HOW TO SKATEBOARD (FOR BEGINNERS)
There are typically two methods of skateboarding: Street and Vert.
Street is quite obviously practiced most commonly on asphalt and consists of many different combinations of ollies, pops, powerslides, board flips, and board spins.
Vert takes place on the smooth concrete surface that makes up most skate parks and consists of not only riding the half pipes, flips, spins and grinding the rail but also includes much of the skills acquired from street skating.
Now before you buy a board you have to be sure that this is something you’re going to practice a lot, maybe borrow a friends board and try it out, the reason being: if you’re not sure if it’s your thing and you decide to buy a cheap board to try and learn you will be sorely disappointed and most likely give up, you get what you pay for so if you’re serious about it then save up for a board that will be worth it. Then buy your board from a skate shop, the people working there will be able to tell you the right board for your size and weight. And if you don’t already have a pair of Skate Shoes buy a pair, they make a big difference. Lastly don’t be an idiot, buy the right protective gear (i.e. helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards) because if you don’t you can almost certainly count on hurting yourself. Keep in mind that you will fall, it is a part of learning so learn to fall on your butt instead of catching yourself with your arms, I personally learned this the hard way and ended up fracturing my right wrist, not at all a pleasant experience. Yet I digress, moving on you should think of a good place to practice, (be sure to sweep away any small rocks) and begin. And remember to practice each step thoroughly before proceeding to the next.
Step one: Learn your stance: Put your Left foot about 1 1/2 inches behind the front trucks almost level to the bolts. Put your right foot on the very end of the board, also level to the bolts. This stance is referred to as “Regular”, if it doesn’t feel comfortable try switching your feet into “goofy” stance: Right foot forward. Push yourself forward with your right foot while keeping your left foot planted over the front bolts (keep your left foot pointed in the direction you want to skate). Start at a steady pace (not too fast but not too slow) and gradually increase your speed.
Step two: Learn to balance: Bending your knees is key when trying to maintain balance. With your knees bent your hips are closer to the ground making turning and balancing easier. There are two methods of turning the first (and easiest to practice) is just leaning forward or backward, this turns the board without having to pick up the front end. The second is to snap the tail halfway down and twisting the board in the direction you want to go, don’t snap the tail too far down though or you’ll end up on the ground.
Step three: Learn to stop: To stop, put your right foot on the ground (several times) and stop yourself slowly, another method that I personally wouldn’t suggest would be to snap the tail back down towards the ground while leaning back a bit, which is not only dangerous but also grinds the tail of your deck the more you do it.
Step four: Learn to manual & switch: Place one foot on the end or tail of the board level with the bolts. Apply pressure on the tail, which will cause the front wheel to rise up off of the ground. But be careful, the trick is to keep the board underneath you on only two wheels for as long as possible which you will soon find, without practice, to be extremely difficult.
Try switch: Fairly self explanatory, its just riding the board opposite from how you would normally ride it, which ends up becoming an extensive tool when you decide to learn to skate inside a half pipe.
Step five: Learn to Ollie: This trick is important because it is used in many other board tricks. Keep your right foot on the tail while putting your left foot just behind the front set of bolts, keeping your foot towards the middle gives you greater height but is hard to learn right off the bat. Snap your tail down to the ground while lifting your left foot up with the board, when your tail hits the ground jump up sliding your front foot up the board (bringing the board underneath you with your back foot) and then land with your feet in the correct position keeping your knees bent for balance.
Remember, practice makes perfect! Be sure to master these moves before moving on to more complex ones.
Good luck and may you skate well!
Thank you for reading, I hope this has been of help to you. Written by Randy Cromar