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Interested in rolling a longboard? Well, the good news is that it doesn’t require much from you! All you need is a good quality longboard, protective gears such as helmet and pads and well-fitted shoes. With these necessary items, you are all ready to set a thrilling longboard journey. But before you hit the road, understand the fundamental difference between longboarding and short-boarding.
Both activities are done with the help of skateboard. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that both are types of skateboarding. For both types, wooden decks with wheels and trucks attached on the bottom are used. The primary difference between a longboard and short-board is the size of the deck. Longboards are longer and used for cruising, carving and downhill styles. While on the other hand, short-boards are shorter in length and used for performing tricks, drills, and jumps.
The standard size available in longboards is 42 inches. For kids, longboards as small as 34 inches can be found whereas for taller people, 50 inches long models are also available. As far width is concerned, the standard size is 8.5. Otherwise, it ranges from 7 to 10 inches depending on your feet and shoe size. On the other hand, short-boards are available in small sizes ranging from 30 to 33 inches, and their average width is 8 inches that might vary accordingly.
Types of Longboards
The thing with longboards is that the longer they are, the more stable you will find them. However, due to long size, longboards are not as responsive as short-boards. They do not turn so quickly or easily. Thereby, always consider your riding style before buying a longboard.
There are some riding styles among which the most common one is called cruising. For this particular riding style, you will need a pintail skateboard or a cruiser. Cruisers typically come with a pointed nose and rounded tail. Whereas pintail deck features quite a sharply rounded nose and tail with a definite point.
Other most commonly practiced riding styles are freestyle and freeride. If you are into any of these styles, go to a drop-down or drop-through longboard. Their narrow heads and rounded tails allow the riders to enjoy a smooth and well-balanced freestyle riding.
Those who want to enjoy the crazy downhill style should go for speed-board or a tough cruiser. They can also opt for a top-mount deck because they would need to remain a little high from the ground to avoid uneven surface disturbances.
Aside from the deck style, wheels of longboards are also stronger and reliable to provide smoother cruising experiences. They are urethane made and come in bigger sizes to deal with surface roughness.
Goofy or Regular Stance
While standing on the deck of a longboard, two different types of stances can be maintained, i.e., regular and goofy. The foot you place at the head of the deck retains the actual balance. This is the foot you will lean on while turning around the corners or speeding up. The other foot is the rear foot that you will use to move forward. This one will be pushed against the surface drive yourself forward.
In regular stance, left foot is placed forward whereas, in goofy position, the right foot comes forward. No matter, whichever stance you follow, it’s all up to your convenience. There is not a strict rule to either adopt the goofy stance or regular stance. If you still cannot decide that which one you are comfortable with then try a simple way to determine your forward and back foot. Stand at the base of the stair and take a step up. The foot you will lift to take the first step will be your back foot.
Finding Your Footing
Once you have decided your stance, it’s time to practice it. Step on the deck and do a little movement to get control over it. Begin this practice on a smooth and flat surface to make it less challenging. Stand on the deck and check how springy or bouncy it is. Do some bending and crouching to determine if the deck can take it. Afterward, do some feet shuffling around the deck without stepping off.
Placement of feet depends on your riding style. Most of the time, you will want to place your feet between the trucks maintaining shoulder vast distance between both feet. Front foot at 45-degree angle and back foot pointed slightly away will help you get complete control over the deck. If you want to enjoy the faster downhill style, then try increasing the distance between both feet. Also, put a significant amount of weight on the front foot to experience higher acceleration.
Now comes the most crucial step, pushing! Without pushing, you cannot even get started. Take your back foot off from the deck and push it against the pavement to move along the board forward. You can do it as many times repeatedly as you want to depend on how speedy you want to go. Mostly, people use back foot to perform this task, but some riders feel comfortable doing it with the front foot. Pushing with front foot is called pushing Mongo.
Once you have learned the art of pushing your one foot against the surface without losing your balance, it’s time to get comfortable with more challenging styles. Find a sloppy surface that is not too steep but only slightly. Get on the longboard and don’t push during the first attempts as gravity will pull you eventually. Once you have learned to handle the gravity pull, now you can try with minimum pushes on the slope.
Stopping on a Longboard
Learning to stop a rolling longboard is far more important than learning to roll it. The easiest and most straightforward way of doing it is through foot-breaking. It’s a method in which you drag your back foot across the surface that causes friction and results in gradual speed down. While pulling your foot, make sure it is flat on the cover instead of being pointy. Once you have mastered this technique, you can try with more advanced methods such as the Coleman Slide.
If you lose control and don’t find any technique helpful, the best way to stop rolling is to jump off. It might sound a little crazy but if you want to land on your feet instead of knees then step down from the rolling longboard in a running motion.
Practice these all ways of stopping the rolling longboard on some flat surface alongside grassy pathways. Grass sideways are like safety measures because while learningthese methods; you might fall a multiple times. Green will not give you harsh injuries like concrete pavement and road. Roll and jump off the board while try remaining on your feet. Practice is as many times as required to master it!
Simple Carving and Cruising
Once you know how to start or stop a longboard, it’s time to learn how to turn or carve it. Making your longboard rotate in the direction you want requires a little bit practice. You will need to lean forward and put additional weight on the side you wish to your longboard to turn. Using the tip toes and heel, you can put extra pressure to let the board carve in the same direction you are leaning towards.
Practice carving at somewhere sloppy to save your energy on pushing and invest it all in learning the art of turning the board without pausing. One thing you need to understand is that turning and carving slow down the speed. Thereby, always give a stronger push before the turn comes so you must not stop during one.
The key to maintain speed during carving is to crouch lower. Also, make sure that your eyes are fixed on the slightly downhill instead of your feet. It will help you keep a right track of your board on the way.
Hill Carving On a Longboard
After learning all the necessary tactics to roll a longboard, now you may be excited to attempt challenging longboarding styles. After practicing on the slope, you can give a try to longboarding down a hill. It will be comparatively faster-requiring advance level controlling abilities. Rolling might seem okay but stopping a rolling longboard down a hill is quite challenging and requires a lot of energy and practice.
To learn this technique, don’t compromise on your safety at all. Wear all protective gears including the knee pads, elbow pads, and helmet. No matter how expert you are in longboarding, always step up the board with proper preparation!
There is no doubt that longboarding is a refreshing activity but to enjoy its authentic taste, one must learn how to do it correctly. From determining your riding style to choosing a right longboard deck, several things play a significant role in learning this art of rolling. Where starting the longboard is crucial, stopping it is even more vital. So follow all steps and learn how to move a longboard today!