Longboard pumping is a highly-appreciated riding style among longboard riders. Some of the riding techniques are easier than pumping a longboard whereas some are hard to implement. That is to say, if you have a little command over longboarding, you can avail yourself of the chance to learn this adventurous riding style and go one step ahead for the technical riding ways. Moreover, having suitable accessories in the longboard means your effort of learning the pumping style will be minimized.
Pumping is famous in the longboarding world because it is considered a substitute for many other riding ways. Such as gaining speed, going in the same rhythm on multiple surfaces, covering both short and long distances, etc. In other words, if you struggle in covering different distances, your riding speed slows down for no reason, you can opt for the longboard pumping as an alternative. Unlike downhill longboarding, freeriding, carving, you have to follow some steps and make sure to implement them on a longboard specially manufactured for pumping.
What is Pumping on a Longboard
Going for long-distance rides on a longboard in a unique and attractive way is called longboard pumping. You might be surprised if we say that those riders who have been pumping their boards for a long time cover miles of space without putting in too much effort. It clarifies that it is all about technique and consistency. If you see someone performing the steps we mentioned below, you can say that he is a longboard pumper.
Moving on continuously with the help of your wheels and deck without pushing the board a single time.
A body positioning that looks like a video reply also seems like pumping.
Have you ever thought that you can use a longboard for cardio training? Yes, pumping does that.
Board’s rotation along with the rider is also known as the pumping.
So, it is all about your experience in longboarding and its basics. You must have seen newbies opting to push their longboards for covering different distances. On the other hand, when someone becomes pro in this field, they use their legs not to push but to keep the stability in their rides, keep moving the longboard, and rotate it in different directions.
Cruising vs Pumping vs Carving
Don’t consider pumping as an alternative to cruising and carving. All of these three are different riding styles from each other. The goal can be the same but the steps that you need to implement would be different for sure. For example, when you want to explore the city on your board means you have to travel for a long time. It is called cruising and does not have the same steps as pumping or carving.
If we look at the carving way of riding, it can also be helpful in reaching a long destination but without pumping the board. In the end, when we talk about pumping style, it has a few simple principles. You are not allowed to place your foot on the ground for pushes, the deck has to be flexible enough that it should continuously move up and down like the video attached below.
Cruising Difficulty Level:
People mostly pick a riding style and start asking how much difficult is this technique. As we are comparing cruising, carving, and pumping here so we will see how much difficult these styles are. For cruising, we consider it a great option to begin your longboarding career. It is as simple as moving on with the board. There are also a few beginner-friendly tricks that you can perform such as jumping on the deck, foot replacement, and leaving the deck and jumping back to it. In short, cruising is one of the most admired riding methods for beginners and can be learned in a week or even before if you have a drop-through longboard.
Difficulty Level for Carving and Pumping:
The difficulty level for carving and pumping is almost the same. If you are a master in carving your deck, pumping won’t be too challenging for you. Most importantly, both of these require skills and a suitable longboard. If a newcomer chooses a riding style among these two, he will struggle in the beginning, and might take him a month or even more to learn. On the other hand, if a longboard rider has some grip on cruising techniques and he can stabilize his rides under critical situations. He can pump and carve his board within one or two weeks.
Why Longboard Pumping
When we researched pumping to differentiate it from freeriding, freestyling, dancing, and downhill riding. The major difference that we noticed was body exercise. The other riding methods that we named above are an utmost joy in longboarding no doubt but when you pump on the board, it is a complete body workout for you. Many experienced skaters have suggested this for cardio training. That is to say, if you are riding a longboard for a long time and have not tried pumping yet, you are missing something remarkable.
Let’s go towards the significant and unmatched reasons for choosing the pumping style. We have got a few major purposes that we will be discussing in-depth. Later, we will let you know how do you pump and its techniques.
Body Exercise Session:
After getting the point of view of testified advanced level riders, we now fully believe that you can use your longboard for a cardio workout or simple exercise session. Some of the riding styles in which you have to push with the legs can also be a workout session. But you are not sure if it goes in your favor or not due to consistent pushing with the same leg. Yes if you can manage it with both legs, your legs’ muscles and core can be beneficiary in this case. Do you know the stance of the longboard? Read now, What is longboard stance.
When you perform pumping for a long time, the same body parts that were unsure in terms of getting benefits will be polished in this riding style. Most importantly, if pumping is being performed as it should be, from feet to shoulders you will find them more active in normal life.
Comfortable and Effective Rides:
The learning duration of longboard pumping apart, when you have mastered every step of it, the benefits will be various for both exercise and longboarding. We watch videos in which pumpers go for miles in one rhythm with extraordinary stability. Most importantly, they don’t need to push the board due to their master skills. Ultimately saving maximum energy of the rider that he would have lost in pushing.
We have written a complete article in which we described multiple ways for making the longboard faster. If you apply all those procedures and start pumping on your longboard, it will bring smoothness and speed to your rides that you had never tried before. Let’s move towards the most entertaining and exciting reason for longboard pumping.
Covering Long Distances with Pumping:
If you have to go on a long longboarding ride than usual, you will come across various methods. But none of them will be as good as pumping especially if you want to consume less energy. So go for a long ride, get rid of pushing, enjoy the ride, make your body parts more active, and cover the distance with an entertaining riding style.
How to Longboarding Pumping
We are done with the benefits of this admired riding style but now the question is how do we pump a longboard. If we say that this style has a few simpler steps but requires a lot of attention and practice, this would not be wrong. This will seem difficult to you when you don’t practice and just read the steps. Most preeminently, neither our guidance will help nor your practice unless you have a longboard especially built for pumping.
So, you have a set of suitable deck, wheels, trucks, and bearing now. As pumping is not a beginner-friendly style so if you have a strong grip over the other skills, you can also go for a long ride with your board in one or two weeks. Along with our personal experience, we made sure to get help from a rider as well who is experienced in pumping the board for miles. Go through all the points and start practicing today. The beginners will get the techniques later in the discussion.
Practice to Tic Tacking
Performing some tic tac stuff on your board, in the beginning, is the first step because that’s all you’ll be doing in the actual rides. Although, you can practice this on any board but a regular skateboard or longboard will be more beneficial. The goal of this trick is to raise the rollers in front a bit with the help of your longboard’s kicktail. Secondly, try to make your board rotate in the left and right direction from the nose side. If you use your front to do this, your momentum in the ride will be increased. Moreover, it will help you gain more speed through the back arm motion and torso twisting.
Practice on Short Board:
Tic tacking on a longboard with minimal length is just an extraordinary experience and a great move towards longboard pumping. So you have a board with a comparatively short length, make sure that trucks under the deck are on loose settings. With this adjustment of the trucks, you get more responsiveness in them. Long story short, this will make your way easier towards your goal of pumping the board.
A Suitable Surface:
All the tips shared above require suitable ground with no slippery marks on it. The rider goes almost in a falling position consistently which means a slippery surface may ruin the whole ride. Remember you loosen your trucks before starting the ride? Now those settings will help you. First of all, give a push to your longboard like you always do and bring some pace to the ride. Once that is done, pressing the rail with your front foot will turn the wheels in the direction you want them to. To complete the carve well, push back after the turn using the back foot. Keep this trick in mind that the wheels should not leave the surface.
Talking about the steps, we are done here. But beginners struggle a lot even after implementing these steps. Most of the time, they can’t bring enough pace in the rides to keep going which is essential in pumping rides. To tackle this issue, we provide some tips to everyone that works exceptionally well in moving at a higher speed.
Tips for Longboard Pumping:
Some helpful tips are given below for the beginners. As many riders struggle in bringing speed to their rides, the points below will surely help you in this scenario.
Make Longboard Faster
First of all, you need to make some changes to the board like lubricating the wheels and bearings, cleaning the deck, etc. Because it is the possibility that you might not be moving faster due to your longboard.
Secondly, the speeding issue mostly occurs due to not having good timing when trying to turn and push the board back. If that is the issue, find some incline where the longboard can keep going even if you are on the deck. As a result, if you notice some improvements in the speed, keep practicing. Remember, you have to actually perform on the flat surface.
Pumping practice on actual surface
The inclined surface was the secondary solution to your speeding problem. When you are back to the actual surface, polish your carving skills by turning the deck and wheels continuously no matter what kind of surface you are riding at.
Practice for speedy rides
To be very honest, everyone in our community struggled while implementing this method at the start. So just don’t be panic, try out different floors like circular ways, a road going down a bit, and any other that could help you improve your speed.
At the end of the tips, if you are not applying the techniques with a flexible deck, that can be the significant reason. Pumping is all about flexibility in your deck. So, never do this mistake when you want to rotate the board in different directions.
Techniques for Pumping on a Longboard
Along with the learning procedure, if we include some pro-verified techniques, it would be icing on the cake. We have been in the discussion regarding this riding style many times before, but something always stays incomplete. Techniques and learning procedures have the same importance in this debate. Therefore, whenever we have to discuss it, it requires a lot of explanation. If you are thinking of getting help from the YouTube videos, it will be useful but you’ll still lag in implementing in real. Let’s dive deep into each of the technique and their benefits.
Moves for Pumping
It has the same moves as carving but is slightly different from it. You have to follow the S pattern unless you reach the destination, but with jumping constantly to keep the wheels going. This pattern will begin from your shoulders, chest, core, and then it will go towards the parts of your longboard. With such steps, you can go uphill but it will require a lot of stamina mainly when you have to cover too much distance. Now let’s see what body parts will play a vital role in keeping you going without touching the ground.
Upper Body Parts:
The shoulders, chest, and arms play a huge role in weight distribution and stabilized turning. As you learned above, you have to take left and right turns for a long time. The arms movement can either bring momentum to the ride or ruin all the stability if not done properly. To understand the rotation of arms perfectly, always remember that when you plan to turn the board, your back arm will also swing in that direction. You must have understood now why did we call pumping a complete body workout.
Middle Parts of Body:
If we analyze this riding style completely, the central parts of our body accumulate all the energy that goes below for turns. Your stamina is compulsory here, especially when pumping up the hill. On the other hand, when you go for a ride on a flat surface, stamina is required there as well but not too much. Your back and muscles in the front ( below the abs ) conduct all the energy for following the S pattern. The moves of your hips are essential in providing you the momentum and stability to the rides whereas other central parts will assure speed.
Have you wondered how your hips will be rolling for miles? The upper body parts will play their role here. The wave coming from your chest and arms will be merged into your hips. Ultimately, you will be able to turn the deck into S shape for as long as your stamina allows you to. Moreover, we noticed that the arms get tired first than any other part. But once you are familiar with pumping, you will not only be able to achieve maximum distances without feeling exhausted but also feel more active in the normal life.
If you learn how to merge the wave coming from your upper section and belly to the legs, the only thing left behind will be the feet placement. The actual turns for pumping become possible if the rider uses his legs accordingly. So until now, what we have learned is that a body wave will begin from our arms and shoulders and come down to the chest, belly, and then legs. As soon as it reaches the legs, you will turn the board from rail towards the right and left direction simultaneously.
Now both of your feet have different roles to play whenever taking a turn. Knowing your stance would be more perfect as riding a longboard with a different stance won’t give you that much energy. Now first, we have to learn the turning with our front foot. The toes and balls of the foot will push the rail of the deck in front. Here, your stance will help you push with such energy that assures maximum rolling of the wheels in the right direction.
It is obvious that if the front one is pushing the deck from the front, the responsibility of the back one is to push the deck from backward. Getting help from the back foot is necessary because if you don’t, it won’t follow the direction you created before. In simple words, from behind you insist the wheels follow the S pattern which is the goal in pumping.
What to look in a Pumping Longboard
To execute the plan of longboard pumping in a perfect way, all the gadgets on your board need to be suitable. In this case, our focus remains on deck, wheels, and trucks. Everything we need to discuss here has already been discussed by BoardsOnTop. Read, Buying Guide for Pumping Longboards. Everything you need to know is already there, a to the point guidance is given below.
To go for a long-distance ride with continuous pumps will be easy to achieve if you have a top-mount deck. The reason why we opt for this deck style is that it allows you to pump perfectly if there is enough flex in it. Speaking of flex, it is one of the most important factors to look for when buying a pumping or carving longboard.
For the length, we recommend pumpers to ride on a deck with 36-40 inches length. As you are not a complete newbie, it means you know how to stay stable during the ride. Therefore, the width of the deck around 8 inches would be a perfect choice. With such dimensions and flex, we believe you will consume less energy. Ultimately, allows you to cover more distance with pumps than you could with a non-flexible deck.
You must be familiar with the wheelbase of a longboard or skateboard. If not, wheelbase is known as the space between the trucks. The way of riding you have chosen needs a short wheelbase that allows more perfect turns than a long one. The dimensions of the wheelbase around 26-30” are what we see often in pumping decks.
Longboard Trucks for Pumping:
It does not matter whether you select traditional kingpin trucks or reverse kingpins. Because we just have to go for a pumping ride with loose trucks. So, you will just require a skating tool that will help you change trucks’ settings. The accurate adjustment would be loose trucks with quick turning angles. As a result, whenever you will try to turn your deck, the responsiveness would be great and you won’t need to use too much energy. Here you will find the best longboard trucks.
For pumping rides, wheels are as important as any other accessory. The wave that gets started from the rider’s shoulders ends up at the wheels. When you push the deck from the rail, the pushing action goes to the rollers. The trucks adjustment we suggested above will be helpful to the rollers. Rather than speed, we find grip in the carving rides.
Unfortunately, you may need to change the wheels according to the surface you are riding on. A diameter of 75mm is highly-suggested and assures smooth rides under critical conditions. In case, these measurements do not suit the riding style, go for the rollers with a diameter more than the recommended one. We review multiple types of longboard wheels suiting different riding styles.
Final Words on Longboard Pumping
If you are fond of commuting or covering maximum distances on a longboard, pumping is the style that you should try. You have to go through the learning steps and techniques for longboard pumping, then implement them when practicing and you will master this within a month. The biggest advantage of this style is that you get a complete workout session for all body parts. It has some moves that bring more strength to the muscles in the legs and shoulders.
Even if you follow all of your suggestions and don’t ride on a suitable longboard. You may waste your time without learning the skill. Therefore, do make sure that what accessories should be in there in a pumping longboard. It will not only save your energy to make sure continuous pumping but also assure stability, momentum, and speed in the ride.