The Order of Learning Skateboard Tricks to Look like a Pro


skateboard in a skatepark

I often see this question and the answer isn’t that simple. The order of tricks depends on what you prefer and what you’re capable of. The most important thing is to make sure you cover the basics before you move on to tricks. However, I will do my best to guide you a bit in what beginners should cover before you go and attempt Tre flips.

There is no real order to learn skateboard tricks. It all depends on your personal preferences, your skill level, and the style you prefer. You need to get the basics down before you can move on to advanced tricks, the order is what feels right to you.

Now before you go and try to ollie, it’s best to learn how a board feels and responds. I estimate that about 90% of skateboarders start out practicing ollie stationery but don’t even know how to ride properly. Please do yourself a favor and cover the basics first. This might seem boring, but in reality, it will help you progress much faster in the long run.

Let’s get to some tricks that will help you to become a great skateboarder. I’ll start with the order of basic skateboard tricks and move on to more advanced stuff further down the list. 

Be aware that this post is inspirational, the order makes a bit of sense but only a fool would follow it to the exact rule. It really depends on what you prefer.

I already did a similar post, check out my basic beginner trick guide to become a better skateboarder before attempting your first ollie. Now let’s get started! 

1. Manual

It seems pretty basic but manuals are great to get to know your board and it’s just perfect to combine with other tricks. I suggest you grab an old deck because the manual is razor tail nightmare. You will scrape your tail a lot and it will wear down your board fast. 

The most important thing here is balance and not placing your back foot at the end of your tail. 

2. Fakie Shove-it

This is a really easy trick but will make you comfortable shoving your board around. Once you got this you can move on to big spins and whatnot. If you feel comfortable riding fakie, you won’t have much trouble landing this one. There’s a bit of a commitment issue here, it’s quite easy to bail and not land but it’s really easy.

3. Shove-it / Shuvit

Once you got the fakie shuvit down, move on to the regular shuvit. I may be completely biased here, but I think the shuvit is harder to learn than the fakie variant. The shuvit requires commitment but is probably easier than an olie, so first things first.

It’s better to learn an ollie first because it makes it easier to move on to a pop-shuvit. The basic shuvit doesn’t require the tail to hit the ground.  From there you can do frontside, backside, 369-shuvits, big spins, etc. 

4. Ollie

Invented by Alan ‘ollie’ Gelfand in 1976 and one of the most basic tricks that lead to a whole lot of new tricks. It isn’t easy and feels really awkward when you’re a beginner. You’ll get it though, it takes time and dedication and at some time you just pop that board and land.

Once you got this down, you can start to ollie curbs while you’re cruising. Wear a helmet though.

5. Pop-Shuvit

Now you both got the basic shuvits and the ollie down, it’s time to combine them. A pop-shuvit requires the tail to hit the ground and is a bit more aggressive compared to a regular shuvit. Practice until you drop!

Seriously though, if you have a hard time and get frustrated it’s usually a good idea to do some other stuff first and go back at it later. Make sure you can do both frontside and backside, it will help you move on to flip trick combos.

6. No Comply

According to Wikipedia, It was John Lucero that invented the no comply but Neil Blender named it and made it mainstream. It’s hard to find out exactly who did it first, but there are multiple skaters that contributed to the no comply. According to Transworld a Photographer called “o” might have helped. Here’s an interesting video from RadRat about this trick:

It’s a neat little trick that looks great and isn’t that hard, at least once you know how it works. When you feel comfortable you can move away from flat and move on to jump from objects or try it on a quarter pipe. A great creative trick that opens a lot of other options.

7. 180 Ollie

It’s hard to find the origin of this trick but you can assume it’s an ollie variation. This trick can be done both front side and backside and is name the half-cab when you ride fakie. You can do this trick both frontside and backside.

It’s best to start with the backside variant, to most skaters this is easier because you are more aware of where you’re going.

A bit harder but some actually prefer this side. It’s up to you to find out which you prefer but learning them both have many benefits.

8. Heelflip

Finally, it’s time for flips. In general, a heelflip is easier to master than a kickflip so I’d suggest starting with heelflips before you move on to kickflips. It’s a great way to get used to flipping your board and just looks badass. A well-executed heelflip is always appreciated, 

9. Kickflip

It’s quite a leap going from an ollie to a kickflip and some think it’s a good idea to start kickflips on day one. In order to learn a kickflip, you really need to know how your board reacts and feels very comfortable riding. Skipping the basics will only make you progress slower and can be frustrating.

Fun fact, it was originally called the magic flip but it’s called a kickflip as far as I can remember.

10. Varial Kickflip

This used to be a popular trick back in the 90s but less so nowadays. If you know how to shuvit and kickflip, this should not be too hard to learn. The varial kickflip was (again) invented by Rodney Mullen over 3 decades ago (1983).

11. Hardflip

If you got the frontside pop-shove it down and feel comfortable doing kickflips, it’s time to practice the hardflip. It’s not an easy trick, but it looks rad.

Daewon Song was the first one to land it on video (Love Child – 1992), but he once told that Dan Gallagher might have been the one who actually invented the trick.

12. Varial Heelflip

Make sure you know how to frontside pop shove-it and are familiar with heelflips before you attempt a varial heelflip. In order to do this trick you need to heelflip and spin your board 180 degrees frontside. 

13. Inward Heelflip

Moving on to the inward heelflip, once you know your pop shove-its, ollies and backside pop shove-its you should be ready.  This trick is a combination of a heelflip and a backside pop shove-it.

14. Backside 180 Heelflip

Next in line is the backside 180 heelflip. It’s the start of a whole series of combination flips that will destroy anyone who challenges you to a game of S.K.A.T.E. 

This trick is a combination of a heelflip and backside 180 ollie. I love this trick, it looks so clean and landing it makes you feel like a king. Like many tricks, it requires a lot of dedication and focus. If you’re having a hard time, pop of few heelflips and backside 180 ollies and get back at it. 

15. Frontside 180 Heelflip

basically this trick is just a frontside 180 ollie and a heelflip in one. Skateboarding tricks are all about combining stuff and getting creative and this is a great example. There will be many more combos down the list, just make sure you can do the trick individually before you attempt a combo.

16. Backside 180 Kickflip

Now that you covered both frontside and backside 180 heelflips, go for the kickflip variant.

This is a combination of a kickflip and a backside 180 ollie, and I personally think this one just looks great and is very satisfying to land. Don’t start doing this if you can’t kickflip or do a 180, it will just be frustrating and perhaps somewhat risky.

17. Frontside 180 Kickflip

Another combo of basic tricks. just like the backside 180, you need to know how to do a frontside 180 and a kickflip. Combine them and you got something impressive.

18. 360 Pop Shove It

Not sure if I should have listed this earlier, but learning how to shove your board 360 is the start of getting to the next level. It requires a lot of effort to scoop your board all the way around but with the proper technique you can get it down. Make sure you really master this one before you start combining them with flips.

19. Backside Big Spin

Compared to the previous tricks this one is a lot easier but still a challenge. You need to scoop your tail hard in order to get it to spin full circle and meanwhile turn your body 180 degrees. A great trick that opens new opportunities.

20. Frontside Big Spin

This is a bit harder than the backside big spin, in my opinion. I don’t like the looks of this trick but it’s still very impressive and when you got this down it’s just great to combine with grinding. To pull this off you need to place your front foot about an inch below you decks bolts while keeping your toes hanging off the edge and the ball of your foot on the edge/side. It will make scooping your board less difficult.

21. 360 Flip / Tre flip

I LOVE this trick, it just looks pro and impresses everybody. Even though this on if on the far end of this list I know skaters that pulled this one off before the could comfortably drop in from a mini ramp, go figure. Of course, it’s hard to compare the two of course but just to place things into perspective.

Again, it was Rodney Mullen who came up with it and it’s just amazing. get the kickflips and 360 shove-its down and this one should come naturally at some point.

22. Ollie Impossible

Same as the previous trick, this one can be pulled off fairly early and to be honest, this list is just a collection of tricks which you can practice anytime you want, you just need to feel ready for it and have the basics in check.

Even though it’s called impossible, it’s not extremely hard like those flips we talked earlier about. Spin your deck around your back foot and land when it comes to the proper position. Easier said than done and it’s all about the angle. It shouldn’t go sideways but just up and around.

23. Laser Flip

This one is quite difficult to master and you need to make sure you’ve nailed the varial heelflip and 360 frontside shove-it before you even attempt this trick.  It’s basically a frontside 360 varial heelflip and credits it got its name from a video where lasers are heard in the background music. Again, I have to credit Radrat for this information because he did a thorough check and makes a solid case.

24. Backside Big Spin Kickflip

This is pretty hard to do and you need to make sure you know a couple of the following trick before you can pull this off.  These tricks are mentioned already but learn the backside Bigspin,  Varial Kickflip, and 360 Flip before you attempt the backside big spin kickflip.

25. Casper flip

If you can reach this level and pop Casper flips occasionally you might have a good shot in competing in a few competitions. The Casper flip gets you noticed! It’s such a rad trick that will turn heads in disbelief. How the heck do you pull that off?

The Casper flip was invented by Bobby Boyden, nickname Casper in the late 70s. Again, Rodney Mullen improved it and perfected the trick in the early 90s. There are a bunch of variations but it basically comes down to a combination of a half kickflip and scooping it back on the underside of your skateboard decks tail. It’s often confused with the hospital flip but they aren’t the same.

Transition Tricks Learning Order

Ok, if this isn’t what you’re looking for and want to skate transition, here’s a shortlist of tricks that are fun and rewarding.

This list of tricks is if you’re not much of a street skateboarder and want to focus on transition. Assuming you already know how to ride and push I’d suggest learning skate tricks in this order.

  1. Tail stall
  2. Rock to fakie
  3. Axle stall
  4. Fakie rock & roll
  5. Rock & roll
  6. 360 rock & roll
  7. hang up
  8. 50-50 grinds
  9. Nose stall
  10. Revert

Transition is very rewarding and in my opinion a lot safer when you’re an older skater. If you know these basics tricks you can ride all day long and just work on your style and form. Skateboarding is about fun and skating to your ability. I would have given up already if it was all about competition.

Start out Stationary or Move?

I’ve seen this debate many times, and to be honest, it’s up to you. Sure learning a trick while moving is entirely different than doing a trick stationary. It’s just what you prefer. It’s fine to start out stationary and most skaters do, don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong, that’s just nonsense. 

It’s Not About the Order

I want to point out that this list is just for inspiration, there is no such thing as an order. Just pick a few which seem doable and start practicing. Some will be easy and some are just too hard, depending on what you prefer.

Some are way better at kickflips, some find heelflips much easier and I’ve had friends who did huge airs in verts but couldn’t do a kickflip. Just make sure you get the basic stuff and move on to whatever you feel comfortable with.

Skate as much and often as you can, and enjoy. The order of tricks is all up to you.

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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