How to Ride a Skateboard for Beginners – Pushing, Steering, and Stopping

My name is Justin Lauria, and today I’m going
to teach you how to ride a skateboard. First off, you’re going to want to know how
to get rolling. For first-timers trying this exercise, I would
recommend tightening up these bolts quite a bit before you start riding so that balancing
on your skateboard is going to be easier. The absolute best way for a beginner to start
moving on a skateboard, is to stand with your front foot on the board, push off the ground
with your back foot, then put your back foot on the board so you can evenly distribute
your weight on both feet. The most useful foot positioning for riding
looks like this. The front foot is directly over the front wheels, and the back foot is
behind the back wheels, both perpendicular to the board. This positioning allows you
to steer, speed up, stop, and do most tricks comfortably and efficiently. When you’re first learning how to ride, it’ll
probably be easier for you to ride like this. This is the same stance as before, but with
the front foot riding parallel to the board. This is easier for beginners because since
you’ll be riding at low speeds, you’ll need to take your back foot off to push fairly
often to maintain your momentum, and riding this way eliminates that extra step of pivoting
your front foot back and forth every time you push. Despite being told to push this way, it is
fairly common for beginner skaters to mistakenly push like this. This is called pushing mongo,
and has a laundry list of issues associated with it. For one, pushing mongo drastically reduces
your ability to steer while pushing. While it may not seem that important at low speeds
and on a flat piece of concrete, increasingly you will find yourself needing to steer one
way or the other while you’re gaining speed, and if you’re pushing mongo, it’s gonna be
really hard. Also, pushing this way makes it more difficult
to balance, reduces the maximum speed you can obtain while pushing, and forces you to
take extra steps to set up your feet into a useful stance. So once you get good at pushing off with your
back foot, you can look into a number of other ways to start moving. Keep in mind, these
techniques won’t give you very many advantages over basic pushing other than style points,
but knowing some of them can add a little variety to your skating and make you a little
bit more well rounded. Alright, so now that you’re rolling forward
on your skateboard, now you need to know how to steer. The easiest way is to just lean
either heel-side or toe-side. Leaning to one side will cause the trucks of your skateboard
to pivot, orienting your wheels so that your board starts to turn. If your trucks don’t
pivot enough for you when you try this, you may need to loosen…these bolts. There is another, more effective, way to steer
but it will take a little practice before you get it.
The whole maneuver starts with turning your shoulders in the direction you want your board
to turn. Once your shoulders are in place, immediately transfer weight to your back foot
so that your front wheels come off the ground. Then because your body is already oriented
in a different direction, the board will curve around to align itself with your body. Now
you can just transfer your weight back onto your front foot and set down those front wheels. Once you master this maneuver, you will have
learned yet another way to start moving on a skateboard called tic-tacking. OK , so once you’re rolling around on
your skateboard, how do you slow down and stop? The easiest way is to just take your back foot off and brake using the ground. You can use this technique
to stop all at once, or slide it on the ground until you slow down enough. Note that a lot of the time, braking is going
to involve using friction to slow yourself down. So, the more ways you have to brake,
the more life you’re going to get out of the shoes, skateboard decks, and wheels that you
buy. Here are a few more ways you can use to slow yourself down. This technique is used a lot in high-speed
street skating where space can be very limited. Unfortunately for skateboarders everywhere,
this is another way that you’ll come to a stop. Now, if you haven’t already been introduced
to the idea, let me go ahead and tell you: skaters expect to fail…all the time. It’s
an inevitable part of the learning process. What this means for you as you’re learning
how to do these basic maneuvers is that you’re going to always want to have a backup plan.
Make sure you’re comfortable falling down at the speeds and terrain that your riding,
and if you’re not, either dial it back or strap on a helmet and some pads. Just by spending
time skating, your overall comfort level with riding will naturally increase; so if dropping
in on that quarter pipe looks a little too menacing, give it some time and come back
to it another day. Skate as often as you can, and remember: have

Antonio Breitenberg

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