How to push on a skateboard

Pushing on skateboard: one of the fundamental and most basic skateboarding techniques | Photo: Shutterstock

A good push-off technique allows a skateboarder to start moving and pick up speed fast. The following tutorial will teach you how to do it fast and easily.

One of the first things beginner skaters should do is figure out which way they will ride - with the left or right foot forward.

The natural stance is the most comfortable riding position. Having said so, you're either a regular or a goofy-footed skateboarder.

Once you've determined your stance, it's time to adopt a push-off body position.

The next step is to put your lead - or dominant - foot forward somewhere between the middle and the nose of the board.

The goal is to rotate your front foot on the deck while the rear foot comes off to push against the ground.

It's not rocket science, but it should be performed correctly, with the center of gravity split between both legs. The trick is to keep as much weight on the front foot as possible while pushing off on the ground.

You must only apply the necessary weight on the back foot to push the board forward. In other words, the pushing foot shouldn't be holding up the skater at all.

Now, try walking away with your lead foot on the board without gaining speed. Practice it until you're comfortable with long and smooth pushing.

Beginners will need a few minutes to get acquainted with the technique.

You'll know you're doing it right when your rear foot starts ahead of you and the board, and the push ends with the rear leg fully extended out behind the skate.

Practice really makes it perfect. When you're done, try steering the board with your front foot while pushing off.

Skateboarding: the most important thing when pushing skateboard is the stance | Photo: Shutterstock

Pushing Off 101

Are you comfortable with your stance when the board is not moving?

Perfect. Let's get into the details. Time to push off and get moving:

  1. Stand with your feet parallel to your board and next to the rear wheels;
  2. Place your dominant foot at the front of the skateboard just behind the front trucks, with the tip of your shoe at a 45-degree angle and over the bolts;
  3. Bend your front leg knee and lean forward;
  4. Bend your back knee slightly;
  5. Push off the ground with your rear foot;
  6. As the skateboard starts moving, and bring your back foot onto the deck, in a smooth movement;
  7. Use both arms to keep your balance on the board;
  8. Turn your chest perpendicular to the board and twist your front foot's heel so that it lies across the deck;
  9. Reposition your feet perpendicular to the board and skate away;
  10. Are you losing speed? Place your back foot again on the ground, push once or twice, and resume riding;

Are you going too fast? Remember that one of the basics of skateboarding is knowing how to slow down and stop a board.

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