HALT! 9 Quick Tips for How to Stop on a Longboard

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Even if you’re an experienced skateboarder, moving from a skateboard to a longboard can be challenging. When they get going downhill, longboards can travel up to 65 miles per hour. When you’re traveling fast, especially on roads, you may need to stop. Use these tips and tricks to learn how to stop on a longboard, so you don’t get hurt.

History of the Longboard

Although they are within the same family, longboards are different than their skateboard cousins. The primary difference is that longboards can travel at high speeds, while a skateboard is for cruising and doing tricks.

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Skateboarders didn’t invent longboards, but in the 1950s, surfers in Hawaii remodeled their skateboards with longer boards and bigger wheels to mimic surfing the waves during the offseason or when the waves were not high enough to surf.

The boards finally made it to California in the 1970s, and, with the introduction of polyurethane wheels in 1972, the longboards and skateboards were able to go faster with better control. Due to insurance prices and threats of lawsuits, longboarding went underground during the 1980s when most of the skate parks closed.

While skateboarding was able to survive in the mainstream, longboarding wasn't revived until the 1990s by snowboarders. Snowboarders found that longboarding allowed them to hone their balance and coordination during the spring and summer months.

Longboards Change

Other skaters found that longboarding was a good way to commute to school, work, or race friends downhill. During the same time, an invention for longboards, the reverse kingpin truck, allowed them to turn and carve easier. The truck goes on the opposite side of an axle and points in a different direction than the original trucks, making the longboard more maneuverable.

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Since the truck gave longboards better control and helped with stability, it allowed for the development of other longboard forms.

These forms include:

  • Shalom
  • Downhill Racing
  • Freeriding
  • Dancing

Eventually, the new forms inspired competitions, and organized races began popping up on the west coast. As these forms of longboarding became popular, new longboards developed.  

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They include:

  • Pintails: Pintail boards have a blunt nose with a pointed tail
  • Topmount or Speedboards: These boards have a point at both ends
  • Cruisers: A cruiser has a rounded nose and tail
  • Freeride or Freestyles: These boards come in different shapes, with the “drop down” and “drop through” boards being the most common.

Longboards also come in a variety of lengths, with boards measuring 28-i to 59-inches long. However, many people that take on longboarding, especially if they come from skateboarding, may wonder how to stop on a longboard.

How to Stop on a Longboard and Tips

It can be challenging to stop a longboard, especially if you're traveling at a high rate of speed. However, by working on your longboarding skills, you can learn these five techniques for stopping a board:

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  • Hop off the board
  • Roll onto a rough surface
  • Using the foot as a brake
  • Sliding the longboard
  • Carving down the hill

These techniques will take some practice if you don’t already know them from skateboarding. However, for people new to riding a board, practicing these stopping techniques will prevent injuries when traveling on your board. When you’re practicing, don’t go full speed until you’re confident you can use one of the techniques to stop safely.

Hop Off the Board

This technique for stopping a longboard is also applicable to skateboards. It involves hopping off the board and stopping it at the same time. Even though it sounds complicated, once you learn how to do it, this method will probably become the main technique you'll use when cruising on your board. You can also use it after slowing the board down if you were going down a hill.

When you’re on level ground, and the board isn’t moving too fast, hop off the board when you want to stop it. When you step off, you need to jog or run as fast as the board to keep from falling and stop the board from rolling away.

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Stopping Tips

To stop the board while hopping off, you can use one of two techniques. The first one is to kick back the board as you step off. As you’re stepping off, the trailing foot needs to push the board back slightly to counter its forward momentum. If it doesn’t completely stop the board, it should slow it down enough for you to pick it up.

The other method is to tip the board by stepping on the back of the board you step off it, so the front rises enough for you to grab it with a hand. Not only does this stop the board, but you will look like an expert longboarder when you do it.

When you’re practicing this method for stopping your longboard, roll the board slowly at first, and then when you’re able to stop the board at the same time as getting off, go faster until you’ve mastered the technique. You shouldn’t use this technique unless you’re going under 20mph.

Roll onto a Rough Surface

When you’re riding your longboard fast down a sidewalk or street and want to stop quickly, often the best way is to move the board onto a rough surface. The surface could be grass, the shoulder of a road, or dirt. Anything that contrasts with the pavement can slow the wheels and stop the rolling board.

However, stopping the board abruptly can throw you off it, causing you to fall or run into an inanimate object, so you need to prepare yourself to get off the board safely. As you’re getting ready to roll off the pavement, you can hop off the board to stop yourself.

Practice Tips

Since you may be moving at a fast rate of speed, find a place to roll onto grass or dirt and run a few feet to keep from falling. As you turn onto the rougher surface, hop off and run a couple of feet until you can stop, then go back for your board.

If you don’t have enough room to run, then roll if you fall, or try to stop your momentum by putting your arms out to catch yourself on the car, wall or another object in the way. Practice this method as well, so you can learn to do it without getting hurt.

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Foot Braking

Braking with your foot to slow or stop your board is a simpler, yet more technical, method than the first two on the list. It takes practice to do it correctly, so you don’t injure your foot or fall off the board. When practicing, ride slowly until you’ve got the technique down, then you can practice at higher rates of speed.

Technique Tips

Foot braking involves removing the back foot from the board as you’re riding and skimming it along the surface of the sidewalk or street to slow down or stop. Take the foot off the board like you’re going to push it to speed up but place it down to the front of the board instead of the back because you’re not pushing off.

Then, place the heel down first and gradually lay it down and add more pressure onto your toes. It helps to wear good skating shoes because the soles on regular sneakers will wear out faster from using this stopping method. With practice, you’ll be able to stop faster because you can add more pressure to the entire foot quicker to slow down and stop.

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Sliding a Longboard

If you like going downhill, then you should learn how to slide the longboard to stop quickly. Sliding the board involves making a sharp turn until the board is sideways and sliding slightly on the wheels. As with the other methods, you should practice this technique, so you can stop quickly to prevent from rolling into traffic or getting hit by a vehicle who doesn’t see you coming.

Tips for Sliding

When you're turning the board, you'll turn your shoulders, squat down, and reach back to put your hand on the pavement to help stop the momentum. It will help to wear skating gloves with pucks in them to protect your hands. It can be a tricky maneuver to learn, so read this information and watch the video to learn more about it.

Carving a Longboard

When you’re going downhill and want to slow down, so you can stop, carving is an excellent way to slow the board. Carving involves riding the board in a curvy pattern until it slows down. The curves will look like the letter “S” and make it appear as if you’re taking a casual ride.

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Carving Practice Tips

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A good time to practice carving is when you’re cruising down a sidewalk because you’re not going at a fast rate of speed.

Then, you can practice when you’re going downhill to slow your board until you can learn how to stop on a longboard or use one of the first three techniques to stop and get off it.

Riding a longboard can be fun, but it's essential to learn how to safely stop the board and be able to get off it.

A car could pull out in front of you, and you may hit traffic when riding or want to get off the board to stop at a shop.

Practicing stopping techniques will help you learn how to stop safely. 

Featured Image via Pixabay

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