How to Ride a Longboard Skateboard
Riding a longboard skateboard uses many of the same techniques as those used to ride a regular skateboard. However, longboarding places the emphasis on using these moves very smoothly and rhythmically in order to help maintain constant speed and flow between movements, unlike the aggressive movements that regular skateboarding requires.
Find a flat, smooth, surface with plenty of space and no hazards such as moving vehicles; a disused car park for example. Place your longboard on the ground facing the direction you want to travel in. Place your standing foot (usually your left foot if you are right footed, or vice versa) onto the middle of the board, just past the halfway point.
Push off with your opposite foot, aiming for a full, smooth movement. As you feel the board moving forward, lift your pushing foot onto the board and plant it shoulder-width apart from your front foot. Bend your knees to maintain stability.
Give another push when you feel the board slowing. The natural desire here is to place your foot flat down on the ground, but avoid doing this. Instead, use your standing foot to maintain your balance and move your pushing foot back off the board. Hover over the surface, and in a single motion, smoothly push over it. Then place your pushing foot back on the deck. Your board should speed up, but not aggressively.
Turn to the left by gently leaning your body over to the left of the board. You should feel the deck of the longboard drop a little to the left and the board should begin to turn. To turn to the right, lean your body over toward the right of the board. Longboards are far more responsive than regular skateboards, and so only minor weight adjustments are required when turning.
Brake by leaving your standing foot to maintain your balance on the board. Remove your pushing foot from the deck. Hover your pushing foot over the surface, and slowly lower it toward the ground. Aim to come in contact with the ground gently, using minor contact between the sole of your foot and the ground to slow the board down. Refrain from applying so much pressure that you are dismounted from the board.
Balancing on your standing foot may seem difficult at first; however,, with practice this will become second nature. Keeping your body weight centered over your standing foot will help.
Smooth movement is important in every maneuver. Try to keep a rhythm in your head and transfer this to the movement of the board.
Longboarding is an extreme sport, and care should be taken to avoid injury. Wear protective clothing at all times and keep speeds relative to your ability.
Owen H. L. Davies has been writing for more than three years for various publications, both U.S.- and U.K.-based, particularly for the SEO market. He was awarded a Batchelor of Arts (honours) in English from Southampton University in 2008. He is also a freelance specialist broadcaster, filmmaker and photographer.