Where did skateboarding come from?
Where better to start our introduction to skateboarding than the very beginning? When a group of San Francisco surfers got bored over a slow 1950s summer they nailed wooden planks to roller-skate wheels. Little did they know they were creating a whole new sport. The surfers were looking to replicate the sea′s waves on dry land. What they created was skateboarding - a sport that is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.
The popularity of skateboarding has seen glorious peaks and horrendous lows since the early days but is currently basking in its 'Golden Age'. Skateboarding is arguably is at its most popular, with events such as the 'X Games' and 'Gravity Games', the 'Tony Hawk' series of video games and the improvement in skateboard technologies all contributing to improve the profile and image of a brilliant sport.
Who can enjoy skateboarding?
Anyone can enjoy skateboarding. It’s not just for kids! If you’ve never skated before, give it a try. We have a comprehensive guide for skateboarding beginners. Take skateboarding seriously, practice hard, stay safe and we believe you will love it.
Feeling inspired? Here’s some of the basics to help get your started, looking at your stance, rolling, tick-tacking, pushing, stopping and for good measure, your first trick.
First thing you need to know when it comes to the basics of skateboarding is your most comfortable stance. Try standing on your board and imagine you’re traveling forward, does it feel right? If you’re most comfortable with your left foot at the front of the board, your stance is regular, if you’re more comfortable right foot-first your stance is called 'goofy'. It makes no difference what your stance is and it is completely your preference as to whether you are regular or goofy. Don’t be put off if people call you goofy, it’s not supposed to be offensive!
Rolling and tic-tacking
Once your stance is sorted you can try rolling. We find the best way to gain momentum for skateboarding beginners is to tic-tac. Tic-tacking is where you use you place a little weight over the back wheels, raising the front wheels slightly off the ground and using your hips to tap the wheels to the left and right. You will feel like you’re doing a hula-hoop move and, hopefully, start moving forward.
When you’re comfortable with standing on your board while it’s moving and you want to go a bit faster you can try pushing. The best way to push is using your back leg. To push safely keep your front foot near the front truck bolts and pointing forward, plant your back foot on the floor and push your body forward, you should start rolling faster.
One very important aspect of the basics of skateboarding is a simple one - knowing how to stop! There are two ways we recommend for beginners, first of all you can stop by putting one foot on the floor, in the same manner as you did for pushing. The other is to put most of your weight over the back kick-tail, scraping the board on the floor, bringing you to a stand still. After you can comfortably roll, turn and stop you’re basically there. It won’t be long before you get more confident and can start bringing in interesting techniques and basic tricks.
The final step in the basics of skateboarding is learning some tricks. For a great starter trick try learning to 'manual'. This trick is really simple and a great way to start but if you can learn to hold it you can later integrate the more advanced tricks you learn for combinations. To 'manual' put pressure on the back kick-tail of your board until the front lifts off the ground and you are riding on only two wheels. Sounds simple but the tricky part is trying to hold the manual for as long as possible whilst moving without touching the back of your board down.