If you’re new to longboarding, one of the first things you’ll need to master is turning. Turning on a longboard may seem intimidating at first, but with the right technique and practice, it can become second nature. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of turning on a longboard, as well as some tips and tricks to help you improve your skills.
What is longboarding?
Before we dive into turning on a longboard, let’s first define what longboarding is. Longboarding is a sport and recreational activity that involves riding a longboard, which is similar to a skateboard but longer and more stable. Longboards typically have larger wheels and a wider deck, which makes them ideal for cruising, carving, and even downhill racing.
Why is turning important?
Turning is a crucial skill in longboarding because it allows you to change direction and navigate different terrain. Whether you’re cruising down a hill or carving through a city street, turning helps you maintain control and speed while also avoiding obstacles and pedestrians.
What are the different types of turns?
There are several different types of turns you can make on a longboard, including:
– Carving: Carving involves making a series of sweeping turns by shifting your weight and leaning into each turn. This is a popular technique for cruising and commuting on a longboard.
– Kickturn: A kickturn is a quick, sharp turn that involves lifting your front or back wheels off the ground and pivoting on the other set of wheels. This is useful for making tight turns, navigating obstacles, and even performing tricks.
– Sliding: Sliding involves intentionally losing traction with your wheels and sliding sideways as you turn. This is commonly used for downhill longboarding and can help you maintain speed while also controlling your descent.
What is the proper technique for turning?
The proper technique for turning on a longboard depends on the type of turn you’re making. Here are some general tips to keep in mind:
– Look where you want to go: Before you make a turn, look in the direction you want to go. This will help you anticipate any obstacles or changes in terrain.
– Shift your weight: To turn on a longboard, you’ll need to shift your weight towards the direction you want to turn. This will help you initiate the turn and maintain balance.
– Use your hips: As you shift your weight, use your hips to guide the board in the direction you want to go. This will help you make smooth, fluid turns.
– Lean into the turn: Leaning into the turn will help you maintain traction and control on your board. Just be careful not to lean too far or you may lose balance.
– Use your arms: Your arms can also help you maintain balance and control while turning. For example, you can use your arms to pump the board as you carve or to initiate a kickturn.
How can I improve my turning skills?
Improving your turning skills on a longboard takes practice and patience. Here are some tips to help you get better:
– Start slow: When you’re first learning to turn, start at a slow speed and gradually work your way up. This will allow you to get comfortable with the turning motion and build confidence.
– Practice regularly: The more you practice turning, the easier it will become. Make sure to include turning drills and exercises in your regular practice routine.
– Focus on technique: Pay attention to your body position, weight distribution, and movements while turning. Try to refine your technique and make each turn as smooth and controlled as possible.
– Experiment with different turns: Don’t be afraid to try different types of turns and techniques. This will help you develop a more well-rounded skill set and prepare you for different terrain and situations.
– Get feedback: Have a friend or coach watch you turn and give you feedback on your technique. They may be able to spot areas where you could improve and offer tips for tweaking your form.
What are some common mistakes to avoid?
When turning on a longboard, there are a few common mistakes to watch out for:
– Leaning too far: Leaning too far into a turn can cause you to lose balance and fall off your board. Make sure to keep your weight centered over the board and avoid leaning too much in one direction.
– Stiff upper body: You’ll need to use your upper body to help initiate and control your turns. A stiff upper body can limit your range of motion and make it harder to turn smoothly.
– Using too much foot pressure: When turning, it’s important to shift your weight and use your hips to guide the board. Using too much foot pressure can cause you to lose traction and slide out of the turn.
– Forgetting to look ahead: Always look in the direction you want to go when turning. Forgetting to look ahead can cause you to lose sight of obstacles and terrain changes.
In conclusion, turning on a longboard is an essential skill for any rider. Whether you’re cruising, carving, or racing downhill, turning helps you maintain control, speed, and safety. By practicing the proper technique, experimenting with different turns, and avoiding common mistakes, you can improve your turning skills and take your longboarding to the next level.