When first starting out with skateboarding, it is important to learn the basics first. Many beginners go out and jump straight into practicing ollies and tricks, this is not the best way to learn and will slow your progression. Remember, you have to learn to walk before you can run!
Balance Your Skateboard First
Firstly, learn to balance on the board. Sit your board on a flat surface such as grass, or carpet to ensure the board doesn’t move. Stand on the board with your feet apart, roughly in line with the screws – stand in a way that feels best for you, and gives you most balance.
Push off and Step Forward
Once you feel reasonably balanced and safe, it’s time to try and push off. Move your board onto some smooth concrete, put your forward foot on the board (the foot which will not be pushing – there is no right or wrong with this, it’s about what feels natural to you), now push with your back foot in one long smooth stroke. The smoother the stroke you make at push off, the easier it will be to ride.
Learn To Use Both Legs
Once you are moving smoothly, gently turn your foot sideways and move your other foot onto the board, keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight – if you’ve got your balance right, you’ll now be riding! Don’t worry if you fall off a few (hundred!) times, it’s completely natural, you’ll get there in the end!
Learn How To Turn
Once you’re confident with pushing off, it’s time to learn how to turn – you can go in a straight line but it won’t be long before you reach an obstacle, rather than stop, learn to steer around it!
Whilst riding, gently put pressure in one direction, either towards your heels or towards your toes, you should begin to turn, how sharply you turn will depend on how much pressure you apply – practice until you are comfortable and confident in your turning ability.
It’s Time To Learn How To Stop
Finally, once you’ve mastered these basics, it’s important to be able to stop. The easiest ways for a beginner are to either put a foot down on the ground and gradually slow yourself with your foot or use a tail stop.
A tail stop is performed by shifting your weight to the back of the board and standing on the tail of the board, making the board tip back and drag the tail on the ground. Doing this often can damage the tail of your board, unless it is fitted with a plastic tail stop.
So there you have it – the simplest of basics, but if you master all of these, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pro in no time, your ride will feel so smooth that you’ll feel like you’re on a self-balancing scooter!