Skateboarding can be overwhelming when you first start, but there’s no need.
Here are 23 easy tricks to get you started on your skating journey.
They’re simple, but look very impressive.
This is a pop into a nose grab with only one foot on the board. This can be done on flat surfaces, banks, or quarter pipes.
You should start by standing on your board directly over the truck bolts. Take your front foot off of the board and plant it onto the ground.
This will force the nose of your board up. At the same time, crouch down and grab the nose. If you have grip tape on your board, place your thumb here for the best positioning.
Let go with your hand and jump both feet back onto the board.
This is more of a stylish way to mount your skateboard than a trick, but it is cool nonetheless.
Hold your skateboard by the nose. Your thumb should be on the underside and your fingers on the deck of the board.
Turn the board around 180 degrees and throw it onto the ground, ensuring that it is slightly angled as you do.
The board should land with the wheels down, allowing you to jump onto the deck in one smooth motion.
It is worth practicing while standing still before attempting to do the trick as you walk.
This is a trick that you can use to jump over obstacles, similar to an ollie. This was much more popular before the ollie was created, but it is still a good trick to know.
While standing on the board with both feet, crouch down and remove your front foot. Place it on the ground. Place your other foot at the back of your board.
At the same time, hold onto the nose of the skateboard with your hand. Transfer the majority of your body weight to your foot on the floor.
Lift your back leg off the tail of the board. Jump with your leg that is on the floor, bending your other leg to jump into the air.
As you let go with your hand, plant your front foot back onto the deck of your skateboard. With practice, you will land cleanly and be able to smoothly continue skateboarding.
As you are skating forward, apply some pressure with your back foot to the tail of your board. This will force the nose to lift into the air. Practise this a few times to gain comfort with the movement.
Grab the nose of your board with your hand, and plant your feet onto the ground.
Take a maximum of 1 or 2 steps before moving to the next step.
Swing the board forwards and back,, in a pendulum like motion as you step.
As it swings back towards you, jump high into the air. You need to ensure you jump high enough to mount your board in the air. For this reason, it is advised to keep your board as low as possible.
As your feet make contact with the board, kick it forwards to land securely.
Your first step to mastering this trick is to practice mastering mounting the skateboard as you are moving.
Run a few paces towards the board, and jump on. Do not try to do any more of this trick until you have fully mastered this.
Hold your skateboard in your hand in front of you. Your fingers should be on the lower deck of the nose, and your thumb on the grip tape.
As you run forwards, jump off of your back foot.
As you are airborne, let go of your board, allowing it to fall on the ground in front of you.
Land on the deck of the board, with your feet over the deck bolts.
Fakie kick turn
All you really need to do for this trick is to skate backward and rotate 180 degrees.
Set your board in motion, rolling in fakie.
Gently push down on the tail of your board as you rotate your head and shoulders.
As the rest of your body rotates, your board should turn with it.
You can do this trick on stairs or on a curb. It requires you to have mastered the manual trick, spoken about later in this article. This is because it is essentially the same move, just travelling down stairs. You should also be secure in your abilities to ride off curbs.
There is a mental barrier to work past with this trick. Your body is likely to naturally stop your movement as you approach the top of the stairs, to ensure you do not injure yourself. You will get past this, it may just take a few tries.
If you are struggling with the fear, hold your board by the nose and run the tail and back wheels down the stairs, to get a feel for the motion.
Approach the stairs with your feet in a similar position to a manual, but with the back foot more towards the tail. Your front foot should be slightly off to the side at a 45 degree angle. This should be done at a relative speed to keep you safer.
Keep your shoulders over the trucks of the board. Bend your knees and ride off the first step in the same way as you would ride off a curb.
Keep your feet in the manual position as you go down the stairs. Bend your knees and plant your feet onto the deck as you land.
This is an impressive looking way to board your skateboard, although not everyone would agree it is a trick.
Begin with your skateboard deck down on the ground. Your toes should be underneath the board, where the trucks are located.
Jump up, flipping the board with your toes as you do so. Land with your feet firmly planted on the deck, above the truck bolts.
To do this trick, you need to stand on your board directly over your trucks. Try not to put any weight on the nose or tail of your skateboard.
As with most jumps, it is likely you will be doing it to clear an obstacle. As you approach the obstacle, bend your knees and lower your body into a crouching position.
Jump, making sure that you bend at the knees. This is absolutely vital as it helps you to remain in control of the trick.
Try to land gently and bend your knees as you make contact with the board.
Kick turn on a ramp
This trick can be done both backside and frontside, although backside is much easier. Your ability to perform the trick depends a lot on your posture.
Press gently on the tail of your board as you ride up the ramp. This will lift the nose of your board. As you do this, rotate your head and shoulders.
Lean into the ramp as you begin to turn. Rotate the rest of your body and the board will follow.
This is a very fundamental trick to learn on a skateboard. It takes practise, but is easy to do once you have mastered the positioning.
All you need to do is stand with both feet towards the tail of the board. You should try to balance your weight so that the board is moving solely on the back wheels.
You need to angle yourself on the board so that the tail does not drag along the floor. This will slow down your speed and may cause you to fall off the board.
You should try practising the angle of the board while you are motionless to begin with. Once you have mastered this, you can then try to do it as you move. It is a good idea to hold onto something as you practise.
Mike Vallely shove it
Stand on the board with your front foot slightly toward the nose, enough so that you can lift the tail off the ground with ease.
Rotate the board in a similar manner to a nollie shove it. Do not pop the nose, and jump off as soon as the skateboard begins to rotate.
You can do any number of degrees for the turn, depending on your control and ability level. The important thing is that the board is travelling along the ground while you are not on top of it.
Run alongside the board as it spins. When you are ready, jump back on top and continue skating.
You need to begin this trick standing still. Take your front foot off the board and place it on the ground. Place your back foot near to the tail of the skateboard, behind the truck bolts.
Push down with your back foot, forcing the nose of the board to pop up into the air. Scrape the tail of the board out in a curved motion.
Turn your body 180 degrees and put your front foot back on to move away.
Nose pick up
In order to do this trick, you need to do a lot of things simultaneously. We recommend practising while you are not moving. Eventually, you will be able to perform this trick while moving to bring you to a halt.
As you are moving, bring your front foot off the bolts of your deck and slide it towards the nose of your board.
Gently press down on the nose to bring it to the ground. This will stop your momentum. At the same time, lift your back foot off the deck and plant it into the ground.
Grab the tail of your board as it pops up, and smoothly segue into walking.
This is also referred to as a nose bleed trick. It requires there to be an obstacle such as a curb edge. Start with a low obstacle, and as your skills develop you can move onto larger ones.
Slowly skate towards the obstacle. As you approach it, gently apply pressure to the tail of your board with your back foot.
Press the nose of your board onto the curb, and use your front foot to stabilize your movement.
Gently push on your nose to stop, or on the tail to roll backwards.
Place the skateboard on the ground in front of you. You should put your front foot between the middle of your board and the bolts holding the front truck on. You also need to place the ball of your back foot in the center of the tail of your board.
Rapidly press downwards with your back foot on the tail of the board. This should make a pop movement and force the skateboard off of the ground.
When you hear the tail of your skateboard meeting the ground, you need to jump. At the same time as this, slide your dominant foot towards the nose of the board.
You should place grip tape near to the nose of your board. Your front foot should be on this securely to ensure you don’t slide off and injure yourself.
By now, you should be in the air. Both trucks of the skateboard should be off of the ground and you should be hovering above them.
As you drop to land, try to position both feet over the truck bolts. Your body weight should be over the middle of the skateboard. This will keep you more balanced and reduces the risk of your board snapping.
As you land, bend your knees slightly to lower your center of gravity and to cushion the blow.
All of these motions need to be well coordinated to allow you to perform this trick.
Pop shove it
The positioning of your feet needs to be the same as if you were performing an ollie.
As you pop the tail, you should attempt to drag and scoop it across the ground behind you. You do not need to do too much with your front foot for this.
Push your front foot up a little and extend it in front of you. At the same time, pop and scoop the tail using your back foot.
The board will rotate 180 degrees. As it does, lift up both of your legs so that they don’t interfere with the board’s path.
Land on top of the board, with your feet directly over the bolts of the trucks. The hardest part of this trick is to rotate the board exactly 180 degrees. This requires a lot of control over the strength and timing of the movements.
This is a trick which looks super impressive. All it really needs is a little concentration on where you place your feet. Your front foot needs to be placed on the side of the board.
Press down on the side with enough pressure to flip the board. Your back foot should be over the bolts of the truck at the back. As you press down with your front foot, jump your back foot up.
Step over and on top of the side of the board, near the back trucks.
Jump up your front foot too, so that your feet are both on the top of the board as it sits on its side. This is the rail and you are now performing a rail stand.
To get back into the correct position, give your board a gentle kick forward to sit it back on its wheels. We suggest practising this trick while holding a wall or friend to begin with.
To do this trick, you need a curb or a mini ramp. Roll towards the obstacle.
As you get close to it, pop an ollie but ensure you leave your back foot on the ground.
Keeping your front foot close to the truck bolts, place it on the deck of the board. By this point, your board should be on the curb or ramp. It should be at a 45 degree angle on the board.
Allow your front foot to travel along the curb with your board, keeping your back foot on the ground. This may feel odd, as if you are going into the splits.
Pull your front foot back and jump your back foot onto the board.
Switch step off under flip
This is also sometimes referred to as a ghost ride kickflip or an old school kickflip. This is another great trick to use on a skate ramp.
Step off your board backwards with your front foot. Take your back foot off too, but do not allow your toes to touch the ground.
As you lower your back foot, slide your toes underneath the rail of your skateboard.
Kick your board into the air and flip it with your toes.
Using your back foot, follow the motion of the board as you flip it. Plant your feet back onto the board firmly and skate away.
If you struggle to do this trick, it is a good idea to practise just flipping and following the motion of the skateboard. Do not try to jump back on until you feel confident as you could injure yourself or break your skateboard.
This trick is fairly similar to a no comply or an impossible. It looks complex, but in actuality is quite simple.
The first motion to become used to is flipping the skateboard onto its rails with your back foot. Once it is on its side, your back foot should be planted on the ground on the outside of the board (the deck side) just in front of the trucks.
Scoop the board around, dragging it with your foot. Move your foot in a circle, and this should lift and flip the board.
Jump up and land with your feet on the deck of your board.
This is essentially doing a zig zag with your board as you skate forwards.
Place your feet in their regular position on the deck of the board.
You should be turning with your shoulders and channeling this weight redistribution through your hips and into your feet.
Place a little weight on the tail of your board, leaning back slightly to allow your board to move smoothly.
Lean left and right to alternate the direction of your board. This will give you a snake like movement.
You need to be courageous to attempt this trick, but once you master it you will seem incredibly skilled.
The first part of this trick is to skate towards a wall.
Press down with your back foot to pop the tail. Jump off of the board as you do this.
The board will roll into the wall, and the momentum will force the board to travel upwards.
The board will bounce back at you and you should be able to jump onto the deck of the board. Keep practising until you have mastered it. The key is confidence.
Skateboarding, like any other sport, has the potential to cause you serious injury. This is particularly relevant if you are prone to falling off.
We strongly recommend wearing full protective gear, particularly as a beginner or if you are attempting new tricks.
Good gear should include a helmet, flat and closed toe shoes, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. Some people may also choose to wear shatterproof safety goggles.
It is important to remove any hard or pointy objects that you have in your pockets or on your person. These could cause serious injury if you fall onto them.
You should always warm up before you begin skating. A good way to do this is by doing some easy dynamic stretches and tricks.
This will reduce the risk of you pulling or straining a muscle. You should also do some static stretches to cool down after you finish your skate session.
It is important to take things slow when learning new tricks. Take the time to properly master the basics of each trick before trying harder ones.
If you feel yourself falling, try to relax and allow your body to roll along the ground. If you feel yourself beginning to fall, we suggest crouching so that you are closer to the ground and the impact will be lessened.
Try to angle your body so that you fall on more fleshy areas instead of your elbows and knees.
It is wise to practise new tricks in a skate park. This means that there are other people around you and you are more likely to have access to medical attention if you injure yourself.
It is smart to skate away from traffic and obstacles. Before skating, it is important to check the ground for loose debris or glass that could hurt you.
You should never have more than one person on a skateboard or hold onto a moving vehicle.
You should never skateboard in traffic, a parking lot, or in a crowd of people. It is wise to avoid skating when the weather is wet.
It is not a good idea to skateboard while wearing headphones. This means that you are not fully aware of your surroundings and could injure yourself or someone else.
How to clean and maintain your skateboard
You should clean and check the bearings on your skateboard regularly, at least once per season.
If you hear squeaking, or if the wheels sound like they have sand in when spinning, this is a sign you should clean your bearings.
If the wheels do not spin properly, stop spinning within 4 seconds, or your skateboard slows down, these are also signs your bearings need replacing.
Unscrew the axle nut on the trucks and remove the bearings. Clean by submerging in nail polish remover. Leave the bearings to sit for 15 minutes and then shake to remove loose debris.
Repeat this a couple of times and then wrap in tissue to dry. Add on a few drops of silicone lubricant and spin to ensure the bearings are coated.
Your trucks should not need too much maintenance, but internal components can break and may need replacing. Remove the wheels and loosen the bolts.
Remove the kingpin nut, and this will cause the truck to split into pieces. Clean well and check for rust and broken areas. You should also clean the axle thread and rethread it if it is damaged. Reattach the kingpin nut.
If your trucks feel loose, tighten the kingpin nut. If they are too tight, loosen the nut. Do this gradually to ensure the nut does not just fall off.
Check the bushings on your skateboard. If they are crushed, squeaking, crumbling, torn, or cracked, they need replacing.
To change them, remove the nut from the kingpin. Take off and replace the bushings. Reassemble the truck and place the kingpin back in place.
It is important to clean your wheels regularly to stop dirt from building up. Some skaters like to switch the wheel position around.
For instance, they may reattach the back wheels to the front of the board and vice versa. This can be useful as the wheels wear down at different rates and this may save you having to buy brand new wheels as often.
If you notice chips on the nose and tail of your skateboard deck, this is usually a sign that it needs replacing. If these cracks appear near the trucks this is a bad sign, as it suggests your skateboard is about to crack.
You can patch these problems temporarily, but it is smarter to cut your losses and just buy a new deck.