So you've got a longboard but can't figure out how to stop at speed? The longboard slide is the best (and most fun) way to stop on a board. Here are our tips for learning how to slide.
Learning the longboard slide can be nerve racking and very tough. It's an all or nothing technique in that you give it your full effort and you'll make it happen. If you don't, you'll likely fall or not initiate a slide at all.
Think of the longboard slide like dropping in at a skate park. If you don't fully commit, you'll fall, or you'll just continue standing there overthinking. Sliding a longboard takes speed and full commitment. That's why it's so important to pad up before you go for it. At the very least you'll want a helmet, but we recommend throwing on some knee, and elbow pads as well. You'll also need slide gloves to get going. We recommend Holesom gloves. Slide gloves have a plastic attachment called a "puck" that lets you put your hand down on the ground as you slide without hurting your palm or fingers.
Where Should You Try Your First Slide?
The best place to start is in a flat parking lot with lots of space and empty. Don't just go for it on a steep hill! Small shallow hills are OK in the beginning but make sure there's space for your slide. Wherever you decide to practice just be sure it's safe and there's no risk of being hit by a car or pedestrians that you could potentially injure.
Breakdown of the Coleman Longboard Slide
It helps to understand all the motions before you even try one. Here's the steps in order that breaks down the whole trick:
- Push to a moderate speed, nothing too crazy but definitely a good 6-8 pushes to get going.
- Place your feet about shoulder width apart or a bit wider. Wider makes for a more stable slide and lowers your center of gravity.
- Bend your knees and crouch down a bit. Start to shift your weight over your front foot. (leaning over the foot so that most to all of your weight is off the back foot)
- Roll your back foot towards the front as your weight shifts.
- Place your front hand out onto the road in front of you and to side while keeping your weight forward. (Don't drop backward or you'll lose your balance, ouch.)
- Stretch out a bit to push the board more in front of you as you engage the slide and trust your hand to help balance. Keep weight on that front leg and your hand and swing your free hand across your body, this will start the slide and carry it through. Essentially this motion "drives" the slide.
- Drive through the motion with your hips. To disengage the slide simply drop that arm back and you'll start to slide back. Or you can keep through the motion to style out a full 180 pivot.
- Keep your eyes ahead.
Basic Tips to Improve Your Slide
There's a lot that you can do to make your slide better. The best skaters can use the slide in such a controlled way that they can carry it into, through, or out of a sharp corner. This scrubs speed and allows them to make sharper turns smoothly. As you start you may reach a point where you spin all the way around. This can be used as a freeride maneuver to ride switch but it can be tougher as a beginner. Slide at a slower speed to avoid this and really get a feel for the board. It's all about learning when your board is going to engage the slide and when traction re-engages.
Keep your hand closer in, if you reach out too far you'll fall through. This is basic balancing logic. Keep your feet wide with each attempt. Remember that your front foot is the one that stays heavy, the back foot should be light allowing those wheels to be pushed out.
Now head out and start trying to slide. Remember to fully commit or it's more dangerous. Be sure to share a comment below if this helps you learn to slide, we love to hear about everyones first slide!