How To Start Skateboarding With No Experience
At first, learning how to start skateboarding can be difficult. You might only be able to stand on the board without moving much, but it’s okay. With the right direction and some practice, you will learn how to start riding around and you can even do tricks on the first day!
Learning The Riding Basics
Learning the riding basics makes learning tricks much easier. Riding improves your balance and coordination. These skills need to develop in beginners and they can improve in those who already know how to skate and are working on getting better.
How To Start Skateboarding: Balance Techniques
- Standing on the board- Standing on the board is the most basic balance technique to practice. Ideally, you will learn balance through stepping on the board and actually riding, but standing on the board with something to hold onto can help beginners find their balance at first.
- Leaning side to side/ front to back- leaning side to side balance builds the ankle strength as well as balance to be able to carve to turn and learn tricks. Stand on the board next to something that you can hold on to practice leaning side to side. Make sure your trucks aren’t too loose or you will get wheel bite. Your wheels shouldn’t touch the deck at all and wheel bite. Have your trucks loose enough to turn, but aren’t unstable causing wheel bite because they are too loose. Find what works for you. A lot of skaters start with tighter trucks because it’s more stable to balance on, but then they have a hard time leaning to turn! These skaters will need to learn to kick turn after they get their balance for carving.
- Carving- Turning by leaning the board side to side while all 4 wheels are on the ground is called carving. Carving is used more on skate park ramps to flow smoothly from obstacle to obstacle. It is used in street skating to make riding away from tricks more stylish. Your feet should be over the bolts when you first learn to carve for the best balance.
- Squatting- Being able to crouch down and stand back up while balancing on the board is extremely important. You use this basic movement for loading up to do an ollie. It’s also used in the opposite way to absorb the impact when you land tricks, especially when jumping down stairs.
Having fun on other board sports like snow boards, surf boards, balance boards, and even hover boards will help to build balance for skateboarding.
How To Start Skateboarding: Foot Work Techniques
In addition to balance, the ability to move the board around with your feet is also a foundational skill for when you start skateboarding. (Moving the board with your feet uses other muscles like the ones in your stomach.)
- Foot position- Knowing where to have your feet on the board for riding and various tricks. Find what’s comfortable for you!
- Manual- Being able to do a manual (lift one truck off the ground and balance on two wheels) is the foundation for almost all tricks. It is also a good way to turn sharply with the Tic Tac.
- Tic Tac- Picking up one end of the board to turn allows you to turn much sharper than learning to carve. It also allows you to do 180 kick turns going up and back down ramps. Its important when navigating through pedestrians sharing the sidewalk. It’s the best way to turn
Working on these basic skills makes more advanced maneuvers so much easier.
How Much To Skate
Skateboard every day if you can.
Skateboarding isn’t just a physical activity, it’s mental.
What this means is that knowing in your head what you’re doing and exactly how to move your body is useful to learn tricks faster. Part of confidence comes from knowing what you’re doing. Skateboarding requires confidence to land tricks.
Learning to skate without understanding the trick or how to move your body can make a trick take 100 attempts to land instead of 10.
If you are trying a trick and are doing the same thing over and over, but not landing it, go try another trick before going back to the one you were working on. Ride around and clear your mind. Or maybe do your trick in a line with a few other tricks before it. The momentum of landing tricks in a row really helps. Keep it fun when you can even when you’re struggling to land a trick. Getting a trick down is worth the struggle though, so keep trying!
After skateboarding maneuvers are done enough times, the body actually remembers the motions for you-this is called muscle memory. After doing a motion like the pop, jump, slide, and land of the ollie so many times, your body will remember exactly what to do. It will automatically know when you need to start sliding your foot forward and how to land on the bolts. It takes time to develop muscle memory.
It’s all about trial and error, so pay attention to where you can improve to master your movements.
In the beginning, it’s best to learn to cruise and build up your balance, but there are tricks you can learn without even being able to ride.
RELATED ARTICLE: Beginner Skateboard Tricks Even YOUR MOM Can Do