For the beginner longboarder, gaining speed can be very intimidating. If you are going too fast and feel you cannot control your speed, this can lead to panic. When you panic, you usually wipe out. Not knowing how to control your speed can be really frustrating. Let’s discuss some basic ways you can control your speed on a longboard.
Running It Out
Running it out is pretty self explanatory. This involves jumping off the board and running in order to decelerate. This has its obvious risks but can be better than the alternative of wiping out at a high speed on your longboard.
Carving is one of the easiest ways to control your speed on a longboard. When you carve, you make a wavy pattern as you descend a hill. This involves going from your toe edge to your heel edge, back and forth. As you are carving, you are slowing your speed a bit and giving yourself a sense of control. Instead of going straight down a hill, which causes you to accelerate faster, try carving instead.
Foot braking is another basic way to slow your speed on a longboard. Foot braking involves lowering a foot to the pavement and scraping the sole of your shoe along it to slow you down. At first, you may feel uncomfortable trying this technique, but with a little practice, you will be learning to slow yourself in no time. Just be sure to practice on a nice flat area first. Also, be aware that foot braking can cause significant wear on the soles of your shoes.
Sliding is a more advanced way of speed control. Sliding, also known as a power slide, involves twisting your board around in a controlled manner. This maneuver skids your wheels along the pavement and slows you down. Sliding can be performed by either placing your hands on the ground and performing a toe slide or Coleman Slide, or by standing up completely to perform a stand-up slide. Toe slides and Coleman Slides are the easiest ways for a beginner longboarder to learn how to slide. Be sure to buy a good pair of slide gloves to protect your hands if you want to perform these slides.
Air braking is a fairly simple way to get some control of your speed. Downhill longboarders use this method to slow themselves down at high speeds. Air braking involves using wind resistance to slow your momentum. This can be done by spreading out your arms and chest to give the wind a large surface area to slow you down.
All of these methods take some time and practice to learn how to control speed properly. There is no specific method of speed control for every situation. Always be sure to wear a helmet and practice these techniques before getting yourself in a situation where you will be gaining high speeds. Now that you are familiar with these methods, get out there and have fun!