How to do a boneless on a skateboard

August 13, 2021 | Skateboarding
Boneless: the fundamental foot-plant skateboarding trick | Photo: Red Bull

The boneless is the fundamental foot-plant trick and can be performed on the ground, on flat banks, vert and mini ramps, or in a bowl.

Taking a foot off your board and then jumping back onto it as you drop in is a skill that any skater should master sooner or later.

Several similar maneuvers involve planting your back or front foot on the deck of the ramp or pool and grabbing the board with either your leading or rear hand.

The boneless is skate trick can be broken down into three major parts:

1. Bending down and grabbing the skateboard;

2. Planting the foot and jumping into the air;

3. Landing;

You'll feel that it is not easy - nor comfortable - to jump back onto the board from a standing position in your first attempts.

Most skaters find it easier to pull off a boneless than doing an ollie.

The truth is that being able to do it will open a broad range of possibilities and variations as you perform it over and into obstacles and even add flips.

Frontside boneless: a trick that can be performed on the ground, on flat banks, vert and mini ramps, or in a bowl | Photo: Red Bull

Bend and Grab, Jump and Land

You first need to feel comfortable and confident riding around and turning your board on a flat surface or smooth and gentle ramps.

If you can do it effortlessly, start bending down and grabbing the rails of the board while rolling, like surfers when they're setting up for the barrel.

Practice the grab with both hands, on the nose and tail.

Ready for the next training step? From a stationary position, hold the board with one hand and jump onto it.

In the early stages, you will want to feel comfortable with the air motion followed by a safe landing.

When it comes to feet placement, you should have them slightly away from the kicks, i.e., over the bolts.

The hardest part is taking your front foot off the board while grabbing the board. But it's really only a matter of practice.

You'll notice an awkward feeling - replacing the weight of your foot with your hand while you get the other foot off to jump into the air.

So, the challenge is to maintain the contact of your back foot with the board while jumping into the air off your front foot.

Once you're confident, you can try your first boneless while moving slowly before jumping fully in the air and then landing with both your feet on the board.

Boneless: a skateboard trick with many variations and styles | Photo: Shutterstock

Boneless 101

Ready to land your first boneless trick? Here's how to do it:

1. Push on your skateboard at slow speed;

2. Place your feet over the bolts;

3. Reach down and keep a very low stance;

4. Grab the board's rail with your leading hand;

5. Take your front foot off and plant it on the ground;

6. Jump into the air;

7. When you reach the highest part of your jump, put your front back on the board;

8. Maintain the skateboard more or less leveled with the ground;

9. Keep your legs slightly bent;

10. Land and roll away;

Extra Tips

Once you master the basics of the boneless, you can try doing it on obstacles, jumping higher, having your back feet on the tail, and tweaking the trick.

"The key to doing a boneless is to grab the board with your rear hand before you take your front foot off," underliner Per Welinder, author of the book "Mastering Skateboarding."

"You'll put just enough weight on your hand to keep the board on the ground as you slide your lead foot off to the heel side."

"Without your leg's weight on the board, its front end should rise up. While the board's nose is popping up, plant your lead foot on the ground."

"Lift the board off the ground with your hand while keeping your rear foot on the tail, and spring off your planted foot."

"The higher you jump off your lead leg, the more time you'll have to get that foot back up onto your board before it lands on the ground."

The variations and combos you can do include rotations, switching hands and feet for grabbing and jumping, performing it onto handrails and grinds, or over gaps and stairs.

Remember to start slowly, stationary, and training each part of the trick separately so that you can build muscle memory.