Know Everything About Longboard Carving & How to Carve on a Longboard

Among new and intermediate longboard riders, one of the most common question is what is carving on a longboard. So, have you ever watched longboard riders moving with their boards and covering longer distances without pushing the ground? If you do, then that way of riding a longboard is called carving. In this riding style, you require some extraordinary skills over keeping the momentum alive, flow, and speed of your ride. Moreover, the rider must keep going in the same path of turns and lifting the deck a little during the ride.

In comparison, we found carving more technical than cruising. Not all longboard lovers and riders can perform carving over the deck as it needs a lot of practice and a board with suitable trucks, wheels, and bearings. However, if you have access to a board that supports carving style, know what longboarding carving is and what practices you need to apply regularly. So let’s begin with an in-depth definition of longboard carving, and later BoardsOnTop will teach you the steps you need to learn.

What is Longboard Carving?

Carving on a longboard is familiar with surf-like riding styles. It includes fast chaining, turning on different road areas continuously but in the same manner. Moreover, the rider also turns backward, in front, and forth while keeping the S-shape alive. Most of all, riding in this direction is the only way to keep the momentum and pace alive. You should not miss the carving adventure if you have used a longboard for multiple tricks or freestyles. For an advanced-level skater, it will be easier to learn than for a newbie.

Differentiating Carving with other Riding Styles

One of the significant differences between Carving and other riding styles is that you can also carve on snowboards and surfboards. Below, we have compared all the major longboarding styles to understand better. This is how, you can also know if longboarding Is Hard or not?


Freeriding over a longboard is another type of downhill riding but at a balanced speed with a few slides. You can also perform some maneuvers if you know how to.


It is one of the most effortless styles that anyone can learn. First, you have to place one foot on the board and push with the second one. Then, cover a short distance after every push you make. Beginners must learn to cruise on a longboard as they enter longboarding.


In freestyle, the speed does not matter. What matters is the techniques and skills you can do over the deck. Our longboarding masters (Andrew Norris and Matt Harper believe that this riding style requires a lot of practice.

Downhill Riding:

One of the most-liked riding styles by pro skaters is downhill longboarding. You find a hill going down and ride the board on it at a higher speed along with sliding. Safety gear is essential to all and not recommended for beginners.


There are some longboard tricks that make you look like a longboard dancer when you performing them. Among these tricks, Ghostride kickflip and cross-step are the trending ones. Know more about longboard dancing.

In manners of joy, no other riding style is better than Carving. It is almost the same if you know about ocean surfing but brings more happiness to the rider’s face. The tip here for the advanced riders is to curve when riding down the hills, as it brings extraordinary momentum and balancing skills to your rides.

History of Longboard Carving

It would not be wrong to say that the idea of longboard carving has been stolen from the surfing style. But for now, it has become one of the favorite riding styles of longboard riders. In both surfing and carving, the riders don’t push the boards often and keep going whether the surface is flat or not. Now, let’s move on to the most awaited discussion.

How to Carve on a Longboard

Carving is not something that you can learn within 1 or 2 weeks. The newbies must try the other basic longboard tricks before carving on a longboard. It will give you confidence and polish the other skills required for carving. In addition, the rider must be careful with multiple tasks at once, such as momentum, balancing the board, quick and perfect turns, and speed. Therefore, an advanced rider can learn it 2-3 weeks after regular practice.

Turning Practice to Carve

For taking adequate turns, you get help by forcing the rail of your longboard. This helps the deck follow the wheels to go the same direction you want to. This is how you turn the longboard which is called a slight curve. For a proper curve, you need to put more pressure on the rail to insist that wheels and deck for more sharp and quick turns.

Carving Turns with Toeside and Heelside

Your longboard stance means a lot to performing this action. For example, your stance is goofy if you use your right foot as your front foot. However, the rider places his left foot in the front for a regular stance. Below a diagram is given to understand goofy vs. regular longboard.

What is carving on a longboard

Toeside and Heelside Turns for Regular Riders:

So, let’s put some light on the matter “how toeside and heelside turns are dependent on your longboard stance.” Whenever a rider with the left foot in front tries to lean forward by forcing the toes into the longboard’s rail, it will result in turning the deck and wheels to the right side. This is called toeside turning. On the other hand, when you try to lean backward with the help of your heels, it will make sure you make the left turn. Turning to the left while leaning back and left foot in front is called Heelside turning.

Toeside and Heelside Turns for Goofy Riders:

It is even more straightforward to understand as it is opposite to the regular stance rider. In this case, your right foot is your front foot, and when you put pressure on your toes, your board will make a sharp left turn. Opposite to regular, the heelside turn will go in the right direction.

Practice to Transfer your Weight

Throughout our carving experience, I found weight distribution as one of the most important steps to learn. The weight distribution during the carves is must-perform step , and we also call it fluid carving motion. It is mainly required when the goal is to tilt forward or backward. It looks easier to understand, but the implementation required a lot of practice. Let’s see how we transfer our weight in different positions.

When you aim to tilt forward, transfer your weight back and forth in the middle of your toes. On the other hand, shift your weight in the middle of the heels when you wish to lean backward. As a result, it will allow your board to take as sharp turns as possible. The problem here is that when turning like that, your longboard slows down or does not even move. In other words, you need to gain some energy to keep the rollers going. So let’s have a look at how we execute the plan of generating pace.

Longer Carving Turns

Your heels and toes will not generate enough pace, so we will use other body parts to execute this plan well. We will copy the inventors of the carving riding style to bring more peace and energy to our rides. We noticed that the snowboarders use their shoulders mainly for energetic carves. Keeping the wave motion in mind, we will assemble our head, shoulders, legs, and hips in the same wave position. This location of your body parts will give you stability, momentum, and speed at once.

What mistake do beginners make when carving?

The most common mistake we noticed in beginners while Carving is that they use their ankles only for generating pace. That’s how you can only turn but can not go longer. So, use the other body parts as well in the position mentioned below.

Body Parts Positioning:

The question is how to keep this position, speed, and balance alive while riding continuously and not pushing the board. To achieve this goal of consistency, we begin by specifying our head position. Make sure to protect the head with a sturdy longboarding helmet. Keeping in mind that you are a goofy rider or regular, aim your head in the direction you want to move.

During the head direction, start turning your shoulders. Next, push the right shoulder along with your head (according to your stance) in the direction you want to turn the longboard. This positioning will help other body parts move the board in the right direction and endorses gaining more energy for a more extended and continuous turn.

To keep the S shape alive in your rides, you have to prepare yourself for a turn with Heelside. In the heelside turn, the head goes behind to create a new direction and then make your shoulders follow the same path of the head. Ultimately it will allow the hips and other lower parts to rotate in the same direction. At this time, when you force the heels onto the rail, you will be able to attempt the backward rotation successfully. To keep the same momentum in the carving ride, make sure to have bent knees and opened arms.

That’s it. This is how you carve on a longboard, and it answers itself to “what is carving on a longboard.” Of course, we respect those beginner riders as well who want to learn longboard carving. Therefore, we will be giving some golden tips to all of them. But wait! Buy your Best Carving Longboard first to avail yourself of the chance of a fast learning process to cave.

Carving Tips for Newbies

1. Beginners often fall off the deck due to uneven weight distribution at essential times. It mostly happens when leaning backward or forward. The sensitivity of your board defines how hard push it requires to tilt perfectly. If you push harder but the longboard does not have that accuracy, or you push little, and the longboard is not supportive to that, in both cases, you will fall. 

2. Speaking of longboard carving, practice is the key to success here. Having a suitable deck, wheels, and trucks with regular practice will decrease the duration of learning. As a result, you will reach the advanced level within no time.

3. Although we have not talked about the center of gravity above, you can practice this one if you master all the previous steps. You practice minimizing the center of gravity to carve with more potential in this step.

Finally, we have learned “what is carving on a longboard,” “how to carve on a longboard,” and “carving tips for the newbies.” Now, we have to go through another foremost step that can either improve your carving skills or demolish everything you have learned. We are moving towards “what to look for in a carving longboard.”

Buying Guide for Carving Longboards

If your longboard does not support your riding style, you will struggle to learn the skills and implement them. Several types of longboards are available in the market, supporting different riding manners. Therefore, we have to invest in a board that has an encouraging deck, wheels, bearings, and trucks. So, go through the settings of each accessory and select your carving longboard.

Reasons to Learn Longboard Carving

1. The downhill riders usually get help from their carving skills whenever they need to stop their longboard, and controlling the board at a higher speed is an art.

2. Carving through the skateparks and other roads gives you a feeling of floating. Moreover, covering longer distances with zig-zag movement is an unprecedented feeling.

3. Last but not least, downhill riding and carving are the only riding styles that allow you to cover more distance without pushing the board continuously.

Carving Longboard Deck

When a rider tries to curve or pump on a longboard, the deck must be highly responsive as you make consecutive turns. Proper turning and keeping the balance and speed stable are only achievable when the longboard is supportive.

Carving Deck Design:

The top mount deck shape is the most beneficial when the aim is to carve again and again without pushes. Although pumping is also familiar with carving, it requires a good flex in the deck. Therefore, the top mount design of a deck proves its worth whenever you need to turn the board quickly and successively.

What is carving on a longboard and deck design
Top Mount Deck

Moreover, there must be enough distance between the rollers and starting point of the deck. The spread also plays a massive part in sharp turns and allowing riders to keep the S shape alive. The closer the rollers are to the deck, the more wheels bite you face, especially during the turns. In short, to keep rolling in a zig-zag position at a stable speed with balance, the deck has to be top-mounted and distanced from the wheels.

Deck Length and Width:

The manufacturers keep the rider’s style in mind and structure boards with different dimensions. Therefore, a carving deck must have a length of around 38 inches. You can’t choose one with above 42″ and below 32″. A more extended deck than usual is specified for the beginners, and a smaller one suits freestyles and tricks the most.

Longboard Length for carving

A board with 7-8 inches in width will suit the length and work exceptionally well in keeping your carving ride secure. Moreover, the zig-zag moves look easier to implement with such width. The conclusion says 38×8″ dimensions are highly appreciated to carve on a longboard and understand what is carving on a longboard.

Carving longboard width

Carving Longboard Trucks

It would not be wrong to say that your carving turns are dependent on the trucks’ quality. To achieve the goal of sharp and accurate turns, perfect weight distribution, and balance the ride, the trucks must support your riding style. First of all, there are two types of trucks: kingpin and reverse kingpin. The reverse kingpin technology assures a better carving experience.

reverse kingpin trucks

Keeping in mind that carving is all about turns, the reverse kingpin technology must be there to help you. It will prove its worth in continuous turns with no pushes and secure the ride. To understand the trucks in a better way, analyze the diagram given below.

Wheels and Bearings

We will be explaining wheels and bearings together as they are dependent on each other. The rollers must grasp the ground very well because, in carving rides, you are doing the zig-zag movement. To achieve this goal, wheels with a wider diameter would be a great choice. For rollers’ stiffness (durometer), you can go with an average hardness of 70mm.

wheels for carving longboard

We recommended those rollers that can grab the surface well. To make them run faster, (learn how to make longboard faster) we will use ABEC-7 or ABEC-9 bearings in them. This is how we will have access to both fast and smooth rolling with fewer chances of falling off when taking turns. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are carving longboards suitable for beginners?

For riding purposes, carving longboards are suitable for beginner riders. The carving decks have a length of around 40 inches, which is enough for beginners to stand and have a balanced ride. However, if you want to buy a carving longboard to carve as a newbie, you should understand “what is carving on a longboard” first.

Can you carve on a skateboard?

Yes, some skateboards suit the carving riding style but differently from the longboards. Carving on a skateboard means you have to take sharp and effective turns but faster than you take on a longboard. Moreover, this can be utterly different from longboard carving due to the short length of the skateboard deck. Also, the positioning of your body parts will not be the same.

What longboard is best for carving?

Usually, we select a carving board with the deck’s design and dimensions, trucks’ placement, responsiveness, and wheels’ durometer. The shape of the deck should be top-mount with 38 inches in length and 8 inches in width. For the wheels, select the larger wheels as they grip the ground well. In addition, the ABEC-7 bearings in them will make them faster.

Is it good to carve on a drop-through longboard?

The experienced riders of BoardsOnTop do not recommend this due to more flex in the deck. As a result, when you try to carve on a flexible deck, you conflict your whole balance, which results in falling the rider off.

Final Words

One must understand “what is carving on a longboard” before start learning how to carve. A lot of dedication and skills are required to learn the whole carving process. You have to manage your balance, speed, position and take sharp turns at once when you carve on a board. The beginners should begin with the basics of longboarding, while advanced riders can learn carving in a short time with regular practice. The buying guide for carving boards is also discussed above if you want to enjoy the carving experience. Last but not least, you must have a longboard that fully supports carving style.

Written by: Andrew Norris

Hello, I am Andrew, and I am an experienced longboard rider since my early boyhood days. I have had multiple longboards throughout my life and has gained an invaluable experience about the build quality, structure, and performance.

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