You want to learn how to ride a longboard? That's a very good idea! Because longboarding is not only a lot of fun, but also an ideal training for your balance. In addition, you improve your general posture, your coordination and also your concentration by learning to ride a longboard. To make it easy for you to get started with longboarding and to quickly feel success while learning to ride a longboard, we have a few good tips in store for you. After some general information about the cool board, we will take you to cruising in five safe steps... are you with us? Then let's learn to longboard!
Difference Skateboard Longboard
Before we learn to ride a longboard, let's address the following question: What is a longboard actually - especially compared to a skateboard? Longboards are, as the name suggests: long. With a deck length of about 90 to 140 centimeters and a deck width of about 20 to 25 centimeters, they are, so to speak, the "big brother" of skateboards. This is also fitting because they were developed back in the 1950s as a surfing substitute for cruising along the beach promenade. Over time, the longboards then got a shorter and narrower shape to put the focus from driving to the tricks - skateboarding was now in.
The typical construction of a longboard looks like this:
- in several layers glued wooden board (deck)
- on it a non-slip foil (Griptape)
- two axles (trucks) - one in front under the nose one behind under the tail
- two thick rollers (wheels) per axle
Apart from the larger dimensions and the resulting larger distance between the axles, the longboard also uses larger and softer wheels. This provides better driving characteristics and more stability, especially at high speeds - and of course when learning to ride a longboard.
What types of longboards are there?
In addition to these fundamentally larger dimensions, there are other differences in the shape and also in the flexibility of longboards. These are of course not arbitrarily chosen, but specifically tailored to the intended driving behavior. The most common shapes are pintail and twintip. Pintail boards have a round nose and a narrower as well as pointed tail. This makes them very stable and perfect for cruising, especially for beginners learning to ride longboards. Twintip boards, on the other hand, are symmetrically shaped and may even have cutouts for the axles. This makes them particularly suitable for sliding, but more about that later. So before learning to ride a longboard and buying a board, the first question is: What do you want to do with your longboard? Do you want to cruise comfortably or do you want to ride downhill at high speed? As a beginner, you should first be careful with high speed and therefore prefer not to buy a downhill longboard as your first board, but rather a classic pintail board.
Longboard for beginners / longboard for adults - our tips: Pay attention to the flexibility of the board for learning to ride a longboard. The heavier you are and the faster you want to go, the more stable your longboard must be. For lightweights and for relaxed cruising, the deck can be a bit more flexible in comparison. Attention: The ball bearings are also worth a look. With too fast ball bearings you probably have problems as a beginner when learning to ride a longboard. So rather take something slower and replace them as soon as you are confident on the longboard, by faster ones.
Here we go: Learn to ride a longboard in 5 steps
So, how do you ride a longboard? This is the question we are going to address now. We want you to learn how to ride a longboard in five easy steps. What you need to learn to ride a longboard? Your longboard for beginners, a helmet, protectors for knees, elbows and hands, as well as a preferably smooth asphalt track without steep slopes and without traffic, e.g. the parking lot of a large supermarket after closing time. With this equipment and in this environment you have optimal starting conditions for learning to longboard.... let's go:
Step 1: Longboard foot position
How do you stand on a longboard? It's very simple: First you stand on the side of your longboard without thinking too much beforehand. Which foot is in front? If it's the right one, you ride Goofy, if it's the left one, you board Regular. Don't worry: there is no right or wrong here. You have to try it out to learn to ride a longboard and feel which foot or leg is stronger. This should then stand behind, because it can take over the pushing off and turning. Most of the time this decision happens automatically when you get on the board. If you are right-handed, your right leg is probably also the stronger and therefore stands behind.
Longboard beginner tips
Once you have found out your foot position, stand shoulder-width apart to learn how to ride a longboard and start shifting your weight in all directions. This will help you get a feel for your board. Test yourself well and for a long time, bounce sometimes, climb up and down, bend your knees, teeter a little, stand on your toes or heels and also vary your stance width a little. This "dry training" is very important for beginners when learning to ride a longboard and should not be skipped under any circumstances.
Step 2: Learn to ride a longboard - push & pump
If you are standing securely and the balancing works, we now come to the locomotion - the core of learning to ride a longboard. There are different techniques: pushing (pedaling movements) and pumping (slalom movements). The simpler of the two is certainly pushing, so you should internalize this first when learning to ride a longboard. In principle, you do exactly the same as when you were a child with your scooter. The front foot stands in the direction of travel as centrally as possible in the front area of the deck (knee slightly bent), the back foot is on the ground. Now shift your weight diagonally forward over your standing foot and push off with your pedaling foot. Attention: Make sure that there is enough distance between the longboard and the pedal foot so that you don't hit your board and stumble. Now leave your foot in the air for a moment, balance yourself and roll smoothly... then comes the next push. If this works and you have enough momentum, place your foot in the rear third of your longboard, turn slightly to the side and cruise a round.
Step 3: Learn to ride a longboard - steering
In principle, steering is the easiest step when learning to ride a longboard. Especially if you already have a good sense of balance. Because strictly speaking, when you steer, nothing more happens than a shift of weight. If you want to go right while learning to ride a longboard, you lean to the right, if you want to go left, you lean to the left. Which strength provides which reaction of your longboard, you have to find out and feel with time. Therefore, when learning to ride a longboard, it's best to start with a straight stretch and only increase the difficulty (slope, obstacles, etc.) over time.
Focus on balance
Our tip: Train your balance in addition to learning to ride a longboard - not on the longboard, but on a balance board. You can use it comfortably at home in front of the TV or in the office - maybe when the weather is too uncomfortable to learn longboarding anyway. Through short units you train your sense of balance effectively. You also improve your
- motor skills,
- core muscles,
- and your body tension.
All this helps you as soon as you stand on a longboard again. With this combination training, you will achieve success even faster when learning to ride a longboard and you will soon master tight turns and bumpy ground.
Step 4: Longboard - learn to brake
Now we come to a very important point when learning to ride a longboard: braking. In order to be able to cruise really safely, you must have a good command of braking. You can use different techniques. Depending on the riding situation, sometimes one is more suitable and sometimes the other. So please try them all when learning to ride a longboard, but as a beginner you should definitely start with the foot brake.
With foot braking you stop your longboard by putting one foot on the ground. Keep your supporting leg slightly bent on the board, shift your weight to your supporting leg and brake with the necessary pressure - the more, the faster you stop, but the more jerky your stop will be. You have to be prepared for this. Our tip: Sturdy shoes and not your favorite sneakers are extremely important here, because the sole of your shoes will wear out very quickly during foot braking. Practice foot braking while learning to ride a longboard until you can do it in your sleep, and only then will you learn the other techniques.
When rolling out you don't have to do anything. This sounds good at first and is of course easy on the joints and material, but it has a big disadvantage: you need, depending on the speed, a decent long distance. This may not be a problem when cruising at a leisurely pace, but it's virtually impossible in hectic city traffic.
Jumping off is really only for emergencies, because you always take a risk when jumping off the board, no matter at what speed: You can fall or twist your ankle, for example. Nevertheless, practice this braking technique while learning to ride a longboard in a safe environment so that you are prepared in case of an emergency.
If you have a lot of speed and are not in a hurry to brake, you can also let the wind resistance work for you. Simply extend your arms while riding. You will quickly notice how you lose speed.
Step 5: Longboard - learn to slide
Another very safe braking technique is sliding, but it requires a little practice. To do this, you need to bring your board across the lane... then nothing rolls. But how do you do it? Again, it's your balance that counts! You shift your body weight to one foot and pull the board on the opposite side across the direction of travel. Be sure to bend your knees slightly and strengthen your core so that the abrupt change doesn't throw you off course. Our tip: Use gloves when learning to ride a longboard, in case you need to support yourself on the road when sliding. By the way, sliding is not only suitable for braking, but can also be used as a riding technique. But we'll deal with that another time, because for this you already need to have a little experience on your longboard. So: First learn to ride a longboard, best with the balance board as support, then come the slides and the casual tricks.
Cool Longboard Tracks
Now you are (almost) a longboard pro and of course you know: Every riding style needs a different track. You can cruise on long, straight roads, for downhill riding the track should be a bit sloping and for a slalom narrow, winding streets are a nice challenge. So you can explore the most different routes with your longboard and of course find out what suits you best. And is the weather not suitable for learning to ride a longboard? Then you simply fall back on your balance board and put in a balance training session. This is at least as much fun as learning to ride a longboard!