Longboarding is the act of riding, on or performing tricks with, a longboard.
A person who rides a longboard is referred to as a longboarder.Longboarding is variety of
skateboarding, a relatively modern sport—that originated as "sidewalk surfing" in the United States—particularly California—in the 1950s. cite web | url=http://skateboard.about.com/cs/boardscience/a/brief_history_2.htm | title=Skateboarding: A Brief History (page 2) | accessdate=2006-12-13 | author=Steve Cave, about.com] Longboarding was first developed by skateboarders who wanted to go faster and recreate the feeling of surfingand snowboardingon hard surfaces. [ [http://www.kidzworld.com/article/2436-longboard-skateboards-a-faster-smoother-ride Kidzworld.com - Longboard Skateboards - A Faster, Smoother Ride] Retrieved on 2007- November 9.]
A longboard is typically 37 inches or more in length. As well as being longer than a standard
skateboard, longboards may also be equipped with larger wheels which are intended to produce smoother rides and higher speeds. The extra bonus with being longer than a skateboardis that you go much faster and further with less pushing off.
Longboards are usually designed for transportation or commuting. They are usually 100-130 cm (39.0-50.3 inches) longFact|date=April 2008 and have a shorter nose . The boards are flexible to provide a more comfortable ride and are often shaped to resemble surfboards. Their
trucksare set up loosely to allow for narrow turns. It is useful to have a kicktailon a commuting longboard in order to corner on sidewalks and to lift the front of the board when riding off curbs.
Similar to other
slalomdisciplines, slalom longboards are designed to allow zigzaging between obstacles usually cones as quickly as possible. These boards are usually 63-89 cm (24.6-34.7 inches) long, and often made of high techmaterials such as carbon fibre. Shorter boards are used on tighter courses, and longer boards are used on steeper, faster courses and 'giant' slalom. Many slalom longboarders have several different boards set up for different types of courses. The trucks are attached to the very ends of the board and the boards often have narrow ends to allow a tighter turning radius. Slalom longboards are used almost exclusively for competitive longboarding. Slalom wheels have a much larger contact patchfor better traction. Slalom trucks are often much narrower to allow a tighter turning radiusFact|date=April 2008. Using thin trucks also gives the board more leverage over the truck.Fact|date=April 2008 Slalom boards often have something to hold the front foot in place, this is commonly referred to as a toe stop.
Downhill longboards, or "speedboards", are used for riding down hills as fast as possible. These boards are usually 95–110 cm (38 – 45 inches) long and very stiff. The trucks are attached to the ends of the board to maximize the
wheelbaselength. A longer distance between the front and rear wheels, known as the wheelbase, will increase stability, while a shorter wheelbase will increase the turning potential of the board. In order to lower the center of gravity, downhill longboards sometimes feature a lowered platform. The deck may be mounted below the baseplate of the trucks (drop-through configuration), or by the shape of the deck itself (dropped-deck), both invented by Jody Willcock and Ian Comshin of Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada.
Wider more stable trucks may be used as well as axle bearings that rotate independently of wheel bearings to further increase top speed. (Note; this theory is disputed and many people believe that axle bearings are not beneficial to speed, but are beneficial in the rare case of bearing failureFact|date=April 2008). A new type of downhill truck was invented by Jim Ziemlanski of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada that incorporates the use of a spherical bearing on the kingpin to allow precision turning and control at high speeds. Downhill longboarders sometimes use streamlined helmets to reduce aerodynamic drag.
Variations of setups include:
Lowered Speedboards, which are characterized by a riding platform that is lower than the mounting point of the trucks. This configuration is almost immune to speed wobble, and is known for being exceptionally smooth while drifting through corners. However, with such a low center of gravity, leverage on the trucks is minimal, reducing responsiveness.
Dropthrough Speedboards, which have holes machined between the truck mounting hardware so that the baseplate can be mounted to the top of the board. This is probably the most popular method of lowering a boardFact|date=April 2008, and is used by many board manufacturers. Dropthrough speedboards have high stability while retaining responsiveness. They have good traction but are less easily controlled in drifts.
Flushcut Speedboards, which are similar to dropthrough boards except that they also have a recessed area cut into the top of the board so that the trucks, when mounted from the top, are flush with the deck. This increases responsiveness slightly, and results in a ride that has medium traction and drifts quite easily and controllably.Fact|date=April 2008
Wedgenose Speedboards, which have
nosethat is turned up to increase turning in the front truck. These boards are stable, yet very responsive. The design of the boards creates excellentFact|date=April 2008 traction in the front while drifting out the back is easy and predictable.
Topmount Speedboards, which are the original
speedboard. With the trucks mounted on the bottom of the board and no major bends in the wood, these boards are as basic as it gets. Less stable than the other configurations, the level of leverage on the trucks makes for an exceptionally responsive board.Fact|date=April 2008 This set-up has the best traction,Fact|date=April 2008 however, drifting is more difficult and takes time to master.
Dancing is a resurgence of old-school tricks in longboarding that involves a variety of walking and spinning moves. Dancing originates from boardwalking in surfing, and has been recently popularized by innovators such as
Adam Coltonand Adam Stokowski. Dancing boards are typically longer and sometimes wider in order to provide a larger platform for walking and turning tricks, often at 60 inches or more in length.
Cruising is a relaxed style, usually performed at slow speeds and involving tricks imported from classic surfboarding such as
hanging ten, cross-stepping, and drop-knee-turns. Cruising longboards are typically much longer than the usual longboard, 150 – 200 cm (60 to 80 inches) or more, and often closely resemble the surfboards that they borrow their style from.
A Shlongboard is a hybrid board created with a shortboard and the trucks and wheels of a longboard. The shortboard trucks are removed, and the new trucks are drilled into the tail and nose of the shortboard (among other variations). This allows for a low ground clearance. Shlongboards are normally
D.I.Y.projects. These Shlongboards are used primarily during the winter in parking garages when the streets are covered in snow, ice, sand, and salt.
Sliding is a form of
stopping, but has been turned into a new type of downhill skateboarding. When sliding, sliders (skateboarders who slide) wear gloves to protect their hands from the ground, and to allow their hands to slide better at high speeds. Boards involved in sliding are:
Longboards:Sliders can slide on longboards, but can not spin as much as a slidedeck because of the deck's size and slow response.
Slidedecks:Slidedecks are skateboards with certain modifications. The most important is to have a wheel hardness of 85A-99A
Durometers. Slidedecks also have better trucks and bearing than normal skateboards to make the slidedeck faster.
A relatively recentFact|date=April 2008 development in the longboarding world. Companies have been experimenting with unconventional wheeled-board designs, boards built from surfboard materials, modifying decks, trucks, and even the number of wheels on the board. These boards typically have improved downhill performance (control and/or turning radius) when compared to longboards, but are often slower or more hinder-some to push on flat surfaces.Fact|date=April 2008
Long Distance Skating
Longboards are being used for long-distance travel. The boards that are used normally have a lower centre and are lighter than normal boards. A tradition of combining these journeys with charitable fundraising has emerged. [ [http://www.pushforthecure.com/ Push for the cure] - Charitable distance skating] [ [http://www.beatswalkineurope.com/ BeatsWalkinEurope] - Charitable distance skating] [ [http://www.boardfree.co.uk/ Boardfree] - Charitable distance skating] [ [http://www.pavedwave.org/ PavedWave] - Charitable distance]
Before learning braking techniques, it is common for riders to jump off the moving board and 'run out' their speed, but this is safe only at low speeds. If the rider is traveling faster than the speed at which they can run, other techniques are required:
Air braking involves standing upright on your board as tall as possible with arms outstretched to catch as much wind resistance as possible. This is primarily done in speed boarding to reduce speed but is not an effective way to stop. This only works at high speeds.
Foot braking involves putting one foot on the road while balancing on the board with the other foot. This technique can be used to reduce speed or come to a full stop. This is helpful in racing or tight situations where room is not available to enter a slide, or when a rider only needs to lose a small amount of speed prior to entering a turn. However this method tends to destroy shoes as the sole of the shoe is worn away.
Carving is an effective way to control speed when traveling downhill. Instead of coming to a complete stop, the rider makes a continuous "S" path by leaning left and right. By making so many turns the speed can be controlled and maintained.
Camber boards are boards specifically designed for carving. A camber board is usually made of a flexible wood like bamboo, and the center of the deck will be higher than the mounting point of the trucks creating an arc shape. When weight is applied to it the center will bend down, creating a reverse of the arc shape. This builds spring tension, that is released at the peak of every complete turn in the "S" pattern.
This can also be done while wearing sliding gloves. The rider can grab the side of the board while crouching and lean uphill. The other hand is then placed on the ground on the uphill side. This is then repeated going the opposite direction. At high speeds it can result in loss of traction.
Slide braking also known as a speed check slide or sliding is a very important skill for longboard skaters who regularly downhill. To slide brake the skater quickly turns his/her board sideways into a controlled slide, to stop. A slide can be performed backside or frontside. With practice a skater can burn off speed very quickly in a relatively narrow roadway. Generally a skater sliding should have gloves because a hand is often placed on the ground for balance and control in the slide, however it is possible to slide to a stop, while moving less quickly, either hands free or with minimal hand to ground contact.
A slide is when the board loses traction around the turn causing it to slide sideways. It is a controlled sliding movement designed to reduce speed or to impress spectators. The same equipment is used as for a slide; the only variation is in hand positions. Drifting is most commonly used in downhill racing, to negotiate turns that are entered at high speed or are too tight to make. Controlled sliding (drifting) is also common in slalom competition and is used for similar reasons. Drifting can also occur accidentally when 'carving' and often results in flat areas being created on the wheels.Harder wheels make it easier to enter a slide, due to the decreased grip between the wheels and the road.
A sit brake is achieved by sitting down and braking with both feet. It can offer shorter stopping distances than single footbraking. It can also offer more directional control than a slide. However it takes more preparation time than a slide and is harder to achieve safely at high speeds. It is not a permitted technique during sanctioned races. The "Sit Brake" also causes damage to shoes over time.
See Pumping on Skateboard for pump explanation
Cross-Stepping is a technique that consists of moving ones feet, in front of, or behind, the other (cross-stepping) up and down the deck. Usually this technique is practiced by a longboarder with a longer deck (40+ inches). Different variations of boardwalking depend on the imagination of the rider. Twists, turns, hopping, jumping etc. can all be considered more technical variations of boardwalking.
Skogging is the alternating use of both legs while pushing a longboard or a shortboard for fun and fitness. Skogging is generally done along long flat sections of terrain where pushing with only one foot would be overly tiresome and works well in conjunction with board walking "tricks". The word "skogging" comes from the blending of the words "skateboarding and jogging". Skogging is a concept conceived and refined by [http://www.chrisyandall.com/ Chris Yandall] [ [http://www.skogging.com Skogging by Chris Yandall - Skateboard Jogging Fitness - Switch Foot Push ] ]
Longboarding is also banned in many public areas due to its association with the property damage and liabilities caused by street/trick skaters, plus longboarding, being a largely downhill activity hinged on momentum and lacking in the brake department, can create a pretty serious traffic hazard from time to time.
8. [http://thelongboardstore.com/faq/ The longboardstore.com FAQ]
* [http://www.skurfboards.com/ Skurf Boards - The Largest Longboarding Review, News, Videos and Information Blog]
* [http://skateboardmap.local124.com World Longboarding Map]
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