In this article you'll learn the main points and key objectives to learn these 5 longboard tricks for beginners:
- Pivot (nollie or fakie)
- Shove-it (nollie or fakie)
- No-comply 180
- Kick flip
- Ghostride flip
The goal here is to provide you a solid foundation on technique and learn these tricks as fast as possible.
We brush over briefly on longboards that are advantageous for learning and progressing in freestyle and tricks. Look for a board that has a tail that is longer than 3 inches, and offers a generous width to support your foot and momentum you generate. Currently I'm riding the Moonshine Hoedown.
Other notes to add here - if you can improve your cruising both in your dominant stance, and in switch, your chances of learning these tricks improves dramatically.
Hey everybody! My name is Merv Walker. I’ve been in love with longboarding for over 10 years now. It’s granted me experiences globally, and friends and new found family all over the world. It’s a true passion of mine, and I’m very excited to share this new project we’ve been working on.
I make an effort to meet as many new longboarders and skaters that I can whenever I’m out. They say the world is only as strong as the community’s that we build, and as the Head of Docksession Seattle I truly believe in this.
I’ve taught hundreds of people how to skate through different organizations and through the grapevine. And today, I’d like to share with you my 5 tips on how to get started doing tricks on your longboard.
5 Easy Longboard Tricks for Beginners
1. Pivot (Fakie/Nollie)
Focus your weight on your foot that is on the nose of your board. You can do this nollie (dominant front foot on nose), or fakie (non-dominant front foot on nose). I learned my first pivots fakie.
In order to execute this trick you will need to weight the nose of your board, and utilize your shoulders and upper body to engage the pivot.
You will find that the amount of weight on the nose will determine how much your wheels drag across the floor. The more weight you put on your nose, the less controlled, but easy it will be to move the board, I call this the “whipping” motion of the pivot.
You can enhance the control of your pivot by lowering the amount of weight you engage on your nose, and force more of a “sliding” pivot motion. This type of pivot is what you’ll see very experienced longboarders use time and time again. This allows you to pivot at high speeds, control your rotation, and engage your pivot into other tricks.
Focus on learning both the whipping and sliding motion of the pivot. This will develop the muscles required for learning many other advanced tricks (big spin, no comply bigger spins, full cabs etc.).
I highly recommend learning all 4 types of nollie/fakie pivots as soon as you can. These are fundamentals that will help you build into all other facets of skating.
2. Shove-it (Fakie/Nollie)
The technique of the nollie/fakie shove-it is nearly identical to the nollie/fakie pivot. If you can nail a very controlled, sliding pivot, it will be very easy to learn this trick.
The only difference between the pivot and the shove-it is the jumping motion. You will engage a sliding pivot, and instead of turning your shoulders, you’ll hop right when the board turns 45 degrees.
I’d recommend jumping as little as possible, and popping the board as little as possible when you start. Focus on jumping with both feet, and catching with a single foot upon landing. This gives you the ability to bail off on your other foot if you catch the board wrong.
This trick may still seem intimidating considering it may be your first aerial trick. If you are still having trouble, do a pivot, and a body varial the opposite direction immediately afterwards. This motion is very similar to the shove-it, and eventually you will be able to engage both simultaneously, and landing the shove it.
Have fun with it, be patient, but it shouldn’t take too long to learn this one if you’ve mastered your pivots :)
3. No-comply 180
The no-comply 180 is one of my favorite tricks. I love the overall utility of this trick. It acts almost as a push in the way that you can generate speed and momentum out of it. It also gives you options to move to a switch stance, or engage a variation or combination out of it. It's very fun.
On top of this, this trick can be learned in a very low risk manner. You can learn this trick completely stand still and have the stage set to learn it moving.
Practice kicking your board 180* from your tail. You want to focus on kicking this to your opposing hip. If you are regular, kick it to your left hip (or 6’o clock), and if you are goofy, kick it to your right hip (or 3’o clock). Its important to get it this far to the side as this will give you the optimal amount of confidence in landing the trick. Kicking the board directly in front of you will give you a lot of trouble, and will be very difficult to land.
Once you can get the kick perfect, and catching the board on your opposing hip every time. Focus on doing the same motion stand-still, but also jumping simultaneously with your back foot. This can be intimidating, if so, feel free to take an extra step or two on the ground, or catch the board and push off with your back foot. Ideally you can pop the board, and jump at the same time, and land back on with both feet starting from stand still.
Once you are moving, utilize all the techniques that you’ve practiced earlier. Focus on popping that board to your oposing hip and jumping at the same time as the pop. You should be able to get this trick no problem! Try moving slowly before you haul a** and try it.
4. Kick Flip
The kickflip is a great trick, and also a fundamental for advanced tricks like the big flip, varial flip and many more. It will give you a lot of confidence in learning other tricks that pop from your tail, and there may not be anything more satisfying than your first kickflip.
To begin, your foot placement should be pretty centered. Shoulder length width, I’d recommend not having too wide or narrow of a stance, but it is all up to preference. A square stance works the best in my opinion.
This trick is simple in nature, but can be very intimidating. Focus on popping the board up from the tail. Get comfortable popping the board up and jumping with it. Once you get this down, try to pop, jump, and kick the board downwards with your big toe. I’d recommend doing a “no-comply” kickflip to begin with where your front foot that kicks steps off. This will allow you to learn the flick of the board without risking your feet as much.
Eventually, you’ll get the flick and the no comply kick-flip pretty consistently. From there, all you need to do is force your body to jump as you pop and flick the board. This will take some time. Focus on getting that flick perfect before you begin jumping as this will enhance your confident significantly.
5. Ghostride Flip
The ghost ride flip is a really fun, and very simple trick. You essentially kick the board while you are “ghost riding” are walking next to it. There are many variations and ways to do this, but the easiest IMO is to step behind your heel side edge of the board, and flip the board from there.
You can practice this stand-still and get the flip consistently. Focus on putting your foot under the deck, then lifting it - rather than kicking. If you kick the board instead, you will likely hurt your foot and that is obviously not ideal.
Focus on flipping the board diagonal to where your body is, or in front of where you are going to jump. This will allow you to roll away with speed. If you flip the board perpendicular to your body, it will be difficult to continue with your forwards momentum.
If you are having trouble with this trick at all, definitely feel free to take more than 1 step off of the board before you flip it.
I hope this was helpful for you all. I have a big love for all longboarders out there. Always feel free to reach out to me on Instagram at @mervymerv_. I respond to almost all my messages!
If you have any other questions, always happy to chat.
With that being said, stay hungry, stay happy, and give your friends a high five when this whole COVID-19 thing is over.
Merv walker signing off.