Do you know that Matthew McConaughey and Kate Middleton share the same fondness for boards? Well, if you’ve stumbled upon this article then you know what kind of “board” we’re talking about here. One thing is for certain – longboards are not just for celebrities. People like you also have what it takes to be a longboard enthusiast.
The road to becoming a longboard enthusiast entails constant practice – and a lot of pain from crashing. This is true especially if you are not skilled yet in terms of stopping a longboard. Put those aches and pains aside because this article has got you covered.
How and When Longboarding Rose to Fame
The surge in popularity of longboarding and skateboarding began when Tony Hawk emerged into the scene. It was in 1999 when Hawk successfully performed a 900-degree aerial spin. From then on, his road to fame was coupled with the title of being the wealthiest skateboarder in the world.
He became even more famous as he spearheaded many skateboarding competitions and shows. The Tony Hawk Pro Skater competitions continue to elicit much interest from the longboard aficionados until today.
At present, it has become inevitable for people to mention longboarding along with skateboarding and ocean surfing. Since longboarding got its roots from surfing, it has also captured the hearts of people living in places like Hawaii. But you do not have to be from Hawaii to be able to experience the joy of longboarding.
Longboard Basics: Stopping
If by now you have learned how to speed up while riding on a longboard, then the next thing you should be practicing is how to stop. Is putting your longboard to a halt too difficult for you to do?
There are different ways to stop on a longboard. Some of them are the following:
The Foot Brake
Foot braking is one of the most effective ways to stop because it never fails to work at any speed. It is not difficult to learn. You can apply the foot braking method when you go for cruising or for downhill racing. Foot braking is also an excellent way to stop when you’re running from a slow speed.
Can you use foot brakes as a beginner? Yes. In fact, foot braking is among those valuable skills to have for beginners. As you practice doing this, make sure to choose a straight road that has no traffic. Start by pushing yourself slightly in a forward direction.
Then once you are certain that you are in a stable position, start rolling a meter ahead in a controlled manner. With the help of your back foot, allow it to grind on the bottom right next to your longboard. Do this until you no longer have speed.
When executing foot brakes, note that putting more pressure on your back leg would lead you to stop more quickly. The process of stopping using the foot brake method would tend to become lengthy when you’re running at a very fast speed.
The Coleman Slide
The Coleman slide is another method of stopping that is great for beginners. This method is very useful when you need to stop while you’re going downhill. Knowing how to execute this method first will make it easier for you to perform other slides such as the standing slides and the pendulum.
The Coleman slide will need you to use sliding gloves so that your hands don’t get hurt. To do this, see to it first that you already know how to properly stand on your longboard.
Start by sliding while also pushing your one foot down the road. When you slide, make sure that you do it at a moderate speed. Once the longboard runs at a stable speed, put your other foot back on the board but keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Stay focused as you bend your knees, along with your body.
Avoid shifting too much of your weight backward or else you will end up falling from your board. Your body weight must be placed forward, as you crouch and put your front hand on the road. Then, swing your other arm freely into the air. Swinging your arm wider will create a more rounded movement of the board thus making it easier and safer for you to stop.
Why the name “Coleman”? Cliff Coleman, a legendary and professional skateboarder, developed this method during the 1970s. This is a 180-degree heel slide which is also great for newbies. As Coleman once said, “For as long as you know how to crouch down and ride on a skateboard, you can learn how to do the Coleman slide as well”.
The Carving Technique
Carving is a skill which originated from skiing and snowboarding. This is also a great way to stop the longboard. Carving is done by making tight turns so that speed reduces. Tight turns can be done by shifting your body weight back and forth into each edge of the longboard.
Press your toes and heels into the board rail and then transition to the other rail on alternate manners. Pros refer to this move as rail shifting. However, carving is not an applicable method of braking when the longboard is running at super-fast speeds.
Hopping Off from the Board
Hopping off the longboard to stop is best done while you’re cruising at a speed of 10-15 mph. Just make sure you have enough space ahead of you as you stop pushing. Let ground friction initiate the halt.
If you are riding your longboard at a walking speed, you may stop just by stepping off then kickdown your board tail so you can easily tip your board and then catch it. Grab your board by the hand and then walk away feeling like a pro.
Rolling onto A Rough Surface
Before you try to execute this method, make sure that you can find a rough surface where you can roll your board into. A rough surface can cause friction thus enabling your board to stop rolling. The rough surface could either be gravel or some patches of short grass on the side of the road. Don’t go rolling into a very thick grass or else you will fall off.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I wear any shoes when using foot brakes?
See to it that your shoes are up to the task. It will also be good if you buy shoes that have long lasting soles such as those that are designed specifically for board skating. These are the kind of shoes that have reinforced soles to ensure they do not wear or tear out too quickly. Besides, wearing skate shoes will lead you to have a better grip on your longboard.
Is foot braking risky?
Yes, it is. Foot braking may also increase your risk for injury if you do not do it right. So, pay attention to how much pressure you are putting on your back foot. If the pressure is too much while your longboard is still in full swing, you could find yourself getting thrown forward.
When foot braking, do it in a way as if your shoe soles are brushing the ground. Watch out on your center of gravity because this is important for maintaining your balance.
Can I practice Coleman slides on any terrain?
Before you start practicing the Coleman slide, look for an ideal location such as on a straight and flat road or in your spacious parking lot.
What kind of gloves should I wear for longboarding?
It is highly recommended for beginners to wear sliding gloves. These gloves have palm puck and finger pucks. Popular brands make use of Kevlar fingertips as part of sliding gloves. However, wearing these gloves does not guarantee one hundred percent safety. It’s because a lot of beginners still find their hands getting jammed on curbs, potholes and cracks.
Note for Beginners: Know Your Stance
Knowing which foot to brake and to push is crucial when learning how to stop.
Note that the direction in which you point or face along with your longboard should be according to where you feel the most comfortable. Basically, you point to the right if you are a right-handed person. This also goes to say that if your left foot is more dominant, then you will feel more comfortable pointing or facing to the left.
Right-handed people would use their right leg for pushing. While pushing with the use of your right foot, the left leg and foot will be pointing forward. Once you have gained enough speed, you can then put your right foot on the longboard and stand on it with two feet.
Mastering the different methods of stopping the longboard translates to greater safety especially when you are longboarding on a busy road. Remember that you are longboarding in an open space where you will be exposed to different kinds of danger. Having the ability to stop right there and then no matter what speed you are running can greatly spare you from accidents. Wear your protective gears each time you go longboarding. Most of all, do not forget to buckle your helmet!