How Long Does it Take to Get Good at Skateboarding?

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This might be the most asked question in the skateboarding universe. How long does it take to get good at skateboarding?

The answer to this question is very relative. The answer depends on the person and the dedication they’re willing to exhibit to skateboarding. Mentally, skateboarding can be a very traumatic sport.

Skating is no different than any other area in life; you get back what you put in. If you put in a part-time effort, you’re going to receive a part-time result.

The rider measures success in skateboarding. What defines success to one person may not match another person’s definition.

Before this question can be answered, first, the rider must define what the term “get good at” really means. What do you want to get good at as a skateboarder? Do you want to be a good longboarder? Maybe you want to be a good trick-skater? It’s possible that getting good at skateboarding means being able to commute from home to work without falling off your board. Many factors play a role and you’ll need to decide which are most important to you.

You can’t define success until you set a goal. The first step in becoming good at skateboarding is setting a realistic goal.

Deciding what type of skateboard you want to master is a great place to start. Let’s examine the options when it comes to potential skateboards available.

Table of Contents

Pick the Skateboard You Want to Be Good at Riding

  1.     Double-Kick Skateboard

Dedication Level: Extreme

If you’re more of a modern-day fan of skateboarding, maybe you want to learn how to ride a double-kick skateboard. Riding these skateboards typically means there are tricks involved.

Mastering a double-kick skateboard could be one of the most difficult out of all skateboards. This is because you’re not considered a proficient double-kick skateboarder until you’ve mastered the art of trick-skating.

When we say trick-skating, we are talking about the vert-ramp and air tricks. Double-kick skateboards are used on vert-ramps, half-pipes, and structures that allow you to achieve flight.

Vert-ramp skaters usually have a plethora of kick tricks, flips, and twists they perform in mid-air. This doesn’t mean that these skaters are limited to ramps. Double-kick skateboards are also used in grinding, board slides, and freestyle skating.

  1.     Longboard

Dedication Level: Medium to High

Longboards are used for the style of skating known as longboarding. The name is derived from the extended length of the skateboards used by riders.

The extra length and size of these boards make riding on hills much more manageable. Longboards also have elevated wheel sizes to easier maneuvering, added balance, and conquering cracks and other small obstacles.

There are different levels to longboarding as well. This specific style of skateboarding can be used as a means to cruise and joyride while commuting. However, longboarding is also used by thrill-seekers.

Downhill longboarders will reach break-neck speeds during races and other competitions. Sometimes it’s just for the adrenaline rush, and there is no competition involved.

If you want to be a downhill longboarder, you’ll have to master balancing on your board and carving. Carving is the form of turning used when navigating a longboard route.

  1.     Cruiser Skateboards

Dedication Level: Low to Medium

If it’s enjoyment and a smooth ride you’re after,  a cruiser skateboard is a perfect skateboard to pick up. Normally cruiser skateboards are used for general commuting and joyriding

There are no slopes on the front or back of a cruiser skateboard, so they’re rarely used for tricks and other competition. Turning and pushing are probably the most advanced methods required to learn when you master a cruiser skateboard.

Cruising doesn’t generally require high rates of speed, but you can kick it up a notch if you’re feeling adventurous. Cruising boards aren’t generally designed for sharp carving and navigating treacherous turns. All you’ll need is a smooth surface.

Skateboarding as a means of travel can be easily satisfied if you’re thinking about becoming a skateboard cruiser. A cruiser skateboard can be a great place to start if you eventually want to upgrade to a more advanced board.

  1.     Carving Skateboards

Dedication Level: High to Extreme

Carving skateboards require more effort and serious concentration. You’ll need to be a seasoned balance artist to master a carver.

Carving skateboards can be used for commuting, but the ride isn’t very laid back or comfortable. Freestyle skaters and urban park competitors use carving skateboards to perform land-based tricks.

Sharp, intense turns and dangerous curve navigation are both within the scope of a carving skateboard’s performance. High rates of speed are achieved while carving out insane patterns that can make your head spin.

Expect to dedicate a lot of time to conquering a carving skateboard. You’ll need to be talented in several areas to become a good carver.

Skateboards are rated based on their areas of efficiency. Each element of a skateboard is given a numbered rating from 1 to 10. This grading system allows you to make an informed decision on the type of board that suits you. Let’s examine this grading system.

Related: How To Skateboard Complete Guide

Skateboard Features Grading System

Each of the four different board types is listed with six categories based on efficiency. Study the chart and make an informed decision based on the graded areas of each board.

Board Type Off-Road Speed Stability Mobility Tricks Weight
Longboard 3 10 9 6 2 7
Cruiser 2 6 8 7 3 5
Carver 1 9 2 8 7 4
Double-Kick 1 7 7 8 10 5

What Do You Need to Focus On to Become Good at Skateboarding?

The question of “how long does it take” depends on your areas of focus. There are several key areas of discipline you should focus on when mastering a skateboard.

  •         You’ll need to be fairly healthy to dedicate yourself to becoming a high-level skateboarder. Generally, it’s a good idea to walk or run a mile without getting winded or tired before getting serious about skateboarding. The sport of skateboarding requires high endurance and good cardiovascular health to give skating a fair chance.
  •         Balance and coordination are mandatory regardless of the type of skateboard you will be riding. Remember, a skateboard deck isn’t a large area to balance when you’re riding. Your equilibrium will be put to the test, and your coordination should be moderately high so you can make split-second decisions.
  •         You also need a certain level of courage to master the art of skateboarding. It doesn’t matter who you are; you’re going to fall when you skateboard. If you’re afraid of falling and obtaining bumps and bruises, you should choose a different hobby or sport. Fear will only lead to more serious injury as you progress through the learning process. Hesitating in the moment of truth can lead to a nasty fall and broken bones.
  •         Get rid of your swollen sense of pride if you have one. Skateboarding requires you to swallow your pride daily. You’re going to fail at certain moments during your skateboard career. However, understand these moments of failure do not define your overall success. Your ability to bounce back and learn from these failures is what ultimately defines you as a successful skateboarder. “How long does it take” isn’t nearly as important as “how much resilience does it take.”

How Long Does It Take: Rules to Follow as a Beginner

  1.     Follow Your Elders

Experienced skateboarders paved the way before you and have gone through the motions and growing pains. There is a ton of information you can soak up from experienced skateboarders.

If you’re close friends with an experienced skateboarder, ask them if they would consider taking you under their wing. Mirror them for a couple of weeks before you attempt to pick up a board. Watch them closely and pay attention to the way they move.

The best skateboarders, regardless of their talent level, will still display an affinity for the basics. Watch how they push the skateboard and turn. Study how they brake and come to a stop. The intricate tricks are amazing to watch but don’t concern yourself with these yet. You’re not at that level.

Take the time to focus on the areas that pertain to you as a beginner. You have to learn the basics before you can graduate to more advanced moves.

Alternatively, if you’re not able to hang out with a seasoned veteran, become a fan at the skatepark for a week. This is an acceptable substitute and may provide you with more perspective by watching several different skateboarders.

  1.     Warm-Up Before Skateboarding

This rule can’t be stressed enough. Your body isn’t used to the demands of a skateboard (unless you’re already a high-caliber athlete). It’s going to take some acclimation to get used to the quick turns and strain on your muscles.

Warming up is a great way to prevent serious injuries. If you don’t believe this fact, wait until the morning after your first skateboarding session. Your body will most likely be tender, and your range of motion could be limited.

Continuing to be consistent will allow your body to get used to the high level of activity. Eventually, the soreness will subside, but you should still start every session with a good stretch.

  1.     Don’t Rush

Take your time when you’re skateboard career is in its infancy. Rushing will only make you frustrated and possibly put you at risk for injury.

Digest all the knowledge you take in before attempting to go live with any method. Watch videos and take note of every detail.

If you don’t nail a technique right away (you probably won’t), don’t get discouraged. Practice makes perfect, and practice takes time. If you don’t have the time to be patient, wait to start skateboarding when you have the schedule.

  1.     You’ve Got to Want It

Learning to do anything efficiently starts with an inherent desire. You’ve got to want to learn how to get good at skateboarding.

If your heart isn’t totally into skateboarding, you’re not going to produce the results you’re looking for. Skateboarding isn’t a casual sport. If you’re looking for casual, maybe you should try bowling.

Any serious sport like skateboarding requires a passion. People who skateboard don’t just like skateboarding; they love skateboarding. This is one of the most important dynamics to remember.

Related: Is Skateboarding Hard? 

How to Start Getting Good at Skateboarding

Becoming a good skateboarder requires starting at the right place. There should be a certain flow to the way you learn.

What do we mean by this? Sometimes you have to learn certain techniques before you transition to another. Skateboarding education is like working with building blocks. You need a solid foundation before you can progress through the curriculum.

You can’t learn algebra without knowing how multiplication works. Skateboarding works similarly. Use this numbered list as a guide for skateboarding education order of operations.

The Prerequisites: A Few Weeks In

  1.       Choose your equipment and board first. These are your basic tools of the trade.
  2.       Grab your protective equipment to prepare yourself for a safe journey. Knee pads and helmets are vital pieces of protective equipment all rookies should use.
  3.       Decide where you’re going to learn. Choosing a good practice area is important. Your practice area should be safe and uncrowded.

The Techniques and Basic Tricks

  1.       Get your balance straight first. Practice on the board in a stationary manner. Familiarize yourself with the board and how it feels to sway.
  2.       First, you’ll need to learn how to push. Pushing is the term for propelling yourself forward on the skateboard.
  3.       After learning how to start, you should learn how to stop. Proper braking should be your next step.
  4.       When you learn how to propel yourself and come to a complete stop, you can focus on turning. Learn how to navigate turns without falling efficiently. You should be able to turn properly without losing your balance before progressing to the next step.
  5.       Pick up your speed. Kicking things up a notch and adding extra turns can be a great way to elevate them to the next level.
  6.       Once you’re confident with basic means of commuting, you can learn how to carve. Carving is an advanced form of turning in the skateboard world.

Learn Advanced Tricks

After following this basic training outline, where you go depends on the type of skateboarding you want to get good at. If you want to progress at longboarding, the next step would be taking your game to the hills.

If cruising was your end goal, you could consider yourself good at skateboarding at this point. You can always build your game up, but cruising entails the most basic skateboarding maneuvers.

If you decide to use a double-kick skateboard, you’d take it to the air from here. Learning tricks is the next step in mastering a double-kick skateboard. The ollie is the base for most double-kick tricks. Learning to ollie will allow you to branch out and learn advanced tricks.

After the ollie and basic tricks, you can either take your education to the vert-ramp or learn how to grind. Depending on what your goal is, vert-ramp and grinding are both advanced-level skateboarding disciplines.

Regardless of where you want to end up as a skateboarder, the following tips are universal. Carry these tips with you throughout your journey as a skateboarder to make the process smoother.

Useful Tips to Get Good at Skateboarding

  1.     Choose the Right First Skateboard

Choosing the right skateboard makes a huge difference. You’ll want to be comfortable on your skateboard and ensure the board is appropriate for the type of skating you want to learn. After choosing the right board you can start practicing.

  1.     Purchase Quality Skate Shoes

When it comes to skateboarding equipment, you always get what you pay for. This is especially true when it comes to shoes. Invest a few extra dollars in a comfortable pair of shoes. You won’t regret it in the future, and your ankles and feet will thank you.

  1.     Stay Protected

Make sure you wear the proper gear when you skate. This is very important when you’re a rookie skateboarder. Wear a helmet, knee pads, and all the proper padding to protect your body.

  1.     As a Beginner Skateboarder, Learn to Fall

It sounds crazy, but you should practice falling when you begin your skateboarding career. Learning the proper way to fall can prevent broken bones and pulled muscles.

  1.     Make Your Goals Realistic

Realistic goals are time-based and take your skill level into account. A realistic goal would read something like, “After three months, I want to be good at starting, stopping, and turning.”

An unrealistic goal would be expecting to be able to grind and hit a vert-ramp after your first month. The chances of accomplishing this goal are astronomical. It takes more than one month to learn tricks.

Setting unrealistic goals only sets you up for disappointment. Track your progress and be honest with yourself. Dedicate at least half an hour to one hour per day to mastering your goals and learning new tricks.

  1.     Your Success Isn’t Someone Else’s Success

Don’t compare yourself to other skateboarders. Your success is based on your journey and nothing else. It doesn’t matter what the next skater is doing, as long as you’re happy with your progress.

If it takes you ten years to learn how to ollie and your goal was nine years, guess what? You came pretty close to hitting your goal, and that’s a win. It’s not the next man’s job to judge you and vice versa.

  1.     Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Swallow your pride, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Asking for help provides the valuable opportunity of learning new things. Don’t waste the opportunity if you have the chance to ask an expert for help.

The advice you receive could be a game-changer. Even more experienced skateboarders learn new things daily.

How Long Does it Take to Get Good at Skateboarding?

Let’s revisit the original question. Remember, becoming a good skateboarder is a relative term. Success is based on the discipline you choose to master and the goals you set for yourself. Not everyone will master how to ride a skateboard in the same amount of time.

However, it’s also important to remember that all styles have the same base regardless of the discipline. You’ll need to learn how to start, stop, turn, and keep your balance when you start training.

Generally, learning how to efficiently navigate and travel with a skateboard should take anywhere from one-to-three months. If it takes you an extra few months, don’t sweat it. We all learn at different paces.

Where you take your knowledge from here is a personal decision. Regardless of what you decide, your heart must be 100% dedicated to ride a skateboard.