Hoping to become a better longboarder, but wondering where to start? You’ve come to the right place. From better gear to finding new places to skate, there are plenty of options available to a longboarder looking to get better and learn new longboarding tricks.
Here are 21 tips to help you improve your longboarding skills, and have a great time doing it:
1. Practice, Practice, Practice!
As the old joke goes, one day a young man was trying to find his way to a concert at the world famous concert hall, Carnegie Hall. He stopped an old man on the street and asked, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The old man simply replied, “Practice!”
As with music, the best way to improve your skills at anything is time spent practicing! If you’re hoping to be a better longboarder, the first thing you should do is set aside time every day to practice on your board.
If you’re having a hard time finding time in your day to practice longboarding, but you are committed to finding ways to be a better longboarder, check out these tips for building new habits.
2. Get To Know Your Longboard
Any artist is only as good as their tools, and for longboarders, the most important tool in their toolbox is their trusty longboard. It’s important to understand how your longboard works, how the parts fit together, and what unique quirks your particular longboard might have.
Getting to know all the components of your longboard will help you become a better longboarder by giving you insight into how the parts all move together based on the position of your feet and how you influence it with your movements.
3. Keep Your Longboard Well Maintained
It’s hard to be a great longboarder if your board isn’t in perfect working order! Once you’ve learned your way around all the different parts of your longboard, you’ll be better equipped to perform routine maintenance.
Keeping your longboard well maintained means taking it apart so you can clean some of the parts, and replacing worn out parts whenever necessary.
Learning about longboard maintenance means you won’t just be a better longboarder, but also a longboard doctor!
4. Get A Cool Longboard You Love
Technically, a longboard can be awesome and effective for riding and performing tricks even if it looks plain or boring. However, practice is key for anyone hoping to become a better longboarder – and you’re more likely to get out there on your longboard if you like the way it looks and you’re excited to show it off.
If you already have a longboard that you want to amp up, you can get some stickers to decorate the deck. Or, use markers to write and draw on your longboard – try having your friends add some of their personal flair as well!
You can also get new wheels for your longboard, which come in a variety of colors and can even light up! Many artists also create custom, artistic longboard decks that let you show off your personal style.
5. Take Longboarding Lessons
Many people find ways to improve their longboarding skills all on their own, but if you learn more easily when you have someone to teach you, try finding someone to give you longboard lessons!
Longboard tutors let you learn in person and get real time feedback on your gear, your stance, and your technique. You can usually find a longboard tutor by checking online or posting an ad to a website like Nextdoor asking for someone who can teach you to be a better longboarder.
6. Get Good Safety Gear
You can’t be a good longboarder if you are dealing with an injury that makes it impossible to practice. It’s also important that you feel confident about your safety gear and aren’t too nervous to try new things when you’re learning to longboard.
That’s why having high quality, effective safety gear is critical for anyone wishing to be a better longboarder. Longboarding safety gear includes helmets, slide gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads.
Learning about longboarding safety, and ensuring that you’ve bought the right gear and are wearing it correctly, are some of the first steps to improving your longboarding skills.
7. Make Sure You Have The Right Shoes
When you’re learning to be a better longboarder, it’s important that you wear the right type of shoes, and that they’re in good enough condition to protect your feet. Foot braking, a common technique in longboarding, requires the right type of shoes, and can lead to a lot of damage if you’re wearing the wrong shoes.
Longboarding shoes come in high top versions, which provide better support for your feet and ankles but can be bulkier, and low top versions, which many riders find more comfortable despite the lack of support.
Thick, flat soles are a requirement for good longboarding shoes, since they come into frequent contact with the pavement as you ride and brake. Look for a durable material for the sole. Finally, make sure the bottom has minimal tread, allowing for better grip as you stand and ride.
8. Find Your Stance
When you’re longboarding, your stance is the way you stand on the longboard. Finding the stance that works for you is one of the first steps to becoming a skilled longboarder.
Regular stance means that your left foot is forward on the longboard, pointing in the direction that you’re riding. If your right foot is forward instead, that’s called goofy stance.
To find out whether your stance is regular or goofy, try kicking at something with your foot. Whichever foot feels more natural to use is likely going to be the foot that is at the back of the longboard.
Or, try having a friend stand behind you and give you a shove. Whatever foot you use to catch yourself as you fall forward is usually the foot that goes on the back of the longboard.
9. Work On Your Balance
Balance is one of the most important skills when it comes to longboarding. Try setting your longboard in thick grass or carpet to keep the wheels from rolling, and standing on the longboard in your preferred stance.
Once you’re standing on your longboard, pay attention to your center of gravity. Move your body and practice the motions for turning and braking.
You can also invest in some balance training tools that will build up the muscles and body awareness you need to be a better longboarder.
10. Upgrade Your Longboard
A beginner longboard is great to start out with, but you may want to upgrade to a better longboard once you get serious about your quest to be a better longboarder. Consider upgrading to a better, highly-reviewed longboard to improve your gear and your skills.
11. Upgrade Your Longboard Trucks
Another way to improve your longboard is to upgrade the trucks themselves. Since trucks are one of the most important parts of a longboard, high quality trucks can make a big difference in your ability to build and hone your skills.
12. Watch Longboarding Videos
All great artists get their inspiration from somewhere, and longboarders are no exception! They say that no one person is an island, and even the best longboarders look to others for inspiration and wisdom.
Watching longboarding videos can show you cool tricks and techniques and teach you how to be a better longboarder. From how-to instructional videos to amazing daredevil stunts, there’s plenty of content out there for a longboarding fan.
Try checking out a compilation of epic longboarding videos and get ready to take some notes!
13. Read About Longboarding
It’s not just YouTube where you can find plenty of helpful information about longboarding! There are lots of excellent longboard blogs and magazines that can teach you the ins and outs of becoming a better longboarder. Plus, read interviews with the pros and learn about the latest in longboard styles and technology!
14. Spend Time With Other Longboarders
While reading other people’s writing and watching their videos is a convenient way to learn about longboarding, you can also gain a lot from your local longboarding community. Do you know where the longboarders hang out in your neighborhood?
Whether it’s a popular skate park or a gorgeous downhill slope, every area has their own longboarding mecca – you just have to find it! Once you’re there, you’ll get plenty of advice and make new friends who can help you become a better longboarder.
15. Longboard At A Specialized Skate Park
Let’s face it – the world isn’t exactly teeming with opportunities to try out your longboarding skills. In fact, many public areas actually prohibit skating and boarding of all types, which inspired the slogan “Skating Is Not A Crime.”
If you’re having a hard time honing your skills as a longboarder in your neighborhood, check out your local skate park. There, you’ll find all sorts of specialized equipment designed to let you longboard to your heart’s content, including rails, ramps, and bowls.
Not sure where to find one? Skate Park Hunter lets you search online for skate parks in your area.
16. Get Your Own Longboarding Equipment
If you can’t find a skate park near you, or you don’t want to have to leave your house to practice your new longboarding tricks, you can also get things like ramps and grind rails of your own!
Set these up in your driveway or backyard, and you’ll be able to do a variety of epic longboard tricks from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Or, take them to a park or flat area and see who else wants to try them out!
17. Stick To Longboarding Etiquette
Being a great longboarder isn’t just about having great balance and learning to do awesome tricks. It’s also about a culture of respect and fun. If you’re serious about wanting to be a better longboarder, make sure you’re also being a good person and minding your manners!
Skate parks have their own set of rules, so make sure you know about skate park etiquette before visiting one. If you’re not sure about something, ask someone who’s been there longer than you, and watch to see what everyone else is doing.
If you’re longboarding on the street or out in your community, be aware of all relevant laws and road etiquette.
18. Learn Related Skills
If all you care about is longboarding, that’s perfectly alright – but many people have found that it’s easier to be a better longboarder after developing some related skills.
Anything that builds balance and overall fitness, like yoga or cardio, can help you strengthen your longboarding muscles and develop the endurance you need to carve and ride for hours. Some longboarding tricks benefit from core strength as well.
Other sports often teach you skills that overlap with longboarding. Try out skateboarding, BMX biking, surfing, or rollerblading and you’ll likely see your skills and stamina increase for longboarding as well!
19. Take Care Of Your Body
It’s nearly impossible to be a great longboarder if you’re tired, sick, or hungry. Make sure you get enough sleep, and go easy on things like energy drinks.
Eat enough healthy food to keep you fueled up and energized, and bring some snacks along if you plan to be longboarding for a while.
If you’re feeling tired or worn out, take a break! There will still be chances to longboard later, and you’ll never improve your skills if you’re too exhausted or wearing yourself too thin with practice.
20. Jam To Awesome Longboarding Music
Whether you’re listening on headphones or toting a portable speaker along on your longboarding journeys, the right music can help your body get in the groove as you carve and ride.
Make a playlist of your favorite upbeat tunes, or check out a playlist of music specifically selected for longboarding.
21. Have Fun!
It’s nearly impossible to get good at something you don’t enjoy. If you truly want to be a better longboarder, make sure you’re having a good time while doing it. Head out with friends, make a cool video of yourself, blast your favorite music, and enjoy yourself!