Am I Too Old to Learn to Skate?

Elderly Man on Skateboard
Ben Clark/The Image Bank/Getty Images

A lot of skaters pick up their first board when they're in their teens. Many even younger. But then there's the late skaters; people who get interested in skateboarding later in life. If you are one of these people, you might be wondering if it's just too late for you.

There is no easy age limit for skateboarding. It all depends on how healthy you are. Most people can still learn to skate in some way - just don't push yourself beyond your limits.

Take it slow and easy, and wear pads.

I get this question the most from people in their twenties. In your twenties is when you start realizing that you aren't invincible, and you start to notice that you heal slower, and have less energy. But by no means are you done being active! You have DECADES of activity left in you! I myself didn't get really aggressive in skateboarding until my twenties, and here I am today! And, in case that's not enough encouragement, read about Daredog, a girl who decided to pick up skateboarding at the age of 20. Oh, and by the way, she's blind.

But maybe you are past your twenties, and really feel your mortality. Don't worry, you can still pick up skateboarding. Read about Dean, who started skateboarding at 39, and who has since been in local competitions with his kids!

And you can get a lot older than 40 and pick up skateboarding. There's no limit - the only thing holding you back is your actual physical ability.

If you can't walk, then you might have a harder time skateboarding. That's true. But, if you are healthy enough to try, then there is a skateboarding style out there for you. A lot of older skaters get into longboarding - that's skateboarding with a very long and large board. It's perfect for sidewalk surfing, a more relaxed style of skateboarding.

But, if the smaller trick boards are what interest you, go for it!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you start skateboarding past your teens:

  • Be honest - Make sure you can actually handle skateboarding. I know guys in their fifties who skate, but when you start in your fifties, it can be tough on your body. Make sure that you can handle it, and take it slow. Don't push yourself beyond your limits!
  • Relax - Don't worry if it takes some time to learn the basics. That's all right! Take your time, and enjoy the learning process. Don't stress about it. If you are learning with your kids, don't get frustrated if they learn to do something before you do - be happy for them! Relax, and take your time. There's no final goal in skateboarding. It's about having fun while pushing yourself.
  • Slower healing - The older you get, the slower you heal. And if you skateboard, you will get hurt. That's just part of the deal. But, if you take your time and don't push yourself past your limit, you should be OK. If you get hurt, then take the time to get better. And by all means, don't try anything beyond your level. Plus, always wear a helmet. You can wear other pads, too - don't worry about looking stupid. Your pride won't protect your elbows and wrists.
  • Equipment - As an adult, you might be able to afford better skateboarding gear. That's great! Go for it. Don't cut corners, if you can afford it. Make sure you get good skateboarding shoes that fit well and don't buy a super cheap skateboard. Get a good quality board.
  • Skate shops - A lot of your local skateboard shops are owned and run by older skaters. These are GREAT places to get help and advice. I mean, along with this website, of course! But seriously, I recommend telling them that you are looking at getting started but concerned about what to buy and what to do.