Longboards are large wooden planks with soft wheels that help you drive them with style on rough surfaces. If you glance at the longboards, it is hard to find any significant difference between riding longboards and skateboards, but if you know the game, you know how different they work.
Longboard surfing is a fun game for people who are already interested in surfing and skating. It requires focus and balance. While driving a longboard, some things are needed to be considered.
These include the longboard’s material, flexibility and stiffness, and pivot angle. Knowing everything at once could be quite a task for anyone who has just started learning longboard riding.
To learn the skill, one must know the fundamentals of longboards. It is not only a game but also a healthy activity and can reflect a good impact on health.
As we dig into the article, you will learn the Origin of these longboards, how a longboard looks on average, how to ride a longboard for beginners, and how they differ from skateboards.
History and Origin of Longboards (Riding Longboards)
To start with an introduction to the game, you should know how and where it started. The skill of riding longboards traces its Origin to the mid-1950s in Hawaii.
The surfers of Hawaii invented this game when they were bored of surfing due to the low waves in the sea. The urge for some excitement and fun led to the creation of longboards.
In the start, the structure of the longboards was not so efficient. The locals used to make longboards out of rough wooden planks without considering the mechanics and quality of the boards. It was dangerous but fun at the same time.
As time passed, the shape and material of the longboards evolved for betterment. Nowadays, aluminum planks with softer and sturdier wheels are preferred to give the rider a better grip while flipping and running on rough surfaces.
Longboard Riding for the Beginners
You are at the right place if you are a total novice in the game and don’t know how to balance and drive longboards. We will explain how to ride a longboard for beginners as we dive deep.
- The first thing you must know to learn to drive a longboard is the size chart of the longboards. While longboard riding, the balance, and grip over the longboard are your harness. For beginners, cruiser longboards are recommended to help them learn the basics.
- A longboard is nearly 30 inches long and 8 to 9 inches wide is considered enough to support you while learning longboard riding. A wider longboard is more stable and easier to balance.
- The wheels should be soft and lower the center of gravity. The curve in the middle of the deck ensures the center of gravity.
Tips and Tricks for the Beginners
Here I have mentioned some tricks to learn to ride a longboard for beginners.
- In learning how to ride or stop the longboard, safety is a primary concern for beginners. Wear helmets, and elbow and knee pads in case of falls. Also, begin practicing on concrete roads first.
- For the front side power slide, shift the maximum weight on the heels to avoid shooting out of the board.
- Stretch your arms to maintain equilibrium.
- Pull your trunk forward to push the longboard with less effort and more power.
- Dig your toes tightly near the tail of the longboard and take leverage if your back for the side power slides.
- To stop the board, use positions like run out, foot drag,or kick out just after slowing the speed.
Beginners should always consider their safety first. Start with basic balancing and acceleration-deceleration maneuvers and shift to power slides and flipping.
Free longboard riding
As a novice, you will learn various terms and styles. You learn tips and tricks for different types of sliding and boarding. One such term is free-longboard riding.
Free-ride longboarding is yet another fun form of longboarding where you slide and flip on a downhill slope. The gradual steep helps you gain moderate speed as you descend a surface.
During freeride longboarding, you can control your speed because when you roll, spin and flip, the wheels of the longboard turn sideways, which produces friction and help you gain control over velocity. Freeriding longboards can benefit new learners as they have maximum control over the board.
Effect of Deck while Riding Longboard- The shape of the deck
The shape of longboards also affects your drifting style and speed. The decks used for free riding are usually bilateral and symmetrical. For beginners, it is preferred to use wider boards for balance and stability, whereas experts choose thinner and sleek decks for speed and agility.
A good free-riding longboard must be more concave to give you a place to dig in the toes while performing power slides. During free-riding longboards, you can perform many slides like toes, front, and heel sides
Another thing that you notice during free-ride longboards is the rocker. Rockers mean the curvature of the longboards along their length. A good rocker has lower midpoints and provides stability to the riders while sliding.
Are longboards easier to ride-Myth or Reality?
As a beginner, it always comes to your mind how easy or difficult it is to ride a longboard. When you see riders performing downhill slides at full speed or doing power slides on straight surfaces, you might think that longboarding is not your piece of cake.
But hold on, these tricks that fascinate you include mechanics and positioning that make them so smooth.
To longboard riding, you must know balance and body mechanics. Also, it depends greatly on your determination and the type of longboard you use to learn to ride. Speaking of longboards that are easier to ride, drop-through longboards are a good option to start learning to ride.
The answer is yes to the question that longboards are easier to ride. You need to pick a good quality longboard with more width, and a lower center of gravity as stability is the main concern for beginners.
Longboards for heavy riders
We usually think heavy people cannot ride longboards because of their balance issues and lack of motivation. If that is said anywhere, it’s completely senseless. You have to remember some things while getting a longboard for a heavy person, but they can blow it.
Here are a few things that you must ensure while getting a longboard for heavy riders. A typical good quality longboard can bear a weight of up to 200 to 250 lbs. which is quite satisfactory
Longboards have a rough and asymmetrical geometry, so you should select a longboard with quality material that can support the weight, steep concave, and rubber strips for better grip.
Heavy riders must practice the board’s equilibrium and weight-shifting tricks for better riding. A wider deck is preferred because it is more stable and withstands more weight.
The wooden plank also plays a role in riding longboards for heavy people. The wooden deck must be strong and wide enough to support the weight. They should always start with simple skating because playing tricks and flips have a risk of breaking the board.
Now, if you know the features of a good longboard, you must move your stance on longboards. Positioning your feet on the board is the key. If you learn to place your stance in the correct position on the longboard, you shall master the skill.
A correct longboard stance helps you speed up the longboard without effort, flip, jump, perform power slides, and stop the longboard efficiently. Your stance on the longboard changes throughout the ride. As for a start, your foot must be shoulder-width apart to stabilize the longboards. Place one foot straight through the width of the deck and the other slightly tilted to change the position of the feet.
Variable Stances During Slides
The different kinds of flips and slides require different positions and stances. A longboard stance means the position of your feet and the knee and hip flexion, bending your torso and head and shoulder stabilization.
One thing that you need to consider while riding a longboard is footnotes. Footnotes mean naturally placing your dominant foot forward and pivoting your foot behind.
The pivot foot I placed at the back to stabilize the longboard while the dominant foot pushes forward during the ride and gives direction.
Generally, people place their right foot backward and left foot forward, called the natural or the regular stance. So, for better learning or riding experience, you must know about your dominant foot.
Skateboard Riding Styles
There are different ways you can maneuver your skateboard by using different positions and stances. Although it requires practice and confidence, anybody can learn the skateboard riding style if they are careful and considerate enough.
These include free-riding longboarding, in which the rider skates along a descending slope with controlled velocity, and downhill longboarding, in which the rider skates with maximum speed and performs power slides.
It is a dangerous style and requires skill and practice. Other styles include vert skateboarding, street skateboarding, and park skateboarding
One thing common in all skateboard riding styles is the grip of your feet and the stance of the whole body. A new learner must practice styles and flips on horizontal and rough surfaces to have enough skill and balance.
Best commuting longboards
We ride skateboards and longboards as a fun activity, but when longboards become part of your routines, they can be used as commuting longboards. Here I have mentioned some of the best commuting longboards for daily use.
Longboards are more comfortable and reliable for daily use because they are longer, wider, and more stable.
Some of the best longboards used for communication include maple longboards, bamboo longboards, cruiser longboards, and old-school longboards. Out of this cruiser, longboards are recommended for beginners, maple longboards for stability, and maple longboards are more symmetrical and stable.
Ollie on a longboard
Ollie is a skateboard trick where the rider pushes one end of the skateboard such that both the rider and skateboard jump in the air without using the rider’s hand.
You can Ollie on a longboard and a skateboard, but a longboard is longer and has softer wheels, making it less suitable. It is better not to play tricks or Ollie on a longboard if you are not an expert.
Is longboarding hard
If you wonder if longboarding is harder not, then here is the answer. Longboarding is harder than skateboarding because it has a wider deck, rough symmetry, and soft wheels.
Before performing any flips or slides on along board, you must know the tricks, racing, and stopping maneuvers. But if you practice and get control over the velocity of the longboard, it is both fun and exciting.
As we conclude our discussion, I would say that longboard riding and skateboarding are fun games if done with proper practice and safety measures. You must know the basics, your riding style, and how to balance during rides.
Beginners should start longboard riding on rough and flat surfaces before performing longboard styles like downhill longboarding. The material of the longboard should be strong enough to bear maximum weight, and flexible longboards allow more toes and heels to grip while jumping.
longboard Riding is not only fun but is also a good means of cardio and coordination exercises. It may be less effective than cycling or running, but one way or the other, it is a fun way of burning calories. Riding longboards may be difficult for beginners, but practice and focus make it easier and more fun.
If you have decided to pick a longboard, it isn’t easy to choose the right one. We are here to assist you while suggesting some best longboards available in the market.