Using longboards as means of transport to cover a distance of miles is an extreme level of commuting. Unlike other riding styles of cruising, freestyle, freeride, or downhill riding, the commuting technique requires professionalism at its best. In other longboarding methods, you do not need to have collective skills. For example, you only need to learn how to handle the longboard well in a no-crowd area for cruising. Freestyle & freeriding require skills of flipping & playing with the longboard only. But, when it comes to long-distance longboarding, you need to have all sorts of skills to reach the destination safely.
Throughout the commuting ride, you will face empty roads and crowded ones. You’ll have to ride on flat tracks or cracky ones too. Markets and shopping areas can also come your way towards the destination. Due to all these possibilities, you must be familiar with stopping a pacy longboard, slowing it down, carving skills to dodge the crowd, and speeding up the longboard on empty asphalt roads.
If you plan to commute regularly, you need to make sure that the longboard you have suits the aimed riding style. It must have the sturdiest & adjustable trucks that can absorb the definite shock of rough roads and can allow you to carve through the crowd comfortably. Similarly, the wheels of your commuting longboard must be able to collaborate with any terrain.
Why opt For Long-Distance Longboarding
There are several reasons to give commuting a try, and voyaging miles is just another one on the list. Many college skaters skate from home to their educational institute with the help of a commuting longboard which helps them save the cost of traveling by any public transport. It saves a bit of time too. Besides transportation, people have started long-distance longboarding as means of workout. Pushing the longboard for miles helps people do cardiac exercise and core strengthening.
As you push, stop, carve, cruise, and speed up throughout the journey, the ride keeps you active, energetic and improves your athletic skills. If you are a skater madly in love with skating, there is a group of people like you who plan to skate through the whole US from one end to another.
Styles of Long-Distance Longboarding
Pumping & Pushing are the two major techniques widely used in the aimed riding style. In general, skaters term both of them as LDP, which confuses newbies sometimes. Though the aim of both types is the same, what makes pushing & pumping different is the involvement of various skills, body movement, and approaches. In both cases, the defined goal is to cover greater distances with a longboard
Long Distance Pushing
If you have been longboarding for over a year now, you must have heard about the Chief Ladiga Skating challenge and Ultraskate European Event. Both these competitions demand skaters to cover a distance of more than 170 miles only by pushing the longboard. The most difficult part of this competition is to bring continuity in pushing your board without breaks.
Besides the exact technique, you will need the best longboarding gear to cover such a long distance at a constant pace. The intensity of pushing during the ride depends on the skating road. If you see that the road is a little steep, you need to avail yourself of the opportunity of pushing less and covering more distance. Similarly, you’ll need to push harder if the road is heading upwards.
Techniques to consider while pushing
When you push the longboard with one foot at the ground and the other one on the board, the angle of your foot onboard matters a lot. Do not bend the knee a lot, so that after pushing once, you can regain the required balance.
There is always a limit to how long you push the ground. Surpassing the limit will only make you tired quickly. An average push will be better according to the track you are riding on.
Keep both feet on board as long as the board is moving. Use the back feet only when you need to push. This tip will save your energy for the long run.
We always recommend using your dominant foot for handling the board, and the lighter one should push the longboard. In this way, you’ll have more opportunities of handling the board in critical conditions.
All your weight should be on the front foot which will help you achieve a longer distance than keeping less weight on the front foot.
Keeping the weight at the front also assists in getting stable on rough roads.
During commuting, pushing has to be very consistent, repetitive, and original. Before taking part in 100+ miles of commuting, you need to have experience of many months at least. Otherwise, you’ll be hurting yourself and your muscles as it will eventually become impossible for you to complete the race without an injury. We can help you in improving your pushing technique by suggesting some of the most common methods used by professional skaters around the globe.
Mongo Pushing is an unnatural method in which you push with your front foot. In this case, the back foot will stay in between the tail and the center of the deck. In Normal stance and the Switch one, you can either use any of your feet to push the ground during hard-fought commuting. Using these methods, you can have a better experience of long-distance pushing. When you change your stance, you feel a bit relaxed. Keep flowing with the stance, and when you feel tired, switch to the other one. This is how the best skater Adam Colton won multiple commuting races.
Pushing the longboard with both feet alternatively introduced a new word in longboarding called Skogging. This method helps the rider to regain power by using alternative feet after getting tired of using one. When you use this technique, you will learn to balance the board in every possible condition with either of your dominant or non-dominant feet.
Pumping on a longboard is a little different style of longboarding. In this style, you keep both feet on the deck of your longboard. You are not allowed to push the board. Instead, you need to move the body in a way that pushes the longboard itself. You will need to learn how to shift the bodyweight back and forth or side by side to help the board move. Initially, it seems difficult and practically impossible, but it is the most enjoyable, adventurous, and popular way of letting the longboard move.
If you are a newbie, you need to learn how to stand in S-Shape on a longboard. Pump the right side rail of the deck once by putting the whole weight to the same side, and then pump on the left side with the complete weight of your body. Keep repeating these two steps, and you will feel like flowing on the road. Most skaters use pumping as a source of increasing the pace on a moving longboard. Another name of pumping could be Rail Shifting because generally, we shift the rails during the pumping process.
It will become easier for you to learn professional-level pumping if you understand the concept of your stance and your body motion. Core muscles of your body generate the required energy you need to pump on a longboard. Keep your front foot at 45 degrees according to the deck, keep the feet at a distance equal to the width between your shoulders, and the back foot should be at exactly 90 degrees referring to the deck. Make an S-shape with the body, pump on one side of a longboard, the force should generate from riders’ head, passing from the body to the feet. Do the same thing on the other side of the longboard. And keep repeating the process as long as you achieve the required pace.
Buying Guide for Long Distance Longboard
If you really want to minimize your effort when going for a long journey, you should buy a longboard that exactly reflects your riding style. In this case, we look for a worthy deck, wheels, and trucks. Long-distance longboarding is obligated to the shape and length of the deck. So, we will dig for a suitable deck first.
Deck for Long Distance Longboard:
Our first priority is to look for minimal central gravity as it will reduce the rider’s effort while pushing the board. In simple words, the rider will cover a long distance with a single push. Such gravity comes from double drop longboards, you will understand the shape below in the diagram. We see two different settings in such decks, one is a drop-through design in which the trucks go through the deck making it closer to the surface you will be riding on. Secondly, there is a platform in the deck which is also lowered than usual. This is our major requirement when we find a deck for long-distance boards.
For the visitors’ satisfaction, we will be adding a double drop longboard making long-distance longboarding sure. It will have a nice flex in the deck which is another essential concern for the riding method you have chosen. In other words, you should not select a complete hardboard that does not suit pumping steps on it.
Wheels and Bearings:
If you have been longboarding for more than 6 months, you must know how longboard wheels work. As a longboard rider, you have to choose one between small and large wheels depending on your riding manner. In the case of long-distance longboarding, larger wheels are second to none as they roll faster and don’t require continuous pushes.
Most of the rollers have sizes between 65-85mm. 65-70mm wheels are considered small and above 80mm is appraised as big wheels. That is to say, your longboard must have as big wheels as possible. Larger wheels will work efficiently with bearings of ABEC-7 ratings. If you use ABEC-9 or ABEC-5 bearings, the only difference will be the speed of your rides.
In case, the board has everything perfect but not the rollers, you will have to buy them separately if you really want your longer rides to be smooth.
The main task of trucks inside a longboard or skateboard is to turn the wheels and deck with accuracy and at perfect timing. We usually spend a lot of time finalizing the trucks whenever the goal is to carve, slide, or downhill riding on a longboard. While your preferred riding style is among these ones, you never know when you will need to rotate your board. In short words, trucks don’t play too much role in commuting but if you want to merge pumping as well, then you will have to dig for the best longboard trucks.
As of now, you are focusing to ride the board for covering maximum distance, 180mm trucks with an angle of 50 degrees are good enough to not create any problem during the ride. Another highly-recommended way of long-distance longboarding is pumping.
Are longboards good for traveling?
Isn’t it better to reach the destination earlier? Yes, that’s one of the most significant reasons why people spend some dollars and move faster. Secondly, it’s better than walking and an effective body workout if done with the pumping technique. Last but not least, it allows you to enjoy the environment and look more attractive in visuals.
Is longboarding a workout?
Indeed it is a great way to strengthen your muscles, chest, arms, and shoulders. Long-distance longboarding with pumping style is the most effective way if you really want to longboard for a workout. The other riding styles maybe or maybe not, depending on the rider’s technique.
Should you ride longboard on rough surfaces?
If a rough or dirty surface appears in your destination, either you roll over it or you hold the longboard in your hands. Keeping your longboard going on the rigged and stained surface will slow down your board by affecting the bearings most of the time. So, it is better to learn how to hold a longboard and implement it whenever you need to.
Long-distance longboarding is almost the same as pumping but has a different riding technique. When you aim to ride a longboard for miles, either you push the board again and again or you learn to pump and save your energy and time. Longboard pumping has been discussed already but in this post, we have gathered some techniques and tips for simple longboarding for miles. Moreover, we offer a complete buying guide section which will help you buy a complete and suitable board for long rides. Our personal recommendation is also given below that has proven its worth under critical situations.