Skateboards are scary, especially if you’ve never ridden one; but most of the problems people have with learning how to ride are entirely mental. Here are a few tips to help you learn and get your confidence up on a skateboard.
The Most Dangerous Speed at Which to Ride a Skateboard
You’d think fast speeds are the biggest problem for beginners, but you’d be wrong. When the board is standing still, it can be very hard for a new skater to keep their balance. Because you’re not moving, you haven’t established a forward direction, so however you distribute your weight will affect how you roll on the ground. I find that the easiest way to build confidence on the board is just to take a slow step with your pushing foot and start slowly rolling. With a little practice, you’ll be bombing hills in no time.
Pushing and Stances
No matter what stance you’re in, proper technique is to push with your back foot, while your front foot remains on the board. Pushing with your front foot is called pushing “mongo” and is a telltale sign of a new skater. While it can work, it’s much harder to keep your balance this way.
There are two stance styles of skating that you can have: regular and goofy. Some say you choose the first time you step on the board, others say it’s genetic. Either way, they’re both legitimate ways to skate, and neither is superior over the other, so choose whichever feels most comfortable for you.
Regular typically feels most natural for right handed (and right footed) skaters. In the regular stance, the left (front) foot is placed on the bolts neares
t to the front (skinnier side) of the board, and the right (back) foot is used to push, and placed on the tail of the board when not pushing.
Goofy skating is just the opposite. Despite the name, there’s nothing wrong or bad about this stance. You can think of it as being a left-handed skater. The right (front) foot goes on the front bolts, and the left (back) foot pushes, and rests on the tail when not pushing.
Whichever way feels most comfortable, stick with it. Before long it’ll feel as natural as walking. After you’ve gotten comfortable riding in regular position, take a look at different positions and start practicing riding in them.
NOTE: The description of the stances describes the regular position in both regular and goofy stances. The difference between a position and stance is that a skater’s stance never changes. Goofy stance skaters always feel most natural with their right foot forward, and regular stance skaters feel best with their left foot forward. Positions change based on how the skater wants to set up their feet before the trick, i.e. pop with which foot, and off of the nose or tail.