Beginner Longboard Tricks You Need To Know
Longboarding seems to have all but overtaken skateboarding in terms of popularity. Longboards are among the most sold boards in sporting goods stores across the country, as more people take up longboarding as a fun alternative to traditional skateboarding.
But how easy are tricks to do on a longboard? And are there tricks one could learn at a beginner’s level? Let’s dive into longboarding, focusing on what it is, the types of longboards available, and a few beginner longboard tricks you can try to grow your longboarding skills.
A longboard, much like a skateboard, is a board made of a few layers of wood – usually a maple veneer – and laminated together to form a rigid yet slightly flexible board. On the underside of the board, you will find the trucks and wheels, which are used to steer the board. The trucks and wheels on a longboard are bigger and softer than a skateboard, allowing users to go on rougher terrain with little difficulty.
A longboard is shaped very much like a surfboard. First built in the 1940s, surfers used it mainly to keep feet when the ocean was flat or the tide was not in. In more recent times, however, it has become a popular form of entertainment for many and has even been included in the X-Games as luge.
As the name suggests, longboards are great as a form of free, eco-friendly transport and also for tricks, downhill longboarding, and luge. Luge is an extreme sport that involves the rider lying flat on their backs on their longboards and going down incredibly steep hills, complete with twists and turns when you least expect it.
However, they are not designed to be used on vertical ramps and in skate parks. Their softer, slightly bouncy wheels can take riders over rocks, leaves, and twigs and be used on more terrain.
Used by surfers and snowboarders as cross-training exercise, you will see many longboards in use along beach boardwalks, open roads, and even bike paths.
Longboards come in different shapes and sizes. From the classic pintail longboard most commonly used in longboarding to the cruiser, there is a longboard to suit your every boarding need.
The classic pintail longboard has a surfboard shape, a rounded nose, a wide body, and a cute little pintail at the back of the board. The trucks and wheels are larger than those on other boards and allow the rider to go on any terrain of their choice.
Other popular types of longboards, named mainly for their shape, are:
The downhill longboard is the preferred board of daredevils across the globe who enjoy going around hairpin bends on busy mountain roads, dodging cars, and possibly other longboarders on their boards.
Now that you are more familiar with longboarding and the different types of longboards available, it is time to dive into tricks.
Tricks are fun ways to gain skill and impress fellow longboarders. Longboarding is the perfect team activity. It is not uncommon to see teenagers gathered on street corners and empty parking lots on weekends, all trying the latest tricks.
Here are our top 3 longboard tricks for beginners:
Note that all tricks are to be performed while the board is in motion.
The body varial has to be one of the easiest tricks a beginner can learn to do on a longboard. This also forms the base of many other tricks.
- Stand in a wide position, with your feet on each end of the board.
- Crouch slightly, get your knees loose, and get ready to jump.
- Jump! Start momentum with your left arm, following through with your body as you move.
- Drop back onto your board and into the same position you started with.
Another easy trick, the nollie pivot, is also a lead-in to the nollie shuvit, which will be explained in the next section.
- Place your front foot – this is your dominant foot – on the nose of the board, the back foot in the middle, and wind up as you prepare to slide the board.
- Twist your body 180 degrees, twist the board as you move, using your hips and body.
- Push down with your front foot again and regain your balance as quickly as possible.
As mentioned above, you need to master the nollie pivot to do the nollie shuvit.
- Start in the same position as you would the nollie pivot.
- Gain momentum and put weight on the nose of the board. This is where it gets tricky. Apply extra pressure to the board to raise the back to a 45-degree angle.
- Rotate your body, but raise your feet off the board. This will give you a 180-degree spin, and you will land on the board in the same position as before.
The fundamental difference between the Nollie Pivot and Nollie Shuvit is that you don’t rotate with the board. But instead, you rotate alone.
It is important to note that all tricks take some time to learn, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t land a trick on your first attempt. As you work harder and learn the ins and outs of longboarding, the tricks will become more accessible to land, and you will gain more skill too.
Longboarding is an excellent form of exercise that requires skill to land tricks. It is a great activity for young and old, men and women, with even beginners able to do tricks with a little bit of practice.
If you are battling to land a particular trick, ask a more experienced rider to assist you, taking close note of their body movements, foot placement, and how they use their arms to gain momentum. Learning a new trick takes time, but with hard work and determination, you too can land the tricks we have outlined above.