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How to Longboard Skateboard

Two Parts:Starting OffLongboarding Basics

Longboarding is a sport similar to skateboarding. It uses a longer board, bigger wheels and sometimes bigger trucks to let the of longboarding include speed, freeride, slide and slalom. Longboarding is a lot of fun, and it's arguably easier to pick up as a beginner than skateboarding is. If you have a longboard and a little bit of time on your hands, get out there and start practicing! Before you do, read this handy tutorial.

Part 1
Starting Off

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    Decide what you are looking for in a board. Are you looking for a board to cruise on around town? To hit the skatepark with? Or are you looking to rip down big hills?
    • Different sized longboards have different advantages and disadvantages. Shorter longboards are more agile (meaning you can turn more) but less stable (meaning it's easier to fall over). Longer boards are more stable but less agile. Beginners should stick with longer boards.
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    Get some protective gear. You may not think it's the coolest way to longboard, but especially when you're practicing, it's a good idea to be padded up. If you're doing more extreme versions of longboarding, getting padded up is essential.
    • For gear, be sure to get:
      • A good-fitting helmet
      • Skateboarding shoes (flat bottomed)
      • Elbow pads (optional)
      • Knee pads (optional)
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    Figure out if you are goofy or regular. Do you skate with your right foot forward? That's called riding "goofy." Do you skate with your left foot facing forward? That's called regular.
    • To find out whether you ride regular or goofy, have someone shove you from behind with no warning. Whichever foot you put out to catch yourself is the one you want to lead with on the skateboard. If it feels wrong, try switching to the other foot.
    • Another way to find out is to slide on a smooth surface in socks or lay on the ground; whichever foot you use to get up with will be the foot you want to lead with on your longboard.
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    Try riding it around a couple times on a flat surface. Try to feel the smooth flow as it rolls over the concrete. The lower you keep your center of gravity, the better you will feel. Make sure you feel comfortable before moving on.
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    Get the basic stance down. Stand with your feet between the trucks (the bearings that hold the wheels), a little longer than shoulder-width apart. Angle your front foot slightly forward, at about a 45 degree angle. Have your back foot be pretty much sideways, perpendicular to the direction the board is traveling in.
    • This is just one stance that you can use. After getting comfortable with your longboard for a little bit, you very well could find that other stances work better for you. Go with what feels comfortable.
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    Practice balancing on your board by finding a gentle slope and going down it on the longboard. Get the hang of what it feels like to be on a longboard. Use your arms for balance and bend your knees a bit.
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    Balance yourself. If you feel out of control, make sure you focus far in front of you using your peripheral vision to guide you. This will allow your body to naturally gain control or balance.

Part 2
Longboarding Basics

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    Practice moving yourself forward. Take your back foot off the board and use the ground as something to push off of. You can go for one big push, or several smaller pushes. Try to keep your body loose as you push off; the stiffer your body is, the harder it will be to keep your balance.
    • If you want to use your front foot to push off, give it a try. Most boarders don't do this — it's called "mongo" — but it's more important do ride comfortably than do what other people do.
    • After you get the hang of it, practice generating more speed by doing harder kicks. You'll find that, after you've gotten to a certain speed, one good push will keep you going for quite a while.
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    Practice turning, or carving, on your longboard. You'll need to practice turning on your board if you want to ride around. Turning is quite easy. All you have to do is put pressure down on one side of the board, leaning in that direction, and you'll turn:
    • Heel edge carving: you move your heels downward and you turn to your inside. Heel edge turns for people who ride regular give you left turns.
    • Toe edge carving: you move your toes downward and you turn to your outside. Toe edge turns for people who ride regular give you right turns.
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    Find a way to stop your skateboard or to slow down. Foot-braking, where you drag one foot on the ground, is probably the most reliable way to stop or slow down: you're creating a lot of friction with your foot, thereby slowing the momentum of the board down. Other ways that you can break include:
    • Carving: snaking down the hill by leaning from side to side pushes on your wheels and will help keep speed down.
    • Air braking: at high speeds, simply standing up and putting your arms out can slow you considerably.
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    Practice sliding after you've mastered these concepts. If you ever want to go faster than you can run, save yourself some road rash by learning how to slide. In order to slide, you should either buy slide gloves, or attach squares of cutting board (find it in the supermarket) to work gloves. Once you have your gloves, you're ready to go learn to slide! In order to slide:
    • Point your front foot forward while bending your knees; shift your weight to the front.
    • Slide your back foot off your board, flexing your front knee to make contact with the ground.
    • Apply gradual pressure to stop
    • Try not to use your toes or heel to touch the ground; instead, opt for the middle of your sole.
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    Save yourself some road rash and learn to slide with gloves before you get going really fast. Start slow, and work your way up. Rome wasn't built in a day.
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    Don't worry if your board doesn't look like the one in the videos. Getting comfortable with a board takes time and the techniques work for almost any shape and size board. Hard wheels (durometer of at least 86a) break traction easier, making learning to slide easier
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    Have fun but be careful. Longboarding is a ton of fun, but pushing it too hard can cause serious injury. You never think it'll be you until it actually happens to you. Be mindful of potentially dangerous situations and prepare accordingly or take yourself out of them before it's too late. That being said, have a blast cruising on your new toy!


  • Find a quiet street or have a spotter watch for traffic.
  • Don't be afraid to try new things. The most important thing is stay calm.
  • Wear shoes with a flat bottom. These grip the skateboard much better than basketball shoes.
  • If a hill is too big for you, start from a quarter or halfway down and build up.
  • Don't worry if you fall a lot, you will eventually get better.
  • Learn to slide well. Sliding to stop should become second nature. If you can slide to stop easily, you can bomb hills that don't have runouts.
  • Be aware of traffic to avoid any injuries and the loss of life.
  • Walk your route first to see if there are obstacles, loose dirt or raised lane reflectors.
  • Use bigger and softer wheels if you want to have a very smooth ride.
  • If you're not sure what board is best for you, go to different board shops and ask to try some out, or see if you could borrow a friend's for a few days and see how you like it.
  • If bombing hills, pick hills with flat runouts to give you time to stop.
  • Get some gloves with plastic on the palms (google longboarding gloves for some ideas)
  • When going down really fast, stand up straight or foot break to slow down, or get into speed tuck (see Euro, Brazilian, American) to go faster.
  • Don't try something you don't feel comfortable doing.
  • Learn to slide. The Slideschool channel on youtube teaches the essential basic techniques for stopping safely and many tricks.
  • If there is a tail on your longboard, you can use it to ollie your board. This is much harder to do on a longboard than a normal skateboard.
  • If you don't feel comfortable bombing a hill while standing, try sitting down on your board and buttboard. It lets you have more control and it is easier to footbrake, because you can use both feet.
  • Customize the way your longboard feels and responds. There is a limit to how much you can change about the way a longboard feels especially if it is a very soft board, but you can still do quite a bit. Including:
    • Bearings: Better bearings ideally with spacers built-in are a large improvement over stock bearings. They are cost-effective, will make your wheels roll faster for longer, and won't need to be replaced very often if ever as long as they are cleaned and lubricated.
    • Bushings: Bushings will come in various durometers. The durometer is the "a" rating that determines how firm a bushing or wheel is. The higher the durometer, the firmer the wheel. The lower the durometer, the softer the wheel. Durometers will vary between bushing manufacturers. Stock bushings in Bear 852 trucks are 85a JimZ and are good bushings but are too soft. 85a Venom bushings are a much firmer and offer a more predictable turn. Same durometer, different brand, firmer ride. Bushings are also cost-effective, so try a few different ones out and find what you like. Remember just because you have hard bushings the board may feel more stable, but at higher speeds you could still get more turn than you might expect.
    • Precision washers: Precision washers are different from other precision parts for precision trucks (the trucks used in longboard racing). Precision washers are high quality washers that fit into the bushing on the kingpin of your truck. This takes any of the slop out of the way the longboard handles, and also improves the return to center of the board. You'll notice the washers that came on your trucks don't fit onto the kingpin precisely. That's what precision washers are for. These are an inexpensive way to make less expensive parts feel very comfortable and predictable.
    • Maintenance: Remember to clean your trucks and bearings regularly. They will gather dirt, sand, gravel, moisture, and you want the cleanest possible surface for each part to ride on to maintain the smoothest, fastest, most effortless ride.


  • Always take caution when longboarding in public areas.
  • Would you jump out of a car at 30 mph (48 km/h)? It's easy to get to that speed on a longboard, make sure you learn how to stop!
  • Always longboard in a place with no traffic.
  • Longboarding is a dangerous sport. Do it at your own risk.
  • Always wear a helmet, pads, and gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Longboard
  • Pads
  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • A long section of smooth concrete

Article Info

Categories: Skateboarding