How to Longboard – Top 10 Longboarding Tips for Beginners 

Riding a longboard may look simple. However, it requires some skills to master this great sport. Many people give up on longboarding as they have not mastered the essential skills that form the foundation of any good rider.

This article provides you with 10 tips and tricks for longboard beginners, which will guide you to master the basic skills to become an excellent longboard rider!

How to Longboard Ride…?


Choosing a Longboard

 As a starter in longboarding, the first step is to find the right longboard. Due to so many options in the market today, this in itself can be a complicated process as it depends on your size, skill level, age, or even your preferred riding style.

The best longboard should have enough deck space for a comfortable ride; usually, this would be a deck in the 40″ range. A board closer to the ground will also have advantages as this will assist you with stability during the ride, and boards with a drop-through design will provide extra stability for a beginner.

Other features to consider are large wheels and a flexible deck.

Finding your Longboarding Stance

Each person has a unique riding stance when it comes to board sports! Some people find their stance by default when they longboard for the first time. A classic way to do this is to stand after your board with your feet concurrently and have someone push you from behind. 

Whichever foot you instinctively put forward to avoid stumbling becomes your stance. That existing expressed, there are typically two types of skaters. Your stance will be described as “Regular” when you ride with your left forward and right foot back or “Goofy” when your right foot is forward and your left foot is back. 

The stance is the first thing to master when learning how to longboard. For a regular skater, pressing on your toes while riding makes the board turn right, while pressing on your heels turns it right. The reverse is true for goofy riders. 

Finding your Balance on a Static Board

Learning how to balance on the board is one of the skills you must master. The best way to do this is to practice when the board is not in motion. You can start on level ground where the board will not move. For example, find a flat patch of grass or a thick rag with enough friction to prevent the wheels from rolling. 

Climb onto the longboard and get into your natural stance, making sure your feet are almost shoulder-width apart. If you are a regular rider, your back foot should be almost perpendicular to the board, with the front foot angled at approximately 45 degrees on the deck (opposite for goofy riders).

Slightly turn your knees and lean a little bit forward to get that stable and comfortable feel of the board. This way, you will feel at ease standing on the board without putting your leg down. 

Learning your Turning Stance

This lesson continues (3) above and requires that the board is in a static model. It involves shifting your body weight around by leaning from one side to the other. This action makes the board turn left or right when you’re riding. 

To do this, roll your ankles back and forth to cause the deck to lean on either the front or back edge. By locking your ankles, you will make the board’s deck lean by shifting your body weight forward or backward. 

As mentioned earlier, pressing on your toes turns the board right while pressing on your heels turns it left for a regular skater. The opposite applies to a goofy skater! 

Learning How to Push

This is a critical skill to master, enabling you to get the board moving or increase its speed when riding. It involves balancing one foot on the board as the other pushes against the ground. 

How to Longboard – Top 10 Longboarding Tips for Beginners 

Get onto your static stance with your longboard still on the carpet to practice this. Turn your front foot so that your toes point towards the nose while making sure that your shoulders and hips also turn forward simultaneously. 

Turning your front foot towards the nose helps to enhance your balance. Slowly take the back foot off the deck and bend the front knee to shift your body weight to the front leg. Lower the back foot to the ground and push against it using the front part of the foot to propel yourself forward. 

This process is reprised a couple of times till you achieve the desired speed when riding the board. The “push” may seem challenging when you try it for the first time as the board will tend to lean left or right and make it tricky to balance on your front foot. 

However, it gets easier as you continue to practice the maneuver! 

Rolling Down a Gentle Hill

You want to look for a parking lot or driveway with a slight incline for gravity to help you roll downhill for this simple trick. 

Get started at the top of the gentle hill by balancing the board in its static position. Rotate your front foot towards the nose and use your back foot to give yourself a gentle push and the board some momentum. 

As the board starts to move down the driveway, lift your back foot onto the board with both feet parallel to the deck. Find a comfortable stance and relax as the gravity rolls you gently down the hill. 

To increase the speed, you can push the board with your back foot every once in a while, especially when you roll over a bump that reduces your momentum. However, be careful not to kick too hard as this will increase the speed you might not be able to handle.

Learning to Brake

Braking is an essential skill for a beginner as this will help you avoid unnecessary collisions by reducing the board’s speed in case of an obstacle. There are different ways to break when riding a longboard, but the most basic is foot braking. 

The process is not very different from pushing your board, only that you’re doing this to lose the momentum instead of gaining it. As such, you want to use your back foot to push against the direction of the board’s motion.

Rotate your front foot towards the nose and lower the back foot to the ground with the board moving. Use the heel of the back foot to gently scrub against the surface to reduce the board’s speed until it comes to a stop.

While braking, never use the front part of your braking foot as it can quickly get stuck and dump you off the board. Only use the heel!

The other way to break when riding your longboard involves jumping off the board and running ahead of it till you come to a stop. It is also the fastest way to stop and will come in handy to avoid an imminent crash. 

However, this braking style requires getting used to as you can easily fall when you do it the wrong way. 

Riding Downhill

Once you master brake, it is now time to take on a mild hill. However, this step will require some safety precautions. You require some protective gear before you start riding downhill. 

Look for a snug-fitting helmet to protect your head if you fall and a pair of slide gloves to protect your hands. You may also need elbow and knee pads to keep any unnecessary injuries at bay. 

Furthermore, find a pair of sports shoes with grippy soles that will allow you to run off the board when you need to. 

Never ride on a steep hill if you’re still a beginner, as it will be easy to sustain serious injury! When choosing the downhill to ride, make sure it ends in a flat or upward slope. Also, look for one that doesn’t have any bumps or obstacles, and it shouldn’t cross any streets. 

How to Carve

Carving refers to making turns while riding your longboard. Thanks to the ” surfy ” feeling it brings, it is one of the most fun skills you can learn in longboarding, thanks to the “surfy” feeling it brings. For you to carve, ensure that both feet are perpendicular to the length of the board as it is moving. 

Try shifting your body weight back and forth to make the board turn. If you shift your weight towards the toe-side of the board, you’ll make a toe-side carve, and moving it to the heel-side makes a heel-side carve. 

When trying to shift your weight, always remember to bend your knees, as this makes you more stable by lowering your center of gravity. Once you master carve, it will be pretty easy to cruise on your longboard. 

Carving the board helps to reduce the board’s momentum when you move from the right to the left. But you don’t want to do this on a steep downhill ride. Another benefit about carving is that it can be operated as a third method to break. 

Riding Switch

This technique allows you to switch your pushing foot while riding. It is an essential skill that comes in handy, especially when your primary pushing foot grows tired. Ideally, you can push a 50-50 affair between your two feet once you learn the riding switch. 

As most tricks require you to land in the switch position, this makes everything easier. It also breaks the monotony of the ride when you have to push through a long-distance ride. Furthermore, learning this skill becomes crucial when you learn how to perform tricks. 

Learn how to Fall

As weird as this may sound, falling is another technique you need to learn when you start longboarding. Naturally, this is a sport that features quite a bit of roll and falls (as you’ll come to realize during your progress). 

Beginners and experienced riders can expect to fall every once in a while, and learning the right way to fall will ensure that you don’t sustain serious injuries. 

So, the art of falling off a longboard involves tucking your arms around the torso when you are going down as opposed to the automatic action of putting your hands out. You again want to try landing on the ground with your forearm and roll to the side on your shoulder to reduce the impact of the fall. 

This is what will keep you from sustaining knee and hand injuries and probably save you a couple of broken bones. To practice this, find a yoga mat or carpet to Tuck and Roll on before going on the tarmac. 

Learn to Slide

For some people, learning to slide is where real longboarding starts! It might look intimidating, but it’s a cool trick and proves to be the most effective means of slowing your board down when moving at high speeds. 

There are various ways to slide, and while some are relatively easy, others are more technical. Generally, you can either slide while standing up on your board or do it with your hands down on the ground.  

Stand-up sliding will be the easier option if your board isn’t moving too fast. However, higher speeds might require you to put your hands down, which is much safer. To perform a hand-down slide, you need to get very low and place your hand on the surface to reduce the weight borne by the wheels. 

At the same time, use the other hand to grab the edge of the board, then pull it hard to turn the board sideways so that it is across the slope. This will significantly take the momentum off your board and cause it to slow down. 

While attempting the hand’s downslide, make sure you wear a thick pair of gloves to prevent injury! 

Follow the Unwritten Rules of Longboarding

The final tip has more to do with longboarding etiquette than skill. Just like any other sport, longboarding requires discipline and courteous behavior. 

Riding through the streets and open roads with cars dictates that you observe lane discipline and pay keen attention to the traffic lights. 

Additionally, remember to leave the right of way to pedestrians when riding on sidewalks and sound an alarm to let them know that you’re behind them. 

Finally, watch your speed when you’re riding through turns and intersections to avoid unnecessary collisions! 

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