Learning to skateboard as an adult (Part 1 - Buy a board)

March 20, 2022

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Urgent message to all my fellow action-boys: you can skate! Perhaps not YET, but that's what we gonna fix here today!

In the town i grew up in nobody was into skateboards. Europe mid-2000s kids had rollerblades. Very basic rollerblades and no smooth asphalt to skate them (at least in my case).

So, like many others, I would play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 on my PC and then go ride rollerblades or a bike, predictably resulting in "0 childhood learnt skateboard skills" (but still a rather happy childhood overall, lol)

In 2015, curious, I got on a skateboard in a sports goods shop. My friend told me: "you're going to break a leg, all the skaters always do", so i bought fucking rollerblades, again.

That's lesson #1: Shitty friends bring you down

Fast forward to 2022 - I am almost 30 and I've been skating since January 2019. Wish I did this earlier! Skating is fun and Berlin is a great place to skate!

If you're still hesitating: man up, get a skateboard, life is too short to be indecesive.

landing an ollie

short frame-by-frame example of me MANING UP

Which skateboard to get

There's plenty of quality info online.

Assuming you're a beginner, and you're in Berlin, go to Titus on Zoo or on Alex The dudes there gonna answer all your questions.

Here's my short answer to all the questions in the world:

Buy a skateboard. Most probably you want a 8' deck or bigger.

A "complete" (skateboard deck assembled, with trucks and wheels) from Globe is ~80eur new.

That's as cheap as it gets. Expect your initial investment to be anywhere between 80-120eur (once you start selecting prettier deck graphics and such - price goes up). And please, for the love of God, stay away from no-name chinese skateboards from amazon or woolworth and such. They're no good.

Deck size, height of the trucks, size of the wheels etc are all a matter of a habit, a personal preference. Is "deck-A" better than "deck-B" for a beginner? - For a beginner, there's no difference! Buy one. Try it out for yourself. Get a different one in half a year if you're curious, or ask a friend to try his board. That's how you build personal preferences!

It will take time, you will have multiple setups if the hobby sticks. Start with a complete that feels better to you in the shop and START SKATING.

If you have another 10-20eur on top of that - buy softer wheels.

Your complete is very likely to come with hard wheels (99A or harder). Those are good on smooth concrete or wood, in a skatepark. On a regular street with rough asphalt and cracks softer ("cruiser") wheels will go faster and feel smoother. Soft wheels are quiet too.

90A and lower are "soft". Personally I really like these.

Skate shoes make a difference too. Get some or use old indoor sports shoes with a flat sole.

What about longboards, penny-boards, surf-skate trucks and so on? Dirt- and mountainboards, cruisers, electric skateboards? Finger- and hand-boarding?

Not a subject of this write-up.

Ok, so you have a skateboard, now what ?

Go skate!

It's good to have a friend that will explain you the basics. Click here to skate with action boys (for free!!!!) or take a little workshop in Skatehalle with real professionals!

Most price-efficient option would be Blockkurse am Wochenende. That's how i started and i definitely can recommend it.

2019 me

The instructors all speak english and are very cool in general. Boards and pads can be rented and i think were included in the price of the Blockkurse. If "kids to adults" ratio makes you uncomfortable - bring a friend or a date with you!

If you don't have a date OR a friend - adults DO take these too. There's a good chance you'll make some friends on the spot. Just don't be a weirdo, you weirdo!

Where else to skate

On a rainy day - Skatehalle or any parking lot of Kaufland or IKEA you can sneak into. Be ready to be asked to leave by security guys, that's part of the hobby too!

If the weather is dry - literally almost EVERYWHERE. My favorites are: Heidelberger Platz, this spot in Tempelhof and Berlin Bowl just to name very few.

Check @streetspotsberlin for more.

Any youtube videos for beginners?

There're definitely some! Purists and elitists are gonna hate me, but I recommend searching for all the topics on Braille Skateboarding channel.

Love myself some braille skateboarding, in general. Very cute content. I've even purchased "Skateboarding made simple" and followed all the steps ever since. Bite me.

My very personal advice

Move at your own pace.

There're always gonna be wankers talking about "being able to kickflip when they were 5", yelling "do the kickflip" in the street or asking you if you can kickflip/ollie/%other trick name% first thing they see you with a board.

By the numbers, the majority of people who will learn any flip-tricks are the people who were practicing for years.

Some dude "learning to kickflip in 48hrs" on youtube or a friend of yours who landed his first one in 2 months are exceptions to the rule. My journey isn't too exceptional so far. All I got - I got through practice and persistance.

Skateboards, just like scooters and rollerblades are toys. Toys are for kids, to play with. Some nerds were playing with their skateboard 30 years straight or more. Their level of mastery isn't a baseline, don't expect to reach those heights on your first day, week, month, year or EVER.

There are hundreds of hours of fun even before attempting to pop your first ollie, all accessible to you.

My goal was never "to land a kickflip in 1 week and explode in a cloud of awesomeness". What i want is "to keep skating". Think about that.


You will fall and you might get hurt.

If you think about wearing pads and a helmet - it's always a good idea.

Warm-up a bit before skating, don't do things that are way too over your head and watch this mega educational video from JAWS himself.

"step 1 - assess the situation" is an inside joke between me and friends for years now

Closing words

There's more skateboard content yet to come to this blog.

Thanks a lot for reading and if I have convinced you to start skating - reach out and let's go skate!