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Sports & Gaming

How to Skate a Bowl: Learn to Carve Around Corners in 3 Steps

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Jun 22, 2020 • 1 min read

MasterClass Video Lessons

Tony Hawk Teaches Skateboarding

Carving is a technique that surfers, snowboarders, and skateboarders use to build momentum, and it’s particularly useful for skating pools.

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Tony Hawk Teaches SkateboardingTony Hawk Teaches Skateboarding

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk teaches you how to take your skateboarding to the next level, whether you’re a beginner or a pro.

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What Is Carving on a Skateboard?

Carving on a skateboard is the act of making big, fast turns in the corners of transitions. On flat surfaces, carving is easiest on a longboard or carving board, but with practice, you can learn to carve a bowl on a shortboard. Carving involves alternating frontside carves and backside carves by bending your knees and leaning into the front edge then back edge of the skateboard.

How to Carve a Bowl on a Skateboard

There isn't much to completing a proper carve, but it takes time and practice to cleanly execute the move.

  1. Approach the corner. As you’re reaching a corner, do a small pump with your legs through the upward transition
  2. Steer the board. As you near the top of the transition, steer your board into a sideways position on the wall.
  3. Hard pump the board. Going through the sideways plane of the corner, give a hard pump with your legs to pick up maximum speed.

4 Tips for Learning to Carve Safely

There’s risk involved for any skateboard trick, so take the proper precautions to ensure that you’re being safe your first time.

  1. Wear a helmet and pads. If you're a novice skateboarder, falling or tripping is part of the process. Ensure that you have the right pads to break your fall—specifically knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet. You can find our complete guide to essential skating gear here.
  2. Read and follow official rules. Every skate park will have a list of rules to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment. Do your part and check them out anytime you skate a new park.
  3. Observe before joining in. To avoid collisions, park skaters take turns skating. This is especially important when the park is busy. Notice when other skaters take their turns so you can understand the order and flow, then claim your spot and take your turn.
  4. Practice on a flat surface. Before dropping into a bowl, practice carving on flat surfaces until you’ve mastered your footing and balance.
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Want to Learn More About Skateboarding?

Whether you’re just learning how to ollie or ready to tackle a Madonna (the vert trick, not the singer), the MasterClass All-Access Pass can help you find confidence on your board with exclusive instructional videos from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, street skater Riley Hawk, and Olympic hopeful Lizzie Armanto.

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