March 15, 2019 5 min read
Pushing is the act of simply hopping on your board and pushing so you can ride your board with enough speed. It’s literally what gets you rolling and up to speed when learning how to skate.
That’s awesome! We’re so excited your starting this amazing adventure. Everyday, we hear from people around the world about how excited they are to learn how to skateboard. If you stick with it and persist, we know that you’ll enjoy progressing through tricks every single day.
Before we get into pushing, let’s get a brief history of skateboarding. Skateboarding was born in California around the early 1950s. Surfers wanted a way to continue to surf, even when the waves were flat. This became known as “sidewalk surfing” and became very popular.
As time went on, the skateboard adapted and changed to what we know. But the way we ride the board and the tricks we do are basically the same. See, skateboarding has always been standing on a board and pushing. Which is why it’s important that you know how to push properly!
Along with pushing, you’ll also learn how to ride. If you’ve ever seen anyone cruising around your neighborhood, you know how much fun it looks. Here are some basic tips to get you on your board!
There are several key parts that go into pushing these are what we’re going to go over.
This is arguably the most important part of skateboarding. It’s the first stepping stone into skateboarding. Therefore, it’s important to get this right!
There are two stances, or ways you stand and push on your board. These are regular and goofy. Neither stance will make you a “better” skater. It’s simply what’s more comfortable to you. The definitions for each are below.
Now that you know the two stances, here’s how you figure out which one you are. Visualize running and sliding on ice or something slippery. What foot would you put forward? If you were to kick a soccer ball, which foot would you kick with? If the answer is left, you’re regular, and if the answer is right, you’re goofy. Congratulations, you figured it out!
Now that you have your stance down, let’s look at where your feet should go. Your front foot will be just below the front bolts about a third of the way down the skateboard. your back foot will be on the tail, so you can easily transition into tricks when riding.
When pushing, it’s a little different. Pushing is very similar to walking. To start out, you should literally just walk onto the board and keep walking. Practice having your front foot on the board and pushing with your back foot.
When actually pushing, your front foot is facing forward for maximum stability and support. When you’re no longer pushing, your back foot goes back on the tail of the board and your front foot pivots to now going acrossthe board, facing the direction with your body. That little movement of switching back and forth can take some getting used to. Be sure to practice this slowly and build up from there. Take a look at the photo for reference below.
The proper way to push is with your back foot. When starting out, you may be inclined to push with your front foot. This is called pushing “mongo”. Pushing mongo isn’t as comfortable and doesn’t feel very stable. So learn to push the right way with your back foot forward when first learning.
Once you’ve got that down, start just pushing and riding around your neighborhood. If something doesn’t quite feel right, slow it down and make sure all previous steps are in. You want to take the time to get this right so it’s not a problem later on.
The next step is turning. There are two, very simply ways to turn when you’re skating. The first is to simply lean your body. This is called the carving turn. The more you lean to the right, the more you’ll start going to the right and vice versa. Make sure you have good balance. If you don’t, you’ll start to develop that as you progress through skateboarding. Think of it as a practice step.
The next step is what skaters call the kick turn. This is done by slightly leaning back, lifting up your front wheels and facing them in the direction you’d like to go. You have to apply some pressure to your back trucks to lift the board up slightly.
When you’re turning, it’s important to know where you want to go. This goes hand in hand with getting comfortable with your board and cruising around. When you’re turning, be aware of your surroundings so you don’t accidentally ride into something or someone.
Now that you know how to push and turn, it’s time to get to the best part: riding! Riding around is a lot of fun, and it’s really important to practice this. Spend a lot of time riding and cruising around time.
We always say, ride to the store, to work, to school, ride everywhere. In order to get really comfortable on your board, you have to ride it around in all sorts of terrain. This will get you used to being on the board.
We can’t stress this part enough. Learning how to simply ride around will make a world of a difference when you start learning tricks. If you’re not comfortable on your board and riding, it’s going to be much harder to learn them.
Now that you’ve been riding, it’s a good idea to learn how to stop. There are many different ways to stop. The two most common are the power slide and dragging your foot on the ground. The power slide is a little more difficult and will easily eat up your wheels. It’s good to know when you’re going super fast. But that can be for another tutorial.
The easiest way to stop is to put your back foot down and let it drag. When you’re at a comfortable speed, you can step that back foot off so you stop moving all together. And that’s the easiest way to stop. That should be enough to get you riding around everywhere!
There you go, that’s the basics of pushing and riding! If you’re a beginner skateboarder, this is the first series of steps you’ll need to know. You can think of pushing and riding as Trick 0. It’s the first thing you learn. This is also going to be a lot of fun, because you’re starting on this new amazing journey. And we’re happy to follow along with you!
If you are ready to get riding we have a complete skateboard package and our complete lesson plan Skateboarding Made Simple! Skateboarding Made Simple is the most detailed and complete tutorials on skateboarding everywhere.
Also, be sure to also earn your Rank in the Braille Army! You’ll be able to see your progression with other skaters and all your friends. You can also find new skate spots using the Braille Skate Map. Let’s start pushing skateboarding all over the world!
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