How To Ride a Skateboard: The Basic Components of a Smooth Ride

Mastering balance on a skateboard is the most difficult part, once a skateboarder has done that, tricks and maneuvers will come naturally.

Be careful not to go to fast at first. Also pay close attention to foot placement in relation to the skateboard. Feet should be firmly planted on the front and back bolts with the torso centered over the middle of the skateboard deck.

Find smooth surfaces to skateboard on: sidewalks, gravel, and certain streets may be very difficult to ride on, especially depending on the size of the wheels. It is best to begin with larger wheels. The larger the wheels are, the smoother the ride will be. Also, good bearings are possibly the most important aspect of a smooth ride. This will also increase the skateboarder’s potential top speed.

Foot Placement

There are two types of skateboarders: goofy and regular. If a skateboarder is most comfortable riding with their right foot in the back then they are considered “regular,” left foot means they are a “goofy” skateboarder. Regardless of the names, there is no right way to ride a skateboard, so don’t try to fight what feels natural when riding. Push off with the back foot while maintaining balance with the front foot.

The Importance of Trucks

Trucks are the steel support structures that attach the wheels to the skateboard deck. Trucks can be adjusted according to a skateboarder’s preference. Looser trucks enable easier turns and provide more flexibility for movement. However, it can be more difficult to balance. Tighter trucks provide a more rigid and secure platform to stand on, but they are less forgiving when it comes to turning.

Skateboarders should bend the knees slightly in preparation for unexpected obstacles or turbulence. This will also give a skateboarder more control, and avoid more injuries. Be careful, bending the knees is considered “pumping” and this will give skateboarders much more speed. The feet should be centered over top of the skateboard, both vertically and horizontally.

Riding Switch or Fakie

Once the basics of riding a skateboard have been mastered, there are multiple other varieties that present new challenges. Riding switch means riding with the opposite foot in the back of the skateboard. If a skateboarder is goofy, then switch would be riding with the right foot in the back, and vice versa for regular skateboarders.

This means that a skateboarder is riding in reverse. The skateboarder is preparing to perform a fakie trick, which involves the foot placement of the dominant foot on the nose of the skateboard. This includes a shift of weight that is difficult to master.