How To Pivot On A Longboard

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Longboarding is one of the most exhilarating and exciting hobbies to take up. Not only is it an excellent way to get around town, but it’s also a great way to enjoy the outdoors, stay fit, and socialize with like-minded people. If you’ve been longboarding for a while, chances are you’ve heard about pivoting. Pivoting is a technique that allows you to turn or carve in tight spaces, allowing you to navigate obstacles and change directions quickly, and efficiently. In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about how to pivot on a longboard.


What is pivoting on a longboard?

Pivoting on a longboard refers to the technique of rotating the board around its trucks, allowing the rider to change direction or perform various maneuvers. It involves shifting your weight and applying pressure on the board in specific ways to initiate and control the pivot.

There are several types of pivots used in longboarding, including:

  1. Kick-turn: This is the most basic pivot maneuver. It involves lifting the front wheels of the board off the ground by pressing down on the tail with your back foot while simultaneously rotating your front foot to initiate the turn. The back foot acts as a pivot point, allowing the board to rotate.
  2. Carving: Carving is a fluid and sweeping turn performed by leaning into the turns while maintaining constant contact between the wheels and the ground. It involves shifting your weight from heel to toe, using your body and arm movements to help initiate and control the turn.
  3. Slide or drift: Sliding involves intentionally breaking traction with the road surface, allowing the wheels to skid or slide sideways while still maintaining control. It is often used for controlled speed checks or initiating tighter turns at higher speeds. There are various sliding techniques, such as the Coleman slide, stand-up slide, and hands-down slide.
  4. Nose pivot: In a nose pivot, the rider lifts the rear wheels off the ground and uses the front truck as the pivot point. By shifting their weight and rotating the board, they can rotate around the front truck, executing a pivot solely on the front wheels.
  5. Tail pivot: The tail pivot is the opposite of the nose pivot, where the rider lifts the front wheels off the ground and uses the rear truck as the pivot point. This maneuver allows the rider to rotate around the back truck while keeping the front wheels elevated.


Why is it important to learn how to pivot on a longboard?

Learning how to pivot on a longboard is important for several reasons:

  1. Maneuverability: Pivoting allows you to change direction quickly and efficiently. It gives you the ability to navigate tight turns, avoid obstacles, and adjust your trajectory on the fly. This is especially useful in urban environments where you may encounter pedestrians, cars, or other obstacles.
  2. Control and Balance: Pivoting helps improve your overall control and balance on the longboard. It requires you to shift your weight and engage different muscles, enhancing your ability to maintain stability and control while riding. This skill becomes particularly important when you’re riding at higher speeds or attempting more advanced tricks.
  3. Versatility: Being able to pivot opens up a world of possibilities for different riding styles and techniques. Whether you’re cruising, carving, freestyle riding, or downhill racing, the ability to pivot allows you to adapt to various situations and terrain. It adds versatility to your riding repertoire and enhances your overall longboarding experience.
  4. Safety: Learning how to pivot can contribute to your safety while riding. It enables you to make quick adjustments and avoid potential collisions or accidents. By having better control over your board, you can react faster to unexpected situations and maintain a safer riding experience.
  5. Progression and Skill Development: Pivoting is a fundamental skill that forms the basis for many advanced longboarding maneuvers. Once you’ve mastered the basics of pivoting, you can build upon that foundation and progress to more complex tricks and techniques. Learning how to pivot effectively sets you up for further skill development and opens up a wide range of possibilities for your longboarding journey.


What are the best longboard setups for pivoting?

When it comes to selecting a longboard setup for pivoting, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, choose a deck that is medium to soft flex, as this will allow for more control and flex under your feet. Secondly, select a deck that is wide enough to provide maximum stability when carving. Finally, make sure your trucks are loose so that you can turn easily.


What are the basic steps for pivoting on a longboard?

The basic steps for pivoting on a longboard involve shifting your weight and using your feet to control the board’s movement. Start by positioning your feet in a comfortable stance, with your front foot angled slightly toward the nose of the board. Turn your shoulders and hips in the direction you want to pivot. Next, step down with your back foot and shift your weight towards the front of the board, then twist your front foot to initiate the pivot. As you turn, use your back foot to control the board’s rotation and speed.


What are some tips for improving your pivoting skills?

Pivoting can take a bit of time to master, but there are some tips you can follow to improve your skills quickly. Firstly, start by practicing on a flat surface and gradually increase your speed over time. Find a wide-open space with lots of room to maneuver, and work on perfecting your technique. Secondly, focus on your footwork, working to develop a smooth fluid motion that is controlled and deliberate. Finally, practice regularly, aim to practice several times a week, and make sure to keep challenging yourself with new techniques and obstacles.


What are some advanced pivoting techniques?

Once you’ve mastered the basics of pivoting, there are some advanced techniques you can explore to take your riding to the next level. One such technique is the 180 turn, which involves pivoting the board 180 degrees while jumping into the air and spinning your body around. Another advanced technique is the slide pivot, which involves tilting your board at an angle and sliding sideways, using your foot to control your speed and direction.



In conclusion, Pivoting is an essential technique to master if you want to take your longboarding skills to the next level. With regular practice and focused attention to your footwork and technique, you can become proficient in pivoting and enjoy a more versatile and exciting riding experience. Remember to practice regularly, focus on your technique, and keep challenging yourself with new techniques and obstacles.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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