A manual is basically popping a wheelie on your skateboard. To manual you need to lift up the front of your skateboard so that you are riding only on the back two wheels for as long as you can, or as long as you want to. The idea of a manual is to stay balanced on just two wheels without the skateboard deck touching or scraping the ground.
A Nose Manual is the same as a regular manual however, rather than standing at the back of the skateboard you move your front foot to the nose and you lift up the back of the skateboard. You are basically popping a nose wheelie.
Manuals are a fun trick that you can incorporate into a line at the skatepark or in the streets. Once you get your manuals on lock you can introduce other tricks into them like kickflips and pop shove its. These advanced manual tricks are usually done on ledges and are referred to as flip in or flip out tricks and are extremely hard! Let’s focus on a regular manual for now, which is still a cool ass trick.
A good spot to practice manuals is in a car lot or on a basketball court where you can try to manual from one painted line to another. If you don’t have these types of places nearby, try to manual from one crack to another on your driveway or the sidewalk.
To succeed at manuals you must have excellent balance and coordination. Follow the steps below to learn how to manual like a pro!
How To Manual
How to manual in five easy steps. There are five key things to remember when learning how to manual. If you can get all of these steps perfected you will be on your way to success.
- Foot Position
- Lifting Up Skateboard
- Dropping Down Skateboard
Learning How To Do A Regular Manual
If your back foot is too high on the tail it will be harder to balance. If your back foot is too low on the tail kick it will be harder to keep the front of the skateboard up in the air.
Your front foot position for a manual should be somewhere around the front truck bolts or wherever feels most comfortable in that area. Play around with the position of your front foot while practicing your manuals to determine where is the best spot for you.
Your front foot is more of a guide to help you balance when doing a manual and your back foot will do most of the work. The manual is all about balance and posture which we will discuss next.
Your posture plays a very big role when performing balance tricks such as a manual. When doing a manual you want to make sure your weight is centered over the skateboard and your shoulders are straight and in line with your knees. I find myself slightly leaning forward when I manual as it helps me balance.
Everyone develops their own little tweaks and style so don’t worry if your manual technique is a little different than someone else’s. That is what makes you “you” and skateboarding so cool as everyone is different.
As a guide your knees should be slightly bent and your arms will act as your stabilizers.
Lifting Up Your Skateboard
Lifting up the front of your skateboard is controlled by your back foot and the amount of pressure you use to push the tail down. As you push down on your back foot, your front foot will guide the skateboard up. Now the front of the skateboard is off the ground your feet need to work together to hold it there. Like I said earlier, your back foot will do most of the work in terms of keeping the front of the skateboard up but every step so far is playing a role in this trick.
At the beginning of the manual you want to focus on the front of the skateboard. Once you have the manual locked in, bring your head and eyes up and focus forward or look to where you want to go.
Note: Practice lifting up the front of your skateboard in a stationary position to get a feel for the amount of pressure needed from your back foot to lift the skateboard up.
Now that you have the front of your skateboard up in the air balancing on two wheels, it’s time to hold it there. This is the hard part! Your front and back feet need to work together to keep the skateboard doing that wheelie. You will want to focus on the amount of pressure you put on your front foot to hold it there. Having good posture and your knees slightly bent will help with overall balance and technique.
Note: Practice skating and lifting your board up and down to get a feel for it. Once you do this a few hundred times it should start to feel like you have control and then you can focus on keeping the front of the skateboard up and trying to go further.
Something a lot of people do not explain about manuals is that you actually need to lean slightly on your heel side or toe side to help with balancing. It is impossible to do a manual with your skateboard completely level. By leaning heel or toe side it is as though you are actually locking into the manual.
I personally prefer and feel most comfortably leaning heel side when I do manuals but just do what feels right for you.
Dropping Down Your Skateboard
Dropping the front of the skateboard down is as simple as putting downward pressure on your front foot and allowing the wheels to hit the ground. Remember to lean slightly forward and bend your knees when doing this as it will help with keeping your momentum after the trick.
Foot position for a manual consists of having your back foot on the tail kick of the skateboard in what I like to call the “sweet spot”. The sweet spot is not too high on the tail kick but also not too low. Having your back foot somewhere in this area will allow you to control the amount of pressure needed to push down and lift up the front of the skateboard.
Watch the video below to see what your manual should look like when you have it down.
Learning How To Nose Manual
The nose manual steps are the same as a regular manual but performed on the front of the skateboard. The difference with the nose manual is there is more of a risk of falling forward.
When practicing nose manuals you want to apply pressure more cautiously to the front kick when lifting the tail of the skateboard up to ensure you dont come to an abrupt stop. To do this you must be extremely comfortable on your skateboard and have the ability to balance and control it.
Nose Manual Foot Position
Your foot position for a nose manual will look something like this (below) but maybe not exactly. Everyone has their own comfortable spot and this just so happens to be what works for me.
I recommend getting your regular manual on lock before trying a nose manual. If you do have your regular manuals on lock check out the video below on how to nose manual.
Watch Video On How To Nose Manual
In case you are more of a visual learner you can watch this video by sponsored skater Aaron Kyro on how to nose manual.
Hopefully you can now celebrate learning how to manual! Just remember skateboarding takes a lot of practice so do not give up!! Leave a comment telling us about your progress and success with learning the manual below.
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