When you first start skating, the main objective is pretty much just to stay balanced on the board and learn how to move from Point A to Point B. What comes next is the truly clever part – learning tricks. More often than not, it’s this process that separates the true skate aficionados from the ones who just wanted an easy, fun toy to play with. So when it comes to skateboard tricks, what are the most crucial moves that will build up your talent and help turn you into a real pro?
Check out our top picks; we think a combo of street-skating and half-pipe tricks make for a pretty decent self-education.
1. The Ollie
After learning to stand properly, skate in a straight line, turn by shifting your weight and then turn via Kickflip, the Ollie is the first intensive trick that all skateboarders need to learn. This trick involves popping up the front lip of the board and getting some air, then landing back down with your feet in the correct position. It’s the start of many more complicated tricks, both on the street and in the skate park.
2. The Drop-in
Even if you are a dedicated street skater, there’s a lot to be gained from learning this most basic half-pipe trick. Dropping in is tricky and a bit frightening at first, but once you’ve mastered it you will have learned invaluable lessons about gravity and the relationship between you and your skateboard.
3. Half Cab
The Half Cab is a cool, smooth trick that has three basic components: The rider is facing the opposite direction he or she normally rides in; he Ollies; the board turns 180 degrees and together they land facing the normal riding direction and roll away.
Tony Hawk explains the Boneless trick as an old-school street skating trick whereby skaters would pick up their boards, jump over an obstacle and land back on the board. He says, “people used to do them on the street before they knew how to Ollie.” It’s still a functional and fun trick that should be in every skater’s repertoire.
The Kickflip is like a super-charged Ollie. Just like an Ollie, it can be done standing still or while riding forwards, except that during the jump the board flips completely around it’s long horizontal axis. It’s all about how your shoe presses down on the board during the jump. Just one more way to get over a curb!
6. Rock ‘n Rolls
This is the second half-pipe skating skill that every skateboarder should know – Rock ‘n Rolls are what comes after the Drop-in. As you ride on up the other side of the pipe and approach the ledge, pop your trucks over the coping and hold the lip of the board down with your front foot. Then rock back onto your back foot and rotate the board 180 degrees to ride back down.
7. 50-50 Grinds
50-50s can be used at the skate park or on the street – it all depends on what’s available to you. On the half pipe, the 50-50 comes into play when you pop both trucks along the coping and grind along to the other side before kick-turning back down into the pipe. On the street, curbside is where this trick gets used the most. When you’re feeling really confident? Take on the rails!
As you learn the basics, you’ll start to see how one simple trick turns into 5 slightly more complicated tricks – the process is never-ending and there’s always more to learn or invent. The best time to get started is right now!