There are many things we will probably come to love about skateboarding. As we get into it more and more, we will find that there are many things to do.
At the same time, however, it’s important to understand the fundamentals perhaps more than anything else. Those are the things that we will continue to fall back on time after time and the more time we spend practicing fundamentals, the more we will enjoy the more difficult parts of the sport.
If you are just learning how to push on your skateboard, you should recognize it will take a lot of practice. Within a few minutes, you will be able to make your board go but making it go the right way from that point forward has a lot to do with getting started on the right foot.
As far as the right foot is concerned, that is going to be your back foot on the board. For most people, especially right-handed individuals, that is going to be your right foot.
There are some who keep their left foot out in front, and that is something that is known as skateboarding goofy-footed. It certainly is possible to skateboard that way, and you should always do what is most comfortable for you, but learning how to skate with your left foot out front is best if you can do so from the start.
In addition, you will be pushing with your right foot in a motion that is almost as if you are walking away from the skateboard. Rather than walking away from it, you will be moving it along with you as you propel yourself forward
Just like some people ride the board goofy-footed, there are also some people who push with their front foot. Pushing with your front foot is known as ‘Mongo pushing’ and although some people are able to do it successfully, it does have its issues. For example, pushing with your front foot means that you will have less balance and it will take you longer to get into position once you start riding.
When you are pushing with your front foot, your back foot will be at the center of the board. This does not provide the same level of stability as having your front foot on the board.
When you push with your back foot, your front foot is over the trucks out in front of the board, near the bolts. That provides you with a greater level of stability so when you transition from pushing to riding, you will be able to gain your center of balance quickly.
Just like anything you need to do in life, you will have to practice, practice, practice in order to improve your pushing ability. Once you get the fundamentals down, you can even begin to push your skateboard in ways that you never even thought possible before.
How to Push Faster
Once you have the fundamentals of pushing down, you will want to take things to the next level. That is done by pushing faster, something that you will come to master with practice.
Pushing your skateboard faster is similar to the fundamentals of pushing, but you are going to be doing it with a greater arc. You begin with a forward kick, raising your foot as high as you can in the air in front of you comfortably. Of course, you would not want to lose balance.
As you bring your foot back alongside the board, the ball of your foot would touch down just in front of the front wheels. That is the point where it can comfortably come in contact with the ground without throwing your body weight forward too far.
The key to making your board go faster is to keep your foot on the ground as long as possible. After it touches down in front of the front wheels, it should stay on the ground until it is behind the back wheels.
In other words, the longer your foot is on the ground, the faster you are going to go.
It is also important to keep your foot close to the board. Many new skateboarders tend to keep a wide gap between the board and their pushing foot, which throws them off balance.
Eventually, once you are comfortable with this new method of pushing, you can use your upper body to go even faster. This is done with an opposite motion.
In other words, as your right foot is going forward for the push, your left arm is going forward and your body is twisting. As you are pushing back with your right foot, your right arm would go forward. Make sure that you maintain your balance the entire time.
This method of pushing can get you going quickly in a relatively short amount of time. Just one or two pushes like this and you will be able to ride a long distance.
How to Maintain Balance While Pushing
Balance is one of the most important things to master if you want to be good at skateboarding. Regardless of whether you are pushing, riding, or doing a trick, having your balance is the key to success.
When pushing, the most important factor for maintaining your balance is to keep your center of gravity over the board. Don’t allow your pushing foot to get too far away from the board, keep it right alongside.
Not only will keeping your pushing foot close to the board help to maintain your balance, it is going to give you more power. More power is more speed, which is something we all want.
You might also find it beneficial to try standing on the board and maintaining balance. This will help you to learn your center of gravity.
Stand sideways on the board with a foot on each end. Left one foot slightly, allowing the board to come up just off the ground, and then lift the other foot slightly.
This back-and-forth motion may seem awkward at first but when you are comfortable with it, continue to go faster. Eventually, you will be able to walk the board forward and backward.
You can also try standing on the board using one foot at a time. Begin doing it in the grass or on another soft surface and transition to doing it on a solid surface. Make sure you have your guards on in case you fall!
Taking the time to learn your balance on a stationary board will work wonders in helping you to know your balance on a moving board. It’s a fundamental you should continue to practice, even after you are comfortable skateboarding.
Make the Transition from Pushing to Riding
Pushing is one part of the process but the next part is riding. Here’s how to make the transition from pushing to riding.
After getting your board moving with a few good kicks, you will lift it up and put it on the board behind your forward foot. At this point, it will be sideways and just behind the forward foot.
The front foot can then be moved into position. This would usually mean moving it slightly forward on the board to where it is comfortable. You can then move your back foot into position at the back of the board.
At first, the transition is going to seem somewhat awkward but as you get used to doing it, you will be able to move into position naturally within just a few moments. Doing so will help you to maintain your balance and to continue to enjoy the ride.
How to Get a Running Start
Sometimes, it helps to give yourself a running start. That is what this section is all about.
A running start can give you the speed that you need at the top of the hill or it can be used along with a good push to get you going quickly on a flat surface. It’s a skill you should learn to master, not only for convenience but because it looks really cool when you do it.
Start with the board held in the same hand as your forward foot. For most people, this means you will be holding the board with your left hand.
Take three steps forward, starting with the right foot and as you are bringing your left foot forward for the fourth step, let go of the board and allow it to fall down.
When the board hits the ground, allow the forward motion of your left foot to land your foot on the board. It may take some practice, but the forward foot should land in position on the board just over the front wheels or perhaps slightly forward.
Now that your front foot is on a board that is already in motion, you simply lift your back foot and put it in position on the back of the board. Now you can enjoy the ride.
At first, you are going to miss a few times and you are not going to get it perfect each time you do it. With a little practice, however, this little maneuver will help to get you started quickly. You can even throw down your right foot and give yourself a healthy push to get going even faster.
Pushing is about more than technique, it’s about practice. It’s a fundamental part of learning how to skateboard, the same as balance and even turning.
Continue to practice your technique and to improve it over time. It’s something that you will use each and every time you go out skateboarding and the better you are at pushing, the better you will be at everything you try to do.
I’m an aged skateboarder and I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago but also love surfing, snowboarding, or anything that involves a board.