How To Drop In On A Skateboard, Step by Step Guide

There might be no skate trick more responsible for ending people’s pursuit of skating than the failed Drop In. Because honestly, if not attempted properly or without the proper instruction, Dropping In is the first real trick that can lead inexperienced skaters to be significantly injured. 

That being said, at GOSKATE we pride ourselves on the amount of successful student skateboarders we’ve been able to teach How To Drop In. And not just once but in perpetuity and on bigger and bigger obstacles.

We can guarantee our ability to teach you or your loved ones how to drop in safely with our expert GOSKATE instructors, who are not just lifelong skateboarders but highly trained teachers of skateboarding. 

So while we offer you this comprehensive How To Drop In Step by Step Guide, we encourage you to contact GOSKATE today to book a one on one skate lesson for even further success.

As your number one trusted guide for learning how to skateboard, let’s go over what we’ll be covering in this article: 

  1. When Are You Ready to Learn How To Drop In for the First Time? 
  2. How To Practice Warming Up for Dropping In
  3. How To Drop In [Step by Step]
  4. Proven Tips for Successful Drop In 
  5. Reason Why Drop In Lead to Falling (And How to Avoid Them)
  6. Most Iconic Drop Ins in Skateboarding History
  7. Bonus** How To Acid Drop

When Are You Ready to Learn How To Drop In for the First Time?

It can be difficult to know when you’re ready to learn how to drop in for the first time. As it often is with skateboarding, you should go with your gut. But there are certain milestones you’ll probably want to have hit before you attempt dropping in. 

You’ve mastered the beginner skate tricks: The kick turn, tic tac, and revert are under your mastery of beginner skateboard tricks. You are comfortable with lifting your back wheels and front wheels and shifting your front foot and back foot when needed to render your board in certain ways.

You’re in the process of learning how to Ollie and Ollie higher: While it isn’t necessary to learn how to ollie before you drop in, especially if you prefer transition or vert skating over street, it is a good sign that you’re at the skill level needed to learn how to drop in. We have a complete guide to learning how to ollie if you ever find yourself in need of some extra pop!

You’re comfortable being at the skatepark: This is a rather important element of being ready to learn how to drop in, as dropping in generally requires a quarter pipe or mini ramp found at a skatepark. You also will exit the ramp on your way down with considerable velocity and should know if you’re about to rocket off into oncoming skate traffic. 

You can visualize a successful Drop In: Visualization is key in learning any skateboarding trick. You might even have dreams of rolling away from your Drop In the night before it happens. Skaters will all tell you they’ve had dreams of landing tricks or daydreams for hours before they actually happen.

You Want to Learn How To Drop In: Okay, this might sound obvious but you would be surprised at the amount of skate moms or skate dads that force this trick upon their child. Skateboarding is all about self empowerment, you never have to do something you don’t want to do, especially if it’s leading you to not have fun or worse, getting injured. If you want to learn how to drop in, that’s a great sign you’re already capable of mastering this amazing trick.

How To Drop In [Step by Step]

Step 1: Back Wheels & Half of Back Foot Secure on Coping

Go ahead and jam your back wheels and back truck onto the coping. You’ll notice if they are secure or not when you wiggle your back foot. That being said, you probably want about half your foot split on the deck of the ramp and the tail of the board, with just enough weight on the back of the board to be able to come off the ramp smoothly. 

However, be conscious of having enough of your foot off the board to confidently be in control of shifting your body weight when the time comes.

Step 2: Place Front Foot on Bolts of Nose & Align front of Body

You want your front shoulder and front truck to be aligned for a successful transfer of weight from the deck of the ramp onto your front foot. This comes in the form of the momentum from your upper body carrying you onto your front truck and through the drop in. 

So when you place your front foot on the board, you’ll still be leaning on your back foot. Our GOSKATE instructors will help you check if your upper body is aligned enough. From there you’ll be able to lean in and lead your body weight transfer by looking at where your lead shoulder is compared to your front foot on the board.

Step 3: Dropping In by Body Weight Transfer of Upper Body

Okay, down to the nitty-gritty. You’re about to do your first drop in! 

Lead with the top of your body, preferably with your head and press all your weight onto your front foot and lean in fully with a full transfer of momentum like a tree falling over. 

By keeping your front leading shoulder below your back shoulder, you have a marker for making sure you’re transferring your body weight enough to the front of your board. There are more tips below like holding your nose to stay low enough to have control of your center of gravity. 

But otherwise, if you’ve learned all your weight you should be slapping all four wheels onto the ramp.

Step 4: Slap Front 2 Wheels Onto the Ramp

While not everyone will instinctively be able to let go of their weight on their first few go’s, everyone will need to slap their front two wheels onto the ramp (as hard as you can) to guarantee you make the drop in. This is produced from the above steps of transferring your weight fully onto your front foot and leaning in forward down the ramp. 

As you’ll see later in the tips section, always lean forward and remember to always commit. Our GOSKATE instructors have secrets of their own to guarantee the four wheels ride away.

Step 5: Crouch and Roll Away!

When you are leaning all the way forward with all four wheels onto the ramp, make sure you crouch so your center is low enough to successfully ride away.

Congratulations! You just landed a drop in for the first time!

You’re well on your way to becoming the next Olympian for your country or the next Tony Hawk in the X Games. 

In all seriousness, you’ve just unlocked a huge level to your skating, which will allow you to enjoy skateparks like never before. You’re also ready to start learning advanced tricks! Click Here for our more advanced How To guides.

Proven Tips for Successful Drop In

Hold Your Nose: Holding your nose is something skaters will do even after skating for 20 years. It helps you feel connected to your board and also naturally produces the keen crouch it takes to have both your feet on the board while holding the nose, ensuring your center of gravity is low to the ground. It can sometimes feel like you’re all alone up on that ramp but you always have your skateboard – the most important relationship to foster as a skateboarder.

A lot of beginners will think standing up straight is natural, but it actually disconnects your equilibrium as we will see in the main reasons people fail drop ins below.

Kiss Your Nose: Okay, don’t literally kiss your board. Especially with dirty grip tape. However, skaters have always told beginners to lean in so far in their drop in, it’s like they’re trying to kiss the nose of their skateboard. 

You love skating so much so you’ve probably wanted to kiss your board already. In all seriousness, like many tricks in skateboarding, you lead with your head. Which brings us to our next proven tip.

Always Fall Forward: A great maxim for skateboarding given to us by the late great “Phelps” long time editor of Thrasher Magazine, is “always fall forward.” The main reason for this is because it proves that you are committing to the trick, which is the number one way to minimize your fall. 

Hesitation will lead to disaster, fall completely forward for the minimal fall. If you’re wearing pads fall forward to your knees especially. 

Know Your Limits: There’s always that skate mom at the skatepark that’s had a few too many cans of courage who steps onto the skateboard in flip flops and earns a one way ticket to the ER. 

But the same philosophy can sometimes be applied to young skaters who set their sites on a drop in a bit too early. Or rather, on an obstacle a bit too large. Know your limits. Start from the smaller ramps, to the mini ramps to the quarter pipes. You’ll be dropping in on half pipes like Tony Hawk in no time.

Check for Debris: Some skatepark bowls or mini ramps might have clogged drains or have been neglected from clean up crews. A good rule of thumb is to always scope out the obstacle before you skate it, especially if you’ve gotten there early before other skaters. Be aware of wax on the coping as well. We don’t want you to slip out!

Hold Someone’s Hand: Last but certainly not least, GOSKATE instructors will literally hold your hand while you drop in. It’s actually been proven to help thousands of skaters land their first drop in. It can be so scary attempting your first drop in, especially if you’re an adult learning how to skate, but accomplishing those fears is what makes skateboarding one of the most powerful self development tools in the world.

Contact us today and we’ll not only teach you how to drop in, we’ll hold your hand the whole way through.

How To Practice Warming Up for Dropping In

While ‘warming up’ is usually reserved for a physical warm up of the muscles, we’re going to teach you ways to warm up your confidence and muscle memory for the drop in. 

Because while a quarter pipe or mini ramp at a skatepark can be pretty intimidating, there’s plenty of neighborhood obstacles and even flat ground technique to help you warm up for dropping in.

Standing Still: While standing still on flatground, place your back foot on your tail and lift the nose of your board all the way up until you are fully rested on your back foot and your front foot is stationary either on the ground or nose of your board. 

This is the drop in position. 

Essentially, you can then practice slamming down your weight back onto your front foot until all four wheels are on the ground. This is also a great way to get familiar with learning how to ollie. 

Down Your Driveway: Okay, remember that drop in position? With your back foot keeping you in place? You’re going to want to set up that position in the driveway, where the curb slopes down. It’s basically a tiny ramp in that sense and a great low risk ‘quick’ quarter pipe. 

Set up with your back wheels and back foot on the top of the sloping driveway, steady yourself as you bring on your front foot, and press your weight down to level all four wheels.

Downward Slope: Not all ramps or slopes at the skatepark are quarter pipes or mini ramps. You can look for downward slopes that are flat 45 degree angles, or much less of course. What you do here is similar to that above. You position the back wheels and your back foot as if you were locking onto the coping of a quarter pipe. 

Proceed with transferring your body weight onto the front of the board so that you get all four wheels on the ground and roll away successfully. Always be aware of the trip down and make sure you can stop when needed. You don’t want to go flying down a hill or slope you’re not ready for.

Reason Why Drop Ins Lead to Falling (And How to Avoid Them)

Standing up straight: While your mother has always told you to stand up straight, your skate instructor won’t when it comes to the drop in. It’s a great general tip in skating to crouch when performing any trick. While crouching will also be the foundation of your style, ultimately when you’re standing up straight you’re disconnecting your head and feet from the center of your gravity. 

This dramatically detaches your core from your limbs. This disconnection is what generally produces the “slams” you want to avoid. Also, the higher you are, the farther you fall. Crouch and you’re basically falling inches instead of feet.

Not Committing: Some of you will fall victim to this more than others because not committing is a personal issue. It can be harder for adults to commit when learning how to skate because they are a bit more aware of injuries and what sustaining an injury can mean to their daily life. 

That being said, committing will also dramatically reduce your chance of injury. Especially with the drop in. 99-percent of falls from drop in are from not committing or even worse, hesitating. 

Hesitation: Do not hesitate – sounds simple enough? Well, hesitation is really another form of not committing. But when you’re up on that ramp alone, and you hesitate, it’s a long way down when you accidentally slip or lean back. 

If you’re properly trained you shouldn’t be hesitating, instead be confident in what you’ve learned and fully commit to dropping in. Also, having fun (which is the reason we skate!) shouldn’t mean hesitating. 

Leaning back over back shoulder: As we wrote earlier, always fall forward. Well, a lot of beginners might fall backwards because they lean back or look back over their shoulder. This can sometimes be from hesitation, or it can be from feeling a bit more comfortable performing a trick opening their vision to their belly. But in reality it’s poor form and fear that will lead you to falling on your wrists. Don’t lean back! Lean forward! You got this!

Not Having the Proper Skateboard: Unfortunately, a lot of beginners are still not equipped with the proper equipment – including the proper skateboard. A longboard should never be used for attempting a drop in. Longboard wheels are also not meant to be used for the maneuverable demands of skateparks or street skating. Also, never use a penny board. They are way too small and do not produce the proper crouch needed to drop in.

Not Asking for Help: Skateboarders are some of the most friendly people on the planet but they can also be the most independent (to a fault). Whether you’re goofy or regular footed or fresh into the skate game, certified GOSKATE instructors are happy to help you learn how to drop in for the first time. Contact us today to find out what instructors are in your area. We do have the largest network of the highest trained skateboarding instructors  – just saying!

Most Iconic Drop Ins in Skateboarding History

Skateboard, skateboard, on the wall, who has the most iconic drop ins of them all? That’s a good question. Here are some of the most iconic drop ins in skateboarding history.

Bam Margera

Bam Margera has some of the most iconic drop ins in skateboarding history. When you think gnarly drop ins, think Bam.

Danny Way

When it comes to skating the biggest ramps in the world, Danny Way is at the top of the list. With several world records under his belt, these videos show us  the massive drop ins Danny has needed to skate the biggest gaps in skateboarding history.

World Record Drop In

Norwegian professional skateboarder Adil Dyani set out in 2013 to land the world record for a drop in attempted on a skateboard. The feat was considered so incredible, the Royal Norwegian Air Force collaborated with Adil to build the quarter pipe on a military base. 

With the best engineers and military personnel of Norway in attendance, you might also say this is the most pressure-filled drop in ever attempted. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Watch it for yourself below!

How To Acid Drop

The Acid Drop is one of the first skateboard tricks you can learn as a beginner and one of the most rewarding. That’s exactly why we wanted to include it at the end of this article as encouragement for anyone scratching their head at a drop in.

Also, don’t forget, you can work on learning multiple tricks at a time. Some other tricks you can be learning along side the acid drop and drop in are: the ollie, kickturn, tic tac or revert – all of which we have in depth, GOSKATE guides


Without further ado, here is our GOSKATE step by step guide on How To Acid Drop.

  1. Hold your skateboard with your leading hand with four fingers on the graphic side of the board and your thumb on the grip tape. You’ll want to do this with your front leading hand. If you’re goofy (right foot forward), you’re going to be holding it with your right and if you’re regular (left foot forward), you’ll hold it with your left.
  2. Next, start by swinging the board outwards away from you. Be conscious of when it begins to swing back to you as this will initiate the next step. 
  3. The moment your skateboard starts to swing back to you, you’re going to want to jump up with both of your feet and with your shoulders level. You want to first jump just high enough to be above the board.
  4. Once you’re in the air, you’re going to want to catch the board before it hits the ground. This will require timing and practice but don’t worry – you’ll get it in no time! 
  5. Aiming for the bolts, you’ll want to land with both your feet and crouch with your knees bent to maintain balance as you land. Remember, it’s always a good idea to practice new tricks into grass. Once you get the hang of things, you can practice the roll away and even step your acid drop up to bigger and bigger obstacles. Some Pro skaters like Mike Valleyly, have perfected acid drops off of roofs into ramps! Incredibly radical.

Want To Learn More About Skateboarding?

Contact us to help foster you or your loved one’s new found passion for skateboarding with our GOSKATE classes!

Get The Latest Skateboard News

As always, we invite you to stay connected with GOSKATE by following us onFacebook and Instagram for the latest skateboard news and tricktips.

Improve Your Skating

If you sign up for our skate lessons, our certified instructors will be there with open arms to catch you if you fall.

Help you or your loved one gain self confidence and maintain an active healthy lifestyle by contacting GOSKATE.

Zane Foley

Zane Foley has been writing professionally since 2014, since obtaining his BA in Philosophy from the California State University, Fullerton. Zane is an avid skateboarder and Los Angeles native. Follow him on Instagram for links to his other published works. @zaneyorkfly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In person skateboarding lessons - book today