How To Ride A Longboard For Beginners – The Basics
Longboarding is popular among new skateboard learners. But many of them don’t know how to ride a longboard for beginners in the right way.
It appeals to everyone of both sexes to play for entertainment and chase professions. This sport helps them to be more robust and social-friendly.
It may look easy to master the board, but there are various techniques you need to learn. Besides getting a firm grip on the theories, practice makes perfect.
That’s why we are here to help you with a thorough guide to put the first steps in your longboarding journey.
Why Should Beginners Choose Longboards?
When you first think of playing this sport, you may wonder, “Should I try skateboards or longboards?” and “Which one is better for beginners?”. As a new skater, you may have trouble choosing among many options.
For most skateboard players, it is much easier to ride on longboards than skateboards. So if you are a beginner, longboards are better options.
First of all, let’s find out about longboards’ characteristics that are suitable for beginners.
See also: Top 11 Best Longboard For Beginners Reviews in 2021
Longboards are technically longer than skateboards. Longboards’ deck length varies a lot, ranging from 24 to 30 inches. A short longboard will usually be wide. It has big trucks and soft wheels like other sizes.
Longboards often have a longer wheelbase compared to skateboard, which helps to measure the distance between the trucks. It also has soft and big wheels, supporting stability when standing and balancing for new learners.
Longboard deck shapes are very wide and long, which is a highlight when choosing to first play this sport. The longer wheelbase and longer deck are, the more accessible and comfortable the ride will be. It can take a few hours for you to stand stably on the board.
With all features, a longboard will be a good companion for you from the very start. And with your patience and passion, you’ll soon master this sport.
Basic Guide To Conquer Longboardings For Beginners
These are some crucial basics you need to consider when first learning to ride a longboard. As it is for your safety, keep these guides in mind before riding longboards.
Determining Your Feet and Stance: Are You A Goofy Or Regular Rider?
The first step is to figure out which is the foot that keeps you balanced. Is it the right or left foot that goes in the front of the board, which will bear all your weight when you turn or kick with the other foot?
If your left foot is put forward, you are skating with a regular stance. Otherwise, you have a goofy stance. However, because you are a beginner, you will not know the stance that you feel the most comfortable to ride.
So here are few methods to detect your stance type:
- You can have someone push from behind with no previous warning. The foot you step on to catch yourself is the foot you want to lead the longboard. If it is not strong enough, switch to the other foot to make sure you can stand stably.
- Another effective method to find your comfortable stance is to slide on the smooth plain surface in socks at home. The one you use to stand up will be your supporting leg.
Use A Low Stance At First
Finding the right posture is a very vital basics when first learning to ride on a board. It is suggested that a beginner take a low stance to get accustomed to the board and stability. When you can ride on a low stance, then it is easier to adopt more complicated ones.
To use a low stance, you should place your feet between the truck's system (the bearings holding the wheels) and angle your front foot forward about 45 degrees. It is better to shift your back foot at 90 degrees to the direction the longboard is moving.
Practicing Moving Yourself Forward
If you are a newbie to this sport, you should practice moving your board in the forward direction. Step up to the board with your front foot and have your back foot out of the board to push yourself ahead.
It can be a big or small push. While you make a push, make sure you keep your body loosened, for it will help to keep balance.
If you can’t push the longboard with your back foot, then try the front one. Though it helps moving forward, most riders are not in favor of the so-called “mango” method. However, for your comfort, you should try both feet to move yourself forward.
After practicing until you can handle pushing the longboard, you can try kicking your back foot harder. This will help to maintain your speed and keep your longboard moving for a longer time.
Learn To Carve Or Turn On A Longboard
When you are able to move forward easily, it is the right time to learn to move around. Basically, turning isn’t a challenging task. The basic thing you need to do is try to center pressure on one side of the board, then lean toward that direction, and you will make a turn.
You can try heel-edge carving by moving your heels’ edge downward and turning inside. Heel-edge turns are usually for regular riders, and it gives you a left turn.
You can also use toe edge carving by moving your toes downward and turning outside. Toe-edge turns are for regular riders to move to the right.
Keep your eyes on the direction you’re going, not at your feet (A common behavior when we first learn to ride). Your board will go straight where your eyes are aiming to. After all, keep practicing until you can turn your longboard smoothly and sharply.
Brake And Slow Down Your LongBoard
When you are new to this sport, it can be thrilling and dangerous to ride fast if you kick the back foot too hard. It is crucial to learn to brake or slow down to avoid some emergent situations like crashing.
The most reliable or easiest method to brake is dragging your back foot on the ground. Scratching your foot on the ground will create frictional force, thereby deterring the speed of the longboard. This will help you slow down and control your speed as you want.
Carving and air braking are also possible techniques for a brake. You can apply carving just by sliding down the hill by leaning and pushing from side to side on your wheels. About air braking, when at breakneck speeds, you need to stand up and spread your arms to slow the speed down.
Try to practice these methods to keep yourself both entertained and safe.
Learn To Slide After You Are Familiar With All Above Basis
After mastering all the above basics, you can practice sliding to perform more tricks with your longboards, such as freestyling, dancing, street styling, etc. However, remember to wear protective gears before sliding as it is easy to get scratches or other serious injuries.
With your protective gear on, you can freely slide on the longboard. To slide, firstly point your front foot forward and bend your knees down, put your weight centered on the front foot. Then you pull your other foot off your board, flex your front knee to contact the ground.
Don’t place your body’s pressure on your back foot because you will slip backwards and hamper your longboard’s movement. Remember to keep most of your body's weight on the front foot and lean forward.
Finally, practice makes perfect. The basics mentioned above will help you to master your longboarding skills, and soon, you can show off hard tricks of this thrilling and adventurous sport safely, like downhill riding style.
Tips For Beginners When First Ride On Longboards
Besides learning the basic steps, useful tips will help you to ride better and easier. Here are some tips for you.
Choose The Suitable Longboards
There are various longboards, and each type has its own advantages. So you have to pick the one that fits you most.The board size, wheel’s size, trucks, and material are just some important criteria to name.
For example, a longboard with hard wheels will help the rider to experience a smooth slide. Or, the bigger size the board is, the easier it is to ride on.
Actually, the longboard will fit each person’s style. It depends on their size, age, skill set, and riding goal. So make sure to buy a suitable one for your riding purposes.
Buy Good Protective Gears
As longboarding is an adventurous sport, it is extremely vital that you prepare protective gears to protect yourselves from severe injuries. When performing hard tricks like street freestyle or downhill style, it is a must to wear protection equipment.
Some protective gears you should have: helmets, slide gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, etc. Your shoes should be flat-bottomed (expect flip-flops) to maintain your balance best when you’re on the longboard. And a helmet is to avoid serious brain injuries.
Learn How To Fall
Falling is inevitable when boarding, and it’s much better if you learn how to fall correctly. This thing sounds strange, but knowing how to fall will reduce the risk of serious injuries. For beginners who don’t know more techniques, it is a must thing to learn.
You can learn to fall both forward and backward off the longboard. Don’t be scared to roll as this principle will reduce the degree of your injuries. You roll over your shoulder and onto the side of your back, until you come over fully and land on your side.
Get A Partner To Practice Together
It is not an easy sport indeed. This sport requires many qualities, such as durability, flexibility, passion, etc.
The most important one is patience. Not everyone can master longboarding from the start, so keep patient and motivated. Getting a partner to play together can also be a good idea.
A partner is a supporter and a motivator to keep the passion at the end. In the initial stage, your partner will push you to attain balance and stability over the board. He/she will raise your spirit when you fall too many times and want to give up.
Watch Videos To Learn Longboarding Skills
On the Internet, there is a vast source of instruction videos for you at the very first days of longboarding. It is more visual, realistics than the theories only.
And if you are bored with those basics, you can search for some new cool tricks. You can easily find videos of experienced skaters guiding you to execute the board tricks step by step. It helps you to learn quicker and easier especially when you are beginners and have no partners.
These are some basics and tips for beginners to first start longboarding. Hope our article will help you if you are having difficulty knowing how to ride longboard for beginners.
After all, remember practice makes perfect. You may know a thousand tips but without practice, you surely fail. So keep patient and passionate to successfully master this tricky sport.