Among the most-liked longboard riding styles, freeriding is one of them. Freeriding on your longboard is a remarkable and addictive experience. If we talk about “what is freeride longboarding” and its learning difficulty, it is not too challenging to learn as carving, commuting, and downhill riding. While you try to implement some tricky stuff while riding a board is called freeriding. Moreover, you don’t need to be worried about the riding pace, momentum, etc.
The first step towards the learning process of freerides is to buy an appropriate longboard. Ultimately, you have to take care of many things when investing in a freeride longboard, for example, deck’s length and width, the responsiveness of the trucks and their difference between deck, durometer and diameter of wheels, and bearings’ ABEC ratings. Therefore, you should first visit the buying guide for freeriding longboards. You can find the tested and top-quality longboards for your freeriding style at; Best Freeride Longboards.
What is Freeride Longboarding?
Many tricks and techniques are involved in freeride longboard, and downhill riding is the major one. Freeriding and riding down the hill are familiar, but speed is the only significant difference. In other words, you can say that running a longboard down the mountain and showcasing some stopping skills is freeriding. Rather than that, sliding techniques, maneuverability, and managing riding speed at different levels are also included in freeride longboarding.
How to Freeride Longboard?
It has a unique principle: you don’t learn to implement freerides but learn several tricks. That is to say; you can take your freeriding experience to another level by learning and applying several tricks. That’s what we will disclose in our conversation about “what is freeride longboarding.” To begin your career with the one you think is more accessible to implement according to your skills. So let’s discuss each freeriding method.
1. Control Riding Speed with Slides
Controlling the maximum speed by sliding within no time is one of the favorite styles of longboard freeriding. Also, if you are not a beginner, you can start performing free tricks with this method. As downhill is the preferred place to do this action, you have to turn your longboard so hard over the slope that the rollers under the deck struggle in spinning. When you do this step in real, it gives a drifting look (another freeriding technique). While doing this, you push the total weight of your body parts onto the rail.
As a result, a longboard rolling at maximum speed turns into a drifting stunt. As I follow experienced longboard riders like Tony Hawk, Joel Tudor, and many more, their freeriding videos mostly contain sliding actions. That is to say, you can try different riding styles and see if you can stop your longboard in a good-looking way. Talking about the sliding, find the best sliding longboards at BoardsOnTop, which is the first priority.
2. Coleman Slide
Cliff Coleman invented the Coleman slide. It is helpful in both ways, stopping a longboard and improving freeriding skills. It is comparatively easy to implement than controlling the ride’s speed when going down the hill. It has a slightly different technique when you need to stop the longboard and slide with it.
Steps to Implement for Coleman Slide:
You give a harder push to your longboard and generate as much speed as you possibly can.
Then, you place one hand on the ground to slide on a longboard (don’t stop the ride).
With the hard push, you can gain more speed which helps you keep going even after your slide.
It would work more efficiently to do this on a hill going down, but doing this for learning is also great.
3. Stand up Slide
The stand-up slide is another good-looking stunt that can attract many others. It is not achievable without practicing distributing your weight backward to slow down the board. Most importantly, it becomes more challenging as you don’t use your hand to perform this excitement. Here is what you need to do;
Steps for doing Stand up Slide:
First, you can choose both flat surfaces (if you are a beginner) or downhill (if you are a pro rider) to implement the steps of the stand-up slide.
Gain a speed that is challenging to minimize. Bring your legs a bit forward and backward the upper body parts.
The hands’ position is convenient in this scenario. The open hands, legs in front, and upper body parts in the back help make the longboard slide.
To expand the sliding experience, try different locations of the hands. Stick to the one you find more effective in reducing the wheels’ speed.
4. 180 Sliding
As the name clarifies, you have to make a 180 slide to perform a freeriding step. It is almost identical to a stand-up slide but requires more energy. Let’s have a look at the steps you will be performing to make your longboard slide at 180 degrees angle.
Steps for 180 Slide:
Like stand up slide, start by pushing the board and gaining pace. Pose for an active slide with the exact body positioning as stand up.
When you succeed in making the slide, try to rotate the longboard by pressing the front side with energy. Most importantly, it will require some extra pace. Otherwise, the wheels will stop rolling when you try to do a sliding stunt.
If you have tried to rotate the board and found success, keep it going until 180 degrees, and then straighten the deck if you want to try another one.
5. Sit-down Slide:
If you know how to Coleman slide, this one is not hard for you to apply. You do the same steps as Coleman slide but do not place your hand on the surface. Once you have pushed the longboard for the slide, sit low while the hands stay in the air. Your body positioning helps you slide the longboard.
Tips for Freeride Longboarding
1. We have mentioned five different methods of freeride longboarding above. Analyze each of them and start practicing with the one you understand well and think is easier to apply.
2. If you do not have too much experience in sliding the board, never go for the ride without wearing safety equipment. It will keep your significant parts protected.
3. If this riding style inspires you a lot and you want to learn this. Start by buying a suitable longboard for your preferred riding style. Read the buying guide for freeriding longboards and buy one with all the essential features in it.
Buying Guide for Freeride Longboards
Five essential gadgets make a complete longboard. Below you will find each one and their role on a longboard. Also, we will shed light on what specifications these accessories must-have for a better freeriding experience. Finally, we will begin our discussion by finalizing the deck shape for freeriding purposes.
Three popular deck designs are found in longboards. Unfortunately, we can’t specify any of them before going through the specifications and abilities of each design. So, we will see the uses of top mount, drop-through, and drop-deck designs and suggest one for longboard free rides.
The trucks are located comparatively lower than the deck in the top mount shape. This shape and trucks placement makes your board handy which means you will have to push harder than usual to begin the ride. We see this structure as a valid reason for riders not to choose this longboard for their rides. The best thing about this structure is that it helps experienced skaters to control their rides easily when riding down the hill.
The Drop-through deck is unique and the most suitable design for beginner riders. In this deck shape, both deck and trucks stay at the same height. In other words, your deck remains as closer to the ground as possible. Also, it saves you from continuous pushing because the closed deck to the floor, the more central gravity decrease. This is how you can run your longboard for longer distances without pushing it again and again.
The structure of the drop-deck longboard is entirely different from drop-through and top-mount because the deck is found lower than the trucks, almost closer to the ground. This design does the same task of minimizing the rider’s effort by decreasing central gravity. You may be able to enjoy another riding style with such a deck but can not perform pumping steps. If you try to, the deck will touch the ground, no balance in the ride will leave, and you will fall off the longboard.
Deck Design for Freeriding
As a result, we recommend having a drop-deck longboard for performing freerides. It supports the tricks and techniques that riders play on it. However, there is one more thing about a deck: we need to be careful of the deck’s direction. Symmetrical and directional decks are the only ones that are enabled in the decks.
These boards have the same shape from both ends; it helps the rider move forward and backward. This is why we suggest freeriding lovers have a symmetrical board with a drop-deck profile.
Directional boards have a nose and tail and are opposite to symmetrical ones in manners of moving. With these boards, you can go in one direction, which is forward.
When we aim to use a longboard for freerides, we take care of the length only. For width, you can stay around8 inches. The length is essential because your feet leave the deck several while you perform tricks, which means you need a suitable space to land back on the deck. Therefore, the deck length should be 40-42 inches or 38-40 inches. Moreover, if you already have some experience in freeriding, you can choose a board with a short length.
The dimensions of the wheelbase matter when choosing a longboard for freerides. The Base of rollers has to be 25-29 inches for a remarkable experience. You can skip this option for other cruising, carving, and dancing styles. Analyze the diagram below to understand how to measure the wheels base.
Compared to cruising and carving styles, freerides on a longboard ask for more responsiveness of trucks. Sudden and proper turns are only possible when the trucks stay active for turning the wheels and deck in the desired direction. We have to choose the technology between a simple kingpin and a reverse kingpin to make the responsiveness sure.
After continuous research, we learned that the trucks with reverse kingpin technology are sharper than those with the simple kingpin. Most importantly, these trucks help the deck bear the rider’s weight. In short, it would help if you find the reverse kingpin trucks rather than simple ones.
If you are fresher to free ride longboarding, the regular 180mm width of trucks is best for you. With this wideness, the trucks take turns not too slow nor too quick. They are ultimately giving newbies complete control over their rides. Pro riders go for the trucks’ width of around 160mm as they are used to it and control their rides easily.
Another essential step is to determine the base angle of trucks. In two different measurements, you can avail yourself of one opportunity. Either you slide better or stay stable during the rides. For example, with a base angle of 40-50 degrees, you can have next-level control over your ride. On the other hand, a 50-55 degree angle assures better sliding but less stability. You can select one by determining your skating level and preference between stability and sliding.
Size and Width for Freeride Wheels
We take care of two things in longboard wheels, diameter and durometer in the longboarding world. Diameter and Durometer of the rollers.
Diameter defines the size while durometer recognizes the hardness of rollers. As we are discussing what is freeride longboarding and what to look for in a freeride longboard, the wheels with a diameter of around 70mm work extraordinarily. They help longboard stay stable under critical situations.
The hardness of the wheels decides if the speed of your ride is going to be fast or slow. We all know that more complex pairs of wheels roll over various surfaces with high-speed levels. On the other hand, sloppy wheels grab the ground sufficiently to keep the driver safe. The hardness of 80-82A is what most freeriders use while performing freerides.
Rollers with rounded tips are second to none in performance, especially when freeriding. The edges of the rollers can be beveled as they help in repelling friction away. Also, the slides will become more accessible, and longer distances will be covered with little pushes. Any bearings rating is acceptable when freeriding, but if you want more agile rides, find ABEC-7 bearings. The tip here is to clean and lubricate wheels regularly. Get to know the steps here; How to Clean Longboard Wheels.
As an experienced longboard rider, I have tested and analyzed numerous longboards. Below is the best choice that will let you slide and freeride on the same longboard.
Freeriding and Sliding Longboard
Junli Freeride Longboard
Can you do cruising on a freeride longboard?
You will struggle in cruising on a longboard made for freerides. Due to the irrelevant design, cruising becomes boring. However, beginners can adjust themselves on freeriding board.
What are the benefits of having a freeride longboard?
As sliding and freeriding are familiar, you can enjoy both at one longboard. In addition, you will get support in achieving higher speed levels and sliding whenever needed. In other words, a suitable longboard for freeriding will improve your sliding skills as well.
What is the difference between freeride and freestyle board?
The purposes of their use differentiate them. For example, if you know “what is freeriding on a longboard,” you must have the idea that freeriding longboard can be ridden down a hill. On the other hand, freestyle boards support rides on flat surfaces.
For an in-depth answer to the question “what is freeride longboarding,” we have defined it in multiple ways. First, freerides are the shadow of downhill riding but with more sliding techniques. Secondly, you must learn many methods to call yourself a freeriding master. Finally, as a suitable longboard is required for any riding style, we have also clarified what to look for in freeride longboards.