T Nation

Skateboarding 101


Hi friends,

For those t-nationers that skateboard:

I want to learn how to skateboard. More so for cruising and transportation around town. I wouldn’t mind learning a trick or two, but Im not planning on doing triple somersaults around the skate park.

Im 6’2.

What type of skateboard should I be looking into. Would a longer/bigger skateboard be easier for me to learn on? Any recommendations?

Uncle Bird.



Sounds like you want a longboard not a skateboard.

I’ve had my run at both. I skateboarded up through high school. And switched to a longboarded for transportation in college.

Longboards are much better for getting around, and easier to learn. Also, I think, more fun.

Best way to learn is go into an empty parking garage at night. Start at the top and get used to carving and going faster.


Go back in time when you are 11 years old.


The longboard recommendation is the way to go. There are many companies from which to buy “completes” from, or you can buy each part separately from countless companies to create your own model.

Buying parts separately…

Choose a board that fits your riding style and your size. Go with at least a 38" board. If it’s just to cruise around, pick a cruiser or pintail. Some pintails come with a kicktail if you’re interested in that potential. Many boards are made with bamboo these days, and it’s got a nice resilience and response.

Wheels: If you intend to use it as transportation on the street and uneven terrain, be sure to go with a wheel durometer that is lower (softer). It’ll take small bumps and stones much better than a hard wheel. Also pick a wheel with a center-set core (Abec11 makes soft durometer AND center-set wheels).

Choose a wide truck, but you’ll have to get used to not hitting the wheels with your foot as you push-kick. lol A lot of guys choose the reverse kingpin truck, but I prefer the old standards.

Don’t forget wheel bearings, and risers (so your wheels don’t cut into the board in hard turns).

To buy a complete longboard, try companies like Sector9 and Quest… or just go onto warehouseskateboards.com.


You must not live in a warm coastal area?


I do live in a warm coastal area.

Thanks for the advice friends.

So if I go for a longboard, does that mean I cant do little jumps over curbs and cracks in the pavement?

Is a longer board easier to learn on? What about the size of the wheels?



Clunk gave you great advice.
I am an older dude @ 48. I bought completes from Sector 9 and was happy. I bought a longer long board (40"+) and a 36" pintail and enjoy both as transportation, and bombing hills (or parking garages). I surf so it is nice cross training. Longer boards you cant really jump or honestly I havent tried. My son (college age) has snagged some nice shorter setups from the local shop that he uses as both transport to and from class as well as skating ramps and bowls at the local skate park. I tried it and liked it. There are shorter wider boards now as well.

Sector 9 and Arbor have some pre-made setups or go the way Clunk stated.

My days of kick flips and tricks are through; for me its all about the glide and some ramps or bowls. Go get it…nothing beats a board under your feet!


Im looking at a Landyachtz loco. Apparently its a hybrid between a longboard and skateboard.

Should I get the 33" or 35"? Is that long enough? And is the 9" width too wide?



What are some of the other components’ specs?
I prefer a longer board (3 of mine are 45"). 9" wide should be fine.
Be sure to choose a wheel durometer (hardness) that’s 76 or lower… IMO.


Not sure about the other specs.

So Im assuming with a 45" board, that is to use for “longboarding” only, which from what I understand is for going down hills and cruising?



Yes, but it’ll be a really nice smooth glide around town, or campus, or whatever.


I just picked up a 41" dropthrough…not quite sure why as I’ve never skateboarded in my life but I figure at 44 it’s never too late to learn.

I’m having a blast with it so far riding around the local HS track and residential streets. Picked up some wrist guards too, to protect against a FOOSH*

  • Fall On an Out Stretched Hand.



Its fun, aint it?


Some good memories riding a skateboard as a kid. Tony Hawk, Bones Brigade, Venice boardwalk.

Dude just get a board and get to it. I learned while boarding to the mall or the movies, coming home from junior high school, or going to a neighbors half pipe.


I just moved out west and forgot my skate back east. I have a standard sized board. I would recommend a long board. They are quite fun for carving and cruising around. I am almost at the age where I don’t care for doing tricks but I still can do a couple aha.
I have a buddy who became a rmt due to his continuous injuries from doing tricks and just having brittle ankles. Another suggestion stretch your ankles with bands prior to riding. It feels so much better afterwards. There should be some good tutorials on YouTube as well if you need some visuals on board sizing and styles.


Hey Bird, another thing to consider when just learning is deciding which foot you kick with and its placement on the board, regardless of whether you’re left or right footed. As a kid I learned “mongo” which means I kicked with the foot that ended up leading (front) on the board. It’s not unusual, as many skaters (even some pros) do it that way. But, it’s easier to maneuver the slight adjustments when you learn to kick with your back foot.


Bumpity bump.

Im about to purchase my first longboard int he next few days.

While doing m research I have discovered these new electric skateboards. Thinking of getting one once I have mastered the basics on my new longboard. Anyone here have any experience with an electric board?



Nah. I’m too old-school for that. :slight_smile: