Are you considering skating inside due to bad weather or quarantine? Whether you’re just starting out or have extensive skating experience, this post will provide some juicy tips on how to get the most of skating at home.
Skating at home is relatively feasible. It mostly depends on the surfaces you have at home and the available space. Skating at home is a good place to master the fundamentals such as balancing on the board, pushing the board and practicing basic stationary tricks.
How to learn to skateboard at home
The first place to start skateboarding at home is a carpet to practice basic skills like:
- Getting up on the board
- Taking your foot off the board and back, something you’ll need for pushing
- Learning your first tricks such as ollies, shuvits and 180s.
Once you have the basics down, with your board on the carpet, you can practice holding the “manual” positions (both nose and tail) for decent durations.
This is a safe exercise that can greatly help improve your balancing and ability to do tricks, even more than stationary tricks.
Another good way to learn skateboarding at home is balance boarding, using something like an Indo board or a DIY balance board using a plastic bottle and a bare skateboard deck.
With the deck resting on the carpet on one side, try standing and balancing on the deck by keeping the deck parallel to the floor on top of the bottle.
Once you feel stable enough, try rolling the board back and forth on the bottle with your feet without getting off the board. This will greatly improve your riding skills for all kinds of riding.
Finally, if you have sufficient space inside the house, you can get a small trampoline to practice jumps and flips using your deck without the trucks.
Can you skate in your house?
It’s sometimes possible to skate in your house, however there are certain factors you should consider in advance before jumping on the board, such as how big the room is, how much noise you can make, and whether you may damage something.
For practicing only rolling and pushing, a smooth and hard surface such as hardwood, linoleum and tile can work.
Keep in mind, however, that hard floors may generate a lot of noise when skating on them, and can easily get scratched by the wheels or chipped and dented when attempting tricks.
For practicing tricks, use a carpet instead as it won’t get damaged and will cushion the board noise when landing. Note that you won’t be able to push or get the board rolling when skating on a carpet.
The minimum area you will need is about 11.5’ x 8’ to practice pushing on your skateboard and get a bit of momentum. A hallway or garage can be a good start.
Noise and damage
Skating in the house can be both noisy and risky for the interior. Avoid skating on upper floors as the loud noise will certainly annoy your downstairs neighbors, as well as ruin the floor.
Also beware of furniture damage.
Can you skateboard on hardwood floors?
While it’s possible to skateboard on hardwood floors, these are generally quite slippery and hence dangerous for beginners.
Also, it’s easy to dent and scratch wood floors, tile floors, and linoleum. Rolling on the floor will likely leave trails, and dropping the board doing tricks may leave paint marks from the deck on the floor.
How to practice skateboard tricks at home indoors?
A great way to practice tricks at home is through “carpet boarding”, taking your trucks off the deck and laying the board down on the carpet. Some of the tricks you can learn stationary include:
- Ollies, 180 Ollies
- Big Spins
Before you try to kickflip on a carpet, make sure your wear your skate shoes. Remove any objects that may get damaged from the room e.g. electronics and glassware.
Get on top of the deck, and start kicking the tail to pop the board off the rug, and start practicing your ollies, shuvits, and kickflips.
Be aware, however, that learning tricks on a carpet inside the house without trucks, while safer, is more challenging due to the dampening from the carpet which forces you to kick the board harder to get it to pop high enough.
How to skateboard in your garage or backyard
You can ride your skateboard in your garage or backyard if it has a decent size and flat cement flooring.
The garage or backyard area should be long enough for a few pushes and wide enough to do kick turns and land tricks.
You can add small obstacles such as blocks and other elements. You can easily set up a couple of quarter pipe ramps in a 25’ x 15’ space with 9 to 10’ of space between them.
How to use ramps and elements at home
There are only a few elements you can use at home. You will be limited to the space you have available. It’s best to use kicker ramps and other small elements in the garage or in your backyard.
Grind boxes and flat bars are good candidates for learning the basic grinds and slides. Place them in a central position in the room or on the sides in order to have enough run up space and roll off distance.
Also, grind boxes can serve as a manual box for you to practice wheelies.
Kicker ramps can be used for dropping off and getting speed within a tight and confined space such as a garage.
These can also be used for going up and rolling back to fakie to get acquainted with the motion of going back or leading the board with your back foot.
How to exercise at home for skateboarding prep
There are things you can do at home to get fit for skateboarding, including strengthening and working on your balance and flexibility – both crucial for skateboarding.
Building up leg and core strength, e.g. through squats, can help you skate longer and harder with less strain, and can help you recover from injuries a lot faster.
Work on your balance through yoga inversions and balance poses. Using a slackline also helps build up balance and strength.
You can improve your flexibility through stretches e.g. through yoga or tai chi. Good flexibility helps prevent skateboarding injuries and will also speed up recovery.
You can also do joint strengthening exercises, namely for the ankles and knees using elastic bands or simple static position like one-leg stands
Where to skateboard indoors other than home
Skateboarding is generally an open air activity, however there are also great sheltered places that can be used when the terrain is wet or it’s too cold outside.
Some ideas of where to skateboard indoors:
Indoor skateboards are great alternatives when an outdoor park is not available for riding. These contain the same elements and transitions you will find in any outdoor skatepark. Indoor skateparks often have an entrance fee.
Multi Level parking buildings often offer smooth concrete surfaces, small curbs to do grind tricks, and embankments to gain speed and throw tricks up against them.
Some abandoned buildings are great for skateboarding since the noise typically won’t bother anyone.
They can also offer ample space for setting up your own skate obstacles including rails, ledges and boxes.
Bridges, like parking garages, are a convenient retreat when it’s starting to rain. Under bridge passes may feature stairs, handrails or ledges.