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Imagine that one day, on the pavement near the beautiful beach, the sun is setting.
You are riding your longboard while the wind is licking your face that you can feel it cold.
And you smile.
How free and peaceful it is, right?
But you might be wondering:
Where to start?
Especially when you don’t know anything about this sport?
Even if you have a longboard teacher, they couldn’t provide you with all the information.
That’s why we decided to bring some basics of longboarding to help you make your first move on the street.
These are all the knowledge about longboard that we wished someone told us at the beginning.
We believe this would be useful for you.
If you are a skateboarder, it would be a great start.
However, keep in mind that these two are only similar, not the same.
So, let’s come up with the first question:
What Is The Difference Between Longboards and Skateboards?
It is the length and its application.
Longboards are, as the name says it all, longer.
They can have the maximum and minimum length of 50 inches and 34 inches, respectively.
Skateboards tend to run around 30 and 33 inches long.
For the use of it, longboards aren’t for tricks, jumps, and kicks.
They are meant for carving hills and rolling down long streets.
Most skateboards are symmetrical at the head and tail.
On the other hand, longboards can come in the wide range of shapes with different riding styles.
Next is choosing a right longboard and protective gears.
However, it is not before this part:
What Kind of Riding Do You Want?
To choose the right longboard for you, you should know what your riding style is.
As far as we have known, longboarders generally can divide into four types:
- Firstly, if you just want a board to get around, you should go for a cruiser.
They have a pointed nose and a rounded tail.
Or maybe a pintail. They have a sharper point on the nose.
- If you are keen on downhill skating, then consider a speedboard or topmount.
With narrow heads and blunt-end tails, these would help you ride faster.
- The third option is for freestyle riding which you can skate downhill and perform your skills:
Then your top choice should be a drop down board or a drop through board.
What makes them different with the above ones is the heads and tails are symmetrical.
- Last but not least, dancing on longboard
This is a term created by two famous skaters – Adam Stokowski and Adam Colton.
They mixed surfing, freestyle skating, dancing and whatever catching up their eyes into a unique longboarding style.
With this style, it is better to choose a bigger deck.
It will give the rider more space for their foot movements.
You can also look for boards suited for carving.
Every style is fun. The most important thing is to find what you enjoy the best.
Wheels are also very important.
If it has square edges, only skate on flat surfaces and smooth hills.
To carving, the wheel should be rounded.
When you ride on areas with a lot of twists and turns, choose a beveled wheel.
After knowing some basics about longboard, it is time to prepare the one for you:
What You Need to Get Started
As we have analyzed above, choose your unique longboard depending on your riding style.
We highly recommend you to consider the top longboard brands reviewed in longboardbrand.com.
They are well-known for providing thousands of tips, tricks, and information for those who want to know this sport better.
Some people don’t care much about this part.
You might have seen a bunch of surfers wearing flip-flops on the beach.
However, it affects your riding experiment a lot.
Let’s choose flat-bottomed shoes.
A good helmet
Don’t think it would make you less cool.
Instead, wearing a helmet proves that you are a pro skater who knows to secure your life.
Especially, longboarding typically aims for high speed, it is a must to protect your head.
You can also protect other exposed parts such as knees or elbows by wearing pads.
How about coming to the main part today, shall we?
The basic tips for longboarding
This is one of the first steps.
Simple but essential.
If you already do skateboarding, snowboarding or surfing, then you would know what stance is comfortable for you.
If you are an absolute newbie, well, make sure that you need to experiment a few times to find your balancing foot.
Normally, if you are right-footed, then left foot will be your balancing foot and vice versa.
There are two types of stances:
If your right foot back and left foot leading, it is a regular stance.
On the opposite, goofy stance is where your left foot back and right foot at the front.
If you are not sure what is the leading foot, here’s what you can try:
Ask a friend to push you, whichever foot step forward first is the kicking foot.
By the way, there is not the right way to stand, just go with what is best for you.
Put your balancing foot onto the middle of the board, a little to the front.
Use the other foot to push yourself to move forward then finally place that foot onto the board.
Your feet on the truck should be just a little bit wider than your shoulder width.
Your front foot points about 45 degrees while your back one is 90 degrees to the direction you are traveling.
Nonetheless, this is just a guideline.
Normally, depending on what you want to do, your feet should move to appropriate places.
- When you want to gain speed skating downhill, then point your feet downhill.
- For a hill, which means going down very fast, you should widen your stance a bit than usual.
- Many skaters begin with the front foot facing forward while pushing off, then adjust their stance when the board starts moving.
Relax your body and bend your knees, you will feel much stable on the longboard.
Your First Ride
How to make the first move?
To say it simply, you only need to gain your balance on the front foot, then push your back foot.
It sounds simple.
Nevertheless, you also have to fall at least a few times to get it going.
Some skaters use a technique called “pushing Mongo”, which they will push off with their front foot.
It is, though, better to start by using your back foot as normal.
As long as you are comfortable with the pushing, practice it on a slight hill.
The gravity will work for you so you don’t need to push so much.
One or two pushes would be enough to help you cruise to the bottom.
Once you get used to it, then you can increase your speed.
Learn to skate without knowing how to stop is like you are trying to get yourself hurt.
Therefore, next is the braking technique.
Beginners commonly use the footbreaking method to stop.
It means dragging your foot on the pavement. Keep your foot flat when you drag.
Do this gently as if you apply too much pressure on it, you might lose the board and fall off.
One thing to remember is don’t be afraid to bail.
It helps you avoid serious damage when your riding is getting out of control.
Learn to Turn
You have learned how to start, stop, cruise.
Now, it is time to learn how to turn.
Only a few maneuvers you need to remember:
- For slight curves, you should lean your body to the side you want to turn towards.
The pressure on the board will move you to where you want to go.
The more you practice, the more you will know how much weight to shift to make a more difficult turn.
- To carve, shift your weight onto either your heel or toe and use it to direct your board.
Tips: If you want to increase your speed, crouch while leaning your weight into a curve.
Beginners seem to focus on their feet while they are skating.
However, focus on the direction you want to go. Your board will move to the place your eyes are looking.
You can push off a few times before going into a turn to increase the speed while turning or carving.
Above are the basics about longboarding.
At the end of the day, practice is what gives you the real feeling of longboarding.
Don’t expect to be flawless from the start. Actually, mistakes can teach you a lot of things.
You may get hurt. However, we hope that with our tips, your pain will be decreased.
After all, just enjoy the process.