Words : Rocky Poole | Image : Rob Booth (Beyond The Lens Images)
I was going to write an article for fellow longboarders about the comparison of two sets of trucks, being very technical and using the language only LongBoarders would understand. Then I thought, hey, you know what? Longboarding is one of the most free spirited sports I can think of. It’s totally accepting and hugely based upon pure enjoyment factor! So after seeing a young chap today on a board, learning the lingo, I figured, an article for you newbies, new to the world of skating, would be far more beneficial! Especially as we seem to lack numbers to the Longboarding community.
I guess I’ll start by saying this, first things first, if you’ve gotten this far to read an article specifically for new longboarders, so I guess it’s too late to turn back. Hopefully this article will welcome you to the world of downhill skating, dancing and cruising, with open arms and plenty for you to get excited about.
However, skating is one of the most underrated sports and is incredibly dangerous, if you’re new to the skating scene, always. Always. Wear a helmet and pads. Who cares about ‘street style’, it’s safety first, for first timers. Yet, health and safety out of the way, let’s begin the ride and set the scene.
You’ve been out, found yourself a longboard, some beaten up protective gear and a whole load of Stoke. Headphones in. Chilli peppers blaring loudly. You feel as though you’re Jay Adams, Tony Hawkes hippy longboarding long lost brother and ready to shred the Tarmac! You’ve already planned the hills you’re going to bomb, the paths to skate and you’re all set. The reality is though you’ll see more of the floor than you will your dreams. longboarding is pure knar and one thing to remember is that skating will leave you ‘bloody, bruised and in a pile in a heap at the bottom of a hill’ – The feeling of adrenalin and stoke however, is priceless. That leads me on to the next factor for new longboarders.
Confidence. Creativity and control. The three C’s. Have the confidence to go out there, put foot to wood and pump hard ( that means use your foot to make your board go faster ) and be yourself. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself and fall. We all fall, we all learn from mistakes, and that my friend, Is the most important thing, you’re learning. Have confidence in yourself and don’t worry what the other ‘pro LongBoarders’ think! Secondly. Creativity. Be creative and stylish in your own way. Longboarding, of course, has the basics, the outlines of ‘right and wrong ways to skate’, however, be creative and add your own style to skating. And the third C? Control.
Personally speaking, I remember the feeling I got when I first bought my board and was learning the ropes. The excitement is super high! Yet, take your time and master the basics before bombing anything too steep. Learn to foot brake correctly, drag foot, maybe even hand to ground slide. Learning to stop your longboard is a crucial factor for the early days. To stop your board, the common way is known as ‘foot breaking’ – this entitles slowly putting your foot to the floor and dragging it along the ground so you come to a slow steady halt or decrease in speed. It’s extremely common to learn the bad habit of putting your foot straight to the floor. Jolting your knee and leg at a sudden rate. This is what lead to the break of my knee last summer. So control your stops and learn the basics.
So, for you guys out there wanting to get into longboarding, my advice, as a female LongBoarder is very simple.
I have none. Honestly. I have no advice. As I learnt, that skating is a very personal sport. You’ll find your feet eventually and you’ll learn new techniques along the way. It will slowly piece together and with the help of other longboarders, you’ll grow and grow.
This article won’t give you the step by step guide to longboarding, but it will provide you with the first food for thought and give you some inspiration to simply get out there, grab a board and skate! It’s all about enjoyment and fun, so have a blast and good luck! Oh, and welcome to the world of longboarding. I promise you. It’s bumpy ride!