How to Do a Boardslide? A Beginner’s Guide

Get stoked to land your first boardslide. A stellar guide to launch from newbie to pro in the skateboarding world. Be fearless, be rad.

Have you ever watched in awe as a skater in your neighborhood park smoothly executed a boardslide? Brushing off your envy, what if I told you that, in no time, you too could master the boardslide?

What is a boardslide skateboarding trick?


A boardslide in skateboarding refers to a trick where the skateboarder rides along an obstacle (like a rail, ledge, or curb) with the middle portion of the skateboard’s deck, specifically the space between the front and rear trucks, sliding along the obstacle. In contrast, the skateboarder stands on top of the board.

Image of a skateboarder boardslide skating on a red rail.
Image of a skateboarder boardslide skating on a red rail.

Here’s a breakdown of how the boardslide is typically performed:

  • Approach the obstacle: The skateboarder approaches the obstacle at a slight angle, readying themselves to ollie (jump) onto it.
  • Ollie onto the obstacle: As the skateboarder nears the obstacle, they perform an ollie to lift the board off the ground.
  • Turn the board: In mid-air, the skateboarder turns the board so the deck is parallel to the obstacle. This sets the middle of the board up to slide along the obstacle.
  • Slide: Once on the obstacle, the skateboarder slides along it with the middle portion of the skateboard’s deck. The wheels and trucks are not in contact with the obstacle during a boardslide.
  • Dismount: After sliding the desired distance, the skateboarder turns the board back in the direction of travel and lands back on the ground, riding away.

There are many variations of the boardslide, such as:

  • Frontside boardslide: Where the obstacle is approached from the front, and the skateboarder turns backside (with their back facing the direction of travel) to slide.
  • Backside boardslide: Where the obstacle is approached from behind, and the skateboarder turns frontside (with their chest facing the direction of travel) to slide.

This is a foundational trick for many skateboarders, and mastering it can lead to learning more complex slide and grind variations. As with all skateboarding maneuvers, safety equipment like a helmet and pads is recommended, especially for those just starting.

Where should you begin practicing?

Before even thinking about shredding a big rail, you might want to keep things a bit more grounded. Start with the old parking blocks you often find in public parking lots. They’re short, low rails—a perfect way to learn the ropes. The surfaces are smooth, so even if you fall, injuries are less severe. They also provide you with it at your own pace and focus on getting the balance right.

How to nail a boardslide on your skateboard

So, you’re stoked about mastering the boardslide? Awesome choice! This trick is iconic and a solid way to add flair to your street or park sessions. But before you sail down that rail or ledge, let’s break down the steps to get you sliding smoothly.

Choose the right spot

First things first, find a suitable spot to practice. Ideally, start with a flat bar or a low curb. It’s essential to get comfortable with the motion before moving on to higher rails. Remember, every superhero has a beginning, and Spider-Man didn’t start by swinging between skyscrapers!

Get the right speed

Speed is crucial. Not too fast, not too slow—just right. Approach the rail with enough momentum to carry you across, but not so much that you’ll overshoot or lose control. Think of it as finding the Goldilocks zone for your board slide.

Position your feet

Your front foot should be close to the front bolts, and your back foot near the tail. This foot positioning allows for better control during the slide and makes it easier to bail out if things get sketchy.

Pop and turn

As you approach the rail, bend your knees and pop an ollie. Simultaneously, turn your board 90 degrees to parallel the rail. This motion will get you into the slide position. And remember, commitment is half the battle. You’ve got this!

Exit with style

As you approach the end of the rail or feel your momentum slowing down, prepare to exit the slide. Turn the board back to its original position and land smoothly, bending your knees to absorb the impact. And just like that, you’ve completed a board slide!

Bonus Tip: Wear protective gear. Trust me on this one. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Plus, no one likes unnecessary road rash.

Tips for boardslide skateboarding

You’re looking to master that sick board slide, huh? Pretty dope choice, I must say! But like any cool skate trick, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Here’s a quick rundown of some killer tips I picked up during my boardslide journey:

  • Start slow: I can’t stress this enough: before trying it on a big rail, practice on smaller ledges. It’s a safe bet and helps you get a feel for the movement.
  • Balance is key: Your weight should be pretty much centered on the board. Lean too far forward or backward, and you’ll slam.
  • Foot position: Your front foot should be near the bolts, while your back foot should be on the tail. This gives you solid control and makes adjusting mid-slide a bit easier.
  • Eye on the prize: Look at the end of the obstacle you’re sliding over. It’s crazy how much this helps.
  • Exit strategy: Think about how you’ll land before starting the slide. This will definitely save you from some sketchy situations.

Dos and don’ts of boardslide skateboarding

Starting with board slides can be a bit nuts, but it’s all part of the skateboarding journey. To make things smoother for you, I’ve laid out a quick table of the dos and don’ts. These are the golden rules I wish someone had told me when I was just starting.

DosDon’ts
Start with a flat bar or low rail.Don’t lock only one truck. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Wear protective gear.Don’t lean too far back.
Commit to the slide.Don’t forget to bend your knees.
Boardslide dos and don’ts
Image of a man boardslide skating on a rail near the skateboarding bank.
Image of a man boardslide skating on a rail near the skateboarding bank.
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My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

How to do a boardslide? A beginner's guide | 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.

My boardslide struggles

The first time I tried a boardslide, it was… well, I’m not a big fan of how that turned out. It was at the local park, on this hella low rail. I thought, “This is a solid choice for my first slide.” But, yeah, right. I took a gnarly slam that left me with a bruise for days. But you know what’s insane? That fall was a turning point for me. It made me realize that I had to respect every trick, no matter how “simple” it seemed.

Honing the boardslide

Just as learning to ollie opened new avenues for me, nailing the boardslide can transform your skating game. Starting with the basics, i.e., practicing on parking blocks, practicing on a rail under 6 inches, and finally onto more advanced rails, the journey is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride!

…the golden key to mastering boardslides or any other trick for that matter is consistent practice.

It was during one of those practice sessions that I realized how the world lacks detailed, beginner-friendly guides on how to boardslide. I hope my two cents on this topic were helpful to you, and no, I ain’t no skateboarding guru; I am just a fellow learner sharing my experience and hoping it takes you one step ahead in your boardslide journey. Skate on!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some other questions you may have on your mind. These will help clarify any doubts you might have about picking up the boardslide trick.

How important is choosing the right skateboarding gear?

Indeed, the right gear in skateboarding makes all the difference between a solid performance and a disappointing slam. For instance, the board type can greatly influence your trick execution. Notably, paying attention to your skateboard bearings can help you figure out how fast a skateboard can go.

What does getting the angle right entail?

Getting the right angle in your approach to a boardslide is paramount. It refers to the angle at which you approach the rail or ledge. A correct angle, like 45 degrees, sets you up for a smoother landing and a graceful slide trick.

How does the mental aspect affect the trick’s performance?

Skateboarding is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Having a positive mindset and the courage to fall and rise again enhances your overall experience. Tapping into the mental health benefits of skateboarding can give you that extra confidence boost you need.

Final thoughts

So, there you have it, folks. Everything you need to know to start sliding around like hot butter on breakfast toast! Remember, to ace a boardslide, all it takes is an ollie jump of faith and a slippery slide of determination. Did I cover everything you wanted to know? I read and reply to every comment. So, if you’ve got questions or just want to share your first boardslide success story, hit me up in the comment section. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered everything about mastering the boardslide trick. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Beginners should start practicing on parking blocks
  • Transitioning to rails under 6 inches is the next step
  • Advanced skaters can opt for complex surfaces
  • Using skate wax facilitates an easier slide
  • Taking safety measures like wearing helmets can prevent injuries
  • The right angle of approach is a prerequisite for landing a smooth boardslide

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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