Skateboard Tricks: Ready to Land Your First Ollie? (Top 5 Essentials)

Learn skateboarding basics with our top 5 tricks guide, gear tips, and safety advice.

Street skating is a whole different beast compared to the mellow rides of longboarding. I’ve seen people in the park debate fiercely whether the deck or the kicks make the skater. What’s the first trick a newbie should tackle? You’ll learn the lowdown on beginner tricks that give you the street cred you need.

Key takeaways

  • Master the basics before attempting more complex tricks.
  • Proper gear and maintenance are essential for safety and performance.
  • Persistence and practice pave the way to skateboarding success.

So you wanna skate? Where to start…

When you’ve got the urge to skate, there’s nothing better than hitting the pavement and learning some slick moves. Before you prep for big air or grinds, let’s check out the first tricks you’re gonna want to lock down. Peep this curated list to start shredding like a pro.

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1. The ollie

The foundation of all street skateboarding tricks, the ollie, is where you and your board leap into the air without using hands. Sounds simple, right? But it’s all about that snap and timing.

Get your pop and slide down, and you’ll be ollieing stair sets in no time. Master this, and you’re on your way to more advanced maneuvers. If you’re still choosing your battle chariot, make sure to pick a board that’s got the right pop for you.

Hit up the guide to the best skate decks for street skating to choose wisely.

The ollie is crucial because it’s the gateway to nearly every other skate trick, including flips and grinds. It’s like learning your ABCs before writing poetry. Once you’ve nailed the ollie, other tricks become variations on this essential theme.

Always keep it cool, though. Focus on technique, not height—at first. And yes, expect a few slams and learn about common skateboarding injuries to stay safe.

2. Frontside 180

Doing a frontside 180 teaches you how to rotate your body and board a half turn. This trick helps you get comfy with directional changes while airborne—a key skill in street skating. It builds on the ollie, requiring a bit of a twist to get both the board and your body around.

Supplemental image for a blog post called 'skateboard tricks: ready to land your first ollie? (top 5 essentials)'.
Supplemental image for a blog post called ‘skateboard tricks: ready to land your first ollie? (top 5 essentials)’.

And hey, it looks pretty smooth once you’ve got it down.

What makes frontside 180 a great second trick? It gets you used to spinning, which will prove super handy as you progress. Rotational tricks are a mainstay in skating, and learning to coordinate your shoulders with your board’s spin is vital.

Commitment is key—hesitate, and you’ll bail. Level up your trucks with some quality options from the best skateboard trucks for beginners to ensure smooth turns.

3. Pop shove-it

The pop shove-it combines the ollie’s vertical action with a 180-degree board spin underneath you. It’s all about subtle footwork and timing. This trick gets you over the fear of letting the board do its thing while you’re up in the air.

Plus, it’s a building block for more complex variations as your skills advance.

Why learn the pop shove-it third? It introduces you to the concept of board control without your feet directly on the grip tape. Once you’ve got this down, your confidence will shoot up.

Remember to keep your knees bent and your balance centered. Need some gear that won’t let you down? Check out the best skateboarding wheels for optimum performance.

Supplemental image for a blog post called 'skateboard tricks: ready to land your first ollie? (top 5 essentials)'.
Supplemental image for a blog post called ‘skateboard tricks: ready to land your first ollie? (top 5 essentials)’.

4. Kickflip

The kickflip is where things start to get spicy. You’re ollieing, flicking your board with your front foot, and watching it flip underneath you. Catching it mid-air and rolling away clean feels epic.

This trick is the trickster’s bread and butter—get it right, and you’re officially not a rookie anymore.

Embrace the kickflip because it’s the first flip trick for many skaters, and mastering it feels like a rite of passage. It demands coordination, quick feet, and a bit of courage. But once you stick your first few kickflips, you’ll start to feel like a true skater.

Enhance your flick and footing with the best skate shoes for flat feet for that extra edge.

5. Heelflip

The heelflip is like the kickflip’s cousin—instead of flicking with the toes, you’re using your heel. It’s another flip trick that looks super slick and is immensely satisfying to land. It helps diversify your trick arsenal and introduces a new way to flip your board.

Skateboarding isn’t just about mastering tricks—it’s about embracing a unique rhythm of life where spills and thrills are both sides of the same coin. Wear appropriate gear, keep at it, and remember that every slam teaches you something new. It’s a lifestyle, a way to express yourself, and every time you land a new trick, it’s pure magic.

Opting for the heelflip after the kickflip makes sense—it’s about getting comfortable with the flip side, literally. It’s also a prime moment to get creative with your skating. With the kickflip and heelflip under your belt, you’ve got a solid base for tackling more advanced tricks.

So make sure your set-up is dialed by looking into the best skateboard bearings to keep those flips smooth and snappy.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Skateboard tricks: ready to land your first ollie? (top 5 essentials) | 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.

More skateboarding tips

Stepping on a board for the first time—or honing your skills—calls for a bit more than just running through the trick book. It’s a vibe, a lifestyle. Consider this list a cheat sheet to fast-track your skate progress and keep it 100.

  • Stay loose. Tension is a newbie’s worst enemy. Relax your body to improve your balance and flow.
  • Wear appropriate gear. Don’t skimp on skate shoes and safety equipment. It can make or break your skate session.
  • Maintain your board. Keep your setup in prime condition with a little TLC and the occasional board repair.
  • Patience, patience, patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is skate proficiency.
  • Visualize your tricks. See it in your mind’s eye before you attempt it on the concrete.
  • Record yourself. Watching footage can help you spot what you’re doing right or wrong.
  • Embrace falling. It’s part of skateboarding. The quicker you learn to fall safely, the better.

We all need a list of do’s and don’ts. Here’s yours for skateboarding to keep you rolling smooth and staying stoked:

Wear a helmet and safety padsSkip stretching and warm-up exercises
Keep your knees bent for better balancePush with your front foot (mongo push)
Learn to fall without panickingTry tricks beyond your skill level
Skate in designated areasSkate in wet or hazardous conditions
Watch tutorials and pro skaters for tipsIgnore pain or potential injuries

Skate smart, stay safe, and you’ll be tearing up the streets in no time.

Advantages and disadvantages of skateboarding

Skateboarding: it’s not just about getting from A to B, it’s about the thrill, the community, and the sheer stoke. But let’s not grind on rose-colored glasses—there are ups and downs as with anything you’ll love this much.


  • Improves balance, coordination, and physical fitness
  • Fosters creativity and self-expression
  • Builds a sense of community among skaters
  • Offers an alternative form of transportation
  • Encourages persistence and discipline


  • Risk of injuries, from minor scrapes to more serious ones
  • Can be expensive with gear, maintenance, and potential medical bills
  • Subject to legal restrictions in public places
  • Requires significant time and patience to improve
  • Weather dependent – rain can ruin a planned skate day

In my opinion, one of the most understated aspects of shredding on a skateboard is the way it sharpens your resilience. There’s a real beauty in the grit it takes to keep pushing after you’ve kissed the concrete more times than you can count. And hey, let’s get this straight—I’m no Tony Hawk, but from what I’ve seen at the local spots, picking yourself up after a bail, that’s where the true spirit of skateboarding lies.

Check out these tips on how to learn skateboarding as an adult because it’s never too late to start!

What also hits home for me is that skateboarding is as much about failure as it is about success. It teaches you to look at a challenge not as an obstacle but as an opportunity to get better. Falling down isn’t the end—it’s just a brief pause.

Getting back on the board means you’re learning, evolving, and inching closer to nailing that trick that’s eluded you thus far. It’s a testament to your determination, and that, my friends, is something you carry with you off the board as well.

If you are a visual learner, check out this video titled ‘THE 5 EASIEST SKATEBOARD TRICKS FOR BEGINNERS’

A video titled “THE 5 EASIEST SKATEBOARD TRICKS FOR BEGINNERS” from the “Braille Skateboarding” YouTube channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Is skateboarding more difficult for adults?

Starting as an adult poses unique challenges; things like flexibility and recovery time play a bigger role compared to kids. However, it’s entirely possible with patience and the right approach. Adults usually bring greater focus and determination to the table, which can accelerate learning.

Can I use any shoes for skateboarding?

It may seem trivial, but using the right shoes makes a massive difference. Skate shoes are designed with flat soles for better board feel and durability for repetitive friction against grip tape. Sneakers won’t cut it; invest in proper skate shoes to prevent injuries and improve performance.

How usually should I practice skateboarding as a beginner?

Consistency is key. Aim to skate several times a week to build muscle memory and improve balance. It’s not about marathon sessions but regular, structured practice.

As you progress, your body will adapt, and you’ll find your sweet spot for practice frequency.

Final thoughts

As you embark on your skateboarding journey, remember that every pro skater once stood where you are today—at the beginning. The road to smooth grinds and clean ollies isn’t paved, it’s a halfpipe with ups and downs. Embrace the ride, commit to the process, and most importantly, enjoy every moment you’re on that board.

Skateboarding is more than a sport, it’s a lens through which you’ll see the world differently.

What’s the next trick on your list to conquer? 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 helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading and keep pushing your limits!

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.

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Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

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