If you are new to the world of longboarding and downhill, you might feel overwhelmed by all the information out there on the subject.
Don’t worry, you are not alone! Downhill longboarding can be tricky to master, but with the right techniques and equipment, anyone can do it.
Take your first step toward conquering downhill with this guide! Here’s what you need to know to start downhill longboarding today!
What is Downhill Longboarding?
Longboarding is a general term for the act of riding a skateboard-style deck with wheels at the bottom. It’s not just for kids anymore!
What exactly is downhill longboarding? Well, it’s a specific type of longboarding where the rider will tackle a steep hill and ride down it with as much speed as possible.
Longboarding can be done for fun, as a hobby, for exercise, as a form of transportation, or even in extreme sports competitions!
But to land tricks and maintain speed on a longboard is no easy feat, and it’s a completely different experience than riding an ordinary skateboard.
Why Should You Try Downhill Longboarding?
Downhill Longboarding is a great hobby that can turn into a way of life. It is a great way to stay fit, meet new people, and travel to cool places.
Here are a few more reasons why you should try longboarding!
- Downhill Longboarding is inexpensive – If you already have a skateboard, you can easily just add wheels to it and be on your way!
- Downhill Longboarding is great for the environment.
- Compared to driving and other modes of transportation, Downhill longboarding is very Eco-friendly.
- Downhill Longboarding is a team sport.
- You can ride with friends and family members, making it an enjoyable activity to share with others.
- Downhill Longboarding is a creative hobby.
- You can trick out your board, build them out with special cases and holders, and design your own long-themed outfits.
- Downhill Longboarding is good exercise.
- You’ll get a great workout while having fun!
How to Choose a Longboard for Downhill?
First, you’ll need to decide what type of longboard is best for you. Many people prefer a drop-through longboard for downhill because it sits flush with the ground, and the wheels sit in between the deck and the ground. You can also have a look at the How to Choose a Longboard.
If you’re looking for something a bit faster, you might want to try a drop-down longboard, which sits about two inches lower than a drop-through.
A top-mount longboard has wheels at the top of the deck, making the board higher off the ground.
If you’re just starting out downhill, a drop-through or drop-down might be better for you.
You also want to consider the weight of the longboard. Heavier boards are slower and more stable, while the lighter board will be faster and nimbler.
Skills You’ll Need to Start Downhill Longboarding
Longboarding is an athletic hobby, and if you want to start downhill longboarding, you’ll need to be prepared.
- You’ll want to make sure you have the right footwear, knee and elbow pads, and a helmet to protect yourself while you’re riding.
- You’ll also want a great longboard, but you’ll likely need to find one with a bigger wheel size. Longboards usually come with wheel sizes from around 50 millimeters to 70 millimeters.
- For downhill longboarding, you’ll want to find a wheel size of around 80 to 100 millimeters.
- You also want to find a longboard with a stiffer deck, which will be more stable under your weight.
Shifting Techniques and Tips for Downhill Longboarding
As you’re gearing up for your first downhill longboard ride, you’ll want to practice a few techniques, including shifting and breaking.
To shift properly, you should use your knees to push the toe of your foot backward, while your heels will stay planted.
You can use your heels to brake, but it’s not a great form of breaking, so you’ll want to use a regular break as well.
Downhill longboarding is all about weight transfer and balance. Make sure to keep both feet planted on the ground at all times.
You should also keep one foot on the toe-end and one on the heel-end of the board. When you’re in the air, you’ll want to put your weight toward the back of the board.
Sample Routes for Beginner Downhill Longboarder’s
If you’re new to the world of downhill longboarding, you might be wondering where to start. Luckily, there are a few easy routes you can try!
- Start with a relatively flat route, so you can build your confidence and speed.
- Find a wide, straight road with a smooth surface. Avoid sidewalks and cobblestones!
- Try to avoid busy streets with lots of traffic.
- Try a route that has a few small hills, so you can practice your shifting and breaking skills.
What is Downhill Freeride?
Downhill Freeride (DF) is a downhill racing discipline that has its roots in downhill skateboarding but is most commonly found in longboard racing.
The goal of a Downhill Freeride race is to get down the hill as quickly and efficiently as possible while navigating tight turns and obstacles.
There are many different ways to set up a Downhill race: each course has a different length and width, there are different types of turns (sharp corners and straightaways), and there are different levels of difficulty for the obstacles.
To keep it interesting, Downhill races can have multiple rounds with different lengths, widths, and layouts. They can also have mixed classes such as men vs women or beginners vs pros.
Most Downhill races have a freestyle category where riders are able to use their longboard for anything: skating, sliding, dancing, running, skipping, etc.
In this type of race, there may be no defined course or obstacles and riders may do whatever they want within reason.
With freeriding, you need to be very comfortable with your board. The deck must be stiff enough to support your weight while still turning easily.
You must also be comfortable with how the brakes work so that you can stop in time if needed while maintaining control over your board at all times.
Finally, you must be confident riding downhill on unfamiliar terrain without falling off or crashing into something unwanted.
Considerations While Downhill Longboarding
Downhill Longboard Decks
The downhill longboard deck is similar to the standard longboard deck, but with a larger bottom and smaller top.
The smaller top is for more control and maneuverability, while the larger bottom gives you more stability for better tracking. Downhill boards are perfect for riders who like to carve up steep hills on their longboards.
The downhill longboard deck is similar to the standard longboard deck, but with a larger bottom and smaller top. The smaller top is for more control and maneuverability, while the larger bottom gives you more stability for better tracking.
Downhill boards are perfect for riders who like to carve up steep hills on their longboards.
Downhill Longboard Decks come in two different types: cruiser and freeride/freestyle. Both are designed to perform the same basic functions – ride smoothly, cruise comfortably, and handle turns well.
However, freeride/freestyle decks offer a bit more versatility with 20” wheels, while cruisers tend toward smaller 24”/26” wheels.
Downhill Longboard Helmet
The main purpose of the downhill longboard helmet is to protect the rider’s head from injury in case of an accident or sudden collision.
This type of helmet has a poly-carbonate shell and an adjustable strap at the back that allows the rider to put it on properly. It also comes with a visor that protects the rider’s eyes from the sun and debris.
One of the main features of the downhill longboard helmet is its ability to absorb impact and reduce the severity of injuries in case of a crash. Due to its lightweight construction, it can help a rider stay balanced even when he or she is falling.
In addition, this helmet provides better protection for the head than other types of helmets because it has a smaller profile.
Downhill Longboard Trucks
Downhill longboard trucks are what you see on most downhill longboards. These trucks are flat-bottomed and have a wider contact patch than standard trucks.
They’re great for carving in rough terrain, but they aren’t the best choice if you need to accelerate quickly.
Downhill longboard trucks come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they’re tall and narrow. This makes them ideal for downhill riding, but it can make them difficult to fit into other setups.
If you plan on using your board outside of downhill riding, it may be best to find a different type of truck. Many people like to use downhill longboard trucks because of their shape and size.
The narrow profile of these trucks allows for good cornering clearance, which is especially important when riding in rough terrain. Many downhill riders also prefer taller trucks because they feel more comfortable when the deck is at eye level with their feet.
Downhill longboard trucks are most commonly found in small-wheeled decks like mini cruisers, pintail boards, and booter boards.
Downhill Longboard Wheels
If you’re a serious downhill longboarder, you’ll need a set of longboard wheels that can get it done. Downhill wheels are designed to grip the ground when going downhill and minimize traction loss.
They generally have a softer and grippier shape than regular road wheels, so they’re great for absorbing bumps and rough surfaces.
Downhill wheels are typically smaller in diameter, which contributes to better turning performance but slightly reduces roll speed.
Downhill wheels also have more flex than regular road wheels, allowing them to absorb bumps more effectively.
There are a few different wheel types for downhill longboarding: stiffer downhill wheels with less flex; flexible downhill wheels with more flex; and hybrid downhill wheels that combine the best features of both.
Whether you’re looking for a downhill wheel or hybrid wheel, make sure it has a decent amount of flex and is made of strong material that can handle heavy use.
Downhill Longboard Gloves
Longboard Gloves are another essential piece of gear that every downhill rider should own. With the increased risk of falling on a downhill board, longboard gloves provide extra padding and protection for your hands and wrists.
They also help to reduce fatigue by providing more surface area for your hands to grip the board. Many downhill longboard gloves also have additional features such as finger spikes, additional pads for the back of the hand, or even extra grips on the tips of the fingers.
These features help to increase stability and improve grip while riding down the hill. However, you should always check that these extra features do not interfere with the ride itself or affect the control of your movements.
Due to their increased protection, downhill longboard gloves can be a bit more expensive than regular cycling gloves but they are well worth it if they will keep you safe while riding down hills or bombing through corners.
Longboard Downhill Speed
Downhill speed is important for several reasons:
First, downhill speed is important because it determines how quickly you can stop. If you’re going too fast, there’s a chance that you’ll end up colliding with other riders, trees, or objects along the trail. If you’re going too slow, there’s a chance that you’ll fall over and injure yourself.
Second, downhill speed is important because it is directly related to your overall downhill performance. The faster you go, the easier it is to land on your feet and maintain control of your board (and therefore your speed).
Third, downhill speed is important because it allows you to ride at higher speeds for longer periods of time. By pushing yourself further and further on each descent, you are able to build up more leg strength and endurance.
My Suggestions for Downhill Longboards
Sector 9 Downhill Longboard
The Sector 9s FAULT LINE CURL is the ultimate freeride downhill longboard. It’s made of maple wood, measures 39.5 inches in length, and has a drop-through platform that will keep you closer to the ground while cruising down hills.
The board also features 180mm Paris trucks that provide stability when traveling at high speeds.
Another great thing about this board is its versatility – it can be used for downhill or freestyle riding! If you are looking for a dependable, durable longboard with a vintage-inspired design then this is the perfect one for you.
Arbor Downhill Longboard
The Arbor Downhill Longboard (Axel Serrat Pro 34 Crosscut) is a great choice for any level of rider. Whether you’re just getting started or already tearing up the mountain, you’ll want to take a closer look at this board.
Arbor boards are known for their quality and durability, and the Arbor Downhill Longboard is no exception. It’s constructed with a 7-ply maple and bamboo deck that’s stiffer than most decks but still offers enough flex to keep you comfortable on those long rides.
The downhill shape gives you the stability and confidence to push your limits without sacrificing control when riding a switch or going downhill, while the subtle nose kicks make it easier to maintain speed through low-speed turns.
Landyachtz Downhill Longboard
The Landyachtz brand is one of the most well-known and respected in the longboarding world, and their newest board, the Landyachtz Downhill Longboard, is one of their best. Their boards are made with quality construction and materials that make for a smooth ride.
Landyachtz has been around for decades so it’s easy to see how they’ve perfected the art of making excellent longboards. If you’re new to longboarding, or just want to get a great board for racing down hills, then this is definitely a good choice!
Longboarding can be a lot of fun, whether you do it casually or compete in extreme downhill competitions. It’s an exciting and challenging activity, and it’s one that’s accessible to almost anybody.
You can choose to longboard recreationally, or you can try your hand at downhill longboarding and go for speed. Whatever you decide, it’s important to be safe and prepared. With the right board and the right gear, you can enjoy a safe and thrilling experience.