Before you can start landing crazy tricks off a half-pipe, you need to know how to get the board going in the first place.
Pushing off is one of the least talked about skills in skateboarding, but it’s essential to getting where you want to go.
Here’s how you can learn to master the art of pushing off so you can finally start focusing on doing something a bit cooler with your time.
How to Push on a Skateboard
To push on a skateboard you will need to position your front foot forward on the board and use your back foot to apply enough pressure on the ground to move your entire body forwards. You can push multiple times in a row to go faster but you will need to build up your balance.
Position Your Front Foot
When you are pushing off your front foot is going to do most of the balancing.
Make sure it’s in a good position on your board, right around the front trucks, maybe a bit behind them.
Instead of having your foot at a 60-degree position on the board like you would have when you’re normally riding, you should have it in the exact same direction.
Your foot should be parallel to the board resting on the top. This will allow you to naturally move your entire momentum forwards as you push and it won’t put your body in an awkward position.
If anything happened while you were pushing off, your body and feet would already be facing forward.
Falling would mean that you would just have to keep running forward at the same speed you’re going on your board.
If your foot was faced sideways while pushing off, you would need to try and shift it in time to plant on the ground without taking a tumble.
Push Off With Your Back Foot
Once your front foot is settled, you’ll have your back foot on the ground ready to push.
I recommend giving yourself a little rocking motion at first to get some momentum going. Rock back slightly and then, when you are ready, push off the ball of your back foot to move your entire body forwards.
Once your right foot lifts off the ground, your entire weight will be shifted to your front foot and you will need to balance on your front foot till you either put both feet on the board or go for another push.
That’s why it’s so important your front foot is placed in the center of the board instead of to the left or right.
The harder you push off your back foot the faster you will go so I recommend starting off really slowly.
Just give yourself a slight push to head forward without any real speed. Get used to balancing on one foot while moving forward.
Once you feel a little more secure, you can slowly start to increase the pressure you apply to the back foot.
Pushing Off Several Times
You have a decision to make when you push off for the first time, either gather more speed or bring both feet back onto the board to ride out the momentum.
If your decision is to push more, then you’ll need to be prepared for what might happen.
As you push off for the first time and bring your leg back around to the front to push off again, your body will start to experience shifts in weight.
The taller you stand during the process, the harder it will make to balance on one foot.
If you crouch down and bend your knees, you should be able to start pushing more without wobbling.
Two or three times is usually all you will need to get the board moving in the direction you want with a decent amount of speed.
Bring Both Feet Back on Board
When you decide you’re at the speed you want for the moment, it’s time to bring both of your feet back on the board.
Once the back foot completes your push-off start bringing it back to the back of the board near the trucks.
Whenever it rests on the board, shift your front foot back to the 60-degree angle you would normally use for riding.
It’s important not to do these two steps simultaneously. Ideally, you want to have the back foot back on the board and stable before moving the front foot at all.
Otherwise, you have no real stability and it could cause you to fall off the board more often.
Eventually, your momentum will slow down and you’ll need to shift the front foot, take the back foot off, push off, and then bring both feet back on again.
As you keep practicing, the easier and more routine this gets. Soon enough, it’ll be second nature to push off when you need to.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Push on a Skateboard
What Is Pushing on a Skateboard Called?
When you push with the backfoot it is called pushing but when you decide to push with your front foot it is called mongo pushing. Mongo is used in a derogatory way to beginning skaters who push with their front foot.
How Long Will I Learn Pushing on a Skateboard?
If you can practice consistently it should only take you about 2-5 days to learn how to push off on a skateboard. To feel very comfortable and to be able to push as much or as hard as you want could take 1-2 weeks.
Pushing a Skateboard
Pushing a skateboard is one of the most essential parts of skating and using the tips above will help you master the skill in no time.
Just remember to start slow and build up speed from there because the faster you go the more difficult it will be to learn.