Longboard Dictionary: Terms and Terminology

When you start longboarding, there are so many terms, words, and phrases. You probably think, “I have no idea what they are talking about..”. You have to look them up one by one and find out what they mean. To help you with that, we made a list of terms and words used in the longboard world.

Below you will find some general longboarding words and terms. For a more extensive list and words that have to do with longboard parts, check out our website.

Air braking
This technique uses wind resistance to slow down on a longboard when going at high speed. The longboarder stands on his longboard and stretches his arms to the sides to slow down a small amount. This is usually combined with long carves or foot braking for additional speed reduction. This method is not used when you have to stop quickly or in an emergency.


Carving is the technique of turning back and forth down a hill of making large turns and span the width of the street or hill. It forms a large S shape. Carving controls speed and is used as a fun way to go down the hill. Carving is an effective way to control the board and it is important to know when a rider goes down the hill. Check out some good carving boards on our website.

The rider uses his longboard deck as a dance platform. Dancing longboards are usually longer than regular longboards, longer than 45”, but riders also perform dances on a shortboard. Dancing is also called board walking. Board walking is a series of steps done on the board. The rider moves around on the board in style. Samples of dancing on a board are pirouettes, cross steps etc.


Drafting is the technique mostly used by speed riders/boarders. Riders get close to the person in front of them when going downhill to minimize wind resistance. Sometimes a motor vehicle is used for this. This increases the overall speed.



Drifting is the technique and movement to turn around corners in control when going downhill. Drifting reduces speed. The rider manipulates and balances the weight in order to achieve a balance between grip and slide throughout a corner. New riders might benefit to control their speed throughout the entire run when drifting.

Foot Braking
Foot Braking is the technique to slow down the rider by lifting the foot from the board and slowly placing it on the ground to slow down the ride before a corner, to reduce speed or to come to a complete stop. This is the first thing a rider needs to learn when longboarding in order to be safe on a board.


Goofy Stance
Goofy stance refers to a rider who puts his or her left foot in the back and leads with the right foot. Most people lead with their left foot in the front, which is called regular stance. Neither is wrong. It is just a preference just like being left or right handed.


Hard Wheel Sliding
The rider uses harder wheels. Wheels with higher durometer typically above 90a. It is also called ‘technical’ sliding. The rider manipulates their body in order to perform aggressive but stylish slides. The harder wheels make slides easier to perform. Style and tricks are more important with this technique than speed.

Paddling is kicking off / pushing off the ground with your foot in order to gain more speed.


Pre-drifting allows the rider to maintain more control by reducing a significant amount of speed before a very sharp turn.

Pumping is the act of propelling the longboard without pushing. A process of swerving and using your legs and arms to move your body weight in a very precise, balanced, and rhythmical way. Pumping is a great skill to have on long distance pushes.

Check out our complete dictionary.  Contact us at info@longboardsusa.com if you are missing longboard terms and words. We are happy to add them to the dictionary.

Go shred and have fun!

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