How to Manual on a Skateboard: A Beginner’s Guide

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Skateboarding is a popular hobby that people of all ages enjoy. It’s no surprise, considering how many cool tricks you can do on a board and how much fun it is to meet new people with the same interests as you.

One of the most challenging tricks for beginners to learn, however, is the how to manual on a skateboard! Manualing involves balancing on your board without pushing off with any feet or hands at all. If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry, In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about manualing so you can get started today!

how-to-manual-on-a-skateboard

What is Manual Skateboarding?

Here’s a quick introduction for beginners who don’t know what manual skateboarding actually is.

Manualing is a famous trick among more advanced skateboarders, where you balance on your board without using any feet or hands to push off. This gives the rider an extra moment of stability and control over their board before they make another move- it’s also easier than pushing with one hand while balancing on the other, which can be challenging for newbies.

So now you know what manual skateboarding is, it’s time to learn how to do it even when you’re at your beginner stage of skateboarding.

How to Manual on a Skateboard

Just like any other skateboarding tricks, manualing requires practice and experience. It’s a skill that will take time to perfect, but it can be mastered before you know it with the right amount of work and dedication!

1. Choose a Perfect Location

To start; you’ll need to find a perfect location for learning and practicing. It’s best if the ground is even and flat as anything else will make it difficult to push off from when balancing on your board without using any feet or hands.

Nearby obstacles such as trees and cars can also be problematic depending on how close they are to where you are practicing.

Another important consideration is how much space you need for your session to be effective and productive, making sure that the location chosen has enough room for what you need it for.

Otherwise, it’s best if there are no obstacles at all to ensure maximum safety while skateboarding!

2. Start with Normal Stance

It’s important to start with the normal stance when you are first learning how-to manual on a skateboard. This is because it gives you one of the most stable positions and gives you an opportunity for stability and balance.

This position can be done by standing sideways near your board with both feet facing outwards from the board. One foot should be placed in front of the other, and your weight should be distributed equally on each leg.

3. Put Your Backfoot at Your Skateboard's Tail

The next step is to put your backfoot at the tail of the board. Be sure that you are not too close or far from it, as this will affect how long and smooth a ride you get when manualing on a skateboard.

This position should be done with one leg behind the other and feet facing outwards from the board. The front foot should be placed in the middle of the board, and your weight distributed equally. The back leg should also be bent slightly with toes pointed outwards from the board.

4. Shift Your Weight Slowly to Your Back Foot

When you are in the correct position, shift your weight slowly to your back foot. Remember that this should be done by moving everything from the board. One foot should be placed in front of the other, and your weight distributed equally on each leg.

Your toes will point outwards from the board with one hand holding onto it for balance. This position will give you the balance to push off. The stance should be wide enough for your feet and then some, with the toes pointing outwards from the board in order to make it easier on yourself when pushing off.

5. Maintain Your Balance

Keep your balance while you roll forward, making minor adjustments to the weight distribution. 

The tail end of your deck should not touch the ground. At first, you’ll hardly be able to maintain the balance for a couple of seconds, but with regular practice, you’ll be able to keep the balance for a more extended period.

6. Shift Your Weight to the Front to Touch Down

Shift your weight to the front of the board and place your foot on it. Let go of your back tire with one hand so you can use it for balance while touching down. This will work a lot better if you’re going at an angle or leaning towards the ramp as you touch down.

Varieties of Manual in Skateboarding

There are a total of 8 varieties of manual in skateboarding. Once you’ve finished mastering the basic manualing, you can take up the challenge and try one of these varieties of this skill.

1. English Manual

Skateboarders use this variety of manual to get into a new position. For instance, if you’re in the air and want to get your board straight, you can use an English manual to do that.

It’s also useful in sloped surfaces and if you need a quick burst of speed. But be careful, as this will cause your wheels to lose traction more quickly and can lead to a wipe-out when you’re coming down.

2. Fakie English Manual

In this variety of manual, the skater moves in the opposite direction to which they are facing. This is useful for skateboarders who want to go back without having to turn around.

3. Nose Manual

A nose manual is basically riding your board with only the front wheel touching the ground. This is a really cool skill and can be used to get onto or off of obstacles or just to show off.

4. Swedish Manual

This advanced manual is a combination of an English and nose manual. It’s named after the inventor, Christian “Zoot” Swedberg.

To perform this manual, you have to place your lead foot in front of the truck and your back foot on the tail. Use your toes on the back of the board to pop the nose of your skateboard up in order for it to clear the ground.

5. Heelie Manual

A heelie manual is a more complex way of doing English. You have to ride your board with only the back wheel touching the ground and your weight on your back foot.[1]

To do this, you have to turn the board around to face backward or at a 180-degree angle. It is called a heelie because riders are usually only on their heels to do it, and the board will be spinning backward around them.

6. One-Foot Manual

A one-foot manual is similar to the heelie, except you have only one foot on the board, and your weight is off balance. You have to put more pressure on the foot you are standing on and use your other foot for balance.

To do a one-foot manual, you have to ride your board with one foot touching the ground. Your weight should be on that standing leg, and once again, it is called a manual because the board is spinning around you.

7. Hang Ten Manual

This is just like the one-foot manual, but this time you have both feet on the board. The rider’s weight should be equally distributed between both legs.

To do this, you stand with one foot touching the ground, and your board is perpendicular to your body. Your weight should be equally distributed between both legs.

8. One-Wheel Manual

This is when you are just balancing on one wheel. You have to balance your weight over that wheel as it spins around with the rest of the board.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are many different ways to manual on a skateboard, and it is all about discovering what works best for you.

The benefits of this technique are that you can buy more time for a trick or prepare to jump off the board and do something else.

The goal is to get comfortable balancing on the board. You will be able to ride faster and more efficiently because you don’t have as much weight on your feet.