10 Things You Should Never Do in Skateboarding: Essential Tips for Skaters

Skateboarding enthusiast? Learn the crucial 10 things to avoid for a safer, enjoyable, and more improved skateboarding journey. Don't miss out!

A lot of things happen when you’re on a board, from cruising downtown to popping tactical tricks and even, if you’re feeling a bit daring, car surfing. The possibilities are limitless, yet there are certain things that skateboarders—especially novices – just shouldn’t do. In this post, we’ll explore things you should never do in skateboarding. Not because it’s uncool, like pushing Mongo or doing a lame ‘mug grab,’ but rather because these habits could seriously mess with your skate session or pearly whites.

What are the cardinal rules that you should never break in skateboarding?

Think of skateboarding as a thrilling dance on wheels. It’s dynamic, exciting, and oh-so-fulfilling once you nail a trick right. But amidst all the fun, there is a method to the madness. Savor these tips if you want to improve your performance while dodging sketchy situations drastically. Our list is designed to keep you safe, speed up your learning curve, and ultimately help you become a more proficient skateboarder. So, let’s dive right into it!

Image of a skater jumping over a yellow caution cone. Source: unsplash
Image of a skater jumping over a yellow caution cone. Source: unsplash

1. Inconsistent foot placement

Foot placement is practically the lifeblood of your skateboarding trick repertoire. Every little inch of movement can transform the trick completely. Do you want your ollies to soar higher? Consider nudging your front foot a bit further back, allowing your board to ascend in the air as your foot drags it upwards.

Now, experimenting with foot placement is definitely part of the journey when you first start. Once you find your sweet spot, though, you’ll want to keep that consistency. I’d go so far as to say that 80% of skateboarding is muscle memory, so having a consistent foot placement brings predictability and control to your tricks. It refines your technique and optimizes your board’s response to your moves.

2. Skating flamboyantly with elderly bearings

Did you know letting your bearings age like a finely brewed wine is something of a high-stakes gamble not worth taking? If you’re not a fan of losing teeth or craving a boost of adrenaline, here’s a tip: always be on top of your maintenance game right down to your bearings.

Skaters have a love-hate relationship with their old bearings. Yes, there is a thrill to it, especially when they make those almost demonic noises, warning of an imminent breakout. But trust me, it’s not worth it. First, having a bearing break on you is rare, but it’ll catch you off guard when it happens. Skating on really old bearings or bushings leads to inconsistent responses while turning or landing tricks.

3. Shying away from new and intimidating skate locations

A skateboarder’s journey is filled with fascinating locations, from unknown skateparks and gnarly DIY projects to awesome street spots. Yet, these places can sometimes be a bit intimidating, especially if they’re home to larger features than what you’re used to.

“You should never let the fear of new spots deter you from embracing them.”

You should never let the fear of new spots deter you from embracing them. I found a spot with a perfect set of five stairs, but you’ve only been jumping two or three? Don’t hold back! Challenge yourself and explore the unknown. That’s where growth happens, and trust me, by the end of your session, your intimidation will have flowed out through your sweat.

4. Thoughtlessly sending it

While challenging yourself is the key to progress, recklessly attempting something significantly beyond your comfort zone can result in unpleasant consequences—gnarly wipeouts and injured pride included. Though a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, the skateboard can become extremely unforgiving if used thoughtlessly.

While trying new things is encouraged, diving headfirst into potentially dangerous situations dolled up as ‘sick moves’ should be avoided. Patience and desired progression go hand-in-hand in skateboarding; keep it safe!

5. Being afraid of falling

Alright, let’s face it: if you’re into skateboarding, you’re going to take a few tumbles. It’s part of the game. Being afraid of falling, however, can seriously hinder your progress in the sport. We can’t stress this enough: spills and falls are integral to learning and improving in skateboarding.

Image of a skater wearing safety gear while riding a skateboard in the skatepark. Source: unsplash
Image of a skater wearing safety gear while riding a skateboard in the skatepark

If you’re in constant fear of falling, that could hold you back from trying new tricks or skating in more challenging spots. Instead, learn how to fall properly, get back up, dust yourself off, and take another crack at it. Trust me, the victory lap when you finally land the trick is worth every bruised elbow and scraped knee.

6. Ignoring safety gear

Safety gear might not scream ‘cool’ in the traditional sense, but you know what’s truly ‘uncool’? Fractured bones and hospital bills. Whether you’re a beginner still figuring out basic ollies or a seasoned vet eyeing a half-pipe, protective gear should always be part of the equation.

Skating without your safety gear is a shortcut to disaster. It’s more than just an accessory; it’s your armor against the rough-and-tumble world of concrete, rails, and ramps. Even experienced skaters appreciate the value of good safety gear—helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards—they all play a critical role in keeping you safe while you skateboard. Tools of the trade, if you will.

7. Not paying attention to skate etiquette

Skateboarding is a community activity, and like every community, it comes with its set of unspoken rules. Skating willy-nilly without regard for others is a surefire way of finding yourself on the wrong side of the skatepark.

Etiquette on the board matters. When you disrespect the rules of the skatepark, you’re not just risking your own safety but also those around you. Be courteous to other skaters, wait your turn, and always stay aware of your surroundings.

8. Neglecting board maintenance

Your board is more than just a wooden deck on wheels; it’s practically an extension of yourself. Ignoring its maintenance is similar to ignoring your personal health—not cool.

Taking care of your skateboard extends its life, improves your performance, and can prevent injuries. Regular maintenance, like cleaning your bearings, checking your trucks’ tightness, or replacing worn-out grip tape, will ensure your board is always park-ready.

9. Copying styles blindly

Every skater has an idol. And while it’s great to take inspiration from them, imitating their styles blindly won’t help you develop your own skating identity. Each skater has a unique style; emulate, don’t imitate.

Developing your style is an integral part of the skateboarding journey. It comes with time and experience, but when it does, it makes your skating stand out. It becomes a part of your individual identity, uniquely you.

10. Skating too fast, too soon

Skateboarding is a sport of tricks and stunts, speed and thrill. But trying to skate too fast, too soon, can lead you down a not-so-pleasant road. Trust me on that. Remember, there’s no rush. Take it slow, and get comfortable with your speed. Don’t rush into bombing hills if you’re not confident with your abilities yet. Master the basics and work your way up – progress will come with time and patience.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

10 things you should never do in skateboarding: essential tips for skaters | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

Why is following skatepark etiquette important?

For those uninitiated, skateboarding etiquette is merely a set of unwritten rules followed when sharing a skatepark, a street spot, or any skating community. It’s about understanding simple things like giving way to the skater on the run or not setting up for a trick while someone else is in motion.

Here’s why it matters. Imagine a busy skatepark with skaters flying past each other, all trying to land their tricks. Without any form of etiquette or rules, things would quickly descend into chaos. The skatepark would turn into bumper cars but with skateboards and concrete instead of comfy rubber-clad vehicles. Quite unsettling.

Skate etiquette can make or break your skateboarding experience. Here’s a handy table to quickly go through the dos and don’ts.

Take turnsSnake other skaters
Respect the localsDamage skateparks
Be mindful of your surroundingsLeave your stuff lying around
Help othersSkate drunk or under influence
An overview of the basic dos and don’ts of skate etiquette

My skateboarding story

Everyone’s skateboarding journey is unique, and mine has been a rollercoaster of wipeouts, triumphs, and countless battle scars – reminders of my incessant clash with the laws of gravity. In the beginning, I believed that mastering the tricks fast-track would herald my swift rise to become the next Danny Way or Chris Joslin.

Reality, however, had a different game plan. I’ve had my fair share of gnarly spills and sketchy drops. Yet even in my most embarrassing moments of face-planting in front of my peers, the takeaway was crystal clear – skateboarding is an art, not a race! The real trick was to take it slow, enjoy the ride, and most importantly, learn from every fall. Skating was my teacher, and every wipeout was a lesson in humility.

“Skateboarding is an art, not a race! The real trick is to take it slow, enjoy the ride, and most importantly, learn from every fall.”

In this Wile E. Coyote-esque quest of mine, I understood that precision, patience, and embracing the community are far more important than imitating the pros. After all, each fall, each ‘fail,’ was a step forward on my path to becoming a better skateboarder.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Curious about some of the ins and outs of skateboarding? So are many others. Below are the answers to some common questions that both newbies and seasoned skaters often ask.

Can I skate barefoot?

Skateboarding barefoot might seem tempting, especially on a hot, sunny day. However, it’s not recommended mainly due to the risk of foot injuries and lack of grip and control on the board itself. Check out skateboarding myths for more insights.

Is learning skateboard tricks hard?

Absolutely, yes. Mastering a trick can be challenging and requires dedicated practice and patience. Check how to improve your skateboarding style for inspiration on refining your technique.

Do I need a different skateboard for street and park skating?

Typically, the boards used for street and park skating may differ slightly in shape and size. It all comes down to personal preference and the style of skateboarding you wish to pursue.

Is skateboarding a good workout?

Yes, it is. Skateboarding is a full-body workout, targeting various muscle groups and enhancing balance, flexibility, and cardio health.

Final thoughts

Skateboarding is a wonderful, exciting, and challenging sport. There are a few standard practices and guidelines to follow as a skater, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or have been carving asphalts for years. With every ollie, kickflip, or grind, remember to skate with respect – for yourself, your board, and those around you. And while we’re at it, don’t forget the fun of skateboarding!

What’s your favorite skateboarding trick, and why? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article useful, share it with a skater friend and check out my super rad blog for more tight-knit tips and nifty tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered the things you should never do in skateboarding. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Consistency in foot placement is crucial for mastering tricks.
  • Maintenance of your skate bearings is not something to overlook.
  • Skateboarding etiquette and courtesy are integral to the skateboarding community.
  • Comfort with falls and failure is part of the skateboarding journey.
  • Nurturing your own unique skate style brings out your individuality.
  • Don’t rush your progress. Patience is key in skateboarding.
  • Wearing safety gear should be non-negotiable.
  • Regularly maintaining your skateboard extends its life and performance.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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