111 Awesome Skateboard Tips You Don’t Hear Everyday


Skateboard tips

I figured it’s time to write up some skateboard tips for skateboarders that are just starting out. So I sat down with my old skateboard buddies and we came up with 111 skateboard tips for beginners. Some of these tips might seem obvious to you but I bet there are a few you never heard of, let’s go!

Tip 1.

Start slow, don’t go for ollies and kickflips just learn to ride first.

Tip 2.

You’re never too old, don’t let your age discourage you from learning to ride a skateboard.  Are you over 18 and think you’re too old to skateboard? Think again? Sure skateboarding in your ’30s is a bit more challenging, but c’mon you’re in your prime. You have the ability to become a great skateboarder, and if not? You’ll have a ton of fun and there’s a trick you’re good at which nobody else can do. Find your trick and master it!

Tip 3.

Don’t skate in wet conditions, you’re likely to fall and injure yourself.

Tip 4.

Make sure you figured out if you’re regular or goofy.

Tip 5.

On your first day of skateboarding, you should make sure to find a spot without rocks, twigs or cracks. Try a BB or tennis court or a smooth parking lot.

Tip 6.

When visiting a skate park make sure you know the rules. Get yourself familiar with skateboarding etiquette, it will help you make a few friends. 

Tip 7.

Hard (small) wheels are great for tricks, big soft wheels are great for cruising. Want both? Go with something in between.

Tip 8.

Don’t let others ride your board too often, your bushings will start to deform because not everybody rides the same.

Tip 9.

Want to practice ollies or 180s without popping a deck? Get an old innertube (bike) and wrap it around the center of your deck. Jump and pull at the same time.

Tip 10.

Low on cash? At least pick a decent deck and trucks (Indy, Venture, Thunder, Ace). Low-quality wheels are a pain but it’s not something to worry about when you’re a beginner. Mini logos are cheap and you can go for Bones or Spitfire when you got the basics down. 

Tip 11.

When carrying your board make sure the grip tape doesn’t come in contact with your clothing.  Grip tape is like sandpaper and friction will destroy your clothing.

Tip 12.

Got a chip sticking out of your board? You can push it back by slamming it (gently) on the ground.

Tip 13.

Get suede shoes from a reputable skate brand, canvas won’t last a day.

Tip 14.

New trucks and bushings require some time to break in, wait for a few sessions until you adjust your trucks.

Tip 15.

Don’t be discouraged by skilled skateboarders, everyone was a beginner once.

Tip 16.

Act nice and ask for tips, most skateboarders love to help out.

Tip 17.

Skate with friends or make skate friends at your local park, skating alone can be demotivating and it’s harder to progress on your own.

Tip 18.

Don’t throw your board around out of frustration. It’s bad for your equipment and it makes you look like a tool

Tip 19.

Don’t let anyone tell you how to hold your board, mall grab, pushing mongo is just gatekeeping. You be you and do what feels natural, though pushing mongo has some cons.

Tip 20.

If you feel awkward riding a board, see if you can practice in a basement, garage or visit skateparks early in the morning. There’s nobody there and if someone shows up it’s easier to interact with a single person than a group.

Tip 21.

Don’t scratch your board or trucks to make it like you can board/tail/nose slide or grind rails. I had a friend who did that when I was 16 and he was soon busted because he made vertical scratches on the bottom of this deck. My friends and me still talk about it. Don’t be that guy lol.

Tip 22.

Not a popular opinion but please wear a helmet. Helmets can save your life and beginners and kids should always wear one

Tip 23.

If something feels natural to you and others criticize your style, just let them. Not everyone approaches a trick the same way so just go for it. If it somehow makes you trick look sketchy, work on your style and improve along the way.

Tip 24.

Some tricks need preparation if you want to kickflip learn an ollie first. Know how your board responds, learn how it behaves and feels. Want to trey flip? Make sure you know how to pop shuvit and ollie. Once you got that down move on to more sophisticated stuff.

Tip 25.

No place to sit down? Use your skateboard. Sweaty butts may leave an imprint.

Tip 26.

Hate to scratch the graphics? Just let it go. Boards are meant to be destroyed, it still sucks and I wish I bought some deck in pairs, one to hang on my wall and one to destroy. Not everyone has the luxury or a budget to do this. Go for a blank if this bothers you, though graphics really motivate to go out there and skate!

Tip 27.

Clean the area you skate when possible, make sure to remove rocks/pebbles, glass, twigs or anything that will make you eat shit.

Tip 28.

Stay away from crowded areas if you’re a beginner, if you can’t control your board someone is going to suffer. It can be either you or a pedestrian or even worse like hitting a car. The most severe injuries are head injuries and it usually involves a vehicle.

Tip 29.

Older skater? Warm-up. Stretch before and after, I usualy am sore the next day if I don’t.

Tip 30.

Once you want to go for a trick, practice over and over again. If you get frustrated, move on to something you already master. Failing all over again is very demotivating. Once you find yourself in that place, do something else and get back to your trick, maybe even skip it for that day. Your muscles need time to adjust and your brain needs to take it in, I often popped a trick the next day when stuff didn’t really work the day before.

Tip 31.

Clean your bearing every season, dust and dirt will find a way in and at some point they will make a rattling or squeaky noises, time to bath them in nail polish remover and lube them with silicone-lubricant. A Toothbrush also works, don’t brush your teeth afterward.

Tip 32.

Occasionally inspect the nuts on your wheels and kingpin and make sure they aren’t about to fall off.

Tip 33.

Use self-locking nuts on wheels and kingpins. You can recognize them by the plastic ring embedded on top. These type of nuts won’t come off easily, safety first!

Tip 34.

Place spacers between your bearings, they help to keep out some of the dust and dirt and you won’t crush your bearings when you tighten the nuts on your truck axle.

Tip 35.

Make sure to also use speedrings on your truck axle, they reduce friction on your bearings. Speedrings come standard with trucks but it’s easy to lose them when you remove your wheels.

Tip 36.

Want to replace your grip tape? Use a hairdryer and heat the grip tape. The easiest way is to start at your nose or tail. 

Tip 37.

Got some air bubbles after applying new grip tape? Puncture them and smooth them out.

Tip 38.

Don’t use water to clean your grip tape or any component on your skateboard. It will get your deck waterlogged and lose its pop and your bearings will oxidate. If your grip is dirty, just use a brush. If it’s really dirty, you already made a mistake by skating at places or conditions you should have stayed away from. Leave it out in the sun (not on extremely hot days) and use a brush to clean your deck.

Tip 39.

Want to cruise and do tricks? Go with wheels around 56-58mm with a durometer between 80a and 92a. 

Tip 40.

Just want to cruise? Remove those small wheels, add riser pads and slap on some 63mm Hawgs wheels. Cruising will be like never before.

Tip 41.

If you want to slap a few stickers on the bottom of your deck, make sure to place them nerar the trucks. Avoid the centert, noise and kicktail because sliding on stickers is a pain.

Tip 42.

Skateboarding is often about commitment and physically you got it but something in your brain tells you you can’t. You really need to just do it instead of bailing out. Make sure you’re ready and if you don’t master the technique, it’s better to wait. If you are ready, it’s just a mental barrier, commit an do it!

Tip 43.

Don’t skate and listen to music on our phone while you’re cruising, or turn the volume down. You need to be aware of your surroundings and it could end badly.

Tip 44.

Phones, you need them but where do you leave ‘m? Get a protective case or just store it on a backpack. It really hurts when you land on your phone and it could also be costly. I prefer to skate without a phone. Some tips: Keep it in your rear leg front pocket or a pocket with zippers.

Tip 45.

Got an injury? Rolled ankles, heel bruise? Make sure to properly recover before you jump back on your skateboard. I ignored this when I was younger and my ankles are a mess. Sure you recover much faster when you’re 16 but your 35-year-old self would like to have a word with you. You probably don’t care, all the power to you (shut it, gramps!).

Tip 46.

First time dropping in is a scary experience, but it’s so easy. All you have to do is lean backward. WAIT! No lean forward, not backward…gawd. We used to tell this to annoying skateboarders, “just lean backward!” and had a good laugh, but only if they were really douchy. Usually, we guided people and even caught them and told them to kick their front foot, try touching the nose and lean forward. It almost always worked, and if not we made sure they didn’t hurt themselves. You might want to wear a helmet.

Tip 47.

Don’t skate in icy conditions, I know winter sucks but all that ice and snow is a recipe for disaster. Find someplace which isn’t affected by the weather. Parking garages, basements, indoor skate parks, subways. Just be aware that ice and slippery roads are not your friends.

Tip 48.

Stay positive, sure skateboarding can be frustrating but freaking out isn’t going to help you and will make you look like an idiot. Sometimes you need to let go of that frustration, just do something you’re good at. The feeling will go away. If not, well release the anger (wait I just told you not to).

Tip 49.

Does your skateboard turn on its own? Do you hear weird noises or does your board not respond well? Check your trucks! It’s usually your bushings or some broken bearing.  Skateboards never go in a straight line, don’t worry if your skateboard goes to the left or right. If it still has a mind of its own when you ride it, it’s time to check your trucks and bushings.

Tip 50.

Skateboarding is a great way to make new friends, be nice, polite and respectful. You’ll make friends for life and run into people from all walks of life sharing the same passion. In my opinion, this is one of the most valuable aspects of skateboarding. I still hang out with my friends I made in 1996, in fact two of them helped me write this list!

Tip 51.

Don’t stress about trick names, I often get backside and frontside confused but who cares, I still have a hard time recognizing a trick when I see one. My friends and I had our own local lingo and people from outside had no clue what we’re talking about. Just skate, no need to be a scientist just yet.

Tip 52.

People will make remarks, it just happens. I even get remarks and I’m near my forties. There must be something wrong with people that feel the need to tell you to not enjoy yourself. 

Tip 53.

Skater trainers might or might not work. This stuff wasn’t around at when I was younger but I remember locking my board in pavement cracks so why not give it a try. Some hate them, some love them. There is no consensus.

Tip 54.

Want to get stronger? Are you really dedicated? Work out in the gym and train your core. The most important thing about skateboarding isn’t about being muscular or a cardio fanatic. You’ll benefit from a strong core! Do some yoga, not the ‘all hail mother earth’ type of yoga, but the stuff that makes you strong. 

Tip 55.

Sometimes it good to listen to your gut. Fear is a part of skateboarding and sometimes your fear is right. If you know you are skilled enough to land a particular trick, fear is often holding you back. Sometimes you’re not ready and you need to practice a little more, the fear will go away (not always though).

Tip 56.

There is no such thing as a trick learning order, getting the basics down is important but beyond that go with whatever feels natural.

Tip 57.

Don’t focus on others, focus on you. Some progress faster than others and comparing yourself to others isn’t very motivating.

Tip 58.

On that subject, skateboarding is about having fun (to most), if you feel like you’re not having fun it’s often a good idea to take a short break. Your other options are to visit other skate spots or check some videos to get stoked again.

Tip 59.

There are ways to practice your balance if you can’t go out and skate. You can fill a plastic bottle with water and place your deck (remove the trucks) on top, or buy a dedicated balance board. Do this on a piece carpet or on a yoga mat.

Tip 60.

A deck can last for about 6 months depending on how often you skate or which style you prefer. If you only skate transition your deck can last over a year. Hardcore street skaters sometimes have to replace a deck after two weeks. 

Tip 61.

Wheels can last for a long time but it depends on the quality of the urethane and how often you skate. Cheap wheels could wear after a few months.

Tip 62.

Trucks are the most durable components of your skateboard, again depending on the brand. Indys last the longest.

Tip 63.

Trucks come in low, mid and high. Some prefer highs, some prefer lows and some brands advertise their trucks as high but are mid compared to other brands highs. It’s confusing, the lack of standards in the industry is frustrating at times.

Tip 64.

New trucks can make squeaky noises, the cause is often the bushings. Sometimes it helps to just go skate and break them in, sometimes a bit of silicone lubricant does miracles but if your bushings are old, you probably have to replace them.

Tip 65.

On the subject of breaking in. This goes for trucks, shoes, bushings and even knee pads. It just takes some time to get everything to work properly and your board needs to adjust to your style. Eventually, you just need to get used to your new parts or setup.

Tip 66.

Pick a deck based on its manufacturer, not just the brand. There are a couple of great woodshops that make decks for many brands. Dwindle, Chapman, BBS, PS stix are a couple of manufacturers that come to mind. I must admit that I also look at the graphics.

Tip 67.

Skateboarding is a healthy exercise and not as dangerous as perceived. You’re more likely to injure yourself playing basketball.

Tip 68.

Buying a blank deck can be cheap but you’re not always supporting the skateboard industry. The extra earnings from graphics are used to develop technology, sponsor skateboarders and organize contests. Think about it.

Tip 69.

Lighter skateboard trucks won’t make you ollie higher, it’s all about technique.

Tip 70.

Complete skateboards are often cheaper but you won’t get any high-quality components. Go to your local skate shop and see what they do with your budget.

Tip 71.

Even though skateboarding is on the rise again, local skate shops are suffering. The rise of eCommerce and shops like Zummies make lots of skate shops go out of business. If you can, buy local.

Tip 72.

Use sho goo to increase the lifespan of your skate shoes. Check out my post about how to make your skate shoes last longer and save yourself some money.

Tip 73.

Break boards often? Consider a Powell Flight deck. These decks are one of the strongest you can get. Got a lot of money to splurge? Check out Lithe skateboards, they make the strongest decks in the world.

Tip 74.

Don’t use runners or basketball shoes. You need to feel your board and often these type of shoes don’t provide much. Skate shoes have flat soles which makes them ideal to quickly move your feet around. Runners don’t provide much stability on a skateboard and make riding a board feel sketchy. 

Tip 75.

If you want a setup for transition skateboarding, go for a wider board (between 8.25″ and 9.0″) with large wheels and high trucks (Independent).

Tip 76.

Technical street skating requires a more responsive setup. An 8.0″ is the standard nowadays and wheels should be around 52 or 53 MM, durometer between 96a and 100a. Get low trucks like for example Thunders.

Tip 77.

A mini ramp setup should be similar to a transition setup. Wider deck, larger wheels, and high trucks

Tip 78.

Heavy riders should ride a wider deck and preferably one that can take an impact like the Powell Flight decks. Your setups should also consist of harder bushings and solid trucks.

Tip 79.

There is some correlation between the size of your feet and the width of a deck. If you have large feet go with a wider deck though some still prefer an 8.0 is generally advised to go with a deck between 8.25″ and 8.5″.

Tip 80.

Having a hard time getting a trick down? Slowly work your way up. 3 stairs ollie? Start with one stair. Pop shuvit? Start with a regular shuvit.

Tip 81.

Want to teach your child to skate? take it slow and let them enjoy themselves. It should always be about fun.

Tip 82.

Wearing knee pads or elbow pads over abrasions will slow down the healing process.

Tip 83.

Raining all day? Find a parking garage, a basement, an old abandoned building or an indoor skate park

Tip 84.

Do your feet hurt? It will go away. It takes time for your feet to adjust to skateboarding but if it doesn’t go away, consider different shoes.

Tip 85.

If you want to grind curbs make sure to wax them, it’s the oldest tip in the book. Waxing metal is a bad idea as it might become too slippery. I don’t recommend it, especially waxing coping might get you in trouble. Your fellow skaters don’t appreciate that.

Tip 86.

Don’t want to drag your skateboard along? Place it between the straps of a backpack but make sure the grip tape doesn’t come in contact with your clothes.

Tip 87.

Store your board somewhere dry and preferably not on the ground. Someone might step on it.

Tip 88.

Practicing a manual? Put your back feed a bit too the front of your tail, not all the way back. It makes a huge difference

Tip 89.

Empty your pockets! It really hurts when you land on your keys. Even a few coins can hurt. 

Tip 90.

Avoid sand, dust, and grass. It will destroy your bearings.

Tip 91.

Don’t put anything heavy on top of your skateboard. It will lose its flex. I must admit I used my skateboard when moving heavy objects, not a good idea unless it’s an old setup.

Tip 92.

You can often fit your skateboard between the seat tube, down tube and top tube  of a bike depending on the frame design. Make sure it doesn’t block your pedals.  

Tip 93.

Local mini ramp or quarter wet? Use a floor squeegee to get rid of the water. Once done, ride it a few times and it will dry up in no time. This doesn’t always work when it’s really cold though, usually, it does the job.

Tip 94.

Check your skate spot for puddles, easy to slip and your gear won’t like it. I remember popping my shoulder once because of a puddle on the platform of a mini ramp.

Tip 95.

Lots of rough roads in your area and you get that tingling feet sensation? Get softer wheels. Not too soft though 

Tip 96.

Try to roll when you fall, it will take away some of the energy of the impact. You can practice this but it will come naturally after a while. Usually, you learn this the hard way.

Tip 97.

When visiting parks, check the direction most people are skating. Don’t sneak in front or disrupt someone’s line, be aware of the skaters around you. Also, don’t litter!

Tip 98.

Don’t drink and skate, some seem to get away with it but you will eat shit eventually. A cold one is great after a session and you open a bottle with your trucks.

Tip 99.

There are laces out there that are stronger than regular laces, you could also bring an extra pair.

Tip 100.

You can file your nails using your grip tape (I’m grasping at straws here).

Tip 101.

You can sand down new grip tape using your old grip tape, new grip can cut your fingers.

Tip 102.

Don’t throw away your old skateboard. I regret that I didn’t keep my first deck, memories man.

Tip 103.

Don’t get a cheap toy deck, they are likely to break on day one.

Tip 104.

Don’t tick tack too often when you have low-quality wheels, the front wheels could deform and become useless.

Tip 105.

Make sure your trucks match the width of your deck.

Tip 106.

You can stack skateboards and ollie over them. 

Tip 107.

Don’t brake with the tail of your deck. The edges will become sharp and it will cause razor tail.

Tip 108.

Cheap bearings suck, just get some Bones Reds and make sure to clean them regularly. Don’t go for nameless brands, they will break after a couple of weeks.

Tip 109.

Be careful when you skate with a backpack and don’t store glass in it. You’re more likely to lose balance and fall backward. Chad Muska might disagree though. 

Tip 110.

Try to land on your bolts, it’s easier said than done but landing in the middle of your deck will snap it in half.

Tip 111.

High skate shoes protect your ankle from razor tail, not from rolling them though.

Ruben Vee

I 'm an aged skateboarder, but I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago and I'm out there whenever I can.

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