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How to Ride a Penny Board

Three Parts:Standing on a Penny BoardKicking on a Penny BoardManeuvering a Penny Board

A penny board is a small plastic skateboard. It’s flexible, lightweight, and ideal for short distance rides or maneuvering on city streets. Since a penny board is lighter and shorter than a regular skateboard, you will need to learn how to stand, kick, and maneuver on this special type of board.

Part 1
Standing on a Penny Board

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    Wear the right shoes. Close-toed, flat-soled shoes are the best for riding on a penny board. You want to ensure that your toes aren’t exposed in case you trip or fall. The flat sole will let you feel and grip the entire board.
    • Canvas shoes like Vans or Chuck Taylors work well.
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    Place your penny board on a flat surface. This is important if you’ve never learned how to ride a skateboard. Placing your board on a flat surface will allow you more control when standing, preventing it from sliding around.
    • Stand on a patch of gravel or patch of grass to lock the board in place. Although it will be more painful if you fall, on gravel, these surfaces will hold you steady while you learn to stand on the board.
    • Hold onto something for balance. If you are near a handrail or a wall, hold onto it to help you balance.
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    Place your left or right foot on the board (just make sure its comfortable for you when practicing) just behind the two screws that connect your front trucks to your board. This is the foot that you won’t use for kicking and it will always be in front of your other foot to for balance. Your body should be facing forward.
    • Some skaters will ride mongo, which means you push with your front foot (usually dominant foot). Mongo pushing involves keeping the foot on the back of the board, not the front.[1]
    • Regular skaters will lead with the left foot and face right when moving forward.
    • Goofy skaters lead with the right foot and face left when moving forward.
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    Put the ball of your other foot on the ground as if you are going to kick. Practice picking this foot up and down while you find balance on the board with your other foot.
    • Balance on your board with one foot and get a feel for how easily your board wobbles. Knowing how far you can lean before losing your balance will help you when ridging and turning,
    • If you feel your board wobble too much, tighten your trucks. The trucks are the metal parts of your board that connect to the wheels and deck. Use a unit tool designed for skateboards to adjust the trucks. With your tool, turn the kingpin to the right until you feel a tightness.[2]
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    Adjust your front foot. Move your front foot around on the board until you feel comfortable. If you are having a hard time balancing, try placing your foot closer to the center while you kick with the other.
    • Shift your dominant foot back using the ball and heel of your foot until you feel your entire foot pressing down on the board.
    • The farther back you move your front foot, the more shifting you may have to do when actually riding with both feet on the board.
    • Try to keep your foot positioned so that the front of your shoe covers at least the bottom two screws in the front.
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    Switch to a coasting position. Turn your front foot at a 45-degree angle to the board. Place your back foot behind the back truck at a 90-degree angle to the edge of the board.
    • The back foot will be perpendicular to the board. Place your foot where the lip curve meets the flat body of the board.[3]
    • When shifting and turning your front foot, lift up your heel and turn on the ball of your foot.
    • Goofy skaters will have the right foot positioned at the front; regular skaters will have the left foot at the front.

Part 2
Kicking on a Penny Board

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    Move the penny board to a flat, long stretch of asphalt or concrete. Make sure there isn’t any traffic when you are practicing, since you will have less control than usual when you first start riding.
    • It’s best to find a quiet street or empty parking lot to practice in.
    • Look for somewhere where you will have room to push a few times.
    • Make sure the area you are skating on doesn’t have large cracks, bumps, or rocks.
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    Face forward. Place your front foot on the board behind the front screws and find your balance. Lift your other foot off of the ground and make sure you feel comfortable on the board.
    • Adjust your foot as needed, moving it forward or back until you feel confident and comfortable.
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    Make sure both your feet are facing straight forward. Kick off from the ball of your foot that’s on the ground with a light step. Don’t go too fast too soon.
    • Keep most of your weight on the leg and foot that’s on the board. Focus your weight on the big front toe. Keep your knee slightly bent.
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    Kick by placing the ball of your foot on the ground and pushing every few feet to gain speed. Don’t allow your foot to touch the ground for too long, or your may lose your balance.[4]
    • With your kicking foot, push off with the ball of your foot, like you’re kicking dust backwards.
    • Make longer strides when pushing. A long, smooth stride will keep you consistent and make balancing easier.
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    Start coasting. Once you’ve gained enough speed and you feel comfortable, place your pushing (back) foot on the board. At this point, turn your feet and body sideways, twisting your neck to see where you are going.
    • Your front foot should be at about a 45-degree angle and your back foot should be perpendicular to the board.
    • If you need to adjust your front foot, slide it forward or backward using the outer edge of your foot.
    • Place your back foot where the lip of the board meets the body, right where the four back screws are.
    • Keep your knees bent slightly and center your gravity in the middle of the board.
    • Extend your arms out to help you stay balanced.
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    Practice moving between positions. Transition between pushing and coasting until you feel comfortable and confident in your balance. Practice extensively before you try penny boarding in busier areas.
    • Keep playing around with the placement of your feet and the bend in your knees. Make small adjustments until your coasting stance feels natural.
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    Experiment with placing your front foot. You want your front foot at an angle between 45- and 90-degrees to the board as you coast. You will be facing sideways, and you should choose an angle that gives you optimal control on your terrain.
    • You might find, as you begin, that it even feels comfortable to keep your front foot mostly straight.
    • Finding a comfortable placement for your front foot is important because it steers your penny board and keeps it situated under you.

Part 3
Maneuvering a Penny Board

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    Get a feeling of your turning ability. Understand that you will have limited ability to turn while your trucks are tight. If you are still practicing kicking and coasting on the board, it is better to keep the trucks tight until you feel confident in your balance.
    • Turning on your penny board involves shifting your weight either forward on the balls of your feet, or back on your heels. By pressing down on either edge of the board, you lean on your trucks causing you to turn.
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    Loosen your trucks slightly to gain more flexibility in your turns. Take your tool and and locate the kingpin, which is the large nut in the center of your truck. Turn the nut to the right to tighten, and to the left to loosen.[5]
    • Tighter trucks create less wobble, making you feel like you have more stability for balance. However, if your trucks are really tight, you’ll have to lift your board up to turn.
    • Since the penny board is small, you may find it easier to loosen your trucks slightly as turning will be much easier.
    • Looser trucks allow the shifting of your weight to better compress the bushings on one side. The bushings are the colored rubber parts on your trucks. The bushings allow the hanger, the large “T” shaped part of your truck, to pivot creating a turn.
    • Don’t make your trucks too loose as this will not only make it harder to balance, but if your trucks are too loose, the nut could get dislodged if you hit rocky terrain.
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    Gain more speed by kicking. Keep kicking consistently until you reach an adequate speed before your turn. If you’re going too slow, you may not have the momentum to make the turn. Too fast and you are likely to fall.
    • If you are going too fast, you’ll feel your board start to wobble. These are called speed wobbles and it makes it hard to turn your board as it may slip out from under your feet.
    • When learning how to ride a penny board, keep your turns wide by making large carves. Take your time turning. If you’re in an open area, slowly shift your weight to begin your turn and move in a large arch.
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    Place your back foot further up the lip for a sharper turn. Keeping your back foot perpendicular to the board, slid it up the lip. It can be on the very back of the deck to help you turn at a sharper angle.
    • The sharper you turn, the more you should bend your knees to keep your balance.
    • To do a kick turn, a sharp turn where you lift the front wheels off the board and pivot, make sure your back foot is on the tail. Place most of your weight on your back foot and press down, while swinging the board around with your front foot.[6]
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    Place more on weight on your front foot to carve in the direction of your turn. Your front foot will guide the board on your turn. As the plastic deck tips, the wheels will turn in the direction that you are pointing the deck.[7]
    • Guiding your turns with your front foot is known as carving. This is how you normally turn your board.
    • You will still shift the weight of your back foot for a carving turn as well, but your front foot does most of the steering!


  • Start with your trucks tighter when you first buy your penny board. Loose trucks give you more maneuverability, but they make the board move from side to side. It can be easy to lose your balance with loose trucks.[8]
  • Wear skate shoes. These flat shoes help you move your feet easily while keeping some traction with the ground and your board. The flat sole helps you find your balance as you skate.
  • Wear protective gear such as elbow and knee pads, and a helmet.

Article Info

Categories: Skateboarding