Before you proceed with riding or performing basic and advanced tricks, you must learn how to stand on a skateboard. Almost every skater knows the frustration of learning how to stand upright on a board and of course the joy of being able to finally ride. Some riders may be able to stand and ride the moment they step on a skateboard however, some may take time to adjust. So, if you’re new to riding or standing on a board, let us help you get started with this simple step-by-step guide.
What You Need to Follow This Tutorial
Learning how to stand on a skateboard is a fundamental skill. Be ready with the following.
- A good quality skateboard – practice using a sturdy, high-quality board with tough trucks and back and front wheels.
- Appropriate comfortable shoes or footwear – wearing grippy shoes will help you maintain your balance as you ride on the board.
- Grip tape – quality grip tape will do to help you get a better grip of the board as you learn how to stand and ride. It will absorb shock and allow you to make complex moves.
- Safety skateboard riding equipment – wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, or wrist guards and reflectors if you’re practicing in the dark or at night. Even professional skaters wear safety equipment.
- A safe and flat riding area – a good place to practice is a paved, flat area (cement or asphalt). You may also choose to practice on a carpeted flat surface or a grassy spot to train in a controlled manner.
Step By Step Guide
Some first-time skaters may find learning tricks like how to stand on a board in just a few minutes while others need more time. As long as you follow these instructions, you’re ready to stand, ride and move on a skateboard.
1 Wear proper skateboarding attire and safety gear.
Wear a good pair of sneakers with a good grip. Because you’re just starting, wear loose clothing, something that will protect your arms and legs in case you lose balance and fall. Some skaters prefer to go barefoot but this won’t provide enough traction.
Always wear your safety gear. Wear your helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and hand pads/gloves. You need these whether you’re practicing indoors or outdoors.
2 Choose to ride goofy or using a regular stance skateboard foot placement
Regular and goofy stance are the two basic stances in skateboarding. Skaters who prefer a regular stance will have the left foot forward or at the front of the skateboard while in a goofy stance, the right foot (front foot) is placed at the front while the left foot (back foot) is at the back.
Right foot or left foot, find out which stance feels more natural or more comfortable for you. New skaters usually use both stances and decide afterward which skateboard foot placement works best for them. The goofy and regular stance also applies to surfing; surfers decide which feet ahead works before hitting the water.
3 Practice first on flat surface then stand on a skateboard
Just like surfing, start practicing how to stand on a board on the ground. Your right foot and left foot must be under your shoulders on a natural stance. Your weight will be evenly distributed on either leg. Try to shift your body weight from one leg to another as you maintain a body aligned shoulder width stance.
4 Center your body weight.
Center your weight by slightly positioning your butt down and slightly bend your knees. Doing this will help you center your body weight from your hips, lower center of gravity to avoid becoming unbalanced.
Try to loosen up as you center your weight. It’s hard to correct your skateboard stance when you’re stiff. Avoid crouching too deep.
5 Position your head in the direction you’re going.
Place your full attention on the direction you’re moving whichever foot or comfortable stance you prefer. Focus on the ground ahead and any obstacles that you might encounter. And when you’re ready to perform tricks, you’ll be able to see your feet.
You may naturally look at your feet at first when you’re trying to balance and learn how to stand on a skateboard. Try to limit this so you’ll be line up and ready to spot obstacles ahead and also, spot things using your peripheral vision.
6 Keep your balance.
Now that you’re able to stand, it’s time to practice how to keep your balance from the time you step onto the board. Place your foot on the board and check if you’re on solid footing. When you’re good, lift your other foot and place it near the first foot. Your feet must maintain a feet shoulder-width distance.
As you step on the board, don’t move too quickly or too slowly. Hurrying will make the board shift but doing it slowly may throw you off balance. Expect some mishaps as you learn how to mount your board. It’s natural to fall so don’t feel discouraged!
7 Adjust your stance.
Place your feet above the trucks so you’ll feel more confident and more stable. Stay centered by placing each foot on the back and front truck bolts at the surface of the skateboard. Never place your feet too far apart so you can easily make small adjustments.
The balls of your feet must support your weight. You must learn how to shift from one foot to another to remain balanced and perform all kinds of tricks. Placing your weight on this part of your foot will make it much easier to slide, lift and move your feet accordingly.
As you’re able to stand freely on your board, the next step is to fine-tune your stance. Move your ankles, knees, feet, and hips to keep your balance.
8 “Feel” the board first.
If you still feel uncomfortable on flat ground, start on a soft smooth surface like a grassy area or a thick carpet. This soft terrain will keep the board sturdy as you try to learn how to balance. After you’re more comfortable on grass or carpet, you may proceed with learning how to stand on a skateboard on a harder surface like cement or asphalt or in a skate park.
9 Don’t put your weight on the ends of the board.
Always be extra careful when placing your foot on top of the wheels as you may end up rocking your board in one direction. Too much weight may make you lose your balance and fall if you’re not careful.
Use a good quality grip tape to add traction. A grip tape is a sticky surface adhesive surface similar to the texture of fine-grit sandpaper. Stepping on this kind of tape will help you keep your balance, be more comfortable balancing and avoid missing your steps. But if you don’t have grip tape, a good pair of grippy footwear would do nicely.
Now that you know how to stand on a skateboard, you’re ready to learn basic tricks and eventually, more complicated ones that need technically impressive skills. Always remember to keep your balance, look forward and adjust your body accordingly. Practice makes perfect so if you can’t do it once, don’t give up. Stay upright and try again, try harder.
If you like this how-to article, share it with a friend who’s learning how to ride a skateboard. Did we miss a step? Let us know in the comments below.