Many people say that longboarding is the most challenging and dangerous type of skateboarding. Though, many people yearn for the sport, not only because of how cool it looks but also owing to the high demand for skills and maneuvering.
Besides, you can still play the sport safely if you have proper safety gear and practice enough. Look at the tips below to find out how to protect yourself on the way of mastering the brilliant motions.
Tips and Guide for Safe Longboarding
Start gradually from dancing
Dancing on a longboard is nothing new. You need to equip yourself with a long and flexible board because you will need to perform various movement while rolling on flat terrain or gliding down a slope.
The safety gears required are a helmet (pay a decent amount on it, or you may end up with a counterfeit product), knee and ankle protection. If you want a bit risky, you can abandon the latter. In the worst cases, you might only twist your ankle or pull a muscle. Just start with basic moves on flat ground, then upgrade the game to slopes and more difficult dancing movements. Once you are confident enough, you won’t feel the risk anymore.
Put on full gear for slalom
Different from dancing, slalom requires more protection due to its high level of danger. Some people may not consider slaloming longboarding, but clearly, a lot of longboarders partake in it. To master the tricks, you will have to learn how to weave the board between cones (or other kinds of obstacles) on the ground without knocking any of them over.
This one demands much flexibility and quick reactions. You may think it is easy by looking at a video on Youtube, but the risks are tangible when you are near the cones. To get faster, some people try to create a boost by sliding down steep slopes with a ramp.
For slalom, you must have a helmet, kneepads, elbow pads and slide gloves. Don’t forget to put some protections on your ankles, too. The worst scenario will be some road rash, but you are willing to take it when considering the fruit of the endeavor.
Practice hard before going to the open road
How much is the rate of you beat a car? Less than 1%. You are just a human being on a piece of wood, and the opponent is hundreds of kilos of metal. Therefore, longboarding on the open road is neither a joke nor a dare to try. To do it, you at least have to take certain precautions.
First, you must know how to control your speed. Practice slowing down and stopping again and again until you are sure that nothing could make you confused when you need to do the maneuvering. Then, be careful like the first time you hit the road on a bicycle. Put on your helmet, kneepads, slide gloves, then start slowly. You must try small streets first, and skate along with bicycle riders. Then, after you master it, move to larger roads.
When you are commuting at night, remember to make yourself visible. If you are skating around corners, slowing down is a must. Last but not least, don’t suddenly switch the lane! You may give other people on the road a heart attack. And if they don’t react fast enough, no one could be sure of the outcome.
Learn how to fall
Even when we have practiced much, no one could be sure sudden things won’t happen. Therefore, even you are scared, you need to learn how to fall. Wear proper safety gear, start with a slow speed, and drop on your hand and knees, then slide on the kneepads and gloves until you stop. The first experience could be terrifying, but it will help much when the time comes.
After learning how to fall in flat ground, combine the practice in freeride to get more experience. Try to fall out when you are riding down a small hill, but you must remember to only use hands and knees to contact with the ground.
Use body leather gears for downhill racing
The most dangerous activity – downhill racing – requires much more protection. This time, you will have to do a lot of tricks when moving at a scary speed. Forget the small gears for other activities. This time, you must have a full body leather suit, a full face helmet, and last but not least, a back brace. If something happens, force you to come off the board, use the leathers to slide down the tarmac until you stop. Without the leathers, what you get will not just simply rash.
Besides, due to the high level of danger, you should never perform the moves when you are alone. It must be an organized event with closed trails and a medical staff ready. Some racers could even get up to 60+ mph, so no step of preparation is not essential.
Be a member of a community
The thing I like most about longboarding is that the players are extremely safety conscious, and they often protect each other. You should take part in a local community, to make sure there is someone to care for you when you get injured. Such communities have strict rules about safety. If you are caught without a proper helmet, other members will intervene until you wear one. Abandoning your own safety is posing threats to other people, you should be aware of that.
To find the lovely groups, just search on facebook or google. Or else, you may meet them at certain spots in town. I think they will be more than happy to help you learn some basics.
In a nutshell, longboarding is dangerous. One mistake and you could get serious injuries. You, not any other, have to learn how to protect yourself when taking part in the kind of activity. To master the moves, you will have to bear pains and injuries, but stay safe is of top priority.