One of the best ways to execute perfect skateboard rides is mastering the basics. Not only does it make you knowledgeable about skating, but it also makes you more creative with your ride.
Since you are here, allow me to teach you how to get on a skateboard. This skill will not only serve as a starter for beginners but also as an enhancement to intermediate-level riders as well. Here are a few principles we need to observe in this tutorial.
- Determining your dominant foot
- Stepping on with support
- Stepping on without support
Table of Contents
- What You Will Need
- Steps to Get on a Skateboard
What You Will Need
Before we get into a head-to-head procedure discussion, let’s prepare the following things first.
1. Your skateboard
There are hundreds of skateboard designs and setups in the market. And to make sure you’re practicing with an easy-to-use skateboard, look for these characteristics:
- Deck shape – Anyone can agree that a standard-shaped skateboard is the easiest and most maneuverable among all other types. It has a classic double kicktail design and concave body, giving the feet a comfortable stepping surface and better control.
- Trucks – Trucks also come in different designs that fit various riding types. Your truck set need not be an expensive one, but it has to be durable. So, look for trucks made with aluminum alloy.
- Wheels – Like your trucks and decks, your wheels also have to be comfortable. With that, try to look for soft and grippy PU rollers. These wheels come with a hardness level of around 78a durometer.
2. Skating venue
While a skate park may be the most appropriate location to ride your skateboard, it may not be the best for beginners to practice. That means you need to prepare a place without much crowd and is suitable for skateboarding rookies.
The location you need shall be flat enough to keep your skateboard from moving. Textures like that of village roads may be enough.
You may also want to look for a place with handrails or walls within your reach. These fixtures will help you obtain balance by holding on to them.
3. Comfortable clothing & safety equipment
You will be moving your body here and there while trying to gain balance on your skateboard. With that, you need to ensure you’re wearing comfortable clothing. It could be a set of loose shirts and pants paired with grippy sneakers. Not only will these allow you to move better, but they will also make you feel light.
You might as well consider wearing safety equipment to protect you from injuries should you fall off your skateboard. Such gear includes a pair of wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow supports. Wearing these will make you more confident moving on your skateboard.
Steps to Get on a Skateboard
To get on a skateboard for beginners, one needs balance. And to achieve it, here are a few steps you need to master.
Step 1: Determining your dominant foot
Your dominant or front foot plays a vital role in controlling your skateboard in the long run. The best way to identify it is by testing with your instinct. To do that, try to stand on a flat surface with your feet aligned next to each other. Then, begin to lean your body forward. The first foot you’ll land in front to balance will be your dominant foot.
A regular stance is when your left foot is in front, and a goofy stance is if otherwise.
Step 2: Foot spacing
Before you try balancing on your skateboard, you should first learn the proper skateboard foot placement. So, set your skateboard aside first. Stand on the ground and move your feet with the arches facing each other.
Note that the distance between your feet is not whatever you want. It has to be the same as your shoulder’s width.
Step 3: Weight shifting
Expect that you won’t be able to maintain your balance immediately after stepping on your skateboard. With that, let’s practice weight shifting first. To master it, assume your regular foot positioning. Next, try to lean back and forth and left and right. In each direction, keep your body aligned and your head centered.
Pro tip: Try to spread your arms and bend your knees while trying to lean. It’ll help you obtain balance more effectively.
Step 4: Position the skateboard
Now that you know the correct footing and weight shifting on the ground, it’s time to try them on your skateboard. To start, place your skateboard with its nose pointed to a wall or handrail’s length. Next, stand beside your skateboard with your feet parallel to the deck. Stand to the left of your board if you’re a goofy rider and right if otherwise.
Step 5: Stepping on it
In this step, you’ll learn how to stand on a skateboard. Start by placing your dominant foot on the deck with its tip right on top of the front truck bolts. It should be parallel to the length of your deck. Follow with your back foot perpendicular to the board and with the lateral arch facing the heel of your front foot.
Keep your hands on the rail or wall while doing this step. It’ll support and help you balance on the board.
Step 6: Positioning the feet
It’s time to move your feet to a skating position. To achieve it, all you need is to rotate the ball of your front foot outwards. By then, your arches are facing each other. Make sure that the distance between your feet, as practiced, shall be the same as your shoulders.
Step 7: Taking off the support
With your feet apart on the deck, try to take one of your hands off the wall or rail. Do it slowly as you try to maintain your balance. From there, try to press your feet front and back as you feel the flex of your trucks. Continue with the process until you manage to take both of your hands off the wall.
Step 8: Standing on skateboard without a support
This step gives you two options to execute. Your first option is to place your front foot directly on the skating position, followed by your back foot. But if you want to perform all the basics, you can start by putting your dominant foot parallel to the deck’s length. And after placing your back foot, you can rotate the front one to the skating position.
Step 9: Getting comfortable
Try to practice leaning on the board without any support. Start by pressing your skateboard with the tips of your feet, followed by their back. Next, try leaning sideways. Note that you need to maintain your balance by keeping your body straight and your head centered.
Step 10: Getting on while riding
While this step may not be an essential one, you might as well consider learning to get on a skateboard while running. Put your skateboard a few meters in front of you with its tail pointing to you.
From behind, run at a low speed and approach your skateboard. Step on the deck with the tip of your dominant foot on the front truck. Follow with your back foot immediately as the skateboard starts rolling. Rotate your front foot to the skating position while the board gains momentum.
- Try to learn how to adjust the tightness of your trucks to help you balance adequately.
- Do not keep a stiff body to help you move better.
- Balance is the key to a successful execution.
Learning skateboarding is not a race. It does not disqualify anyone, nor does it make exceptions depending on the rider. All you need is the determination and patience to learn each detail of the sport.
Now that you know how to get on a skateboard, you’re ready for your succeeding skills. Always remember the tips I have shared with you, and keep yourself focused.
Start your skateboarding journey the right way. Did you like this article? Tell us what you think in the comments section.
Hi, I am Charles Harris. I opened this site to write as much as I can about my biggest passion – skateboarding!
I started as a clumsy yet passionate rookie 10 years ago to now a still passionate yet much better skateboarder! But I have to tell you, the whole journey has always been fun and rewarding, indeed not without hardship.