31 Jul 5 Tips to Start Skateboarding (and why you should start with a cruiser)!
Skateboarding – we may be biased, but it’s pretty much the greatest thing on earth!
Just like anything good in life, learning to skateboard isn’t easy. Luckily, that’s exactly a part of what makes it so much fun!
This article is made to give absolute beginners some important tips to start skateboarding.
In addition, we’ll talk about cruiser skateboards and what they can offer to new skaters! After all, this is CruisinCity.com!
Before You Start Skateboarding
Tip 1: Safety First!
By now, you’ve probably seen skaters on the internet jumping down stairs or flying out of pools with no protection gear.
There’s a simple reason they aren’t wearing gear – experience!
One of the most important things that beginner skaters need to understand is that falling while skateboarding is guaranteed.
In fact, progression while skateboarding is pretty much a direct result of falling!
When you first start skateboarding, even the smallest movements will require personal progression to learn. That means, you will definitely fall.
Here’s the important part – you’ll get better at it. Really!
The more you fall, the more you’ll understand how to fall without getting hurt.
It’s for this reason that many pro skaters don’t wear protective gear, yet you usually don’t see them with serious injuries.
But, you’re not a pro (yet).
You can make the entire learning process of skateboarding massively easier and less dangerous if you just put on protection gear before you even begin!
Of course, check out the helmets & protection gear category on our site.
Remember, we don’t want to scare you by saying that you’re going to fall!
Instead, understand that this is a part of why skateboarding is so impressive once you can do it!
Tip 2: You’re never too old
One of the first things you see on Google when searching for this topic is “How to skateboard at 30” or 40, or whatever.
It’s absolutely ridiculous to think that you cannot skateboard after a certain age.
Here’s the simple answer to anyone questioning their age when it comes to skateboarding:
Skateboarding has something to offer for everyone. It is literally whatever you make it.
Fun, exercise, a challenge, an art form, friendship, transportation, you name it, skateboarding has it.
There are thousands of skateboarders 50 years old and up around the world (Tony Hawk is one of them).
There is no age limit.
Getting Started on Your Skateboard
Tip 3: How to stand on a skateboard
So, you’ve put on some protection gear and you’re ready to shred some concrete at top speed. Right?!
Not quite cowboy…
First, begin by placing your board in some grass, on carpet, or somewhere that the board won’t roll.
Step on your board with your feet over the bolts you see on top of the skateboard.
Ideally, your toes will be up to the outside edge of the deck and your heels up to the other edge.
Do not stand with your toes facing the nose or tail of the board.
When standing on your board, your legs should make an “A” shape.
Remember, you’re most stable with your feet over the bolts and your knees slightly bent.
When you’re actually rolling, it will be important to force yourself into this stance so you can balance.
Lean from your toes to heels. You should feel the board rock from side to side. You will do this same motion to turn your board while moving.
How to know if you are goofy or regular:
No, we’re not asking whether you act a bit silly sometimes. Goofy and regular are stances on a skateboard!
99% of people will have a natural instinct of which direction feels most comfortable for them to ride towards.
Stand away from your board, walk up to it, and stand on it while facing whatever direction feels the most natural for you to go towards. One direction will just feel more natural than the other.
When moving on your skateboard:
Regular footed = Your left foot is in the front while riding
Goofy footed = Your right foot is in the front while riding
Fun fact: Skating with the opposite foot forward
from your natural stance is called skating “switch”
Tip 4: How to push on a skateboard
After you’re comfortable standing on your board, it’s time to get movin’!
Not so fast!
No, really, the first step in learning to push is to go slow!
Learning to push is simply going to take you a moment to understand how to coordinate your body.
When pushing, your weight will be shifting back and forth from the leg that’s standing on the board to the leg that’s pushing over the ground.
Ultimately, you will develop one fluid motion where your legs are practically doing a sort of “scissor” movement.
At first, try to simply push, push, push, and then just step off the board.
After you understand the pushing motion, you can then try to place your pushing foot back on the board after pushing, where you will then enjoy coasting forward.
Be sure to keep both feet placed over the bolts while coasting for stability!
For the visual learners out there, check out this sweet old school video from Tony Hawk. Who could be better to teach you about skateboarding?
Tip 5: How to turn on a skateboard
Now that you can push and coast on your board, it’s time to maneuver it!
There are two ways to turn:
- Carving/Leaning on your toes or heels
- Kickturn/Pressing down on the tail to lift the front wheels and set them back down in a new direction.
Method 1: Carving
Back in tip 3, we talked about leaning on your toes and heels while standing stationary to feel the board rock side to side.
When coasting forward, you will repeat this same motion to turn in a carve.
Important note: Your trucks should be adjusted to the proper tightness for them to turn under your body weight.
Tighten or loosen the nut in the center of your trucks to adjust how easily they turn under your weight.
The wheels should almost touch your board when leaning with all weight on one side.
Method 2: Kickturn
If you need to turn much more quickly, you can press down on the tail of your board, lift your front wheels off the ground, rotate your body and board, and set it back down in a new direction.
First, this method only works when you are not moving fast.
Apply just enough weight to your tail to lift your front wheels (a manual/wheelie position).
While the wheels are off the ground, use only your front foot to move the board to the right or left.
After the board has turned in the air, gently set the front wheels back down and continue rolling in the new direction.
Fun fact: A 180 degree “kickturn” is how you will turn around
after rolling up ramps like quarter pipes and banks.
Now that you’ve learned how to stand on your skateboard, push, and turn, the possibilities are endless!
These three things are the fundamentals of riding a skateboard. Once you’ve mastered these, you can start to take on things like riding ramps and doing basic flatground tricks like manuals (wheelies) and the ollie.
What Skateboard Should You Get?
Ahh, the big question!
There are so many different sizes, shapes, brands, and styles of skateboard out there today. It can seem difficult to know what’s right for you.
The answer: a cruiser skateboard!
Wait! Just hear us out…
We promise we won’t try to sell you something.
There are several reasons cruiser skateboards are great for beginners.
- Cruiser boards come with big, soft wheels.
The benefit of this is that your board will roll super smooth and the added weight means it won’t quickly zip out from underneath you when learning to stand on your board. Soft wheels are also more grippy, giving you predictable performance while learning to turn.
- Cruiser boards generally have a wide deck.
As a total beginner, it will be a while before you’re ready to start learning flip tricks on your board. Therefore, a thinner, more technical board isn’t ideal. A wide cruiser deck gives you much more stability and space to get used to standing on your board.
- Cruiser boards are a hybrid
The design of cruiser skateboards simply makes them a mix of a modern skateboard and a longboard. As a new skater, you may not really even know what you like yet!If you find that you are drawn to learning tricks on your cruiser, you could lean towards getting a street skateboard for your next ride. If you find that you prefer skating down hills or cruising long distance, maybe you should try a longboard next. A cruiser will help you discover this.
If you’re interested in learning to skate on a cruiser skateboard, please check out our article “How to Choose a Cruiser Skateboard”!
Standard Complete Skateboards Explained
If you would prefer the versatility of a standard, popsicle shaped skateboard to the feel of a cruiser skateboard – we recommend starting with a complete skateboard!
A complete skateboard is a pre-assembled skateboard that comes ready-to-skate. We highly recommend completes for beginners because you don’t have to figure out how to coordinate the sizes of all your skateboard components to build your skateboard from scratch.
Skateboard components, such as the deck and wheels, will naturally wear out over time with use. Therefore, it’s practical and cheaper to start with a complete skateboard and then replace individual components of your board when they wear out.
If you do decide that you want to build your own complete skateboard from scratch, be sure to check out our Cruisin City Skateboard Guide where we detail how to choose all the components for a skateboard.
Remember, the most important thing about skateboarding is to always have fun!
Be sure to contact us if you have any questions about skateboarding, we’re happy to help!
Happy skateboarding from Cruisin City!
Text by Skatetexter.
Here’s some posts about cruiser skateboards you might find interesting!
Why you should consider the Landyachtz Dinghy for your next cruiser skateboard
Is the Penny board a good cruiser for you? Find out here!
Why Dusters cruisers are the best value-for-money cruiser skateboards