Skateboards are fast and they tend to be used on concrete roads and sidewalks.
It’s important, therefore, to know how to stop, lest you end up with grazed knees and even broken bones.
Fortunately, learning how to stop on a skateboard isn’t all that complicated.
We’ll show you how to stop on a skateboard in a few simple steps, giving you more control the next time you reach those high speeds.
How should a beginner stop on a skateboard?
There are several ways to kill your speed on a skateboard.
Learning these techniques is one of the first things that a beginner skater should do because while it’s fun to reach high speeds, it’s also terrifying if you don’t know how to safely stop.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to foot brake, tail brake, and perform a power slide-all effective ways to reduce your speed if you find yourself going too fast.
Back Foot Braking
One of the simplest and most effective strategies for slowing down and stopping on a skateboard is to decelerate with your back foot.
When you’re racing down a hill, simply lower your stance and hang your back foot off the side of the skateboard, keeping your front foot stable at all times.
You can drag your back foot gently over the ground to reduce your speed or dig it in to stop more abruptly.
Make sure you’re not wearing your best sneakers when performing this method, as it will destroy them pretty quickly.
Scraping techniques work in a similar way to the back foot brake in that they apply friction to slow down the momentum of the skateboard and eventually bring it to a stop.
The heel brake is a great example.
Simply hang your heel over the back of the skateboard and use it to reduce your speed.
This foot braking technique is quick and easy but again, it will damage your shoe.
Tail scraping is another effective technique.
Just apply pressure to your back foot to pressure the tail of your skateboard against the ground.
You’ll wear down your deck over time, but it’s built to be durable and handle high-speed braking and high-level tricks, so it can take more damage than you realize.
Some of these techniques can also be combined, such as using the heel of your shoe and the tail of your skateboard to rapidly reduce your speed.
The Frontside Powerslide is an effective stopping technique that doesn’t require you to put your foot on the ground and destroy your shoes.
The goal of a Frontside Powerslide is to turn your skateboard from vertical to horizontal.
It may sound like a guaranteed way to face-plant the road and break a few teeth, but once you learn how to use this skill, you’ll stop quickly, easily, and safely, with only minor damage to your skateboard wheels.
To go into a Frontside Powerslide, simply bend your knees slightly and place your back foot on the tail of the skateboard and your front foot on the nose.
Apply back foot pressure around the toes and front foot pressure to the sole. Keep your body weight stake and stay in the center of the board.
The trick is to push your back foot forward to turn the skateboard while using your front foot as a turning axle.
It’s a great way to stop and it looks cool, but it’s tricky and can be problematic when going downhill.
If you get it wrong, you’re going to plant the board and fly head over heels.
It’s best to practice this braking technique on a straight line and with moderate speed.
Learning How to Stop on a Skateboard
The best way to learn these techniques is to get out there and practice them.
As a beginner skateboarder, it’s best to make sure you’re fully equipped with elbow pads, knee pads, and a helmet, after which you can head for a medium-sized hill and try these techniques for yourself.
You will stumble, you will fall, and it’s going to take a lot of attempts before you figure it out and get to grips with the process, but that’s what learning is all about!
If you’re using heel braking or foot braking technique, you’ll also want to wear some throwaway sneakers or buy a pair of highly durable shoes that will take whatever you throw at them.
If you want to reach high speeds on a skateboard, you need to know how to decelerate and stop, so it’s not something that you can delay.
Just remember, if you encounter a problem and can’t slow down quickly enough, it’s time to bail and jump off the board!
Better to send the board crashing into a wall or curb than have you double-somersaulting onto the concrete.