Drift Skates vs Freeline (Similarities & Differences)

Skateboarding has been around for years. With time, skating has evolved significantly. If you are into skateboarding, you should know that this sport has many variants of riding style available right now. Based on their preferences and skill, skaters like to try these styles.

Today, I’ll be discussing and comparing drift skates vs freeline skating, two most liked riding style among skaters. 

While both are quite different from conventional skateboarding, there are some significant similarities. So, this article will help you know all the details and pick one style for yourself.

So without wasting any time, let’s begin.

drifting vs freeline skateboarding
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What is drifting on a skateboard?

As you are here, it’s safe to assume that you know what drifting generally stands for. Drifting is the act of steering something to make something skid sideways.

However, when it comes to skateboarding, the definition stays the same. In skateboarding, skaters turn the board sideways to skid and stop the board within seconds.

So, drifting in skateboarding is mainly used as a braking technique.

This is the fastest braking technique anyone can learn. In emergencies, when you have to stop or slow down to avoid traffic or hitting something, drifting on a skateboard can be an absolute lifesaver.

You can drive to brake stylishly even if it’s not for braking. 

drift skateboarding
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Is it dangerous to drift on a skateboard?

Drifting can be extremely dangerous on skateboarding, but only if you are not trained enough and not following the rules of skating. Any wrong move, and you’ll end you eating concrete in no time.

First, you need to know where to start drifting to slow down r stop at a certain distance.

If you fail to calculate the starting point, your drifting will be useless. Then, if you push too hard, the skateboard might stop very quickly, knocking you off.

Lastly, drifting can be extremely dangerous if you are not wearing a complete set of safety gear, especially while training.

Where should you drift on a skateboard?

As I mentioned earlier, drifting is a way of braking or slowing down your skateboard. So, naturally, it’s something you’ll perform and need on the road or in a skate park.

However, the place would be completely different if we talked about learning and practicing.

In that case, you should pick somewhere wide open with a smooth surface. When trying drifting initially, you’ll have difficulty maintaining balance or navigating the skateboard.

So, a vast space like a vacant car park will give you room for error. You can also practice on a road with low traffic if that’s not available.

How do you drift on a skateboard (Step By Step)

Now that you know where to drift let me show you how you can drift on a skateboard. Drifting can be super easy with the proper technique and instructions.

Below, I have shown you the drifting technique with some easy steps.

  • Step 1: The first step of learning drifting is proper for placement. For drifting, you must place your front foot above the front truck and the back foot on the tail. Also, make sure you are not going too slow or too fast.
  • Step 2: Now that your skateboard is at a moderate speed and your feet are placed perfectly, get onto a lower stance with knees bent.
  • Step 3: Put all your weight on the front foot and turn your back wheels at 90 degrees. At this point, the board will stay sidewise under your feet.
  • Step 4: Once sideways, lean back and use your back foot to slide the wheels across the ground. The friction will reduce the speed until it comes to a stop.
  • Stop 5: If you don’t want to stop and come out of drifting, take the back foot and reverse the 90-degree rotation.

What is freeline skateboarding?

Freeline skateboarding is a different form from conventional skateboarding. The first thing you’ll notice the difference is the skating equipment itself.

freeline skateboarding
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Instead of a single board, there is a pair of small boards with two wheels underneath each. The rider places two feet over two boards and starts riding.

If you are familiar with skate rolling, you can also call it a blend of that with skateboarding. However, the feet are not attached to anything, unlike skate rolling.

So, though it’s more challenging to learn, it’s also more fun and agile.

How do Freeline Skates work?

As I mentioned earlier, freeline skate is a pair of smaller skateboards will two wheels underneath each board. However, unlike a skateboard, freeline skates are super durable, capable of withstanding 3000 lbs. of weight on each skate.

The deck is made of metal. On top of the deck is grip tape to hold your feet in place. The wheels are also considerably bigger to allow the perfect balance of speed and slide.

The rider usually gets the momentum built by going through in an S motion.

How do you Freeline skate (Step by Step)

Freeline skate is a bit more complicated as you have two different boards under two feet. However, if you follow the steps I mentioned below, you can easily learn to freeline skating.

  • Step 1

The first step is getting your feet properly on a freeline skate. Usually, your feet stay horizontal with the wheels. Usually, the skates are marked left and right to get the sides right.

  • Step 2

One your place your feet, start pushing the skate with any of your feet. Once you get going, keep twisting your body in S motion to keep the momentum going.

  • Step 3

To maintain balance, use a lower stance with knees bent. You can also spread your hands sideways to help yourself with the balance.

Where to practice freeline skating?

Freeline skateboarding is something completely new and different. So, ensure you don’t go to open roads without learning it properly first. Like any form of skateboarding, a smooth and wide space like vacant parking is the best place to start learning to freeline skating.

Once you get a good grip on the whole process, you can move onto a road. Make sure you are not freeline skating on a steep surface initially because you won’t be able to recover if you miss any step.

Check out some awesome free line skateboards from amazon bellow-

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Differences/similarities between drifting and freeline skating

Freeline skating came from conventional skating. So, it’s natural to have some similarities.

But, there are so many differences too. Talking about the differences, both boards’ size, shape and weight capacity are entirely different. The technique is different, too, considering the board formation is different.

As for the similarities, both have a similar type of wheels and deck, either big or small. As for the stance is concerned, drifting and freeline acting need a lower stance with bent knees.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

How do you fix the drift on a skateboard?

If your skateboard’s drifting is messed up, it can ruin your skateboarding experience. That’s why you need to know what can mess up the drift and how you can fix the drift. Most drift issues on a skateboard come from the trucks and wheels.

If you see your board not drifting correctly, check out the wheels, truck and bushing and clean them properly. If the issue still exists after adjustments and cleaning, you’ll probably need to replace them to fix the drift.

Tight or loose truck for drift?

Truck adjustment plays a considerable role in drifting on your skateboard. There is no fixed scale to determine the tightness of the truck.
So, everyone uses their preferred tightness when drifting.
If I have to answer this question, you should tighten the trucks just to the point where the smoothness is intact but without the speed wobble.
Looseness allows you to make turns easily, a crucial aspect of skateboarding. However, extra looseness can also result in nasty falls frim speed wobble.
So, it’s best to stick to the tighter side.

Who invented Freeline Skates?

Freeline skating is a relatively new concept in the skateboarding world. While conventional skateboarding started way back in the 1940s, freeline skate was developed in 2003.
A skateboarder names Ryan Farrelly first developed the idea of freeline skate and introduced it to the world.

How do you pump on Freeline Skates?

Though the idea of freeline is somewhat cones from skateboarding, the pumping technique is significantly different. Unlike skateboarding, you are pushing against the ground through your skates as skate rollers do. You can do the pumping both ways, so it doesn’t matter which of your foot is forward.
Just keep one foot pushing in while the other feet are pushing out. Make sure your pumps are symmetrical, and you have your knees slightly bent for mobility.


That’s a wrap for today. However, I hope my article was helpful enough to give you a better understanding of freeline skating and drift skating. Both freeline and drift skating are relatively new yet have massive potential to become very popular in the coming years.

Though the boards look similar, these two styles are for two different groups of people. Now that you know the details, you can easily decide which type you prefer and go for one that suits your need.

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