8 Tips on how to get better at longboarding
Are you struggling with longboarding? Have you been practicing for a while, without improvements? In this article, I’m going to share with you 7 effective tips on how to get better at longboarding.
Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced longboarder surely you want to improve your riding skills and get better. These tips might give you an idea and a plan to grow your riding skills.
Start with the basics
If you’re a beginner rider you need to have a solid foundation in order to progress, improve your skills and get better at longboarding.
Without that, you won’t be able to perform better and grow. Start small, get comfortable just skating, pushing, turning, and maintaining balance on the board.
Once you feel sufficient with the way the board behaves underneath your feet making simple movements you can move further on with tricks.
There are even super basic and easy movements to master first like:
Once you’re comfortable cruising around and nailed those basic “tricks” we can move on to the next tip.
Learn to ride in different stances
Being able to ride solid in different stances will make you a better longboarder. By that, I mean a more versatile and creative rider who can perform more complicated and gnarly tricks.
After getting comfortable in your normal (regular) stance, whether you’re a Regular or a Goofy rider try changing it (switch). If you’re Regular (left foot in front) try rinding Goofy (left foot in front) and vice versa.
Also, you can try changing the width of your stance. For example, a wider stance will make you more stable. You can also play around with the feet’ angle to see what position suits you best.
- Switch stance.
Watch this video explanation to better understand possible stances:
Ride as much as you can
Simple as that. While this may sound funny or too obvious, there’s actually a good point in that. You probably heard the saying:
“Practice makes perfect”
In order to get better at something, you have to do that repeatedly for a long period of time. Same with the longboarding. Ride as much as you can.
Use your longboard to commute. Instead of taking public transportation, bike or a car get to your destination with a longboard. You’ll get more comfortable in different situations, adjust to various surfaces, and improve reaction time, and balance.
Here’s a fun video example of how you can ride to your local grocery store to buy some bread. 🙂
Ride with friends/peers
It’s a known fact that doing something in groups like learning is more effective than doing it by oneself. There is even research dedicated to that topic. That also applies to longboarding.
Riding with your friends and peers is not only fun, but it also generates a live competition feel. This pushes the boundaries of your comfort zone. Naturally, you’ll be progressing by challenging each other. People tend to copy other people’s behavior.
Not only that, but people can also give you valuable feedback and advice. That can help you improve and correct your mistakes. Once in a while, you might even receive praise or a compliment that can boost your confidence.
Finally riding with friends brings us to the next tip on which they can aid.
Film your riding
If you have the possibility to ride with friends/peers you can ask them to film you.
Watching how you ride from an observer’s perspective will let you know what kind of mistakes or flaws do you have. The video material will give you a picture of what your riding skills are.
The benefit is that you can make an instant review of your riding and make adjustments. Especially during a session if you were filmed on a smartphone or any other camera that has a preview option.
Also over time, you can compare your riding to how it was before. You can analyze yourself and actually see the improvements/downfalls.
Try different setups
Longboards consist of three main parts:
Depending on what kind of parts you have is going to affect your riding style. Each part has its own characteristics with small features, details, and nuances. Selecting the right ones for yourself can greatly improve your riding.
It’s going to be quite expensive to buy multiple different parts just to try and test something out. So it’s a good idea to ask your friends or peers what kind of setup they have and take it for a spin. This might give you an idea of how different setups feel and ride. And possibly make a decision to change your setup.
Ride at different locations
After riding for a while at a certain spot or route you get used to it and develop some kind of a habit. You know what the obstacles are and how to approach them. You get used to the surface. And you’re feeling quite confident at that exact spot or place. But what happens if you come to a different place or take a different route?
That’s right, your riding might not be that awesome anymore. So try to change your locations once in a while. This will help you adapt faster to different environments. And make you a more versatile rider.
Train at home (bad weather/conditions)
Not always there’s going to be sunshine outside. Or perhaps you’re living somewhere where there’s wintertime most of the year or it’s raining frequently.
By training at home on a bad weather day in the offseason (e.g. winter time) you’ll maintain physical activity and confidence. There’s quite a lot you can do to keep your body in shape.
Regular exercising will keep you fit, and hardier, and will reduce the risk of injury. Sometimes you can take a huge hit when falling down. If your body is trained you’ll recover faster, and the impact might not be that big.
There are several reasons why you should stretch, especially if you’re into longboarding.
Regular stretching before a longboard session will make your muscles more flexible, thus increasing the range of motion. This can greatly improve the way you ride, like adding more style to your tricks.
Stiff muscles are more likely to get sprained during extensive movements. So this is another major reason why you should stretch, it will help reduce the risk of injury.
There’s a way to make your training at home more fun. And that is to train on a balance board.
There are different types of balance boards out there. But the main concept is that you have to maintain your balance on a board that stands atop a roller. I have a list of the best balance boards for longboarding for you to check out.
With balance boards not only you can stand balancing but also practice tricks and movements, and that is just some of the benefits. Thus training your muscle memory and maintaining skills. Plus 15-20 minutes actively spent on a balance board is good cardio training for you.
To sum up, everything, if you really want to get better at longboarding, stay focused and consistent. Ride as much as you can, stay dedicated, and never give up. Train whenever possible, and seek mentoring and advice.
And most important you gotta have patience. If you train hard over time you’ll progress fast.
In the end, I’d like to share a couple of YouTube videos I personally find quite helpful and inspiring: