How To Ride A Penny Board In The Right Way
Learning to ride anything can be hard at first. This is true for a bicycle, skateboard, and even penny boards. Luckily you are in the right place to learn the tricks and tips for riding a penny board. We will cover everything you need to know from what kind of shoes you should wear to how to stand. Then we will move into more advanced things like picking up speed and stopping. Read on to learn how to ride a penny board fast and easy. With the tips we provide you will be riding a penny board in no time, even if you don’t have any experience.
What is a Penny Board
So, before getting into how to ride a penny board we will first briefly cover what it is for those that don’t know. A penny board is in the skateboarding family. It is a board of various shapes with four wheels on it.
You can get them made out of all kinds of materials and all kinds of different ways that is too much to cover here. What you need to know though is that a penny board is just a skateboard that is shorter than a normal skateboard. Original penny boards are 22 inches, but now you can get variations on this.
Read this article if you are confusing between penny board and longboard.
How to Ride
Before going into exact detail on how to ride a penny board we are first going to provide a breakdown of what we are going to cover. That way if you are a little more advanced or have a specific question you can jump to that section. The topics about how to ride a penny board that we are going to cover are
- Footwear and Positioning
- Gaining Speed
- Slowing and Stopping
These categories are the main things you need to know and the order that we are presenting them is the most common order to learn them. That is because you don’t need to know how to stop if you can’t get going and you don’t need to learn how to go if you can’t balance and stand on the board. So, if you are just starting out we recommend reading the article in order and then breaking it down as you practice.
Footwear and Foot Positioning
Before you ever get on your penny board you first want to make sure you are wearing the right shoes. This is because you might get hurt if you are not wearing the right shoes. The best shoes to wear are closed toe shoes that have a flat sole. Having a flat sole helps you get a good grip on the board. Shoes such as Vans or Chuck Taylors that you see a lot of skaters wear work great which is why skaters wear them. If you don’t have a flat sole shoe that is okay. A good pair or tennis shoes will work. The key is to just make sure they are closed toe.
Once you have the right shoes it is time to put your feet on the board. There is no right way when it comes to which foot is in front. It is best to just do what is comfortable for you. If the right foot is in front this is called goofy position and if the left is in front it is just called regular, but it doesn’t matter. The key when placing your feet on the board though is to have the board on a flat surface. This way it won’t start rolling when you get on. When stepping on the board take whichever foot you want in front and put it on the board near the front at an angle. Keep your other foot on the ground till you are balanced. Once balanced you can place it behind the other foot at the same angle.
To know if you have your front foot in the right spot it should be between the four screws that are holding the trucks on. Once you have been riding for a while and are experienced though you can move the foot to wherever is comfortable. The great thing about skateboarding and riding penny boards is that you can do whatever works for you. The art of riding a board is all about what is comfortable for you and for you to be one with your board. Take the best longboards will help you learning easier.
The next thing before you even start moving is to get your balance right. The most important thing when riding a penny board is the balance. You want your feet to be in line with your shoulders to help you balance. Also, to help you balance it is best to have more of your weight on your front leg. You can do this by bending your knees and leaning forward a little. This is especially true when going around corners. If you are still struggling with balance, then you might have to use your arms to help you balance, but this can be a double edge sword because using your arms can also cause you to lose balance.
Balance comes down to feet position normally though. If you are still struggling with balance and are bending your knees and keeping the weight towards the front, then you might have to reposition your feet. Since people are different heights there is no one right foot position. For some, the back foot needs to be more horizontal than the front to help it fit on the board. If you notice your feet changing position and your balance getting better, then stick with that position. The key is to just take it slow on a flat surface such as your driveway until you figure out what balance method works for you.
Once you have the balance down it is time to start gaining speed and riding around on your penny board. The way you gain speed is you push with your feet. Most people use the back foot and they lift it off the board and then place the ball of the foot down on the ground. They then do a kicking pushing motion to build speed and then place the foot back on the board to cruise. You might have to do this multiple times at first to get speed or going uphill, but once you have speed you won’t have to kick or push as much.
Some people don’t use their back foot though and instead use the front. This front foot pushing method is called gonzo. Either method of pushing and kicking is fine. Again, it just comes down to whatever is comfortable for you. You can even gain speed going around curves without kicking. This is because your body’s momentum can be converted into board speed. We will cover this in turning next.
So, we mentioned that you can gain speed turning, but the main reason for turning is important is so you don’t crash. There are two main ways to turn. The most common way is leaning and changing your body position. This way is the easiest for beginners. If you want to maintain speed though when you turn, then you will have to use the other method which is with the kicktail. We will break down kickturns first since they are harder and then explain basic leaning turns.
For a kick turn, you put your back foot on the kicktail at the end of the board. You then press down on it hard enough to lift the front wheels off the ground. You then just swivel the board around the turn. This can be hard and takes practice. The best way to practice is in a stopped position and then slowly build up speed. Once you get good at it you can start turning this way faster and faster.
Until you get good at kick turns though you should do basic turns. Basic turns are done just by leaning whichever way you want to turn. You can push your toes into the board to help you keep your balanced. If you want to turn the opposite way you are facing, then you lean back. If you want to turn the way you are facing you lean forward. The leaning method is pretty easy to get a hang of especially if you have good balance.
If you are having trouble turning, then your trucks might be too loose or too tight. At first, you probably won’t know how you like them, but as you ride you will learn what feels good for you. If your trucks are loose it will be easier to turn and if they are tight it will be harder to turn. Don’t make them too loose though because then your board won’t be stable. Don’t make them too tight however either because then you won’t be able to turn.
So now that you have ridden and turned down the last thing to learn is how to stop. The first method of stopping which you might have found out by now is jumping off. This is not the best method because it can’t work if you are going fast. However, at slower speeds, it is an effective method. The next method that is a little more advanced is foot stop.
With foot stopping like the name implies you use your foot to stop. The foot you use is the one you push with. You take your foot and put it all the way down on the ground gently. You then just let it slide along. The friction will slowly slow you down. You don’t want to push too hard when foot stopping for a couple of reasons. One is you don’t want to damage your shoe. The other reason though of not pushing too hard if you don’t want to wreck. If you push too hard when foot stopping the board could stop suddenly sending you flying off.
If you need to stop faster than the footbrake method allows, then there is another method besides jumping off. That is stomping. With stomping, you use the same foot as you would with foot braking, but instead of dragging the foot you stomp it on the ground. You let it rest on the ground for a half a second before picking it back up and then smashing it down again. The stomping method is similar to foot braking, but it stops you faster without the risk of flying off the board.
So, now you know all you need to know for how to ride a penny board. You know all the tips and tricks to get you riding like an expert quickly. We covered what kind of shoes to wear and how to stand. We also covered how to balance on the board. After that, we covered on to get moving, how to turn, and most importantly how to stop. After reading this article you should be well on your way to riding a penny board. The key is that everyone starts as a beginner and you only become a master with practice. Also, remember that there is no one way to ride a penny board. The best advice is to just follow the tips here until you find a method that works for you. Without much time you will find the best way for you to ride a penny board.