I'm excited about this longboard! How do I use it?
May 3, 2012 4:11 PM   Subscribe

I just got this longboard as a birthday present. Is it "good"? Also, how do you begin to longboard?

I found its makers by googling the logo on its back. I would like to know if it's trustworthy and if it won't kill me. Do you know this brand?

Also, are there any resources out there for the completely isolated newbie with no skater friends whatsoever, but with lots of enthusiasm? What gear should I get, what shoes? How should I begin?
posted by Tarumba to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: extra info: I'm mostly interested in cruising but would also like to learn to slide. I don't know if this board is good for that!
posted by Tarumba at 4:13 PM on May 3, 2012

I don't have anything to add, but here's some wonderful inspiration
posted by humboldt32 at 5:46 PM on May 3, 2012

posted by humboldt32 at 5:47 PM on May 3, 2012

The deck looks amazing, but it looks like more of a cruising board rather than a downhill bombing board. The front wheels look like they might bite if you were to carve too hard, but I can't see the bottom of the deck to see if if it has been carved out to make space.

I'm sure that it'll be fine for whatever you throw at it as a beginer.

It's a truely beautiful board, you're lucky to have it. You indicate your gender as slug, if you're UCSC slug, there's a thriving downhill crew in SC.

Just take it easy, it's easy to take on too big a hill get speed wobbles and eat shit.
posted by JimmyJames at 6:32 PM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

You might want to check out your local board shops. The shop where I bought my board (only a month ago! Learning is super fun!) offers free clinics on things like sliding, bearings, how to stop, etc. Even if they don't offer clinics the employees are usually very knowledgable and psyched to get newbies hooked on the sport. I also found someone advertising skateboard lessons on Craigslist; I emailed him about longboarding and of course he had a longboard as well and was able to offer me very reasonable-priced private lessons.

One thing that surprised me about longboarding was all of the little lower leg muscles that are involved. I run about 30 miles a week so my legs are fairly conditioned but longboarding is a totally different sport. The first couple weeks I'd try to get out every day or so and ride for a little bit in an empty parking lot to get my muscles used to it. Also, get a pair of skate shoes- you'll definitely want the right shoes to foot break.
posted by shornco at 7:53 PM on May 3, 2012

The board looks nice, never heard of the brand but that doesn't mean much, like a cruser as others have pointed out. the #a rating is an indication of the wheels hardness...if your wheels are 78a, like the ones linked, then they are pretty soft and won't be great for sliding (but will be good for easy, cushy cruising, so stick with them until you get the basics down).

Practice going downhill on small, not too steep hills, hopefully dry and clean, in residential areas with little traffic, preferably without a curb and a grassy area to bail onto or just dump speed by riding through. Look out for sand, leaves, wet patches, etc. Learn the effect that these different surface conditions will have on your ride...at safe speeds!

WEAR A HELMET. Knee and elbow pads are nice too, especially when you are sliding/learning. Gloves too.

Don't ride on the sidewalk if you can help it.

Some terms to Google:

Goofy vs Regular
Skate Tool (to adjust trucks)
Longboard gloves (especially when you start sliding...it's 'easy' to DIY these with a plastic cutting board, something to cut/melt it, and some work gloves; you don't need to shell out for the fancy prefab ones unless you are really into it).
Wheel bite
Speed wobble (JimmyJames mentioned these two)
Longboard bearing maintenance

Seriously, it's way too easy to hit your head on the pavement while riding a longboard, even without bombing hills or anything crazy...take it from someone who learned this lesson the 'hard' way. You wanted to know if your board would kill you...it will have a lot harder time if you are protecting your brain. Wear a helmet.

And enjoy it, a good cruise feels SO good, and is an awesome workout. If you snowboard, longboard a few times a week and you will be amazing on the slopes next season.

I am really bumming right now because I was recently banned from the sweet run (on a private road) next to my apartment, 'for my own safety'.

Actually, that's one more thing to know. Just like bicyclists, longboarders have to contend with a lot of shit from people who drive cars...maybe even more so, because of the association with 'those skateboarder punks' and the general unfamiliarity many people have with longboarding...so be polite, learn how to stop quickly and make sure you know what you are doing before you ride in any kind of traffic...and look out for the crazies who will try to kill you.
posted by soy bean at 8:01 PM on May 3, 2012

The board should be fine. As long as the trucks and wheels are decent. As noted above you may have to tighten or loosen the trucks based on your needs. You don't want it to be too loose and get wheelbite (wheel hitting the deck and stopping you as you ride) or speed wobbles. With this board you will want to mainly cruise and you could look into learning some tricks over time. You can find a lot of information online and especially at Silverfish Longboarding.

Consider doing some lunges with weights to build up your leg muscles. Kicking a longboard will build up your leg muscles and you might have a bit of soreness if you are not used to kicking a board from higher up than a regular skateboard.

Have fun it's a great feeling.
posted by andendau at 1:44 PM on May 4, 2012

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