How to turn on a skateboard


So you’ve got yourself a skateboard, and you’re ready to learn some moves? Great! Let’s dive right in! Skateboarding can be a thrilling and liberating experience, but first, you need to master the basics. This article will guide you through turning foot braking and carving on a skateboard, ensuring you get the most out of your new set of wheels.

Understanding Skateboard Anatomy

To start riding to begin with, let’s familiarize ourselves with the different components of a skateboard. This will help you understand how these parts work together to enable smooth turns and carves.


The skateboard deck is the flat, wooden, nose of the board that you stand on. It’s the foundation of your skateboard, and it comes in various shapes, sizes, and concave levels to suit different styles of skating.


The trucks are T-shaped metal components that connect the deck to the wheels. They play a vital role in turning and carving, as they pivot when you lift or shift your weight, allowing the board to ride with more pressure.


The wheels of a skateboard are usually made of polyurethane and come in different sizes and hardness levels (durometer). Softer wheels provide better grip, rolling while harder wheels are faster and slide more easily on flat ground.


Bearings are small metal pieces that fit inside the wheels, allowing them to spin smoothly on the trucks’ axles.

how to turn on a skateboard

The Basics of Turning on a Skateboard

Now that you have a basic understanding of your skateboard’s anatomy let’s move on to the essential techniques for skateboard turning.

Regular vs Goofy Stance

Before turning, determine whether you’re more comfortable riding with your left foot forward (regular stance) or your back right foot back, front foot further forward (goofy stance). There’s no right or wrong choice; it’s all about personal preference.

Weight Distribution and Balance

You must shift your weight and maintain the same position and balance to turn on a skateboard. Leaning towards the front of the board will make it turn and bend in that direction while leaning towards the back will make it turn the other way.

Turning Techniques

There are two primary methods of turning on a skateboard:

Tilt Turn: This is the most basic turning technique, where you lean your upper body and weight to one side, causing the board to tilt and turn in the desired direction.

Kick Turn: This technique involves pivoting on the feet and back wheels while lifting the front wheels off the ground. It’s more advanced and requires more balance and control.

How to Carve on a Skateboard

Carving is a smooth and flowing way of turning on a skateboard, which looks stylish and helps maintain speed and control. Here’s how to get started with carving.

The Importance of Carving

Carving a straight line is essential for navigating through various terrains and controlling your speed. It allows you to make smooth and fluid turns while maintaining momentum, which can be especially useful when riding downhill or around obstacles.

Initiating the Carve

To initiate a carve, start by first leaning forward in the direction you want to turn, transferring your weight onto the edge of the skateboard. As you further lean forward, the trucks will pivot, causing the board to carve along an arc.

The S-Curve

The S-curve is a fundamental carving technique that smoothly transitions between left and right turns. To master the S-curve, practice shifting your weight from one side of the board to the back leg the other while maintaining a consistent rhythm.

Carving on Different Terrains

Carving can be applied to various terrains, such as skate parks, streets, and downhill courses. The key is to adapt your carving style to the specific environment, paying attention to factors like grip, speed, and obstacles.

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how to turn on a skateboard - man on penny board

Tips for Improving Your Turning and Carving Skills

With the basics down, it’s time to refine your skills and become a more proficient skateboarder. Here are some tips to help you improve.

Adjusting Your Trucks

The tightness of your trucks can significantly impact your turning and carving abilities. Looser trucks allow for easier turns and deeper carves. In comparison to loose trucks, tighter trucks provide more stability but require more effort to turn. Experiment with different truck tightness levels to find the perfect balance for your riding style.

Practice Makes Perfect

As with any new skill, practice is essential. Dedicate time to practising your turning and carving techniques, gradually increasing the difficulty and complexity of your moves as you progress.

Learning from Others

Observing and learning from more experienced skateboarders can be invaluable. Watch videos of experienced skaters, attend local skate sessions, or seek advice from seasoned riders to learn new techniques and refine your skills.


Mastering turning and carving on a skateboard can unlock a world of possibilities in your skating journey. By understanding the anatomy of your skateboard, practising the fundamentals, and continually honing your skills, you’ll soon be carving up the streets and parks with style and ease. So, grab your board and get out there – the world is your skatepark!

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  1. How long does learning how to turn and carve on a skateboard takes? The learning curve varies for everyone, but with consistent practice and dedication, most people can learn the basics within a few weeks or months.
  2. Can I learn to turn and carve on any skateboard? While turning and carving techniques can be applied to most skateboards, some are better suited for these manoeuvres. For example, cruisers and longboards are designed for smooth turns and carves. At the same time, street skateboards require more effort to achieve the same results.
  3. Is it easier to turn and carve on a longboard? Longboards generally have more flexible decks and wider trucks, making turning and carving smoother and easier than traditional street skateboards.
  4. What safety gear should I wear while learning to turn and carve on a skateboard? Wearing a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads are highly recommended, especially for beginners. These will help protect you from injuries while learning new manoeuvres.
  1. How to Turn on a Skateboard: A Beginner’s Guide – Skateboarding HQ This beginner’s guide explains the basics of turning on a skateboard, covering techniques such as carving, kick turns, and tic-tacs with step-by-step instructions.
  2. Turning Techniques for Skateboarders – Skateboarder Magazine Explore various turning techniques for skateboarders, including carving, kick turns, and powerslides, with detailed explanations and helpful tips.
  3. How to Carve on a Skateboard – Transworld Skateboarding Learn the art of carving on a skateboard with this in-depth guide, featuring step-by-step instructions, tips for maintaining balance, and advice on improving your technique.
  4. How to Turn on a Skateboard: A Video Tutorial – Braille Skateboarding Watch this comprehensive video tutorial from Braille Skateboarding to learn how to turn on a skateboard, covering basic and advanced turning techniques with demonstrations and explanations.
  5. Kick Turns and Tic-Tacs: Mastering Skateboard Turns – The Ride Channel Discover how to master kick turns and tic-tacs with this helpful guide, offering detailed instructions, tips, and advice for perfecting these essential skateboard turning techniques.
  6. How to Turn on a Skateboard: Common Mistakes and Fixes – Skateboard Academy Identify and correct common mistakes when trying to turn on a skateboard with this informative article, featuring explanations and advice for improving your technique.
  7. Skateboarding 101: Turning and Steering – Skateboard Collective Learn the basics of turning and steering on a skateboard with this introductory guide, covering essential techniques and tips for maintaining control and balance.
  8. How to Adjust Your Skateboard Trucks for Better Turns – Skateboarding Made Simple Find out how to adjust your skateboard trucks for smoother turns and improved control with this informative guide, including tips on fine-tuning your setup.
  9. Turning Techniques for Different Types of Skateboards – Skateboard Guide Discover various turning techniques suitable for different types of skateboards, helping you choose the best method for your specific board and style.
  10. How to Turn on a Skateboard: A Visual Guide – SkaterTrainer This visual guide offers illustrations and step-by-step instructions for turning on a skateboard, making it easy to learn and perfect a variety of techniques.
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