Skateboarding is considered an extreme sport, albeit certainly one of the most accessible and popular ones.
Most people teach themselves to skateboard through practice and watching others. You can learn to balance, push, fall, and do simple tricks without hiring someone to teach you. All you need is a skateboard, a flat quiet area to practice on, some safety gear, and patience and persistence.
Can you teach yourself how to balance on a skateboard?
You can learn how to balance on a skateboard without anyone teaching you. The first thing you need is a skateboard and some safety equipment. If you already have the right gear, make sure you know your riding stance.
Here are the skateboarding stances:
- Goofy: This stance means you are comfortable riding a skateboard with your right foot in front.
- Regular: A regular skateboard stance that means you are most comfortable riding with your left foot in front.
- Mongo: a “mongo” stance can be either regular and goofy, but instead of pushing with your back foot, you leave your back foot on the board and push with your front foot. This stance is easy for those who are used to it, but hard if you are not naturally mongo or “punk” footed.
See also: what is a longboard stance?
You can find out your stance by just naturally mounting the skateboard and see where you are most comfortable looking forward.
Some people find their stance by jumping on the skateboard and seeing which foot naturally goes forwards. Be aware this approach can be risky if you don’t already know how to balance.
The best way to learn your stance and practice your balance is by slowly mounting on your skateboard and try rolling both ways on flat ground. This method will enable you to see which direction you are most comfortable going and find your natural stance.
If you cannot learn how to balance and are too afraid to get on the skateboard, you can first try placing the board in grass and practice stepping on and off it.
Once you feel comfortable enough, you can practice rolling in a quiet area like your driveway or an empty parking lot.
Can you teach yourself to push on a skateboard?
Once you are familiar with balancing, you can now handle the speed, and the best way to gain speed on flat land is to push with your back foot.
Learning how to push requires you to level up your balance. You will need to push with your back foot, meaning all the balancing will be done on your front foot.
So make sure you learn slowly and learn in an empty and flat terrain where you don’t risk running into cars or people.
You can start by pushing slowly without too much force. Try pushing as lightly as you can handle, starting with very small pushes and working towards keeping your pushing foot off the ground in between kicks for longer durations.
After a while, you’ll get comfortable lifting your foot off the ground and placing it back on the board after each push.
Can you teach yourself to fall on a skateboard
Teaching yourself to fall on a skateboard is possible, as long as you have the right safety gear. You will need a helmet, and make sure you choose a specific skateboarding helmet with all the certifications.
You will also need elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards to make sure you have an extra layer of protection when learning how to fall on a skateboard.
You can learn to fall on a skateboard in a quiet area, but make sure you are wearing all your pads, thicker pants, and long sleeves to avoid getting wound injuries.
The best way to fall is to roll or slide to avoid absorbing all the impact. When learning how to skate transitions, you need to learn how to slide on your knee pads when you bail on your skateboard.
When skating streets, you need to learn how to roll instead of slamming on the concrete floor. See How to fall on a skateboard/longboard to learn more.
Can you teach yourself ollies?
You don’t need to hire someone to teach you the most basic skateboarding trick, which is an ollie. It is the fundamental trick to unlock flips, spins, grinds, and more.
To learn how to ollie by yourself, you must already know how to push, fall, and balance comfortably.
You can learn how to ollie without rolling first. Most people learn ollies on carpets, rugs, and grass lawns. These surfaces prevent the skateboard from rolling.
And once you are comfortable ollieing on these surfaces, you can try doing it on concrete and eventually learn how to do it while the skateboard is moving.
Once you get comfortable ollying while rolling, you can try to ollie over small gaps and drops.
Learning how to improve your ollie is not a fast process, as it will take time and a lot of practice, so make sure you take it slow.
Once you learn how to ollie, flips and spins will become easier to also learn on your own.
Can you teach yourself kickflips?
If you can learn how to ollie by yourself, you can definitely learn how to kickflip. The process is the same, and you can try kickflips on grass and carpets before trying it on concrete surfaces.
Once you get the hang of it, you can try kickflips while rolling and kickflips over obstacles, like dropping down tiny steps or clearing manual pads.
Before learning how to kickflip, many beginners can learn how to do “pop shove-its” which can be easier. You can search the internet for the top beginner trick tutorials and learn by yourself.
Here is a video by Chad Caruso, teaching some of the most basic beginner tricks that look cool, but aren’t that hard to learn.
Can you teach yourself to skate transitions & ramps?
You can teach yourself how to learn transition and ramps at a skatepark. If you’re able to go to a skatepark with very low crowds, you can learn at your own pace and get the feeling of riding transitions at a skatepark.
Although it is easier to learn when someone is teaching you personally, it is still possible to learn how to skate these features by yourself.
Make sure you are comfortable riding fakie and already have your pivots down before attempting to skate or drop in quarter pipes and ramps.
The best way to ease yourself into learning transitions is by trying to skate on mellow banks first.
See also: should a beginner go to the skatepark?
Can you learn skateboarding without a skatepark?
You can learn how to skateboard even without a skatepark. Learning how to balance, push, and do basic flat-land tricks is certainly possible outside of a skatepark.
As long as you find a quiet area where skateboarding is allowed, such as a driveway, an empty cul de sac, parking lot, or empty sidewalk, you can teach yourself how to skate.
However, you will generally need a skatepark to learn how to skate transitions and bowls. You can still learn all the basic riding skills on your own without a skatepark.
You can also learn how to skate on DIY ramps in backyards if you know someone who has them. You can also scope some city spots with ledges, staircases, and other skateable features.
Skate plazas sometimes offer excellent skate features such as banks, walls, and other unique features you won’t find at a regular skatepark.
See also: where can you skateboard?
Can you learn to skateboard online?
Many people learn to skateboard in part by watching videos online. Here are some of the YouTube Channels with some the best skateboard tutorial content where you can learn how to skateboard:
The right board to teach yourself skateboarding
If you don’t have a skateboard, you can visit any local or online skateshop now and search for their “complete setups.” The most common skateboard complete setups are excellent for beginners and they come with a:
- 8.0 to 8.5” deck that is usually 29 to 31” long
- The exact size of trucks that matches the width of the skateboard
- The right wheel size, which is usually 52 to 56mm in diameter and 99 to 101 in durometer.
Skateboard complete setups are the perfect option for beginners, because they are usually set up properly without having to worry about assembling one on your own. Plus, they are usually cheaper than buying components separately.