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How to do Skateboard Tricks: A Beginner's Guide

By Edited May 23, 2014 1 2

Beginning

When you first start skateboarding, the most important thing to remember is to make sure you’re having fun. If you’re not having fun, you're likely to give up and not learn any new tricks. If having fun means just simply cruising around the block then do that, and enjoy it! Second, it’s important to know that skateboarding is a sport, and just like any sport it takes a lot of practice to get better. So don't give up too quickly, because the more you pursue it, the more tricks you WILL learn!

The "Shove-it"

A lot of people will tell you that the most basic trick is the Ollie, however, I believe the most basic trick is the shove-it, because it can be done without really having to "pop" the board off the ground. To do a shove-it, position your back foot on the outside, forward, tip of the tail. Place your front foot above the trucks, and slightly pulled back. While riding, simultaneously pull your back foot towards you, while slightly shoving your front foot away from you, in a jumping motion, causing your board to flat spin 180 degrees. Jump, while you do the trick and follow the board so you can land back on it. With practice this is a fun and easy trick to perform, and will quickly boost your confidence in skateboarding. Watch the video below to get a visual of how to perform the trick. (Note in the video he's shoving the board behind him, instead of in front, so his leg and foot motions are opposite of the ones described above)

The "Ollie"

The Ollie is the second most basic trick. It is a little harder than the shove-it, because it actually involves popping the board off of the ground. This trick may seem impossible at first, but with practice, it is definitely attainable. When I first started skateboarding I didn't think I would ever be able to do an Ollie, but after continuous practice I not only learned how to do it, but I taught many of my friends as well. To do this trick, place your back foot on the tip of the tail of the board. You want the pad of your foot, (the spot directly behind your toes) to be resting on the last 3 to 4 inches of the tail. Your front foot will be slightly behind the front trucks. Now, while riding push all your weight down on your back foot, while lifting your front foot into the air. This is what causes the tail to pop up off the ground. It needs to be a fairly quick motion. As the board pops off the ground (and as your still above it) slide your front foot up the board, towards the front trucks. The sliding of your front foot across the grip tape is what lifts the board off the ground even higher than the initial pop. This is where timing, practice, and muscle memory really come into play. It takes a lot of practice to get the popping and sliding motion timed just right to get the board off the ground, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to do the trick forever! Check out the tutorial video below!

The "Kickflip"

The kick-flip is the most difficult of the beginner tricks, primarily because it’s an extension to the Ollie, so the Ollie must be mastered first, before learning this trick. It’s also probably the most popular trick because, if you’re a serious skater, it can be learned fairly quickly, and it turns a lot of heads! It’s the first trick you’ll know how to do that involves the board turning upside down and back over. And it makes you look like a pro! To do the kick-flip, set up your feet like you’re going to do an Ollie, however when you slide your front foot forward after popping, instead of stopping above the trucks, keep sliding your foot forward and off to the corner of the nose, until it eventually goes off the side of the nose. This causes the board to spin. At this point you need to make sure both your front and back foot is off and above the board, allowing it to spin all the way around. One thing you must avoid when doing this trick is kicking your front foot down, while trying to make it spin. This not only pushes the board to the ground and stops its spin, but it also traps your foot under the board, not allowing you to land back on it after it rotates. Don't get discouraged when learning this trick. Just keep practicing and teaching your feet and legs the motions of the trick. Once again, watch the tutorial video down below to help you get the kick-flip down!

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Comments

May 19, 2014 4:04pm
Lisa_W
I like your writing style Jon - nice clear instructions (even though my days of doing Ollies are long past. Long long long past).
May 19, 2014 9:52pm
Jdubz
Thank you Lisa! It's been a while since I've skated too. But it was definitely one of my most passionate hobbies I've ever had. I would like to read some of your articles. Which one are you most proud of? I would like to read it!
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