Longboarding has been described as ‘sidewalk surfing’ and is very similar to skateboarding. But if you are new to longboarding there are a number of differences that you need to be aware of Summit Board.
The most obvious difference is the length of the board, with the majority of longboard decks measuring between 25″ (64cm) and 60″ (190cm) in length. This size makes it easier to reach higher speeds with less effort and makes them ideal for downhill or slalom racing. Longboards are also generally fitted with larger, softer wheels, which provide a much smoother ride.
Although it is possible to purchase and assemble the individual parts of a longboard it would advisable for a beginner to start with a complete board. There are a number of manufacturers that produce high quality complete longboards including Loaded and Sector 9. After you buy a longboard and take it out for the first time try and choose a quiet area with as flat a surface as possible. Even though you may think safety gear like helmets, gloves and pads don’t look cool I would recommend their use, as it’s even less cool to land on your head or loose all the skin from your knees or elbows!
It’s also essential to learn the basics of board control before progressing onto more complicated manoeuvres or ‘board dancing’. One of the first techniques to master is ‘carving’. This involves riding in a continuous ‘S’ shape and helps control your speed. If you are travelling at lower speeds it is possible to stop by using a ‘foot brake’, this simply involves placing one foot on the ground whilst balancing the other foot on the board and is very similar to the stopping method used on a skateboard. Another technique used by longboarders to stop is called ‘sliding’ and is the most effective way to slowdown while travelling downhill. Slides can be performed standing up or with either one or two hands on the ground but it is essential to wear specialist gloves that are fitted with hard low friction plastic pucks on the palms when performing any hands-down slide.