How to slide on a longboard? Guide for beginners
If you just got a longboard but don’t know how to slide on it, you have come to the right place. Sliding on a longboard is fun and exciting if you know how to do it properly. And you will find a complete guide on how to slide on a longboard in this article.
What is a slide on a longboard?
For those who are newcomers to this activity, you should know what a slide is and how many slides we should learn about. Then you can learn how to actually slide. By having a good foundation about this sport, you will be confident when you take it up. It’s also useful to ask for advice from skaters, or reading information on the internet, etc.
If you already know what a slide means, you can skip this part and continue to read this article to find out how to slide on a longboard. However, for those who don’t know, a slide is when you make your wheels break traction. When you want to slow down smoothly and somehow control the speed, you need the friction from wheels sliding on the ground.
It’s so much fun to slide on a longboard
In other words, when you slide, you are using your weight and body position to carve the board to a point where it oversteers and starts to break traction. To hold that oversteer position, you need to have good control and keep balance well. When you are happy with how much you’ve slowed down, you can bring it back then allow it to regain traction, and roll away.
How to slide on a longboard: The Materials
Choosing a Sliding Longboard
It is easy to learn how to slide properly on a longboard when you have the right equipment. And the most important feature when choosing a sliding longboard is the wheels. Make sure to look for wheels that have stone-ground surfaces. These wheels are pre-broken in, so they can break traction easily. As for smooth surface wheels, they will also eventually break in, but you have to wait and they have too much grip for slides. That’s why smooth surface wheels are not the best type you should get.
Choice of wheels
When looking at stone-ground wheels, you need to focus on the durometer of the wheels. For beginners, choosing harder wheels with at least 82A durometer allows them to break traction easier. That means you should carefully check wheel specs when choosing one.
Sliding Gloves: Are they necessary?
Along with a helmet, sliding gloves are an important piece of equipment that you need to wear when you slide on a longboard. They will keep you safe from any crashes. Sliding gloves come with plastic pucks affixed in their palms and fingers, so you will be able to place your hands down in a slide. Or you can choose to use leather gloves which help to prevent bloodshed.
Sliding gloves are extremely helpful
How to slide on a Longboard: The Technique
So you know what you need to buy before learning how to slide. Now it’s time to do it properly. As for beginners, you need to start out going slow for safety and expect to fall a few times before you get it right. Don’t worry about taking a few risks as you already have your gears. Now, let’s get started.
Firstly, relax and don’t worry about drastically adjusting foot placement. All you need to do is to stand on the board the same way as you normally do to carve. Put the rear foot on or in front of the back truck bolts, and the front foot to mirror that setup. This position is a solid one, allowing for easy transition into almost any of the possible slide variations.
Or you can hang your feet off the opposite edge of the board. And when you want to do a heelside slide, you can hang your heels over the heelside rail. You can do the reverse for toeside slides. By doing this, you will be able to get lateral pressure on the wheels. Otherwise, you will have to rely on the grip from the soles of your shoes to kick out.
Sliding on a Longboard: The Most Important Part aka the Drop Knee Crouch
As this is the most important position in sliding on a longboard, you should get it wired before working on slides. Do some practices until you feel comfortable before you actually start to try sliding. It may take you a few attempts or longer to get used to it so you don’t worry if you can’t do it right away. It is important to be able to do it quickly without steering offline.
The Drop Knee Crouch means you bend both knees and then bring your rear end down toward the pavement. Next, roll your rear foot forward until the instep contacts the griptape. You will be in a position where the back knee approaches or crosses your front leg at the shin and your front knee points upward. When you feel a stretch in your rear hip, you know you are doing it right..
Make sure to try different slides to fully enjoy it
Once you know how to do it, make sure to practice several times in both directions. It’s also good to crouch and carve in one continuous motion, and as you exit a carve, learn to stand up properly.
How to slide on a longboard: Bringing it all Together
Be aware that the shoulders control the direction of the slide. When you begin to know how to slide, you will realize that you have to rely on them more than you think. So whatever direction you want to rotate, just turn your shoulders in that one, both into and out of a slide. Your lower body will follow your shoulders.
Learning how to slide on a longboard: Final Words of Wisdom
To fully enjoy longboarding, you should learn every slide variation. Although they seem to be complicated, you will be able to do it as long as you put conscious effort. Also, don’t forget to buy your sliding gloves and helmet beforehand. You will find these slides easier and simpler after a few practices.
So, hopefully you have learnt how to slide properly. Don’t worry about being technically perfect, you just need to bring every move that you learn together. Although they can be a little bit risky, they are fun activities to try.
Further reading: what is sliding