Welcome to the world of longboard skateboarding! Any beginner longboarder has tons of questions that need answered. Here are a few tips that will be helpful for beginners. Once you nail down these basics, you will be cruising around in to time!
Ride a longboard before you buy one.
For the beginner on a longboard, it can feel very awkward the first time you set foot on one. If possible, try out a friend’s longboard to see if you like the way it feels and can see yourself getting into the sport. You do not want to waste your money on a longboard if you will end up not liking it.
Buy good quality longboarding gear from a reputable merchant.
Many beginner longboarders make the mistake of buying cheap longboarding gear. Good equipment always comes with a higher price tag. I am not saying to get the most expensive longboard out there. Do research and read reviews to find out what longboard decks, trucks, wheels, bushings, and bearings are good quality. Save your money until you can buy good quality gear. If you get the cheapest gear, it will not be able to perform and will discourage you from continuing with the sport.
Purchase the proper safety equipment.
Always wear a helmet while longboarding, especially as a beginner! Learning to longboard involves fast speeds, concrete, and trial and error. You do not want your head paying the penalty for your fall. There are some great helmets out there, so do your research and don’t go longboarding without one! Also look into getting knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. Knee and elbow pads will help protect you from those first discouraging scrapes you will get from wiping out. Wrist guards will help protect you from breaking your wrists if you happen to fall on them.
Learn how to fall.
Don’t let this scare you! With any boarding sport, you are going to get hurt at some point. You can avoid getting seriously injured by learning how to fall properly. This involves rolling into your fall to avoid using your arms to catch yourself. Like anything else, there is a good way and a bad way to fall.
Learn speed control.
Many beginners are afraid of speed. There are a few tactics you can use to control your speed on a longboard. Carving will be your best friend while longboarding. It will help you control your speed and improve your balance. You can also control your speed by jumping off, rolling off the road, foot braking, and rolling it out. All of these methods are discussed on this site.
Learn basic longboard mechanics.
Your longboard is going to have to be adjusted from time to time. You may need new wheels, bearings, or trucks. You may also experience wheel bite, or your board may carve too wide. Knowing how to put a longboard together and correct problems will help save you money in the long run. There are many instructional videos on YouTube and other resources to teach you longboard mechanics.
Be patient with yourself and practice often!
You are not going to be a longboard pro overnight. Do not get discouraged when you wipe out, get scraped up, or just can’t nail that trick or slide. The more patience you have with yourself, the better your chances are of getting good at longboarding.
Watch longboard videos, read longboard magazines, and get pumped up about learning to longboard! Help your friends get into longboarding too! Some of the most valuable things we learn are from our friends. They can help keep you inspired and make practicing a lot of fun!