Longboarding: Advanced Turning and Lean.

I just posted about carving the other day, so I thought I would post about some other turning techniques and tips and tricks. So, as it turns out, you can’t turn the full range of motion that your trucks will permit using just your legs. There are a bunch of other things that you can do on a longboard in order to turn deeper and harder on your longboard, and those are the things I will speak about.

Sitting down.

Most of the turns you would have done up until this point would have involved just using your upper body to lean to the side and in turn press your board down with your feet. At least, that’s the deepest you’ve done. Most other times you would have used just your feet and ankles to apply that pressure.

Thing is, when you get to faster and more sketchy turns, using just your feet will definitely not be enough. When you try just turning with your feet you will find yourself wobbling and twitching out of control, and you probably won’t make the turn tight enough anyway and in the end just coming up on a curb and bailing or something painful.

There is a solution for these, but it is one-sided. Meaning, you can only do it heelside. So, right if you are goofy, and left if you are regular footed. This is probably the fastest deep turn you can do. It doesn’t involve slide gloves on the ground, and the depth of the turn isn’t enough to really shave off any speed, unlike carving or anything.

In order to do this technique, you should have a good understanding of how hard you feel g-force on your particular setup. This is because for the most part, you will be hanging slightly off the center of your board, so you need that force to push you onto the board.

First thing you do is lean into a heelside turn. As you turn harder and harder, you bend your legs and get into a “sitting” position, with your legs at an almost 90 degree angle, and arms anywhere to help you balance. You should shift much of your weight to your front foot in order to prevent wobbles. As you come back up, naturally just stand back up.

Grabbing rail.

Many longboarders see grabbing rail as one of the fundamental skills of the sport. Grabbing rail is when you grab well, the edge of a board. It seems pretty simple if you haven’t done it before, but there is a single best way to do it, and this way is actually better than any other way by a huge lot.

We’ll start with heelside turning. The wrong way to do it is called stinkbugging. This is when you grab the edge of the board between your legs, as in the following picture (http://i.imgur.com/5IpayY8.jpg?fb)

This is highly dangerous because it makes your whole body get into a pre-rotation, meaning that instead of facing slightly forward into the direction of travel as it usually should be, it is instead rotated downwards and to the side. This contorts your lean much onto both of your feet instead of just onto your front foot, and you will find yourself either sliding out or having a very, very wobbly corner.

Instead, grab over your back leg. As you bend down to turn, take your arm and wrap it around the side of your body and then grab rail. This makes sure that your body isn’t in a weird contorted formal, instead it makes your whole body lean forward, loaded most of your weight onto your front. This makes sure that you won’t have any wobbly, twitchy turns.

This is even more advanced, but grabbing rail and doing a heelside turn is a setup for a slide that I will explain in a different article, but if you carve hard enough and push out with your back, you will initiate a heelside squattie, or a heelside sitdown slide. More on that later.

There is also a toeside rail. This is the simpler one. First, you have to know tuck stance. Tuck stance is a racing stance that kind of looks like what you would do if you were kneeling before a king, except that your back knee is off of the ground. This is extremely aerodynamic, but it is also the starting point of many railgrabs and slide stances.

From a tuck, you reach down and grab the rail opposite of the side you are turning to, and pull. Keep your other hand above the ground with a slide glove on, but don’t touch down. This is a very, very tight turn. It will propel you to the side much faster and harder than you are probably used to, so use caution when pulling. Pull a little bit and then gradually pull more. In time, you will be turning as tight as making hairpin garage turns with almost no effort.

Puck down!

There are certain times when not putting your slide puck down is slightly dangerous, and also there are times when it is necessary to almost be off the board in order to turn hard enough to clear a corner. In instances like this, you put a slide glove down.

So, it’s the same concept as what I explained above, but it’s just capitalizing on harder pulling on the rails by pretty much hanging off the board. You just reach down, touch the ground and then pull hard.

For toeside, be sure that your knees do not touch the ground! It’s a painful experience having your skin torn off by asphalt. And for heelsides, be careful that you don’t carve hard enough to initiate a shutdown slide, because that will totally take you by surprise and end up with you faceplanting into the ground. That isn’t fun.

-CARVE HARDER! Ryan L. Longboarder.

Longboarding: How to Carve to your Wits’ End!

Carving is one of longboarding’s central skills that you should absolutely master before you try slides or going down steep hills at extreme speeds. Carving does a few things for you, of which a few are things like slowing you down, getting you set up for slides and saving you when you get the speed wobbles.

So, before learning how to carve, you should absolutely know how to stand on your board, and how to turn on it pretty proficiently. By proficiently, I mean that you should be able to safely and with control turn and surf all over a sidewalk pretty well. Go to the right edge of a sidewalk, and then surf over to the left edge. Over and over again. If you can do this, then you can learn carving.

Carving pretty much means turning and surfing hard enough that your wheels start to show resistance against the direction you are traveling. You should turn hard enough that your board pushes up against you and you feel the downwards force on your feet. If you don’t feel this, you aren’t turning quite hard enough. Lean more.

Another thing you will notice when you are carving successfully is that your wheels will start to make a nice, sticky sound. It’s hard to explain, but once you hear it, you will be able to know that it’s the sound of carving.

So, to recap, here are the steps:

  1. Straighten up your body and bend your knees.
  2. Lean hard to one side until you feel yourself getting pushed on your board.
    1. Just a tip, on flexier boards your board will flex downwards during this step.
  3. Push up on your board, straighten out and immediately dive into the other direction.
    1. You should be thinking about making a wave on the ground, left, right, left, right.
  4. And repeat.

Onto some uses of carving.

Carving is usually used when people want to shave off a little bit of speed. Let’s say, maybe 3-4 kph. Carving is also inherently more stable than going straight down a hill, because your feet are always leaning in one direction. If you carve successfully and sustainably, you won’t get any speed wobbles.

Speaking of speed wobbles, carving is one of the best ways to save yourself from speed wobbles when longboarding. If you stop panicking during speed wobbles and catch one of the wobbles, take that wobble and extrapolate it into a carve of the same direction. Make large carves until you are at a speed that you are comfortable with again.

Carves are also the way that people get into slides. A good slide always needs a very strong setup carve to throw the body and board sideways on the road. More on this later in another article!

But that in a nutshell is how you carve. Carving is ridiculously run on flexy boards, so if you plan to carve a lot, get a Magneto Bamboo Drop Through!

-CARVE HARD. Ryan L. Longboarder.

Controversial Longboarding: The Definition of a Poser.


Okay. So, I haven’t really had any extremely thoughtful thoughts for the past few weeks, but something happened yesterday to trigger some of the gears in my head. Something that slightly annoyed, maybe even angered me a tiny bit as a skater with real and very genuine morals and motivation to progress in the most legitimate ways possible, as that is fighting half the battle and that half the battle is the most enjoyable, in my opinion. But I saw something two days ago that I don’t think should have made me feel disrespected, but it did, and I will explain that to you.

Yesterday, I saw what I could only call a poser of the utmost caliber. Now, I don’t usually call people posers. Someone who isn’t good at skating isn’t necessarily a poser.

My definition of a poser is a skater who doesn’t skate.

I saw a guy in front of my school. Let’s call him John. I saw John in front of the doors to my school, I guess waiting for someone. He was just sitting there. Sitting beside him though, was this beautiful, brand new Longboard setup with new parts, new wheels. It was an expensive longboard, bordering the $200 line in terms of the price for just the deck, with everything else being expensive cast parts from one of the legendary western companies.

So I approach him. I myself have a pretty expensive setup that I love and appreciate, so I just plopped down right beside him and started a conversation. Hey, nice board dude, you skate? Yeah, I skate. How good are you? I think I’m pretty decent, I’ve done a lot of races but I don’t skate much anymore because no one is really good enough to be competition. I asked him if he’d like to skate a hill on Saturday with a bunch of people, to which he said sure.

He was pretty darn confident. This type of arrogance isn’t particularily uncommon in the community. The difference is that real, legitimate skaters are able to back it up with performance.

So I invited the guy to a skate session on Saturday by message, which he saw but never replied to. I messaged him a few times leading up to the session, but he always saw the messages but never replied, which struck me as odd because he was so eager to go a few days ago. At this point, a few things started to really bug me and strike me as a little bit weird.

His setup a few days ago was pretty mint. If he was indeed a skater, he wouldn’t have had a mint downhill longboard setup. He was also getting out there and just putting it out there that he doesn’t skate anymore, which isn’t usually something that someone says when they are decent at skating. All this and so many more things. However, but even at this point, I didn’t really label him as a poser. He was probably just busy that weekend and he probably has a bad habit of not responding to messages online. That’s fine.

Eventually, he did relent after a week and came skating with us, and this is when the story really does get quite hilarious.

Usually, my crew and I skate some garages, some pretty mellow hills and one steep hill at the end that isn’t all that steep. It’s only around a 3% grade, but it is extremely long so you can get up to some decently fast speeds, maybe up to 40 or 50 kph, but this speed is still nothing to anyone who has raced before. Racers get up to 70, maybe even 80 kph on a consistent and regular schedule, so I didn’t think that it would be a problem for John, who had supposedly been longboarding for years before I had been.

John showed up to our meeting spot with an absolute lack of gear. He had a helmet and his board, but he didn’t have gloves. He should have known that we were going to use gloves in our session, I did tell him that we would be doing some easy sliding. But he didn’t have gloves. His excuse? He had ripped them a few weeks back doing some very gnarly standup slides. Which I took as a reason, but it was still getting very fishy.

We’ve had people come along without gloves before, so we just went. We design our program so that beginners can always come by and have a session, maybe their first session, so we always go to the parkade first, because it’s easy, smooth and indoors. It’s extremely fun because even if you fall, it’s all smooth ground so you never get scratched up.

John didn’t do quite well here. Instead of being at the front where he should have been with his expensive wheels and deck, he was at the back regularily footbraking and slowing himself down. He seemed quite scared to push at the start, only just having a rolling start, which is a behavior we usually see with beginners who aren’t used to the speed yet. We usually coax them down the slope and make sure they’re okay, maybe ask them to go down sitting on their boards to see that it isn’t quite that fast.

But John was obviously scared of the slope. It’s like he had never gone down a decent slope before. He was footbraking, getting wobbly, running off his board sometimes, but he always covered it up with no, he just wasn’t used to his new setup. Which again, doesn’t make sense because it was tuned to be a downhill board and everyone else loved his setup. It was bouncy, responsive and stable.

Most of the crew by here were already pretty sure he wasn’t actually a racer, and he was only skating with people for the first time. But it goes on.

John did well on the very mellow slope that is the second part of our run. He footbraked, but he for the most part made it down the hill without bailing. He stepped off the board and stuttered here and there, but he did make it down. Last, though, again.

And then in the last part of the run, he just blatantly refused to go down. Oh, I don’t have my gloves, I haven’t skated a slide hill in so long, I had a drink yesterday so I’m still hungover. I totally understood now. John was a poser.

John didn’t learn. He didn’t ever tell any of us that he was a beginner, instead he made fun of our setups and told us that we would do better if we tweaked our setups this way and that way, playing around with our setups and riding them back and forth the sidewalk. We all trusted him to be okay at skating, even though some of the logic that he spurted wasn’t exactly the most accurate or practical when it came to the knowledge that we already had.

The moral of this story I guess, is to tell you that it is totally okay to be scared and admit that you are scared. Being a beginner isn’t a bad thing at all! In fact, it is so much worse to be a cocky poser than to be a beginner longboarder. Like I said in other articles, the community is extremely friendly towards people who have a strong desire to become better. People who are willing to learn and try to contribute to the community, because all of us were once in that position as well. There was a time when every experienced racer was a beginner and without knowledge of one or two slides.

Being a poser really annoys a lot of longboarders because of a few things. Posers usually disrespect a lot of people. They make fun of other people’s boards and setups because they have a need to make up for their own misinformation with the descent of other people. Their boards and setups were put together by people at a Longboard store, but it wasn’t catered to them personally, because they would never really have been able to ride and experiment with the setup. A setup should evolve with the rider, not the rider just stepping onto a perfect setup.

So this experience quite rattled be, because I’ve never actually seen a poser before. This was a pretty long rant, but I hope that it encourages some readers to seek out and reach out for help when they are starting out, there is no need for you to become a John. Be a skater. Build yourself, it’s the easiest way to fit in.

-SKATE HARDER! Ryan L. Longboarder.

Longboarding: What about my feet?


One of the most overlooked parts of a longboard is surprisingly enough, not part of the physical longboard itself! It’s actually on your foot. Yes, that’s right, it’s the shoe. The shoe is probably the most important part of a good longboarder, since it is what lets you feel the ground and the board, and it’s also what lets you footbrake, grip the board, and kick posers in the face. (Jokes)


But to be real, yes, proper shoes will absolutely change the way that you longboard, and it will definitely change the way that you ride for the better.




There are so many brands of shoes out there, it’s incredible. There are low-tops, mid-tops, high-tops, slip-ons. You can get stuff made of durable materials, some are more breathable than others, and there are literally a million colors.


The shoes you should be using for skating though, are skate shoes. Skate shoes typically have flat bottoms, unlike a running shoe which is contoured on the bottom to better interact with the ground. However, longboarding should be done in an environment that is as close to barefoot as possible, as it gives the best board-feel and grip.


The reason why board feel is so important is because every longboard comes with a bunch of curves that are meant to lock your feet into the board so that you don’t slip off. In order to correctly lock yourself into these curves you must be able to wedge your feet into them, which isn’t possible with a shoe that has a thick sole like a running shoe. Plus, running shoes sit higher than skate shoes, which means you sit slightly higher above the ground. It may not seem like much but this difference actually makes you much more unstable at high speeds.


Another good reason is economics. Running shoes cost a lot of money, sometimes up to 200 dollars, even. Taking into consideration that the griptape under your feet is practically just adhesive sandpaper, your expensive running shoes will be ruined and gone within a few weeks, and especially so after a good fall. Running shoes are quite fragile, as they are meant for the ground and nothing else. Skate shoes, however, are meant to touch surfaces at all angles, so the top of your shoe won’t tear open even if you drag it along the ground somehow. There’s also the issue of footbraking. Footbraking will tear your running shoe bottoms to shreds, as they usually aren’t vulcanized rubber, unlike most skate shoes.


Here’s what I recommend for skate shoes.


You want mid-tops. This way, when you are pushing, the back of the shoe won’t chafe your ankle, which makes for a pretty comfortable ride. Chafed ankles sting a lot. Plus, you can lace them up higher than you can lace low-tops, and that really lets you move your feet as one with the shoe, not as two individual parts. Also, get shoes with pretty high sidewalls, as they will protect your feet most when you are in sliding stance. They’ll be most durable as well.



WEAR GOOD FEET SOCKS? –Ryan L. Longboarder.

Longboarding: What do I wear?


The things you wear while you board are some of the most important factors in how you enjoy longboarding. If you’re wearing bulky clothing like jackets and jeans, you’ll feel restricted and in the long run you’ll get much more tired in a smaller amount of time. This means less good pushing time and more huffing and puffing trying to catch up to your friends, which is never good! In this article, I’ll explore what kind of clothing I wear when I am boarding and tell you what’s so great about it.


So, to begin with, I usually wear sweatpants or shorts when I’m out pushing around. This is because sweats are usually pretty stretchy, and they won’t get in your way when you are moving your legs. Also, they are usually cooler than jeans or khakis, and they won’t make you all sweaty and disgusting in the middle of a downhill longboarding run. Although they are less durable, a patch of duct tape on the butt will do you good and save you from a pretty decent fall. Shorts are the same, except even better. Although they won’t save your skin, they will let you feel the wind in your shorts and it’s the best feeling ever. Also, theoretically it’s probably more aerodynamic. Also! Don’t throw away your wrecked pants. Just patch them up, nobody cares if your pants are ugly on the hill! Or you could just get crash pants.




In terms of shirts, wear a pullover sweater or a T-shirt, depending on the weather. Zip-ups are uncomfortable because the zipper makes the whole sweater so much less flexible, and that’s a pretty big problem when it comes to being flexible for slides and all of those shenanigans. I also find that shirts with round necks are incredibly uncomfortable for some reason when I’m longboarding.


Another pretty important thing is shoes.


Shoes are probably the one piece of clothing that really, really matters when it comes to longboarding, and the type of shoes that you wear will absolutely, definitely affect your performance when you’re going down a hill all the way to when you’re pushing around on the street or the riverwalk. Strangely enough though, this is something that a lot of people skip out on when they get into the sport. Truth is, you should be wearing a good quality pair of skate shoes and nothing else.


Skate shoes are defined as simple shoes with flat soles and flat bottoms. This allows you to feel the board when you are riding and also it doesn’t put your feet in any weird angles when you are standing on your board. Running shoes are usually slanted forward for running, but you’re riding a board, and your foot should be as flat as possible so that you don’t lose your balance. Also, skate shoes usually have more support for your feet in the right places when you are boarding, especially for pushing and lateral stresses on your feet.



Just a tip for shoes: get good laces. Good laces will save your life, because you don’t want to be re-tying your shoes every run, and shoes that get loose in the middle of pushing are the most annoying things ever.


Push harder! –Ryan L, Longboarder.



Longboarding: Gear Part III.


The past two parts of the gear posts were mostly about the things that you absolutely need for riding, things that would guarantee your safety when going fast or things that you need in order to progress farther in the sport. However, there are a few things that I personally carry around whenever I go events, that I find are extremely valuable both in terms of safety and convenience.

Also just a note; in my opinion, these are items that you should carry in your pack if you ever decide to go out riding with a bunch of people, they’ll love you for having these items. But you don’t really need it if you’re just going out to ride in the streets to work or whatever.

Duct Tape.

Duct tape! The stuff that fixes everything. Yes, indeed, this is the stuff that may save your skin, literally. Sometimes when you are longboarding, you fall. And when you fall, you may rip your clothing. When clothing gets ripped, you have to patch it up with some tape, or you risk falling on the same spot and absolutely ravaging your skin, and trust me, road rash hurts.

What I end up doing is actually making little patches of the stuff. I lay some tape down on a table and I weave a bunch of pieces of duct tape together and make a little trapezoid-shaped pad of duct tape that I stick on my butt when I go sliding. Saves my butt and my clothing. You’ll figure out where to put those pieces as you fall more.

Duct tape can also rain-proof your wheels by just sticking a piece to cover the bearing. It can also go on the sole of your shoe when you footbrake to save your sole! (Chuckle chuckle)


Shades aren’t just for looking cool! They help with your riding! Many times out of ten, you will run into situations where are riding in the light. With hills going in any which direction, the sun may flicker in and out of your eyes constantly, distracting you and potentially leading you into a tree on the side of the road. All morbid jokes aside, wearing sunglasses when it’s bright outside will make it much safer to ride. I recommend them strongly.


Riding for a long time will definitely tire you out pretty badly. Sometimes, I like to keep a few protein bars in my pack in case I ever get the rumbles while I’m rumbling.


Riding. Dries. You. Out.

More on this later, but when you’re going in the wind and breathing through your mouth, your body will be evaporated of all the moisture that it has. Always carry water or the dryness will totally distract you and potentially make you lethargic and unable to ride at your highest capacities. I really like those little running squirt bottles that I can drink from. Super convenient and lightweight. I appreciate those.

Go faster! -Ryan L. Longboarder.

Progression in Longboarding: The Barriers



There was a post about two weeks ago called Progression that I wrote to encourage some of you to try new things. I included some tips about new tricks, slides and some new gear that you can get to accompany your Longboard! However, one thing that I didn’t talk about was the psychology and the motivation behind the whole concept of progression in a sport. In this article, I will speak about the mental barriers and some other things that you have to get over in order to progress farther and faster.

The Speed Barrier.

I was a beginner for a very long time, and there was a reason for this. I couldn’t get over going fast! It was extremely hard to get used to anything over 20 km/h, because at 20 km/h, you’ve pretty much surpassed running speed, and it’s likely the fastest you’ve ever traveled without sitting down in a seat in the open air. You may have ridden a bike, but even so, the bike feels much safer since you’re strapped down with handlebars and brakes and a seat.

And I know. Longboarding is very different because you’re in the open air and all you have to control with is by using your feet and balance, a prospect that isn’t the easiest to come to terms with for anyone. However, getting over the speed barrier just takes confidence and time.

What I found broke my speed barrier the fastest was doing pack runs. Go down a mellow hill with a group of friends, and their excitement will push you to go faster and faster. I’m not embellishing this, but seriously, going fast is not that hard!

The Slide Barrier.

The Slide Barrier is similar to the Speed Barrier, except it’s for slides. The thought of sliding down a road sideways on a longboard that is seemingly supposed to go forward only is daunting. But don’t worry, people do it all the time and they love it. I love it.

The feeling is a little bit weird at first, I know. But once you really get that first slide down, there’s nothing stopping you from trying new slides. Once you get it, you won’t be scared anymore.

The Mental Barrier.

This one is a little bit vague, but I find that people get pushed the most when they are skating with other people. However, how does someone progress quickly when they can’t get the confidence to go out and fool around with a group of skaters?

Yes, it’s true. It’s hard to put yourself out there and skate with a lot of other people that are better than you, and it isn’t a rare problem. I couldn’t bring myself to skate with a group of people until I could do a decent slide to slow down. I thought I would at least have to bring something to the table in order to be respected. However, that’s not the case at all. If you can stand on a board, you’re welcome at any event, even as just a spectator. You don’t have to prove anything.

WEAR A BANANA HAMMOCK. Ryan L. Longboarder.

Longboarding: Gear Part II.


So, the last safety-oriented article I wrote was about helmets and pads. I believe those are probably the most standard pieces of equipment you will need, aside from a few others that I will mention in this article. This article is less about safety as it is about gear that will help you progress as a longboarder, and maybe even build your identity and style as one.


Shoes are something that people really miss out on when they start longboarding. Even for me, it was actually just a set of running shoes that I actually stepped on a longboard with for the first time. And I thought that was okay, I thought that most people longboarded with running shoes, but that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, there’s a whole breed of shoes just for longboarders.

Quite fittingly, they’re called skate shoes. Skate shoes have flat bottoms, so that every curve of your board is translated exactly onto the bottom of your foot. This gives you a great boardfeel and the ability to really control your board’s curves. For example, if you had wheel flares, you would be able to hug those wheel flares with your feet since you can feel them exactly with your feet. Flat-bottomed shoes are also great for grip, since your whole foot is contacting all the grip tape at all times. Really locks you in.

Skate shoes come pretty cheap, anywhere from 30 dollars to 120 dollars, depending on the material, but honestly the 30 dollar pairs from a good, reputable company will supply you for a few months of good, fresh sole.


(Pictured, Vans)

Skate tool

A skate tool is a T-tool equipped with the main nut and screw sizes that you need to dial in your trucks and board when you need to. A driver for your kingpin, your axles and one for your hardware screws. This stool is extremely versatile because many times, I have wanted to tighten my trucks before a run and lacked a tool to do so. These are compact and easy to carry around, and only cost around 10 dollars.


Slide Gloves

Slide gloves are those little gloves with circular plastic things on them that you see speedboarders and freeriders wearing everywhere. Slide gloves are actually an incredibly central piece of gear that you will need if you intend to start learning to slide or do downhill. They might even come in handy for protection when cruising, I know a lot of folks who just wear them anytime they are on a board, myself included. Slide gloves are available from pretty much any longboard retailer, some are better than others, but generally I recommend the ones with leather construction. These won’t die when you are doing slides, and they are usually of higher puck quality as well.


 WEAR A HELMET! Ryan L. Longboarder


The Rider and the Longboarding Community.



In previous articles, I’ve been consistently mentioning the longboarding community as an entity that all longboarders try to adhere to while you know, skating and going to events and doing the things that longboarders do. However, there are many things that really set the longboarding community apart from many other communities, such as the skate community or the competitive spelling bee community. This is an article where I will talk about those differences with a few of my own experiences.

The longboarding community is inherently extremely friendly. Help is given whenever you ask for it, and people will actually come out of their houses a Monday morning if you ask them to teach you slides, and they really will try their hardest to help you understand. This kind of stems from how humble people are in the longboarding community, because everyone understands that they started out as a newbie as well.

For instance, I remember back when I was just starting out, I was having a really hard time initiating slides, so I went online to look for help. Upon finding the local longboarding group on Facebook, I asked for some help with getting my wheels to unhook, and it was astounding how much help was offered. I got people who were sponsored volunteering to come out and give me tips, invitations to slide jams and races, just so that people could help me skate better. Whenever I expressed my nervousness to them, I was always met with the exact same response of, “everyone starts somewhere.”

This was an incredibly new experience to me. Every other community that I have been a part of has always been a decently competitive one. I would ask for help, and people would usually brush me off out of fear that they would create more competition for themselves, and because they didn’t want to fall out of the loop because they were overtaken by someone else. But the community for boarding is helpful.

This type of thinking really defines the mentality of longboarders these days. People always look to improving everyone as much as they can so that they can have maximum fun at the end stage, so that more people would compete and more challenges were faced. We, as longboarders are obsessed with overcoming obstacles and creating more competition for ourselves is absolutely not something that we are afraid to do.

So here it is. The next time you need help, don’t just stew at home and get frustrated by yourself, ask someone to come be frustrated with you. They will come and they will help you. Plus, skating with other people is so much more fun!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

WEAR A HELMET. Ryan L. Longboarder.


Gear and Rider: Real Talk.



When you start longboarding, you’re most likely going to buy a longboard without having done too much research. Which is okay, your first longboard shouldn’t be an academic choice, but a choice of aesthetics and a matter of choosing something that will absolutely make you fall in love with the sport itself. In fact, for the first few weeks to a month or so of your learning curve, you won’t be able to tell the difference between good gear and mediocre gear in the first place. But here is a discussion on the mentality behind loading up on good gear and its part in the longboard life.

So, as it turns out and should be quite obvious, gear is a huge part of the longboard scene and it’s not as if you can get all your walmart longboards and gear under one roof! It’s far better the get quality Almost everyone has a different setup, different decks, different wheels and different trucks. You could almost say that more than your face, your setup and board gives you as a person more of a name in the community. More than being, “Ryan, that guy who does good slides”, you would be “Hey, the guy with the bamboo deck and red helmet that does massive slides”. So yes, it is true that good gear and flashy gear will most likely increase the amount of attention you get in the community.


It is important that you understand that a bad, cocky rider on a pristine setup is worse than a good, hard-working rider on a bad setup. Moreover, there’s the whole reputation side of it.

I remember about a month ago, I was at my local hill. While skating, we spot a guy who we’ve never seen before, he’s maybe 13 years old with this absolutely beautiful setup. Precision trucks, 300 dollar board, rain-grooved wheels, a setup better than most of ours there. So we think, hey, this guy might be from another city, here to skate for the first time, let’s watch him, curious as to how well that setup would perform.

The result? He didn’t. He ended up falling at the first turn, as he went full speed down the hill, thinking his gear would support him. Truth was, his parents were there, and he was a guy from a super-rich household, and his parents gave him a dream setup that they got off of a website. Just got the most expensive parts they could find.

In contrast, a few years back I saw a pro at a race do a course on an extremely flexy dancer deck, and while hilarious, it was quite eye-opening to see that you really don’t need an extremely good setup to get good at longboarding. Sure, it helps, but you don’t need much.

So the lesson is: stop ogling at beautiful parts and go skate!

WEAR A HELMET. Ryan L. Longboarder.