If you had done skateboarding, you heard about longboarding. It is not different than skateboarding. The prime difference is the length of the board and the size of the wheels. Just like the name, a longboard is made up of a larger board, and the wheels are big in comparison with a skateboard. Know more about the differences between the longboard and skateboard here.
This longboarding is a must try as it is fascinating to ride and the adrenaline rush is great. You will feel on top of the world during longboarding.
Before heading off to the road with a longboard, you should know all the basic techniques and safety issues. This article will give you full knowledge about how to longboard, how to stand on it, stop or steer on it.
With the ideas about the techniques and safety issues, you will not be in a rush while starting as a beginner. It is better to start from ground zero and build your way up gradually. Right?
The following article will familiarize you with the longboard beginner guide.
How to Ride A Longboard for Beginners?
Down below, I will be listing some critical factors that you should keep in mind to make the most out of your longboard.
Choose the Kind of Longboard You Should Buy Initially
Entering the market, your eyes will be glued to the various types of colorful longboards. But, don’t get excited by the attraction and buy any one of them without knowing the motive.
This is a mistake that you should avoid as a beginner. Some longboards are used for downhill riding, and some are used for roaming around the streets. So, choose the one that fits your requirement.
Along with that, the sizes of the longboards should also be taken into consideration. If you want a right balance, a longer board will be a perfect choice.
But you will have a difficult time during turning because of the boards’ long length. If you want to avoid this turning problem, then go for a shorter board. For this board, the balancing will be a bit difficult than the longer board.
As you are a beginner, like a baby, you should first focus on your balance. After that, you will shift to other techniques. The best recommendation will be that you should buy the longer board and be stress-free from the balancing problem.
Don’t Leave the Market Without Safety Gears
It is smart to always take protective measures and be one step ahead to prevent any accidents from occurring. Like skateboarding, longboarding accident also occurs. From teenagers to adults, all of them have faced some kind of misfortunes.
These accidents can be dangerous if the safety gears are not put on. You will never know when there will be an incoming crack or any obstacles in the road or across the street.
Hitting these obstacles might force you to lose balance. In this critical situation, you might bust your head off, break your knee or elbow or even cut yourself. To be on the safer side, wear a helmet, knee and elbow pad and shoes.
There are longboarding shoes available in the market. You can have a grab on it.
Are you a Regular or Goofy?
These are the two names that are created to distinguish between the foot placements of the riders in the forward direction. In other words, which foot the rider places forward will determine whether he/she is a regular or goofy.
If you ride by placing your left foot forward and the right foot backward, you are a regular rider. If you are a goofy rider, then your right foot is positioned forward and the left one back. These are the common ways to find out the kind of rider you are.
There are also some ways that you can try with anyone to check it. You can take help from a friend or a family member in this case. Direct anyone of them to gently push you from behind. You shouldn’t be aware of the pushing.
After you get pushed, you will move from your original position suddenly. This will subconsciously force one of your foot to maintain your balance. The foot that will do that will be the one you will be placed forward in the longboard. Another way you can try is to find any long-inclined plane.
Just get on the top safely and slide your way to the bottom. Before touching the ground, one of your feet will come forward, and that foot will be placed forward in the longboard.
These ways might not give you the exact result, but you can try it for a couple of times to check the consistency of your dominant foot.
Standing on A Longboard
This section will inform you about how to stand on a longboard. The prime thing about longboarding is to maintain your balance. With proper balance, you can control the speed and change the direction in any way you like. Proper balance comes from the correct stance.
As a beginner, you should start riding with a low stance. To get in this position, adjust your front foot in 45 degrees forward and back foot in 90 degrees. Make sure to put your whole-body weight onto the center of the board for a good balance. Keep your head straight while directing yourself.
While pushing your longboard forward, one foot will be on board, and the other one will do the pushing. You are familiar with it but it gets tough to balance with one foot, but that is the only way to push the board forward. So, you should take baby steps to level up your balancing power.
Start by putting one of your foot on the board and the other foot above the ground as if it is levitating. Move that leg in every direction possible to adjust yourself with a single leg in the board. You will face difficulties initially, but with time, you will be a master in this.
The leg that you have moved around for balance will gradually strengthen up also. This will help you when you will kick to exert greater power for the longboard to move forward. These longboard foot placement techniques will come in handy when you are up to do some cool longboard tricks.
Learn to Move In The Forward Direction
As you are slowly learning to longboard by progressing in every step mentioned above, now should be the time for you to practice repeatedly with the longboard by moving with it in the forward direction. Start with placing one foot on the board and the other one on the ground.
Make sure your balance is right and be relaxed during the whole process. Move the longboard forward by pushing your back foot against the ground. Pushing will create momentum in your body, and the energy produced in your body will move the longboard in the forward direction.
This is a standard technique applied by most of the beginners. Another method is known as ‘mongo.’ This one is a bit hard to implement because in this case, you have to use your front foot to do the pushing. Doing this might shake your body and ruin your balance.
As a beginner, it is best to go for the usual pushing technique. With time and practice, you can shift to the ‘mongo’ technique if you are flexible to use this. It is not necessary to change from one method to the other; after all, it all depends on your experience with the longboard and your comfort zone.
With constant repetition, you will feel that it is time to level up your pushing speed and you should go for it. More speed will give you an extra amount of time in the longboard. This will help you to learn different tricks.
How to Steer A Longboard?
Once you are comfortable with the balancing and pushing forward steps, you should now divert your attention towards steering a longboard. Don’t be afraid while directing your longboard in any direction. Make sure not to fall off while doing a turn.
Keep your safeguards on every time. For doing a perfect turn, your body weight distribution needs to be taken into consideration. As mentioned already, put most of the bodyweight into the center of the longboard. Distribute a small amount of weight onto your front foot according to your flexibility.
While taking a turn, your body will be moving front so weight will be transferred in your front foot. If you want to turn in the right direction, slightly move your body to the right, and you will see that your body will make your front foot move the longboard in the right direction.
Same goes while turning left. If you apply too much weight onto your front foot, you will probably end up falling on the ground. In terms of speed, turn at a decent speed to avoid any accidents. If you turn at high speed, either you will fall off, or you will take a turn that you will not be proud of.
Watch some YouTube videos about steering a longboard, or you can even visualize seeing yourself doing it. This will prepare you mentally to go for a perfect turn.
How to Stop on A Longboard?
After mastering all the skills mentioned, you will probably be thinking ‘how should I stop the longboard?’ Have no fear because you are now going to know the ways to stop it when needed. Mastering the stopping skill is very important; after all, you are not going to ride along forever.
Foot braking technique is the ultimate solution. With this, you can stop the longboard at any time safely. Do this by putting your back foot on the ground. While moving, your back foot will create friction with the field. Friction will cause resistance in the movement, and as a result, it will slow the speed.
Always wear a good longboard shoe. While creating friction, make contact with the ground slowly. The friction needs to happen gradually. If it goes fast, your speed will suddenly come into a halt, and you might end up getting injured.
As you will get comfortable with time, try stopping it at a faster speed. Then, try stopping it quickly at any speed. Practice all kind of techniques to prepare yourself for any kind of uncertainty.
Try Out Some Longboard Tricks
Now, you are perfectly eligible to try out some tricks. After all, longboarding is not fun without performing any tricks.
Try out the carving trick as it is very sporty and exciting. Do this by shifting your body weight to the toe or heel edge to make an ‘S’ shape.
Check out some google images, and you will get an idea about the mentioned shape. This can be used to slow down your longboard instead of creating friction between your foot and the ground. For practice, do this in an open area with less traffic.
Another trick you can try out is the sliding trick. This looks very cool and attractive while performing. You will look like a pro player when you perform this trick.
Do this by slightly bending your knees and putting your body weight onto the front. Your front foot should also be in the forward direction. Then slide off the board with your back foot and don’t forget to make contact with your front knee and the ground. This one is a bit tough to grasp, but with time, it will get easy.
Tips to Follow
- Your arms and foot movement will always be necessary, so it is better to be physically fit.
- Don’t just jump right into downhill longboarding if you are a beginner. Learn the basics and then shift.
- There are some videos posted online about ‘Longboarding for beginners.’ Have a look on it.
- If you haven’t mastered all of the steps mentioned, don’t do longboarding at high speed. You will either hurt yourself or others.
Longboarding is fun to perform, and it is getting popular every day. ‘How to longboard?’ will be the first thing coming into your mind if you are a beginner and planning on longboarding like others.
If you understood the whole article, you are one step away to be good at longboarding. Consult with experienced longboarders about your strength and weakness and work on it accordingly.