Depending on your athletic abilities, time available, and commitment it takes about a few days to a week to learn how to ride a skateboard. Getting good at skateboarding requires years of practice, some learn faster than others.
Just learning to ride can be achieved within a couple of hours, basic tricks weeks to a few months. The advanced stuff will take years.
Technical tricks will take more effort, tricks like ollies, shuvits, and kickflips require lots of sessions and dedication. Learning to skateboard is an ongoing lifelong process starting with basics and progressing upon that. If you practice every day and stick with the basics you’ll learn skateboarding much faster.
- How Long Does It Take to Become Good at Skateboarding?
- Learning the Basics of Skateboarding
- How Long Did That Take?
- How Long Does It Take to Learn Tricks?
- How Long Will It Take to Learn Advanced Tricks?
- Other Factors
How Long Does It Take to Become Good at Skateboarding?
If you have decent coordination and some athletic ability, you will learn faster. If you are un-athletic with poor balance, skateboarding may take a bit longer for you to learn. We are all different and learn skills at our own pace.
Typically it takes at least 12 months to 3 years to become good at skateboarding. In 12 months you’ll be able to learn a few basic tricks. Between 1 and 3 years you can learn advanced tricks. The progression timeline varies from person to person.
You do not need to be a superstar athlete to learn to skateboard. You just need to put in a lot of practice, day after day.
Let’s break down a general timeline you can expect to follow as you start to get better at skateboarding. Just remember that your level of progression can vary from this depending on your prior experience with riding skateboards.
This timeline assumes you have never ridden a skateboard and intent to practice frequently.
Skateboarding Progression Timeline
- Month 0-1: The first month should be all about learning how to ride your skateboard. Pushing, turning and stopping is a great start.
- Month 2-4: Now you know how to ride and turn and it’s time to move on to basic tricks like manuals, kickturns, ollies, and riding up and down skate parks obstacles.
- Month 5-8: This is a time when getting the basics will pay off tremendously. Tricks like slappies (grinding curbs), (fakie) shuvits, fakie bigspins, decent ollies, and minor board slides shouldn’t be a problem.
- Month 9-12: You got your ollies down and might start to ollie 2 or 3 stairs. Since you are confortable with ollies, it’s time to take on rails and ledges. Your frist grind will feel very satisfying! This is also a time when you learn how to kickflip and heelflip, and combine basic tricks.
- 1 Year+: You know how to kickflip or heelflip or are very close. Ollies are a breeze and your pop will improve. From here on it’s up to you want you want to learn, that tre-flip is right around the corner!
Learning the Basics of Skateboarding
Let’s look at the first and most basic maneuvers you need to learn and see how long they might take. This timeline will the amount of time it might take to do these moves at the very basic level, but you will not be able to do them well without a lot of further practice.
- Balancing: 10 minutes
- Pushing: 30 minutes
- Carving: 15 minutes
- Breaking/stopping: 5 minutes
1. Balance- 10 Min
Balance can be learned in steps. First, put your skateboard on the grass or carpet, so it will not roll. Stand on it with both feet over the bolts and your weight centered over the board. Lean your weight toward the toe and then the heel. Do this many times to feel how the board reacts to your weight shifting.
Now take the board to the concrete or hard surface. Do the same thing. The difference here is that the board will want to roll forward or backward. Gently shift your weight from one side to the other and get used to feeling the board move forward and backward. It won’t move very far if you shift your weight slowly and carefully.
You should now be able to stand on the skateboard, without it slipping out one way or the other.
2. Pushing- 30 Min
Now we want to get the board moving forward. Keep your back foot on the ground and step on the front bolts with your front foot. Your back foot should be on the Toe-Side of the board. Make sure to find out if you’re Goofy or Regular to figure out which is your front foot, AKA Stance.
Center your weight over the front foot and lightly push yourself and the board forward with your back foot. It will probably be a bit like a shuffle. Try to keep yourself moving and then put your back foot onto the skateboard and let it roll.
Pushing is the most fundamental maneuver you will need to know and oddly it is often overlooked by new skaters. You should be able to learn to push fairly quickly, but it will not be a good push. You will need to work on pushing a lot in order to get good at it. The best way to practice is to push and roll everywhere.
3. Carving- 15 Min
Carving is how you make the skateboard turn. Remember in Step 1. Balance when you shifted your weight from your toes to your heels? Shifting your weight is how you will make the skateboard turn while it is rolling.
Give a couple of pushes and then put your back foot onto the skateboard and let it roll. Then lean to your heel or toe side and feel the board turn. You are now carving.
4. Stopping- 5 Min
You are going to need to be able to stop. The easiest way is to lightly put your foot on the ground and let it drag to slow you down.
This will take a bit of practice, and a lot of balance, but should be pretty easy to learn. The important thing to remember is to keep your knees bend and weight centered over your front foot. This will help your balance.
How Long Did That Take?
60 Minutes, you technically learned the basics in one hour. Now, you will not be good or proficient at the basics, but you have technically learned how to ride a skateboard. You need to commit to continuing to improve upon these.
The amount of time it will take to get proficient at the basics will depend on how much and how often you practice. Like any other skill, the more time you put into, the better results you will see. If you skate every day for half an hour a day, you will get better sooner than if you practice for 5 hours once a week. A couple of skateboard lessons will also speed up the process.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Tricks?
This is a very difficult question to answer. Generally basic tricks can be learned with a few weeks to months. There are many factors that affect how long it takes a person to learn how to do tricks, but it mostly comes down to how comfortable you are on your skateboard.
Your fitness level, your coordination, your flexibility, how you handle fear, how often you skate, etc, will all have an impact on the amount of time it takes you to learn tricks. But do not get discouraged. It’s important to learn at a pace you are comfortable with, and push yourself further when you feel ready.
Simple Tricks Don’t Take Years
Once you are comfortable with the basics and riding your board there are some simple tricks you can learn in very little time.
These tricks can all be done in the grass so when you fall it won’t hurt much. Assuming you are comfortable on your board and with the basics, you can start learning my recommended easy skateboard tricks.
How Long Will It Take to Learn Advanced Tricks?
Because skateboarding is based solely on the individual and their commitment to practicing and learning, it would be impossible to determine how long it would take a person to learn more advanced tricks.
Let’s use the Ollie as an example. It is probably the next trick you should learn. The Ollie is arguably the hardest and most important trick to learn in skateboarding. The motions that you need to do to Ollie are very unnatural.
Outside of skateboarding, there are no activities I can think of that require you to do an “Ollie Motion”. The timing and motions of the Ollie can be difficult to put together, but most tricks in skateboarding are based require and will benefit from you knowing how to Ollie.
Depending on the individual, people learn Ollies at different rates. I have known people to learn to Ollie in less than an hour. I know some people that have taken several months to learn to Ollie.
I was able to learn Ollies within a couple of weeks, but I don’t think I will ever have a perfect Ollie in my eyes. Sometimes, my Ollie is great and sometimes it is absolutely terrible. It is a constant work in progress for me, as any trick is.
There are a few factors that we should mention as well. It’s not just about time VS effort. A quality setup makes a huge difference and skating with others will speed up your progress.
Also, if you have skateboarding facilities in your area there are probably many great skaters that can help you learn skateboarding much faster. Skating alone is like reinventing the wheel but don’t worry, there’s lots of helpful content available on Youtube.
Your Equipment Makes a Difference
The quality of your gear makes a huge difference. Even though beginners won’t notice this a lot, over time you will get frustrated with your cheap skateboard. Depending on where and what you want to skate you should consider your setup.
You need a different kind of setup for cruising, parks, bowls, street, etc. Basically this comes down to trucks and wheels and the board size you prefer.
Another factor that comes into play is the environment. For instance, it’s much harder to balance on rough terrain than it is on smooth and slick concrete.
Make sure you pick the right wheels and think about how hard (skateboard wheel Durometer) and big (or small) you want them to be. Small and hard wheels are less suitable for rough roads, big soft wheels aren’t exactly great for technical tricks.
Speeding up Your Progress
If you can, skate with others. This will help you to progress faster in skateboarding as your peers can provide valuable feedback. Don’t try and kickflip straight from the start, this will only slow down progress. As aforementioned, stick with the basics and make sure you feel comfortable.
Try to practice as much as you can and take a break when you get frustrated. It often takes some time before your brain and muscles get used to new tricks, sometimes you pop them right away the next day.
You could technically learn to ride a skateboard in about one day. Within an hour you should have the very basics down, but it will be awkward. Do not get discouraged that it will take some time for you to get comfortable and better at skateboarding.
Skateboarding is a lifelong pursuit of progressing and building your skills. The best part about skateboarding is that you can learn at your own pace and you will see progress. It is an extremely rewarding pursuit.