In the world of skateboarding, everything has a place. No matter what discipline, trick, or process you are learning, the order is laid out in a certain way for a reason. You must complete one step before moving on to another.
Believe me when we tell you that there is a method to the madness that is skateboarding. Even the most rudimentary skateboard techniques start with a base that must be learned before progressing forward.
Before you can step on the board, you must learn to fall. You can’t learn how to push until you learn how to balance. You can’t turn until you master the art of pushing. Do you understand why the order is so important?
Skateboarding is unique in this way and is unlike any other sport. In other sports, you can skip around, learning different things here and there. You don’t necessarily have to be a jack-of-all-trades.
There are no shortcuts in skateboarding. If you don’t have the basic tricks mastered, your lack of knowledge will be exposed when it’s time to walk the walk.
If you’re not well versed in skateboarding order of operations, don’t sweat it. Luckily for you, we’ve got your back. Use this list as a guide for skateboard tricks to learn in order.
Related: Best Skateboard Tricks
Table of Contents
Mastering the Basic Skateboard Tricks to Learn In Order
After learning a series of basic tricks, you need to decide if you want to gravitate towards the heel and kick tricks or rail tricks. Regardless of which set of skateboarding tricks you choose to master, they both start with the same foundation.
You can start with these basic tricks to give you a solid foundation that will allow you to move in different directions later.
Some skaters don’t even consider a manual to be on the list of basic tricks. However, it does take discipline and balance, and practicing a manual gets skaters ready to attempt an ollie.
The manual gets the skater familiar with tapping the rear of the board onto the pavement. This tapping motion is the first step in performing the ollie.
However, when a skater performs a manual, the board will be held. He doesn’t jump after the heel tap. Instead, he will continue to hold the heel portion of the board to the ground and ride the board for as long as possible while holding this position.
To put it simply, a manual is like the wheelie of skateboarding.
The Ollie: Basic Tricks Foundation
This is the grandfather of all skateboard tricks. If you want to learn skateboard tricks, the ollie comes first.
When you perform an ollie, you start on the ground at a medium to a faster pace. The rider uses his back foot to tap on the back of the board and lift the nose in the air (identical to the start of a manual). When the back of the board makes contact with the pavement, the skater propels himself and the board upward, lifting all four wheels off the ground.
During the process, his front foot will slide back towards the middle of the board. This takes the weight off the nose of the board to allow the elevation to complete the trick. In mid-air, the skater will use his front foot to level the board out by sliding it back towards the board’s nose.
The goal is to have the board completely level, allowing all four wheels to land on the concrete at once. When the skater plants safely, the ollie is complete. Now you can learn other tricks.
The boneless was invented before the ollie if we are going by timeline standards. This trick is also a good way to start practicing more advanced tricks.
You want to get going at a fairly comfortable speed. Place your rear foot on the tail of the board and your front foot directly behind the front truck. Grab the middle section of the board that’s between your feet with either hand.
Move your front foot from the deck to the ground and use the foot to jump as high as possible. Hold the deck by your hand by touching your foot to move it.
Once you’re in the middle of your jump, place your front foot on the deck again, then release it on the front side of the board to the ground again. After learning tricks like this, you can move to harder tricks.
Kickflip or Heelflip
A skater starts this trick by performing a full ollie. Get used to starting most tricks by first setting up with the ollie. This is where this maneuver gets tricky (pun intended).
After achieving the desired air from the ollie, use the front foot to kick the inside lip of the board. The board should flip one full rotation underneath your elevated feet if you put enough pressure into the kick. Once this full flip is complete, quickly plant your feet back on the board and land with all four wheels on the ground. This is the kickflip.
To perform the heelflip, you use your back foot to kick the outside edge of the board. The deck will spin in the opposite direction, but the trick still ends the same way.
Pop-Shove It (Pop Shuvit)
There are two versions of the pop shuvit. There is a frontside version and a back-side version. The difference between the kickflip and pop-shove is the way the board spins. Instead of the board flipping to complete a revolution underneath the feet, the board performs a rotation around the base of the skater. Picture the board moving directly underneath the skater like the hands of a clock
After the ollie, the skater kicks the left foot forward and the right foot backward (assuming you’re riding regular foot stance). This spins the frontside pop-shove it in a clockwise motion. The back-side pop-shove is performed by kicking the feet the opposite way
Varial Kickflip and Heelflip
This attention-grabbing trick blends the kickflip and the back-side pop-shove it. The skater will first perform the pop-shove in the desired direction. After the board starts rotating, the skater will kick the board’s edge to start the kickflip.
Instead of allowing the board to rotate the full 360-degrees like a normal pop-shove, the skater will finish the trick at 180-degrees.
Check out: Heelflip vs Kickflip
The boardslide doesn’t require as much speed at the beginning of the trick. Make sure you are comfortable enough to keep your balance while performing the trick. You’ll need an obstacle like a rail or bench to perform this trick.
Once you are about a foot away from your obstacle, you’ll start laying the groundwork for your ollie. After you hit the peak of your ollie, you’re going to do a 90-degree twist, so your back-side is facing the obstacle.
You’re riding backward with the skateboard perpendicular to your obstacle. While you’re sliding, just keep looking forward to the end of the rail or bench. Keep your eyes on the prize.
Once you’re ready to dismount, just move your shoulders in the direction you’d like to exit the trick. You’ll feel your weight start to pull yourself towards the desired direction, and you just need to stick the landing.
The Casper flip might be one of the toughest flatland or street tricks to learn. However, if you can pull this one-off, you’ll look like a hero to all of your friends. The visual element of this trick is incredible.
After you’ve achieved medium speed, place your back foot on the front side of the board’s tail. While raising our back foot, quickly flick your front foot to position it underneath the edge of the board.
Land with your foot completely underneath the upside-down board. Your back foot should be on top of the heel portion of the board.
Lift your front foot back up, and lift your back foot to make the board flip. If you have time, add another rotation underneath your feet to make the trick even sicker.
Plant your feet and land with all four wheels on the ground. Maybe it’s called a casper flip because you have to float like a ghost to complete it. The casper flip is a popular trick that definitely requires some hang time.
Alternatively, instead of flip tricks and twists, you can learn to master the art of grinding. We included a boardslide in the list above, but grinding is a different animal. Grinding takes a special set of balancing skills since you are riding solely on the trucks. Using the same principle as other beginners’ tricks, you must start with an ollie.
Alternatively, you can practice grinding using a drop in method. Whether you’re attempting to grind out of an ollie or drop in, it’s all about whichever method gives you a sense of comfortable riding.
The 50-50 grind is named for the balancing act you perform while you’re skating. The board is centered perfectly in the middle of the trucks, and you have to keep your balance without wiping it out. The length of the grind is based on how long you can balance.
Find a ledge or a rail, whichever you feel most comfortable on. Make sure you can get up to a medium or fast pace because you’ll need the momentum to keep the grind going. Most people start a grind or slide with a long run. It’s a lot easier to gain momentum.
When you are about 6 inches away from the ledge or rail, start hitting your ollie. When you’re in the air, use your front foot to balance the board. You want to be as level as possible when you hit the rail.
After you start riding the rail, stick both of your arms out to assist with keeping your balance. If you need to exit the rail, tap the back of your board and lift your front foot. Turn your shoulders towards the safest direction to exit the rail or ledge. Hit the ground and keep skating.
The back-side 50-50 grind is the same as the normal 50-50. The only difference is the heel portion of the board will be ridden with more weight, and the nose of the board will be lifted in the air. The difference between the two tricks is you’ll use opposite footing.
Basically, the skater is riding a wheelie while performing a grind. This version takes careful balance and focus, especially since you’ll only have one set of trucks on the rail for contact.
There is a front-side version of this trick, which is the exact opposite of the back-side. You’re riding a reverse wheelie while grinding. This is an extremely difficult trick to master.
The Feeble Grind
The feeble grind could be one of the toughest grind tricks to perform. We figured since we listed the boardslide in the first set of tricks, then the 50-50, you’ve had a chance to practice or master both.
You’ll need it because the feeble grind is essentially a grind and a boardslide in one. We told you it was tough. This trick is a lot easier if you’ve mastered getting big air when you ollie.
To perform this trick, you’ll need to approach the rail at an angle like you’re coming in for a slide. You won’t actually be performing a slide, you’ll just position yourself for one at the beginning of the trick.
As you’re approaching the rail like you’re getting ready for a boardslide, you lift the front of your board up a little higher, so you can clear the rail at the last minute.
After clearing the rail, you want to catch the rail with the back of the skateboard. Basically, you’re grinding using only the back trucks, with the entirety of the front of the board hanging from the side of the rail. The amount of balance required for this trick is insane.
This trick is especially difficult for several reasons. The first reason is that it’s easy to get the nose caught on the rail during the approach and flip over across the rail. If you do make it over the rail, it’s not hard to hit the back portion of the board the wrong way on the rail and wipe out.
Sometimes skaters overshoot this part of the trick, missing the rail altogether, sending them flying with the board, only to be stopped by the first obstacle they encounter.
It’s important to learn skateboard tricks in the correct order. We have them listed in the order in which they should be demonstrated, so you should have no problem following them.
We can’t stress the importance of wearing your safety equipment, especially in the beginning. It doesn’t matter how cool or uncool you think it looks, your body won’t care when you’re getting stitches because you didn’t wear elbow pads, knee pads, or a helmet.
Take your time, and don’t rush into any skateboard tricks. Get comfortable with the previous trick and build some confidence. Once you nail a trick five times in a row, you can move on to the next technique.