How To Drift A Longboard

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Are you tired of simply cruising on your longboard and want to take your skills to the next level? If you’re looking to add some excitement and adrenaline to your riding, then learning how to drift a longboard is the perfect skill to master. Drifting allows you to slide your board sideways while maintaining control, giving you the ability to navigate sharp turns and corners with style.

But drifting a longboard isn’t just about looking cool; it also improves your overall control and maneuverability on the board. By learning how to drift, you’ll be able to tackle any terrain or obstacle with confidence and precision. So, if you’re ready to take your longboarding skills up a notch, keep reading to discover the steps you need to follow to drift like a pro.

How To Drift A Longboard

How to Drift on a Longboard: The Ultimate Guide

Longboard drifting can add an exciting element to your riding experience. It requires proper technique and balance to execute smoothly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to drift on a longboard:

  1. Picking the Right Longboard: Choose a lightweight longboard with a wide and stable deck. Look for loose trucks that allow for easy turning. Not all longboards are suitable for drifting, so ensure you pick one with the right characteristics.
  2. Positioning Your Feet: Place your front foot near the center of the deck and your back foot towards the tail. Shift your weight onto your front foot and lean back slightly to maintain balance during the drift.
  3. Pushing Off: Lean your body weight onto your front foot and push off the ground with your back foot to gain speed. As you accelerate, shift your weight to the center of the board, ensuring better balance and more control.
  4. Drifting: Once you have gained enough speed, it’s time to initiate the drift. Lean your body weight to one side of the board, causing it to turn in that direction. Apply pressure to the foot on the same side as the turning direction to stabilize the longboard.
  5. Maintaining the Drift: Balance your weight between the front and back feet while keeping pressure on the front foot. This helps you stay in control of the board and prevents it from spinning out from underneath you.
  6. Exiting the Drift: When you are ready to exit the Drift, reverse the steps taken to enter it. Shift your weight back onto your rear foot and apply pressure to the front foot. This will straighten out the longboard and slow it down. Once you have slowed down enough, safely step off the board.

How to Improve Your Drifting Skills on a Longboard

Improving your drifting skills on a longboard is an exciting challenge that can be achieved by following a few simple steps. Firstly, it is essential to have a high-quality longboard that offers stability and control. Avoid boards that are too soft or flexible, as they can hinder your ability to drift effectively.

Next, practice on various surfaces to enhance your overall drifting proficiency. Experiment with smooth and rough terrains to adapt your technique to different conditions. This versatility will enable you to adjust your drifting style to any situation.

Mastering the correct technique is crucial. While turning, lean into the turn and use your body weight to shift the center of gravity. This technique will help you maintain balance and control of the longboard throughout the drift.

What Is a Drift on A Longboard?

A drift on a longboard is a maneuver where the rider slides the board sideways while maintaining control and balance. It is a key element of freestyle longboarding and can be used to perform tricks or simply to add style while cruising.

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To execute a drift, the rider must first build up speed, usually by descending on a hill or pushing off with force. Once at a decent speed, the rider leans the board into a turn, shifting their body weight to the edges of the deck. The back foot is then applied to pressure the outside of the board, causing it to slide.

With practice, drifts can be performed in a smooth and controlled manner, allowing riders to maintain their speed and style. This move requires a combination of balance, body positioning, and precise weight distribution.

Benefits of Longboard Drifting:

Longboard drifting is an exhilarating skill that adds a new dimension to the world of longboarding. With its combination of speed, skill, and creativity, drifting offers a unique and exciting experience for riders.

One of the main benefits of longboard drifting is the high level of physical and mental engagement it requires. The challenge of executing precise slides and maintaining control at decent speeds demands focus, concentration, and coordination. This not only provides a thrilling adrenaline rush but also helps improve balance and body awareness.

Drifting also allows riders to express their personal style and creativity. From smooth heelside slides to stylish toeside slides, there are various types of slides to choose from. Riders can experiment with different techniques, body positions, and board angles to develop their own unique style of drifting.

Furthermore, longboard drifting offers an excellent opportunity for riders to develop their overall board control and riding skills. By practicing slides, riders can learn to control their speed and make quick adjustments to their body positioning. This enhances their ability to navigate downhill terrain with confidence.

Why Should You Drift on A Longboard?

Drifting on a longboard is an exhilarating experience that pushes your limits and tests your skills. It’s not only a way to have fun and show off your style, but also a chance to experience the thrill of pushing your board to its limits.

One of the reasons why you should drift on a longboard is the sheer adrenaline rush it provides. As you slide sideways at high speeds, the excitement and sense of accomplishment can be unmatched. It’s a great way to feel a rush of adrenaline and connect with the thrill-seeker within you.

Drifting on a longboard also allows you to showcase your style and individuality. This sport gives you the freedom to explore different types of slides, from heelside slides to toeside slides, and experiment with different techniques. You can add your unique flair to your slides, making them a reflection of your personality and skill.

Equipment Needed for Longboard Drifting

When it comes to longboard drifting, having the right equipment is crucial for safety and performance. One of the most important pieces of protective gear is knee pads, which provide essential protection for your knees in case of falls or slides. Slide gloves are also essential, as they not only protect your hands but also allow you to initiate and control slides more effectively.

Choosing the right slide wheels is another important consideration. Soft wheels with a low durometer are ideal for providing grip while still allowing for smooth slides. It’s also important to ensure you have a decent entry speed when attempting drifting, as this will help you maintain control and stability throughout the slide.


A longboard is a type of skateboard with a longer deck that is specifically designed for cruising and downhill riding. There are different models of longboards available, each with its own features and benefits.

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One popular longboard model is the “Pendulum Slide.” This model is known for its stability and control, making it ideal for slides and downhill riding. It comes in various deck lengths, ranging from 38 to 42 inches, and has a medium flex level, allowing riders to have a smooth, responsive ride. The Pendulum Slide is often paired with slide wheels for optimal performance.

Another model is the “Backside Pendulum Slide.” This longboard is designed for advanced riders who are looking for maximum speed and control during slides. It has a longer deck length of 44 inches and a stiffer flex, providing stability at high speeds. The Backside Pendulum Slide is commonly used in downhill racing and freeriding.

Safety Gear

When it comes to longboard drifting, safety should always be a priority. To protect yourself while performing slides and drifts, it is essential to wear the right safety gear. Here are the must-have items for longboard drifting:

  1. Helmet: Protecting your head is crucial, as falls can occur during high-speed maneuvers. Invest in a high-quality helmet designed for skateboarding or longboarding.
  2. Knee Pads: During slides, your knees are particularly vulnerable, making knee pads a necessity. They provide cushioning and support, reducing the risk of injury.
  3. Hip Pads: Adding hip pads can offer extra protection in case of unexpected falls or collisions. They protect your tailbone and hips from impact, reducing the risk of bruising or fractures.

Wearing the appropriate safety gear not only enhances your safety but also boosts your confidence while learning new techniques. Additionally, there are some optional protective gear items to consider:

  • Gloves: Slide gloves with palm padding are helpful for maintaining grip and protecting your hands during slides and drifts.
  • Pants or Slide Shorts: Wearing long pants or slide shorts can provide an extra layer of protection for your legs during falls or slides.

Clothing and Shoes

When it comes to longboard drifting, wearing the right clothing and shoes is essential for both comfort and safety. Choosing the appropriate attire will not only enhance your performance but also protect you from potential injuries. Here are some important considerations for clothing and shoes:

  1. Clothing Choice: Opt for comfortable, breathable clothing that allows for a full range of motion. Avoid wearing loose or baggy clothing that may get caught in the wheels or hinder your movements. Long pants or slide shorts can provide an extra layer of protection during falls or slides.
  2. Shoe Selection: Good footwear is crucial for maintaining grip and stability while performing slides. Choose shoes with flat soles that provide good traction on the longboard. Skateboarding shoes or athletic shoes with a sticky rubber outsole are recommended for their excellent grip on the board.
  3. Protective Gear: Along with proper clothing and footwear, it’s vital to wear protective gear. Knee pads are especially important as they protect your knees during slides and falls. Slide gloves with palm padding offer grip and protect your hands during maneuvers.

How Do You Stay in Control While Drifting on A Longboard?

When you’re cruising on your longboard, it’s important to maintain control and avoid wipeouts. The key to staying in control while drifting is practicing good form and technique.

  • Firstly, ensure your shoulders are square and your body is low to the ground. This provides stability and balance while drifting.
  • Secondly, when making turns, do so slowly and smoothly. Abrupt movements can throw off your balance and lead to loss of control.
  • Lastly, be prepared to adjust your weight as needed. Shifting your weight effectively allows you to maintain stability and control while drifting.
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It’s crucial to start slowly and gradually increase your speed to build confidence and avoid unnecessary risks. By mastering these techniques and practicing regularly, you can enjoy the thrill of drifting on your longboard while staying safe and in control.

The Dangers of Longboard Drifting and How to Stay Safe While Doing It

Longboard drifting is a thrilling maneuver that involves riding close to the edge of the board to make sharp turns. However, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers associated with this move and take the necessary precautions to stay safe.

The main risk of longboard drifting is the high stress it puts on the ankles and knees, which can lead to sprains and strains. Additionally, the likelihood of falling increases, which can result in serious injuries like concussions or broken bones. To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to warm up before attempting the move and practice it in a controlled environment.

Wearing protective gear is essential when drifting on a longboard. Invest in knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet to protect yourself from potential injuries. These safety accessories provide vital cushioning and support, reducing the impact on your body when you fall.

The Best Places to Drift on A Longboard

When it comes to finding the best places to drift on a longboard, there are a few spots that stand out. For enthusiasts looking for a thrilling experience, Embarcadero in San Francisco is a top choice. With its long, wide, and smooth concrete paths, this location is perfect for practicing and perfecting your drifting skills. On top of that, Embarcadero offers plenty of other attractions and activities to explore during breaks from drifting.

If you’re in Los Angeles, Marina del Rey should definitely be on your list. This spot offers wide open spaces and smooth concrete surfaces, ideal for executing smooth and controlled drifts. Not only can you indulge in the thrill of drifting, but you can also enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean and city skyline.

For those seeking a more serene drifting experience, Lake Tahoe in California is an excellent destination. The picturesque scenery and smooth lake surface make this spot perfect for honing your drifting skills while taking in the natural beauty around you. Additionally, Lake Tahoe boasts various other activities and attractions to enjoy when you need a break from the exhilarating world of drifting.


Can You Drift An Electric Longboard?

Yes, it is possible to drift an electric longboard. However, since electric longboards generally have more traction due to their motorized wheels, it may require more practice and skill to initiate and control the drift.

Is It Okay To Longboard In The Rain?

It is not recommended to longboard in the rain as the wet conditions can make the surface slippery and increase the chances of accidents. Wet surfaces reduce traction, making it harder for the wheels to grip the ground, compromising control and balance.


Learning how to drift a longboard is not only an exhilarating skill to master, but it also opens up a whole new world of possibilities for your riding experience. So, grab your board, find a smooth stretch of pavement, and let the adrenaline flow as you glide effortlessly through those turns.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep pushing your limits and soon you’ll be drifting like a pro. Ride on!

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