What Is Longboard Carving and How to Master It

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Longboard carving is a fluid riding style that mimics surfing on land. It involves chaining quick, successive turns back and forth in an S-like shape trajectory to build and maintain momentum and speed. Carving on a longboard allows riders to experience the exhilaration of surfing even on flat surfaces.

To master longboard carving, there are several key factors to consider. The first is body positioning and weight distribution. The proper balance between grip and slip is essential for executing deep carves. Riders should focus on maintaining a low center of gravity and shifting their body weight towards the inside of each turn.

Another important aspect is foot placement. Most riders find it more comfortable to have their left foot leading, but this can vary depending on personal preference. Additionally, mastering the carving technique requires consistent practice and patience. It is advisable to start with smaller, controlled carves and gradually increase the intensity as skills improve.

What Is Longboard Carving

What Is Longboard Carving

Are you tired of simply riding your longboard in a straight line? Do you want to add some style and flair to your rides? Then it’s time to learn the art of longboard carving.

Longboard carving is a technique that involves making smooth, flowing turns on your longboard by shifting your weight and using your body to guide the board. It’s a skill that not only looks impressive but also enhances your overall riding experience.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of longboard carving, exploring the techniques, benefits, and tips to help you master this exciting aspect of longboarding. So, grab your board and get ready to carve up the streets like a pro!

How To Do Basic Carving On A Longboard

Carving on a longboard is all about creating smooth, flowing turns on the pavement. To master this technique, follow these steps:

  1. Start with the right setup: Use a longboard designed for carving. Look for a board with a flexy feel and medium length. Choose larger, soft wheels to maintain grip and avoid wheel bite.
  2. Find your stance: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your dominant foot slightly further back. This is your regular stance if you use your left foot at the front.
  3. Body positioning and weight transfer: Bend your knees slightly and engage your core for stability. Begin by pushing with your toes to initiate a turn in the desired direction. Gradually transfer your weight to your heels, allowing the board to tilt and the wheels to turn.
  4. Use your upper body: As you shift your weight, twist your upper body slightly in the direction of your turn. This will enhance your balance and control.
  5. Practice with patience: Carving on a longboard requires consistent practice. Start with gentle turns and gradually increase speed and intensity as you gain confidence.
  6. Safety first: Always wear protective gear, including a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Maintain control and keep the speed in check, especially when downhill skateboarding.

Remember, carving is a technical skill that improves with regular practice. With time and perseverance, you’ll develop the ability to effortlessly carve deep turns and enjoy a thrilling riding experience on your longboard.

Toe-Side And Heel-Side Carving Turns

When carving on a longboard, there are two types of turns you can make: toe-side turns and heel-side turns. The direction of your turn depends on your stance. If you are a regular rider with your left foot in front, pushing your toes into the rail will initiate a toe-side turn, turning your longboard to the right. On the other hand, leaning back on your heel will initiate a heel-side turn, turning your longboard to the left.

For goofy riders with their right foot forward, the directions of the turns are reversed. Pushing your toe onto the rail will initiate a toe-side turn, turning the longboard to the left. Turning your heel will initiate a heel-side turn, turning the longboard to the right.

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Weight Transfer: Smooth Carving Motion

When carving on your longboard, achieving a smooth carving motion requires a proper weight transfer technique. Instead of just using your toes and heels, it is important to engage your entire body and create a wave-like movement from your head to your legs.

Many beginners make the mistake of only using their ankles and relying on pushing into the board with their toes and heels. On the other hand, experienced snowboarders may focus too much on their shoulders and forget about their feet, as they are used to riding with bindings.

To execute efficient and powerful turns on your longboard, you need to find balance and coordination between your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. This smooth transition between toe and heel positions will allow you to generate energy and maintain the flow of your carve.

How to simply Carving On A Longboard:

Carving on a longboard is relatively easy. All you need is the right balance and coordination to execute powerful and efficient turns. Here are some simple steps to help you get started:

Make Sure Your Longboard Is Set

When it comes to carving on a longboard or skateboard, it’s important to make sure your longboard is set up properly. This will ensure a smooth and enjoyable riding experience while also maximizing your carving abilities.

First and foremost, check that your longboard is in good working condition. Pay attention to the following:

  • Make sure the wheels are secured properly and spin freely. Loose or wobbly wheels can affect your carving technique and stability.
  • Check that the trucks are set to medium tightness. This will provide a good balance between grip and maneuverability.
  • Inspect the deck for any cracks or damage. A cracked or broken deck can be dangerous and compromise your ability to carve effectively.

Using a longboard is ideal for carving due to the range of motion in the trucks and the grip of the larger wheels.

Learn The Difference Between Toeside & Heelside

Toeside and heelside are terms used in longboarding to describe the positioning of your feet on the board. It’s important for riders to understand the difference between the two to enhance their carving abilities and overall riding experience.

For regular riders, the toeside refers to the side where their toes will be located on the board, which is their right foot. Conversely, the heelside for regular riders is the left side, where their heels will be positioned. On the other hand, goofy riders have their toeside on the left and their heelside on the right.

Understanding the difference between toeside and heelside is crucial for proper body positioning and weight distribution while carving. When initiating a carve or turn, riders need to shift their weight and adjust their body movement accordingly. This helps them maintain balance and control over the board, especially during downhill skateboarding or when maintaining speed in check.

Take An Active Stance

When it comes to carving on your longboard, one of the key factors is to take an active stance. This means bending both of your knees while riding. By doing so, you are able to have a more flexible feel of the board and make necessary adjustments to your position and weight distribution when initiating a carve.

Taking an active stance is crucial because it allows you to have better control and balance while carving. If you fail to do so, carving may feel unnatural and become more challenging to learn. By bending your knees, you become more connected with your longboard and can effectively execute carving techniques.

Whether you are a regular rider or a goofy rider, taking an active stance is an essential skill for carving. It helps you maintain stability and maximize the benefits of body positioning and weight shifting.

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Start With Turning

Before you can start carving on your longboard, it is important to first learn how to turn. Turning your longboard is as simple as leaning and shifting your weight in the direction you want to go. To begin, maintain an active stance with your knees bent and your body connected to the board.

Start by practicing turning to the left or right, focusing on one direction at a time. You may find that one direction feels easier than the other, which is common for beginners. Spend some time getting comfortable with turning in both directions before progressing to more advanced maneuvers.

Remember to keep your movements fluid and controlled as you turn. The harder you lean and shift your weight, the sharper the turn will be. This will allow you to gradually build up your carving abilities.

Once you feel confident with basic turning, you can begin incorporating carving techniques into your rides. Carving involves a combination of body positioning, weight shifting, and technique. It is an essential skill for riders of all styles, whether you prefer freestyle riding or downhill racing.

Start Carving!

Start carving on your longboard by practicing turning fluidly from left to right or right to left. Begin on a flat surface to get comfortable with the motion before progressing to more advanced maneuvers. Apply pressure to your toeside (leaning forward) for one turn and heelside (leaning back) for the next, or vice versa, depending on your preference.

It’s common to feel more at ease turning one way than the other, but in order to truly carve, it’s important to master both directions. Carving involves using your body weight and technique to make fluid turns. The more pressure and weight you put into your turns, the sharper your carving will be.

This skill is essential for all riding styles, whether you prefer freestyle or downhill racing. With consistent practice and patience, you’ll be able to carve smoothly and confidently on your longboard.

A Quick Recap

Carving is a fundamental skill in longboarding that allows riders to navigate turns and curves with fluidity and control. It takes time and practice to master, but it is an essential skill for any regular rider looking to enhance their riding experience. Carving involves using a combination of specific techniques and body positioning to shift the weight and control the longboard while riding. The rider’s left foot is typically used for foot braking, which helps maintain speed control during turns.

The key to effective carving lies in the rider’s ability to find a balance between their body weight and the board’s movements. This balance allows for smooth and precise turns, making carving an excellent choice for various riding styles, including freestyle riding and downhill skateboarding. To improve carving abilities, consistent practice is essential. Beginner riders can start by finding a large, open road or a smooth, flat surface to skate on. Gradually challenge oneself and push boundaries to improve.

It is important to note that carving can be different for each rider, depending on their personal style and preferences. Some riders prefer deep carves and aggressive turns, while others may opt for more fluid and mellow movements.

Finding The Perfect Carving Longboard

Finding the perfect carving longboard involves considering key factors such as deck length, width, wheelbase, and shape. A longer deck, usually over 90cm (35″), provides stability and a bigger turning radius, while a width of up to 25cm (10″) ensures grip and control. The wheelbase should be chosen according to personal preference, with a shorter wheelbase allowing for tighter turns.

The deck should have a slight concave to enhance weight transfer without sacrificing comfort. Flexibility in the deck can enhance comfort during rides. The pintail shape is often preferred for carving, resembling a surfboard. Quality options include the Mission from Arbor, while those on a tighter budget can consider the Core pintail from Mindless. By considering these factors, riders can find the perfect carving longboard to suit their riding style and preferences.

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Advanced Carving Maneuvers and Tricks

Once you have mastered the basics of carving on a longboard, you can start exploring more advanced maneuvers and tricks to enhance your riding experience. Here are a few advanced carving techniques to consider:

  1. Cross-Step Carving: This involves shifting your feet and crossing them over the board while carving. Cross-step carving adds style and complexity to your turns, allowing for tighter and more dynamic arcs.
  2. Pumping: Pumping is a technique that utilizes your body’s motion to generate speed and maintain momentum without pushing. By using your legs and body weight, you can create a pumping motion that transfers energy from the board’s flex and generates forward propulsion.
  3. Nose and Tail Carves: Experiment with shifting your weight to the nose or tail of the board during a carve. This technique allows you to pivot the board around the front or back wheels, enabling sharper turns and creative lines.
  4. Carving Switch: Once you feel confident in your regular stance carving, challenge yourself to carve while riding the switch (opposite stance). Switch carving requires additional coordination and balance but can greatly enhance your overall longboarding skills.

Remember, advanced carving maneuvers and tricks require consistent practice, patience, and the use of appropriate safety gear. Embrace the freedom of carving through the streets or on your favorite downhill runs and enjoy the evolution of your longboarding experience.

Safety and Maintenance Tips for Longboard Carving

Safety should always be a top priority when engaging in longboard carving. It requires skill, control, and proper technique to ensure a thrilling yet safe experience. Here are some important safety and maintenance tips to keep in mind:

  1. Wear Proper Protective Gear: Investing in high-quality protective gear is essential for your safety. Always wear a certified skateboard or longboard helmet that fits properly and has a secure chin strap. Additionally, wear elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and slide gloves to cushion potential falls and protect vulnerable areas.
  2. Maintain Your Longboard: Regularly check your longboard for any signs of wear and tear. Ensure that all the components, such as wheels, trucks, and bearings, are in good condition. Replace any worn-out parts promptly to avoid accidents due to malfunctioning equipment.
  3. Practice with Patience: Carving requires consistent practice to develop the necessary skills and techniques. Start by mastering basic carving techniques before progressing to more advanced moves. Be patient with yourself and gradually build your skills over time.
  4. Find the Right Riding Style: Experiment with different riding styles that suit your preferences and abilities. Whether you prefer deep carves, freestyle riding, or downhill racing, find the style that gives you the most enjoyment while maintaining control and safety.
  5. Ride Responsibly: Always exercise caution when carving and be aware of your surroundings. Observe traffic rules, yield to pedestrians, and avoid high-traffic areas. By being responsible and respectful, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable carving experience for yourself and those around you.

By following these safety and maintenance tips, you can enhance your longboard carving experience while prioritizing your safety. Remember to always wear proper protective gear, maintain your equipment, and ride responsibly. Happy carving!


Longboard carving is not just a sport or a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a way to connect with nature, feel the wind in your hair, and experience the freedom of the open road. So grab your longboard, hit the pavement, and let the carving begin.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, the carving is a thrilling and exhilarating adventure that will keep you coming back for more. So get out there and carve your way to a life full of excitement and joy!

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Joseph E. Bogle

This is Joseph E. Bogle, the founder and lead writer of SkateToScoot.com, 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, SkateToScoot.com is a valuable resource for skaters of all levels, from beginners to advanced athletes.