01 of 08: DISTINGUISH BETWEEN LONGBOARD AND SHORTBOARD
You do not need to mind about longboard, helmet, shoes,… when you want to begin a ride by longboard. The most important thing is to distinguish between longboard and shortboard.
Fisrtly, let’s list the similar characters: both have 4 wheels, 1 desk made from wood or other materials, trucks… And the most significant difference is the length. Longboard is longer than shortboard. The different lengths make different using of the two board. The longboard usually use to ride on long distance, like street, road, hills,… The short one is often use to perform tricks and moves.
The dimensions of the two types of board are different too. The longboard is about 42 inches long, but it may be from 34 to 50 inches depends on the user. While the shortboard is around 30 to 33 inches long. The longboard is 7 to 10 inches of width and this number of shortboard is 8 inches.
02 of 08: TYPES OF LONGBOARDS
The board is more stable if it is longer. But, in otherwise, the longer board is not as agile as the short one. That is the reason why the shortboard is use to peform tricks popularly. Hence, remember to think about the purpose of your board before buying it, then choose the long one or short one.
A cruiser or a pintail skateboard is a good choice for you to travel in long distances. Both are usually used for commuting or cruising. They have special noses and tails for this purpose.
A dropdown or dropthrough board should be chose to show your skills of performing tricks or moves. These types of skateboard have narrow, symmetrical heads and tails with blunt ends to help you to dance with your technical skills.
A stiff cruiser deck, a topmount, or a speed deck is suitable for skateboarders who are fans of high speed. All are designed to get highest speed with easiest controlling of riders.
The shortboards have smaller wheels comparing to long one. These wider wheels of longboards make it smoother while riding. The edges of wheels are different depending on the purposes of riding of riders. They could be square or beveled or rounded..
03 of 08: POPULAR STANCES
Before riding a board, you should choose for yourselves a stance. There are two popular stances: regular or goofy. The regular stance is to put your right foot back and your left foot forward. Otherwise, Goofy is to put your left foot back and your right foot forward.
Do not think that the two stances are same. The forward foot will make balancing. And the back foot is kicking foot. So, choose which you feel most comfortable while riding. And do not change your stance after making choice.
Use your already used stance for skateboard, snowboard, surf or wakeboard if you have one before. If not, try the two stances, which is more natural for you, choose it.
04 of 08: FEET POSITIONS
After choosing your stance, find a place to practice it. The practice place should be wide and free of traffic with smooth, flat surface. Start with standing in your board, bend your knees, crouch down, stand up some times to be familiar with your stance and feel your desk. Then change your positions of feet without leaving your board.
The popular positions of feet on board are between the trucks and wider than the shoulders a little bit. The forward foot should be about 45 degrees angle pointed and the back foot is slightly few degrees pointed. But the positions also depend on riding styles. Riding faster or turning or tricking needs different positions of your feet.
When riding down of hills, spreading your feet wider, point your feet downhill for more speed. When riding slower, stand at regular position or close your feet more narrow to be comfortable.
05 of 08: PUSHING YOUR BOARD FORWARD
You can use even your front foot or back foot pushing off the ground to move forward. But people usually use the back foot instead of front food. Don’t be mind to use front foot, it is called “pushing Mongo”, if you feel convenient. First, push once and put your foot back to the desk. Be familiar with the moving of the board, then you can push two or more time to make the board moving faster. Remember to try in flat surface of a wide, free place.
After feeling comfortable, try to move in a low hill. At starting, do not push off the ground. Just leave you board at top of the hill and it can flow down the hill slowly cause of gravity. Keep trying again and again. Use your foot to push for more speed after you feel familiar.
Remember not to choose a high hill, or riding to fast in the beginning, until you know how to stop your board in next step.
06 of 08: HOW TO STOP
This step should be red and practiced even before the fifth step. It is very important to know how to stop your board while riding or you can make an accident. First, you can slowdown your board and stop by dragging your foot. It’s called footbreaking. This is the easiest way to stop your board. Take off your back (or front) foot and keep the bottom of it slide in the ground gently until your board stop. Try to use more power to make you board moving slower and getting stop more quickly.
After master how to stop your board, you can ride faster. But some times, you can not control the speed or the board, just jump out. That would be better than keep moving and hit something or someone.
07 of 08: BASIC MOVES FOR CARVING THEN CRUISING
When mastering first steps to ride a longboard such as standing, starting, stop… You should learn to to turn or carve. In order to turn, move your weight to the side you want to turn, the board will turn to that direction. Use top of your toe to carve the ground to change the direction of riding. The deeper you carve, the more you turn your board.
When start, remember to practice with slow speed and turn small angles first. Try to make it easy by gently carve to make your board moving smoothly while turning.
After that, you can start to cruise your board for a longer distance. Practicing and practicing is the only way to master this. It is easy but you cannot avoid accident without practicing.
08 of 08: FIRST RIDING ON LOW HILL
Once mastering of controlling your longboard to turn to any directions smoothly as you want, you can try a faster speed from top of a low hill. Remember not to start with high speed and dangerous turning. Try the easy first. When you can control you board as exactly what you are thinking, you can speed up riding.
By starting to learn how to ride a longboard, don’t forget to wear protect accessories: helmet, safety gear, knee and elbow pads…
Remember to look out for anything near the place you practice like cars, bikes, bicycles and people also.
Last thing as also first thing: do not learn with haste. Step to step, you can ride a longboard with safe and fun.