Before you begin longboarding, you want to make sure that you have the proper stance. In any board sport, there are two types of stances: regular stance and goofy stance. Regular stance is standing on the longboard with your left foot forward in the direction you are going. Goofy stance is standing on the longboard with your right foot forward.
There are two methods you can use to to find out your stance. First, you can try kicking or moving something with your foot. Which foot did you use? Well that foot is likely going to be the foot you will place on the back of the longboard. When I was a snowboard instructor, I used the following method to find my students’ stance. I would have them stand in front of me and give them a slight shove. The foot they used to catch themselves would be their back foot. These two methods are not always reliable on giving you your stance, but can help steer you in the right direction.
When longboarding, try both regular and goofy stance to see how they feel. One of these stances will just feel right to you.
How to Stand on a Longboard
Now that you have your stance down, we will talk a little bit about how to stand on a longboard. For beginners, this information will be useful, but as you get better and better there are many ways to stand on your board. First, you want to have a low center of gravity and a solid base. Stand in the center of your board, and make sure that your feet are directly beneath your shoulders. Now bend your knees just a little to solidify your base and lower your center of gravity. You can even widen your feet to a slightly wider than shoulder width if that makes you more comfortable. Always take notice of which direction you are leaning. One tendency I had when first starting out was to lean back, but leaning backward really throws off your center of gravity. When going doing hills, try tucking yourself in a bit and leaning forward. You will really notice how this helps your balance.
Please note that the above information is not the only way to stand on a longboard, but just a guide to help the beginner feel more comfortable when starting out. As you get more familiar with longboarding, you will notice that there are many different ways to stand. Some longboarders can stand just on the nose of the board or on the tail. Some can stand with both feet together pointing toward the nose of the board. Longboards are really made to give different standing positions to allow tricks such as dancing as well as precisely controlled carving.
You will also see other longboarders crouching on their boards. This is a great way to bottom out your center of gravity. When bombing hills, it can make you feel more stable and help you to make tighter turns. Crouching will help in performing slides as well.
Just keep practicing, and before you know it you will not even be thinking about stance!