What is a Longboard?
This is a type of sports equipment which is the same as with skateboard. The two only differ in terms of the length since the longboard is longer compared to a skateboard. However, a longboard is actually a subcategory of skateboards, so basically, all kinds of longboards are still categorized as skateboards. This sports equipment comprises a variety of components such as trucks, bearings, wheels, and the deck.
The details of each part are as follows:
Trucks. This is the metal T-shaped piece that can be found mounted on your longboard deck’s underside part. You can choose from different styles of trucks for your longboard, but a wider truck is highly recommended for it is much capable of a larger turning radius. A set of two trucks will be needed for your longboard. It is the part of your longboard that aside from attaching the deck into the wheels, it also contributes to how your longboard achieves a successful turn.
Bearings. These are the parts attached to your longboard’s wheels so that the friction will be reduced and then allowing it to spin easily.
Wheels. You probably know what a wheel is. Still, you should know the main role of the wheels on your longboard. Wheels are the part of your longboard that allows for it to slide, carve, or cruise in any riding veneer. Various kinds of specs for your longboard wheels are available on the market, which you can definitely choose from to select the best option for your longboard.
Decks. This is the longboard’s part to where you stand when you ride your longboard. It is usually made up of bamboo or maple material, or sometimes both. It is to make sure that it is made for durability and strength. There are several shapes available to choose from, such as blunt, pintail, twin, and mini cruise. Also, the deck of your longboard can probably be mounted into its trucks with several dissimilar frameworks.
History of Longboarding
Street surfing have been around since the late 1950s. It was the time when street surfing has started in Hawaii. It was 1959 when it began. It is a modified version of the sport surfing through the use of wheely longboards. The modification had happened due to the weather of the country (Hawaii). There are times that the sea waves are not ideal for some surfing activity that is why surfers are being restricted to go with their practices.
With that situation being considered, skateboarding was introduced which will definitely allow you, surfers, to enjoy surfing, but instead, in the ocean, it will be on the street without worrying about the adverse weather condition. Since surfers want some enjoyment of surfing regularly without any unnecessary barriers, the skateboards were modified into longboards.
The modification was being conceptualized within the year 1959 and the year 1965 by a group of some active surfer. A small model version which is made from thick plywood was there first ever made, where the wheels and trucks are attached to the wooden deck through the use or some random screws. They used this initial model they made in some hilly zones to begin their first-ever experience of skateboarding activity.
As mentioned earlier, surfers wish to do their surfing practices regularly, but since the weather can sometimes be unfriendly for some surfing practices, this modification has been their alternative way to do so still. Hawaiian surfers had initially chosen some hilly stations to do their skateboarding activity, trying the early style which have been tried by skaters, the downhill skateboarding. It is a favorite style in California and Hawaii, which is why it is considered a traditional style for skateboarding. Skateboards were made for compatibility into street surfing through the useful advancements and some gradual modifications.
It has been popular for those surfers who want some uninterrupted surfing practice. During this time, penny boards have also been popular and are widely being used with most of the surfers. It was around the late 1960s when it became a trend to have the skateboarding activity on the coastline of California, which then driven for manufacturers to increase the number of their products as the demand has also been increasing. It was covered in a TV show that has been significantly helped with the promotion of the skateboards. Surfers had been enjoying different drills and tricks since various skateboard models were released.
Surfers were happy with the idea of surfing without thinking of the unfriendly weather at times. However, the boards at this period were still unstable, with questionable durability. That very reason made the parents worry about their child’s safety. This is the reason why the popularity has been reduced. Grand progress was made in the late 1970s for the skateboard and longboard advancement. It was in this period where the modified design of the longboard started. With the great new features that have been made, longboarding was considered as an art of expression. It is during the year of the 1970s when skateboard and longboard were modified further to have an individual identity. Longboard at this time was made to be longer compared to the traditional skateboards. This change gives the users an option of what is best for them.
The 1980s, the period where these boards were serving different purposes. The era to where the boards might have their own identity but almost still have the same shape and sizes which is why it did not even highlight any important differences. It was in the 1990s that the longboards faced into real popularity and were broadly used.
It was because of the initiative of Sector 9 to have a commercial production of these boards. So, from the start of the release of these longboards, it has been quite extensive compared to skateboards. Longboards have features that proved they were the most multi-functional riding equipment for athletes and even the youth. Mass popularity was reached last 2010 by these longboards, using them for various purposes. At the current time, most of the kids, teens, and adults are using longboards. This sport is now advanced, with regards to production and even in marketing. The latest advancements are still being continued to do by manufacturers to make the users happy and amazed to what a longboard could offer.
Important Tips for Beginners
As a beginner, it is necessary for you to look for some tips on how to properly ride your longboard through the internet or by asking some pro in this field of sport. It will be helpful for you to start right and so you could be able to learn fast. It is important that you know the basics of longboarding before starting your journey. So, here are the tips for you.
Tip number one, have the right board for you. The “right” term means the suitable one for your size, skills, riding style, age, and other more. It will be more advantageous for you to have the best one.
Tip number two, know your kind of stance. Each one of you that engages in longboarding have your own kind of stances when riding the board. Your stance will be highly dependent to what foot dominates the other. Either it is left or right. It should be the very first thing that you must consider as you start riding a longboard. It is easy to distinguish through the classic way of standing into the ground as your feet are together than looking for someone to push you from the back. With that method, you will be able to know which foot dominates, and it will then help you determine the stance for you.
Tip number three. Find the balance in a static model. Balancing is necessary for you to be familiar with. Before you start learning how to move with your longboard, you must master up how to balance on your board. When you know your stance, you can definitely learn how to balance much easily in a short period of time. Remember, when you already feel comfortable standing on top of your board without stepping down, then you are capable of balancing yourself.
Tip number four, practice the stance of turning. Of course, it does not end with balancing. You must now practice some basic steps for you to be able to make a turn when you ride the longboard.
Tip number five. Practice the stance of pushing and break. It is an important skill to master, the pushing and braking using one of your legs as the other balances on the board.
Tip number six. Be comfortable with rolling. After learning some basic skills while you’re in a static model, it is now time to learn some other skills while on the move. Find a suitable place for practice, then apply those basic skills of pushing and braking while you move with your longboard, slowly up until you master it and be able to go faster.
Tip number seven. Practice foot braking. You must practice how to brake from moving using a combination of the basic steps you already learned. Practice it until you are able to master it up smoothly.
Tip number eight, you can now begin riding in some mild hills. It is now time for a little challenge. However, you need to wear something for protection as you go on up for a level up the practice. Make sure that you can handle it before you do the riding.
Tip number nine, you need to practice the turning. Yes, you already mastered up turning when in a static mode, but now you must practice the turning while your board is rolling. Of course, you should start on a flat space until you can slowly go on with more thrilling slopes. You can do it properly in no time if you practice it regularly.
Tip number ten, learn how to carve for you to slow down. When you practice the carving, you will probably be capable of doing successive turns in every longboard riding you do. When you learned the carving, you will be able to slow down easily.
Tip number eleven, you must learn how to fall. It might sound a bit terrifying but you must be strong for it. Same as in biking, when you are still on the practicing stage, it will be inevitable to fall from your sports equipment. So, as to riding a longboard, you must know how to fall so that you can avoid unnecessary injuries properly. Pros usually do the “tucking and rolling.” Make sure that when you are to fall, you fall on the front, not with your back but do not lock your elbow when you’ve hit the floor.
Tip number twelve, you need to learn how to slide. It will be another big step for you though, but still, if you want to be a pro in longboarding, you must have the courage of practicing every necessary skill you need to acquire for your sport. It is because when you start to learn how to slide properly, it is the real starting point for a serious longboarding journey.
Longboarding has been around for a long period of time now, and it is still advancing. It is a sport which is being done by children, teenagers, and even adults. You would be interested in longboarding for sure if you love some thrilling adventure. It is not easy to learn this kind of sport, but if you are committed to doing so, then there will never be a problem in learning the sport. You only need the right type of longboard for you, follow the right process of learning the skills for longboarding, and then always keep on practicing to master all the skills up. When you do your practice regularly and you do it wholeheartedly, you will definitely be a pro no time. You only need to follow the essential tips for you so you could learn faster in a proper way. Practicing is the key to master the skills on longboarding, so when you mastered those skills, you will be then one of the pros.