Longboard Riding Styles Guide

Longboard Riding Styles

There are several ways to go longboarding. Before buying a new board, you need to ask yourself: what do want to do with a longboard? Do you want to do tricks, go off a mountain, just cruise in the streets or do some challenging riding? Therefore you need to ask yourself: What is my riding style? There are at least 4 types for riding styles. Below are the most common. Which one is yours?
Cruising Longboards
Cruising
Cruising is the most common form of longboarding. The word says it already. You cruise around. Anybody can do it. Beginners start with cruising. Also experts cruise. It brings you from point A to point B. It is a form of transportation and it is gentle and relaxed. There will be no hills or mountains involved.

Most cruising longboards you will see on the streets are in between 32"-42" long. These are the perfect choice of moving. The wheels are soft so you won't feel every bump and the board has a flex which can help you on long rides and also absorbs some of the rough terrain you may have. Some people love flexy boards since it is springy and it rebound, others prefer the increased sense of stability for higher speeds that comes with a stiffer deck, this choice will ultimately be up to your personal preference.

There are also cruisers out there. These are the small boards. Think about the plastic penny boards. They also come in wood. Sizes are about 23" -30" These are different than the cruising longboards. Yes, you can still cruise with it, but the boards are very small, not flexy and the wheels are harder. You can take them easily in your backpack to ride on campus or just in the street.

Style
Freestyle
Freestyle is the art of doing tricks on a longboard. Freestyle is often confused with freeride. Freestyle has a lot of standing up, jumping, flipping, spinning, board dancing. Freestyle longboarders are becoming more one with their board. The roots are coming from skateboarding.

There are many technical skills, but freestyle can be enjoyed by any skill level. This is the creative side of longboarding. Freestyle longboarding can be done on the street or in the skateboard pool. Usually freestyle riders will choose between two kinds of boards: A drop down or a drop through. Both are symmetrical which allows easier flips and tricks. You do not have to turn your board around every time. And these boards has enough width so you have room to move your feet. A good freestyle deck has at least a kicktail, smaller deck and harder wheels.

Style Freeride
Freeride
Freeride is a form of downhill longboarding in style, but is more trick oriented and more technical and the rider carves and slides to control speed when going down.

Sliding is the most common technique. This allows you to slow down or stop yourself. When you want to freeride this is a very important skill to learn as it prevents injuries to yourself and others.

Carving is controlled turns on the road by leaning forward onto his toes called toe side turns or backward onto his heels called heel side turns. When these turns are strung together, the result is an S-shaped line that will slow down the rider and provide a good opportunity do some tricks.

A Freeride longboard is medium to stiff with a good concave so you can lock your feet really well while sliding. it has some stability and is most stable at moderate speed. Longboards to consider for freerides are symmetrical ones such as the drop throughs and drop down longboards. Make sure you get little flex as it is not good to have flex when freeriding.

Style Downhill
Downhill
Downhill longboarding is for the experts and adrenaline junkies. It is all about speed, sliding hands down, carving and drifting. A lot of downhill longboarders participate in races and it is all about huge hills and going down as fast as possible. The riders get into a tucked position and put all their weight on their front foot to get maximum speed. Before doing this, you need to know how to slide and stop yourself and it goes mostly straight down the hill to get maximum speed.

The longboard is stiff for maximum control and stability. The wheels are soft for maximum grip. You need the right gear for safety. Full faced helmets, full pads, and suit for protection. It can be dangerous. Downhill bombing is only for the ones that are really good in longboarding and know every trick and skill.