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How to Carve on a Skateboard? – 7 Steps (with Pictures)

Fact checked by Michael Derosier

how to carve on a skateboard

Riding a skateboard is not necessarily about getting through ramps, bowls, and other skatepark obstacles. Sometimes, all you want to do is go cruising and enjoy some afternoon scenery around. And since you can’t always expect to ride a straight road to your destination, it’s best to master how to carve on a skateboard

Carving on a skateboard is one of the fundamentals you need to learn to perform tricks better and ride any pavement, whether straight or curvy. Here are the core steps you need to remember for this tutorial.

  • Finding your balance
  • Leaning inwards
  • Leaning outwards


What You Will Need


Carving on a skateboard is one of the fastest skills to master. But to make the entire process easy, take note of the following things you have to prepare.

Your skateboard

You have to understand that there are skateboards and skateboard components specialized for specific tricks and skills. Others may claim that any skateboard will do since carving is a beginner skill. This concept can be acceptable but might make the trick harder to perform on your end.

Thus, be sure you have a skateboard tailored for carving. One of the features of a carving skate is a mid-sized deck. For the wheels, pick a set with a perfect balance of rolling speed and grip.

On top of these, trucks need more attention since your movements will depend on them. A good pair of skateboarding trucks feels flowy, responsive, and are easy to pump. These characteristics will make carving easy and even more convenient for you.

A set of protective gears

Time will come when you’ll dare to incorporate carving with downhill trails and other skateboarding tricks. So, guard yourself by using a set of protective equipment. This safety measure consists of a helmet, a knee and elbow support, wrist guards, and shatterproof glasses, which are optional.

Note that using these pieces of equipment does not end when you become an experienced rider. Even professional skateboarders protect themselves because some trails are unpredictable and dangerous.

A pro tip: you can also watch how skateboarders anticipate and respond to accidents. This will give you an idea of what to do once the same happens to you. Knowing this will also help you minimize the impact of accidents.

High-grip shoes

You will have to do thousands of leans when you carve on a skateboard. However, you can’t always expect the deck’s grip tape to hold you as it wears eventually. The best solution here is to use a pair of skateboarding sneakers.

These shoes should be comfortable to wear and make your feet move well. And most importantly, this footwear should have a rubber or any sole with a superior grip. This aspect will help retain your balance on the board before, during, and after carving on it. Using a pair of appropriate shoes means you are also protecting yourself when riding the skateboard.

A wide-open space for skateboarding

You don’t immediately have to get on the street to do skateboard carving. It’s best to practice this skill first in a spacious area with no obstacles where your skateboard could thrive well. You can get into a parking lot or even a skateboard park where there is enough room to move.

Note that carving can be uncontrollable, especially when you can’t manage your leaning angle yet. Thus, as a rule of thumb, you need to practice somewhere less susceptible to bumping or any form of accident.

Steps on Carving on a Skateboard


Being sensitive is one of the core aspects of carve skateboarding. Consider the following steps for more detailed instructions to make your execution flawless.

Step 1: Know where to start

Before getting on your board and riding it, you have to know your proximities. If you are in a box-shaped location, start somewhere that leaves enough space in your front, left, and right sides. This step will not only give you enough room to move but some confidence as well.

Step 2: Finding your balance

Place your skateboard in front of you with your body facing its length. Get on your deck, and be sure to put your feet right on top of each truck. From there, start rocking your skateboard forward and backward using the tips of your feet and ankles, respectively.

You might not see it, but this action causes two opposing wheels to move inwards and the other two outwards.

This motion by the wheels will also be vital in the sharpness of your turns when you begin riding the skateboard.

Step 3: Pushing

Pushing is a relevant aspect of carving skateboards. Not only will this skill give you momentum but also dictate your initial direction before turning.

After practicing balancing on your skateboard, put it in a position where the nose points towards a long trajectory with enough space to move forward. Next, place one foot on the board’s deck with the tip on the bolts of the front truck and point forward.

Be sure to use your dominant foot for pushing; the dominant foot is usually put in the back. Begin to ride on your skateboard and do a walking action as you establish a solid direction and momentum.

Step 4: Positioning in motion


As soon as you get enough momentum, lift your back foot and position it at the rear trucks perpendicular to the board’s direction. Follow with your front foot. Doing these will make your feet arches face each other. You’ll notice it’s exactly what you did when practicing balance on the skateboard.

Step 5: Leaning forward


To lean forward, push down the skateboard with the tips of your feet. This action moves one front and back wheel inwards, causing the skateboard to turn. To control the direction, move your shoulders inwards.

Note that you can’t stand straight on your board as carving requires enough weight to shift the wheels’ direction. Thus, you have to lean in front of yourself with your chest and shoulders. Also, spread your arms and bend your knees slightly to help you maintain balance during the turning motion.

Step 6: Leaning outwards


As soon as you complete inward carving, restore your posture on the board to move in a straight direction. Continue pushing as you prepare enough momentum for an outward turn.

To learn outwards, you will have to press on the wheels right under your ankle. That means the wheels under your toes will go a bit outwards. Similarly to the previous step, use your shoulders to guide your body.

Also, when turning outwards, you’ll have to lean back with your chest and buttocks as if you’re about to sit.

Step 7: Getting comfortable

In an open area, you can alternately lean inwards and outwards. That means you’ll go in curvy directions until you master both carving methods. This routine will also help you shift directions comfortably once you get on the road, where turns go left and right.

On top of these, never hesitate to open your arms and bend your knees, whether in a straight posture, leaning inwards, or leaning outwards. This aspect will assist you in finding your balance when the skateboard is in motion.

Pro Tips

  • Try to get on a slightly sloping area to know how to carve on a downhill motion.
  • Give importance to your shoulders as they dictate your turn’s sharpness.
  • High trucks are suitable for carving.


Skateboarding is not only for straight roads. It’s also for recreation and challenging rides, including going downhill, ramps, and curvy roads.

Before you bring your board on a busy road, you need to master how to carve on a skateboard. This skill is not only for tricks but is also a way of protection against possible road accidents. Remember the tips I have shared with you and expect to be the best in carving.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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