How To Powerslide (Beginner’s Guide)

By: Billy James | October 6, 2023 | Longboards

Learning how to powerslide can be frustrating.

This post will teach you everything you need to know to get powersliding.

What is a powerslide?

A powerslide is when you shift your weight, turn your board, and slide your wheels across the ground. It’s a technique used either to stop, control your speed, or just for style.

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Setup suggestions

First, let’s talk about the gear that’ll make powersliding easier. This is something I wish I had known when first attempting powerslides.

A helmet is a must to protect your head. Wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads are also recommended.


Wheel characteristics that will make powersliding easier…

The smaller and harder the wheel, the easier it’ll be to powerslide. A small contact patch will create minimal friction. As a result, it will require less speed to slide out. Rounded lips won’t grip as much as sharp lips. A stone-grounded contact patch basically means that it’s pre-worn. So you won’t have to spend time breaking the wheels in and you can start sliding right away.

A few suggested wheels…

How to powerslide

To perform a powerslide, you need to shift your weight towards the tail of the board and turn the front wheels in the opposite direction of the slide. This causes the back wheels to lose traction and slide across the ground.

Step by step

Step 1: Ride with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: Bend your knees and lean back slightly to shift your weight to the tail of the skateboard.

Step 3: Turn your shoulders and hips in the direction you want to slide.

Step 4: Commit

Remember to practice the powerslide on a flat, smooth surface before attempting it on a slope or while moving at high speeds. If you’re still having trouble, here’s a quick tip.

You can rub some wax on the area of the ground you intend to slide across. This will make it much easier to slide, however, be careful and ease your way into it.

Common Mistakes

The most common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Not turning shoulders

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make when trying to powerslide is not turning their shoulders enough. Turning your shoulders helps to initiate the slide and gives you more control.

To avoid this mistake, make sure you turn your shoulders as you approach the turn. This will help you initiate and maintain control.

Improper weight distribution

Another common mistake is not keeping your weight over the board. When you’re sliding, it’s important to keep your weight centered over the board to maintain control. If you lean too far back or too far forward, you may lose control and slide out.

Not committing

A third common mistake is not committing to the slide. When you’re learning how to powerslide, it can be scary to commit. However, if you don’t, you won’t be able to slide as far.

To avoid this mistake, make sure you commit to the slide and trust yourself. This will help you slide better, and build your confidence as you practice.

Take the necessary safety precautions and get out there!

Billy James

I've been skating for over 20 years and it's had an incredibly positive impact on my mental health. My mission is to show the world the power of cruising and carving.