How to manual on a skateboard (Video and Images)

Richmond Bendu Dec 25, 2022
19 People Read
How to manual on a skateboard
Table of Contents
  1. What you should know before practicing manuals
    1. Head position
    2. Stance for manual on a skateboard
    3. Centering your body weight
    4. How to Get the Right Amount of Pressure
    5. Putting it all together
  2. How to Practice Manual on a Skateboard
    1. Have a Start and Goal
    2. Practice on Different Surfaces
  3. How to Ollie to Manual and Manual to Ollie
    1. Ollie Into a Manual
    2. Ollie Out From a Manual
  4. Conclusion

The manual is a trick that can impress anyone, depending on how long you can hold it. It is easy to learn, but you will need to spend a lot of time if you want to master it. A short manual is still a manual, so you can technically learn it within an hour, but you can do amazing lines if you are willing to take them further.


There are many versions of the manual, but the most popular ones are the regular manual and nose manual because they are much better for connecting tricks than the other variations. The manual is one of my favorite tricks because it is so simple; it is easy to practice, and you get a rush every time you hold them for a long time. So let's take a look at how to do a manual.




What you should know before practicing manuals

I didn't look up what technique or stance you should have when I first learned how to do manuals, but it got so much easier when I eventually did—Here's a short list of the most important things to know before you practice manuals.




Head position

Most people don't worry about their head position while doing manuals; they do it unconsciously or struggle with their manuals.


You should have your head close to your front foot because you need to center your weight on the board to hold the position.


You lean back naturally while doing a manual since you lift the tail up, so if you want to avoid putting too much weight on the tail, then you need to compensate by having your head closer to the front.


Stance for manual on a skateboard

Having the right stance while doing a manual will help you significantly, but everyone has different preferences. You can think of the stance I describe as a baseline, but try to see if you are more comfortable with slight changes.


Your front foot should be placed by the hardware on your trucks (above the front trucks). If you have longer or shorter legs, you might want to have them further up or down, but it is easy to sense this.


Your back foot should be on the tail's edge, and the pressure should be on the ball of your foot and toes. Some people like to have their back foot closer to the crevice, but it will be harder to do tricks from a manual since it will be harder to pop.


Remember to keep your knees slightly bent. You need to be able to adjust your weight quickly, and this will be much easier if you have room to extend your legs as well.


Centering your body weight

When you usually skate, you don't fall back on the tail or forward on the nose because your weight is mainly centered on your board; it is the same principle while doing a manual, but your weight needs to be much more stable.


You will put your weight further back when you pull the nose up and tail down, but you can center the weight again by leaning forward. Your upper body placement decides where the center of your weight is.


The margin of error is so small while doing manuals, so it will be much easier if you stay balanced and stable. You should only move your weight with minor adjustments unless something unpredictable like bumps throws you off. 


How to Get the Right Amount of Pressure

The pressure is focused on the back and front foot while doing a manual, and how much pressure you put on them is a big factor in your success.


You will have more pressure on your back foot when you start the manual, but you need to make the pressure equal on both feet after the tail is up. Many people focus too much on both feet instead of having the same amount of pressure on the back foot and adjusting the pressure for the front foot; this way, you have less to think about, and this will make the trick much easier.


Your front foot will do most of the job, but you should keep it as stable as possible. For example, if you try to manual up a hill, you will need to adjust your front foot and raise it, and the same goes for downhill, except that you need to lower it.


Since you also lean forward, you can adjust the pressure if you lean backward, but it is better to adjust with your front foot instead.


Putting it all together

For being such a simple trick, in theory, there is a lot to think about, and that is why it is so hard to hold it for a long time. You won't master it right away even though you know all the tips, but you will be doing amazing manuals if you practice with all these elements together.

Try to record your attempts to see what you do wrong and consciously change it. You will notice faster growth if you record yourself since you will find out what you do wrong much faster; try to record in slow motion so that you can see the details more clearly.




How to Practice Manual on a Skateboard

It is time to start practicing manuals, but I recommend that you put on safety gear before we start. Manual is a trick that relies on balance; a small mistake can make your board slip. I recommend trying knee pads, wrist guards, and a helmet.


Have a Start and Goal

You can practice doing manuals while standing still, but it is much more effective to learn them while rolling. Set a distance goal, mark it, or remember where it is, and try to do a manual from a to be.


Roll forward and try to find the sweet spot; remember to lean slightly forward to center your weight. Try to move your destination goal further away when you can get to it consistently. It is easier to do a longer manual while rolling forward.


Practice on Different Surfaces

The best place to start is on a smooth flat ground; this way, you won't need to adjust your weight much, and you will achieve your goals faster. In addition, this can give you the confidence you need and make it easier to learn the basics.


Practice on rough asphalt as well. It will be much harder to balance since there will be bumps and cracks, but it is essential to master adjusting with your front foot.


The last place you need to practice is up or down hills. If you are in a skatepark, you can practice this by starting on a flat surface, then going into a slanted part. You must learn to adjust quickly to keep your balance, but this will become easy with enough practice.




How to Ollie to Manual and Manual to Ollie

Manual is a simple trick; you balance on you're rear wheels and hold it for as long as possible. The great thing about this trick is that you can use it to connect other tricks, and you need to learn how to ollie in and out of a manual to do that.


Ollie Into a Manual

When you ollie into a manual, you do an ollie and try to land with your feet in the normal stance as when you do a manual. It will be hard to land correctly at the start, but this will come with time; I like to practice this on manual pads.


Ollie Out From a Manual

It is strange to ollie out from a manual since your nose is already up, so you need to find a way to get enough resistance to pop. You gain resistance by lowering the nose and popping it up again without touching the ground with your front wheels. A common mistake is to put too much pressure on the front foot and fall forward, so start with a little, and do more and more.


It is a weird motion to get down, but it is easy to do once you get the hang of it. It is the same principle for every other trick where you pop from the manual, so try to do a kickflip from manual after learning the ollie. The harder tricks you do, the harder it will be to do it in manual, so keep going even if you need more time to get it.




Conclusion

A regular manual is when you balance on your back wheels

Learn the correct stance and body placement before you start practicing. Try to keep your rear foot static while adjusting with your front foot.


Start on a flat area with smooth ground, and remember to use protective gear while practicing. Then, try to do a manual on an uneven surface after you get the hang of doing manuals on flat ground.


Table of Contents
  1. What you should know before practicing manuals
    1. Head position
    2. Stance for manual on a skateboard
    3. Centering your body weight
    4. How to Get the Right Amount of Pressure
    5. Putting it all together
  2. How to Practice Manual on a Skateboard
    1. Have a Start and Goal
    2. Practice on Different Surfaces
  3. How to Ollie to Manual and Manual to Ollie
    1. Ollie Into a Manual
    2. Ollie Out From a Manual
  4. Conclusion