When skaters talk about how to hold their boards, it’s usually about how to look like a “real skater” or avoid looking like a “poser.”
Which is all very well and good if that matters to you.
But there are actual right and wrong ways to hold a skateboard that have nothing to do with what other people think and everything to do with minimizing damage.
If you’re more concerned about keeping your board in top condition than whether Steve down at the skatepark things you’re “for real,” here’s how you should hold your skateboard.
How to Properly Hold a Skateboard
To keep your skateboard in the best condition, hold it horizontally under your arm with your arm roughly centered between the trucks and your fingers curved around the bottom edge of the deck.
Like this –
If you want to avoid wrecking your clothes, face the wheels and trucks toward you.
If you don’t care about your clothes, and it feels more natural, face the wheels and trucks away from you and let the griptape do its worst.
It doesn’t really matter.
Either way, the carry is the same and won’t do any damage to the board.
How to Hold Your Skateboard on Your Shoulders
A variation of the traditional side hold is the shoulder hold, or “stocks.”
This hold basically accomplishes the same thing as a traditional hold, carrying the board by its deck instead of its components.
For a shoulder hold, place your skateboard across your shoulders with the wheels and trucks facing toward you and your arms up behind it, clutching the top edge.
Like this –
Like a side hold, a shoulder hold shouldn’t do any damage to your board.
The biggest problems with a shoulder hold is it can get tiring after a while (but so can holding your board with one arm) and it’s easier to lose your grip since your hands aren’t on the bottom of the board.
Holding Your Skateboard By The Nose
When you’re not going to be holding your skateboard for long, a nose pinch is perfectly reasonable.
To nose pinch your board, simply grab the front kick tail and haul it up.
Like this –
Typically, you will carry your board by its nose after popping it up between tricks.
There’s nothing wrong with carrying your skateboard this way all the time (it won’t do any damage), but your hand won’t thank you for it, so it’s more of a short-term carry method.
How Not to Hold a Skateboard (The Mall Grab)
Holding your skateboard by one of the trucks is known as a mall grab in skate circles and is the most frowned-upon way of holding your board for the dumbest of reasons.
The name comes from the 90s when skating was becoming more mainstream and skaters thought posers were carrying boards around as accessories (by their trucks, of course!).
It looks like this –
– and you’ve probably seen plenty of people carrying their boards this way.
But they shouldn’t.
And here are some legit reasons for it.
1 – A mall grab leaves your board dangling vertical by your leg, which means one kicktail is always precariously close to the ground.
If you walk over curbs, up or down stairs, or even up a steep hill, you can accidentally strike your kicktail.
The more you strike your kicktail, the more likely you are to get chips in your tail and the more likely your deck plies are to split.
Basically, it’s an unnecessarily risky way to walk with your board.
2 – When you mall grab, your griptape can face only one direction – toward your body.
This means your griptape can rub against your pants (or leg) while you walk and do the damage it will do.
3 – Holding your board by the trucks can loosen the bolts.
It’s a small issue, yes, and can be easily fixed on-site if you carry a skate tool, but why put extra wear on your board if you don’t have to?
4 – Skate trucks are gross.
If you do any grinding on your skateboard at all, carrying your board by the trucks will be a lot less appealing.
Grinding both wears on your trucks, making them rough to the touch, and causes your trucks to collect substantial amounts of debris, including skate wax and the dirt that loves to settle into skate wax.
Grab your board by a truck right after a good grind, and you’ll quickly be reminded trucks are working components, not hand holds.
How to Hold a Penny Board
Since penny boards are just miniature plastic skateboards, it shouldn’t be surprising that the same holds work for a penny board that work for a full-size skateboard.
You can tuck a penny under your arm, hold it across your shoulders, or pinch it by the nose.
However, since pennies are so much smaller than standard skateboards you do have a couple of extra carrying options.
Just hold it.
Penny boards are so small that many people are comfortable simply holding them in their hands.
Like this –
Gripping a penny this way will get tiring after a while, but then you can just stick it under your arm.
Hold it on one shoulder.
The reduced length of penny boards can actually make them harder to hold across both shoulders.
But their short lengths and light weights make them easy to hold on one shoulder.
Like this –
Hold Your Skateboard However You Want
Welp. That’s it. These are the ways to hold your skateboard that won’t do any damage and will keep you from banging it on steps and curbs.
As long as you can get some leverage under the board and keep a hand on it without pulling at the working components, you should be fine.
Need to transport your board further than a few steps? Check out How to Carry a Skateboard.