wikiHow to Ride Downhill on a Skateboard

This will show you how you can avoid falling while cruising down a hill on a skateboard.


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    Learn how to stop first! The most common and safe method is to footbrake. Take your back foot off of the board and slide it along the ground until you slow down and stop.
    • If you're comfortable enough on the board, you can also tailslide. With your back foot on the tail, push down on it so the tail drags along the ground. Lean forward so the board doesn't slide out. This is not recommended by most people because it tears up the tail of your board.
    • An alternative to tail-sliding that doesn't tear up your tail is to heel-slide. It's the same thing as a tailslide except your back foot's heel is hanging over the back of the tail, so the heel of your shoe slides on the ground instead of the tail sliding on the ground.
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    Keep your front trucks looser than your back trucks. Wobbles start in the back, so it is good to have the front trucks looser than the back trucks. Just make sure that they are not too tight or it might be harder to carve/turn. This is the best thing to do because this will help minimize your wobbling when you are going fast. As you get more comfortable with your abilities, you can start to loosen your trucks.
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    Stay calm. When you get nervous or afraid, you put tension in your muscles which can cause you to over correct each turn. If you stay relaxed and loose, the likelihood of getting speed wobbles is dramatically reduced.
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    Keep most of your weight over the front truck. Crouching with your knees while going downhill will also reduce speed wobbling. Don't crouch too low. Also remember to keep your legs fairly loose, otherwise you may get additional speed wobbles from your muscles tensing. If you begin to experience speed wobbles try to loosen up your legs and slowly straighten up your stance. Keeping your weight over your front trucks will also help to minimize speed wobble and give you better control over your board.
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    Bail out only if you absolutely have to. Otherwise, there are several things that you should always attempt first:
    • Try making very wide, deep carves to slow yourself down.
    • Foot brake to lose some speed by lightly dragging your foot off the deck and on the ground. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways of scrubbing off speed, especially when there isn't enough room to carve. Bailing should be done only as a last resort, but if necessary try to bail onto grass or make sure that you roll when you fall.
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    Ride away smoothly once you're at the bottom.


  • Learn to carve. If you don't know what that is then watch surfers, the wide turns they do are called carves. Chances are you know how to do this already because it's the only kind of turning besides kickturning, but it's good to practice.
  • Before you attempt to ride downhill, check everything, like your wheels, bearings, and people that might get in your way.
  • Make wide, steep carves to help slow yourself down.
  • If you are starting out, stick with smaller, mellow hills. By keeping your speed low, you can still bail out and be able to run.
  • If you find yourself getting speed wobbles put a little more weight over the front truck to make it track straight, the rear truck will follow and stop the wobble.
  • Crouching at higher speeds gives you much more stability rather than standing normally, as does keeping your legs loose, and making sure your weight is evenly distributed over both trucks.
  • Learn to foot brake! This is the most important skill in bombing hills, it will allow you to slow down before things get too gnarly!
  • Slow down after you hit earth. You don't want to outrun your hips (run too fast and fall forward). Try to land on your toes and be sure to push extra hard the second you feel them touch down. Calmly go from dashing to sprinting to running to jogging to brisk walking and thank the heavens and the Skate Gods.
  • Walk or drive the hill to find any spots to avoid such as gravel or light reflectors before attempting.
  • If bombing hills is your absolute favorite thing to do and you don't really care about tricks, consider getting a longboard or cruiser setup. A wide deck, matching trucks, and large, soft wheels are good for cruising. You can still do some skateboard tricks on a cruiser, but not on a longboard, so choose carefully.
  • If you are going with friends, it is good to have a vehicle following you to block traffic. It also helps at intersections, since drivers will see your backup car instead of you.
  • A board with a longer wheelbase (a longboard) will reduce the chance of getting speed wobbles.
  • If you're scared, don't worry about it, just go for it (within reason). Check "Warnings" first, however.
  • If you're about to fall, bail if you have to but always attempt to land in a safe area (grass, ideally). This will most likely reduce injury if you manage to fall on smooth concrete or grass rather than running into anything.
    • Another option is the running man bail; when all is lost and you are out of control at high speeds. Jump forwards and up hard for your dear life and run as fast as you possibly can in midair. Hit the ground and hope you got the speed approximately right regarding your forward momentum and your foot steps. Fear actually helps, dumping epinephrine and adrenaline into the central nervous system.


  • If you fall, rolling is the key.
  • While dragging your foot on the cement slows you down, it can eat away at your shoe very quickly.
  • Don't take on a big hill as a beginner, it is dangerous. Remember to be able to ride at higher speeds confidently before you take on a big hill.
  • Remember to wear your proper protective gear when riding your skateboard. It doesn't sound attractive, but in the long run it'll greatly reduce your risk of injury if you fall or have to bail out.

Things You'll Need

  • A skateboard (many prefer a longboard)
  • A hill
  • Protective gear

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Skateboarding