March 14, 2019 5 min read
Stepping on a skateboard for the first time can be an intimidating experience. Braille Skateboarding is here to put your fears to rest. Before we get into the specifics, we recommend you check out the video below. When you’re finished watching the video you should read the post that follows. This will really help you understand the mechanics of riding a skateboard.
It is so awesome that you will be learning to skateboard! Skateboarding really is fun, but it’s important to spend a lot of time in the beginning just working on basic riding. Think of it like riding a bicycle. If you’ve learned how to ride a bicycle then you know that you didn’t start by doing wheelies and hitting jumps. The first step was learning how to ride around without falling off. Riding a skateboard is very similar.
The difference is that instead of pedaling, you’ll accelerate by pushing with your foot. Stopping without brakes is as simple as putting your back foot down or stepping off the board! Be careful if you’re going fast; you’ll want to let yourself slow down before trying to step off the board.
The first thing you need to figure out is which foot are you going to put forward.
A good way to figure it out is if you were to slide on something slippery like ice, which foot would you put forward? Whichever one you choose decides which stance you should ride. Left foot forward is regular and right foot forward is called goofy stance.
If both stances feel similar, don’t worry. Eventually one stance will become more comfortable. It may just take a few days of trying out both stances. Some skateboarders will use one stance when street skating, and switch to the other stance for transition skating. Take your time, experiment, and you’ll figure out which foot to put forward before you know it.
Now that you have your stance figured out, you’re going to need to learn to push. Pushing is similar to walking, so when you first start off, just walk up to your skateboard and walk onto it and start pushing with the other foot. By doing this, you will determine your stance. If your stance is regular you’re going to step onto your board with your left foot first and push with your right. For goofy stance, you’re stepping on with your right foot and pushing with your left.
Something you may want to avoid is “pushing mongo”. This is when skateboarders use their front foot to push, keeping their back foot on the bolts near the tail of the board. Although this may feel more comfortable when you’re starting out, training your back foot to be the pushing foot will help you set up faster for tricks and result in a stronger, faster push.
Plus it looks more natural and will help you develop a cleaner style. When riding in the switch stance, however, some skateboarders will push mongo as they are already used to pushing with that same foot.
One thing to get used to is that when you are pushing with your back foot, your front foot is facing straight, but once you get both feet on the board you turn your front foot sideways.
While you’re pushing, your chest should be facing forwards (the direction you’re moving). After pushing, return your back foot to the rear of the board and pivot your front foot from straight to sideways. At this point your chest should also be facing sideways (the direction your toes are pointing).
There are two ways of turning your board. They are a carving turn and a kick turn. With the carving turn you will need your trucks a little looser and when you lean one way or the other, the board will follow into a turn.
Keeping your shoulders parallel with the board will keep you riding straight forward. As you open your shoulders up and lean on your feel side you begin carving frontside. If you do the opposite by turning your shoulders in while leaning on your toe side, you will begin carving backside. You may find one direction easier to carve in at first. As you ride your skateboard more you’ll start to carve both ways comfortably.
For a kick turn you are going to want to push down slightly with your back foot down on the tail until the front wheels just barely come off the ground. Once you’ve gotten to this point, turn your shoulders a little and the board should turn with you.
To perform a frontside kick turn you will open your shoulders up, lift the nose end of the board up slightly, then turn the board towards your heels. A backside kick turn requires you to turn your shoulders inward, lift the nose end of the board up slightly, then turn the board towards your toes. With a little balance and a lot of practice, you’ll be kick turning like there’s no tomorrow!
It’s important that you spend a lot of time riding your board around and get comfortable with pushing and turning. These two steps are the foundation of all of skateboarding. A lot of times we see a beginner who wants to get right into tricks, but basic riding is the most important step. You should spend a long time on this one step.
Riding your board more will help you develop a cleaner and more visually appealing style! This makes a huge difference in how your tricks look and feel. We want skateboarding to be the best feeling in the world for you, and the easiest way to achieve that is by mastering these fundamentals before anything else.
The more time you spend on your board the better, so take it with you places. Ride it to school, work, the store. Ride everywhere you can and pretty soon riding will feel incredibly comfortable for you. Almost as easy as walking!-Aaron Kyro
Learning to ride your board will take some practice but following these steps will help guide you through the process. The more you practice and get comfortable, the easier it will get!
You’ll be amazed how quickly you progress as you skateboard from point A to point B every chance you get. Riding your board soon becomes second nature. Once you’re at that point, the world transforms into your playground. Now that you’re having fun, be warned! Even the greatest skateboarders in the world will still fall off their board and slam from a well placed pebble. Like ripped shoes, this is an unavoidable aspect of skateboarding. Take these falls with pride, knowing that every great skateboarder has been in that same position before.
Once you have riding down it will be time to start learning some tricks! There are articles here and here that go over beginning tricks, but you should also get Skateboarding Made Simple Volumes 1-7. This is the 7 part lesson plan that will take you from beginner to advanced skater.
Regular, goofy or mongo? Show us how you ride your skateboard! Braille Skateboarding wants to see you riding! Film a quick clip of you pushing your hardest and post it on Instagram tagging @brailleskate and #brailleskate. Let us know which piece of advice helped you the most so we can highlight that and we can get more people riding their skateboards!
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