Where should you go when you’re first learning to skateboard? What is the ideal location, what should be your first steps, and what tips and tricks can help you to learn quickly?
Let’s take a look.
Where is the Best Place to Learn Skateboarding?
Your local skate park has everything you need to start riding, but it’s also full of experienced skaters and that can be a little intimidating when you’re learning to skate.
Everyone has to start somewhere and most skaters are happy to help you and support you, but it can still make you self-conscious.
But that’s okay, as you don’t need a packed skate park to learn how to skate.
As long as you have a flat surface and the freedom to move, turn, and jump, you’ll be fine.
It should be somewhere close to home and somewhere you feel confident. After all, the further away it is, the less likely you are to practice after work/school and at the end of a long week.
A driveway and/or a garage are usually ideal places to learn how to skateboard. You can start in your garage, practicing balance, stepping, and other basics. When you’re ready to move, ride from the end of your driveway to the end of your garage.
It should be enough space to push and even gather speed. Most driveways also have a little slope, and that should help you to pick up speed.
If you don’t have a driveway or garage, but still want some privacy, a backyard should suffice. Alternatively, use the sidewalk in front of your home or find a quiet sidewalk/space nearby.
Flat ground is best when standing, balancing, and learning the basics. A little slope is okay later on, but avoid anything too steep. It’s also important to avoid uneven ground, including gravel and chipped concrete/stone.
Your wheels can become trapped in crevices and jammed on rocks. When this happens, it could throw you off balance and lead to a fall.
How Do I Start Learning Skateboarding?
Once you have found the right location, it’s time to learn how to skateboard. Follow the steps below to get started.
Buy Your First Skateboard
You can buy your first skateboard online or via your local skate shop. The latter might be the best option, as the shop assistant can help you to find the skateboard that is right for you.
You don’t need to worry too much about wheel size, truck quality, and other specifics at this point. Just find a quality skateboard that is within your budget and designed for the right purpose.
Some skateboards are made for performing tricks. Others are designed for cruising. The skate shop can help you.
If you’re buying online, make sure you purchase a complete skateboard. A complete skateboard is one that is ready to ride out of the box. If not, you may end up with just a skateboard deck (sometimes not even with the grip tape).
Buy Some Protective Gear
It’s important to wear protective gear when you’re first learning to skate. It’s a dangerous sport and can lead to a lot of sprains, fractures, concussions, and more.
You’re going to need a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. You should also purchase a good pair of skate shoes, which includes pretty much any footwear that is comfortable and hard-wearing.
Practice Your Balance
You can’t start performing tricks right away.
First things first, find your natural stance.
If you have ever played soccer or kickball, or you have experience with other board sports, the next part will be easy. It’s all about finding your dominant foot.
The best way of doing this is to stand up straight and have a friend push you gently from behind. The foot that you brace yourself with is your dominant foot, with your standing leg being your weaker leg.
Try it a few times to make sure it wasn’t just a coincidence.
Once you find your dominant foot, that should be your back foot.
If your dominant foot is your right foot, you should place your left foot forward and your right foot back. This is known as a “regular” stance. If your left is stronger, place your right foot forward and your left foot back. This is a “goofy” stance.
Learn How to Push
Once you’re confident with the previous step, it’s time to start moving.
You move on a skateboard by pushing. Simply hang your back foot over the edge of the skateboard while keeping your front foot stable near the center.
The trick is to kick off the ground with your back foot to propel yourself forward. When you’re moving, bring your back foot back onto the skateboard to join your front foot.
Only when you have the basics down should you start learning tricks. Don’t run before you can walk, as you’ll just end up flat on your face and frustrated.
The most basic trick is an ollie, and when you get that down, a world of new tricks will open up to you. From there, you’re ready to head to the skate park and take things to the next level.
Can I Learn Skateboarding By Myself?
Of course. Most skateboarders are self-taught. It can help to learn from more experienced skaters when you’re fine-tuning your skills and mastering more advanced tricks, but for the basics, you’ll find what you need online and through trial and error.
Just follow the beginner tips above, watch some skate videos, stay motivated, and take it easy.
Is it Hard to Learn to Skateboard?
It can be frustrating, and it may even feel impossible at times, but if you persist for a few weeks, it’ll get easier.
As long as you’re willing to put the effort in and actually try to succeed, anything can seem easy.
It’s also important to know that whether you’re 8, 18, or 60, you can learn to skateboard. It might get a little harder with age, but it’s still possible.