You want a longboard for Christmas, looked around and did some research, maybe even tried one in a store. There are so many choices. You finally picked your favorite and put it on your wish list for Christmas. Now hoping you get it!
As a beginner in longboarding, you need to know the basics before you start riding it when you get it so you will get a great experience.
A few tips would be very helpful. Any beginner longboarder will have questions. And when you know you will be cruising around town in no time!
Always wear your safety equipment
Especially as a beginner it is very important to wear your safety gear while longboarding and skateboarding. And not only beginners need to wear it, but if you are advanced it will be even more important as you build up speed, ride on concrete and it is inevitable you will fall one time. You do not want to end up in a hospital with a broken wrist or a concussion for just not wearing it. If you think it is not cool to wear a helmet or guards, well, look around, there a plenty of smart people who are longboarding and skateboarding that wears it all the time. You are, for sure, not the only one. Better be safe than sorry. Safety equipment for longboarding and skateboarding are: good fitted helmet, wrist, knee and elbow guards and if you would like to slide, gloves with slide pucks is best.
Learn how to fall
This is one thing you have to practice first. Don’t let it scare you! When you know how to do it, you will be fine. You don’t want it to happen but at one point it might happen. Any sport you do you have a chance of falling at some point. It will be a valuable tool for not hurting yourself. The best thing is to roll into your fall, so you don’t hurt your arms and break something. Practice in your yard on grass and not on the concrete. Fall with your hands and elbows tucked in toward your body. Try to absorb the impact by falling on your back and shoulders and roll.
Learn to stop and control speed
Maybe you think, I am a beginner and I just got my longboard for Christmas so I do not speed. But you still need to know how to control your speed as you always will speed up even though you are a beginner. Make sure you know how to stop first and you practice your stops without fumbling.
There are a few different ways to control your speed.
Balance on your front foot and brake with your foot you are pushing with. Step on the ground firmly with the sole of your foot and keep your balance. Do this as many times as necessary until you control the speed again.
You might start carving when you just got your board, but it is a way to slow down your speed. Carving means turning from left to right and reverse. You turn sharp to the right as hard and wide as you can and continuously do this to the right and left. You will slow down if you make big zigzag moves.
Probably not the first thing you will do when you start longboarding, but it is good to know. With sliding you have enough control over your longboard to twist your body while completing the turn so that the wheels are sliding against the concrete. It is an advanced way, but a way to control your speed.
If you cannot control the longboard yourself and you are about to crash, there is always an option to jump or run off your longboard. This should be your last resort though. Jump forward off your longboard and it will usually stop. Try to bail in a grassy area if this is possible to prevent injuries.
Get to know your longboard!
it is important when you get your longboard, that you know what parts it has and what purpose it has. There will be one point that you need to adjust the longboard or need to replace a part. The first thing you check when you get your longboard are the wheels and the trucks. Is it too loose, too tight, can I turn or not when I am riding it? You can adjust the wheels and the trucks by using an all in one skate tool. It is a very handy tool you can bring to the park or put in your pocket just in case you will need some adjustments. Get to know your board!
Be patient and practice
Don’t think you can do it all right away. Everything needs practice. You can do this at home or go outside to the park. Don’t be discouraged right away when it doesn’t go the way you want the first time or when you fall for the first time. You will learn it no matter how old you are.
Get social and inspired
Longboarding is a perfect way to make new friends and go outside. Go to the park or a pool, see other practice their longboard tricks or moves, watch video’s on how to do it, take a class near your neighborhood and have fun!
Happy Holidays from Longboards USA!
p.s. You might also want to check out the longboard riding style article