How To Do A Cross Step On A Longboard

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Venturing into the realm of longboarding techniques, the art of executing a flawless cross-step is both exhilarating and essential for any enthusiast. Drawing from my own firsthand experience and mastery of this graceful maneuver, I’m eager to guide you through the steps of achieving the perfect cross-step on a longboard.

Join me on this exhilarating journey as we delve into the intricacies of footwork and balance, unlocking the key elements that elevate your riding style and add finesse to your longboarding adventures.

How To Do A Cross Step On A Longboard

What Is Cross Step?

Cross stepping is a fundamental skill in longboarding that involves gracefully moving your feet from one side of the board to the other while maintaining balance and control. It adds style and flair to your riding, allowing you to navigate your longboard with elegance and precision.

This technique is often used in longboard dancing and surfing, as it enables you to shift your weight and position on the board to perform tricks and maneuvers. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced rider, mastering the art of cross stepping will enhance your longboarding experience and open up a world of possibilities for creativity and fluidity in your rides.

In the following sections, we will dive deeper into the step-by-step process of executing a perfect cross step, providing you with the necessary guidance to improve your skills on the longboard.

How to Longboard Cross Step

The longboard cross-step is a fundamental trick in longboard dancing and surfing. It involves shifting your weight to the front of the board by crossing your feet in a graceful and controlled manner. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced rider, mastering this technique will enhance your footwork and stability on the board.

To start, find a flat area such as a road or pavement with enough space to move around. Use a longer longboard, preferably 44″ or longer, to give yourself room to maneuver. A symmetrical board is not necessary but can be helpful for more advanced tricks later on.

Begin with the cross-step setup, which involves positioning your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees relaxed and hips relaxed. Keep your upper body upright and centered. Practice this foundational step on land to develop muscle memory.

When you are ready, start by taking a normal stance on the board and gain some speed. As you approach a breaking wave or white water, initiate the cross-step. Begin with a backpedal step, moving your back foot diagonally towards the front of the board. As your back foot nears the front foot, shift your weight onto the back foot.

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Benefits Of Cross Stepping On A Longboard

Cross stepping on a longboard is an essential skill that not only adds grace and style to your riding but also offers several benefits. Whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your balance or an advanced surfer wanting to perfect your footwork, mastering the cross step is a game-changer.

One of the primary advantages of cross stepping is the enhanced stability it provides. By shifting your weight from one side of the board to the other, you create a more stable platform, allowing you to maintain control even in challenging conditions. Additionally, the larger surface area for foot placement minimizes the chances of slipping or losing your balance.

For newcomers, cross stepping offers an excellent opportunity to improve overall balance and coordination. By practicing this skill, you develop core strength and muscle memory, which translates to improved stability and control on the board.

Advanced surfers, on the other hand, utilize cross stepping to control speed and gracefully maneuver on the wave. The ability to fluidly cross step in a cross-legged position enables them to effortlessly transition from the nose to the tail, effectively trimming the board and maximizing the ride.

Mastering the Basics of Cross Step

To become proficient in cross stepping on a longboard, it is essential to focus on key elements and techniques. By understanding proper foot placement, weight distribution, upper body control, and foundational steps, you can achieve a smooth and elegant cross step maneuver.

Start by ensuring proper foot placement and weight distribution. Place your front foot near the front edge of the longboard, with your toes angled slightly outward. The back foot should be positioned on the center of the board. This alignment ensures stability and control during the cross step.

Maintain a relaxed stance with minimal upper body movement. Keep your hips and knees relaxed, allowing for fluid motion. By minimizing upper body movement, you can transfer weight smoothly and maintain balance.

The foundational step is crucial for mastering the cross step. Start by shifting your weight onto the front foot, allowing the back foot to lift off the ground. Step forward with the back foot and place it near the center of the board. This transfer of weight from one foot to the other creates stability and control.

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Longboard Cross Step: Step By Step

To master the cross step on a longboard, it is important to go step by step and understand the fundamental techniques. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Rolling Speed Matters: Begin by getting rolling at a decent speed, slightly faster than walking pace. Having some momentum in the board provides stability, just like when riding a bicycle.
  2. Positioning and Weight Distribution: Stand with your feet comfortably apart in your normal skating position. This allows for better stability and balance throughout the cross step maneuver.
  3. Shift Your Weight to the Tail: Move your weight from your front foot towards the tail of the board, tightening your stance. This shift in weight prepares you for the cross step movement.
  4. Use Your Arms for Balance: Initially, you may find your arms waving around as you work on your balance. However, as you become more proficient, you will discover that you can rely on your body for balancing, reducing the need for excessive arm movements.
  5. Lift and Shift: Lift your back foot off the board while smoothly shifting your weight forward. This should be done slowly and with control. Take your time to ensure smooth transitions.
  6. Place Your Foot: Once your weight has shifted, place your back foot in the desired position near the center of the board. This step completes the cross step and sets you up for the next movement.
  7. Practice, Practice, Practice: Like all skills, mastering the cross step takes practice. Start with small, deliberate steps and gradually increase the size of your steps as you gain confidence and control. By practicing on land, you can develop the muscle memory and technique needed for successful cross stepping in the water.
  8. Utilize Resources: To further enhance your understanding and learning, consider watching tutorials by experienced longboarders like Adam Colton. These videos provide clear instructions and guidance while also adding a touch of humor to the learning process.
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Remember to have fun and enjoy the process of learning this elegant and graceful longboard maneuver. With time and practice, you will be able to cross-step with confidence and finesse.


What is cross stepping?

Cross stepping is a technique used by longboard skateboarders to shift their weight and move gracefully from one end of the board to the other, usually in a cross-legged position. It adds style and flow to your longboarding experience.

Is cross stepping only for advanced surfers?

No, cross stepping can be learned and practiced by beginners as well. It’s a foundational step that can be mastered with time and practice.

How do I maintain stability while cross stepping?

To maintain stability, keep your knees relaxed and your hips relaxed as well. This allows for better balance and control during the cross-stepping process.

Do I need to use my arms for balance?

Initially, you may find yourself using your arms for balance, but as you progress, you will rely more on your body’s stability and minimize excessive arm movements.

How can I practice my cross step on land?

You can practice your cross step on land with a practice board or by simply mimicking the steps without a board. This helps develop muscle memory and technique before taking it to the water.

What is the key to a successful cross step maneuver?

The key to a successful cross step maneuver is to perform each step with elegance and control. Slow, deliberate movements are key, allowing your body to adjust smoothly.

Does the size of the steps matter?

Starting with small, deliberate steps is recommended for beginners. As you gain confidence and control, you can gradually increase the size of your steps.


Mastering the cross step on a longboard is not only a thrilling skill to have, but it also opens up a world of possibilities for your riding style. Whether you’re carving up the streets or gliding gracefully on a wave, the cross step adds a touch of finesse and elegance to your longboarding game.

So, grab your board, practice those steps, and get ready to take your riding to the next level. Keep pushing your limits and enjoy the ride!

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