Longboarding is a popular sport that originated in Hawaii in the 1950s. Surfers gave their skateboards bigger wheels and longer decks to replicate surfing on land. This modification allowed surfers to enjoy street skateboarding on days when the weather was inclement, or the surf was too low. Today, longboarding called “sidewalk surfing.”
The longboard became more popular in the 1990s with the invention of the reverse kingpin truck. The kingpin is placed on the opposite side of the axle, making longboards easier to turn. With this increased control, different longboarding styles were developed.
Before you begin, make sure that you wear protective gear. You may fall while learning to do some of these advanced maneuvers. Even an expert should wear a good helmet as well as knee pads. Wrist guards are also helpful.
Freeride longboarding is more relaxed. It involves riding downhill at low or moderate speeds. You will be performing power slides, spins, and technical maneuvers to control the speed of the descent. Instead of maximum speed, the focus is on slides and style.
While riding downhill, you will perform power slides. In this technique, you will turn your longboard sideways across the slope. Pushing your body weight on one rail will cause the wheels to lose traction and stop spinning. This action will cause you to slow down. You will need to become familiar with weight-shifting to control your speed. Carving is one step away from sliding; it is done by moving your body weight into your toes and then ankles to perform turns. Once you are comfortable, you can complete some of these maneuvers.
The Stand Up Slide is a common maneuver. By mastering the Stand Up Slide, you can learn some more advanced longboard tricks.
Stand Up Slide
It is the most basic slide. It is performed standing by pushing your longboard sideways. Make sure that you extend your legs and shift your weight backward.
It is very similar to the previously mentioned stand up slide. A 180-degree turn follows it, hence the name. Make sure that you extend your legs and shift your weight backward.
With this move, you will be pushing the board into a slide by pushing forward with your back foot heel or pushing backward with your back foot toes. After drifting, you will drive the board back into its original direction.
It is a slide in which you lean a great deal to touch the road. You place your hand on it by using a slide glove as you are turning 90 degrees into the drift.
This move is very similar to the Coleman, but you will not place your hand on the ground. You will crouch facing downhill. In this position, you are so low that you are almost sitting on the board itself.
In the Pendulum, you put your hand down and swing the board across your body. You will pass a 90-degree angle with the road to 180 degrees. You will actually be riding backward for a moment before you slide back to your original direction.
With drifting, you are mixing stand-up sliding and normal riding to accomplish a controlled speed. You can do so by shifting your weight between the slide and normal stance.
Freestyle longboarding is inherently acrobatic. You can see many stunts performed, with many spinning and board flipping tricks. It is a highly technical type of riding. While freeriding involves riding downhill with expert slides to control speed, you will do freestyle on flat ground. As a freestyle longboarder, you will make use of the surrounding environment, such as stairways and street curbs. You can also use the streets or skateparks.
To be successful, you will need strong balancing capabilities, agility, and acrobatic skills. You will be flipping as well as kicking your board while jumping on and off it in many different stances. Due to the intensity, many freestyle longboarders are teenagers or young adults. You will get an excellent workout while performing this longboarding style.
Freestyle can actually be rough on the body. Some moves impact the joint and ligaments as well as feet, ankles, and knees. Some common injuries are sprains and twists, so it is essential to warm up with some easy tricks to get started. Then you can move into some more challenging moves.
Basic and Intermediate Moves
1. Nose Manual
In the nose manual, you will be riding on your front wheels and lift your back wheels off the ground. You will move your front foot up to the nose of your longboard and shift your body weight onto the front foot. A lot depends on how long your board is. You need to find the right amount of moving your shoulders and hips towards the front to tip your board onto its front truck without falling forward.
A pivot is a manual nose combined with a 180-degree spring on the front wheels. You will starts from your normal riding position by moving your front foot up to the trunk of the board. Place your rear foot toward the center of the board. Be sure to shift some of your body weight onto your front foot to get the rear wheels off the ground. You will also be rotating your shoulders and hips and swinging your board with your back foot into a half turn.
In shove-it, you will switch stance as you finish spinning your board 180 degrees. You will end up in your natural riding stance in this way. Just as in the pivot, you begin in a normal position. You will move your foot and body weight onto the nose, spinning the board on its front wheels by swinging your back foot around. This trick is a bit harder to accomplish.
The G-Turn is a more advanced technique. You will perform a U-turn on two wheels. It is like a nose manual followed by a pivot. So this move will require a lot of balance and coordination.
Just like in the nose manual, you will start by shifting your weight onto your front foot. Next, while riding on board with your back wheels off the ground, you will need to accomplish a U-turn. Since you are standing on the front wheels in a precarious position, you will need to steer the board through rotation of hips and shoulders. To complete the move, you will turn the longboard 180 degrees with your feet in a regular pivot.
More Advanced Moves
This move is daring. You will be completing a 360-degree shove-it with a body varial executed in the same direction. The front leg is on the nose; the back leg is in the center of the deck. Begin your pivot and turn the board to 60 to 90 degrees. Have your front leg perform a downward and under movement, similar to a shove-it, but harder. Jump forward slightly and turn your shoulders and frame the remaining 90 degrees. Use your back leg to help spin the board. Once the board completes the 360-degree rotation, catch it and land in the switch position.
2. Pivot 540+
You can go ahead and try this move, but it is going to be very hard! In this move, you will perform a 540 degree turn around the front truck. First, put your front foot on the nose and your back foot in the middle. Your arm position is essential to pulling off this trick. Bring them back when turning 180 degrees. You can imagine that you are doing a very small G-turn. By the time you reach 360 degrees, you should space your arms as widely as possible. Your front arm will be leaving the movement. After you complete a full turn, crouch down slightly and shift the deck. Most of your weight will be over your front foot. Return to stance and retract your arms so that they do not slow down the rotation. Continue until you come to a stop.
3. No Comply
In this daring longboard trick, the rider will do a frontside 180 degrees around the front feet placed on the ground. Spring 180 degrees frontside around your front leg. Keep your weight on your front leg at all times. The back foot is on the tail, and the toe of your front foot is in the middle of the board at a 45-degree angle. Begin to turn your frame frontside. The front foot will go down onto the ground and become the axis of the rotation. Your back leg remains on the tail and controls the movement. When the rotation is almost complete, put your front leg on the boar and distribute your weight evenly between your legs. Then ride off in switch.
Longboard dancing developed when tricks were incorporated into longboard riding. This type of longboarding is done on flat terrain and at slower speeds, giving you greater control over the board and your movements. A bigger board is better since it will give the rider maximum space for their footwork.
With ghost ride, you will cross your back leg over your front leg, step off your board with your back foot, and then jump back onto it with your front foot. It is a very stylized move which looks complicated. You will need a lot of coordination to accomplish this. You will cross your back leg over your front leg, step off your board with your back foot, and then jump back onto it with your front foot.
You would start by riding in your normal stance. Next, pull your front foot close to your back foot with the toes pointing forward. Your feet will be close to the tail of the longboard. Next, lift your back foot off the deck and swing your back leg across your front leg. You will want to move your back foot past your front foot and heelside edge of your board down onto the ground. As your feet cross, hit the ground with your back foot as your front foot starts lifting off from the board.
While your back foot is stepping on the ground, cross your front leg around your back leg and jump back onto the board with your front foot. Bring your back foot back to the original position.
Chop the Wood
Chop the Wood requires a bit more skill, as you are carving stylishly. You will be doing heelside turns by putting your front foot close to and parallel to the rail. You will be leaning backward, squatting on your front leg, and lifting your back leg.
To start, you would roll on your board with your feet at an angle closer to 90 degrees. In one single movement, turn your front foot along heelside rail and pointing forward. The ball of your foot will press onto the rail which will create a heelside turn. Next, squat down on your front leg and torn your shoulders forward. Lift our arms and lean forward to maintain balance. Extend your back leg and push your back foot away from the board, out in the air. You will come back to your normal position in toeside carving position.
This dancing and carving move is more advanced and requires excellent balancing skills. Make sure you have a lot of patience with this move; the result will be worth it!
This advanced trick comes from combining other moves such as the Ghostride Kickflip, the Cross Step, and the Peter Pan.
First, start in your normal stance. You will bring your feet to the back, with your front foot perpendicular to the back foot. Cross your back foot over the front foot, bringing it in front. This maneuver is known as the Cross Step.
Next, cross your front foot over your back foot and place it parallel. This maneuver is known as Peter Pan.
Finally, repeat the Peter Pan, but instead of placing your foot parallel, put your back foot over the edge of your board and step onto the ground. With your back foot under your board, flip the board 360 degrees and jump onto the board in one quick motion.
Most of your weight will be over your front foot. Return to your normal stance and retract your arms. Continue the rotation until you come to a complete stop.
Many of these longboarding techniques require a high level of skill and require much patience and hard work. No matter what your age or ability, if you are in good shape and you have excellent balancing skills, you can try longboarding.
Start with some cruising and some simpler tricks; the more advanced moves will incorporate these basic moves that you should master. Practice on grass, sand, or other non-rolling surfaces. It may also be useful to view videos online of these moves being performed.
After you become comfortable with the balancing and turning that longboarding requires, you can try some of these daring longboard tricks!