Longboarding is definitely one of the best ways to let yourself go – the immense pleasure you get, riding with the winds, breaking the waves, and the chaos that follows, it’s beyond everything. Longboarding is one fantastic sport that’s quite similar to quite to skateboarding. In fact, longboarding is the term used for skateboarding with boards larger than the usual shortboard trick-oriented skateboards that you normally see in skateboarding competitions. It uses a longer board, bigger wheels and sometimes bigger trucks. Longboarding is perfect for speed enthusiasts who want a more comfortable, soulful ride, but also for those who want to carve down a steep hill at high speed.
Longboarding is all this and a lot more. But the question is how hard is it to learn how to longboard! Well, longboarding is FUN, and some would say it’s arguably easier to pick up but relatively speaking, few would disagree that it takes less time and effort to master the skills of longboarding. With their long wheelbases and bigger decks, longboards give the rider more room to move around and find a comfortable stance. Actually, longboarding is not very hard, especially for those who have previous boarding experience. However, if you’re just a beginner trying to get the feel of being on a board, it takes some getting used to.
Recommended Board Type
It is a little difficult to choose a longboard for beginners, but it’s not impossible. You’ll probably confuse which board is perfect for you, if it’s your first time. Longboard length, wheels, deck, trucks, longboard shape and design are some of the most important consideration when you decide to purchase a longboard as a beginner. Most of the people would recommend getting a drop deck, if you’re buying your first board. This is because they have very god traction and control. It really helps with keeping your center of gravity. You should also look at materials – synthetic materials have more durability than others. Once you start longboarding, you will realize you can do anything on any board, the limiting factor is just you.
If you come from a skateboarding background or if you have done longboarding before then it’s so much fun. However, turning on a longboard is more like carving on a snowboard rather than turning on a skateboard. So it would take some getting used to. While both recreational activities appear to be very much similar at first, they do in fact have distinct differences which complement various types of personal style and preferences. While the skateboard is easier to carry and provides the thrill of accomplishing crazy and difficult tricks, the longboard is becoming increasingly popular because of its wide range of uses. Even though performing tricks is normally associated with skateboarding, longboarders have some pretty great moves under the table as well, especially when using the right deck.
No Boarding Background
Longboarding is tons of fun, but if you come from no boarding background, the entire process of learning how to slide on a longboard will seem like a lot and both pushing and carving will seem foreign. First off, longboards are customizable for the intended purposes of you, the rider. But whether you’re interested in downhill boarding, slaloming, or just getting to and from work or school, longboards share certain characteristics that set them apart from skateboards. It can be a little hard to learn how to slide on a longboard, but once you can, it opens up entirely new possibilities for you and your longboard. People might tell you there’s some special trick to learning how to slide in 10 minutes or less and there’s not. It’s purely practice. Grab your board and gear and head to your local skate spot to practice sliding.
Goofy or Regular
Do you skate with your right foot forward? That means you’re riding “goofy”. On the contrary, if you skate with your left foot forward, you’re a regular. Goofy and regular refer to your actual stance on the board. Basically, a regular longboarder will be facing to the right while riding forward, and a goofy footed longboarder will be facing left. Apart from the name, there’s nothing wrong with riding goofy and it is almost just as common as riding regular. To figure out whether you’re a goofy or a regular, simply experiment with both until you figure out which way you feel most comfortable with.
Learning to Push
To learn how to push you’d want to begin on a flat surface. Try riding it around a couple times on a flat surface and feel the smooth flow as it rolls over the concrete. The lower you keep your center of gravity, the better you’ll feel. Also, make sure you feel comfortable before moving on. When pushing, you want to keep your board foot facing forward and then you want to use your knee to pump yourself up and down while doing a walking motion. Your center of gravity stays in the same spot which allows you to maintain control and balance. You can go for one big push or several smaller pushes. Try to keep your body loose as you push off. The stiffer the body, the harder it will be to keep your balance.
Learning to Turn
Learn to practice turning on your board if you want to ride around. Turning is quite easy. Find a shallow hill that tapers off at the bottom and then just stand on the board, gently lean into and point your shoulder in the direction you wish to go. Turning is mostly lean controlled not pivot controlled, so you do not want to be turning your torso much. Turning is relatively easy – all you have to do is put pressure down on one side of the board, leaning in that direction, and voila! Make sure your trucks are loose enough to allow for tight turning. If you find yourself having difficulty, just look in the direction you want to go and your body will follow.
Learning to Carve
When you are able to turn in both directions comfortably and easily, it’s time to practice carving. This is what really makes longboarding unique. Well, carving is not only fun but also essential for speed control. Carving is simply shifting your body weight to the heel edge or toe edge of your foot in order to make an “S” pattern as you longboard. To carve, start by going at a moderate speed. Turn to one side as far as the road you are on will allow, and then turn to the other side. You do not want to tackle anything too steep in the beginning. If you feel comfortable carving back and forth, try to practice carving at higher speeds, while making tighter turns or carves. With a little bit of practice, you will be carving on your longboard in no time.
Learning to Stop
Stopping is definitely something you must learn how to do if you don’t want to run into people or things. The most basic method of stopping is foot braking – this is where you drag one foot on the ground. Remember to be gentle and practice while going slow. You’ll need to practice increasing your foot pressure to stop more quickly, and performing a foot brake at higher speeds. Foot braking is probably the most reliable way to stop or slow down – you create a lot of friction with your foot, thereby slowing the momentum of the board down.