13 Mar Want To Start Skateboarding? Here’s Everything You Need To Know First!
With skateboarding recently becoming an official sport in the Olympics and the hype from epic contests like the X Games and Street League, it’s no wonder skateboarding has become more popular than ever!
However, even with all the viral skate clips you see on social media nowadays, skateboarding remains a true underground sport. This unique combination is part of what draws many to the sport and lifestyle of skateboarding – possibly even you!
If you’re interested in skateboarding or learning to skate, you’re in the right place! This article will serve as a guide in helping you understand everything you need to start skating right now.
There’s no denying that skateboarding is a fun sport. Moreso, it’s a sport that just about anyone can enjoy!
No matter where you go, there’s a good chance that you’ll come across skaters doing incredible jumps and “flip tricks” that may seem like sorcery at first. But, with the right equipment and the right environment, you can learn these tricks, too!
Now, let’s start with the essentials…
What Do You Need to Start Skateboarding?
Part of what makes skateboarding such a great sport is that you don’t really need much to get started.
All you’re going to need is a skateboard and maybe some other inexpensive items, such as skate shoes and safety gear.
For total beginners, buying a complete skateboard will enable you to start skating right away as the board comes professionally assembled with all the components.
Then, you just take it out of the box and start learning how to ride!
The Best Complete Skateboards to Start Skateboarding
Now, you need to choose the best complete skateboard for you. There are many awesome skateboard brands on the market to choose from.
As a beginner, you may have considered buying a skateboard from a familiar place like Wal-Mart or Amazon.
The thing is, we promise that it’s not just in our best interest for you to stay away from these places when it comes to skateboards!
Big retailers like this mainly focus on selling mass-produced products and the boards you will find in these places will be noticeably lower quality than established, name-brand skateboards.
The quality of your board will truly make a massive difference in your experience of skateboarding.
We’re not just trying to sell you on a more expensive product, please trust us, it’s worth it to buy a quality brand if you want to enjoy skating at it’s fullest.
Here’s just a few of the best skateboard brands:
- Santa Cruz Skateboards
- Real Skateboards
- Enjoi Skateboards
- Girl Skateboards
- Blind Skateboards
- Almost Skateboards
- Primitive Skateboards
- DGK Skateboards
All of these skate brands have been around for years, they have established teams of the best professional skateboarders, and all of their pro riders actually skate the boards that they sell!
With these brands, you’re literally skating pro-level gear that won’t hold back your progression.
Where Can I Buy a Complete Skateboard?
Skate shops! The true heroes of the skateboarding community are skate shops that support the skateboarding scene and support the quality brands that keep it alive.
Whether you choose to support your local skate shop or an international online skate shop like Cruisin City, it’s important to buy from shops that are run by real skaters and that carry top skateboard brands.
Naturally, these shops are who really cares the most that your experience with skateboard is the very best it can be – either through the customer service you receive or the awesome skate products you buy.
Cruisin City doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to customer service either. Check out our TrustPilot Reviews to see why so many skaters choose to ride with us…
Where Should I Start Skateboarding?
Unlike sports such as basketball or football, with skateboarding, the whole world is your skate spot!
With just your skateboard, you can explore and skate just about anywhere.
As you get more comfortable on your board and learn more tricks, you’ll even start to see the whole world differently as you think about things or places you could skate.
Even though you can skate wherever you wish, there are a few places that are especially awesome to skate. As you might expect, one of the best places is at a skate park!
There are tons of skateparks around the world and especially in the United States.
Skateparks are a great place to start and learn skateboarding as well as make new friends.
Each skatepark will feature different sets of obstacles that resemble structures that skaters would come across in cities – such as rails, stairs, ledges, and slopes.
Many skateparks also feature “bowls”, which resemble the empty swimming pools that skaters in California used to skate back in the day!
If you go to a skatepark to learn how to skate, find a nice flat and smooth surface to learn the basics.
When you’re first starting, it’s also a good idea to visit the skatepark when it’s less crowded (usually in the morning) so you can focus on learning. You’ll likely meet beginners like yourself to practice with or even some good skaters to observe.
Don’t be afraid to talk to and ask questions from good skaters at the skatepark! They got as good as they are because of their love for skating and they started just like you.
Good skaters will almost always be glad to help you or give you some tips.
Depending on where you live, most towns and cities have specific places that are known in the skate community for being a “skate spot”.
Usually, a skate spot is just a public space, but it usually has some sort of obstacle that makes it particularly good for skating there.
These places are usually known in the local skate scene as a place to skate, hang out or meet up with other skaters.
However, it should be known that skateboarding in public is not always legal. Skateboarding can be somewhat destructive to rails, ledges, stairs, etc. Therefore, this is a bit of a grey area when it comes to skateboarding. Our advice is to check your local laws and ask permission of local businesses if you want to skate near or around their private property.
Always be polite when street skating. The more you respect others and their property, the more likely it is that you and your fellow skaters will be allowed to keep skating your local skate spots.
Common Questions of Beginner Skaters
How long does a complete skateboard last before replacing worn-out parts?
It depends on how much you skate. Your skateboard deck is usually the fastest to wear out as the tail continually scrapes the ground.
You’ll want to replace the board when it no longer has a crisp pop when it hits the ground or when the tail is worn down to a sharp, razor-like edge. Note that slide marks on the bottom of your board do not necessarily mean the board is worn out, it’s just the paint of the graphic wearing off.
Wheels will simply wear down and get smaller until they don’t resemble their original shape. You should replace them if they are out of shape or not gripping/handling like they should anymore.
Bearings generally have the ability to last a while, but it totally depends on whether you keep them clean. See our guide: Keep on Cruising: How To Clean Skateboard Bearings. If you don’t keep them clean, they will eventually get destroyed and fall apart inside.
Trucks generally last the longest, sometimes even for years. They should be replaced when the top of them is ground down so far that you see the truck’s axle or when you see cracks in the trucks.
Is it easy to make skater friends as a beginner?
Yes! Like few other sports, skateboarding is a community where everyone supports each other.
If you go to a skatepark or just skate around your neighborhood, you’re highly likely to meet other skaters who will like to talk to you. Chances are, you’ll even meet other beginners who want to learn together.
The same goes for you! When you see or meet other skaters, just say “what’s up?” and talk with them about skating!
Am I too old to start skateboarding?
Skateboarding is for everyone regardless of age, gender, or race!
You are never too old to start skateboarding. In fact, nowadays, there’s quite a large global community of skaters who are 40, 50, even 60+ years old, you just have to search for them.
Do I need skateboard shoes to start skateboarding?
You can skate in whatever shoes you feel comfortable with! Skateboarding is not like bowling where you need to wear special bowling shoes.
However, it’s highly recommended that you do wear skate shoes. Skate shoes are more durable than standard shoes and the soles of the shoes are designed to help you feel your board as well as reduce impact when landing.
What are some easy skateboard tricks to learn?
If you already know how to ride and balance on your skateboard, the easiest tricks to learn are manuals, ollies, and shove-its.
If you have a skatepark or ramps to skate, try riding down the ramps, doing a kick-turn (turning around 180 degrees on a ramp and coming back down) or dropping into a quarter pipe (a drop-in).
Be sure to check out our Beginner Trick Guide!
How do I get better at skateboarding?
The short answer is practice and dedication.
Skateboarding is kind of like learning to play an instrument. To get better, you will need to dedicate time to practice on a consistent basis and continually push yourself to learn more.
Honestly, you will fall and get hurt – this is truly a huge part of progression in skating. It’s for these exact reasons that people and other skaters have so much respect for skaters who are good at skating.
Can girls skateboard?
Yes! Girls can definitely skateboard! Some of the top skateboarders in the world today are girls!
Girls rule at skateboarding!
How long does it take to learn how to skateboard?
It really depends. If you’re just learning to push and roll on a skateboard, most people can learn within an hour or so. However, they definitely won’t be comfortable skateboarding within this time.
It takes many hours of practice before you can comfortably push and roll on your own.
When it comes to basic tricks like the ollie, it generally takes days or weeks of practice to learn it consistently.
The most important part is to have fun. Comfort on your board and tricks will come naturally with practice.
Text by GB Castillo