Skateboard Tricks for Beginners

skateboard tricks for beginners There are as many skateboard tricks as there are creative skateboarders.  But you’re interested in skateboard tricks for beginners — nothing complicated. And that’s precisely what this post is about. If anyone tells you a kickflip is a beginner-friendly trick, tell them you are …..well, a beginner.

Here’s my promise: I’ll give you 12 easy skateboard tricks for beginners from the easiest to the toughest. But keep this in mind: what’s difficult for you might not feel challenging at all to another person.

11 Skateboard Beginner Tricks

Let’s roll.

1. Baby Leaf/Feet Stomp

Not everyone calls this trick the same name. The more common name for the trick is baby leaf. But I’ve heard it called 7Up, banana, taco flip, and all sorts of strange names. Maybe it’s about time the skateboarding community agreed on a universal skateboard trick naming system (smiles wryly).

The baby leaf is the first and easiest skateboarding trick you can learn, right? Well, this isn’t exactly a trick. But when you’re brand spanking new to skateboarding, it sure looks like a trick.

Here, you start with your board upside down. Then, you slip your toes underneath the board.  Next, lift the board up and flip it over as you quickly step on it. See, it’s simple.

You likely won’t do it right the first time around. So, practice it slowly at first. Try the trick with one foot, and then lift the other foot slowly and step on the board. Repeat the process until you can do it real quick, like a pro.

2. Acid Drop

Ok, you can call this trick whatever you want. It’s not like there’s an internationally accepted skateboard trick naming system. Some people call it the caveman skateboard trick. I and many skateboarders I know call it the acid drop skateboard trick.

Let’s do it.

Grab your board’s nose with your front hand and sort of like drop it down (rather than fling it down). Then, just step on the board with both feet at the same time.

As you launch yourself onto the board, don’t lean too much forward or backward. Land with your body positioned straight over your skateboard. To make the trick look really cool, step on the board while it’s still up in the air.

Again, don’t be discouraged if you fail the first time you try it. Do it slowly while evolving into a confident skateboarder who does it without thinking.

3. Body Varial (Sex Change?)

Here’s how to do a body varial.  Get on the board and position your feet above the trucks. Unlike in most other tricks, you don’t put your foot on the tail and/or nose.

First off, gather some momentum. Then, make sure not to land too far from the middle of the board. As you jump, turn 180 degrees in the direction of the board. As you land, balance and keep rolling. When you do that, we call it a body follow.

Make sure not to land too far from the middle of the board. Also, put out your arms and keep your knees slightly bent as you land. That helps build stability as you reunite with your board.

Some inexperienced skateboarders confuse a body varial with a sex change. But they’re not the same thing. A sex change is when you combine a body varial with a kickflip. I won’t cover the kickflip here. That’s a trick for advanced skaters.

A sex change is when you combine a body varial with a kickflip.

4. Manual

Here’s another trick that’s not really a trick, but a beginner skateboarder might find it a little challenging.

All you’re doing here is trying to balance on your board using one foot. It’s called manual because as a beginner you’re just doing it manual from one crack to the other. So, stand still and try to balance. That’s it.

But that’s easier said than done. It’s insanely difficult to do this trick standing still. So, build up a bit of speed first. Then, place the back foot somewhere mid-tail and plant the front foot above the trucks.

Next, with both legs bent and hands put out, lift up your front foot a bit. At the same time, you’re pressing the tail down a little with the back foot. That’s it.

Avoid falling by not leaning back too far. And if you lean forward too far, you just aren’t manual.

Oh, and it helps to have the rear set of wheels on the crack.

5. Shove It

Don’t confuse this trick with the pop shove — they’re two different tricks.

To do a shoveit, have one foot positioned 45 degrees near the top of the truck while the other foot steps near the end of the tail. The front foot barely touches the board, and you won’t need to pop the tail.

Here’s what you do, instead. With your back foot on the tail, curl your toes downward and shove the board straight back.

At that very time, lift the front foot a little, timing the lift to coincide with the shove. Finally, land with each foot stepping on its original spot.

It’s pretty simple. But you MUST coordinate the activities of the front and back foot with physician-like precision. Look, you can do this —just do it!

6. Boneless

The boneless is a trick anyone who likes getting those “you’re cool” glances from cute chicks must learn. Here’s how to do a boneless on your skateboard.

Like many street skateboarding stunts, you won’t do this easily while standing still. You need a bit of thrust before you can pull this one off.

So, jump on your board and build some momentum in the direction you want to travel. Then, bend down and grab the board in the middle (with your back hand). Simultaneously, step off the board with the front foot.

As you get off the board, lift it up. Then, bring it down again and hop right on it. All these moves happen pretty fast in reality and trained skateboarders don’t think much about how they’re doing them.  You, too, will soon be like those guys.

7. Landing Primo

There are different ways to land a primo. Since you’re a beginner, I’ll focus on the easiest way to pull it off.

Place one foot on the tail and apply a slight downward force. Think of the tail as a lever and your board as the load. So, use leverage to lift the load up. Step near the edge of the board rather than in the middle of it as you raise it up.

Next, use the other foot to pick and turn the board so that it drops down on its side. Have your board sitting nice and sturdy. Then, step up, putting your foot above a wheel. You’re placing the feet there so you can balance effortlessly.

Next, with your knees bent slightly and hands stretched out both ways, push the board downward. The inside of your heels should do the job pretty easily. Bending your knees should happen concurrently with the forward push.

8. Hippie Jump

The hippie jump may sound like whatever it sounds to you, but it’s not hard. As long as you can jump while riding a skateboard, you can do it.

So, give your board a push to build up momentum. Then, simply jump. Like, go up in the air and land right back on your board. If this sounds stupid simple, it’s because it’s extremely simple and easy.

Take care when landing, though. Make sure your feet strike the board at the right locations. Don’t step on either the tail or nose. You want to go back to the position you were riding in before you jumped off the board.

9. The Ollie

Ah, the mighty Ollie! You’ve been waiting for this one. I know. The Ollie is technically a jump. But it’s not like an up-then-down jump.

Start by taking the correct position on the board. Place the front foot a little down from the bolts that attach the truck to the board. Meanwhile, the other foot is on the edge (the side edge) of the tail. And your toe becomes the ball (of your foot, that is).

Pro skateboarders usually place the front foot even further down so they can do a more fantastic jump. But you’re a beginner so let’s stick to the fundamentals of the Ollie jump.  Ready to jump?

Jump, and as you do so, push the tail downward using your toe. At the same time, drag the front foot up the board all the way to the nose. As the foot nears the end of the nose, give the board a forward push. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up landing where you started.

As you drag the front foot up toward the nose, start with it sliding flat on the board. Then, moments later, bend the ankle so your foot’s sole faces in the tail’s direction. You’re moving up on the side of your foot here. Finally, apply a little pressure on the nose and tail to land. Lest I forget, you should bend your knees a little as you do this trick.

One beginner mistake when doing the ollie is that they forget to give their board a forward push. So, they don’t go anywhere. Another common mistake is applying too much pressure on the tail when coming down. The tail touches the ground and stays there. Friction stops you from moving forward in the direction you wish to travel.

The Ollie is a must-know skateboarding trick. So, practice it until you get it right. You may want to begin practicing the jump without moving, and not applying the forward push. Simply do the jump and land on the exact same stop. Once you’re comfortable, start practicing as I’ve just described.

10. Chinese Nollie

You’d expect the Chinese nollie to be something complicated because isn’t every Chinese a martial artist? Just kidding. Tell you what? This trick is far much easier than the regular ollie.

Begin by giving your board a forward push. You need a crack to do this trick, by the way. Once you’re on the crack, lift the back foot a little as you give the nose some downward pressure.

The idea is to bounce off the crack with the front wheels and then land. The tail and the back foot go up higher than the nose and the front foot. But they should hit the ground at almost the same time.

To control the board back to the ground, the front foot should step above the front wheels. Not on the nose. The back foot instinctively drops with a bit more force, and you shouldn’t land it on the tail. Step near the spot where the tail starts, just above the rear wheels. Achieve balance and stability as quickly as possible.

11. Frontside 180

What’s frontside 180? The frontside 180 is basically a modified ollie.

First, you jump as you would in a normal ollie. Once you’re up in the air, you turn your upper body and hands 180 degrees.  Finally, land just like you would in an ollie. An easier way to do the frontside 180 is to turn first and then pop the board. Obviously, you should master the ollie first before you attempt this.

And why is the trick called the frontside 180? It’s called frontside if when you’ve turned 90 degrees, you’re facing forward. Think of wave surfing where the terms frontside and backside are used a lot.

We say you’re surfing frontside if you’re facing the wave. Similarly, you’re surfing backside if you’re facing away from the wave. But while everyone understands what frontside and backside means in surfing, the terms keep causing confusion in skateboarding. No more confusion for you.

An explainer video on beginner-friendly skateboard tricks

How to Pop Up Your Skateboard

So, how do you transition from skateboarding to walking? There are several cool ways to do that. But you’re a beginner, and I want to describe to you the easiest way to pick up your board and ease into a walk.

Here’s how to do it.

Slam your back foot on your skateboard’s tail. Don’t apply too much force or too little. You need just enough force to launch the board right into your hand. Use the opposite hand to catch the board. This explanation may seem super easy, but you may find it takes a few tries to do it perfectly.

How to Easily Transition from Skateboarding to Walking

How to fall Safely While Skateboarding

Let’s face it: you’ll take falls. It doesn’t matter how careful you are — you’ll fall. Naturally, the more you’re out there training, the more the chances you’ll fall. Here’s the thing. The best skateboarders in the world are much better at falling than at skateboarding itself.

Nobody wants a bad fall, but things happen. That’s why you should wear protective clothing and equipment. So, wear your skateboarding helmet, wrist pads, knee pads, and elbow pads. And of course, have your feet in a comfortable pair of staking shoes. If you’ve not bought skating shoes yet, this article should help: Most durable skate shoes ever.

Now, let’s learn how to fall safely as a new skateboarder. If you feel you’re about to fall, don’t put your hands out. It’s a natural instinct to want to use stretched-out hands to break a fall, but DO NOT do that. You never want to end up with a wrist fracture.

Instead, bend your hands as you fall so that it’ll be like falling on a pair of springy support. In addition, tighten up your core (back and stomach muscles). Doing this lessens the force of the impact. But you never want to tighten up the rest of the body to the point where you’re super stiff. Nor do you want to be extremely loose.

Well, no one ever gets enough time to think about all these small details when falling! That’s why you should practice falling until you build up memory in your brain. When the time comes, your body will just do the right thing, almost effortlessly.

Once you hit the ground (hands bent), just roll on to safety.  What if you’re falling backward? In that case, tighten up your core (that’s critical). And as you do that, tuck yourself into a ball so you won’t smash your head on the ground. The idea is to get your body into a ball-type formation and just roll away from trouble.

Learn to Fall Correctly While Skateboarding

Common Skateboarding Injuries

Now, is skateboarding dangerous? The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says that the skateboarding community sees about 70,000 bad injuries every year. These are injuries that necessitate visiting the emergency room.

Evidently, there’s always a risk you might fall and get badly injured.  And pretty much 50 percent of all skateboarding injuries happen to children under the age of 15 — mostly boys.

Most of these unlucky people fall on their faces or on their outstretched hands. And some of them end up with a broken nose (or jawbone), wrist, or ankle.

Wrist injuries are probably the most common. Fortunately, studies find that wearing wrist guards cuts both injury severity and frequency. Strains, sprains, and bruises are also common skateboarding injuries.

Concussions and other head injuries aren’t uncommon, too. So, be sure to cover your head with the toughest (and fitting) helmet you can afford.

Goggles can help keep dust and debris away from your eyes. So, consider wearing them. In addition, skate in proper shoes — those with tough, anti-slip outsoles.

Here’s one more thing. Don’t let your young children (ages 6 to 10) skateboard without supervision. And if your child is below 5 years, don’t allow them to skateboard. They’re too young for it.

Easy Skateboarding Tricks: Conclusion

So, is learning to skateboard hard? Well, not really. But you’ll need to practice the hell out of your free time before you build up a respectable level of confidence.

With practice and a maybe few lessons from a patient instructor, you should master a new trick in a week or so. But everyone learns differently. And some people have more kinesthetic intelligence than others.

You’ve learned 11 cool skateboarding tricks and even how to fall safely. Now, grab your skateboard and start learning.