How do you drive a skateboard for beginners?
Skateboarding can be an exciting sport, a healthy hobby, and an environment-friendly means of transportation at the same time. You don’t need to spend too much money on equipment or a special skating space.
But by no means it is easy to pick up.
But how do you ride a skateboard as a beginner? Many people don’t have the confidence to buy a skateboard and start to dig into it because they don’t even know basic movements. We are here to help with detailed guides from preparation to real moving skills.
Setting up your skateboard
A typical skateboard will have a deck, wheels, trucks, and the bearings. Each of them is equally important to the flex and quality of your performance. Besides your preference, you also need to put your thoughts into their quality and whether they can help you ride your skateboard.
As a beginner, you should become familiar with these components and understand how they work, and the best way is to set up the skateboard.
It does not mean that you must do it yourself!
You can ask for help from your friends, from the members of your local skateboarding club, or even from the assistant at the skateboard shop where you bought it.
AND REMEMBER, safety first!
Don’t be cheap when you only spend your money on the board itself. Do the research and equip yourself with wrist guard, elbow pads, kneepads, and a helmet.
They will protect you from hurting your joints and prevent injuries as you will never know when you will fall, especially when you have no experience at all. A good helmet will save your head from serious injuries when you fall into hard surfaces.
Don’t be surprised. This matters.
Ideally, try to find a smooth and large concrete surface while no (or little) bumps and cracks, which can jostle you when you are at the beginning point of your learning process. Save the uneven surfaces for later since you will know how to handle them with experience.
If your town has a skateboarding club, then you are in luck. Join and practice with them.
But life is not always that easy.
Most neighborhoods do not have a skateboarding-friendly space or even do not welcome them. This comes from some bad-manners skaters. The common suggested places are the parking lot or the driveway, which are usually even.
How to push a skateboard for beginners
It’s time actions.
After putting your skateboard on the grounds where you intend to practice, it may take you some time to get familiar with it. Try to stand on the board comfortably without doing any for up to 3 minutes.
This will train you to feel a sense of stability and trust the skateboard. You can also practice this simple method in the living room with a carpet or in your garden.
It is normal for you to immediately tumble when you jump on the board for the first time and feel unbalanced. But in case you fall too often, try it again on a delicate surface for safe practices.
Adjust yourself so you can have a good feeling on whichever foot that is forward. Put your body down a little while maintaining stability. If you can keep it up for a long time without losing the vibe that you are in control of the board, you are good to go to the next step.
The next destination is the skatepark or your driveway.
Do the above steps again to start the session. As you feel the tendency to move straightforward, try to retain it as much as possible. Now use the front foot to push forward to get your skateboard move: take a small step with your foot like when you are strolling.
Do not push too hard or too far since you will easily lose control. Try stable steps sequentially to move in a clear direction as intended. If you complete your path without falling, this is your first success, no matter how short it is or how slow you ride.
Later you can try to maintain control by doing some ground-breaking pushes instead of a series of small paddles.
Brake (on smooth surfaces)
Foot braking is the most common method when it comes to braking in skateboarding. As the name suggests, you use one foot to do this. The move is quite easy: take the back foot off your board, then step it on the surface to slow the board’s speed until they do not move anymore.
Try to practice this approach first at low speeds. Do it again and again until you are confident you can slow spaces without your muscle memory.
Depending on the speed the board have, friction from braking too abruptly might be not enough to stop the big momentum. Instead, it can send you off toward the ground, causing serious injuries.
We recommend smooth surfaces for beginners as cracks and cruisers on rough ones can result in instability when you have only one foot on your board. Even surfaces will make these pushing and braking easier for those who are just digging into skateboarding.
But don’t be scared of them!
After learning basic skills, you can have the ability to ride on difficult surfaces safely. But for now, stick to your driveway or the skatepark.
Another method is sticking down the board’s tail to make contact with the surface so the friction force can stop it. Though more cool-looking, this approach can wear your board over time.
Some manufacturers equip brake pads at the back of their boards to make stopping by this method easier. You can put your rear foot’s heel on the surface while its toes are still on the skateboard while braking in order not to damage it too much.
But be careful, by doing this, you are dragging your heel instead of the tail of the board.
Turn on the skateboard
This is a more complicated movement, which can be a scary skill for many beginners to try, as it seems that you do not have anything to hold on between your feet and the board.
The most important thing to remember is using your bodyweight to turn on the board and change directions. Shift your body gently to the direction that you want to head to.
Flex your knees as much as possible and low your center of gravity toward the ground. If your left foot is the front one, to turn left, you must shift your weight forward, and turn left, just rotate the ankles. Do those steps in reverse if your right foot is forward.
The angle you must adjust your body depends on how fast you are moving, the properties of the surface, and how tight the trucks are. If you want to turn easier, try to loosen the bolt you can see in the truck’s center.
Above are the basic steps you must master when exploring this fantastic sport. After a few sessions, you will possess the mindset of a true rider.
Remember to put safety first: don’t try too many fancy tricks when you still have no experience at all. Practice them a few times a week, and your performance and confidence will improve tremendously.
After that, you can learn more about more advanced movements in other articles on our site. In the meantime, thanks for reading our article.