Initially an offshoot of California’s surf scene, this extreme sport has taken America by storm. Before you can execute sweet tricks, you need to start with the basics.
: Always wear protective clothing, including a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, kneepads, and appropriate footwear. Skateboarding is not recommended for children under the age of 6, and children between the ages of 6 and 10 should only be allowed to ride with adult supervision.
Step 1: Stand on your board Get comfortable standing on your skateboard. Try standing on it in the grass. Move your feet in different positions on the board; balance on the front wheels and the back wheels. Do you prefer standing directly on the trucks – the skateboard’s axle – or in between?
Step 2: Choose your stance Choose the regular or the goofy stance. If you skate with the left foot in front and push off and kick with the right, you’re using the regular stance. If you prefer skating with your right foot in front, it’s goofy. Since most people are right-handed, most skaters prefer the regular stance, which uses the dominant right foot to kick.
TIP: Go to a staircase and begin to walk up; which foot did you use to start the ascent? That’s probably your back foot.
Step 3: Push off and kick Take your board to a flat expanse of concrete, like a parking lot. Position your feet comfortably on the board. Then use your back foot to push off and propel the board forward. Take time to practice at varying speeds.
Step 4: Learn to stop There are several ways to stop your roll. The easiest is footbreaking. Take your back foot and drag it on the ground. Another technique is the heel drag. Place the heel of your back foot close to the back edge of the board. Lean back so that the front of your board eases into the air, basically a wheelie. Your heel will drag on the ground, slowing you down to an eventual stop.
Step 5: Turn or carve To turn or carve, put weight on your heels while rolling and you’ll turn in that direction. The harder you press your heels, the sharper the turn. It helps to lean your upper body in the direction you want to turn.
Step 6: Learn to kickturn After you’ve practiced, try a skating essential, the kickturn. Balance on your rear wheels, push down, and spin your board around to execute a kickturn. This takes patience and practice, but soon you’ll be hitting all the gnarly moves!
FACT: The Ollie, a trick in which a skater jumps into the air and lifts the board without using their hands, was invented by Alan 'Ollie' Gelfand in 1978.