If you follow the proper learning steps in the correct order, learning how to ride a longboard doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Without knowing even the basics, many riders take to the hills right away. Here are ten longboard tips for beginners meant to help ease you into the world of longboarding!
Types of Longboards
In general, the length of a longboard affects its stability. However, longer boards are less agile because they are harder to turn as quickly and efficiently as shorter ones. Therefore, when buying a longboard, consider the kind of riding you intend to do.
- Freestyling or freeriding
- Downhill longboarding
How to Ride a Longboard: Steps to Success
If you’re practicing longboarding, it’s a good idea to be padded up, even if you don’t think it’s the most fantastic way to do so. You need padding if you do more extreme forms of longboarding.
You’ll need safety gear and a secure location at which to learn how to ride your board.
You can make your experience more enjoyable and progress faster if you keep these two points in mind. Protective gear will help you stay safe if you fall off your board. At some point, you’re going to fall off your board. The ability to fall and to come off of a board properly can also help prevent serious injuries.
Make sure you have the following gear:
- A helmet that fits well
- Shoes suitable for skateboarding (7-inch bottoms)
- Pads for the elbows (optional)
- A knee pad (optional)
- Slide gloves (depending on the board you have)
Regular Stance or Goofy
Board sports are different for everybody (and some people may even have a different riding stance for each sport). For example, longboarders who naturally stand on their left foot forward and right foot back are called “regular,” while those who put their right foot forward are called “goofy.”
Test your riding ability by getting someone to push you from behind without warning. Whenever you put your foot out to catch yourself, that’s the foot you want to lead with on a skateboard. Switch to your other foot if you feel something is wrong.
An excellent way to find out is to try to slide on a smooth surface while wearing socks or figure out which foot you want to use when you get up.
Balance is key
When you start boarding the first thing you should do when you start boarding is to become comfortable balancing on the longboard before moving.
You can safely ride on a longboard by putting the board on grass or thick carpeting where friction will keep it from rolling.
It totally depends on your ride, which will lead to the placement of your feet. So, your feet should be placed properly which will ensure a safe ride. Your front foot should point diagonally at about a 45-degree angle, and your back foot should point slightly outward.
To keep yourself in control, guide yourself with your peripheral vision when you feel as if you are out of control. You will naturally be able to gain control over your body by doing this.
Turning Stance Practice
Your wheels aren’t rolling on your longboard as you stand in the grass, but the deck leans to one side as you shift your weight. Further, Your deck will turn as you lean on each edge by rolling back and forth with your ankles.
In the next step, lock your ankles and pivot your body forward (toes) and backward (heels). However, you might find that other stances work better for you after a couple of sessions with your longboard. Feel free to go with what you’re comfortable with.
Practice Break Stance
Longboarding requires you to master the skill of balancing while using one leg as a pusher or braker. It is, of course, an essential skill to know how to brake if you are a beginner on a longboard effectively. So the first technique you’ll need to master is foot braking.
To slow yourself down, instead of kicking with your back foot after dropping it to the ground, the sole of your foot brushes the ground to create friction.
Practice Crave to Slow Down
You can carve your longboard by performing successive turns in an S shape pattern. A rider who is going down a slope should turn (carve) as sharply as possible to moderate their speed. You will slow down if you turn back and forth.
Whenever you turn, you lean hard so you can scrub the road and slow down.
Falling is essential to learning.
You will fall sooner or later. Though, don’t let it scare you. To avoid breaking your arms or wrists, make sure you don’t fall on stiff arms or hands.
It would be best if you learned to roll sideways rather than putting out your arms when you fall (which is your natural inclination). When you land, you need to land on your forearm and roll your shoulder in a sideways motion.
For those wearing gloves and knee/ elbow pads, sliding it out on your kneepads is an easier option than rolling it out.
Tip & Tricks
Last but not least, I’d like to mention longboarding etiquette and how you should behave when skating.
Keep your lane even when you are riding between multiple vehicles on a roadway, and obey all traffic signs as you would while driving. Consider riding conservatively, getting ready for the worst-case scenario from cars (e.g., unannounced turning), dogs, and bikes.
I hope these tips about the ride on a longboard are helpful to you if you’re starting. In terms of the steps and skills I learned while getting started, I tried to reflect on my own experience.
Your learning pace, experience, and personality will indeed decide the order in which you complete these steps.
You should be careful while having fun!