Longboarding brings so many people joy. This charming sport has kept an enormous mass hooked within it since it's existence. Whether it's about commuting or just fun riding, there's a bit of swag about longboards.
If you're a beginner in the longboarding arena, it might seem a daunting task. Don't panic just yet. The learning curve is quite small, and you can be an expert within no time. For now, you need to keep the basics right. And we're here to help you with that. Here are the basics of 'how to longboard' to let you start as soon as you finish reading.
Basic Style of Longboard
Learning how to longboard starts with the first step. There are many styles of riding longboards. However, what's necessary is that you start with the basic style, i.e. cruising. It just involves pushing the longboard with one leg while riding with the other. This is the most straightforward style and paves the way for learning other difficult styles. Done with this basic style, you can go for carving where you turn back and forth while riding. When you think you're good enough, you can even try dancing and freestyling.
Goofy or Regular? What's your stance?
Identifying your natural stance is important for longboarding. Of course, you don't want to feel uncomfortable throughout your ride. With a wrong stance, you can even be more prone to accidents. So it's highly recommended that you ride with your natural stance only.
There are two kinds of stance you can have on a longboard. It's either goofy or regular. In a regular stance, the rider is comfortable riding with the left foot in the front while the right foot behind. Alternatively, a goofy stance involves keeping the right foot in the front and the left one behind. Hence with a regular stance, you face your right while when going goofy you face your left. Choose what's more comfortable and comes naturally to you.
How to push on a longboard
Now, to begin your ride, you need to push. This is where you put one of your foot on the ground and start pushing so that the board moves forward. Again, there are two ways to push your board. There's normal pushing where you push with your back foot. Then there's mongo pushing where you push with the front foot. One tas associated with the mongo pushing is that you need to swing around with your body to bring it in the right riding position. That's why normal pushing can be better for you.
Talking about the pushing techniques, start by making sure your board is fine, and you've got all the safety gears activated. Now, place your front foot on the board and your back foot on the ground. Keeping your body weight above the board center, push forward kicking off the ground. It would be best if you kept your front leg in a 45-degree and the back leg in a 90-degree position from the forward.
Always keep your head up and look forward. You'll make prevent accidents and keep the body in line for a proper balance. Also, you're keeping a single leg on the board. So it's really important you practice balancing around that. Practice moving around with one of your legs up. Next, practice the same with the stationary board. Finally, you can practice your balance with the moving board. With all bases covered, you can slowly increase the speed of your ride.
Turning and Carving on a longboard
Defeated pushing tricks? Turning and carving are next. Again, your body position is important here. Like while pushing yourself, keep your front and back foot at 45 and 90 degrees and your body weight above your board's center. You also want to put a bit more weight on your front foot. This lets you find a secure position and also saves you from speed wobbles going downhill.
Now to make a turn, lean in the respective direction. You can open or close your chest with your shoulder movements while applying pressure with toes. For a simple start, look towards the direction of the turn, and your body would follow.
Carving comes in handy for slowing down when going fast. What you need to do is take a deep turn left and then similar towards the right. Repeat these turns which forms a perfect S-shape. When comfortable, goo for high-speed carving.
How to stop your longboard?
Stopping is an important skill to learn. The most basic stopping method is foot braking. While foot braking, you generate friction by taking your back foot off the board and dragging it on the ground. The friction slows the speed down and eventually lets you stop. Remember to be gentle at first, and practicing stopping at higher speeds later.
After learning basic stopping, you can learn to stop by carving. With carving, you don't have to take a foot off or change your body position to stop. To stop with carving, you need to use more profound turns in your carves. It would help if you practiced well before you can safely take deep carves for stopping.
Keeping your rides safe
Doesn't matter how good you are falling off your longboard isn't a big deal. Riders now that they can fall any time and hence it's essential that you protect your head with all safety gear.
First things first, make sure your board is good with all the nuts and bolts intact. Next, invest in a well-fitting buckled helmet. Ditch your headphones to be aware of your surrounding. If you can't do without music, use a backpack speaker or a phone. Elbow and knee pads are a must, and you can even have slide gloves if you intend to slide and drift.
Safe fall methods are great safety skills to learn. Learn to roll into and out of a fall. It would help your wrists and knees when you're just about falling. It's also important to follow traffic rules while on the road. Always take the lane and ride straight when cars approach. If you don't want to take the lane, stop and wait beside till the car passes. Try not riding against the traffic.
Although you can avoid night rides, if you still want to, get a nice LED light for your helmet. Also, follow all the right signs and signals for proper safety.
Longboarding is fun, and you get better with time. The only thing that can make you a pro rider is a constant practice. So keep our detailed guide as a mentor and keep practicing. You can watch a few videos for a better understanding as well. And of course, you can talk to a rider friend of yours. If you're looking for more things longboarding, read more here!
So the question we started with was, how to longboard. We hope we did well explaining that. For now, this guide would be more than enough help, to begin with. Get the basics right and keep yourself safe. Happy longboarding!
Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy your longboarding experience!