Time will vary from person to person. If you want to learn the basics just enough to push yourself on a board, it could take you two weeks or so, depending on how much you practice. If you intend on learning some basic tricks, you’ll need to practice for one to two months.
If you’re dedicated and practice every day, sticking with the basics, you’ll learn how to skateboard much faster. Technical tricks will take more time, dedication, and effort to master, tricks like ollies, heelflips, kickflips, and shuvits. Let’s find out exactly what it takes when you’re first learning how to skateboard.
What Does It Take To Learn How To Skateboard?
First things first, if you already have athletic abilities, you will have an upper hand when learning how to skateboard. If you’ve learned how to balance on other boards, bikes, skis, or whatever, it won’t take you any time at all to learn how to on a skateboard.
We will use the time benchmarks as someone who is of average athleticism. Let’s dig in!
Learning The Basics Of Skateboarding
We’ll break this down into time segments that it should take you to learn each maneuver. This timeline will teach you the amount of time it could take to learn these moves at a very basic level, but it will still take much more time and practice to perfect them.
Before learning the very basics, you may want to learn whether you should ride the skateboard in a regular or goofy stance. But remember, try both briefly just so you can be sure.
- Balancing On The Board – 10 Min
You can learn how to balance in just a few short steps. First, lay your board down on a carpeted area, a mat, or a patch of grass, so it won’t roll.
Stand on your skateboard with both of your feet over the bolts, keeping your weight centered on the board. Now, lean your weight towards your toes and then to your heels. Get used to how your board reacts to your weight shifting.
Next, you’re going to want to bring your skateboard out to a driveway or parking lot and do the same thing. Because you’re on concrete, the board will roll forward or backward. Continue gently shifting your weight from one side to the other as you get used to the board’s natural movements.
Pushing On Your Skateboard – 30 Min
Now you want to get your skateboard moving. Leave your back foot on the ground, stepping on the front bolts (above the front truck) with our other foot.
Hold most of your weight on your front foot, pushing yourself with your back foot. It should feel a little bit like a shuffle. Just try to keep you and your board moving, allowing your back foot back onto your skateboard, above the rear bolts.
Pushing is possibly the most important part of learning to skateboard and oddly, it is often overlooked by new skateboarders.
If you take this advice, it shouldn’t take you long to get good at pushing on your board. However, the best way to perfect it is to keep practicing and skateboard around as often as possible.
Learning How To Turn On A Skateboard – 10 Min
So turning is an essential part of learning how to skateboard and it’s pretty easy. You may often hear it referred to as “carving” but we’ll just call it turning here.
Do you remember in step 1 when you learned how to balance on the board? You began shifting your weight from your heels to your toes. That’s exactly how we’re going to turn on our skateboard while it’s in motion.
Push your board and then lean towards your toes or your heels. You should begin a wide turn towards whichever way your weight leans.
Stopping On A Skateboard – 10 Min
Stopping on a skateboard can mean avoiding serious injuries. That’s why learning how to stop is the most important part of learning how to skateboard in my opinion.
Option 1 – The easiest way that you can stop is by putting your least dominant foot down, allowing it to drag and slow you down. Try this a few times before moving on to the next option.
Option 2 – Put all of your weight on the tail of your board, letting it drag across the ground.
Option 3 – Put all of your weight onto the tail of your board and turn your hips 90 degrees. This will look super cool but can take a little bit more getting used to.
Each of these options will help you establish your balance on your skateboard.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Skater?
If you just want to learn how to ride enough to push, carve, and stop then it will only take you a couple of weeks to learn.
If you are hoping to learn the basics of a particular kind of skateboarding (street, vert, park, or freestyle) then it will take you a few months. And if you want to be a dedicated skater at the local park, or attempt to get signed, it will take you a few years of practice.
That being said, a real skater will never stop practicing or learning.
Practice Skateboarding As Often And For As Long As Possible
To really improve your skills as a skateboarder, you should aim to practice for at least an hour every day. Start by riding up and down a smooth street that has little to no traffic and continue doing this until you’re completely comfortable.
Just keep skateboarding. Have somewhere to go? Use your skateboard to get there. Ride your board everywhere that you can, even if you’re still struggling.
Once you feel 100% confident in your riding, stopping, and carving, you’re ready to start learning some tricks.
Tricks may take you a while to learn, depending on your athletic abilities, how often you practice, and the difficulty of the trick. Try going to your local skatepark and ride up and down their ramps. Don’t try anything crazy, just get feel the vibe and flow.
It can take years to get good enough to be able to ride a bowl and kickflip off the ramps, but you can do it if you remain determined and practice.
Being A Good Skater Takes 10% Muscle, 40% Skill, And 50% Guts
In my opinion, skateboarding takes about 10% muscle, 40% skill, and 50% guts.
You need to be physically fit to perform tricks, and that’s all going to be up to your muscles and muscle memory. You’ll be weak at pushing and popping up the board in the beginning but your leg and core muscles will continue developing over the next weeks and months.
It will also take some time to develop the skills and muscle memory to move your limbs fast enough as a reaction. You will no longer need to think about your next move but do it instinctively.
The last 50% is your guts or fearlessness. This is because you’re going to fall. A lot. Especially when you’re learning how to do tricks.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Tricks On A Skateboard?
There are a few things to consider when wondering how long it will take to learn tricks, including your comfortability, and difficulty of the trick.
You’ll also need to consider your coordination, flexibility, level of fitness, how often you practice, and how fearless you are. All of the above will impact the amount of time that it takes you to learn new tricks. Either way, don’t get discouraged. It’s important that you learn at your own pace and only attempt a trick that you think you’re comfortable with.
You can always push yourself a little further once you’re ready.
Simple Tricks You Can Learn Before An Ollie
Okay, so you’re comfortable with the basics and now want to learn a couple of tricks, I get it. These won’t be the flashiest tricks but they will help you get more comfortable and develop more control.
Attempt these tricks on carpet or grass if possible, this way it won’t hurt as much if you fall. Most of these tricks will only take about 10 minutes or so to learn, as long as you’re comfortable with skateboarding basics.
- Tic Tacs
Your Equipment Can Make A Huge Difference
If you’ve read other articles on my blog, you’ll know I always say to stay away from cheap equipment. You can still get a good skateboard for a great deal, just make sure that you’re purchasing quality parts from trusted brands.
Beginners might not notice this a lot, but over time, you will get frustrated with your cheap skateboard and parts. Depending on the style of skateboarding that you’re interested in, you’ll want to consider some different options for your setup.
You’ll need a different setup for cruising, skateparks, downhill, vert, and street. This will basically come down to your wheels, trucks, and size of the board.
Speeding Up Your Progress
You can speed up your process by skating with others, especially skaters that are better than you. You’ll progress much faster as a skateboarder by learning from your peers and listening to their feedback.
Even if they can kickflip, don’t attempt it right away as it can slow your progress. Try sticking with basic tricks that you’re comfortable with. As you accomplish these tricks, other more difficult tricks will start to get easier to learn.
Practice as much and as often as you can, but remember to take breaks when you start getting frustrated and sloppy. Sometimes your brain and muscles will take extra time to get used to new movements and tricks. That being said, it could be tomorrow that it all flows and starts to makes sense.