Skateboarding is fun. And everyone loves to try it once in their life. It is one of the tremendous physical and challenging activities to help youngsters to stay active, healthy and meet a lot of cool friends in the process.
As a first time learner, skateboarding appears to be tough from a glance. But do not be afraid! Everyone needs to start somewhere. Here are the professional tips to help beginners to learn how to skate, regardless of age.
What Age is the Best to Learn Skateboard?
There is a saying that you are never too old to learn to skate. The skating legends Tony Hawk is still performing his tricks in his 50s. However, as a starter, there are different advantages and disadvantages when one learns how to skate.
According to many universal laws, the age that a kid can learn to skate is around six years old. And that kid is required to be supervised closely by an adult or a trustworthy adolescent since accidents in skateboarding (which happens very often) tend to be more severe for youngsters than for adults.
Nonetheless, there are many professional in skateboarding that started out when they were a little kid. Kids this age usually do not ‘fear’ falling off from a skateboard, and they learn incredibly fast.
The Preparations of The First Skateboarding
Gears and Helmet
Before getting to learn the basic moves in skateboard, it is good advice to take a look into gearing first. They are essential to protect your body against many kinds of injuries that you will often face when riding a skateboard.
There is a variety of skateboard accessories to choose from, ranging from the skateboard itself to safety gears such as helmet, protective knee pads, wrist guards and elbow pads.
Besides protection purposes, they often offer better confidence towards everyone that just learns how to skateboard.
As falling (even many times) is something that is unavoidable in skateboarding, protective gears can go a long way for your health durability. Many of the gears can look cool and fashionable.
These accessories are available anywhere from local stores to online order. Also, the cost ranges from various prices depending on how much one can afford to spend.
A Skateboard in Accordance
Setting the right budget to buy a skateboard as a first-time learner is essential. A skateboard is your companion on this long journey.
Choosing a right one should take a little bit of consideration, but it will benefit you, in the long run, to get comfortable with the right ‘feel’ since putting the first step onto the skateboard.
For beginners, the average skateboard cost is from $20 to $50. It also depends a lot on the brands and custom needs.
They are the great first choice to get into for beginners. The deck’s length of these specific boards can double the length of common boards.
One of the clear advantages of longboards which compares to the other boards is that it is easy to keep balance when standing on them. So for the ease of cruising mode or sliding down the hill, beginners should take a look at these boards.
This is the common and standard type of skateboard. Both of the board ends are tapered which support performing tricks. They can be challenging and more difficult to learn to compare to longboards, but if your goals are to impress yourself and everyone around with cool tricks, this is the right decision to buy from.
This is the choice of the more experienced and professional since every component of the skateboard can be customized to needs. Many brands offer specific items such as wheels, trucks, bearing, and decks that can be used to replace or improve the standard board.
A Comfortable Skateboard Shoes
A pair of sports shoes goes a long way with skateboarding. Comfortable shoes with the right grip will ensure safety, protection and appropriate control for beginners with the first step on the board. If your budget can allow it, it is recommended to choose one from the popular brands that design shoes specifically for skateboarding.
There are many brands whose the design and materials of their shoes are manufactured towards the skater. They are Vans, Supra, Nike Sb, Adidas, etc.
Also, a word of advice, do not wear soft shoes or sandals, flip-flop when skateboarding because they will put pressure on your ankles, which might lead to unnecessary injuries.
A Good Location to Perform Skateboarding
Safety skating park: An excellent place to skate is essential. A specific skate park built for skateboarding a great spot to start out your skateboard practice. You do not have to worry about traffic, trespassing law and unsupported roads with cracks and bumps all over the place.
Moreover, there are a lot of opportunities to meet other skateboard peers in a skating park, who will help you improve your skill especially if you are a starter.
Step by Step Guide on How to Ride The Skateboard for The First Time
If you are an adult, however, it might be embarrassing or terrifying for someone to learn how to skate for the first time, especially when you are surrounded by other kids and teenagers who might give you one hell of a laugh when you tumble down.
Do not be discouraged. Everyone needs to start from somewhere. You will be able to catch up as long as you have fun and keep on practicing continuously. Remember that the tips for the beginners are the same for absolutely everyone.
With all those above, there are the necessary procedures to get to know the skateboard. Do not set your mind on nailing tricks as a beginner. This is the most common and biggest mistake that everyone will make.
It is not easy to perform an Ollie if you do not know how to stand with balance and maneuver the skateboard around comfortably. So all the following steps below will guide you through the most basic steps with the first ‘feel’ for your board:
Standing on a Skateboard
The very first step is to find out which foot to put forward. Some beginners might find this step confusing when they start out on their first ride.
There is no right way to stand on the skateboard. Typically, if you are right-handed, your left foot will be the pivot foot which will be on the board. The other foot is the one that pushes you forward. Reverse this step if you are left-handed. Anyway, always try out different stances with both of your feet to find the most comfortable one for you.
Set the skateboard on the stable and flat surface/ground. Then try the step on with your preferable stand.
Moving with a Skateboard
Once you feel comfortable with your stance, the next step is to try to get some momentum with the skateboard. By merely push your non-pivot foot against the ground gently, you will slightly move forward.
Think differently when traveling with a skateboard. It is not like walking or running. You do not set your feet towards your heading direction. You want to place your feet sideways. So, put in some practice to get some muscle memories out of your foot placement.
It will feel awkward at first, and you will always feel like you will fall any time. Do not worry and focus on getting yourself balanced with the push off. It may take some time at first, but it will be fun once you have mastered it. You can gradually adjust the power behind each push to move at different speeds.
While moving, try to lean forward a little to keep your momentum going straight. Bent down your knee if you need to. The most important thing to remember is to keep your body relax as much as possible. It will help you stay balanced and move steadily.
Learning to Turn
There are two ways to turn when you are on the skateboard: carving-turn and kick-turn.
To perform a carving-turn, you can rely on your momentum and lean on one side to let it turn naturally. The looser the trucks, the easier it is to bend the deck, thus providing more control for a smooth turn.
With a kick-turn, your back foot should create some pressure on the deck to lift the front trucks up to force the shift.
Both of these turn moves are very fundamental and are very important to master if you want to control your movement with a skateboard.
Halt/Stop the Skateboard
One of the most common ways to stop or break the movement is to put your non-pivot foot on the ground to ‘side scrape’ it. It will create friction to slow down the movement until you come to a full stop.
Another way to stop when you are moving really fast is power slide. You set your back foot near the tails and your front foot near the trucks. Then you push your back foot really hard to turn the board into a 90-degree position.
Keep your feet forward and your body in the back seat position so that your wheels will roll sideways into a lock position, which forces them to stop.
Falling Down the First Time Safely while Skateboarding
Everyone falls, even the professionals. And the first fall always is the hardest for beginners, which is why it is recommended to wear protective gears for your safety. When you feel like it is going too fast, faster than you can hold, do not be afraid of tucking away to the side and roll away along the ground. The more time you put in, the more control you will have which also helps prevent falling or even select the safe position to fall.
Some Common Mistakes that Beginners Make on Their First Ride
Some beginners are too eager to learn their first trick when they are not ready. It is a huge mistake. The transition time it takes from riding a skateboard comfortably to landing the first trick could take weeks or even months. Do not rush the basics.
After successfully nailing the first Ollie trick, some beginners face another mistake when they try to populate their trick library too fast. Remember that you can quickly forget a trick in skateboard if you do not practice them long enough. So keep on mastering one trick in many different ways is viral.
Losing motivation is a huge factor that many skaters encounter when they fail to perform a trick that they have practiced over and over. The best way to overcome this is to learn some other easier tricks that you have never tried before.
Another mistake often found in beginners is to compare themselves to others. Do not look up to other professional skater and discourage yourselves. In skateboarding, there are always better and worse people. You should try to get inspired to better people to improve your learning progression.
How to Perform Simple Tricks
Ollie as the First Trick to Learn as a Beginner
Ollie is how a skater can jump off from the ground. The first step is to stand on the ground and pop the back tail of your board. Then drag the other foot up along the board to lift the board up. The whole maneuver can take some really long time to get used to it. But it is really worth it to nail your first Ollie after hours and hours of practice.
Learn to Perform Tricks from other Skaters
It is always fun to learn to skate with other peers. You will be able to learn a lot faster than on your own. However, do not let them push you into something that you are not ready to do yet. Learning to ride a skateboard well is a long and refined process that only can get better with time.
It is sure that having friends along the adventure to share the cool tricks and skateboard moments is something that no one should miss out on.
Keep on Learning
Do not give up. Every fall you take, the more experience you will collect and eventually you will be able to make your way around with a skateboard. Remember to keep it safe with your protective gears and respect the local laws regarding skating safety and skateboard location.
It is not difficult to ride the skateboard for the first time. As long as you are willing to put down the time in practice, every trick will come to you eventually.