a Mini Ramp and Pumping
Riding a mini ramp is a fun and exciting way to take your skateboarding to the next level. Start by finding a mini ramp that's small and easy to ride, preferably with a flat bottom and low transition.
When you're ready to start riding, approach the ramp with a good amount of speed and use your legs to pump up and down the ramp. Pumping involves using your body weight to generate momentum and ride up and down the ramp without having to push off the ground.
The key is to shift your weight from your heels to your toes and back again, while using your arms to help you balance.
Learn Manuals (Wheelie)
When you're ready to try a manual, shift your weight to your back foot and lift up the front wheels of your board off the ground. Try to keep the balance by shifting your weight and using small adjustments with your feet to maintain the manual.
Start with shorter manuals and gradually work your way up to longer ones. It can be helpful to practice balancing on your back wheels by standing still first, then try to lift up your front wheels while moving.
Master Basic Tricks Like Tic Tac, Boneless, and Caveman
A tic tac involves shifting your weight back and forth on your board to generate speed, which can be useful for maneuvering around obstacles or generating speed for tricks.
To do a boneless, grab the board with one hand, jump off your back foot, and use the momentum to lift the board off the ground. You can use bonelesses to jump over small gaps or obstacles, or as a way to add style to your riding.
A caveman is a trick where you jump off your board, do a 180-degree turn in mid-air, and then land back on your board. These tricks can be a lot of fun to learn and can help you become more comfortable and creative on your board.
6. Watch Skaters to Learn Tricks and Master More Advanced Tricks
Once you’re at a place where you can pretty comfortably stay on your board and turn without falling off, it’s time to take things up a notch.
This means hanging out at your local skate park and watching more experienced skaters land some sweet moves. Pay close attention to what they’re doing, and think about how you can practice it at home.
You’ll also want to find some good skate videos, for the same reason. Chances are, you’re bound to find experienced skaters doing something awesome that you hadn’t even considered!
Here are some tricks to be on the look out for:
This is the most fundamental trick in skateboarding, and it involves jumping with your board off the ground without using your hands. To do an ollie, pop the tail of your board down while sliding your front foot up the board, and then jump and level out your board in the air.
The Pop Shove-It:
This trick involves spinning the board 180 degrees while popping it off the ground. To do a pop shove-it, use your back foot to pop the tail of your board down and then kick your back foot out to spin the board in the opposite direction.
This is a popular and stylish trick that involves spinning the board 360 degrees while flipping it over. To do a kickflip, start with an ollie and then use your front foot to kick the board in the opposite direction while also leveling it out in the air.
A grind is a trick where you slide your board along a rail or edge. To do a grind, approach the rail or edge at an angle, ollie onto the rail or edge, and then slide along it for as long as you can.
This is a trick that involves dropping in from the top of a ramp or bowl. To do a drop-in, approach the edge of the ramp or bowl, place your front wheels over the edge, and then quickly shift your weight forward to drop down into the ramp or bowl.
Remember, these tricks take a lot of practice and patience to master, so don't get discouraged if you don't get them right away. Start slow, build up your skills gradually. Another way to improve your skateboarding tricks skills is to...
Ready for an upgrade and looking for the top trick skateboards? Check out our guide and review of the best trick skateboards!
7. Use SkaterTrainers to practice your tricks
Isn’t it a bummer when you know the parts of a trick, but you can’t practice them individually?
Well, with SkaterTrainers, you actually can. These are nifty little wheel-stoppers that hold your board in place and allow you to try tricks in slow motion, practicing your moves without fear of the board sliding out of control.
Another possibility is to return to that starter patch of grass and practice there.
8. Go skate!
You can stand on a board, push off, turn, and land a couple basic tricks. Now, you’re ready to start really learning--but to get to the next level, you’ll need to find some friends at the skate park.
Scope out intermediate-to-advanced skaters, ask if they’ll show you how to do that thing they just did, and BAM--skater friends!
Keep Learning and Improving
Skateboarding is a sport that requires practice and dedication to improve. Even the most experienced skaters know that consistent practice is key to getting better.
Make it a point to skate regularly, whether it's a few hours a week or a few minutes a day. Set achievable goals for yourself, such as mastering a new trick or improving your technique, and work towards them consistently.
Remember, progress takes time and perseverance, so stay determined and don't give up if you don't get something right away. Skateboarding is a fun and rewarding sport, and the more you practice, the more you'll enjoy it.
Beginner Skateboarding Tips & FAQs
Bend your knees and be confident:
Skateboarding requires good balance and coordination, so make sure to keep your knees bent and your weight centered over the board. And remember, confidence is key!
Be ready to fall and stay safe:
Falling is a part of skateboarding, so be prepared for it by wearing the proper protective gear. Always wear a helmet, and consider wearing elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards as well.
Use quality equipment and maintain it:
Invest in a quality skateboard and make sure to maintain it properly. Keep your board clean and check it regularly for any signs of wear or damage. Check out our guide on how to best clean your grip tape here.
Take breaks and avoid skateboarding in the rain:
Skateboarding can be physically demanding, so take breaks as needed and make sure to stay hydrated. And be sure to avoid skateboarding in the rain or on wet surfaces, which can be dangerous and damage your equipment.
Common Questions from New Skaters
What Should I Do on My First Day of Skateboarding?
Start by finding a flat, open area with plenty of space to practice. Spend some time getting comfortable standing on the board and pushing off with one foot. Try turning and stopping, and practice riding in a straight line.
How Do You Ride a Skateboard Step by Step?
Can't be bothered to read our whole article? Here is the tldr:
Start by standing on the skateboard with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place your front foot just behind the front trucks.
Push off with your back foot, using short, quick strokes to gain speed.
Keep your knees bent and your weight centered over the board as you ride.
To turn, shift your weight slightly to one side, using your toes and heels to guide the board in the direction you want to go.
To stop, drag your back foot on the ground or use your front foot to scuff the ground gently.
Is Riding a Skateboard Easy?
Whether or not riding a skateboard is easy largely depends on the individual's level of coordination, balance, and athleticism. That being said, with consistent practice and dedication, anyone can learn how to ride a skateboard and perform basic tricks.
What Is the Best Way to Learn How to Skateboard?
Read the 3,000+ word article just above this!
What Are the Benefits of Skateboarding?
Exercise: Skateboarding is a full-body workout that can help improve cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility, and balance.
Stress relief: Skateboarding can be a great way to relieve stress and improve mental health by providing a sense of accomplishment and a way to focus your energy.
Community: Skateboarding can also provide a sense of community and belonging, as many skaters enjoy skating with friends and participating in events and competitions.
Creative expression: Skateboarding is a creative outlet that allows skaters to express themselves through their style, tricks, and personal flair.
Fun: Perhaps most importantly, skateboarding is just plain fun! It provides a sense of freedom and adventure that can be hard to find in other activities.
What Should I Wear While Skateboarding?
It's important to wear protective gear, including a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. You should also wear comfortable clothing and shoes with good grip.
What Should I Do to Get Better at Skateboarding?
The key to getting better at skateboarding is to practice consistently and challenge yourself to learn new tricks and techniques.
How Many Hours Do You Need to Learn to Ride a Skateboard?
Learning to ride a skateboard can vary depending on the individual, but with consistent practice, it's possible to become comfortable on the board within a few weeks or months.
Learning to skateboard by yourself can be a process of trial and error--but by taking it slow and practicing these basic steps, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the board.
Experienced skaters--what are your tips for beginners?