There's nothing quite like the simple joy of cruising down the pavement or along the beach on a longboard. It's a super accessible sport, but the idea of balancing oneself on a wooden board with four small wheels could sound challenging to most. However, it's not as difficult as you think!
Regular or goofy?
Before starting, you need to first find out what stance you're most comfortable with.
If you put your left foot forward with your right foot doing most of the work behind, you're a Regular. Goofy is the opposite.
Typically, right-handed people also tend to have a dominant right foot so they would ride with their left foot in front.
However, this is not always the case, so at the start, it's good to experiment with both stances to see which one suits you.
Once you're comfortable with a particular stance, stick with it throughout the rest of the session.
Equipment to start longboarding
You will need the following equipment before getting started:
- Longboard/Cruiser (longboards typically start at 36" and longer)
- Helmet (not mandatory but highly recommended for beginners)
Now that you're comfortable standing on the board, let's start to push.
It's best if you are practicing in a wide, open space.
Lift your back leg slightly off the board and push gently against the ground with it, then resume your stance.
You will start to roll forward a few feet before coming to a stop. Repeat this move several times until you're comfortable with the sensation of pushing and rolling.
Once you're comfortable with pushing, you'll probably be tempted to go faster, so it's important to know how to stop.
The simplest way to stop is to use the sole of your back foot to drag against the ground.
You'll want to mostly use your heel to avoid the front of your foot catching on uneven surfaces.
If the road is even, you can keep your sole level to the ground for a bit more stability and stopping power.
Next, you'll probably want to be able to start steering your board in the directions you want to go.
You'll notice that the board leans left or right when you shift your weight between your toes and your heels.
This is how you will control the steering of the longboard.
A good practice is to keep your knees bent to give more mobility to your feet.
For example, the rider in the picture is pushing down with her heels, and you can see the board start to steer towards her right.
We hope the tips above were helpful in either getting you back on a board or trying it out for the first time! Practice makes perfect, so keep at it and you'll be carving some sweet lines on the pavement in no time!