Want to learn how to skate? Check out our beginner tips to help you get started and use the checklist to track your progress.
For any board sport, you first need to figure out your stance, regular (left foot forward) or goofy (right foot forward): Stand with both feet together and start leaning forward to see what foot you catch yourself with; that’s typically your dominant foot, which is the foot you want in back.
Safety first: If you protect your noggin, wrists, elbows and knees, you’ll have more confidence and will progress more quickly because you won’t be so afraid to fall.
It’s all about the shoes: You can’t just skate in any old shoe! You need to protect your feet, and your shoes have to be able to stand up to the abuses of grip tape and pavement. Look for a shoe that has a flat sole, padded tongue and cushioned footbed. etnies Girl’s Novice, Gal 86 and Kingpin are great shoes to try.
Practice balancing on your board: You have to start somewhere, and for skateboarding that means simply getting comfortable standing on your board. Practice balancing on the grass or carpet indoors (assuming you parents won’t freak out).
Practice pushing: Once you can balance on your board, practice riding your board on a flat surface, preferably somewhere safe and away from traffic—like a driveway.
Learn the basics of riding: There’s a big difference between pushing and really riding your board. You need to learn how to turn left and right, kick turn, and navigate bumps and cracks in the pavement.
Learn to turn: Turning or carving is the same for any board sport; if you lean to the right, you’ll turn right, and if you lean to the left, you’ll turn left. So if you’re regular footed and you lean forward (on your toes) you’ll turn right, and if you lean backwards (on your heels) you’ll turn left. The opposite is true if you’re goofy footed.
Learn how to ride fakie: You need to practice riding fakie, or the opposite direction you normally ride. This doesn’t mean you flip your stance, it simply means you’re riding backwards.
Learn basic skate tricks: Basic skate tricks you’ll need to learn include the ollie, tic tac, kickturns, shove-it and kickflip.
Skate Progress Checklist
Figure out your stance, regular (left foot forward) or goofy (right foot forward)
Practice balancing on your board
Learn how to turn left and right
Learn how to kick turn
Learn how to ride fakie (backwards)
Learn how to ollie
Learn how to tic tac
Learn how to kickturn
Learn how to do a shove-it
Learn how to do a kickflip
How Did You Start?
Are you just learning to skate? Tell us about it! Let us know why you started skating, if these tips helped you, or whatever is on your mind. Have you been skating for awhile? Let us know how you got started, what helped you learn and if you have any tips you’d like to give girls who are just starting out.
Download a Copy
Click on the image below to download a PDF version of the Skate Beginner Tips so you can save a copy, print it out or e-mail it to your friends.
Skate Beginner Tips (1.7 MB PDF)