Finding Your Style: Exploring Different Skateboarding Disciplines for Beginners

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Hey there, fellow shredders! If you’ve just stepped onto the thrilling world of skateboarding, you’re in for an epic ride. As a beginner, finding your style might seem like a daunting task. Fear not! In this article, we’ll dive into the exhilarating realm of skateboarding disciplines. Whether you’re into street skating, vert ramp madness, or freestyle tricks, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to discover a whole new level of stoke as we explore the different skateboarding disciplines tailored specifically for beginners. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of skateboarding disciplines in a way which is perfect for beginners, including how to find your stance. 

From street skating to park skateboarding, vertical to freestyle; each discipline offers its own unique challenges and thrills, allowing you to unlock your true potential on a skateboard. By trying out different styles, you’ll not only discover what resonates with you but also develop a solid foundation in skateboarding skills. So, let’s embark on this rad journey and find the perfect skateboarding discipline that suits your style!

Street Skating: Navigating Urban Terrain 

When it comes to street skating, the world is your playground! Imagine zipping through city streets, finding hidden spots, and turning everyday objects into your own skate park. Street skating is all about creativity, adaptability, and using the urban landscape to showcase your skills. In this section, we’ll explore the basics of street skating, including foot positioning, ollies, grinds, and flip tricks. We’ll also provide tips on finding skate spots and staying safe while shredding the streets.

Get ready to conquer the concrete jungle! Street skating is the ultimate urban adventure, where the city becomes your canvas and every curb, rail, and set of stairs is an opportunity for creativity. In this discipline, you transform the urban landscape into your very own skate park, using your skateboard as a tool for self-expression. 

To kickstart your journey into street skating, it’s essential to master the basics. Let’s begin with foot positioning. As a beginner, you’ll typically place your front foot diagonally across the skateboard with your toes angled slightly toward the nose. Your back foot will be positioned near the tail, providing stability and control. Experiment with foot placement to find what feels most comfortable for you and allows you to execute tricks with confidence.

Finding Your Stance: Are You Regular or Goofy?

Determining which foot belongs on the front of a skateboard is called finding your “stance.” There are two primary stances in skateboarding: regular (left foot forward) and goofy (right foot forward.)

To help figure out your stance, you can try the following simple tests:

  1. The Kick Test: Have someone gently push you from behind, or find a slight incline. Whichever foot you naturally kick forward to catch your balance is likely your front foot on the skateboard. If you kick with your left foot, you’re likely to have a regular stance. If you kick with your right foot, you probably have a goofy stance.
  1. The Slide Test: Another method is to slide on a smooth surface in your socks. The foot you naturally place in front to slide is likely your front foot on the skateboard.
  1. The Jump Test: Stand with your feet together and jump straight up. The foot you instinctively place forward when landing is likely your front foot on the skateboard.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong stance – it’s about what feels most comfortable and natural to you. Once you’ve determined your stance, you’ll know which foot goes on the front of the skateboard, and you can set up your board accordingly to start riding and honing your skills!

Now, let’s dive into some fundamental street skating tricks. The ollie is the foundation of many tricks and involves popping the tail of your skateboard while sliding your front foot up the grip tape to level out the board in mid-air. It’s the key to getting your board off the ground and opens the door to a world of possibilities. Practice your ollies until they become second nature, as they will serve as the building blocks for more advanced tricks.

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Mid-ollie. Photo Credit: Freerange Stock, Pexels


Next up, flip tricks add flair and style to your street skating repertoire. Tricks like kickflips, heelflips, and varial flips require you to manipulate the board’s flip and spin while in mid-air. They showcase your technical prowess and creativity. Remember to practice these tricks in a controlled environment, gradually progressing to different surfaces and heights as you gain confidence.

Finding the perfect skate spots in your local area is crucial for an exhilarating street skating experience. Explore your city, keep an eye out for potential spots such as skate parks, plazas, empty parking lots, and ledges. Observe other skaters and learn from their approach to spots. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with fellow skaters and build a community around your shared passion.

Embrace the freedom of street skating and unleash your inner street skater. It’s a discipline fueled by creativity, adaptability, and the thrill of discovering new terrain. Remember to always skate responsibly, respect private property, and be mindful of pedestrians. Street skating is an incredible journey where you can truly make the cityscape your playground. So, grab your board, hit the streets, and let your imagination run wild!

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Street Skating. Photo Credit: Badar, Pixabay

Park Skateboarding: Carving the Perfect Lines 

Skate parks are the heart and soul of skateboarding culture. These purpose-built playgrounds offer an array of ramps, bowls, and rails for riders to conquer. Park skateboarding focuses on fluidity, transitions, and mastering tricks in a controlled environment. We’ll delve into the fundamentals of park skateboarding, such as dropping in, pumping, carving, and tackling various obstacles. Additionally, we’ll discuss skatepark etiquette and how to make the most out of your sessions, as well as connect with fellow skaters in this vibrant community.

Skate parks are where the essence of skateboarding culture comes alive. These purpose-built havens provide skaters with a thrilling playground filled with an assortment of ramps, bowls, and rails, designed to push your skills to the limit. Park skateboarding is all about flow, seamless transitions, and the pursuit of mastering tricks in a controlled environment.

When it comes to park skateboarding, one of the first skills to conquer is dropping in. This exhilarating maneuver involves rolling down a ramp or dropping into a bowl from the coping. It requires balance, confidence, and the ability to commit to the descent. Start by finding a smaller ramp or bowl to practice dropping in, gradually working your way up to more challenging features.

Pumping is another fundamental aspect of park skateboarding. It involves using your body’s movements to generate speed and maintain momentum on transitions. By flexing and extending your legs and shifting your weight, you can harness the energy of the transitions to keep your speed and flow through the park. Mastering pumping is key to maintaining speed and fluidity, allowing you to link tricks and navigate the park with ease.

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Ian Clarke dropping in, Pier 62 NYC. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Carving is an art form within park skateboarding. It’s the art of smoothly riding the curves of a ramp or bowl, using your body and board to generate graceful turns and arcs. Carving adds style and finesse to your lines and enhances the overall flow of your runs. Practice shifting your weight and using subtle adjustments to steer your board, allowing you to carve with precision and control.

In addition to the technical aspects of park skateboarding, understanding skatepark etiquette is essential. Respect the flow of the park by waiting your turn and being aware of other skaters around you. Be mindful of the lines others are taking and communicate with fellow skaters to ensure a safe and enjoyable session for everyone. Embrace the camaraderie of the skate park community, support and encourage one another, and be open to learning from more experienced skaters.

Making the most out of your skatepark sessions involves finding the right balance between pushing yourself and enjoying the experience. Set goals for each session, whether it’s mastering a new trick or improving your flow through a particular line. Take breaks when needed to rest and recharge, hydrate, and stay energized. Remember, skateboarding is about having fun, so enjoy the process and celebrate your achievements, big or small.

Skate parks offer a vibrant community where skaters of all levels can connect and share their love for the sport. Strike up conversations, make new friends, and soak in the collective energy and passion that permeates the skate park atmosphere. The skateboarding community is known for its inclusivity and support, so don’t hesitate to reach out, ask for advice, and share your own experiences.

Skate parks truly embody the heart and soul of skateboarding culture. They provide the perfect playground for riders to hone their skills, push their limits, and express their creativity. So, lace up your shoes, drop in with confidence, and immerse yourself in the exhilarating world of park skateboarding. Embrace the fluidity, conquer the transitions, and become a part of the vibrant skate park community that fuels the passion of skaters worldwide.

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Matt Paogh takes a run at Cheri Lindsey Skatepark, Binghamton, NY. Photo Credit: Library of Congress Public Domain Archive


Vert Skating: Embracing the Heights

Prepare to defy gravity and experience the heart-pounding thrill of vert skating! If you’ve ever watched in awe as skaters launch themselves into the air on massive ramps, you’ve witnessed the exhilaration that comes with this adrenaline-fueled discipline. Vert ramps, characterized by their steep inclines and vertigo-inducing heights, are a mecca for skateboarders seeking an intense and gravity-defying experience. In this section, we’ll delve into the art of vert skating, guiding you through the essential techniques, safety considerations, and strategies for conquering the vertical world.

To begin your journey into vert skating, mastering your skatepark skills including the drop in and pumping is essential. Start with a smaller ramp or utilize the practice features at your local skate park to hone your drop-in technique before progressing to larger and steeper ramps. Pumping for speed is a fundamental skill in vert skating. This technique involves using your body’s movements to generate momentum and maintain speed on the transition. By flexing and extending your legs, shifting your weight, and using your arms for balance, you can harness the energy of the ramp and propel yourself with precision and control. Mastering the art of pumping allows you to maintain speed and fluidity, enabling you to execute higher and more impressive tricks.

Vert skating is synonymous with jaw-dropping aerial maneuvers that defy the limits of what seems possible on a skateboard. Tricks like grabs, spins, and flips take center stage in the vert realm. Grabs involve reaching down and grabbing the skateboard while in mid-air, adding style and flair to your aerial maneuvers. Spins refer to rotating your body or board in various directions, creating visually stunning displays of skill and control. Flips encompass a range of tricks where the skateboard performs rotations along its horizontal or vertical axis. These awe-inspiring tricks require practice, determination, and a solid foundation in basic skateboarding skills.

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Mike McGill at the X-Games. Photo Credit: Wiki Fandom, Creative Commons


When it comes to vert skating, selecting the right ramp is crucial. The size and shape of the ramp can greatly impact your experience and progression. As a beginner, starting with smaller ramps with mellow transitions allows you to build confidence and master the fundamentals. As you gain proficiency, you can gradually transition to larger and more challenging ramps, each offering new opportunities for growth and pushing your limits.

Safety should always be a top priority in vert skating. Wearing appropriate protective gear is essential to mitigate the risks associated with high-flying maneuvers. Helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards provide vital protection and instill confidence as you venture into the vertical world. Additionally, practicing on well-maintained and properly constructed ramps ensures a safer and more enjoyable skating experience.

Building confidence in vert skating takes time and perseverance. Start by setting achievable goals and gradually increase the difficulty of tricks and heights you attempt. Remember that progression in vert skating requires patience and dedication. Celebrate each milestone, no matter how small, and learn from each attempt, whether successful or not. Surround yourself with supportive skaters who can offer guidance, motivation, and valuable insights as you navigate the challenges of vert skating.

Now that you have a glimpse into the thrilling world of vert skating, it’s time to strap on your helmet, tighten your pads, and embark on an incredible journey of defying gravity. Push your boundaries, embrace the rush of soaring through the air, and let your passion for vert skating elevate you to new heights. With practice, determination, and a fearless spirit, you’ll conquer the vertical world and experience the true essence of vert skating.

Freestyle Skateboarding: Unleashing Your Creativity 

Freestyle skateboarding is where imagination takes center stage. It’s all about creating your own style, incorporating dance-like moves, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on a skateboard. In this section, we’ll dive into the world of freestyle skating, exploring flat ground tricks, manuals, slides, and even some legendary old-school maneuvers. We’ll emphasize the importance of creativity, flow, and personal expression, allowing you to carve your own path within the skateboarding community.

Freestyle skating is the ultimate platform for self-expression, where you have the freedom to craft your own unique style and break the mold of traditional skateboarding. It’s an art form that seamlessly blends dance-like movements, technical trickery, and a dash of freewheeling innovation. In this section, we’ll immerse ourselves in the captivating world of freestyle skating, delving into the various elements that define this discipline.

At the heart of freestyle skating lies the realm of flat ground tricks. This is where you can unlock an endless repertoire of maneuvers, flips, and spins without the constraints of ramps or obstacles. From the fundamentals like kickflips, shove-its, and ollies, to more complex tricks like 360 flips, varial heels, and inward heels, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and determination. Spend time perfecting your board control, mastering the art of flicking, and finding your own signature twist to each trick. Let your creativity flow and embrace the joy of honing your skills on the flat ground canvas.

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Kickflip. Photo Credit: Moka Jou, Pexels


Another essential aspect of freestyle skateboarding is the art of manuals. Manuals are all about maintaining balance and control while riding on two wheels, whether on the front or back. From manualing in a straight line to incorporating manuals into your flat ground routines, this technique adds grace and fluidity to your style. Explore variations such as nose manuals, manual kickflips, and manual combinations, seamlessly connecting tricks and showcasing your ability to maintain control and balance.

Slides, also known as grinds, are an integral part of freestyle skateboarding, adding an element of technicality and style to your repertoire. Whether it’s sliding on the edge of curbs, ledges, or rails, slides allow you to showcase your board control and creativity. Experiment with different slide variations, such as boardslides, lipslides, and tailslides, and explore the possibilities of combining slides with flips and spins for added flair.

Freestyle skateboarding is also deeply rooted in the rich history of the sport, paying homage to the legendary old-school maneuvers that have shaped the discipline. From bonelesses and no-complies to caspers and handstands, these classic moves add a nostalgic touch to your freestyle repertoire. Embrace the heritage of freestyle skateboarding and explore the unique challenges and rewards that come with mastering these iconic tricks.

In freestyle skateboarding, personal expression takes center stage. It’s a platform that encourages you to unleash your individuality and embrace your own skateboarding identity. Emphasizing creativity, flow, and innovation, freestyle skating allows you to carve your own path within the skateboarding community. Experiment with different combinations of tricks, explore unconventional lines and spaces, and let your passion guide you as you push the boundaries of what’s possible on a skateboard.

Remember, freestyle skateboarding is not just about nailing tricks or achieving perfection. It’s about embracing the process, finding joy in the journey, and expressing yourself through the fluid movements of your board. Explore the uncharted territories of freestyle skating, let your imagination run wild, and revel in the beauty of personal expression within this captivating discipline.

Skateboarding is all about self-expression and finding your own style. By exploring different skateboarding disciplines as a beginner, you open up a world of possibilities. Whether you prefer the gritty streets, the smooth ramps, or freestyling your tricks, there’s a discipline that suits your personality and skillset. Remember, skateboarding is not just a sport—it’s a lifestyle. So, embrace the adventure, push your limits, and most importantly, have a blast while doing it. Find your style, skate with confidence, and enjoy the ride!

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