Skateboarding has no rules. Therefore, you choose which trick you want to focus on, and which ones you’d rather wait to learn for later. It varies depending on the person.
Starting at the basics is best for learning the fundamentals. Trying to kick flip on day one usually won’t help you to learn how a skateboard responds to your actions. Learning to ride is the first step and most important.
The Basic Flat-ground Tricks
If you’re still on the early phases of skateboarding, and yet to land your first kick flip. Some of these might come natural and others will require lot’s of tries, it’s all part of learning how to skateboard.
1. The Backside Shove-It
The Backside 180 Shove It consists in a 180° spin of the skateboard on its horizontal axis. The key lies in the scooping the foot. Place your foot on the front edge of the tail with your toes hanging out and push your foot back behind you.
Doing a proper shove-it is easier to perform than a decent ollie. Start with scooping your board standing still while following that move with your front foot. Once completing the full motion consistently, all you gotta to do is jump higher and put your back foot on.
2. The Ollie
The Ollie has revolutionized skateboarding sense it appeared in the 1970s. Allan “Ollie” Gelfand, invented a trick that allowed skaters to jump over obstacles without using their hands, or stepping out of their board. The Ollie ushered in a new era of street skateboarding. Rodney Mullen, a pioneer of street skateboarding, used it as the basis to every flip trick you can see today.
The Ollie is the action of jumping with your board stuck to your feet. To perform the Ollie, you want to snap your tail on the ground while rolling your front foot on the grip tape towards the nose. All this has to happen while jumping.
Don’t get discouraged if you can get it consistently during your first few months of skateboarding. The amazing thing about Ollies is that they’re so omnipresent in any tricks that you’ll polish them all throughout your skateboarding travels.
3. The Boneless
The Boneless is a simple trick. By grabbing the board with your back hand (left hand for goofy footed, right one for regular footed) while your front foot steps out the board and you jump off of it.
(Goofy-footers skate with their right foot at the front of the board and push with their left foot)
To learn you can break the steps down into three and practice them individually: bend your knees to grab the deck in the middle; put your front foot on the ground; jump and put back your foot before landing.
The boneless is still popular to this day. Back when the Ollie wasn’t a thing, skaters used to boneless to go up sidewalks and down gaps. Nowadays, riders mostly do them on banks and transition.
4. The Pop Shove-it
The Pop Shove-It is a combination of the Shove-It and the Ollie. The board does the exact same motion as a Shove It, except all four wheels lift off the ground and you catch the trick at its peak with the front foot. With this trick your back foot is doing all the work. The trick is to pop first and then scoop as soon as you hear the snap of your tail.
This trick combines both the concepts of scoop and pop. You’ll find the same back foot motion in a lot of more advanced tricks like varial flip, 360 Pop Shove-it and 360 flip.
5. The Frontside 180 Ollie
Popular opinion says that the best starter trick is the Frontside 180. Performed by doing an ollie while swinging your hips and shoulders in front of you, this will cause your board and body to spin 180° at the same time.
Rotations are harder to perform standing still. Speed helps to gain the momentum needed to complete the full 180. You will probably learn them by pivoting before being able to do the full rotation.
6. The Half-Cab
The Half-cab name comes from its creator, pioneer and long-time pro skater, Steve Caballero. He was the first person to land a fakie backside 360, nicknamed the caballerial, or full cab.
The Half-Cab, or if you know it by its other name the fakie backside 180, is a great introduction to backside rotation tricks. You will have an easier time completing the rotation than with regular backside 180. Start by pivoting fully at first to understand the shift of balance between your front and back legs.
7. The Fakie Bigspin
The Fakie Bigspin involves your board doing a 360 shove-it while your body does a 180.. You want to adopt the same foot positioning as for a regular shove-it. Lean slightly more on your front foot and keep your upper body open, ready to turn.
This trick shouldn’t take you too long to figure out. Going fakie helps to scoop the board 360, hence why Fakie Bigspins are much easier than regular ones.
8. The Nollie Backside Shove-it
The Nollie BS Shove-It has the same motion as a Regular Shove-It, except with this trick the deck turns around the front truck axle. Start by scooping your nose with your foot going straight in front of you, and jump at the same time.
The difference lies in the foot positioning. Instead of having your toes hanging off, place your front foot in the center of the nose. Then push in front of you while jumping sideways.
The Nollie Shove is a simple trick. Once you’ve understood the motion, the trick becomes even more effortless to scoop than normal shoves.
9. The No Comply 180
The No Comply name came from the first riders who could do the trick but didn’t comprehend it. No Comply. The trick resembles to a Frontside 180, However you place your front foot on the floor mid-trick. Some skaters might say it’s much like throwing a Frontside shove it in front of you while using the ground to jump back on it.
PRO TIP: Place lots of pressure on the back foot. So that when you take the front foot off, you get a solid and quick snap.
As with the boneless, the trick can be broken down into its 3 steps. First, put your front foot on the ground while staying with most of your weight on your back leg. Second, hit your tail as if you were doing a Frontside 180 then transfer your balance onto the front leg. Then, bring back your leg onto the front bolts.
10. The Backside 180 Ollie
The Backside 180 can be a harder trick to learn for most skaters. It can be to maintain your balance in the air when turning blindside. Be cautious of slipping out during the learning process.
To achieve this trick, you need a decent ollie and the ability to do backside pivot from the nose. Then turn 90° and revert your way to complete the full rotation. By repeating the process, you’ll turn more and more until you do the full rotation without the revert.