CIf you’re reading this, chances are high that you have witnessed boys and girls moving along in the streets with their longboards!
When people are in a longboard, it seems like they forget about everything else and it looks like their mind is in a different dimension altogether.
While some people do longboarding because of their adrenaline push, others just do it to relax and enjoy and get out of the world for some time.
The easiest way to begin longboarding is cruising, and then people slowly develop the skills required for carving. So, are you looking to get out and enjoy the wind on a longboard?
If affirmative, I suggest you go through this article to know the basics of it.
What Is A Longboard?
Looking to go for longboarding shortly but have no idea about it? Well, don’t worry at all. A longboard is a subcategory of the skateboards, and as the name suggests, they are longer than skateboards.
Longboards are mainly used as sports equipment, and they are fast owing to their wheel structure. These are used primarily for cruising, carving and racing downhill. People often use it as fun transportation too.
Cruising and Carving are the major fun activities you can have with your longboard, and once you get the hang of it, it will be tough for you to leave it home. So, you must know everything there is to know about these activities.
What is Cruising Longboarding?
So you’ve bought a longboard finally and want to take a tour around your neighborhood? This tour around the neighborhood area will be comfortably and fluidly done, and this activity is called cruising longboarding.
Why is it called cruising longboarding? Because you will cruise along the locality with your longboard, it is as simple as that. It is so simple that you will only need to do the basic things and not do anything tough.
Basic longboarding is thus basically cruising. Now, cruising can also be done to get somewhere, and it is sometimes used as a transportation system which is fun. People usually start longboarding to relax and feel better and take time outside the monotonous world and thus cruising is often the first option.
Styles of Cruising
While you may think that cruising just means roaming around the city with your longboard, it is much more than just that. There are different styles of cruising depending on different outlets. You can do leisure cruising which is done by most people.
Besides just passing your leisure, you can go on long trips with your longboard. Another essential style of cruising longboarding is urban cruising which is done when you travel from one part of the city to another. Also, you can match both cruising and carving and get an unusual combination.
Confused about which style may be suitable for you? Don’t worry; we have got your back. Here’s what you need to know.
- Leisure Cruising
If you want to take your longboard and cruise around the park in your leisure time that may be called boardwalk cruising or leisure cruising. Usually, Pintail Longboards are used in this case for cruising. The primary motive of this cruising is to relax and let yourself free.
- Long-distance Cruising
Assuming you want to go from one part of the town to another and you are ready to use your longboard, this is the cruising style you will follow. Two things should be kept in mind in this case.
You should keep your balance in a sustainable position so that you don’t stretch much over the long period. Also, most of your weight should lie forward to ensure better speed and balance.
- Urban Cruising
Are you the type of person who does longboarding around the city to get to your office or school? Then for this urban cruising, you will have to learn certain skills like quick turns, small jumps, instant breaks, etc. Also, you can use longboards with kick-tails as they will help you get over the obstacles.
- Carving and Cruising
This is important to understand if you are looking to cruise on flat land and want to use curves too. In this case, you can use a top-mount board which will help you in making quick turns and shifts of your body.
What is Carving Longboarding?
If you have seen people taking fast and continuous turns back and forth on their longboard on mountain snow, pavement or waves, you are familiar with the idea of carving longboarding.
Carving is mainly done to make a curve maintaining the speed of your longboard. It often gives you the pleasure and freedom and also the adrenaline rush that you must desire after a hectic day of work.
While many people think that carving is all about motion, it can also be about balancing too. In downhill longboarding, you can also do curving to pace and balance yourself properly which will slow you down.
Sometimes, carving is compared to Ocean Surfing because of the similarity between the two. In curving, you have to maintain your motion naturally rather than pushing, and ocean surfers also have to maintain their speed in the same way while they are surfing in waves. And thus, they can be compared.
So if you want to go longboarding in waves or pavements, and if you just want to longboard with some skills and use swinging motion to get momentum and wish to feel free, you are welcome to the world of carving longboarding.
How to Do Carving Longboarding?
While cruising is an easy concept to understand because most of the people do it frequently, carving is somewhat a bit complicated. Carving is done mainly because of the adrenaline rush and because people want to explore a new world with their longboards.
Are you familiar with cruising and getting bored with it? Do you want to try out carving for the first time? Don’t be worried and step on that longboard and we will guide you through everything.
If you have decided on doing carving longboarding, you will first need to figure out which leg is your dominant leg.
If you have already done cruising, you will surely know which leg generates balance for you and if you have not to ask someone to push you on the longboard and you will surely find out which one you use to balance.
Your dominant leg should be in the front, and your other leg should be behind the dominant one. Then you should begin with some gentle pushes which means that you will push with one leg and go forward while your dominant leg will be on the longboard.
Then you will need to put pressure on your toes and turn your shoulder so that your whole body shifts and turns to the direction opposite to your shoulder’s turn. You should always use your whole body while turning.
After you have moved in one direction, you should open your shoulders back out and open up your chest to move back in the previous course. Your hips should rotate accordingly. You should always look at the front with your bent knees and wide hands while carving.
You should start with simple, swift turns and not look for a vicious turn while carving. With more practice and more confidence, more things will naturally come to you.
Important Tips for Carving
- If you’re a new rider, don’t shift your weight too much at the very beginning because it takes a bit of practice to catch on
- Don’t lean hard on your longboard because if it is not responsive you will end up losing your balance and you will fall.
- You should not make swift turns at the beginning and should always look out for obstacles while you make your turn.
- When you are carving on your toe-side, you must not let your heels come off the surface, and similarly, when carving on the heel-side, you should put your toes as close to the surface as possible.
- Once you start carving, you will get more balance, and your movements will be in sync. If at any time you feel like you have not improved at all, go through the basics and restart again.
- After you have mastered the art of turning, you should look forward to more adventure. You should lower your center of gravity and squat while you start turning and stand tall after ending the turn.
- Always remember that the more momentum and speed you can generate, the more you will be able to balance yourself and enjoy the ride so try to get more energy.
Importance of Using Protective Gears
Most people think just because they are experts; they don’t need to use protective gears. Well, they are wrong. The importance of using protective gears is a lot and both novices and experienced ones should use it.
While picking protective gears, you should pick cautiously and bear in mind your safety. We will help you in finding the importance in the important protective gears.
If you’re doing longboarding, the first and foremost thing on your mind should be to protect your head. And that is why using is a helmet is a must. If you’re racing downhill and the track is dangerous, there is no alternative option to a helmet, and the rider must use it.
Not using a helmet might lead to a serious injury and the injuries can even lead to death and thus a helmet must be used while longboarding.
- Padded Shorts
This safety gear will protect the upper leg of the rider as well as will ensure that the rider can balance themselves on the longboard. Without this, a rider will not be able to control their longboard and will fall and get bruises on their knees or toes. These shorts also helps in keeping the skin protected.
- Upper Body Armor
It is essential to use this protective gear to keep your skin from getting ripped off of your upper body. This is important because a rider can lose their balance any time and once they lose their balance they will slide along the longboarding surface which can cause severe damage.
If the upper body armor is used, it will ensure the safety of the rider even if he falls from his longboard. His body will not be bruised, and his skin will be alright even if he slides along.
- Wrist Guards
While taking a turn, a rider is bound to use their hands for balancing them. Often a rider puts pressure on their wrist while making a turn which in turn damages their wrist. If a wrist guard is used, it will ensure that the rider can take turns without putting pressure on their wrist.
- Knee Pads
The rider moves up and down frequently when longboarding and it sometimes causes pain in the knees. To protect their knees from getting hurt and to keep on longboarding, knee pads should be used.
- Shin Guards
Bruising of the shins can be prevented with this safety gear.
The safety gears mentioned above have its unique importance and should not be avoided while doing longboarding. You have to remember that longboarding is enjoyable as long as it is safe to do so. Carving longboarding is a difficult option, and thus safety measures are a must while doing it.
When a person starts longboarding, he is unsure whether he would be able to pull it off. Longboarding is fun because you can slowly grow into it and once you get the hang of it, you will not be able to stay out of it.
Some people do it to just take their mind off of something while some do it to just take a walk across freely and some use it as a mean of transportation.
No matter your use, you should begin with cruising, learn your way up to longboarding, take necessary precautions and above all enjoy your trip while you’re at it.