A Beginner’s Guide to Skateboarding

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Skateboarding isn't just a sport; it's a way of life! Whether you're in it for the thrill or the incredible sense of freedom, learning to skateboard is an exhilarating adventure. This guide is your ticket to starting that journey from scratch, covering everything you need to dive into the world of skateboarding. Let's get rolling!

What to Wear Skateboarding

Skateboarding is about looking cool, but safety is important too! If you’re protected, you can skate in confidence without worrying about causing too much injury if you do fall. First off, make sure you wear a helmet to protect your head. 

Tok also recommends skate pads such as knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards when you're learning to skate or learning a new trick.

Where to Practise Skateboarding

Finding the right spot to practise skateboarding is really important when learning to skate. Look for a smooth, flat surface with plenty of space so you can safely practise tricks and recover from any falls.

Local skate parks are great for beginners with lots of smooth areas with lots of space! Parks also have ramps, rails and obstacles for when you become Tony Hawk. The local skate community will have their favourite spots, too!

Learning to Skateboard: The Basics

The Board

The skateboard is your ultimate tool for success! Skateboards are made up of a deck, trucks, wheels, and bearings. Skateboard decks can change in size and shape, and it’s recommended that beginners start out using a standard skateboard deck.

We recommend that beginners start out using a standard skateboard deck like our Las Vegas Smackdown

When looking for a board, make sure you look for a deck that feels comfortable under your feet! Try out different widths until you’re happy with the size and feel. 

With loads of practice, you can choose a board type that suits your preferred style, like a longboard or a cruiser.

The Wheels

Wheels are super important for your skateboard, and there are a bunch of different types and thicknesses to pick from. If you're new to skateboarding, medium-soft wheels are a great choice since they give you a good balance for learning the basics.

Remember to think about wheel size too. Smaller wheels are easy to move and great for speed, but larger wheels give you more stability and a smoother ride, especially on rough surfaces. Consider the terrain you'll be skating on and the speed you want to help you pick the right wheels.

How to Skateboard: Step-by-Step

Stepping on a Skateboard

  • Find a flat, stable surface to practise on.
  • Stand next to your skateboard with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Place your front foot on the deck near the front bolts and your back foot on the end of the skateboard
  • Shift your weight between your feet to get a feel for the board.
  • Use your back foot to push off the ground and gain momentum.
  • Practice stepping on and off your skateboard until it feels natural.
  • Remember to keep your weight centred and your knees slightly bent - this’ll help with balance.

Choosing a Stance

The two skateboarding stances are regular and goofy, just like snowboarding or surfing. The stance you choose determines which foot is placed at the front of the skateboard. If you're right handed, you’ll generally stand with your left foot forward (regular). If you’re left handed, you’ll usually ride goofy (right foot forward).

Tok's Top Tip: Your dominant foot usually decides your stance. Not sure which one that is? Try this: stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and have someone give you a gentle push from behind. The foot you instinctively step forward with is probably your dominant one. But hey, don’t be afraid to try both stances to see what feels right!

Balancing on a Skateboard

Balancing on a skateboard is all about finding your center of gravity and spreading your weight evenly.

  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your knees bent and your body relaxed as you ride.
  • Practice shifting your weight to help you maintain control of the board.
  • Bend your knees even lower to help improve stability.

It sounds daunting, but the more you practise, the easier it’ll become to balance naturally. 

Pushing a Skateboard

Pushing is how you create momentum and move forward on your skateboard.

  • To move forward on a skateboard, keep your dominant foot on the board and push off the ground with your back foot.
  • Swing your pushing foot forward and place it back on the board once you've gained speed.
  • Practice pushing off and gliding until you can maintain a steady pace.
  • Once you gain momentum, place your pushing foot back on the board and continue riding.

Stopping a skateboard

Knowing how to stop is just as important as knowing how to start, especially as a beginner! There are plenty of ways to bring your skateboard to a stop. You can slow down using your feet, by dragging them on the ground, or even use the end of the board (called the tail) to slow you down.

  • To slow down, drag your back foot on the ground behind you. This’ll naturally act as a break.
  • Another technique once you’re confident is to turn the board slightly. Carving the board will change your direction and help you come to a rolling stop
  • For a complete stop, you can put more weight on the back of the board so the tail of the board drags on the floor. As this is a more abrupt stopping technique, you’ll need to practise it to get the hang of it.
  • It’s good to get to grips with the basics of stopping on a safe, smooth surface before you head out onto trickier terrains (for example pavements with cracks and divots)

Bailing and Recovering

As a beginner, you're bound to have a few falls and mishaps. Practice makes perfect, and everyone has to start somewhere.

  • If you’re nervous about hurting yourself, get kitted out in protective pads to help cushion your fall and the impact on your knees, elbows, hand and head.
  • Try and roll with the fall to better control the impact and reduce the risk of injury.
  • It’s best to take a moment to assess any pain before you get up and give it another go.

Don't let falls put you off! It’s part of the fun of learning, and over time you’ll become more confident.

Basic Skateboard Tricks

Once you've mastered the basics of skateboarding, you can start experimenting with tricks. Start with simple tricks like ollies, kickflips, and manuals before progressing to more advanced manoeuvres.

Once you've mastered the basics of skateboarding, you can start experimenting with tricks. Start with simple tricks like ollies, kickflips, and manuals before progressing to more advanced manoeuvres.

Skateboarding For Beginners: FAQs

When Was Skateboarding Invented?

Skateboarding as we know it today originated in the late 1940s or early 1950s in California, USA. It started as a pastime for surfers when there were no waves to surf.

Is Skateboarding Hard?

Skateboarding can be challenging for beginners, and can be tricky to pick up at first as it requires balance and coordination. With some time, patience and dedication, you can soon become more confident and join an awesome community of like-minded people.

Can You Teach Yourself How to Skateboard?

It is possible to teach yourself how to skateboard, especially with the abundance of online tutorials, instructional videos, and skateboarding communities available. Group lessons or guidance from an experienced skateboarder can be super helpful if you’re unsure of where to start.

How Long Does it Take to Learn How to Skate?

The time it takes to learn how to skateboard is different for everyone. It’ll also vary on the time you give to practise as well; the more regularly you practise, the quicker you will become friends with your board and master several skills.

Is Skateboarding Good Exercise?

Skating is great exercise! It requires very good mobility, core and leg strength and cardio fitness.

Can Skateboarding be a Career?

Absolutely, skateboarding can be an awesome career! Being a pro skater is the dream, but with the growth of skating, there are tons of other career options too. You can get into retail, content creation, coaching, or even media. The possibilities are endless!

No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
No Mercy - Mini Wooden Skateboard - Saltrock
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Hardskate - Skate/Scooter Helmet - Saltrock
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Hardskate - Skate/Scooter Helmet - Saltrock
Hardskate - Skate/Scooter Helmet - Saltrock
Hardskate - Skate/Scooter Helmet - Saltrock
Hardskate - Skate/Scooter Helmet - Saltrock
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A set of Saltrock Hardskate - Skate Pads - Black and Hardskate - Skate Pads - Black on a white background.
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A set of Hardskate - Skate Pads - Black knee pads, elbow pads and knee pads by Saltrock.
A set of Saltrock Hardskate - Skate Pads - Black and Hardskate - Skate Pads - Black on a white background.
A set of Saltrock Hardskate - Skate Pads - Black on a white background.
A set of Hardskate - Skate Pads - Black knee pads, elbow pads and knee pads by Saltrock.

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Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard with Flashing Wheels - Black/Red - Saltrock

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Shockwave - Skateboard - Turquoise - Saltrock
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Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Coral/Turquoise - Saltrock
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Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Coral/Turquoise - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Coral/Turquoise - Saltrock
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Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Coral/Turquoise - Saltrock
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Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Lime/Charcoal - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Lime/Charcoal - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Lime/Charcoal - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Lime/Charcoal - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Lime/Charcoal - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Lime/Charcoal - Saltrock
Retroride - Mini Skateboard - Lime/Charcoal - Saltrock

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