If you have ever seen someone ride a longboard like a pro and thought to yourself ‘Wish I could do that’, then we are here to tell you that you absolutely can. But it isn’t something you can achieve in a day because riding a longboard takes a lot of determination, many hours of practice and of course some proper precautions. There are three main steps to learning how to ride a longboard. First, you must know how to maintain your balance and ride the board. Secondly, practice getting on the board with ease. Finally, learn how to put a break on the board safely.
Now let us get you ready for some fun and adventure.
1. Put your best foot back
First things first, in order to ride the longboard you must find out whether you are comfortable staking with your right leg forward or your left foot forward. We call this the STANCE. Knowing your stance will help you determine which leg will have the pushing force while you are on the board and also your overall body posture.
Those who stand on the board with the left foot forward are regular skaters because their dominant foot is the right foot, which is placed in the back. If your dominant foot is the left one then you will place your right leg in front, meaning you skate goofy.
How to find out if you are regular footed or goofy footed:
You can ask someone to give you a push from behind and the first foot you place in front for balance is your dominant foot. You can also try kicking a ball hard to see which foot has the most force and then you can see one with the most force is your dominant foot. Most people have a dominant right leg and they usually skate
2. How to place your feet on the board
Place your front foot (less dominant) just behind the front screws on the board, at about a 45º angle. Place your back foot in front of the rear screws, perpendicular to the deck. Your feet should be positioned a little wider apart from each other than shoulder length.
3. Bend your knees slightly for balance
Be sure to relax and be comfortable on the board, even though it is perfectly alright to be nervous during your first few rides. You can bend your knees slightly every time you need to balance yourself. This will come in naturally
4. Shoulders and Hips
Your shoulders and hips will face the same direction, slightly turned to the front but more at a 90-degree angle to your board.
Get Extra Support
This support could come in the form of a friend who can help you start out. During your first days of riding a longboard you can seriously do with someone correcting your posture, determining your strength and improving your balance. It also reduces the risk of injuries because you will find yourself losing balance and tripping off the board quite a bit initially.
How to Push Your Longboard
You will want to push with your dominant foot that is placed in the back while navigating with your front foot. With some experience you could try pushing ‘mongo’ which is the reversed stance. With the mongo you balance with your dominant foot while pushing with the front foot. For regular pushing you must bend your front knee for added control so you can lower your back foot which you place on the ground to kick and push you off the ground.
How to Turn Your Longboard
As a beginner you only need to know heel edge curving and toe edge curving to turn your board left or right. Let us say that you skate regular and you want to turn to the left, for which you need to practice the heel edge curving technique. The rule is to simply plunge your heels backward so you can get your board to turn to the left. To turn your board to the right in the regular stance you must drop your toes inwards and guide your board to the right direction.
How to Stop Your Longboard
Having the right posture and knowing how to push and turn your longboard are the first techniques you must learn as a beginner but getting off the board requires the same amount of practice if you want to successfully put a break on the board and complete your ride.
There are several ways in which riders like to end their ride and get off the board but we will explain the safest and easiest way today so that you can end things with ease. Longboards do not have any braking system on them so everything has to be done manually. The good news is that you are free to jump off whenever you wish but you have to do so with precaution.
Our recommendation is to prepare yourself for the break and when you are ready to stop your board simply pull your back foot off your board in the same manner you would while trying to push start your board. However, this time you will want to drag your foot across the ground and bring it more close to the side of your front foot and slightly tap with heel down first while slowing down the momentum. The slide may seem long during your first few tries but as you practice this technique you will be able to put more force to stop your board quicker.
Longboarding Safety Precautions:
- Always wear a helmet and protective gears to protect your knees, elbows
- Do not wear open sandals while longboarding
- Practice in a safe area with less to no traffic
- If you find yourself accidentaly jumping off the board, do not stop yourself right away, trying to continue a running momentum until you gain a bit of control
- Warm up before you start riding to avoid muscle pulls and strains.
Longboarding is not only an enjoyable sport but it also makes other sports such as snowboarding and water skiing seem easy if you plan to try them out in the future. Once you have learnt all the longboarding tricks and techniques, you will be able to learn and handle other sports that require maximum balance and body control better. You can also check out some cool tricks. Just be patient and take all precautions needed to master this amazing and thrilling sport safely and you will soon be showing off your skills like a pro.