Is skateboarding good for your health?

Skateboarding is great exercise and you can burn up to 600 calories in an hour, as you use most parts of your body to skate. As well as providing great cardio exercise, skateboarding is great for balance, toning muscle (and building muscle strength) and also aids in coordination.

What is skateboarding?

Skateboarding involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard, as a recreational activity, competition or as a method of transportation. The process is that of riding on a short wooden board with small wheels under each end, which the person stands on and moves forward by pushing one foot on the ground.

Is skateboarding a sport?

Most skateboarders would define skating as a lifestyle rather than a sport. However with the growth of competition over the last few years and introduction of skateboarding at the Olympics in 2021, skateboarding is now often categorised as an action sport.

When did skateboarding first start in the UK?

Skateboarding came to UK in the early 1960’s when the first skateboards were imported from California in 1963 by Keith Slocombe and his Surfers Store. In the late 60’s it attracted the attention of people in the cities; mainly in the form of slalom style skateboarding in the south of England, arising from a growth in media about the ‘craze’ which had started in California.

How many people skate in the UK?

There are approximately 750,000 people who take part in some form of skateboarding activity in the UK in 2020.


Safeguarding information

You should always check that your skateboard lesson provider / coaches are DBS checked and have a safeguarding qualification. It is also worth checking their safeguarding statement. The Skateboard GB Safeguarding Statement should give you an expectation of what is required.

How to become a skateboard instructor?

Skateboard GB offers a Level 1 qualification in skateboard coaching – This is a 1 day online and 1 day face-to-face course that prepares you for leading a skateboard lesson and teaching beginner skateboarders.

10 Beginner tricks to learn at home

Learning to balance and push on your board are the first skills you should learn before moving onto doing tricks. Here is list of basic tricks you can learn, use the MySkate App to play SKATE at home and learn how to do each trick with a video tutorial. 10 Easy skateboard tricks to learn at home:
  • Ollie
  • Manual
  • Frontside 180
  • Backside 180
  • Shove-it
  • Kickflip
  • Heelflip
  • No-comply
  • 50-50 Grind:
  • Backside boardslide

School holiday camps for skateboarding

Most indoor skateparks and skate school providers run school holiday clubs for skateboarding in the Easter holidays, May half term and the Summer holidays. Most offer day camps, although some Skate School Providers run residential camps during the summer.

What to look for in skateboard lessons

Check that the skateboard lessons you are booking onto have a class structure to develop the skating of the pupils. Most skate schools and lessons, should include equipment such as a board, helmet and pads. Finally check to see if the coach has a Skateboard England qualification.

How much do skateboard lessons cost?

Group skateboard lessons usually cost between £8 - £15 for an hour lesson. For private skate tuition expect to pay around £15 - £30 per hour.

How to find a qualified skateboard coach?

Most people who work for the skateparks and skate schools have some good experience, but you will need to check to see if they hold a Level 1 Skateboard GB qualification.

Where are my nearest skateboard lessons?

Skateboard lessons are usually ran at most indoor skateparks and at public skateparks by various skate school providers. See our list of Skate School Providers or visit The Skateparks Project to find your local indoor skate park.


Where are the skate shops in the UK?

There are over 80 physical skateboard stores in the UK (and most have an online store available too). Use our Skateboard Store directory to find your local shop.

How much does a skateboard weigh?

The weight of a skateboard will depend on the size of deck, wheels and trucks, but these are the approximates:
  • Skateboard deck weight: 1.8 – 2.0 KG
  • Skateboard trucks weight: 250 – 400 grams
  • Skateboard wheels weight: 110 – 150 grams

How to set up a skateboard?

How to grip a board?

Information about a skateboard and protection gear?

What type of shoes to wear for skateboarding?

Most people choice of skateboarding shoe comes down to personal preference, but its worth considering things such as a the grip on the sole, the material the shoes are made from, stitching and re-enforcement on the toe and sides of the shoes (as skateboarding will destroy your shoes) and finally weight, as lighter shoes will generally be a better option.

Where should you buy your first skateboard?

Although most chain stores sell skateboards, the quality of these can be poor (trucks don’t turn, wheels don’t spin, poor quality wood), so they can provide a bad first experience to skateboarding. We would recommend getting a skateboard from your Local Skateboard Store, most offer a full set-up for £60 – 70 or many indoor skate parks will rent boards.

Knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards for skateboarding?

Pads and guards are recommended for when learning to skateboard, as you may be falling off as part of the ‘learning’ process. Some skateboarders find wearing pads restrictive when street skateboarding, but most transition skateboarders will continue to use pads throughout their lives.

Do you need to wear a helmet for skateboarding?

Skateboarding is a dangerous activity and we would always recommend wearing a helmet, as head injuries can result in concussion or death.

Hard wheels or soft wheels?

Skateboard wheels usually range from 73a (the softest) to about 103a (the hardest). Softer wheels will grip the floor better, give a smoother ride and are generally used for transition skating, while harder wheels are mainly used by street skateboarders, as they give a more natural sense of speed.

What size wheels should I get?

Choosing your wheel size is usually a personal preference and the science is simple: small wheels go slower, big wheels go faster. SMALL: 50 – 53 mm wheels are usually preferred for street skating and for those of younger skaters, although they can be prone to getting caught in the cracks in the pavement MEDIUM: 54 – 59 mm wheels are usually used by both street and transition skaters (or both) and are a good all-rounder. LARGE: 60+ mm wheels are the fastest, but also the heaviest wheels you can use and are generally used for vert or transition skating.

What size trucks fit for different widths of boards?

The best way to choose the right truck is to have them about the same width as your deck, see the sizes below:
  • 5.0 or 129 Trucks for 7.5″ – 7.75″ width deck
  • 5.25 or 139 Trucks for 7.875″ – 8.125″ width deck
  • 5.5 or 144 Trucks for 8″ – 8.25″ width deck
  • 5.75 or 149 Trucks for 8.25″ – 8.5″ width deck
  • 6 or 159 Trucks for 8.5″ – 8.75″ width deck
  • 169 Trucks for 9″ – 9.25″ width deck
The truck sizes above relate to the hanger size, NOT the full width of the truck. Example: 5.0 inch / 129mm hanger.

What do the different board sizes mean?

A Skateboard deck comes in a variety of widths from around 7.5 inches up to around 9.5 inches. Most people decide on the width of the board based on their shoe size, for example those who have a shoe size of 8 or 9 would go for 8 – 8.25 width board, but if you’re younger and have smaller feet then pick a narrower board around 7.5 inches.


Find a job in skateboarding

The are various skateboard jobs you can do, from working in a skateboard shop, to construction for skatepark builders or coaching skateboard lessons. Our Skateboard Jobs page has a few jobs, but it may be best speaking with your local skatepark or skate shop.

How to get sponsored / talent spotted

Getting sponsored as a skateboarder is no easy task, it requires lots of hard work and a ton of skill. The best way is to get involved in your local scene and skate well. Posting videos of yourself skating will help you get recognised and knowing the right people helps too. Another way is to enter skateboard competitions around the UK, if you skate well and get good placings then you will start to get recognised.

How to enter skateboard competitions

Most skateboard competitions are organised at indoor skateparks around the country and are fairly relaxed about entry. You can usually just turn up and enter, some you may need you to message them before-hand. For larger competitions such as Board Masters, NASS and the National Championships, you will be required to enquire about entry at least 4 weeks in advance. Some of these competitions will be invite only, so in order to get invited you will need to have entered a number of smaller competitions first to be recognised for your skill level.

Find skateboard events in the UK

Check out the Skateboard Events Listings for a full list of local and national skateboarding competitions, jams, get-togethers, premieres and pro-tours.

How to get more involved in your local skateboard scene

Pay a visit to your local skateboard shop, the guys who work there will know all the best skate spots and introduce you to others who skateboard in the area.

Find female skateboard groups and events

There are loads of great female only events and sessions going on across the country. Most indoor skateparks now run Girls night once a week/month. You should also check out Girls Skate UK for loads of info on the female skate scene in the UK.

How to find other people to skate with

Visit your local skate park, this is the best way to find other people to skate with or visit your closest skateboard store and they will introduce you to others who skate (or direct you to the main skate spot in town).

How to find your closest skatepark

Download the MySkate App and search over 1,600 parks around the UK, just enter your postcode or town and find outdoor and indoor parks on a list or map.


Who are the skatepark builders in the UK?

There are various skatepark builders across the UK. The Skateparks Project, lists which skateparks have been built by each builder.

Guidance on skatepark design, DIY and park building

We have produced a Facilities Guide which will cover all elements of design and build.

How much does a skatepark cost to build?

A small skatepark can cost as little as £40,000 (less than a tennis court), increasing up to £2m for a large skatepark with various features.

How to get funding for a skatepark

Funding can come from a number of sources, including private funding from local (or national) businesses and fundraising or from public funding such as the council, Sport England / Sport Wales, National Lottery, landfill grants etc. There are a good list of examples which are included in the Facilities Guide.

Speaking to your council about skateparks?

The priority is getting the council onside. They’ll most likely be the biggest funder and/or advocate when it goes through planning and/or provide the land and/or rally the public. If it is a public skateparks they’ll certainly have to have agreed to accept liability for its use. So, in short, it can’t really happen without them onside.

Does Skateboard GB provide funding for skateparks?

Skateboard GB can provide advice and assistance on helping you to get a skatepark built, but does not provide funding to build skateparks.

How to get a skatepark in your town or city

Getting a skateboard park built in your local area is no easy task and is not just as simple as asking your local council for one – It will usually take months / years for it to all go through.

This guide should help you to take the right direction to getting a park built in your town

  • First form community group – Make sure you include skateboarders (and scooter users and BMX’s – anyone who will use the park), parents, youth workers and the local skate-shop. It’s a good way to show councils, residents and press that you are properly organised and committed to your cause.
  • Create an online platform such as a Facebook page, Instagram page or website, showing what you want to achieve and make sure you get as many followers or people involved as possible.
  • Convince people why there needs to be a skatepark built. You will need to create a presentation of why it’s needed: Focus on keeping people active, the growth of adrenaline sports, the need for facility as there no others around (or only old facilities) etc. You may want to show some examples of what type of skatepark you are wanting to achieve and propose some potential sites where the skatepark could be located, along with associated costs
  • Do some fund-raising. This will show that you are committed to progressing the development of the project. This can be done a variety of ways, but think about holding a skate comp, get the local skate-shop involved, sponsored skaters and bikers, invite the press and councillors. The more publicity you can get, the more support you will find.
  • If you haven’t already you will need to start speaking to the council too and start looking for funding (see below). It is also a good time to start talking to skatepark builders (see info below) – They will have a wealth of knowledge to help you progress the project and can start providing you with designs and budgets.
  • Read the story of the process a group went through to get a Skatepark in Alton


List of British Skateboard Companies

  • Death
  • Heroin
  • Palace
  • Enuff
  • Blast
  • The National Skateboard Co
  • Lovenskate
  • Skateboard Cafe
  • Fabric
  • Forty Skateboard Co
  • Isle
  • Garden
  • Imperial
  • Insane
  • Unabomber
  • Heathen
  • Karma
  • Sex
  • Wight Trash
  • Yardsale
  • Wolftown

List of reputable Magazines / Media outlets

Skateboard injury recovery

Getting injured during skateboarding is highly likely, as it is a dangerous activity, however you can recover quicker from a tweaked ankle or ‘swell-bow’ by doing certain exercises to reduce swelling and getting movement back quicker, see our Skateboard Physio Information.

What Skateboard exercises can I do?

Doing a warm-up and warm-down before and after skateboarding can help you skate for longer and help ensure your muscles aren’t tight after skating. We have worked with a professional strength and conditioning coach to provide you with some simple ideas HERE.