10 Skateboarding Tips for Beginners
Skateboarding is a fun hobby, as the number of tricks you can learn to perform is almost endless. However, getting to the stage where you can throw yourself off a half-pipe and flip the board before landing in perfect balance takes a lot of work. Here are a few skateboarding tips for beginners to help you on your way to becoming an expert.
1. Protect Yourself
An injury can put your skateboarding progress on hold for months, while you wait for it to heal. Protect yourself by wearing a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads every time you play with the board.
2. Find Some Soft Ground
The first time you get on a skateboard, it’s likely you’ll fall off. Soft surfaces such as grass or carpet cushion your landing. Soft surfaces also provide friction, which means the board moves more slowly. Eventually, you’ll want to seek out hard surfaces that allow you to build up speed, but starting on a soft surface can help you find your feet.
3. Practice Standing
Even just standing on a skateboard is tough for beginners. Stand to the right of the board and gently lift your left foot onto it. Transfer your weight onto this foot until you can pick the other foot off the floor and place it on the back of the board. Your feet should be positioned above the wheels to help you balance more easily.
4. Get Your Balance
While standing on the board, practice ducking down by bending your knees and then straightening back up again. You’ll need to keep your weight over your feet, rather than leaning forward or back.
5. Try Both Styles
Standing with your left foot forward on the board is called regular style. If you have the right foot forward, that’s goofy style. Try both styles to see which is most comfortable.
6. Take it to the Street
Once you can balance on the board on a soft surface, move to a hard surface and try it again. The board will slide more easily now, so you need to be even more precise in your movements. Repeat the previous exercises to make sure you have your balance.
7. Push Off With Your Back Foot
Position your front foot so that it points toward the front of the board and shift your weight onto it. Gently push off the ground with your back foot to make the board roll forward. When you’re not pushing off with your back foot, rest it gently on the rear curve of the board.
8. Use the Right Pushing Technique
Do you want to go faster? It’s more efficient to use a few big pushes than many tiny ones. Using a smooth, controlled movement, push off a bit harder with your back foot to speed up.
9. Brake With Your Back Foot
The easiest way to slow down a skateboard is to drag your back foot along the ground. Rest your back foot gently against the ground and let friction gradually slow you down, rather than stamping down to cause a sudden stop that will make you lose balance.
10. Shift Your Weight to Turn
If you’re riding with your left foot forward in regular style, you can turn right by shifting your weight forward a little. Shift your weight back to turn left. These directions are reversed if you ride goofy style. In either case, you’ll feel more balanced if you keep your knees bent, so your center of gravity is low.