Getting Started with Coleman Slide: A Guide to Basic Longboard Sliding Techniques

 Coleman Sliding Technique

Now you have your first longboard and want to know how to stop. One trick is to learn how to slide. This is a commonly used technique to a quick stop. Sliding involves pulling your board out so that the wheels move freely without gripping the pavement.

Any longboard slide is fine.  A popular one and great for beginners is the Coleman slide.

It is a good and important skill to have if you are going downhill and need to stop short. The Coleman slide is a 180-degree heel slide. This slide technique was developed by the legendary Cliff Coleman in the 1970’s. He is still doing slides these days. The Coleman slide is considered one of the best slides for beginner longboarders. After learning this slide first you can learn any slide after like pendulums, standing slides, and other slides.

Cliff Coleman quote “If you can crouch down and ride a skateboard, then you can learn this slide.”

First thing you need to think about it safety. Going downhill can be dangerous. Wear a helmet and guards! Very important. You do not want to end up in the hospital with a concussion or worse.

For sliding you will need sliding gloves. These are gloves with pucks in the palm of your hand. Sliding gloves allow you to put your hands on the ground at speed without hurting yourself while sliding. They act as brakes. You can either make them yourself or buy them. 

Make sure you start with a not too steep of a hill with space. You can also learn to slide on a flat area and parking lots.
  • Start riding your board at moderate speed and pedal about 8 pushes with one foot. Place your both feet on the board and slightly bend your knees. Each foot should be at each end of the board at least shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and crouch down, lean forward, shift your weight to the front and prepare to slide.
  • Place one hand on the side of the board, between your legs. Your other hand on the ground reaching backwards opposite way in which your toes are. Stretch your body out and extend as your board begins to carve. The plates on your sliding gloves will provide friction against the pavement to help bring your board to a stop.
  • Look over your front shoulder, backwards as if you are trying to chase your butt. As your wheels drift on the pavement and come to a stop your board should drift in a 90-degree angle. Commit your hips to the motion and the rest will follow.
After you hit a few Coleman slides, you will want to make your sliding down the hill look better.
  • You need to go fast enough to make the slide.
  • Make sure you slide enough to do a 180 degrees. This slash your speed in half, and then can ride out of it.
  • Don't reach to far back with your hand. This will end up in a fall on your butt and rip your pants.
  • Just try it and find your way to do it.
  • Remember to keep your feet at each end.
you can find many sliding techniques videos on YouTube. Below one from Cliff Coleman himself. The video is not too sharp, but it will still tell you how to do it.