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How to skateboard for beginners – The complete guide

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It doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, overweight, tall or skinny, skateboarding is a fun sport to learn. Nobody learns skateboarding at day one, it takes time, dedication and some guts.

The most important thing beginner skateboarders need to learn is how to ride with confidence. You don’t need to start doing tricks right away.

Wear protective gear like a helmet and knee pads, and wear proper skate shoes. Look for a place that’s not too crowded so you won’t get in anyone way. This also saves you some embarrassing moments.

So we’ll start at the basics so you can quickly ride a skateboard in no time.

  1. Learn how to balace on a skateboard
  2. Learning how to ride and stop
  3. Learning how to turn and break
  4. Learn how to fall.
skate park

Start With the basics

The basics of skateboarding consist of keeping your balance on a skateboard, finding out your preferred stance (goofy or regular), and being able to push and turn.

  • Start on a smooth, flat surface. Empty parking lots or driveways can be good starting points.
  • Avoid traffic, people, and obstacles.
  • Consider starting on grass or carpet. This provides more stability and helps you get the feel of the board without it moving.

Make sure you wear protective gear like a helmet and knee pads, and wear skate shoes which help to control your board.

On your first day, you’ll do nothing more than just practice balance and perhaps a short ride. Look for a smooth surface like a parking lot and avoid crowded places. Gear up by wearing proper protection and try to buddy up with an experienced skater to guide you.

Step 1: Practice Balance

  • Place the board on a stable surface like grass or carpet.
  • Stand on the board with your feet shoulder-width apart, one foot near the front bolts and the other near the back bolts, close to the tail,
  • Keep a slight bend in your knees. This helps with balance and prepares you to absorb any bumps or irregularities in the surface.
  • Rock the board by leaning from side to side to prepare for turning.
  • Jump on and off the skateboard.
  • Repeat until you feel comfortable
  • Now practice this on a smooth surface.

Step 2: Pushing and Riding

This is the time to learn which stance you prefer, goofy or regular. The best way to find out is by using the stance that feel natural. Most skateboarders are regular (left foot in front).

Inspect the area for pebbles, twigs, cracks, and pieces of glass you want to avoid.

How to turn push on a skateboard:

  • Start by pushing yourself with one foot while the other stays on the board. Use your back foot to push.
  • After pushing, place your pushing foot onto the board and adjust your feet to a more perpendicular angle to the direction of travel. Bend the knees!
  • Shift your weight and push again if you feel comfortable.
  • Slow down by dragging your back foot or gently stepping off the board.

Pro tip: Try to extend your front leg as far out as possible and mimic falling forward. This will result in the most efficient and balance push.

Step 3: Turning and Carving

How to turn on a skateboard: Lean on your toes and heels on the side of the skateboard to to turn. Once you feel comfortable, learn Tic Tacs to quickly change your direction.

This will feel very uncomfortable at first. Try to bend you knees and don’t lean too much. Take it slow.

  • Push forward,
  • To turn or “carve,” lean gently to the left or right. Your board will follow.
  • For sharper turns, press down on the tail of the board to lift the front wheels and pivot.

Step 4: Practice Falling:

  • It might sound odd, but knowing how to fall can reduce the risk of injury.
  • Try to avoid catching yourself with outstretched hands. Instead, try to roll or let your protective gear take the impact.
  • To make this less scary, ride towards grass and simulate a fall. The grass will absorb the impact.

Further Practice

Once you know ho to ride you are almost ready to hit a skate park. If this is your goal you should start practicing manuals, riding fakie, pumping over obstacles, and kickturns.

After that you can move on the some simple skateboard tricks and gradually work your way up to your first ollie.

I wrote a guide that will help you to prepare for your first skateboard tricks by starting simple. I added related tricks to really leanr how to control a skateboard.

Check out my easy skateboard tricks guide, and quickly progress from an absolute newbie, to a decent intermediate skater.

A Few More Tips

To wrap it up i want to share a few tips you might find helpful.

how to skateboard infographic

Don’t be embarrassed

It happens to every new skater. What will the neighbors think? I look like an idiot. Will people laugh at me because I have no idea what I’m doing. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. Everybody had to learn skateboarding at some point.

If it’s really too big of a deal for you, try to look for a quiet spot like an empty parking garage or use your driveway. Just keep going, it won’t take long before you can do some pushes and ride.

I still get remarks from old ladies telling me I’m too old to skateboard. “it’s for kids!”. Don’t care.

Learn From Others

If you can, ask for tips from peers. Try to skate with others once you feel comfortable enough, often skateboarders are happy help out if you ask nicely.

Fear is normal, skate with confidence

It’s just something that’s part of skateboarding. Fear is what keeps you from injuring yourself, but sometimes it holds you back. If you’re just starting out, don’t do anything you’re not ready for.

Take some lessons and be patient

Maybe you know someone that can guide you or consider taking some skateboard lessons at They can help you find a local instructor. You should try to get a bit practice before you take lessons to get the most out of it.

It’s better to practice 1 hour than a couple of hours using the wrong posture and the wrong techniques.

Skate as often as you can

Skate at every opportunity you get, preferably every day. Take your board to work, school, friends etc. Starting out with a skateboard just for commuting is a great way to get used to a skateboard. You’ll probably want some softer wheels to make the ride pleasant.

Follow the Written and unwritten rules

Once you’re ready to go to a skate park, make sure to follow the rules. Don’t snake, camp on objects, ride in the wrong direction. Here’s what you should learn about skate park etiquette before visting a skate park for the first time.

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