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Progression in Longboarding: The Barriers

Ryan Lee how to long boards Longboard longboarder longboarders longboarding longboards

Morale.

There was a post about two weeks ago called Progression that I wrote to encourage some of you to try new things. I included some tips about new tricks, slides and some new gear that you can get to accompany your Longboard! However, one thing that I didn’t talk about was the psychology and the motivation behind the whole concept of progression in a sport. In this article, I will speak about the mental barriers and some other things that you have to get over in order to progress farther and faster.

The Speed Barrier.

I was a beginner for a very long time, and there was a reason for this. I couldn’t get over going fast! It was extremely hard to get used to anything over 20 km/h, because at 20 km/h, you’ve pretty much surpassed running speed, and it’s likely the fastest you’ve ever traveled without sitting down in a seat in the open air. You may have ridden a bike, but even so, the bike feels much safer since you’re strapped down with handlebars and brakes and a seat.

And I know. Longboarding is very different because you’re in the open air and all you have to control with is by using your feet and balance, a prospect that isn’t the easiest to come to terms with for anyone. However, getting over the speed barrier just takes confidence and time.

What I found broke my speed barrier the fastest was doing pack runs. Go down a mellow hill with a group of friends, and their excitement will push you to go faster and faster. I’m not embellishing this, but seriously, going fast is not that hard!

The Slide Barrier.

The Slide Barrier is similar to the Speed Barrier, except it’s for slides. The thought of sliding down a road sideways on a longboard that is seemingly supposed to go forward only is daunting. But don’t worry, people do it all the time and they love it. I love it.

The feeling is a little bit weird at first, I know. But once you really get that first slide down, there’s nothing stopping you from trying new slides. Once you get it, you won’t be scared anymore.

The Mental Barrier.

This one is a little bit vague, but I find that people get pushed the most when they are skating with other people. However, how does someone progress quickly when they can’t get the confidence to go out and fool around with a group of skaters?

Yes, it’s true. It’s hard to put yourself out there and skate with a lot of other people that are better than you, and it isn’t a rare problem. I couldn’t bring myself to skate with a group of people until I could do a decent slide to slow down. I thought I would at least have to bring something to the table in order to be respected. However, that’s not the case at all. If you can stand on a board, you’re welcome at any event, even as just a spectator. You don’t have to prove anything.

WEAR A BANANA HAMMOCK. Ryan L. Longboarder.



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  • Evan MacDougall on

    Hey man, this post is short, simple, and accurate. Up until yesterday, the fastest I had ever gone was 32km/h (20mph). I decided to push myself and go to the nearby “make-you-shit-your-pants hill”. I went with a friend and having them there really helped me stay up on the board when I started to get speed wobbles. I plan on getting a new board that’s more suited for down hill because once we hit 48kmph (30mph), my board really was pushin its limits and was a bit shakey. Not sure if it was me, if it was the board type, or if I have something adjusted incorrectly, but if I want to keep going down hills this size or bigger, I’ll need to change something. Anyway, I love the attitude of the post and everything you said is super true! Have a good one!


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