A longboard is longer and heavier than a traditional skateboard. Unlike traditional skateboards, longboards are not designed for performing tricks, but rather for basic around town traveling or gliding down hills. Their shape and the way they are ridden is very similar to surfboards, and this is not a coincidence: the longboard first appeared on the scene in the 1950s with the rise of surf culture in the U.S. For downhill longboard riders -- also called speedboarders -- the thrill and the goal is to achieve faster speeds.
Items you will need
- Longboard skateboard
- Road or path with a decent hill
Select and setup a board that is suited to speedboarding and your skills. For maximum stability you will want a long wheelbase and wide trucks. Stiff bushings are also recommended. A wider board will help you to grip the board through turns. Keep in mind that skinnier trucks will allow you to grip the corners better but will force you to sacrifice some stability. You may need to experiment with your setup to find a board that meets your skill level and that you feel comfortable on.
Find a good course for practicing. Look around your area for a decent long hill. It does not need to be extremely steep. However, it should be in an area with little pedestrian traffic or other obstacles. If using a road, find one that does not have heavy car traffic and without any blind turns that will hide you from the view of approaching vehicles.
Start at the top of the hill with your board pointed downhill. Place your lead foot on the front of the board. Push off with your opposing foot. Once you are moving, place your opposing foot on the board. You should be standing with your feet about shoulder length apart on the board.
Get yourself into a good tuck. Bend your legs and knees, getting as low as you can on the board while maintaining your balance. Lean a little bit forward. Move your hands behind your back to cut down on wind resistance if you feel stable on the board, but keep in mind you may need to use your hands and arms on turns or to keep yourself steady on the board.
Practice on this hill and others to improve your form. In downhill longboard racing, your speed is going to be most affected by the steepness of the grade and by your own ability to get yourself into a good downhill tuck and navigate any turns.
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