Longboarding is an enjoyable and thrilling sport that has recently gained popularity. It involves riding a longer version of a skateboard, called a longboard, that allows for greater stability and control, making it suitable for downhill racing, cruising, and freestyling.
Longboarding requires skill, practice, and safety precautions, which, when combined, will enable the rider to enjoy the sport fully without endangering themselves or others.
Choosing the Right Gear for Longboard
Longboarding requires several pieces of gear to ensure safety and comfort during the ride. These include:
The first and most crucial piece of gear is the longboard. However, the boards come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, and choosing the right one depends on your preference and skill level.
Beginners should opt for a stable longboard, a larger deck, and softer wheels to provide better control and comfort. Therefore, buying a beginner’s longboard can help you to ride smoothly.
A helmet is a must-have safety gear for any longboarder. It protects the head from injury in case of an accident, and choosing a helmet that fits well and has sufficient padding to provide maximum protection is essential.
Knee and Elbow Pads
Knee and elbow pads protect the rider’s limbs from injury in case of a fall. They should fit snugly and be sturdy to provide adequate protection.
Gloves are necessary for downhill racing or freestyle longboarding riders. They protect the hands from abrasions and provide a better grip on the board.
We suggest you wear longboard shoes worn while longboarding should have flat soles and good traction to better grip the board. Avoid wearing sandals, high heels, or flip-flops, as they can cause accidents due to a lack of grip.
Mounting the Longboard
After acquiring the necessary gear, the next step is getting on the longboard. Here are the steps to follow:
Stand with one foot on the board
Place one foot on the board, with the other on the ground, slightly behind the board. Make sure that your body weight rests on the foot in contact with the ground.
Push off with the other foot
Using the foot on the ground, push off gently to gain momentum. After attaining adequate velocity, elevate your other foot and position it on the longboard.
Find your stance
Longboarders have two main stances, regular and goofy. For a regular stance, the left foot is positioned ahead, and for a goofy stance, the right foot is in front. Discover your preferred stance and make certain that your body weight is equally distributed on the longboard.
Keep your knees slightly bent and your weight centred on the board to maintain balance. Avoid leaning too far forward or backward, as it can cause you to lose control of the board.
Basic Longboarding Techniques
Now that you are on the board learning some basic longboarding techniques is time. These techniques will enable you to maneuver the board better and increase your control and confidence while riding.
To turn, lean your weight toward your goal while keeping your knees bent. Use your body to steer the board and your feet to adjust your balance. For sharper turns, pivot your front foot while keeping your back foot stationary.
Longboard braking is an essential technique for any longboarder, and there are several ways to brake. The most common is the foot brake, where you drag one foot along the ground to slow down or stop the board.
Another method is the slide brake, where you apply pressure to the wheels to cause them to lose traction and slow down the board. Mastering braking techniques is crucial to halt your movement rapidly and securely when required.
Pushing is a technique that maintains or increases speed when longboarding on flat surfaces. Position one foot on the longboard and employ the other foot to propel yourself from the ground. The pushing foot should be planted firmly on the ground, and the pushing motion should be smooth and controlled.
Carving is a technique that maintains speed while going downhill. It involves making smooth, fluid turns while leaning your weight toward the turn.
Carving allows you to control your speed and maintain balance while going downhill.
Advanced Longboarding Techniques for Pro Longboarders
Advanced longboarding methods necessitate increased expertise and training, but once perfected, they can be exceedingly gratifying. Once you’ve become proficient with the fundamental techniques, you can progress to these advanced maneuvers.
Sliding is a technique used to slow down or stop the board while going downhill. It involves breaking traction on the wheels and sliding the board sideways. Sliding requires precise footwork and balance and is usually done at high speeds.
Dancing is a longboarding style involving performing intricate footwork and dance-like moves while riding the board. It requires excellent balance and control and is usually done on flat surfaces.
Freestyle longboarding involves performing tricks and stunts on the board. It includes spins, flips, and other acrobatic moves and requires excellent balance, coordination, and skill.
Longboarding can be a dangerous sport, and taking safety precautions to prevent injuries is essential.
So, how to safely longboarding? Here is a quick essential guide about safety on a longboard.
Wear Protective Gear
Always wear a helmet, knee and elbow pads, and gloves when longboarding. These will protect you from injuries in case of a fall.
Check your Gear
Before longboarding, ensure that your board, trucks, wheels, and bearings are in good condition. Replace any worn or impaired components to avert mishaps.
Pay attention to your surroundings and stay aware of any obstacles or hazards on the road. Be especially cautious when riding downhill or in areas with heavy traffic.
Know your Limits
Don’t attempt advanced techniques or ride at high speeds if you are not confident in your skills. Start with basic techniques and gradually work up as you gain experience and skill.
Practice in Safe Areas
Practice your longboarding skills in safe areas like empty parking lots or designated skate parks. Steer clear of congested streets or places with foot traffic.
Choosing the Appropriate Longboard
Choosing the right longboard is essential to your success as a longboarder. Numerous varieties of longboards exist, each intended for a particular objective.
The following are some aspects to contemplate when choosing the best longboard.
Longboard decks come in various shapes, including pintail, drop-through, and cruiser. Each deck design is tailored to a specific intent, hence select a board that complements your riding technique.
Longer decks provide more stability, while shorter decks are more maneuverable. Choose a deck length that matches your riding style and experience level.
Longboard trucks are responsible for turning and maintaining stability. Choose trucks that match the width of your deck and are appropriate for your riding style.
Longboard wheels come in various sizes and hardness levels. Choose wheels that match your riding style and the terrain you will be riding on.
Bearings are responsible for the smooth rotation of the wheels. Choose bearings that match your riding style and are appropriate for your wheel size.
Is longboarding difficult to learn?
Longboarding can be challenging to learn, especially if you have no prior experience with board sports. However, anyone can learn how to longboard with dedication, practice, and patience.
Is longboarding dangerous?
Longboarding can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. It is essential to wear protective gear, check your gear before riding and stay alert to your surroundings. Always practice in safe areas and know your limits.
Longboarding is a thrilling and rewarding sport that requires skill, practice, and safety precautions. By choosing the right gear, mastering basic techniques, and following safety and etiquette guidelines, you can learn how to longboard safely and confidently.
Respect others and the environment, communicate effectively, and always practice safety first. With dedication and practice, you can become a skilled longboarder and enjoy the thrill of the sport while doing many tricks.