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How to Skateboard

Four Parts:Getting StartedMastering the BasicsLearning to OllieLearning Other Tricks

Skateboarding is one of the most popular and iconic street sports. Whether you want to learn the basics to cruise around, or you want to learn to kickflip like a pro, you can learn what you need to get started. From buying your first board to nailing an Ollie you can learn what it takes to surf the sidewalk.

Part 1
Getting Started

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    Find a board appropriate for your interests. Skateboards can be cheap or expensive and come in a variety of sizes and styles. The two most basic are regular classic skateboards and longboards. Visit your local skate shop or a skating website to check out some affordable options.
    • Classic skateboards have curved noses and tails, and have a concave to help with tricks. They come in a variety of sizes, most about 31" or 30 in length long and 8" wide. These are the boards to buy if you want to skate at the skatepark or on the street and to do tricks, eventually.
    • Longboards or cruisers have a longer and flatter body. The length of the board varies, but they can be up to twice as long as a classic skateboard, making them much more stable and rideable for beginners. You can't really do tricks, but if you're interested in skating as a way of getting around or bombing hills, it's a great option.
    • A beginner skateboard should cost between $50-$150. Try to have your board set up for you at the skate-shop with the right kinds of trucks and wheels for what you'll be doing. Just remember, NEVER buy a Walmart or Toys R Us board. They will snap quickly and are hard to learn on. Go to a real skate shop.
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    Get some appropriate footwear. Skate shoes are typically sold by brands such as Vans, Airwalk, Converse, or Etnies. They have sturdy sides and flat bottoms, perfect for gripping the board. While you can always skate with regular sneakers, it's a lot easier to maneuver around the board with skate shoes.
    • Never try to skate in sandals or flip-flops. You need to be able to move your feet around easily and feel comfortable. Without these, you can hurt your ankle easily and are a lot more likely to fall.
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    Get the appropriate safety gear. When you're first starting out learning to skate, you're going to fall down. Probably a lot. Consider investing in safety equipment such as a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads to protect you from falls and accidents. This is especially important for beginners. Some states, like California, require all skaters to wear helmets on the street.[1]
    • Make sure to get a helmet that fits your head properly. Before you go to the store, use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your head, just above your eye brows, in a straight line around your skull. Buy a helmet that fits snugly.
    • There's nothing lame/childish about pads. It's important to protect yourself from serious head injuries.
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    Find a good place to skate. A level, concrete driveway or parking lot is a good place to start getting comfortable on the board. Make sure there isn't anything in your way and be wary of cracks, loose stones and potholes. Running over a little pebble can account for a whole lot of crashes, especially with hard wheels.
    • Skateparks are great places to skate once you've got some experience. If you're just trying to get the board to stay under you without falling down, parks might be a little intense. If there's one in your area, go watch some skaters for tips, but stay on the sidelines.
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    Consider getting someone you know that's good at skateboarding to teach you. Your dad probably can't shove it or anything, so ask someone from a local shop or park if you can watch them. Bring some beginners and ask if what he's doing is intermediate to advanced skating, if it is, perfect. You have a teacher.
    • Skating with friends is a big part of what skating is all about. If you've got some skater friends, get help learning from them. Learning from friends is infinitely better than learning on your own or on the internet.

Part 2
Mastering the Basics

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    Stand on the board properly. Put the board flat on the ground and stand on it to learn to place your feet properly, and get your balance without falling down. Stand with your feet angled sideways on the board, your feet lined up roughly with the truck screws that attach the wheels to the board.
    • Regular foot means that you've got your left foot forward and your right foot in the rear. This usually means that you'll use your right foot to push.
    • Goofy foot means that you've got your right foot forward and left in the rear. Usually, this means you'll use your left foot to push.
    • Rock back and forth a little to see how the wheels move and how much sway you've got on the trucks. Just get comfortable.
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    Try pushing off very gently and placing your feet on the board. Turn your front foot slightly so it's more straight with the board, instead of sideways on the board. Use your other foot to gently push off, going very slowly at first. You don't want to have an accident just because you were going too fast before you were ready.
    • After you get some momentum, practice putting your back foot into place on the back of the board, just ahead of the tail curl, around the trucks. Get your balance and ride, bending your knees some to keep your balance.
    • Mongo foot means that you feel more comfortable pushing off with your lead foot, and riding with your back foot. Some people see it as acceptable, but it will hinder you later and it's an awkward motion to swing your front foot around. If you find yourself pushing mongo, try switching from regular to goofy or vice-versa.
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    Give yourself another push when you slow down. Keep practicing, making little push-offs, and pivoting your feet to ride on the board until you slow down. Then pivot your riding foot straight, push off with your other foot, and pivot back. The more you do this, the more comfortable you'll become at riding the board.
    • Try speeding up, but just a little. Like a bike, some riders find it actually quite a bit easier to keep your balance when you're moving a little quicker.
    • If you start speed-wobbling, you can tighten your trucks. This will make it harder to turn but you can practice with tight trucks until you get your speed wobble under control. Shifting your weight forward usually helps.
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    Flex your ankles and shift your weight to turn. Once you've got the hang of pushing off and riding some, try turning the board gently by shifting your weight. Ride with your knees flexed, keeping your center of gravity low to the ground. Then, shift your weight forward some to turn right (if you're riding regular foot), and rotate your ankles back to turn the board left.
    • Depending on how loose your trucks are, you may have to only shift your weight very gently, or really bend into it. You can loosen your trucks by turning the large bolt in the center of each truck (lefty loosy, righty tighty). This puts more (tight) or less (loose) pressure on the bushings and makes turning easier (loose) or harder (tight).
    • If you have trouble balancing or falling while turning, shift your upper-body weight in the opposite direction. What really matters is that your feet pivot the deck so the trucks do the turning.
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    Put your foot down to stop. To stop, you can simply put your pushing foot down when you've slowed down some, and halt your momentum. However, don't just jam your foot down hard at a fast speed. Start by dragging lightly and drag harder when you're going slow. Keep your riding foot on the board, or it'll just keep going.
    • You can also shift your weight back and scrape the tail against the ground if you want to stop. Some longboards have built-in plastic "brake" pads along the back lip of the board, while others won't. This is usually a bit more difficult, and will scrape away at the back of the board. An alternative that won't damage your board is to put your heel behind with your toes still on the tail when you do this. Your heel will drag on the ground instead of the tail.
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    Try riding switch. Once you get very comfortable just riding your board, try switching around and riding with your back foot in front and your front foot in back. If you want to be a really good skater, you'll learn to skate equally comfortably from both directions, if you get switched around for a trick. This comes in handy when you try a half-pipe, or any number of different types of skateboarding tricks.
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    Learn to fall properly. All skaters fall early and often. It's a part of skateboarding. It's important to wear the proper safety gear at all times, and learn to fall properly. To keep yourself from getting injured more seriously than the regular scrapes and bruises that are the skaters calling card, you can learn a few little tricks to keep yourself safe.
    • Put your arms out, but keep them loose. If you're very rigid, you risk breaking wrists and ankles more seriously than if you use them to cushion your fall.[2]
    • Roll out any time that you fall. You might scrape yourself up, but it'll hurt a lot less than if you're landing with a splat.
    • Bail out if you see something going bad. If you're going too fast and can't control your board, just jump off and land on your feet, or roll into the grass. Don't stick on a board that you've lost control of.
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    Watch more experienced skaters to learn tips and tricks. Find some other skaters to skate with. It helps you to learn from their styles or different skill levels. If you don't know anyone, just talk to some other skaters at the local skate park. They are usually friendly, and will help you out. Experiment, make a higher ollie, read about how to do another trick, whatever your heart desires. Your teacher is more a friend than an instructor now, share skills with him, and anyone else you want to show off to.
    • For tips on how to do the moves, you can always watch a move in a video in slow motion and pay attention to the foot movement. Sequential photos are another great way to learn.
    • The more you practice, the better you will be. Don't get discouraged because you can't land a trick the first or second try. Just practice and have fun, and you will get the trick eventually.

Part 3
Learning to Ollie

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    Start by popping the front up with your back foot on the tail. An ollie involves popping the board up into the air and landing on it safely. The first part of this trick is to get comfortable shifting your back foot for the tail of the board to hit the ground, so you can pop it up and into the air. Get used to this motion, it can't be stressed enough.
    • As you stand on the board, practice rocking back, popping the nose up into the air and staying balanced. You can even try it in motion if you work up the nerve.
    • Before you even try the first motion of an ollie, it might be a good idea to just stand beside the skateboard and practice popping it up into the air. Use your foot to stomp on the tail and see how much pressure it takes to pop it up in the air. This is also useful to pop it up to your hands and pick it up easily.
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    Try to pop up the board while you're stationary. Stand on the board and flex your knees quite low, shifting your center of gravity down over the trucks. Shift your back foot back so it's on the tail. Pop the tail back, as you would while you're doing a manual, except all the way to the ground. Then pop it up into the ollie.
    • Don't start in motion just yet. Before you can nail an ollie on the ground, it's quite dangerous to try one while you're skating. You'll probably wipe out.
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    Pop the board up into the air and jump. To get the board to pop, you want to simultaneously slide your front foot backward just a little and leap into the air, bringing your knees up to your chest, while you stab down on the tail with your back foot.
    • This needs to be done in one swift motion, and it's somewhat difficult to get the hang of at first. You want to jump up into the air and off the board at the same time as you pop down with your back foot.[3]
    • You'll leap with your front foot just a little before you leap with your back foot. Imagine you're running sideways and trying to jump over a cone. You want to do that kind of motion.
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    Drag your front foot forward to catch the board. After the board pops up in the air, drag your front foot forward to flatten the board back out and keep it under control. You'll need to start doing this pretty much as soon as you jump into the air.
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    Push the board down by straightening your legs out. After you've straightened the board, push it back to the ground by straightening your legs and landing on the board in riding position. The most important thing to remember is to land with your feet over the bolts and knees bent, this improves your chances of rolling away successfully and keeps the board from breaking as often, as well as avoiding injury.
    • No shame in bailing out. If the board hasn't stayed straight, or it just doesn't feel right, don't try to land on it. Land on your feet instead.
    • In fact, it's probably a good idea to practice your first ollie by just jumping off the board and landing beside it.
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    Try an ollie in motion. Once you can land ten stationary ollies in a row, try doing one in motion. Push off and start skating at a low to moderate speed, then crouch down and pop the board up just as you would when you're standing still.
    • This is the fundamental skill to learn, which most other popping style tricks are based on. For more information and links to specific trick articles, check out the next section.

Part 4
Learning Other Tricks

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    Try a pop shove it. Do an ollie as high as you can, then as you level off your feet, give a nudge with the front foot on the board so it spins 180 degrees. You may want to use a little "scoop" motion with the back foot to make it spin easier.
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    Try a kick-flip. Do the same thing as a pop shove it, except when you nudge the board, kick the little area where the side of the board rises. Try out a few different motions until you get it to spin. This is not an easy trick, so practice and don't give up.
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    Try to grind. Start with a fairly low rail (equal to or less than one foot.) This is not easy, so take it in steps.
    • Start out simply rolling up to the rail, then jump off of your board and land with just your feet on the rail, letting the board roll away.
    • Next, practice popping the board up as you jump, but don't worry about where it goes after that. Just make sure that your feet land on the rail.
    • Make sure you roll up to the rail at a slight angle, not completely straight. This way, there's less risk of one truck getting caught on the start of the rail.
    • Now it's time for the real thing. Ollie as high as you can, in the direction of the rail. Land with your feet on the bolts and the board balanced on the rail.
    • If the deck is sliding sideways on the rail, it's a board-slide. If you stay in the direction of the rail so your trucks lock in and grind it, it's a 50-50 grind.
    • Once you get to the end of the rail, turn the board around if you're in a board-slide (so it faces the right direction) and land over the bolts. If you're doing a 50-50 grind, lift the front wheels slightly (by pushing on the tail, again slightly) to the front of the board doesn't plummet down. An alternative is to ollie off.
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    Head to the skatepark and learn to drop in. Dropping in takes guts, but it's worth it.
    • Start with your tail on the coping (the metal on the top of the half-pipe) and your foot just behind the bolts, but far enough back to balance.
    • Put your front foot over the bolts, and slam the board down. Don't hesitate, or you will fall. It takes confidence and power.
    • Be sure to lean forward in this motion. If you don't, the board will slide out from under you. Your shoulders should always be parallel to the board.
    • Don't worry about coming down on the other side, just hop off of your board at the top.
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    Do some lip-tricks. Some good ones are a Rock to Fakie, Axle Stall, and Nose Stall. These look impressive, but are not that difficult to learn if you have several months of experience. When you go to the skatepark always be aware so you don't get hit. Trust me it hurts.


  • Always have your weight slightly forward. Leaning backwards may cause the board to come out from underneath you.
  • Never give up. If you fail, continue practicing.
  • Keep trying! Never give up!
  • Always keep your feet apart, keeping them together will make you lose balance.
  • Do not keep your phone or other breakable objects in your pockets.
  • Be very patient with beginners.
  • If you are told to leave a spot, then leave. If security or police come, the skate session is over. Move on. Try to skate in a safe and legal spot. Your driveway, a car park, a garage, a dead-end street or a local park are all great places.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move around. You don't have to follow the latest trends but skate shoes are a good idea.
  • Keep leaves out of the way. They mess your tricks up.
  • If you are a beginner, do not think you will be great at first. It takes time.
  • Be safe and keep distances from children, animals ext.
  • Spend some time on your skateboard in place and experiment with positions,it helps you a lot later on to keep your balance. You can move your feet and rock about. You are basically familiarizing yourself with the board.
  • If you feel like you're still not comfortable on the board enough to do a trick, then don't. Be safe but go or it when you're ready.
  • Good trucks like Thunder, Independent, Tensor, Grind King, royal, etc.. allow you to turn more easily and with more control. Good wheels like Force, Darkstar, Ricta, Autobahn, Spitfire, Bones and more, and good bearings like Bones (Bones Reds are often called the best), Swiss, Rockin' Rons, Ninja and more, allow you to get up to speed quickly and maintain that speed. Good decks like Revive, Mini Logo, Mystery, Almost, Black Label, Element, Real, Girl or Chocolate and more, allow for more control, feel and durability.
  • Squatting low keeps your center of gravity low which means that you wouldn't be able to fall over as easily.
  • Always bend your knees.
  • When picking a deck, know what kind of skating you want to do. If you want a stable board that's easy to land on, grind with, and cruise on, a width of 8 to 8.5 inches could be good for you. If you want flip tricks and technical skating to be easier and require less movement, you may like a width of 7.5 to 8 inches. However, this is completely personal, so stand on several sizes before making your pick.
  • Don't be embarrassed if you fall, it's normal. Even experts fall!
  • Skate on smooth streets, not old and rough ones.
  • Buy some good quality skate shoes to properly protect your feet and aid in grip when skating.
  • Always look in front of the board to see where you are going.
  • Always wear wrist guards if you don't want to risk a really annoying injury.
  • When landing a trick, always stomp on the bolts so the board doesn't slide out from under you.
  • Skateboarding is all about balance, practice going down slightly slanted hills with only one foot or while shifting your weight from one foot/leg to the other.
  • Know how to land when you fall. It even helps to practice falling.
  • Find a skating buddy. If anyone you know is starting skateboarding like you, meet up with them and talk about your technique, or how fun or hard it is. Skating is a lot more fun with friends, and more is better.
  • Give way to pedestrians and drivers.
  • Always wear a helmet and wrist pads. Those are the places that get hit the most.
  • Practice as much as you can, and don't give up over a fall. Really, some people have a bad fall and never want to skate again.
  • When on a "Penny Board" you must remain with most of your weight on the front and keep a low center of gravity.
  • Wear protective gear, like a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, etc.
  • Wear protective gear so you don't hurt yourself.
  • Always practice first on a smooth and flat surface.
  • If you can't turn easily when you lean, loosen the trucks from the large bolt in the center.


  • Don't throw your board when frustrated, this can often cause irreparable damage.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • It's best to skateboard in groups and around several people. If something happens, you got your back covered. Plus it's more fun to be around friends.
  • Find good skate shoes that will be comfortable and last a long time.
  • Don't do what other people do just because they're doing it. Only do what you feel comfortable with.
  • Wear protective gear. Knee pads can be restricting but are essential for skating vert.
  • Wear a helmet. You may not think it's cool, but it will save your head from getting cracked. Skateboarding is fun, but be aware of injuries or deaths that may occur without a helmet.

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