How to Stop on a Longboard: Essential Techniques

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Have you ever been cruising on your longboard, enjoying the wind in your hair and the thrill of the ride, only to panic when it’s time to stop? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, knowing how to stop on a longboard is essential for your safety and control. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with some easy techniques that will help you stop confidently and smoothly.

Longboarding is a popular sport that combines elements of skateboarding and surfing, but it can be intimidating if you don’t know how to stop. Luckily, learning how to stop on a longboard is not as difficult as it may seem.

In this article, I will guide you through three effective methods for stopping on a longboard, providing step-by-step instructions and tips to help you master each technique. Whether you prefer a foot brake, a slide, or a combination of both, you’ll be stopping like a pro in no time.

How to Stop on a Longboard

1. Stop by hopping off your longboard

If you’re cruising on a flat surface at a slower speed, around 10-15 mph, the easiest way to stop on your longboard is simply to stop pushing and let friction slow you down. Just make sure you have enough space ahead of you to safely come to a stop. Alternatively, if you’re riding at a walking speed, you can step off and catch your board. To add a touch of style, kick down on the tail to tip your board up, grab it with your hand, and walk away looking cool.

However, if you’re cruising at a faster speed, such as running speed, you can try hopping off your board and running it out. It’s important to be able to run as fast as your board to avoid falling as you step off. Keep in mind that this approach is risky as your board can roll away from you. To avoid this, try kicking your board back as you hop off to slow it down.

It’s important to note that this method is not suitable for speeds above 20 mph as it can be dangerous and potentially cause accidents. Always prioritize safety and be mindful of those around you.

2. Stop your longboard by rolling onto a rough surface

Another effective method to stop your longboard is to roll it onto a rough surface. This may seem like common sense, but it’s still worth mentioning. When you come across patches of grass or gravel on the side of the road, rolling onto them will naturally slow you down or even bring you to a stop.

Of course, to use this method, you’ll need to choose a road that has these rough surfaces available. The speed at which you can go while rolling on rough surfaces will depend on the specific conditions. If it’s short grass, you can maintain a pretty decent speed as long as there’s enough surface area. However, if the grass is thick, going too fast can lead to a sudden halt and possibly make you fall off your board.

To use this method, start slow and use common sense. Gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable rolling onto rough surfaces. Just keep in mind that even though this method can be effective, it’s important to prioritize your safety and always be mindful of your surroundings.

3. How To Slow Down On A Longboard?

Foot braking is an essential skill for any longboard rider to effectively slow down and maintain control. To perform this technique, you need to shift your weight onto your front leg while keeping your front foot on the deck facing forward. Then, bend your front knee and lower your back foot to the ground.

The key is to control the amount of pressure you apply on your back foot. Too much pressure can abruptly stop your longboard and potentially throw you off. Instead, you want to brush the ground with the sole of your shoe, touching it slightly behind your center of gravity to help maintain balance.

It’s crucial to practice balancing on one leg and dragging your back foot flat on the ground to create friction and slow yourself down. As you become more comfortable, you can adjust the amount of pressure and find the sweet spot that allows you to slow down at a comfortable pace.

When foot braking, it’s important to wear proper footwear with thin soles that provide a good grip. Additionally, knee pads can protect you from potential falls and road rash.

Foot braking and foot stopping practice tips

One effective way to practice foot braking on a longboard is to start with a quick push to get your board rolling. Instead of bringing your pushing foot back onto the deck right away, leave it hanging and in slight contact with the ground. This will help you maintain stability and balance.

While foot braking, your stance should be the same as when you push. By practicing riding on one leg, you can build confidence for foot braking at higher speeds.

For moderate speeds, try this variation of the foot braking technique: stiffen up your body and support yourself with both hands on your front thigh for stability. This position allows you to place your foot further toward the back, while still maintaining a strong balance.

Remember to apply pressure gradually with your back foot to avoid abruptly stopping and potentially falling off your longboard. By finding the right amount of pressure and adjusting as needed, you can slow down at a comfortable pace.

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Foot braking at higher speeds

Foot braking at higher speeds on a longboard can be challenging, but with practice and the right technique, it is possible to stop safely. Start by shedding some speed before attempting foot braking. You can achieve this by air braking, which involves raising your arms to create air resistance, rolling it out on flat ground, or carving if you are on a hill.

When you’re ready to foot brake, try doing short kicks to the ground instead of a steady foot drag if you’re not comfortable with dragging your foot. This helps maintain your center of gravity as you flex and unflex your front knee for each small kick.

To foot brake at higher speeds, lower your center of gravity by crouching down on your longboard. This allows you to apply more pressure with your back foot onto the ground, effectively slowing down your speed. For added stability, you can even grab your deck with your hands.

Shoes and foot braking

When it comes to foot braking on your longboard, one thing to keep in mind is that it can be tough on your shoes. The constant friction between your foot and the ground can quickly wear out the soles of your shoes.

If you ride your longboard regularly, especially for commuting or daily riding, it’s important to be prepared for this wear and tear on your footwear. You have a few options.

One option is to use cheap shoes that you don’t mind throwing away once the soles wear out. This way, you can replace them easily and not worry about ruining your favorite pair of shoes.

Another option is to invest in sturdier shoes that are designed to withstand the friction of foot braking. Look for shoes with durable soles and reinforced toe areas, as these will last longer and provide more grip when foot braking.

No matter which option you choose, it’s essential to have proper footwear for foot braking. Thin-soled shoes may not provide enough traction, and open-toed shoes are definitely not recommended. A good pair of shoes will not only protect your feet but also enhance your overall control and performance while riding.

Cons of foot braking

While foot braking may be a useful skill for many longboard riders, there are several cons to consider. Firstly, foot braking tends to wear down shoes quickly, especially if you are using non-skate shoes. This can be costly and inconvenient, requiring frequent replacements.

Additionally, learning foot braking can be time-consuming and challenging. Some skaters may not have the patience or opportunity to dedicate enough time to master this technique. As a result, they may prefer alternative methods of slowing down or controlling their speed.

Furthermore, foot braking becomes increasingly difficult at higher speeds, making it impractical for longboarders who frequently ride on steep hills or bomb down them. The level of risk and fear associated with foot braking at high speeds may discourage riders from relying solely on this technique. It is advisable to have other methods to slow down or control speed in such situations.

Considering these drawbacks, it may be worth exploring alternative braking methods or using foot braking only in certain situations where it is appropriate and effective.

4. Carving to slow down or stop on a longboard

When riding down a hill on your longboard, you may reach speeds at which foot braking becomes difficult or risky. In such situations, carving is an effective method for slowing down or stopping your longboard. This technique involves making sharp turns back and forth while leaning “against the hill,” as if you were trying to go uphill.

Carving is similar to snowboarding, where you make sharp turns across the slope to control your descent. The goal when carving is to turn sharply enough that your wheels almost lose traction and start skidding. Unlike sliding, where you push your board sideways across the road to stop the wheels from spinning, carving involves a slight loss of traction during successive turns.

To carve effectively, your trucks need to be loose enough to allow for long and deep turns. It requires practice and skill as you shift your body weight and lean hard onto one edge of your longboard, starting with your upper body and pressing down with your heels or toes for backside or frontside turns.

5. Slide for slowing down or stopping on a longboard

When it comes to slowing down or stopping on a longboard, sliding is a highly effective method, although it requires skill and practice to master. Sliding is commonly used by experienced downhill longboarders to shed speed quickly, even when traveling at high speeds like 60 MPH.

Sliding involves pushing the board sideways across the road, causing the wheels to lose traction and slide. This technique allows you to control your speed and come to a stop smoothly. However, it’s important to note that sliding is more suitable for advanced riders and may not be necessary for casual skaters.

To slide effectively, you’ll need proper equipment such as slide gloves with slide pucks, which provide the necessary grip and protection. Additionally, wearing knee pads and appropriate footwear, like thin-soled shoes, can enhance your performance and safety.

Mastering the art of sliding is a prolonged process that requires dedication and patience. It involves shifting your body weight, using your hands and gloves for stability, and executing precise movements to initiate and control the slide. Due to its complexity, sliding deserves a comprehensive guide of its own.

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What’s in a shutdown slide?

A shutdown slide, also known as sliding to stop, is a technique used by longboard riders to come to a complete halt quickly. It involves pushing the back wheels of the board out with your back heel, causing the longboard to slide sideways across the road. This sideways motion reduces traction, causing the wheels to skid and significantly slow down the rider.

There are different types of slides that can be used for stopping on a longboard, such as stand-up slides and hands-down slides. For stopping, a popular choice is the Coleman slide, which involves putting one or two gloved hands on the ground as you slide.

Learning to perform a shutdown slide comfortably and effectively takes time and practice. It requires mastering the technique of shifting your weight, using your hands for stability, and executing precise movements. Slide gloves with slide pucks are essential for providing grip and protection during the slide.

Required gear for stop sliding

To stop sliding on your longboard, it is important to have the right gear. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Helmet: Safety should always come first. Wear a helmet (Amazon) to protect your head from potential injuries.
  2. Slide Gloves: These gloves are a must-have for sliding. They typically have slide pucks on the palm, which provide grip and protection when you put your hands on the ground during a slide. Make sure to wear a pucked glove on your pivoting hand to perform a Coleman slide effectively.
  3. Knee and Elbow Pads: For additional confidence and protection, wear knee pads (Amazon) and elbow pads. These pads will give you peace of mind while attempting slides at higher speeds.
  4. Longboard with Slide-Friendly Features: If you want to learn sliding quickly, opt for a longboard that has loose trucks and soft bushings. These features make it easier to kick the board into a slide. Choose hard, small, round-lipped wheels as they offer less resistance when pushing the board sideways, allowing for smoother slides.
  5. Low Riding Board: Consider using a drop-through or dropped platform longboard for learning to slide. These lower riding boards make it easier to initiate a slide compared to higher-riding topmounts or pintails. Hanging your heels off the rail and pushing onto it is less effort on a low-riding board.

Remember, wearing the right gear not only enhances your sliding experience but also provides essential protection against potential injuries. So, gear up and enjoy learning to stop sliding on your longboard!

How Do You slow down / Brake On A Longboard?

The easiest way to brake on a longboard is to use the drop foot technique. This involves placing your back foot on the ground and pressing down to slow down the board.

Different Types of Sliding on a Longboard

When it comes to sliding on a longboard, there are two main categories: stand-up slides and hands-down slides. Each type offers its own unique style and requires specific techniques.

1. Stand-Up Slides: Stand-up slides are performed without touching the ground with your hands. This type of slide requires proper balance, control, and weight distribution.

– Toe Side Slide: In this slide, you shift your body weight towards the front of the board while turning your toes towards the slide direction. This allows the wheels to break traction, resulting in a controlled slide.

– Heel Side Slide: Similar to the toe side slide, you shift your weight towards the back of the board while turning your heels towards the slide direction. This initiates the slide and allows for a smooth drift.

2. Hands-Down Slides: Hands-down slides involve placing your hands on the ground during the slide. This technique provides extra stability and control.

– Power Slide: While sliding, place one or both hands on the ground to control the slide and lower your center of gravity for better stability. This allows you to maintain control at higher speeds and execute tight turns.

– Pendulum Slide: This slide involves swinging your arms and body in a pendulum-like motion to maintain balance while sliding. The motion helps to control the slide and keep the board in line.

1. Stand-up slide

To perform a stand-up slide on a longboard, follow these steps:

  1. Do a setup carve: Begin by carving on the board to generate momentum in your desired direction. This setup carve will make the slide easier as it provides the necessary momentum.
  2. Kick your back leg out: At the peak of your setup carve, kick your back leg out in the direction you want to slide. Have most of your weight on your front foot, allowing the board to pivot around it. Depending on whether it’s a heelside or toeside slide, distribute your weight on your heels or toes.
  3. Lean back: As you kick out the board, start leaning back. For a heelside slide, imagine sitting back in an imaginary chair. For a toeside slide, lean back with a twisted torso, facing your chest towards the ground. Leaning back helps in driving weight into the board, offering better control during the slide.
  4. Control the slide: Maintain pressure on your back leg and weight on your front leg as you enter the slide. Keep your arms wide to maintain balance. Hang in there and maintain this position until you reduce your speed to the desired level.
  5. Release the slide: To bring the board back to a straight position, release the pressure on your back leg while maintaining weight on your front leg. This will allow the board to rotate back into a straight position. As the board returns to a forward position, bend your knees to absorb any sudden movements from regaining traction.
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Practice these steps to master the stand-up slide and enhance your longboarding skills. Remember to wear proper protective gear and practice in a safe environment.

2. Hands-down slide

The hands-down slide is an advanced longboarding technique that allows riders to control their speed and navigate tight turns. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform a hands-down slide:

  1. Do a setup carve: Start by performing an aggressive carve, bringing the wheels to their limit of traction. This sets you up for the slide and places your body in the optimal position for control.
  2.  Place your hand on the ground: As you execute the setup carve, place your hand on the ground. The hand you use depends on whether you’re doing a toeside or heelside slide.
  3. Distribute weight and position your hand: While initiating the slide, make sure you have most of your weight on your front foot. Your hand on the ground should be in line with or slightly ahead of your front truck. Shift a bit of weight to your hand to act as a pivot point for the board to rotate around.
  4. Control the slide: Maintain pressure on your hand and weight on your front foot as you enter the slide. Use your hand as a pivot to control the direction and speed of the slide. Keep your body aligned and balanced.
  5. Come back to the starting position: When you’re ready to stop the slide, release the pressure on your back foot and allow the wheels to regain traction. Bend your knees to absorb any sudden movements as the wheels hook up.

Remember, the hands-down slide requires practice and skill. Start on level ground at slower speeds before attempting it on steeper hills. Always wear protective gear, such as slide gloves and knee pads, to minimize the risk of injuries like road rash.

Cons of sliding

When it comes to sliding on a longboard, there are a few drawbacks to consider. Firstly, learning to slide requires a significant amount of dedication and practice. It takes time to develop the necessary skills and build confidence in executing slides effectively. It’s not something that can be mastered overnight.

Additionally, sliding requires specialized equipment such as slide gloves, which can be an additional expense. You may also need to modify your longboarding setup to create a suitable learning platform. This means investing in the right gear and possibly adjusting your board to accommodate slides properly.

Another downside of sliding is the inherent danger involved. Learning to slide often comes with falls, cuts, bruises, and sprains. It’s important to be prepared for the potential risks and take precautions by wearing protective gear like knee pads and helmets.

Lastly, it takes a considerable amount of time before sliding can be seamlessly incorporated into everyday riding. It requires months of consistent practice to turn sliding into a habit and be able to use it casually while skating.

6. Air braking

Air braking is a method used to reduce speed while riding a longboard. It involves extending your arms out to create a wider and larger profile, similar to a parachute. By doing this, you increase the amount of air resistance pushing against you, which helps slow you down.

To perform an air brake, simply extend your arms out to the sides, perpendicular to your body. This position opens up your body to the wind, maximizing the resistance it creates. By maintaining this position, you can effectively decrease your speed.

Air braking is particularly useful when riding at moderate to slow speeds. It allows you to shave off a bit of speed without the need for additional equipment or techniques like sliding or foot braking. This makes it a convenient and essential skill for all longboard riders.

Cons of air braking

Air braking, while a convenient technique for slowing down on a longboard, has its limitations and cons. Firstly, the change in wind resistance caused by air braking is subtle, making it less effective for noticeable speed reduction unless you were already riding in a speed tuck. This means that air braking may not be the best option for slower speeds or when you need to come to a complete stop.

Additionally, air braking is only truly effective at faster speeds, generally over 30 miles per hour. If you are riding at slower speeds, air braking may not have a significant impact on your speed reduction. It is important to keep in mind that air braking is not a technique to bring you to a complete stop, but rather a method to pick up less speed and slow down slightly.


Slowing down and coming to a complete stop on a longboard is an important skill for all boarders. There are various techniques available that can be used to accomplish this, depending on the rider’s experience level and personal preference.

Sliding, air braking, foot braking, and carving are all viable options for reducing speed on a longboard. It is important to practice and understand the pros and cons of each technique to ensure that you can slow down safely and confidently.

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Joseph E. Bogle

This is Joseph E. Bogle, the founder and lead writer of, an enthusiast of skating for over a decade. I'm an aggressive skater and certified skating coach, dedicated to sharing his knowledge and passion for skating with others through his blog. With my unique combination of personal experience and professional expertise, is a valuable resource for skaters of all levels, from beginners to advanced athletes.