Being a new member of the skating community can be a nerve-racking time. From learning about the individual components of a skateboard to memorizing skate lingo that could take up an entire language in itself, to grabbing your first complete, initiating yourself.
You probably decided to dip your toes into skateboarding for fun and coming across articles with titles like “How to Hold Your Skateboard So No One Thinks You’re a Poser” can come across somewhat strict and even condescending for a sport that claims to ground itself on anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian practices. What can we say, nobody’s perfect!
These practices might seem exclusionary, but the world of skateboarding is meant to be anything but. In fact, many of the rules behind how to and how not hold a skateboard have lost sight of the true messaging and have oversimplified the issue into “what’s cool” and “what isn’t” rather than the more practical goal of avoiding unnecessary damage.
However, we certainly understand the desire to keep up appearances, especially when you’re new to the scene and trying to build up your confidence! Keep on reading below for several “proper” ways to hold your skateboard like a pro, both to separate yourself from the groms and to keep your board in top condition for years to come.
How to Hold Your Skateboard
Under Your Arm
One of the easiest ways to carry your skateboard around is to hold it horizontally underneath your arm at hip level. Without overthinking it, your arm should be centered between the trucks with your fingers curved around the bottom of the deck. If you want to avoid getting your clothes dirty, we recommend holding the board with the graphic facing outward and the grip tape facing your body. One thing to consider here, if the grip tape rubs on your clothing too much, it can cause light abrasion damage!
Pinch the Board
If you’re not planning on holding your board for too long, you can pinch it by the nose. Your thumb should be on the grip side with the rest of your fingers on the underside. Alternatively, you can pinch it at the center of the board, similar to if you were holding it under your arm.
This method should only be used for short periods, such as taking your board out from the trunk of the car, bringing it back to the garage, or in between tricks. Holding your board in this position for too long can lead to hand cramps and pretty scratched up hands – if you mind.
On Your Shoulders
You can also hold your skateboard on one of both shoulders.
To hold your skateboard on one shoulder, place it on your shoulder of choice. We recommend having the grip tape face your head to avoid contact with the trucks and wheels.
To hold it on both of your shoulders, place the skateboard across your shoulders with the wheels and trucks facing towards you. Place your arms up behind the side with the grip tape and clutch the top edge.
Use a Skate Backpack
The most convenient way to carry your skateboard around while simultaneously protecting it from damage is using a high-quality skateboard backpack. Skate backpacks come with handy straps to secure your board, as well as separate pockets and compartments to keep the rest of your gear organized.
Skate backpacks come in a wide assortment of sizes, styles, colors, and designs, so you’re sure to find one that suits your specific needs.
How Not to Hold Your Skateboard
When it comes to how not to hold a skateboard, the mall grab is perhaps the most infamous example. Considered a sin by many in the skating community, a mall grab involves grabbing your skateboard by the trucks with the grip tape facing your body and the graphic facing outward.
As innocent as it may seem, there are several reasons why skating pros caution against the mall grab:
- Your board dangles. Mall grabs leave your kicktail dangling by your leg, leaving it especially vulnerable to stairs, curbs, or hills as you walk. This can be a bit of a safety or tripping hazard.
- The grip tape faces your body. While this can be chalked up to a personal preference, repeated friction against the grip tape can irritate or damage your clothes and skin.
- You risk loosening the bolts. Holding your board by the trucks in a mall grab means you run the risk of loosening the bolts. Having a skate tool on hand can easily solve the problem, but it’s an unnecessary waste of time.
- Skate trucks are kind of nasty. Just look at them. Do you really want your hands hanging out there? If you’re a heavy grinder, your trucks will have accumulated a substantial amount of wear and tear, debris, dirt, and skate wax. It’s best to keep your hands away!
This one should absolutely go without saying but just for good measure: don’t drag your board behind you. Your board deserves so much better than that.
So long as you aren’t dragging your board or using the mall grab, how you grab your skateboard really boils down to personal preference. What’s your favorite way to carry your board? Let us know below or on Instagram!