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Are you tired of cruising down the street on your longboard, only to come to a halt when you reach a hill? Do you envy those riders who effortlessly slide and glide their way down steep slopes? Well, you’re in luck because learning how to slide on a longboard is not as intimidating as it may seem.
Sliding on a longboard is a skill that requires practice, technique, and the right equipment. But once you master it, you’ll be able to tackle any hill with confidence and style. So, if you’re ready to take your longboarding skills to the next level, keep reading.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to slide on a longboard, from choosing the right board and gear to mastering the various sliding techniques. So grab your longboard and let’s get started on this thrilling journey.
What Is Sliding On A Longboard?
Sliding on a longboard refers to the technique of making your wheels break traction, allowing you to slow down in a controlled and smooth manner. It is an important skill to learn as it enhances your overall riding experience and safety.
To initiate a slide, you need to use your body weight and position to carve the board, causing it to oversteer and lose traction. This can be achieved by leaning into the turn and shifting your weight toward the direction of the slide. It is important to maintain balance and control throughout the slide.
As you slide, you should keep the board in the oversteer position until you have slowed down to the desired speed. At this point, you bring the board back to allow it to regain traction and continue rolling. The proper technique and body mechanics are crucial to executing a successful slide.
Basic Longboard Sliding Techniques
Sliding involves intentionally causing your longboard’s wheels to lose traction and slide across the pavement, allowing you to come to a controlled stop. One popular slide and a great option for beginners is the Coleman slide, a 180-degree heel slide developed by legendary skater Cliff Coleman in the 1970s.
Before attempting slides, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Always wear a helmet and protective gear to avoid injuries. To execute a slide, you will need slide gloves, which have pucks in the palm for your hands to slide on the ground without getting hurt. You can either purchase them or make your own.
When starting out, choose a moderate slope to practice sliding. Alternatively, you can begin on a flat surface or in a parking lot. As you gain confidence, ride your longboard at a moderate speed and pedal about eight times with one foot. Position both feet on the board with a slight knee bend and shoulder width apart. Lean forward and shift your weight to the front, preparing for the slide.
During the slide, place one hand on the side of the board between your legs and the other hand on the ground, reaching backward opposite the direction of your toes. Extend your body and look over your front shoulder to facilitate the slide. The friction generated by the plates on your sliding gloves will help slow down the board as it slides.
What You Need
First and foremost, safety should be your top priority. Always wear a helmet to protect your head in case of any falls. Additionally, it is crucial to invest in protective gear such as knee pads and slide gloves. Knee pads will protect your knees from any scrapes or bruises, while slide gloves will provide the necessary traction for your hands to slide on the ground without getting hurt. You can purchase slide gloves from any skate shop, or if you’re feeling crafty, you can also make your own.
Next, you’ll need to consider the surface you’ll be practicing on. It is recommended to start on a flat surface or in a parking lot if you’re a beginner. This will provide a stable and controlled environment for you to learn the basics. Once you gain confidence, you can gradually move on to riding on a moderate slope. It’s important to choose a smooth surface without any obstructions or debris that could cause accidents.
As for the longboard itself, certain features can enhance your sliding experience. Soft wheels are ideal for slides as they offer better grip and control. Softer wheels also allow for smoother and easier slides. If your longboard has hard wheels, you may want to consider swapping them out for a softer set specifically designed for sliding.
Benefits Of Sliding On A Longboard
Sliding on a longboard offers a multitude of benefits that can elevate your riding experience. One major advantage of sliding is the ability to regulate your speed while going downhill. By performing various slides, such as toeside slides or stand-up slides, you can effectively control your speed and prevent any potential accidents or loss of control.
Additionally, sliding on a longboard helps improve balance and control. As you practice different types of slides, you’ll develop better body awareness and core strength, leading to improved stability and control while riding. This not only enhances your overall riding experience but also reduces the risk of falls or injuries.
Furthermore, mastering different types of slides adds style to your riding. Whether you want to perform stylish power slides or elegant pendulum slides, each slide can be a unique expression of your riding style. Slides also allow you to navigate corners smoothly, making your rides more enjoyable and dynamic.
Types of Slides
When it comes to mastering the art of sliding, there are several different types of slides that you can practice on your longboard. Some of the most common slides include power slides, stand-up slides, pendulum slides, and toeside slides.
Stand Up & Squat Slides
These slides require skill and balance but can be achieved with practice and proper technique. For Stand Up Slides, start by carving aggressively and pushing your board out to force the wheels to lose traction. As your board slides across the pavement, you need to balance and adjust your weight to restore traction, allowing the board to grip and roll away smoothly. It’s important to maintain control throughout the slide to avoid any accidents or loss of balance.
Stand Up Slides are considered the most beautiful kind of sliding, but they can also be the most difficult and dangerous. However, by setting up your board correctly and following some fundamental principles, you can execute Stand Up Slides even at higher speeds.
Squat Slides are a similar variant of Stand Up Slides, but in this technique, you sit on your sliding longboard or attempt to get as low as possible while sliding. This requires a strong squatting position and comfort on your board. Squat Slides are relatively simpler to perform if you have the necessary leg strength and balance.
To perform the Coleman Slide on a longboard, start by pushing off the ground at least 5 to 8 times to gain momentum. Position your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, as a wider stance provides more stability and a lower center of gravity.
Bend your knees and slightly squat down to prepare for the slide. Shift your weight towards your front foot and roll your rear foot forward. This movement helps initiate the slide. Extend your front hand out in front of you and to the side while maintaining your forward posture. Avoid leaning backward, as this can cause you to lose balance.
As you engage the slide, slightly lean forward to drive the board forward, using your hand for balance. Keep most of your weight on your front leg and your hand, then swing your free hand across your torso to initiate and complete the slide. This swinging motion helps “drive” the slide.
Using your hips, go through the motion of the slide. Once you’re ready to end the slide, simply lower your extended arm. Alternatively, if you want to perform a complete 180-degree turn, continue the sliding motion.
To perform a toeside slide, proper body positioning and weight distribution are crucial. Start by bending your knees and slightly squatting down to prepare for the slide. This helps to lower your center of gravity and provides stability.
Next, shift your weight towards your front foot and roll your rear foot forward. This movement helps initiate the slide and puts you in the correct position to control the board.
Once you’re ready, extend your front hand out in front of you and to the side while maintaining your forward posture. This hand placement provides balance and stability during the slide. Avoid leaning backward, as this can result in loss of balance.
As you engage the slide, slightly lean forward to drive the board forward, using your hand for balance. Keep most of your weight on your front leg and your hand, then swing your free hand across your torso to initiate and complete the slide. This swinging motion helps “drive” the slide and maintain control.
Performing a heelside slide requires a good sense of balance and the ability to maintain control while riding on the edge of the board. To execute this slide, start by positioning your body weight slightly forward and bending your knees to lower your center of gravity. This will provide stability and make it easier to control the slide.
Next, shift your weight onto your front foot, putting pressure on the board’s edge. This will initiate the slide and allow you to control its direction and speed. As you engage the slide, use your upper body to drive the board forward. Keep most of your weight on your front leg and maintain balance by swinging your free hand across your torso.
It’s important to note that while heelside slides are slower and smoother, they can be more challenging due to the need for balance on the board’s edge. Therefore, it’s recommended to wear slide gloves and knee pads for protection in case of falls.
The Pendulum Slide is a popular technique used in longboarding to safely slow down when moving at high speeds. It serves as an effective speed check to maintain control and prevent accidents.
To perform the Pendulum Slide, start by positioning your body weight slightly forward and bending your knees to lower your center of gravity. This will provide stability and make it easier to control the slide.
Next, shift your weight onto your front foot and initiate the slide by applying pressure on the board’s edge. As you engage the slide, use your upper body, specifically your shoulders, to steer the longboard in the desired direction. By turning your shoulders in the direction you want to go, you will be able to successfully navigate the slide.
The power slide is a popular slide technique used by experienced longboarders to control speed and navigate corners with style.
To initiate a power slide, start by pre-turning your longboard with your front foot while keeping your weight low. This helps set up the momentum for the slide. Next, you’ll want to smoothly and gradually shift your weight onto your heelside edge. This helps create traction and stability as you execute the slide.
Now, push your back foot outwards to angle the board at 90 degrees. Simultaneously, release some pressure on both feet to allow the wheels to break traction and start sliding sideways. Throughout the slide, it’s important to maintain a relaxed upper body and engage your core for balance. Be sure to keep your knees slightly bent to absorb any uneven terrain.
To end the power slide, gradually transfer your weight back onto all four wheels to regain control. This will allow you to smoothly transition into the next part of your ride.
The pre-drift slide is a common technique used in longboarding to safely navigate curves and decelerate before approaching a turn. It involves performing a hands-down slide prior to the curve to ensure a controlled and smooth transition.
To execute a pre-drift slide, begin by moving the board normally but at an angle less than 90 degrees in relation to the road. This angle allows the wheels to spin throughout the slide, resulting in uniform wear and better braking capabilities.
Sliding at a 90-degree angle can lead to uneven wear on the wheels, as the majority of the slide occurs on one side. This can cause the wheels to develop an oval shape or even flat-spotting, where the worn side becomes completely flat.
The frontside slide is one of the many types of slides that longboarders can perform. It is a maneuver where the skater slides with the front side of the board facing downhill.
To execute a frontside slide, the skater starts by positioning themselves with their front toes on the board and their back foot pushing outwards. This creates the necessary momentum to initiate the slide.
As the skater begins to slide, they dig their front toes into the ground, allowing the wheels to break traction and slide smoothly. The skater should maintain their balance and core stability throughout the slide.
One key aspect to note is that the frontside slide requires the skater to have a good understanding of their body weight distribution. By shifting their weight towards the front of the board, the skater can control the speed and length of the slide.
Tips and common mistakes
Tips and Common Mistakes for Longboard Sliding
Learning how to do a powerslide on your longboard can be challenging, but with proper technique and practice, you can master this skill. Here are some tips and common mistakes to keep in mind:
- Weight Distribution: One common mistake is putting too much weight in the front, which can tip your board. Instead, shift your weight towards the back foot before sliding. This will allow you to kick out and initiate the slide smoothly.
- Heelside Carve: Another mistake is simply kicking out your board with your back foot while riding straight. To improve your powerslide, start with a good heelside carve before kicking out. This helps generate momentum and sets you up for a smoother slide.
- Body Lean: Proper body positioning is crucial for a successful slide. Once you kick out and start sliding, make sure to lean back enough to allow the wheels to break traction. Leaning forward too much can cause your wheels to catch and disrupt the slide. Remember to lean forward at the end of the slide to avoid falling backward.
- Avoid Flatspots: As you progress in your sliding skills, you may encounter flat spots on your wheels. These are flat areas caused by repeated sliding at 90 degrees. To prevent flat spots and extend the life of your wheels, try sliding at an angle rather than fully perpendicular. This will create a more even wear pattern.
Mastering longboard sliding takes time and practice. Start with the basics and focus on proper weight distribution, carving, body leanness, and avoiding flat spots. With consistency and determination, you’ll improve your sliding technique and add an exciting element to your longboarding skills.
Learning how to slide on a longboard is an exhilarating skill that will take your riding to the next level. It may seem daunting at first, but with practice and determination, you’ll be carving up the pavement like a pro.
So grab your board, find a smooth hill, and let the adrenaline rush of sliding take you on a thrilling journey. Remember, the key is to stay focused, stay balanced, and most importantly, have fun! Keep pushing your limits and enjoy the ride!
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