Longboarding is getting more and more popular. Many people of all ages want to start taking it as a hobby. Although, it can be quite overwhelming at the beginning since you do not know where to start. One of the most asked questions about this matter that we have encountered is: “Is longboard good for beginners?”
To answer this question, this article will bring you some valuable information to better understand the longboard industry. We also include our best tips and tricks to help you enhance your skills. Without further ado, let’s get started! Skateboard Cast.
What Is A Longboard?
It is a type of surfboard with a long and big appearance. It comes in many shapes and sizes, suitable for skaters of all ages and levels. The wheel size is bigger than a regular skateboard or penny board, allowing the rider to go smoother and faster.
You can find longboard decks in many natural materials, such as multi-ply hardwood maple, bamboo, or carbon fiber. The deck tends to be much thicker than a normal skateboard or beginner surfboard, giving it a great shock-absorbent material.
It also becomes more steady and less flexible to give you maximum support during the ride. For an intermediate rider, it is easier to keep the balance on this specific board type thanks to its surface’s size.
Types Of Longboard
There are several types of longboard for you to discover. Each type comes with a specialized and cool design to fit with a particular riding type. Below are the eight most common kinds of longboards for beginners:
This one is the most basic type of board for beginners with a kicktail design at the back and low deck height. It is suitable for all riding styles and riders of every level. Thus, this ultra-low-riding longboard is the perfect choice for those who just started their cruising board riding journey.
This beginner board usually comes in 32 inches in length and 8 to 9 inches in width, with a kicktail symmetrical design at both ends. It is an excellent choice for skating pool or doing freestyle tricks. Since its size is considerable, it can be a great dancing board as well.
As the name describes, they have a pin-like shaped tail with low ride height. Without a doubt, the best riding style for this wide deck type of board is cruising, making it the perfect longboard for beginners.
This version is one of the newest shapes of high-performance longboards specifically for urban commuting. What makes it different is the kingpin trucks are now at the deck’s ends, offering an extended wheelbase and optimizing the wheel clearance.
If you are looking for an ideal choice for freestyle riding, the Double Kick is the perfect board. This one usually has a thinner deck, bringing you excellent grip and making it easy for you to do tricks and flips. You can also use it as a dancing longboard since the surface is quite large.
With a slightly wider and shorter board cruiser, it can handle aggressive turns and go faster. It also has a symmetrical shape, preventing wheel bite from any direction and keeping the balance between speed and tension during each ride.
Thanks to these features, it would make an ideal freeride board choice for beginners who love this style of longboarding.
Many experienced skaters, even the leaders in the longboard community, claim this one is the most suitable for downhill board riding due to the sidewinder trucks and the 50-degree baseplate. It also comes in durable material construction so that it can handle intense rides.
Every part of the item connects strongly thanks to the epoxy glue, making the overall product extremely strong and stable. It provides higher speed bearings, bigger foot space, and better grip, giving you better overall speed control while riding down the hill.
With an adjustable baseplate angle, larger wheel, and high longboard truck, it is the best for street riding style and reducing wheel bite. The drop-through deck provides a better center of gravity point, making it easier for beginners to balance.
Visually, this one is similar to commuter longboards with the kicktail design and drop-through trucks, bringing it better shock absorption ability to handle more abuse during skating sessions.
Safety Equipment You Need For Longboarding
Besides the board, you will need extra equipment to ensure you won’t get injured during practice sessions. Here are some of the gears that you must have:
- Helmet: The head is one of the most vulnerable body parts that require full protection at all costs. So make sure you wear a helmet on every ride to keep yourself safe.
- Elbow Protective Pads: If you fall, there’s a high chance that at least one of your elbows will hit the ground. These elbow pads prevent them from being scratched or broken.
- Knee Protective Pads: Same as the elbow protection, you should have these on to avoid knee injuries. Some optional gear choices to protect yourself during extreme rides:
- Slide Gloves: This equipment functions as the brake system that will give you extra grip to do the turns during downhill longboard riding. If you only do cursing, you can skip this gear.
- Hips/Butt Pads: You can wear this under your clothes to prevent injuries if your body encounters rough contact with the ground.
Is Longboard Good For Beginners?
Longboarding is also a form of skateboarding. Many experienced skaters claim that longboarding styles are simple to learn. With similar features as regular surfboards, it is ideal for those who recently dip their toes into the skateboarding world in general.
It is easier to learn than skateboarding because the board’s surface is much wider, making it simple to keep the balance while standing on the board.
Plus, longboards will satisfy you with their strong deck, wide trucks, and excellent bearing system if you enjoy fast riding. The higher wheelbase provides better stability while riding at high speed.
Also, they come with riser pads and softer wheels, bringing a smoother ride and minimizing your chance of getting injured. Thus, it is safer for beginners to longboarding than other types of skating.
As mentioned before, it is one of many styles of skateboarding. If you want to learn to do the latter, you might want to master the previous one first since it is easier and safer. Once you master all the essential skills, you can work your way up with skateboarding.
Basic Skills To Master When You First Starting Out
First things first, you need to know the basics. Here are some fundamental skills that you need to work on:
Place one foot on your board, then push it with your other foot. Once the board gets going, put both of your feet on the board, and focus on keeping the perfect balance.
As simple as it sounds, do not rush the process since you might hurt yourself. Take it slow and steady. After you can stand on the longboard deck with confidence, you can start speeding up and working on the speed control.
You should practice this skill somewhere spacious and not crowded. In doing so, you won’t get distracted or shy while riding.
Besides moving, you need to know how to slow down and stop. To do so, use your dominant foot to slam against the ground surface. The friction that the foot creates will reduce the speed of your board and make it stop. Notice to do it slowly to avoid tripping and falling.
In emergency cases, such as a big obstacle in front of you, but you can’t slow the board down in time, we suggest bailing out. Jump off your board and run a few more steps after landing so that you won’t fall due to momentum.
After learning how to move and stop, now it’s time to learn how to make a turn. The proper way to do this is to shift your body weight to the wanted direction with your toes or heels.
Let’s say you are now in the regular stance with the right foot back and the left foot forward. If you want to turn left, simply shift your body backward towards the heels. Vice versa, to turn right, wind up your body forward towards the toes.
A note is that you need to bend your knees during the whole exercise. It will apply pressure to your board to help you maintain the balance. Also, some types of boards are more sensitive than others, so observe how the board responds to your action to avoid overdoing the turns.
At first, this process can sound a bit tricky. Do not worry; with time and practice, you will master it in no time.
Basic Beginners Tricks
Once you know all the basic skills, it is time to challenge yourself and learn some simple basic tricks to take your riding session up a notch. Below are the four most basic board tricks to learn as a beginner:
It is the first trick you should learn when you first start this exciting journey. It is the basic 180-degree turning move with your body, and your board will turn as well.
The key here is to wind up your body in the opposite direction that you plan to turn. Ensure to bend your knee to keep the balance.
As you can tell by the name, this one is the advanced move of the Pivot. The only difference between the two is that you don’t see the direction that you are heading to.
With Frontside Pivot, first, you will have to look over your shoulder before turning to ensure that you do not hit an obstacle. Next, same as the Pivot, wind up your body, then finish the 180-degree turning with bending knees. There you have, the Frontside trick.
While riding in your normal stance, move your front foot to go over your back foot and jump onto the ground. Once your foot hits the ground, immediately jump back on your board. This trick might be a bit challenging initially, but with patience, you will soon master it.
If you are looking for a trick to do in a skatepark, the Drop-in is something you can perform to impress other fellows. First, stand on the skate ramp’s edge with one foot keeping the tail slammed on the ground.
Step your other foot on the board’s nose, bend your knees to add weight to the board. The most important tip to pull this move off is relaxing your body and letting gravity do the work.
Tips On The Do And Don’t While Longboarding As A Beginner
Safety is one of the most common concerns of every skater. Here are some tips that can keep you safe during the rides:
- Watch out for the cars: Some drivers do not pay attention to longboarders as they do to pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. Thus, keep your eye on the road to avoid unwanted accidents.
- Wear protective gear: Many skaters think wearing protective gear makes them seem “not cool,” which is a false assumption. Putting on these gear is the rule of thumb to have a pleasant ride and keep yourself safe. Remember, safety first.
- Wear shoes properly: This sounds quite obvious, but do not underestimate what a shoelace can do to you if it is caught on the wheels. Hence, ensure your shoes are 100% tied before stepping on the board.
- Take care of your equipment: Regularly check every part of your gear from nose to tail, such as the longboard truck’s baseplate, longboard bearings, or wheels, to make sure that they are in good condition, preventing any potential breaking during riding.
- Wear headphones while riding: This can be a hobby of many longboarders out there. However, for safety reasons, we won’t recommend you do the same. It can distract you from noticing approaching vehicles.
- Ride in wet condition: Wet surface increases the chance of you tripping while riding. Also, the moisture is not good for overall item maintenance.
- Grab cars while riding: Some riders do this to go faster or to go up high steps. This action is extremely dangerous since your hand can easily slip, leading to serious injuries. Plus, it is illegal to do so.
- Ride at night: We don’t recommend riding at night since it can be dangerous. Your vision is more limited during the night, so you are more prone to trip over rocks or something on the ground while riding.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Let’s take a look at some other common questions we usually get from newbies besides the “Is longboard good for beginners?”:
Which Longboard Riding Style Is Suitable For Beginners?
There is more than one style of longboarding for you to explore. Since you are a beginner, we highly recommend you start with the cruising style of riding. You only need to step on the board and start cruising around the town as you can tell by the name.
As simple as it sounds, this style helps you learn the most basic longboarding techniques: maintaining the balance and controlling the board. Once you master this one, you can move on to more advanced styles such as freeride longboard riding or downhill longboarding.
Is Longboarding Easy To Learn?
It depends since the process is different for everyone. Many factors influence whether this sport is easy or hard for you to learn, including your age, physical abilities, fitness level, whether you have any experience with skating in general, etc.
For example, suppose you have been skateboarding before; you will certainly learn a lot easier and faster than those who have zero experience. Overall, as long as you practice consistently, you will learn to do it properly in no time.
Is Longboarding Safe?
Some people misunderstood this as an extremely dangerous sport, which is not the case. How safe it is will depend on the way you ride. It is free from harm if you only ride the board on even and flat surfaces or riding slowly around the town.
The risk of getting injured is a bit higher while downhill racing since you go at a higher speed. Therefore, to minimize the accident that might occur, we highly suggest you practice speed control and always put on your safety gear to have a safe and smooth ride.
Does Longboarding Have Any Health Benefits?
You can take longboarding as a workout method due to the health benefits that it brings. This fun exercise is a great cardio practice since it can increase the heart rate, making the cardiovascular conditioning system significantly stronger.
It aids in delivering more oxygen to your body and muscles, leading to burning more fat and calories. You can burn at least 300 calories per hour while longboarding, depending on your current weight and the intensity of your workout.
This exercise can also enhance your stamina and the capacity of your lungs. With the benefits that it offers, your health will soon improve both inside and out.
How Much Does A Longboard Cost?
The board’s price is one of the most common concerns of newbies. A beginner longboard can cost anywhere from 50 dollars to 200 dollars.
For the soft boards coming from high-end brands, the cost can go even higher. The price varies due to the material, size, style, warranty policy, etc.
Keep in mind that when you are just starting this journey, you don’t need to go for the most expensive equipment you can find. There are many affordable products out there with high-quality material that can help you learn and improve your skills without breaking your bank account.
Hope that this article can give you the answer to the question: “Is longboard good for beginners?” This guide will expectantly inspire you to take up this challenging yet fun board riding hobby if you are still hesitant.
Remember that it takes time and effort to master this sport. Experienced riders have to go through many falls to finally craft their moves and skills. So don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do the tricks correctly on the first few tries.
You will find yourself learning a lot along the process, especially about discipline and patience. Plus, you will have a chance to meet many amazing people who share the same interest as you once you step into the longboarding world.
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Reference: Longboards for Beginners