A Beginner's Guide to Skateboarding

a person jumping a skate board in the air

Camera Icon Hrant Khachatryan / Unsplash

Getting Started

Choosing the Right Skateboard

Selecting the right skateboard is crucial for beginners. Here are the components you'll need:

  1. Deck: The deck is the wooden board on which you stand. Choose a deck size that suits your height and shoe size. Beginners often opt for wider and more stable decks.

  2. Trucks: Trucks are metal T-shaped components that attach the wheels to the deck. Make sure the truck width matches the deck width.

  3. Wheels: Skateboard wheels come in various sizes and hardness levels. Softer wheels provide better grip, while harder wheels offer more speed.

  4. Bearings: Bearings are the small metal rings that fit inside the wheels and enable them to spin smoothly. Look for high-quality bearings for better performance.

Safety Gear

When skateboarding, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Wear the following protective gear:

  1. Helmet: A helmet is essential to protect your head from injuries. Choose a skateboarding-specific helmet that fits well and meets safety standards.

  2. Pads: Elbow and knee pads provide extra protection when you fall. They can prevent cuts, bruises, and more serious injuries.

  3. Wrist Guards: Wrist guards are crucial for protecting your wrists from fractures or sprains during falls.

Basic Skateboarding Techniques


Before attempting any tricks, it's important to find your most comfortable stance. There are two main stances in skateboarding:

  1. Regular Stance: Your left foot is forward, and your right foot is at the back of the skateboard.

  2. Goofy Stance: Your right foot is forward, and your left foot is at the back of the skateboard.

Experiment with both stances to find which feels more natural for you.

Pushing and Riding

To start moving on a skateboard, follow these steps:

  1. Position: Stand with one foot on the skateboard's tail and the other foot on the ground.

  2. Push: Use your foot on the ground to push backward while lifting your back foot onto the skateboard.

  3. Balance: Keep your knees slightly bent and your body weight centered over the board. Look forward to maintain balance.

  4. Foot Placement: Position your front foot across the deck with your toes angled slightly outward. Keep your back foot on the tail for stability.

Turning and Carving

Turning and carving are essential skills for controlling your skateboard. To turn:

  1. Lean: Shift your body weight by leaning slightly to the left or right.

  2. Foot Pressure: Apply more pressure on the toes or heels of your feet to initiate turns.

  3. Carving: Carving involves making wide turns by leaning and shifting your weight back and forth.


Learning how to stop is crucial for safety. There are two common methods:

  1. Foot Brake: Drag your back foot on the ground to slow down and eventually stop the skateboard.

  2. Power Slide: Shift your weight to the back foot, kick the tail to initiate a slide, and allow the wheels to skid and slow down.

Progressing with Tricks

Once you've mastered the basics, you can progress to learning tricks. Here are a few popular tricks for beginners:

  1. Ollie: The ollie is the foundation for many tricks. It involves popping the tail of the skateboard and sliding your front foot up to level the board in the air.

  2. Kickturn: Kickturns involve lifting the front wheels off the ground while turning in the air, then landing and continuing to ride.

  3. Manual: A manual is a trick where you balance on the back wheels of the skateboard while rolling forward.

  4. Pop Shove-it: A pop shove-it is a trick where you pop the tail of the skateboard and use your back foot to spin it 180 degrees while in the air.

Remember to practice tricks in safe and suitable areas, such as skate parks or smooth, open spaces. Always wear protective gear and gradually progress as you gain confidence and skill.

Joining the Skateboarding Community

Skateboarding is not only an individual sport but also a vibrant community. Consider joining local skateboarding groups or visiting skate parks to connect with other skateboarders. Learning from experienced riders and sharing experiences can help accelerate your progress and foster a sense of camaraderie.