How to Surfskate for Beginners: 3 Tips to Start Surfskate Pumping
If you’re a beginner just learning how to surfskate, these three tips will help you start surfskate pumping quickly.
For more live surfskating tutorials, get my video course, “Surfskating for Non-Surfers.”
How to Surfskate for Beginners Tip #1: Get the Proper Surfskate Foot Position
1. Keep your front foot behind the front trucks.
If your front foot is positioned too far forward on your surfskate, your surfskate truck will jackknife and you will be tossed. If your foot is too far behind the front truck, surfskate pumping will be harder because you won’t get as much propulsion or lean out out of your surfskate.
2. Place your toes on the edge of the board.
If your foot is placed to where your heels are hanging off the edge of the board and your toes are not aligned with the edge of the board, your surfskate pumping will be heavily heel-sided. This means you’ll get more pump when you push down on your heel, and less when you push down on your toe.
When surfskate pumping, you want to apply equal force to heel side and toe side. To do this, your toes must be right on the edge of the board instead of hanging off the edge.
3. Slightly angle your front foot.
This allows you to get more flexibility with deeper knee bends.
4. Place your back foot far back on the kicktail.
There is a little debate on this, but most surfskaters agree that you want your back foot to be placed far back on the kicktail. This gives more leverage as you’re pushing through surfskate maneuvers. But you can play with this to find your personal preference for surfskate pumping.
How to Surfskate for Beginners Tip #2: Get Started with Heel/Toe Wiggles
The most basic step of how to surfskate for beginners is to use heel/toe wiggles to move your board back and forth.
This is done by using your ankles to push down on your toes, then your heels, back to your toes, and so forth.
Your goal with this step is to just get your board moving. You don’t need to move anything on your body except for your ankles.
When learning how to surfskate for beginners, a common mistake is to start with upper body movements.
Typically, what this means is that beginners will move their upper body a lot, but their surfskate doesn’t move very much.
It’s a lot easier to “fall into the flow” of surfskate pumping when your board has some forward momentum.
How to Surfskate for Beginners Tip #3: Heel Down/Toe Up
Don’t start learning how to surfskate for beginners by using your upper body. Instead, start with your feet and ankles. Then, once you can move your surfskate with just your feet and ankles, move up to your upper body.
The “heel down/toe up” technique coordinates your ankles and knees in your surfskate pumping.
So jump on your surfskate and use your ankles to do heel/toe wiggles and push your surfskate rails from side to side.
Once you’re moving, then you can start integrating knee bends with your ankle wiggles.
When your heels are pushing down, bend your knees. When your toes are pushing down, stand up. Heels push, knees bend. Toes push, stand up. Heel down, toe up.
So there you have it—three tips of how to surfskate for beginners.
For more surfskating tutorials with live instruction, get my video course, “Surfskating for Non-Surfers.”