So you want to learn to skateboard, but you’re not so keen on the idea of paying for lessons. And it’s 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
3. Start skateboarding on a level surface
First, practice pushing off with your rear foot, and bringing it 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.
4. Watch skaters to learn 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 skate parks 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!
5. 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.
6. 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!
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? Let us know on Instagram @boardblazers!