Basic Skateboard Tricks

What are the basic skateboard tricks?

The list of basic skateboard tricks is a little tricky to come up with! What's easy for one skater can be very hard for another! For example, I learned to Primo stand before I learned how to Ollie. For me, balance tricks like Manualing and all came a ton easier than flip tricks! But, even so, there are certain tricks that every skater should at least try and conquer. These are the basic skateboard tricks, and they're a good place to start if you're new to skateboarding, or if you've been skating for a while, and are looking for what to do next! Also, some skaters end up skipping whole types of basic skateboard tricks - that's OK, but if you want to be a well-rounded skater, and not lose every game of SKATE simply because you never learned to truck stand, for example, then this list is a great place to get some ideas for things to learn!

Kickturns

Photographer: Michael Andrus
Basic Skateboard Tricks. Photographer: Michael Andrus

Most skaters think that the first basic skateboard trick is the ollie, but it's not! That's a trap! The ollie can actually be difficult to learn for a lot of skaters, and most skaters will learn a lot better if they truly start with the basic skateboard tricks! And one of the MOST basic is the kickturn.

Kickturning is the name for when you need to turn quickly, and so instead of simply leaning and carving, you lift your front trucks off the ground, and pivot. Learning to kickturn takes balance, and the more you practice your kickturns, the better your balance will become!

Now, a lot of skaters don't even think of kickturns as tricks. It's more basic skateboarding 101 - and it's true, kickturns are step #8 in our Beginner's Guide to Skateboarding. But the truth is that a lot of brand new skaters might come across this list, and jump straight to it. But, if you can't kickturn, then I'd recommend working on that, first! Maybe even go back and check out the other steps in the beginner's guide, and make sure you have the balance and skill to tackle these harder basic skateboard tricks.

Where the kickturn becomes a full-fledged trick is if you can spin 180 degrees or more. If you can do a 360 kickturn, people will watch!

The Ollie

Photographer: Michael Andrus
Skater: Matt Metcalf. Photographer: Michael Andrus

The ollie is a very important trick to learn. The ollie is certainly one of the basic skateboard tricks, but like I said before, it can be a TOUGH trick for some skaters to learn. Other skaters might pick it up quickly, in just a few short hours. Others (like me) might take a YEAR! Don't stress it - skateboarding is all about you, your board and the pavement. Skateboarding is very personal. You've got to be OK with that, or you'll get frustrated, and then be tempted to give up!

Check out these step by step instructions for how to ollie. We've also got a TON more on how to ollie:

So. There's a LOT of help there with learning how to ollie!

Rock N' Rolls / Rock to Fakies

Photo: Michael Andrus
Skater: Tyler Millhouse. Photo: Michael Andrus

These are basic skateboard park or ramp tricks. The skater rides up a ramp, and at the very top, rocks his or her front trucks over the coping or edge. How the skater rides out of this trick is what determines whether it's a rock n' roll, or a rock to fakie!

If a skater rides up a ramp, rocks on the coping, and then rides back down fakie (the opposite direction the skater usually rides), then the trick is called a "Rock to Fakie" (read Learn How to Rock to Fakie to learn this trick). If the skater rides up the ramp, puts the front trucks over the edge, and then kickturns out and rides down the ramp in the skater's usual stance this is a Rock and Roll (read Learn How to Rock and Roll to learn it).

Rock to Fakie and Rock N' Roll are both very good basic skateboard tricks. With these, you can feel confident at the skatepark or around a ramp. Also, learning these tricks will open up all kinds of other lip tricks for you to learn!

50-50 Grinds

Photographer - Jamie O'Clock
Skater - Jamie Thomas. Photographer - Jamie O'Clock

The 50-50 grind is the first grind trick that most skaters learn, and is a great basic skateboard trick to learn.

The 50-50 grind is where the skater grinds the ledge or rail with both trucks. The nice thing about the 50-50 is that you can learn to do it on a curb, which is a pretty safe and easy place to practice. Check out these step by step instructions, and learn how to 50-50 grind!

Before learning to 50-50, however, you're going to need to be able to ollie. Skateboarding is like that - one trick builds on another.

Boardslides

Photographer: Seu Trinh / Shazzam / ESPN Images
Skater: Dayne Brummett. Photographer: Seu Trinh / Shazzam / ESPN Images

Boardslides are the first sliding skateboard trick most skaters learn - it's perfect for this list of basic skateboard tricks.

A boardslide is where you skate along next to something like a rail or curb, and then ollie up onto it. Your board lands sideways, with the object in the middle of the board, and you slide along down the rail or curb. At the end, you jump off the obstacle and ride away. Take a look at my step by step instructions, and learn how to boardslide!

Before learning to boardslide, you're going to need to know how to ollie, and you should be comfortable with turning your body.

Manuals

Manual Photo Credit: Michael Andrus
Manual Instructions - Dylan McAlmond manualing. Manual Photo Credit: Michael Andrus

The manual is a great basic skateboard trick to learn - mainly because it's a trick that you can ALWAYS improve on!

A manual is something like a "wheelie" on a bike. The skater balances on his or her back wheels, and continues rolling. A nose manual is similar, just off the skateboard's nose. The trick to manualing is balance, confidence, and just doing it. But be careful - it's very easy to lean too far back and launch your board out in front of you! In fact, you'll probably do it a time or two, so wear a helmet, and make sure you know how to fall safely. And once you're ready, take a look at our step by step instructions on how to manual, and get to it!