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Beginning Skateboarding: Flat Ground Trick Tips

Learning to ride a skateboard means different things to different people. To some, skateboards are transportation. They learn to keep their balance,to turn, and then they call it good. For a certain breed, though, that doesn’t cut it. To the intrepid few, skateboarding is about progressing to more and more difficult tricks, building them one on top of the other in a never-ending pursuit of perfection.

To land the perfect trick, ice-cold smooth and all bolts, is to be truly alive. Sketchiness only counts on the most difficult maneuvers(Tricks). The concrete is always there, waiting to punish a momentary lapse in concentration or a stutter (any hesitation due to fear)in fear. We know this, and yet we throw our bodies into harm’s way. We do if for the love of progressing. Skating isn’t about who or where you were(came from); it’s about where you’re going. 

If you’ve just begun to ride, you already know the (potential) joys (which can be achieved)in it. Conquering the fundamentals of skateboarding must come first. But, if you’re ready to move on to the good part, try these skateboarding tricks for beginners. Each one is a foundation of the harder, more complex tricks that you will be doing for your entire skateboarding career. We’ll start with the most foundational trick in the game: The Ollie.


In the late 1970s, Alan Gelfand changed the course of skateboarding when he invented the no-handed aerial (in vertical skating), soon renamed the ollie. For a time, Gelfand was the only pro who could ollie, and the greats of the time watched slack jawed whenever he did one. But progress is progress, and soon the trick took over skateboarding. Nearly every trick in modern street skateboarding begins with and builds off an ollie. Start by watching this slow-motion ollie video on YouTube.


Place your back foot in the middle of the tail and your front foot just behind the truck bolts. The farther back you place your front foot, the higher you can ollie, but keep it close behind the bolts at first. The back foot should go farther toward the edge of the tail, but centered. This is the fundamental setup in skateboarding, so get comfortable with it. 


To ollie, you have to bend your knees and jump while smacking the tail on the ground. Pop it off the ground with your foot by hitting it on the ground and immediately taking off the pressure. As you jump, slide the outside of your front foot upward along the grip tape toward the nose to level off the board, and be sure to suck both knees up toward your chest. Extend your knees to land it, and recompress them to absorb the landing. 


Learning to ollie will likely be one of the most frustrating things you will ever do, but it is a necessary evil. Some new skaters like to place their wheels in a crack in the cement to keep the board stable as they practice ollies. If you do this, you will still need to learn to ollie while rolling, so you may want to just learn them while moving in the first place. Wear gloves to protect the palms of your hands, because you will fall. 

180 Ollie 

This is where you start learning to use your shoulders and hips to skate. 180 ollies, meaning you ollie and turn 180 degrees in the air, which will leave you (landing)skating backward — or fakie. From there, you open up a plethora of fakie and switch (wrong-footed) tricks. 180s are also fun to do over and onto obstacles, but they are a mainstay setup trick for skating switch. 

(NOTE: there is a frontside [Fs] and Backside [Bs] 180: maybe just say we are focusing on frontside in this trick description.. )

Setup and Execution

Setup just like a regular ollie, but rotate your shoulders in the opposite direction that you wish to turn as you wind up. When you jump, unwind the coil you set up. Start unwinding the shoulders first, letting them drag the hips with them. The hips in turn drag the legs and the legs move the board. The upper body starts the turn before the board leaves the ground, while the lower body does most of the work when you’re airborne. 


Frontside 180s — turning your chest toward the front — are much easier than backside. You may find it easier at first to land at about 90 degrees on the front wheels and pivot the rest of the way around to fakie. Also, rolling backward may take a bit of getting used to. Just remember to pay attention to where your weight is over the board. Keep it centered, and you’ll be okay. Rolling fakie is such a huge part of modern street skating, you might as well learn it now.

Pop Shuvit

Once you get pop shuvits down, you will think they are easy, but learning them is not. Everyone learns this trick early on in their skating, and almost no one ever stops doing them. Why? Because they are always fun. It’s that simple. 

Setup and Execution

Set up for an ollie, only when you jump, kick your back foot behind you in the direct of your heel. You still need to snap the tail off the pavement with a pop, but do it in a lateral direction instead of straight down. The front foot does absolutely nothing in a pop shuvit. You simply lift it up and out of the way. As you lift it, remember to bring your back foot up to the same level as your front foot after the pop. The board will spin under your feet and, with practice, you can catch it in the air. 


It helps to jump to a spot you expect the board to be, rather than straight up in the air. Remember to keep centered and to land with both feet on the board every time. Some beginners like to chicken foot when learning pop shuvs, landing with one or both feet on the ground instead of on the board. You will never learn the trick like that, though. Go for it all; land or slam. 


Time to get tech. Kickflips have always been cool, and they always will be. This is the one trick that, once you master it, you realize you are a real skateboarder now. Very few posers can learn this one, but it isn’t really that tough for a dedicated skater. It just may take some time.

Setup and Execution

Set up for an ollie, but place your front foot more toward the edge of the board so that you are on the balls of your foot. Your heel will hang off the board a bit. Snap off an ollie, but kick your foot toward the side as you level the board. Don’t kick straight down. Learn to kickflip by ollieing first, then using the side of the toe area on your shoe to flip the board. This way, the board rises as it flips so you can catch it, rather than you just landing on it on the ground.  


If you’re struggling with your board veering sideways as you set up, try tightening your trucks just to learn kickflips. You will be able to put more weight on the edge of the board without causing it to turn. As you get better at them, you will be able to set up for a kickflip without turning the board, no matter how loose your trucks are. 


Some people make mincemeat of these beginners’ skateboarding tricks, putting them down in quick succession. For others, building just this short repertoire takes months. (Either way,)No matter. We all learn at our own pace. Skateboarding is not a competition, it’s an adventure — a path(journey). If it takes you six months to learn to ollie, do not be discouraged. Progression in skateboarding  just may be at a steeper learning curve for some than it is for others. Enjoy the process; the rest(tricks) will come. 

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1 Comment

Nethan Paul
Nethan Paul
Nov 11, 2018

This article is so helpful and easy to understand. I am trying hard to master these skateboarding tricks and this explains them so nicely and easily. I have been trying to do Ollie but have remained unsuccessful but I think I have got the basics of Ollie clear now and will try on that basis. I have bought Merkapa 22-inch Complete Skateboard after reading the guide on Best skateboards 2018.

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