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For those who don’t know, skateboarding was introduced in the late 1940s as “sidewalk surfing” by surfing lovers. It quickly becomes a popular activity among kids, teenagers, and even adults later on.
Whether it is to replicate the surfing feeling, to look cool, or to conveniently commute, skateboarding is undeniably the best experience for anyone with the desire to try “rolling their feet” for the first time.
So I want to ask you one more question, why sit still and admire someone else “surfing” (either on the street or in the ocean) while you can learn to do that yourself with such EASY STEPS as below?
The Complete Skateboarding Guide
Start Choosing Your Skateboard for a Personal Style!
I’ve been looking out for several types of skateboards available in the markets currently. In my experience, to choose a suitable one, you should think of the style of Skateboarding you want to pursue first; such form can suggest a lot about the appropriate skateboard to go along with it.
- Freestyle Skateboarding – a suitable style for beginners, using a deck with a comfortable size in wide and long shape to help focus on the footwork. Once you advance your level and want to start flipping around, you can then try on a narrower and shorter board for more flexibility.
- Slalom Skateboarding – refer to fast riding, precise control on a flat or downhill way to knock down the least plastic cones as possible. The board using for this style is often longer than typical ones and also have foam and carbon fiber cores to strengthen the construction and make the whole item more responsive toward control.
- Downhill Skateboarding – an advanced level that allows you to go with high speed along the downhill road, requiring precision and excellent skills in sliding, drifting, air braking, and taking a full stop when needed. You may need to use specialized equipment that has a rigid deck, a wheel based with either small or medium size (29 to 32 inches), and some forms that prevent your feet from slipping backward or forward.
- Vert Skateboarding – only try this when you are familiar with skateboarding and master the basics of pushing, cruising, and carving. This skateboarding style requires a broad deck and large wheels for skateboards to provide more stability.
- Street Skateboarding – narrower skateboards with small wheels would be essential for this style since you may have to use even the table, the bench, or a stair to get going. With these boards, you will find it easier to flip and spin the board.
- Park Skateboarding – to ride the boards within an area with a lot of pipes, a large deck (29-32 inches) with a wheelbase of 51-55mm is more reasonable. This kind of skateboard will improve stability and keep your feet within the deck while jumping around the pipes.
- Pool Skateboarding – it would be fun to try skating in the pool. However, you may need extended width for the deck with a wheelbase of 15-18mm to ensure the stability, smooth movement and increase the lifespan of the board since pool riding would require many massive landings that can cause the board to break.
- Cruising Skateboarding – perfect style if you want to try something in between skateboarding and longboarding. Broader boards with rubber wheels are required.
- Off-road Skateboard – with this regular style, a proper skateboard with a better wheelbase that can deal with sand and dirt would be a decent option.
Decide Where You Want to Start Skating.
An advice from me who has gone out for quite many places to skate with my friends is to select vast and less crowded places so that you can practice your “baby steps” without danger. Empty parks or parking lots, schoolyards, or any significant open areas are suitable for beginners. After all, SAFETY FIRST!
Know the Basics Before Getting Yourself “On Board.”
- BEND YOUR KNEES: If you have ever done ice-skating, you would probably know this. By relaxing your stance and bending the knees, you can avoid flipping backward and get some serious head injury. Besides, to get better with the advanced tricks, bending your knees can excel your control of balance to make a turn, a flip whenever needed immediately.
- BE READY FOR FALLING: For sure, no sport can give you no harm at all. It would be essential to equip yourself with a secure, qualified helmet and protective gear to prepare for an unexpected fall.
- BE DETERMINED AND CONFIDENT: Have you ever heard of the comparison between skateboarding and life? It is because both need a combination of guts doing and controlling. While skateboarding, you should be determined enough to learn through thousands of attempts and also have the courage to move forward even after hundreds of falling. It’s the only way to get you going with boards, as it does in any other struggles of your life.
Start Riding the Board – Standing, Pushing, Turning & Stopping
“Huh? Do I see this correctly? Is standing a thing that we need to learn?”
Thank you for your question, and yes, it is. This first stance determines how you are going for the next 3 hours.
You can try these two stances and choose which is most suitable for you:
- Regular foot: left foot on the board, the right foot will be the pushing one.
- Goofy foot: right foot on the board, the left foot will be the pushing one.
Place either your regular foot/goofy foot on the boards
Step little by little with your other foot to push the board forward
Once you are used to stepping, try to push the other foot harder to make a more extended slide. Keep bending your knees to balance yourself with one foot on the board.
During the long slide, you can get your forward foot on the board as well to stabilize the stance.
TIPS: Practice makes perfect! You can practice balancing with only your front foot for a while before starting; it helps you to maintain your balance better while going.
You know, skateboarding is no fun without turning! It’s the feeling of controlling the movement that makes the riders satisfy the most.
How to do it?
After you get used to longer ride at a faster speed with the pushing technique, you can try to shift your weight forward or backward slightly, left or right from your ankle to let the board turn itself. This technique is called the carving turn.
In case you need to make a quick turn when something comes up suddenly, doing a kick turn would be preferable. This technique requires you to place your forward foot onto the kick tail and put pressure on it while loosening up the stress on your front foot and bend your knee again. The board then will be lifted, and you will need to turn your body to the side that you want.
This one is a more complicated technique of turning in which you may need to find the right balance to the pressure on your foot and also the right time to turn. Though it’s hard, it’s still possible; so don’t give up and keep practicing, you’ll get there soon!
Similar to the Pushing stance, this time, you will try to get your forward foot onto the ground again and make it stop the board from running.
In case you are going with high speed and need to make a stop, try the kick turn stance in which you will hold your pressure consistently on the kicktail to make it stop. This tip will prevent any further injury to your ankle.
That’s It for the Four Steps! Are You Ready to Get It Started Now?
Remember, it will never be too late to learn and practice something new. What matters is that you can get out of your comfort zone and make something happen.
Above are some necessary steps to help you get started with skateboarding as quick as possible. However, nothing is as easy as it seems to be. Be ready for some challenges, and get back with these fundamental steps anytime you want. Once you can already imprint the technique to your muscle memory, it would be an exact time for you to level up some games, and I’ll be seeing you there in the high-level guide!
Now, go and enjoy your ride.