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How to Longboard

Learning how to Long board, the beginners guide.

Over the past years, there  has been a major drift seen in the amount of people who have the desire to learn longboarding. The increasing popularity of this sport is growing on a large scale. Therefore, it’s essential for the newbie’s to know each and every underlining skill set and learn every relating thing to this sport.
Naturally beginners who are planning how to learn longboarding, should start from the basics and then should move towards an advanced or complex stage such as downhill or tricks. You may feel drawn to  complex areas of the sport, such as downhill. This is not advisable starting out. Learn to walk before you can run Forest. 
But what are the basics....

Know The Basics Of Learning how to perfect the art of riding Long boards

The basic of learning longboarding is to understand and know all the parts that make up a long board. Generally, people who have been into skateboarding may have some knowledge about the parts comprising a longboard. Following parts make a longboard:
  • Trucks
  • Deck
  • Wheels
  • Bushings
  • Bearings
 The other remaining parts are the hardware, like the riser pads that allow you to change the height of the board as per your liking and the bearing spacers.
Heres a great reference: Wiki Longboarding.
Having the knowledge of all these components will help a person know their ride better. The deck is the main feature of a longboard and it comes in different styles, designs, materials and colors. There are different categories of a longboard like a drop down board is considered to be the best selection for learning longboarding, while other categories comprise of wheel cut, top mount, double kick, single kick, pintail and lots more. Knowing about all the boards will help a person in making the right decision while selecting a board from themselves.
Knowledge About Style And Discipline
After getting enough knowledge about the parts and types of longboards, Drop through longboard, Cruiser Longboard, Downhill Longboard, etc the next step for beginners is to learn about different disciplines and styles. Different ways of riding gives life to different disciplines some of them are pushing, freestyle, dancing, cruising and downhill.
As a newbie a person always starts with pushing or cruising whether it is skating or longboarding.  All it requires you do is push your board with one leg and cruise around. But carving is different, in that the person moves back and forth while riding. Carving requires a different and special board with soft gripping wheels and extra trucks, which makes it easy for the rider to make hard curves and also prevent from slipping.
Freestyle riding is all about technicality. It involves the idea of street skating where you must show some difficult tricks and stunts. Freestyle board is different, it’s smaller in size and also requires at least one kicktail. Dancing is a quite a difficult form of longboarding and is commonly known as boardwalking. It’s a very advanced form of boarding and in some places it can be related with cruising. There are various dancing styles that a person can perform tricks ranging from difficult to easy.
And in freeride the rider can ride freely on the street or down the hill with additional style. Though this style of riding is easy it’s also technical at the same time.
So to summarize it all, initially you need to know which board is best suitable for you and then pick the basic riding style (cruising) for learning. Find out more 
 
Now lets take a look at stance. Introduction To Learning Longboard Stance
Before you start longboarding, you need to make sure that you have the right stance. In any board sport, there are two types of stances: goofy stance and regular stance.
Regular Stance: It is standing on the Longboard with your left foot placed in the forward direction where you headed for. 

Goofy Stance: In goofy stance you will be standing in front of the Longboard with your right foot placed forward.

There are two methods through which you can find out your stance.

First of all you can use this method; trying moving or kicking something with your foot and see which one  you use. Whichever that foot is, it’s the one you will be using to place on the back of your Longboard. When I wanted to know my stance, I tried this method, I asked my friend to give me a push and the foot I used to catch myself was my back foot. These two methods work but they are not always reliable. But they can help you guide in the right direction. When longboarding try both the stances and see how they feel. One of these stances will make you feel comfortable, confident and relaxed the other will be more shakey and less natural. 

Learn How To Stand On A Long board

Now that you know what your stance is, let’s discuss how you will stand on a longboard. For starters, this information will be very helpful, but as you get better at longboarding there are many ways of standing on it. 

First, you need to have a solid base and low-centre gravity. First stand in the center of your board and make sure that both your feet are right beneath your shoulders. Now slightly bend your knees to solidify your base and lower your center of gravity. If you are not comfortable then you can slightly widen your feet than your shoulder length to feel easy. Always observe which direction you are leaning towards. 

When I started longboarding I had a real bad habit of leaning backwards which really throws away your centre of gravity. When you are going downhill, try leaning forward and tucking yourself a bit, you will notice how this helps you maintain your balance.

Please remember this point that the above information is not the only way to stand on a Long board; this is just a guide to help beginners feel comfortable when they start. As you get more acquainted with longboarding you will find out that there are several other ways to stand. Some longboarders can simply stand on the tail or the nose of the board. Some of the longboarders can stand with both their feet together while pointing towards the nose of the board. Longboards are made to give different positions to allow various tricks like dancing while controlling carving. Choosing a longboard is an important choice depending on your preferred riding style. 
Longboard

You will also come across many a longboarder who crouch on their board, that’s an awesome way to bottom out your centre of gravity. When bombing the hills, it can make you feel steady and also help you in making turns. 

With some thorough practice you can learn Longboard in no time and you will forget about stance, your muscle memory will kick in and it will become 100% natural.
Just remember to wear your helmet while practicing and after practicing.
Useful articles: Wiki Longboarding
 
Now let's take a closer look at Longboard Carving.
Introduction To Carving

Many beginner longboarders want to have expert skills, but to get expert skills you need to be practice, practice, practice. 

Longboard carving may not come naturally to a beginner longboarder. You can easily carve on a skateboard or snowboard, but Longboard carving is pretty different.
Many longboarders don’t know what is carving, or how it helps a longboarder? Honestly, carving in not only a fun activity but it necessary for speed controlling. Carving is basically shifting your body weight to the toe edge of your foot so that you make an “S” pattern while you are longboarding. You make a “S” 
pattern rather than longboarding in a straight path. This helps you in maintaining your control it slows  you down and you get a sense of control on the Longboard. When you are longboarding it’s very easy to lose control if you are not aware how to carve in the right way.
The Primary Step To Learn Carving

To learn how to carve properly, you need to start out practicing in a street/road with a slight hill AKA incline/decline or a parking lot.Initially you don’t want to deal with anything that is too abrupt, make sure that you wear a helmet while you Longboard.
  • Initially, push a little to get some speed with your back foot heading down the straight hill.
  • Next you need to bend your knees slightly. Now shift all your weight towards your back foot or heel for gaining more speed.
  • Your position should be like this that your toes are pointing towards the sky while your heels are pointing towards the ground. If you have normal position.
  • You will observe that your Longboard will start moving towards the left of the parking lot or street. Stop when you feel that you have reached the far left side of the street or parking lot.
 
longboard

Once you are done with this, it’s time for you to toe carve. This category of carving is a more little difficult  than heel carving and will make you feel that you are unbalanced. With some practice, you will start feeling comfortable. Now you are already on the left side of the street, push with your back foot and  heading straight down the heel. Before you start picking up too much speed, slightly bend your knees 
and lift your heels up while pushing your toes down. Try not to physically lift your heels off the board, but try that your board tilts under your feet. Now with this position you should be heading down the right side of the street. Once you have reached the far right side of the street stop then. Now you know both heel and toe carving methods, keep repeating them to get more practice and once you reach far side of each street stop and re-practice. This will help you in getting familiar with heel and toe carving without gaining too much speed on your board.
After some thorough practice, try connecting your heel and toe carve. Instead you stop at each side of the street, switch to the opposite one while continue going down the street. You can carve wider to descend the hill slowly or carve small to descend faster. With some thorough practice you can carve your Longboard in no time.
 

Longboarding Styles

Longboarding is one of the most interesting sports; it involves a lot of imagination. The tactics and skills you show on your longboard is limited to the use of your imagination and some physics. 
There are many various ways of riding a longboard. You need to understand what you want to do with your board and pick the right one according to your activity level and where you feel excitement!  Some people are adrenaline junkies and some want to just cruise, others want to get into nitty gritty detail on the technicals. 
Sometimes you will be amazed to find that you need two or more board's to cater to your Longboarding style but first let’s figure out what exactly is your main style.
Many different styles can be merged into each other and most of the people enjoy multiplying their styles. So of the disconnection is kind of unreal, nonetheless, every style has its own characteristics and that’s how it can be differentiated from each other. You will find dissimilar names and combinations for this sport as it is still in flux, so here we have the most common styles and their conventional names across the industry.

There are four main general Longboarding style's of riding, which are as following:

  • Downhill Longboarding
  • Freestyle Longboarding
  • Cruising
  • Dancing
 

Downhill Longboarding 

Downhill long boarding is all about speed, by speed I mean you have to bomb the hills as fast as you can while maintaining your balance and control. Your position has to be tucked or crouching on your board for increased stability and reduce in wind-resistance. Like in free riding it’s not rare to break the wheels of your board for controlling speed, so it’s a fact that downhill style isn’t best suitable for new riders.

Freestyle Longboarding 

Freestyle means you need to be creative; you can do anything you want with your ride. However, freestyle riding includes a lot of technical skills like board tricks, goofy riding, dancing, sliding and regular tricks, these were just a few I named, you can add a lot of variety to it. 
This way of learning is an excellent way for the beginners to learn how to maintain their balance and board controlling skills. This style is for all it can be enjoyed by the beginners as well as the expert long boarders.

Longboard Cruising 

Cruising is the initial activity for most of the longboarders. In this style you cruise around the town, park, campus or your neighborhood wherever you get a flat hard surface. Whether you are going from point A to B or point B to C, or just longboarding around as an alternative method of transportation it’s all cruising, and a fun activity. Activists like board-walking or dancing or a relaxed ride is all a part of cruising and this is ideal for beginner riders.

Dancing on a Long board 

Dancing on a longboard is a term given by Adam Stokowski and Adam Colton, the two most passionate longboarders who combined the characteristics of surfing’s, freestyle skateboarding, dance and whatever they found into new creative longboarding style. These tricks are not normal like the ones in regular long boarding, where the rider makes a technical flip on his board – but this one is all about style and incorporating all the tricks into long board riding.
Every style of longboarding is fun, so try it and see which one fits your style best and most importantly which one you really enjoy doing. Have fun and stay safe and where the right gear. 

Some cool tricks on a Long board  

 

Everything You Need To Know About Downhill Longboarding

Longboarding emerged as a sport in the mid 1950s; it’s the same time when surfing exploded in Southern California. When the surfers just didn’t get enough from the waves, so they took their surfing moves to the streets with homemade longboards (basically wooden planks with roller skate wheels). 

Soon the sidewalk surfing became a sports of its own, blazing the paths led to the emergence of skateboards in the 60s and 70s. Currently, longboarding is a sport that is evolving with every passing minute, with different disciplines and styles. Over the past years, companies are becoming more devoted in creating new designs and well-developed longboards for every kind of longboarder.

Downhill Longboarding – What Is It?

Downhill longboarding has come a far way and it has developed from skateboarding in a different sport, in its unique way. Just like a skateboard, there are a lot of things which can be done with a longboard as well; you can use it like transportation and wander around the streets of a busy city or use your longboard for doing freestyle stunts in the park. Ride your longboard anywhere and in any way you like and in whatever way your imagination inspires you. There are diverse types of longboard for every type of style, terrain or purpose and the structures of longboard are constantly evolving and become accustomed to the skaters new ideas and needs.

Here let’s discuss about one particular way of using the longboard – Downhill Longboarding.

You must be thinking why only downhill longboarding? Well, that’s because it’s one of the most popular  style of longboarding, its fastest, thrilling and perhaps the most risky out of all the longboard genres.

Downhill longboarding is all about speed. There are different sub-variations of downhill longboarding, but the fundamental thought of riding it is still there- set on your board and ride down an open street. 

Mostly in downhill longboarding the rider stands up on their board, however with the downhill longboard variations, a skater may lay down on the board with his feet forward this helps the rider attain more speed because of a improved aerodynamic outline, however, this makes control over the longboard a lot simple and the entire experience of riding it becomes boring and limited with this varation.

As I said earlier, downhill longboarding is a famous style of longboarding and the standup downhill boarding is becoming more famous over the past years. Longboarding was not that popular as compared to its elder brother (skateboarding) but with time it has gained massive popularity and people have started exploring it as an extreme sport. Longboarding sports have started to have competitions as 
well, where boarders from all over the world start to skate together from the peak of a hill and race down and the first person who crosses the end line, that person wins.

So What About Extreme Downhill Longboarding?

If you are a starter at a longboarding, initially you will feel very excited to get started with longboarding without any experience with skateboards. The most exciting fact will be that you made the first attempt of riding it without falling. Then after some learning skills you will begin to attempt getting pace on gentle hills. The uncontrolled and continuous acceleration of the longboard is the first thing that will panic you as you have no idea how to discontinue it.

The fact that you haven’t learned how to stop or give a brake to your longboard will dawn on you.

The best way of doing it’s by descending, it’s the most demanding and fun way, plus there are various styles of sliding. You can go from “nice” to “bad” relying on the pace you execute it. The subsequent step is that you need to go quicker and quicker since downhill longboarding is all about alacrity. The highest alacrity is not so fast, you attain 60mph 104km/h and 85mph 128km/h in downhill longboarding. So you must be thinking why speed is so important in this sport? This pace may seem slow to those who are driving a car or a motorbike, however the same alacrity looks fast to those who are riding a wooden plank without any engine or grip, so this speed feels very fast with nothing. If we compare the normal pace of downhill longboarding it is comparatively faster to other boarding sports like skateboarding, wave surfing and snowboarding.

 How Dangerous Is Downhill Longboarding?

Downhill Longboarding isn't dangerous if correct safety precautions are taken but that is to be taken into correct context. 

In terms of safety it all depends on how well you are protected, you must wear a good quality leather suit, helmet and extra  stuff. If you are dressed up in proper suit for longboarding then you must crash quite badly to get hurt or into a stationary object to get hurt.

However if you are wearing t-shirt and short pants while downhill longboarding then if you crash the likelihood of you getting hurt is very high. So to reduce the chance of any injury or accident you must dress up in proper safety gear. If you dress properly you will enjoy longboarding and also find it a relatively safe extreme sport. 

The most unsafe risk is the approaching cars exiting their lanes, but if you are in pro-racing then definitely the road will be closed for the traffic.

We'll leave you with a nice little video. 

 

Peace, Magneto Longboards

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