Learn To Longboard
Wanting to learn to longboard is going to be a snap if you have ever skated. If not, it is a little easier to learn due to the size and stability. Either way, you are in for a treat. The land yacht is growing in popularity these days and the designs keep getting better. A word to the wise though. If you want to learn how to street skate and do jumps and grinds, you will not want a longboard. Longboards are perfect for either downhill speed or just carving on concrete but not so hot for ramp or curb tricks.
To learn to longboard, you will need:
- A longboard
- Protective gear for skating
- Choose a board. When you are ready to learn to longboard, the first step is to get a board. Longboards come in a variety of sizes, but it basically breaks down to the longer the board, the more stable the ride. This means two things. Longboards are great for downhill speed and mellow street cruising. The shorter longboards are more portable; they can turn better but lose out on the speed and stability.
- Which foot. You will have to figure out whether you are goofy (right foot forward) or regular (left foot forward) when you are ready to learn to longboard. Just stand on the board and choose the position that is comfortable to you.
- Place. Learn to longboard somewhere mellow because these things put novices in the hospital. Try an empty parking lot or somewhere where there is minimal traffic and a slight incline. Skip the hills and traffic streets until you feel more comfortable cruising.
- Step. Step on the board. Put your front foot just behind the front truck and position your back foot a shoulder length away. Now roll around a little on a flat surface. Find your center of gravity on the board. Move around until your find your comfort zone and learn how the board feels and responds to your weight.
- Go. After you get comfortable with your balance and position on a flat surface, start propelling yourself by keeping your forward foot planted and kicking off the ground with your other foot. Build up a little speed to get comfortable to the sensation. When you want to slow down, drag your back foot lightly on the ground. Now you know why some skaters have one duct taped shoe. Oh and if you are out of control and about to eat it, jump off!
- Cruise. Now that you are stable on your land yacht, go to a slight incline. Notice the word ‘slight’. Don’t bomb drop a hill until you know what you are doing or your friend is filming you. Concentrate on stabilizing yourself as you go down the incline. Crouch down and play with your center of gravity to feel how this can make you go faster. Try to look forward beyond your longboard to see what is coming towards you rather than concentrating on the ground right before you. This will help develop your peripheral vision which is important in skating.
- Carve. To learn to longboard, you will have to learn how to carve (turn). Carving is natural on a bigger board plus it can be used to slow down. On a slight incline, push the board down a little with your foot towards the side you wish to turn. When your feet know what they are doing, add a little body lean to the carve. Experiment with both feet and try both toe carving (lean towards your toes) and heel carving (lean towards your heels). Everyone does this a little differently. People who surf or snowboard tend to figure it out quicker. After you master carving, you will get into the flow. When you are flowing brah, you are sidewalk surfing.