The word beginner can be a scary term for a hopeful skateboarder. Most of us have a hard time being a beginner at anything but it’s important to remember every skateboarder from Tony Hawk to Paul Rodriguez was once in your skate shoes. The difference is, you have GoSkate to help get you started.
Here at GoSkate, we want to encourage as many people as possible to not only step on a skateboard for the first time but nurture their love for skateboarding.
To help you get rolling–literally and figuratively–we asked the experts upstairs and put together 5 Beginner Skateboard Tricks Everybody Should Learn.
Remember, skateboarding is one of the healthiest and encouraging activities on the planet but it still requires beginners of all ages to wear the proper safety equipment. If you’re a minor, consult with your parent or guardian before stepping on a skateboard and always make sure you’re wearing the proper attire.
Leave the flip flops at home, pick up your helmet and enjoy the ride.
Where to Practice:
Listen, we all want to be the best skater we can. So it’s important we get off on the right foot.
The skatepark is always a great place to skate but it can be intimidating for beginners who have yet to really master the simple maneuvers required to navigate a skatepark successfully.
So here are a few places you and a buddy can start getting the hang of things:
- Empty Parking Lot: Before there were skateparks, empty parking lots were the breeding grounds of ramp jams and curb kings. An empty parking lot is a great place for smooth, flat pavement, and out of the way of bystanders and moving vehicles.
- Just remember, empty means empty. Cars are a skateboarder’s greatest adversary.
- Skate Park Before Noon: A skatepark can be an intimidating place but you’re a skateboarder now which means you can do anything you set your mind to. That doesn’t mean we can’t put ourselves in better positions to succeed.
- Skateparks usually hold the hours before noon for beginners and kids. You’ll always find a more inviting, mature and beginner friendly crowd in the early hours of the day. It’s also a great way to make friends to help you progress at a faster rate.
- Your Local Neighborhood: Every skateboarder has honed their abilities in their own neighborhood. Whether that be in their own driveways or skating around to see what sidewalks have been made into perfect little ramps by oversized tree roots; or what empty parking lots reside at the neighborhood church.
- It’s also a great way to stumble upon someone in your neighborhood who might also be a skater.
5 Beginner Skateboard Tricks:
Now that you’ve received the how and where for the most successful way you should start learning how to skate, here are 5 beginner skateboard tricks everybody should learn.
- Kickturn: The kickturn is one of those special tricks once you learn it, it becomes the groundwork for a plethora of future tricks in skating. It can be a little difficult at first to understand why but the kickturns main accomplishment is getting beginners comfortable with using their hips and shoulders to manipulate the board. To do a kickturn, start by riding at a slow pace and pressuring the tail of the skateboard with your weight on your backfoot. Then lift your front truck and swing the board around 90-180 degrees by swinging your hips and shoulders to essentially turn the board on command. Settle all four wheels back down and smile with glee. This will be your foundation for learning 180s, disaster stalls, even backside flips and 360s.
- Start by riding at a slow pace.
- Pressure the tail with your weight on your backfoot.
- Lift your front truck and swing your hips and shoulders around.
- Rotate 90-180 degrees and settle all four wheels down.
Together let’s spread the stoke for learning how to skate!
- Tic Tac: The tic tac is probably the first beginner skateboard trick every skateboarder learns because it feels most like a trick for someone who has yet to do an ollie or a shuv it. Still, what this trick is really valuable for in terms of advancing your skating–is helping skaters identify and understand the importance of finding your center balance. To do a tic tac, place one foot on the nose of your board and the other foot on the tail and essentially attempt to walk with your belly facing out.
- Place one foot on the tail of your board.
- Place one foot on the nose of your board.
- Putting pressure on your back foot lifting your nose.
- Attempt to walk by pressuring your nose and lifting your tail.
Start slowly, be mindful of rolling and embrace the tic tac rhythm of the trick.
You and your friends can pick a few squares on the sidewalk and race to the end. It’s also a great way to start building those leg muscles.
- Shuv It: The allusive shuv it is more than likely the first trick to drive you crazy and give you your first minor injury. Don’t worry, it’s a badge of honor and a sure sign you are headed in the right direction. Essentially, the shuv it is pop-shuv-it’s predecessor. SInce you don’t know how to ollie and pop your board just yet, you’re going to be focusing on “shuv’ing” the board’s nose and tail. Don’t let the jargon intimidate you. We’re basically causing your back foot to swoop the tail around to switch places with your nose with a 180 degree spin. You can do this frontside–as seen in our video–or backside, which is generally more common and intuitive. We start by placing our front foot over the spin of the board in a place that feels comfortable to you but definitely below the set of bolts on your front truck. Your back foot is where the magic happens. You’ll need to position your toes in the pocket of your board and just over the edge of your tail. Your toes should slightly be hanging off the edge so when you jump and swing your backfoot behind you, the board is manipulated into turning 180 degrees.
- Place your front foot on the spine of the board.
- Place back foot in the pocket of the board with your ‘toes’ slightly over the edge.
- Simultaneously jump while swooping your back foot behind you.
- Causing the board to rotate in a flat motion 180 degrees.
Don’t fret if you can’t get the board to rotate 180 on your first go. It might not even happen in the first week!
Just keep practicing and trying different foot placements with your back foot. You’ll get it, we promise.
- Manual: The manual is one of the most important tricks any skateboarder can learn as it literally opens the gateway into an entire realm of trick progression. That being said, manual tricks are known to be some of the hardest and most frustrating tricks possible, but that also means they are some of the most rewarding. For beginners, the manual is best conceived of as a wheelie; where you lift up your front wheels and balance on the back. Sounds simple enough right? But as you will see, it’s quite difficult to hold it for long. Try to first manual one square’s length on a sidewalk. Or if you really have the hang of it, you can attempt a nose-manual and lift your back trucks to balance on your front wheels.
- Stand on your board with your backfoot planted on your tail.
- Place the weight on your backfoot and life your nose to get your front wheels off the ground.
- Balance and hold.
Practicing your manuals at the beginners stage can also potentially reveal to you your akinship to being a more technical versus commitment skater.
Don’t worry, we’ll have an article on the subject coming out soon. In the meantime, hit the city sidewalks and practice those manuals.
- Drop In: Disclaimer: The drop in should not be attempted on a ramp or quarter pipe unless you are confident in your abilities and ideally are not skating alone. That being said, you don’t have to head for the halfpipe to learn to drop in–even your driveway or neighborhood curb can get you well on your way to becoming the next Tony Hawk. Nonetheless, the drop in is on this list because it really marks the standard for when you’re breaching out of the beginner stage. Since the drop in is the perfect amalgamation of commitment and control, it stands the test of time as one of the hardest tricks to really master as a beginner. More than likely, you might even learn to ollie first before you learn to drop in. Still, don’t worry, we’ve got proven tips to help you master the Drop In.
- Maneuver your board onto the lip of the obstacle.
- Plant your back foot on the tail securing the board.
- Place both feet on the board and grab your nose.
- Lean forward with all your weight, remember to lead with your head and try to kiss your board.
- Roll away into glory.
First things first, maneuver your board onto the lip of the obstacle (which should be downward facing and ideally have a lip). Have all your weight on your back foot to keep your board locked on the lip.
Common Drop In Mistakes
Grab your nose and slowly start to lean forward. Now, this is where most people fail.
They do not proceed to lean ALL THEIR WEIGHT onto their nose. They hesitate and lean back causing disaster. You always want to fall forward in skating, so a proven tip is to act like you’re trying to kiss your board. That’s right, face first. You’ll go only as far as your face leads you, so lean in with everything you got and smash down on that nose with all your weight.
You’ll be riding off into the sunset with the most accomplished beginner trick of your blossoming skate career.
Want to Take Your Skateboarding Tricks to the Next Level?
If you sign up for our skate lessons, our instructors will be there with open arms to catch you if you fall. Learning to skate with others expedites the process and adds more fun.
Find out today how you can help you or your child gain self confidence and maintain an active healthy lifestyle by contacting GoSkate.
Now that you’ve learned these 5 Beginner Skateboard Tricks Everybody Should Learn, you’re well on your way to accomplishing your skateboard dreams.
Remember, skateboarding is best with friends and we’ve even included some ways you can help meet other beginner skaters in your area. Either way, have fun and GoSkate!