How to Stop on a Skateboard


When most people think about learning how to skateboard, they imagine themselves rolling fast! This may be cruising down the Venice beach boardwalk or shredding at their local skatepark.

While, yes, you should imagine the cool wind in your hair and cool skateboard maneuvers, that make learning how to skateboard so fun. We also can’t forget the crucial element of learning how to stop on a skateboard.

We find that when people often first step on their skateboards, the reality is a bit different than expectation. Every skateboarder at some point has to master the fundamentals of standing, balancing, pushing for speed, and most importantly, but often thought of last, how to stop on a skateboard.

As the number one supplier of skateboarding lessons in the world, GOSKATE has made STOPPING an integral part of our teaching process.

(by the way… quick, “Shameless promotion”)

…. We guarantee you or your loved one will master this crucial step within their first few lessons (often the first), for the most safe and most fun skateboard experience. ).

Including, How to Stop. :). Anyways, back to the article…

That being said, there are actually several ways in which you can stop on a skateboard. Some methods are more beginner friendly. Some are more stylish than others.

So let’s get right into it.

In this article, we’re going over:

  • How to Stop on a Skateboard Safely and Efficiently
  • How to Stop on A Skateboard with Your Heel
  • How to Stop on a Skateboard with Your Toe
  • How to Stop on a Skateboard with Style

For more information on how to stop on a skateboard, consider booking with a local GOSKATE instructor for a 1-on-1 lesson on mastering the fundamentals of skateboarding.

How to Stop on a Skateboard Safely and Efficiently


Safety is always first. Before getting into beautiful, masterpiece-style stops, let’s focus on the basics.

This allows you to build your confidence which will ensure longevity in your skate career. Less falls = More Enjoyment.

Additionally, this stop will help prolong the life of your skateboard and shoes. Shoes often fall first victim to people who are unaware of how to stop.

The safest way to stop on a skateboard: is to first manage your speed.

If you’re a beginner, we always have you start on a smooth flat surface. Much like learning how to drive in an empty parking lot, you wouldn’t want to start your skate journey down a dangerously steep hill.

Find a flat surface where you’re comfortable taking your foot off the board.

Toe Drag Method Intro

You’ve found the location. Next, let’s practice.

Practice taking your foot off the board and hovering it over the cement completely perpendicular or flat to the surface. You may eventually extend your toes and do more of a heel drag but it’s best to have maximum surface area with your shoe to help slow you down even more.

Think of your foot being nearly identical to how it would be if you were pushing off the ground to pedal faster. It helps to imagine this because you’ll be getting comfortable pushing at the same time you should be getting comfortable slowing down. So you can mix and match almost like a gas and a brake pedal of a car, learning both at the same time.

While dragging your foot on the ground will ultimately wear your shoes down, it’s the safest way until you learn the more advanced ways to stop.

How to Stop on a Skateboard with your Toe

Stopping yourself on your skateboard using your toe is the second safest and easiest way to stop on your skateboard. You’ll definitely want to master this technique but as you become more advanced at skating, you won’t use your toes as much besides when needing to slow down while turning.

Nonetheless, every solid skater has mastered this technique.

Step 1. Take your back foot from your tail up to around the back set of bolts.

Step 2. Then take the flat part of your foot and bring it to the edge of the board so that your toes are hanging off. From there you can dip and drag your big toe and whatever toes you can get on the ground without losing balance. (See video above)

Big Feet Problems

Depending on the size of your feet, many skaters will have mostly just their heel on the skateboard while they drag their toes on the ground. Whatever you have to do to maintain balance and effectively slow down in the perfect balance, pun intended.

While certainly this is an effective way of stopping on a skateboard, it also ultimately wears down your shoes. Most stopping will wear down your shoes in some way. Your toe is extra important for performing flip tricks, maneuvering grinds, and other tricks.

So you’ll also want to learn how to stop on a skateboard with your heel.

Parent and child learning to skateboard

How to Stop on a Skateboard with your Heel

Stopping on a skateboard with your heel is the most common way skaters top on their skateboard.

That being said, it’s not the easiest way to stop on a skateboard. If done incorrectly can reduce the lifespan of your skateboard deck.

So let’s get right into the correct way to stop on your heel and some tips to make sure you keep your skate deck safe.

Practice Required For The Heel Stop

First things first, you’re going to want to practice hanging your heel off the tail of your skateboard at a perpendicular angle (see video below).

Step 1. Making sure you’re comfortable while doing this, start to lean your weight back until your heel of your back foot touches down on the ground.

The key here is to not let your tail touch the ground, and only your heel.

Your toes will stay on the board. Your heel will touch the ground.

The transition will be a gradual shift in balance from your front foot to your back foot.

Step 2. At this point, both your board and your heel are sliding on the ground. Hold this position steady until the board comes to a stop.

Warning. Dragging your board on the ground might happen at first but over time it will thin your tail and dampen your pop.

While stopping on your heel will also wear down your heel, the heel compared to the toe of your shoe or the tail of your skateboard is far less important.

How to Minimize Damage to the Board and Your Shoe

If you’re going slow and are on reasonably smooth ground, the damage to your heel won’t be too great.

Once you can effectively balance on your heel, you’re going to want to increase your speed and keep trying. Eventually, when you’ve mastered this technique you’ll be able to stop on your skateboard with style.

How to Stop on a Skateboard with Style

Ultimately, skateboarding and skateboarders celebrate style. When you do tricks, it’s not just that you are able to do them, but how you did them.

Stopping is no different.

There are a few ways to stylishly stop on a skateboard.

The first stylish way is heel stop. The difference is while you stop on your heel, you perform a little frontside turn.

The turn becomes like a “C.”

Such a turn is achieved by starting to shift your front shoulder back. Start this as soon as the tail and heel are engaged with the earth.

This stop is sort of like when a bike rider slides out the back of their tire. You can see Rob perform this maneuver in the first video above.

The second way to stop stylish on a skateboard is by performing a powerslide to full stop.

This is like drifting on a car and is considered the most advanced way to stop on a skateboard.

The skater performs a 90-degree sliding of all four wheels on the ground, shifting their weight back to balance out the forward momentum to complete stop.

The third way to stop stylish on a skateboard is by popping your board up into your hand and catching it while finishing the rest of the stop with a run or jog.

This is also considered a very advanced way of stopping but it helps skaters skate through pedestrians and traffic on the street.

Remember fellow skaters, it’s all about a balanced distribution of weight between leaning back onto your foot and the momentum you’re skating forward with.

It’s always safer to learn how to stop on a skateboard slowly or positioned in a sidewalk crack and work your way up.

Now call up your friends and 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