Longboarding 101: Best 15 Longboarding Tips for Beginners

Best 15 Longboarding Tips for Beginners
longboarding tips for beginners

Riding a longboard is not only great fun, but also it’s great exercising option. On top of that, it opens up the door to more extreme sports like- snowboarding, surfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, etc. This article however covers a whole lot of tips for the first time on a longboard, the main topic surrounds three factors- 

  1. How to step on it?
  2. How to ride the Longboard?
  3. How to stop on a longboard?

Essential Longboarding Tips and Guides for Beginners

Tip 1: Get The Right Board!

Now, getting the right board is very crucial. Everyone has a different preference. Also, it depends on a few other factors than just the longboard itself. For example- the rider’s age, size, weight, riding goal, skills, etc. You need to find out which board you’re most comfortable with.

a) Deck Style of Longboard

Symmetrical Longboards:

Symmetrical boards don’t have a front or back, rather they have similar ends on both sides of the board. These boards are suitable for switch riding which means you can ride both ways- forward and backward.

Asymmetrical Longboards:

The asymmetrical longboards are used for freeriding. They provide the rider with extra foot support so that he can slide easily. These boards do not have a consistent pattern.

Directional Longboards:

As the name says, the directional longboards go in one direction only which is to move forward. This board has a designated nose point to have control and stability. The most common design in directional shape is Pin Tail. These boards have front and back and cannot be switched during a ride.

b) Longboard Deck Designs

You’ll find various deck shapes and designs in longboards. The designs may comprise cruiser, pintail, drop-through, and dropdown.

Cruiser:

Cruiser is the deck design that also comes with a kicktail. It has a top-mount deck and is suitable for riding through busy roads.

Drop-through:

The deck is lower to the ground. The drop-through design is generally symmetrical in shape. As the shape is near to the ground, there are big cutouts for wheels on the ends of the board.

Drop Down:

This board has a lower deck than the Drop-through design. With this board, you can cruise without much effort but turning is difficult with this one. So, you can use them for commuting.

Pintail:

Pintail boards have a shape similar to surfboards. They are top mount or have a higher deck level. So, pushing is harder with this board. But they make good turns. Therefore, you should better use them for tricks and downhill riding.

c) Longboard Deck Size

Size matters!! Especially for a particular place, you’re going to ride through. Hence there are some size specifications for you to choose from to ride in a specific place.

36 to 42 Inches: This board size is perfect if you’re going to ride in specified boardwalks which are only meant for longboarding or spacious park roads. These boards generally have a 9 to 9.5-inch width. They are preferable if you want a stable, comfortable, and safe ride.

28 to 34 Inches: This size is perfect for commuting through the narrow and congested city streets. This size is lighter than the bigger version. Therefore, it’s comfortable to pick up and carry when walking.

Shorter than 28 Inch: But if your main purpose is to get entertained and doing it for fun, then a shorter size is more preferred. Because that’ll help you to make faster turns and frequent carving.

d) Wheels

There are two factors you need to consider when focusing on the wheels. Wheel size and durometer.

Wheel Size

70 to 75mm: For the largest-sized boards this size range for wheels fits the best. 

65 to 70mm: Most medium-sized longboards have this wheel size.

57mm: This wheel size goes well with hybrid decks and typically has a durometer between 78A and 82A.

Wheel Shape

Longboards have two types of wheel shapes- round and square, both have their own benefits.

Square Lip Longboard Wheel

The square edge longboard wheels are 90°-angled wheels. However, the edge is not a plain square. These wheels provide better traction and resistance during the ride. These are best for the new learners. These are also preferable for downhill rides or cutting corners.

Round Longboard Wheel

These are the regular type of wheels you’ll find in most longboards. Round wheels have less traction compared to square wheels. They slide easily on the road and are preferable for commuting or for freeriding and freestyling.

Durometer

The durometer measures the hardness or softness of the material of the wheel. It has a scale of 100 and is measured with the symbol “A” or “B”. A-grade wheels are made of softer material like rubber, whereas B-type wheels are made of plastic or similar materials. The higher the grade the tougher the wheel will be.

***A little tip here: Soft wheels are better for everyday riding. Even though they are hard to slide but comfortable to ride. They are perfect for bouncing and curving. For sliding, pick a higher grade of the wheel.

Tip 2: Discover Your Stance

Every person is different. Therefore, some people prefer to put their right foot forward and others the left one. However this may vary from sports to sports, stance is a very important part of longboarding.

When talking about stance, either you’ll ride goofy or regular. Most people put their left foot forward and right foot backward. That is called the regular stance. When a person stands on his/ her left foot and puts the right foot forward, it’s called a goofy stance.

When learning longboarding for the first time, it’s better to get someone who can help you find your stance. You can stand on the board and when someone pushes you notice which foot you put forward to avoid stumbling. Thus you can find whether you’re goofy or regular.

Tip 3: How to Stand on a Longboard?

To stand on a longboard without any rolling, place your board on the grass. Or you can do that on the carpet as well if you’re practicing inside the home. The board will still slide to the side where your bodyweight is more, but it’ll reduce the movement of the board, t. And you can practice safely this way.

Now, stand in a position keeping the feet apart in your normal stance (assuming you’ve already figured that out!). Put your back foot (right foot if you’re goofy or left foot if you’re regular) in a perpendicular position to your board and the front foot at about 45° angle to it. They should be near the trucks on both sides of the board to maintain a center of gravity. The feet should have a width more or equal to your shoulder length depending on the size of the board.

However, these are just some basic rules for beginners. There are plenty more to discover as you get to advance the game. Some riders prefer to stand on the tail of the board and some on the nose. And some keep their feet together instead of spreading apart. But they know what they are doing as they are comfortable that way.

Tip 4: Practice your Balance in Static Mode

Keeping balance is important everywhere, in life and in skateboarding. As you already know how to stand still on a longboard, now learn how to keep balance in static mode before you start to ride. As the board is not very wide, keeping balance when riding may seem very tough. So, you have to stand on the board in the specific way stated above without stumbling.

Now as you’ve learned how to keep balance in a static standing position, head to the next step, leaning forward and backward while on the static board. Try to bend your knees at different angles without falling or stepping onto the ground. Learn to be stable at every position while maintaining a stable center of gravity. The main purpose is to find a comfortable stance when doing this. Therefore, you can change your foot position slightly to get the right stance.

Tip 5: How To Push To Move Forward

Now, to push to move forward you need to learn to keep the balance on one foot. When standing on the board with both feet, rotate your 45° angled front foot to the nose balancing the center of gravity while lifting the back foot on the ground. Also, you’ll have to turn the body in the same direction as the front foot at the same time. Now remember one thing: you need to do all three things at the same time.

Now you can give yourself a push by bending the front knee and shifting the body weight on it. And touch the ground with the back foot at the same time. Now as you’re on the static board, take back your foot on the board just by touching the ground to get an idea of how you can give yourself a push on the board. Also, take the front foot back in its previous position as if you’ve got the speed and maintain it.

When you’re riding the longboard, you can increase your speed by pushing with the back foot. Also, leaning forward and keeping the knees bent will do the job once you get a suitable place. Also, when on the go, use your back foot to paddle on the road to get a speed.

Tip 6: Practice Turning

Till now you’ve been on static mode. Now it’s time to start moving. Turning or carving is essential to learn to control speed and avoid crashes. It needs a lot of practice to achieve this skill.

Practice turning the longboard on flat ground. If you’re goofy, take a right turn by pushing down onto the edge of the board with your heels and take a left by pushing on your toes. But if you’re a regular, then just do the opposite. Once you’ve managed to do the basics, combine both turns and try to take a bigger ride. Practice these moves until you do them confidently.

Tip 7: How To Brake

Learning to break is similarly important to learning to ride. It’s an essential part of longboard basics. Unless you break properly, there is a chance that you will fall and injure yourself badly. Therefore learning to brake and brake properly is an essential part of longboarding.

Foot Brake: Foot brake is one of the easiest ways to brake. It’s generally done on a flat surface. It is quite similar to pushing. You’ll have to use your back foot slightly against the ground to reduce the momentum. But do not try to stand on the ground at once. Otherwise, you’ll fall.

Foot Brake: Foot brake is one of the easiest ways to brake. It’s generally done on a flat surface. It is quite similar to pushing. You’ll have to use your back foot slightly against the ground to reduce the momentum. But do not try to stand on the ground at once. Otherwise, you’ll fall.

As you’re going downhill, you may have a decent speed. Now bend your knees and bodyweight centered in a relaxed way. Take a carve to reduce the pace if you need and be prepared for the slide. Get back to the bent-knees position and keep the bodyweight on the front foot.

Then try to keep the front hand on the ground from the side of the wheels without creating any barrier for the slide. Stay tuned in your position and put a little weight on your front hand. Don’t ever lean back. That’ll result in a destructive situation, leaving you right off the board into the air and then onto the ground.

When one hand is on the ground, dangle another one in the air. Hold the board sideways if you want a faster slow down. Eventually, you’ll break on your arm keeping the knees bent in their position.

Tip 8: Learn to Fall

This may scare you. But falling is unavoidable. Unless you fall, you won’t learn to get back up. Falling will help you to understand your weaknesses and where you need to improve.

Practice Sliding: Learning to slide is important to slow down the speed. The more you practice, the faster you learn.

Stand Up Sliding: This step is helpful to gain momentum and keep cruising without braking.

Hand Down Sliding: This is a safe way to slide and slow down for beginners.

Tip 9: Always Bring A Skate Tool

Now, this is not necessary for the initial level but will be helpful to fix your longboard when necessary.

Tip 10: Be Active On Social Media

There are numerous skateboarding groups on various social media. Join them and learn with new friends you meet there.

Tip 11: Carry Safety Gear

You’ll need gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and a helmet to reduce the chance of getting injured. Also, you’ll be sliding on your back a lot. Therefore we recommend not to wear any fancy clothing. Instead, wear something heavy and sporty. You can also use ray bans.

Tip 12: Tighten Your Nuts And Bolts

Check your longboard before riding. If it requires tightening the nuts and bolts, do that as a safety measure.

Tip 14: Get Decent Skate Shoes

A pair of decent skate shoes are very helpful to cruise on the road. Therefore, you can look for them on the web or at your local shops.

Tip 15: Socks Can Save Your Life Too

 Now, it may seem very unusual to you. But wearing a pair of socks can reduce the injury level. So, consider that when longboarding.

Conclusion

So, these were some basic longboard tips. To wrap up the whole thing, we want to send you this message: Longboarding is a fun game. But you need a lot of practice to learn this. So, before going straight onto the road, practice at home or playground. https://zudayogaeast.com/ And put on the safety gear to keep yourself safe from accidents.

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