If you’re just picking up a skateboard, it’s an exciting time. You have an incredible world to explore, whether you’re thinking about vert skating, street skating, or some other discipline.
However, before you can become a superstar skater, you’ve got to master the basic skateboard tricks. You’ve got to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you run. In this article, we’ll explore easy skateboard tricks that are perfect for beginners.
Table of Contents
Why Start with Basic Skateboard Tricks?
Now, some readers might be wondering why they should start with easy skateboard tricks? Why not learn to stand on the board and then leap right into advanced flip tricks or other more advanced tricks?
There are a few reasons it’s important to start with easier skateboard tricks:
- It helps you build confidence. Trying (and failing) to do advanced tricks right out of the gate will be demoralizing and you may find it disheartening. There’s a chance you’ll throw down your board and never pick it up. Starting with the basics allows you to build your confidence as you build your skills.
- It helps keep you safe. While safety gear is important for protecting you in the skate park, the best protection comes from skateboarding skills. By starting at the bottom, you build those skills and help ensure that you’re able to stay safer.
- They help build the bridge between different tricks. Some advanced skateboard tricks are really just multiple beginner tricks combined. You’ll need to learn the basics to master those higher-level tricks.
As you can see, it’s important to start with easy skateboard tricks rather than trying to jump too far ahead. With your introduction out of the way, let’s explore some of the simplest skateboard tricks for beginners to learn.
Skills to Learn Before Trying a Skateboard Trick
Before you start trying to learn skateboard tricks for beginners, you need to develop a couple of basic skills. We’ll explore those below.
A drop-in isn’t really a trick, but it’s a skill you’ll need in order to pull off stunts. It’s the move you need in order to start your descent into a bowl or down a ramp. To pull this off, you’ll need to balance on the tail of your skateboard while sitting on the ramp or bowl edge and then allowing the board to roll forward and down.
It’s a little frightening at first, but with experience comes confidence. However, without the ability to do a drop-in, you won’t be able to do any ramp or bowl tricks.
2. Riding Switch
Like the drop-in, riding switch isn’t a trick so much as it is a technique that you’ll need to get down before you can do any tricks. What does riding switch even mean, though? It’s actually pretty simple. All it refers to is reversing your normal stance on the board.
So, if you usually keep your left foot on the board and kick with your right, you’d reverse that (switch it, hence the name). You will need to master this technique before you can move on to anything resembling a trick because most will require you to change your footing.
With those two skills out of the way, we can move on to the actual skateboard tricks for beginners.
Easy Skateboard Tricks to Start Learning
In the section below, we’ll cover easy skateboard tricks, and we’ll even touch on some intermediate ones to try once you’ve built your confidence and skill level up. Ready? Let’s get started.
1. The Manual
You can think of a manual, or manny, as similar to popping a wheelie on a bike. It’s really all about getting the nose of the board off the ground while you keep rolling using the back wheels. Manuals are harder to pull off than you might think, though, particularly for beginners.
To do this trick, you’ll need to release pressure on the front of the board while bearing down on the back. Do it just enough to pop the front wheels up and then ride several feet on the back wheels before bringing the nose down once more.
Why do you need manuals? They’re great add-ins for a number of other tricks, including the hippie jump and other hop tricks. Make sure you have plenty of flat ground when practicing this move – our recommendation is to go to a skate park if possible.
2. The Kick Turn
Another skateboarding trick to get down early is the kick turn. It’s a great addition to any repertoire, but it’s an important element for making carving while cruising at high speeds easier. It’s also the beginning move of the kickflip.
How do you do one of these? It’s simple. Put one foot at the tail of the board and lean more weight toward that end.
As your weight shifts into the back food, the board’s nose will rise. When the nose is up a couple of inches, it’s time to pivot either backward or forward.
Tic-Tacs are a lot of fun – they’re small, incremental movements that allow you to move your board forward via turns, rather than pumping with your foot and leg. You can also add speed and momentum with Tic-Tacs when carving.
To do Tic-Tacs, you just need to make several back-and-forth kick turns. Each one will rotate you a few degrees (side to side, not in a solid arc). As you move back and forth, the board will move forward.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your balance and strength, then Tic-Tacs should certainly be on your basic trick list.
4. The Basic Ollie
Ollies come in many different flavors, but we’re talking about the basic version here. You’ll need to master some of the tricks we’ve already discussed before moving to this one, though. With better balance and strength, you’re ready to master what is perhaps the most fundamental trick for beginning skaters.
How do you pull off an ollie? The move is basically to jump but make the skateboard stay with your feet. Crouch down at your knees and then pop the board’s tail when you jump so that it leaps off the pavement as you rise.
While everything is in motion, slide your front foot up to the same level as the board. If this sounds complicated, it is. However, with a little bit of practice and patience, you’ll be ollying like a pro in no time.
5. The 180 Ollie
A slightly more advanced version of this beginner trick is the 180 ollie. Once you’ve mastered the version we just discussed, you can move on to this one. How do you do it?
- Start the board rolling.
- Crouch like you would for a basic ollie.
- Pop the ollie.
- Switch your stance in the air so you land in the opposite direction.
The 180 ollie is the starting point to build even more complex tricks, so practice this until you can pull it off every time.
6. The Boardslide
There are few skateboard tricks as iconic as the boardslide. If you’ve ever watched a skateboarder leap into the air and then slide down a rail or ride a ledge, you’ve witnessed the boardslide in action.
How do you do it, though? You’ll need to have mastered the kick turn, ollie and jump first, as those are the building blocks of this trick.
When you’re ready, execute an ollie. That will allow you to leap onto your sliding surface (rail or ledge). Land with the middle of the board (between the trucks, not on the trucks) on the sliding surface and then balance while sliding forward.
Note that this can damage your board. We recommend using a good skate wax to help protect the wood. It will also lube your slide, helping you go farther and faster.
7. Rock to Fakie
This is more of an intermediate trick than a beginner option, and it is a cool trick, too. It’s performed on ledges and ramps, and you’ll need to have some speed to really pull it off. Here’s what you do:
- Get rolling at a decent speed.
- Move up the side of a ramp or bowl.
- At the top, let the front trucks pass over the lip.
- Balance on the edge.
- Roll back down, but ride switch.
8. The Nose Manual
Where a manual pulls the nose of your board up, the nose manual does the opposite – pulling the nose down and the tail up. You should be familiar with the regular manual before you try this version, but once you have some experience, it’s simple enough to add to your skills.
The main difference between the nose manual and the manual is that instead of snapping down on the tail, you need to use your front foot to snap down on the nose. That will pop the tail up. The rest of the move is the same.
The shove-it is an interesting move that allows you to add some visual appeal to your skating without really doing a lot. It also forms the basis of a lot of other tricks, including the 360 shove-it and the 360 kickflip.
So, how do you do a shove-it? Put your front foot on or slightly behind the mounting location of your front trucks. Your back foot should be on the edge of the tail. Keep your bodyweight in the center.
Next, bend your knees and add a little jump. While jumping, push the side of the board’s tail with your back foot. Keep your mass in the center the entire time. Right after pushing the tail, pull your front foot up. The board should spin 180 degrees. With enough rotation, you can spin it 360 degrees.
Catch the board with both feet (front foot first) and land on it while continuing to roll forward.
10. Pop Shove-It
Sometimes spelled shuv-it, a pop shove-it is a combo move that brings together a regular shove-it with an ollie. Follow the steps above for the shove-it, but add an ollie into it as well. This pops the board up and gives you a lot more air during the shove-it.
11. Chinese Nollie
An interesting version of the nollie, this one is ideal for anyone interested in street skating. It’s tough to do on ramps or in bowls, though. However, it does require good balance and an excellent sense of timing.
To do the Chinese nollie, start off as you would with a regular nollie, but do so right in front of a decent crack in the sidewalk. Next, give the board a little forward push with your feet so that the front wheels bounce when they hit the crack. This will push the board into the air. As long as you hop a little, you’ll rise with and ride the board as it leaps over the crack.
12. Nollie Shove-It
A nollie shove-it combines two easy tricks we’ve already covered into something bigger than both. It’s also not all that difficult to achieve. Here’s what you need to do:
- Lightly put your foot on the nose.
- Make a light shot motion with your feet.
- Hop slightly.
- The board will rotate and you then land on it while maintaining forward motion.
13. Fakie Frontside 180
This easy trick combines riding fakie with popping your board. The result is something very interesting: a fakie frontside 180.
Get moving while riding fakie. While doing so, pop your board up. The momentum will do everything else. Twist your body while the board is in the air and then land on the skateboard as you continue rolling forward.
14. The Hippie Jump
The hippie jump is a great trick to use when there’s an obstacle in the way that the board could roll under, but you can’t clear while standing on it. And, all that you need to do is jump.
To nail this trick, you’ll need to practice jumping first. Just stand on your board with your weight in the center and your feet over the truck hardware. Now jump. Keep repeating that until you have it down.
Ready to put this trick into action? Start rolling on the board and then jump, landing on the board again and continuing to move forward. The trickiest thing is to jump without putting any weight on either the nose or the tail and to land in the same way.
15. The Kickflip
One of the first aerial tricks to be developed for skateboarding, the kickflip is a mainstay today. You’ll need to know how to ollie to pull this one off. You will also need good balance. Here’s what you need to do:
- Move your front foot just behind the nose and keep it about half off the board.
- Move your back foot to the middle of the tail.
- Perform a basic ollie.
- Kick your front foot out diagonally toward your heel side.
- Catch the board with your foot and send it flipping.
- Keep your weight over your board as you both move.
- Catch the board with your back foot and then your front foot.
- Extend your legs and land on the board.
16. The Heelflip
The opposite of a kickflip, this awesome trick also starts out as an ollie. From there, you’ll change things up, though. Here’s the rundown:
- Start with an ollie.
- Kick your front foot out diagonally.
- Catch the board with your heel.
- Flip the board over.
- Spin it outward from your toes.
- Catch the board and land on it.
17. The Frontside 180
We’ve covered a fakie frontside 180, but we need to cover the standard frontside 180, as well. Thankfully, it’s a simple move. It also begins with an ollie. Once you start the ollie, rotate the board 180 degrees under you and land back on it again.
18. The Powerslide
This move is a combination of the kickturn and braking. It does require that you master the kickturn first, and that you know how to brake on your board. All you need to do is use the kickturn to turn your board sideways while braking so that the wheels help you skid to a stop. It’s a cool way to end a run, for sure.
19. The Rail Stand
The rail stand is a fun trick and it’s not hard to do. It does require good balance, though, and you’ll need to jump to make it work. Here’s how it works:
- Stand on your board with both feet over the trucks but half off the board.
- Push down on the side of the board so that it flips up.
- As the board rolls, your back foot hangs on the back wheel.
- Step up, over, and onto the edge of the board (the rail).
- Push forward once more and step back, and you’re right back on the board.
We recommend that you start learning this trick with something to stabilize you. However, with a little bit of practice, it will become second nature pretty quickly.
20. The Nose Pickup
Want a cool way to get off your board? The nose pickup is simple and it looks great when you do it. It does require a little bit of finesse, though. To do this trick, you will need to:
- While rolling, put your front foot on the nose.
- Pop your foot straight down using your toes.
- Step off with your other foot.
- Catch the board as it pops up.
As a note, if you use too much pressure, the board will fly up. You want to use just enough pressure to pop the nose down, not send it flying
21. The Casper Flip
The Casper flip is one of the most interesting skateboard tricks for beginners, although it’s a bit more advanced than some we’ve covered so far. During the flip, your feet will never touch the ground.
There’s a lot of leeway for experimentation and making this trick your own, too. For instance, you can do it while stationary or while moving. You can also finish the trick in several different ways, including rotating and wrapping the board.
- Get set up like you would for a kickflip.
- Keep your foot at a 45-degree angle.
- Pop your board up using your back foot.
- Catch the board halfway with your front foot.
- Pull your feet up toward your chest.
- Land with both feet on the board.
22. The Double Kickflip
Building on your knowledge of the basic kickflip, you can move up to a double. It’s actually a very simple trick, although it looks much more complicated. Here’s what you need to do:
- Stand on the board like you would for a standard kickflip.
- Keep your back foot on the tail and slightly over, with your front foot midway up the board and three-quarters off the deck.
- Pop the tail of your board down.
- Slide your foot hard.
- The board should flip twice.
- If your board is flipping more than twice, reduce the pressure of your kick.
23. The Backside Pop Shove-It
The humble shove-it has an incredible number of variations that allow you to add style to your riding efforts. Now it’s time to cover yet one more, the backside pop shove-it. It’s really all about adding flair to your riding. In this move, you’ll ollie into the air, spin your board 180 degrees, and then land on it again.
- Keep your front foot just ahead of the middle of the board.
- Put your back foot on the tail with the big toe pressing down on the tail itself.
- Perform a basic ollie.
- Snap the tail with your back foot so that it aps the ground.
- Scoop your back foot behind you and your front foot ahead of you (think a scissor kick).
- As the board rises, bend your knees.
- Allow the board to spin under you.
- Once the board has spun 180 degrees, catch it with your feet and land on it.
- When landing, keep your feet wide apart to maintain your balance.
24. The Staple Gun
The staple gun involves popping the board up and appearing to ride it in the air, like it your feet are stapled to the deck. However, the name of the trick actually comes from the noise it makes when you bring the board back to earth – a cha-chunk, cha-chunk, cha-chunk sound. Note that you’ll need a ramp or mini ramp for this trick.
- Take your back foot off the board.
- Plant it below the coping of the mini ramp.
- Use your front foot to stomp down on the board while on the platform.
- This will pull the board back toward the ramp.
- Hop back onto the board with your back foot.
25. Nose Stall
Another trick that will require a ramp or mini ramp, the nose stall is deceptively simple. It’s very easy to slip on the coping, so be careful with this one.
- Reach the top of the coping with the nose of the board.
- Shift all your weight to the nose and balance on the coping.
- Drop in fakie to finish the move.
26. Lay Back Grind
The final trick on our list, and one more for a mini ramp or full ramp, the lay back grind is stylish and fun. Here’s what you need to know to pull it off:
- Ride up the transition and lean back while doing so.
- Place your trailing hand on the coping.
- Turn the board to a 50-50 or boardslide at the same time as you put your hand out.
- Use your hand o push the grind farther.
- As the grind slows down, pull the board toward you, hunch don, and settle the board on the transition.
What Do You Need to Complete These Tricks?
We’ve run through a lot of tricks and while most are skateboard tricks for beginners, they all have one thing in common – the potential for injury. Never attempt any trick or stunt, or even try to stand on a skateboard, without the proper safety gear.
Take a cue from the real pros (not the ones at the skate park trying to look tough). They all gear up for safety. You need a helmet, as well as elbow and knee pads. Even a seemingly minor fall can lead to serious injuries. Skateboarding is a dangerous sport with the potential for bruises, sprains, broken bones, and even much more serious injuries.
It’s Time to Become the Skater You’ve Always Wanted to Be
There you have them – 26 skateboard tricks for beginners. The list we’ve provided will take you from the very, very basics like learning to jump, all the way through some intermediate tricks. Once you’ve mastered these, you’ll begin putting them together in unique ways to create your own tricks, as well as moving on to higher-level stunts.
Who knows? You might end up having tricks named after you! At the very least, you’ll have a blast on your board and you’ll be able to skate anywhere, from the ramp or bowl to the street with confidence and style.