Sliding on a longboard has to be the most adventurous riding style in the longboarding world. However, when we talk about serious adventure, the joy and risk factors dominate throughout the process. We have arranged this discussion for you to explain everything about sliding on a longboard. Moreover, people also know sliding as longboard drifting.
In this fruitful discussion, you will find everything related to longboard sliding. For example, how to slide on a longboard, safety and other precautions you need to consider, from defining the critical features of a sliding longboard to suggesting the best protective gear. Lastly, this description also includes the types of slides you can perform and how to learn any specified slide.
- What is Longboard Sliding?
- Types of Slides
- What is Longboard Powersliding?
What is Longboard Sliding?
Forcing the longboard wheels to break traction during the ride is called sliding on a longboard. The rider uses his weight, the position of joints, and carving to a certain point to let his longboard slide perfectly. While practicing this, the most important thing to learn is to keep balancing the board without falling off the deck. The rider will soon stop after the drift is completed.
Types of Slides
There are multiple types of slides for longboarders that have been discovered by the experienced skaters. Interestingly, all of these sliding types are equally adventurous and helping the riders reduce or eventually stop a high-speeding longboard. So, the first slide we are going to learn today is;
Pre-drift is a sliding type used for slowing down a speedy longboard when a corner is about to come on your riding track. The ultimate purpose of this slide is to go through the corner safely without stopping or getting off the board. As multiple turns exist on downhill racing tracks, this drift is commonly used to keep competing with your opponents.
Keep your hands down to initiate the process of pre-slides when you see a corner coming on the track or when practicing. The slide should be standard, turning the board between 60°-85° with respect to the road position. For example, we consider the road a linear line, and our slide should bisect the line at the specified angle. When the angle stays below 90, longboard wheels will keep spinning during the drift. This feature allows the rider to brake when needed.
If the slide exceeds 90°, the wheels cannot rotate. Due to this exceeding, only the back wheels slide and the front ones don’t. Moreover, continuous sliding at 90° will eventually change the original shape of the wheels, making them oval-shaped or completely flat. On the other hand, the less you drift under 90°, you’ll have more control over the longboard. With the same procedure, if you keep your hands behind the heels, we call it heelside slides. And, holding the hand in front of the feet during the pre-drift process will become a frontside slide.
Pendy came from the pendulum, and the slide’s name speaks for itself. Like pre-slides, riders keep their hands down in a particular position, doing repetitive pre-slides but on both sides. For example, you have learned pre-drifting and performed it while your left shoulder is ahead; you now need to know how to switch and do the same slide while your right shoulder is ahead. Many experts claim that pendulum slides bring ultimate joy to your rides and let you reduce the speed of a running longboard quickly.
This sliding technique entirely depends on the synchronized movement of your body parts. From shoulder to the respective foot, your body should instruct the longboard to slide in the desired direction, keeping the angle below 90. This type also matches the carving style of riding, but you don’t bend yourself a lot in carving.
Stand Up Drifting
These slides also relate to the pre-drifting process somehow. In this case, the riders don’t need to put their hands down on the ground. Instead, they push and carve the longboard, forcing wheels to break the traction. Then comes the stability part, where skaters have to keep the board gliding on nearby sidewalks. Similarly, recovering the traction becomes possible by shifting riders’ weight, allowing the longboard to steer itself.
Comparing all the slide types discussed here, everyone believes that the Stand Up slide is the most difficult one to perform. Also, the risk factor rises when you try to reduce the pace without placing your hands on the track. However, as we discussed earlier, the adventure is even more electrifying when the risk increases. So, keep your hopes high, learn the sliding technique, and start performing it at an average speed.
What is Longboard Powersliding?
Powersliding is a pure example of the extraordinary skill of longboarding and is challenging for beginners to learn. Understanding the steps of “how to powerslide on a longboard” looks easier when reading or watching someone performing. But implementing them on a 36-40 inches longboard requires a lot of practice. Keeping your several body parts stable, moving with a suitable pace, turning the board, and then making the wheels spin is all you have to apply at once.
Undoubtedly, powersliding is an attractive action, but it is also a suitable way of stopping your Longboard. In other words, when you are cruising, going down the hill, or performing any different high-speed riding style, powersliding will help you slow down the riding speed instantly. If you have a firm grip over this particular skill, you will be able to do multiple other longboarding tasks at once. For example, it is involved in both the riding techniques: freeriding and downhill riding. Furthermore, commuter and cruising lovers can get help when exploring the city or neighborhood.
Types of Powerslides – How to Powerslide on a Longboard
Keep in mind that there is not only one way to powerslide on a board; we follow multiple experienced skaters and their tricks of powersliding. Therefore, this discussion will go through all the types and how to powerslide on a longboard.
Heelside Stand up Slide
Heelside stand-up powersliding is the most common type, with comparatively more straightforward steps. Discussing it very first means the newer ones can begin by learning this type. Let’s see what steps we need to apply for performing a heelside stand-up slide.
Surface for powersliding:
The surface on which you want to slide, make sure it suits your skating experience. For example, if you are a beginner, choose a flat surface; intermediates can practice on a slope, while pro skaters can choose a downhill road for stand-up powerslide. The reason behind different surfaces is the speed levels; if newbies try to stop the board downhill, it will be a high risk as well as challenging for them to balance the speed.
Start your downhill ride from 15-20 feet uphill and start pushing your Longboard. It will bring maximum speed to your ride, challenging and entertaining to reduce the speed later with powerslide. If you want to learn heelside sliding quicker, give some tries on wet surfaces as well. It allows you to balance the rides more efficiently and polish your stopping skills more than ever.
Speed for Powersliding:
With less speed, you can not properly learn how to powerslide. There are multiple ways of fastening your longboard. First, buy suitable (harder) wheels and replace them with the older ones. It will positively affect your riding speed. Moreover, clean and lubricate the bushing inside the rollers. If you don’t want to change your board by replacing wheels and bushings, start practicing riding down the hill for a complete procedure for making your board faster.
Pre-Carve with Toeside:
For making a pre-carve, you start by pushing your toes, and your body comes forward. It will result in a toeside turn. This can go in both right and left directions; it depends on your riding stance. For example, when making a toeside carve, a regular longboard rider goes in the right direction, and a goofy rider goes in the left path. The tip here is to keep your knees bent to lower the central gravity.
Heelside Carve for Powersliding:
The best place to carve on a longboard is when there is a turn on the road. You go close to the roadside and carve to make a slide. Put some pressure on your front heel ( right if goofy, left if regular) and try to make a quick 45 degrees turn backside. Turning with this angle is suitable for sliding and helping riders get more stability.
The placement of the heels is the edge of your Longboard, and bend your knees like a toeside carve. It will lower the central gravity for making rides stable. Most importantly, the positioning of your body should be arranged right before making the slide. When your board’s rotation is near 30 degrees during the carve, you need to be careful of a few things.
Distribute most of your weight on the front knee.
Plow the back heel of the front foot into the rail as it helps you kick out your back truck forward.
While doing this, if you wave your hips, it will make turns and pushes easier.
Arms go in the air, and your legs are on the front edge of the board to prevent the wheels from rolling.
Be aware of the knee positioning as well; your front knee is right if your stance is goofy and left if the perspective is regular. So keep the front knee forward to balance the stability.
How to end the slide:
Ending the slide in an attractive and perfect way is an essential step to learn. In the position of the front legs at the edge of the board and upper body parts backward, slow down the maximum speed in a drifting way. Most importantly, this will not end the slide ultimately but will give you control over your ride if you want to keep riding the board. Then, to gain the speed back again, relocate all the body parts into the riding position.
Tips for how to Powerslide on a Longboard:
To perform any powersliding methods, you have to be brave to tackle the upcoming challenges. Also, keep practicing whatever powersliding method you have chosen.
This is possible when you protect your head completely with a full-face skating helmet or a regular longboard helmet.
Other Powerslides Techniques
There are many more sliding techniques that you can learn with the experienced skaters of our community. We will briefly review all other sliding methods as we go into the depth of the heelside powersliding. It is comparatively the favorite of many riders and also becomes more complex for some sliders to perform.
Speed Controlling Slide:
There are two significant reasons for performing a slide: stopping a longboard to prevent any mishap or to look like a professional rider. In this technique, you bring your legs in front and the upper body parts in the back. Then you try to slow the board with this position. Watch the short video below for a better understanding.
To implement 180 slides, you are allowed to use your preferred riding styles to gain pace and slide. When you are done with the slide, give the front side of a longboard an energetic turn to make it rotate 180 degrees. Yes, it looks easy when reading or watching the steps somewhere but in real, you will have to practice a lot.
Sit Down Slides:
Like many other sliding techniques, you do the exact first step of getting some pace. Make a sit-down position on the board in a way that helps you stop the Longboard. For an in-depth method of all the techniques we mentioned, read, What is Freeride Longboarding.
Longboard Sliding Tips & Essentials
As mentioned in the beginning, there are multiple things to consider before going out for sliding trips. The reason is that sliding is a bit risky, you need to learn proper foot placement, select the best sliding longboard, and wear all essential protective gear before starting to slide.
The most needed protection in sliding style of riding has to be;
Make sure you have a pair of quality gloves made of sturdy material. The most dependable synthetic used in gloves is neoprene. Neoprene doesn’t get scratched by short slides and lasts for a longer run. Besides synthetic, you need to make sure that the gloves you have, have rotatable palm pucks making your slides even more comfortable. This best longboard gloves article will help you find the most suitable pair you need.
Wheels play an essential role in performing perfect slides. It would help if you did not compromise on the quality of the wheels because the wheels have to bear a lot during the whole drifting process. Thane or Urethane is one of the most desired materials in wheels. Here are some of the best longboard sliding wheels.
The head is the most sensitive part of our body, and its protection should be our foremost priority. For this purpose, every longboard or skateboard rider should always wear a comfortable helmet that protects the head and doesn’t disturb while focusing on doing tricks on the longboard. Our Best longboard helmet article has multiple suggestions according to the needs of all types of skaters. Besides these, you can go for; Pants and hip pads.
How to stand on a Longboard?
Foot positioning comes naturally. You have to keep both feet at a specific distance from each other, the distance between shoulders. Their placement purpose is to help yourself bring enough control in turning right or left. Shifting the position of your feet is normal if you feel the need to turn in any direction. This practice assists you in enjoying the maximum leverage of sliding.
How fast do you need to go on a longboard to slide?
Depending on the rider’s experience, a complete beginner can start from 25-30mph. Pro downhill riders slide when the pace is 40-50mph. In other words, the slide is dependent on your riding speed.
Do wheels matter for longboard sliding?
As we are discussing “How to slide on a longboard,” it is essential to discuss the role of wheels in sliding. Yes, the rollers have to be supportive of drifting. To achieve this goal, 55mm wheels with 80a hardness are suitable.
Sliding on a longboard is a different type of joy and it is a little difficult to learn if you are a starter. Once you get experience of how a longboard behaves during slides, you will feel enjoyment every time you slide and balance the longboard. On the other hand, most mishaps happen during the sliding style of riding as compared to other styles. Therefore, you need to protect yourself with gloves, knee pads, helmet, and pants.