It's an awesome feeling when you're ready to learn skateboarding tricks. But before attempting the kind of tricks that require some serious skill, start out with the basics of skateboarding and flat-ground tricks that will get you to develop your balance and feel for moving the board. Diving right into hard skateboarding tricks before mastering your balance and movement will make injuries like sprains, broken bones, and concussions more of a risk.
Skills to Have Before Learning Skateboard Tricks
Start with the absolute basics: getting on and off your board smoothly, perfecting your stance, and building better balance when you're rolling. Once you build your confidence and ability with these basics, get used to carving (leaning into turns) and keeping speed. Then, you'll be ready to try these nine skateboard tricks for beginners.
1. Learn to Ride Switch
Technically, riding switch isn't a trick per se, but it's one of those techniques that you should have down because you'll need it as you build up to more advanced skateboard tricks. Riding switch is just skating with the opposite footing than you usually do. For instance, if you typically have your left foot in front and pump with your right, riding switch would mean you have your right foot in the front and you're pumping with your left. Master this ability and you open the door to tons of tricks that build on this technique.
Again, this technique isn't as much of a trick as an ollie, but it's another one of those things you need to master for skating on ramps and bowls. To do a drop-in, just balance the tail of your skateboard on the ledge of a ramp or bowl and "drop in," letting your board roll from the momentum. It can be scary at first, but this technique will help you build your confidence so you can pull off more advanced tricks as you get better.
A manual, or pulling a manny, is like popping a wheelie on a bike. To do a manual, pop the front of your board so that you're rolling on the back two wheels. You don't have to ride a manny for long, but rolling along several feet is a good way to boost your balancing abilities. Practice a run-through at the skate park with this trick to build up your skills enough to incorporate it with hop tricks like the hippie jump.
4. The Kick Turn
The kick turn makes carving a bit more efficient, especially when you get cruising at quicker speeds. To master the kick turn, place one foot at the tail of your skateboard, leaning more weight toward that end. Keep your other foot on the front of the board, and as you put your weight into your back foot, the nose of the skateboard should rise up.
When the nose of your board is just a few inches off the ground, pivot either forward or back. If you want to learn how to do a kickflip, then it can help to know how to execute the kick turn first.
5. The Tic-Tac
The Tic-Tac consists of several back-and-forth kick turns that rotate you a few degrees so that you're pushing yourself forward with small, side-to-side turns. Carving with smaller Tic-Tacs get you to apply more force to the ground, which propels you forward, giving you more speed and momentum. This is a cool skateboarding technique because it's probably one of the best for improving balance and strength on the board, especially when you're carving a path through the skate park.
6. Basic Ollie
When you get good at the basics, it's time to take on some more challenging tricks. Many skateboarders consider the basic ollie one of the most important beginning tricks because other tricks build on it. An ollie is when you jump and the skateboard stays with your feet. Start with a jump by crouching at the knees and popping the tail of your board so that it stays with your body as you jump, then slide your front foot up to level the board. Keep practicing this and you'll have the ollie down.
7. 180 Ollie
The 180 ollie builds off the basic ollie, so you need to master that before attempting the 180. To execute a 180, start rolling and get into a stance for a basic ollie. When you pop the ollie, instead of landing it in the same direction, land in a switch stance. Get this trick down and the 180 can eventually lead you to more intermediate tricks.
8. The Boardslide
The boardslide is another trick you can start practicing when you've mastered your jumps, kick turns, and ollies. You'll need a rail or ledge for this trick. To execute a boardslide, get rolling to build up momentum as you approach a rail. Then, use an ollie to hop onto the railing so that the middle of your board sits on the rail, landing in the center between the trucks. Slide down the rail. Skate wax can help with rougher board slides (and protect your skateboard at the same time).
Start mastering these nine easy skateboard tricks until you can pull them off easily. Then, you can work your way up to hard skateboard tricks, like a heelflip or a fakie beta flip. The more you practice, though, the better you'll get. Just remember to stretch your muscles before shredding at the skatepark, though, so you don't risk muscle cramps or injuries.
9. Rock to Fakie
A rock to fakie is an intermediate trick that you can practice when you're ready to shred on a ramp or ledge. To pull off this skateboarding trick, you'll need to be rolling at a decent speed up the side of a bowl or ramp. As you get to the top, let your front trucks pass over the lip, so you're balancing on the edge. Then, just roll back down, but ride switch instead of your regular footing.