Longboard skateboards are a longer version of skateboards you are probably used to seeing. These longer boards are used for different things including cruising, going downhill, racing and even for transportation. Longboards are also used for sport, but unlike smaller skateboards, these longer boards take a little more stability and balance. If you're beginning to ride this type of board or want to get into riding them, there are some things you should know first. See below for some helpful tips if you are a beginner longboarder.
1. Try First
Before rushing out to buy a longboard, which could put a dent in your wallet (depending on what you buy), it's best to try one out first. It may just not be your thing. Try out a friend's longboard, or rent one for the day at a local rental shop (if you have one near you). If you don't like a borrowed one, it'll at least save you some money.
2. Shop Around
If this is your first longboard, you don't need to buy the most expensive piece of equipment. On the other hand, buying the cheapest isn't going to help you either. Cheaper equipment won't give you the ride you're looking for, so look for something in between and read customer reviews and ratings to see what they have to say about the board before buying. If you buy cheap and the wheels or bushings fall apart, you've just wasted money, so be sure to look for a quality board. If you stay with the sport, you can always buy more expensive equipment later down the road.
3. Fall Safely
Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned rider, you will fall down -- accidents happen. It's best to be safe and wear a helmet, gloves and knee/elbow pads to help protect you when the inevitable happens. It's also best to know how to fall -- there is a right and wrong way. Roll yourself when falling and never put out your hands to try and catch you.
4. Controlling Speed
If you're going downhill on a longboard, you could get going at a pretty good speed, and if you're new to this, going too fast could be quite dangerous. You need to know how to control your speed. You can do so by carving on your board, which means making an "s" pattern by shifting your weight at your toe and heel to weave back and forth. You can also help slow down by using your foot to break. To help stop you, you can jump off of the board, or run it into the grass.
Just like beginning any new sport, it's best to try it out first to see if you even enjoy it. Then shop around for quality equipment (not the most expensive) at stores like Orlando Longboards, and practice to get the hang of it.