When man first attached four wheels to a thin board, he probably did not imagine the multitude of skateboard tricks that would be invented by many, and mastered by few. Whether you dream of going pro, or just enjoy skateboarding as a hobby, a repertoire of skateboard tricks is a necessity. Grab your board and lace up your shoes, because the pavement waits for no one.
Even the professionals had to start somewhere, and it was probably with the ollie. Perhaps one of the easiest skateboard tricks, the ollie is your basic jump. While standing on the board, press down with your back foot to raise the nose of the board off the ground. Then, simply jump, and the board should come into the air with you. To land this trick, use your feet to make the board horizontal in the air.
Slightly more difficult, the basic kick flip is a staple of skateboard tricks. A kick flip is performed similar to the ollie. Keep your front foot at a 45 degree angle, and when you jump, flick your foot out to the side. This should cause the board to rotate. It will often take the beginner multiple attempts to land this more difficult trick.
One of the more glamorous skateboard tricks, the handrail slide, is dangerous and should only be attempted by an experienced skateboarder. Start by performing an ollie onto the handrail. It is important not to ollie higher than necessary; try to get just high enough to clear the rail. Lean forward slightly, as this will help you maintain balance. Be sure to reorient the board when landing, or else you might take a nasty spill.
You don't necessarily need to be on the wheels to perform a few tricks. The foot flip is a fairly basic trick that can be learned very quickly. Simply place the board upside down with your feet underneath it. Jump using only your ankles, and when the board is righted in the air, land on it.
These are just a few basic skateboard tricks. To learn more, perhaps the best method is to find new people to board with. It is very likely that they know a few tricks that you do not. As with most hobbies, there are literally hundreds of how-to books on skateboarding, and many legitimate magazines that offer step by step instructions on how to perform new tricks.