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.


Progression in Longboarding: The Next Step

Progression: Things to do.

So, you’ve learned to cruise. You can turn well, you can carve hard and you can outskate that one poser group of pintailers that sits outside your coffee shop mid-week in the summer. You can get out the door, hop on your board and be at your destination quickly and efficiently, and pushing feels as natural as walking or running.

You are also running out of things to do. So what now? Well, at this point in your longboarding career, there are many things you can do. This is when you can start splitting off into the more extreme disciplines of longboarding, and in this article, I will explore those.

  1. Street Slashing

The name is a little bit weird, but street slashing is probably the easiest style of riding to get into that is more advanced than just plain old cruising. Street slashing has a lot to do with small tricks, and incorporating these into a fluid line through downtown. For example; you may get out of work, drop down your longboard, and push hard. With this speed, you drop down from a curb onto the road and do a small 180 slide (where you pivot your board quickly), and then ride up a curb. Then you pull off a grab trick by hopping on your board from the top of some stairs. All in one smooth movement.

Street slashing is great because if you get good enough, you can totally pull off a line just going to work, since it doesn’t particularly need fancy equipment. All you need is practice and some good old patience. Here’s a video.

  1. Freeride

Freeride is what you call sliding. Freeride requires a bit of practice and fancy equipment like slide pucks, but with practice, you can build up a quiver of around 3 slides pretty easily. Plus, you can learn how to stop without using your feet! You can slide to a stop. This is probably the first thing that most professional longboarders get into, and it’s extremely flashy and impressive. Once you learn to freeride, you can meld into any longboarding community quite easily, and it is extremely easy to progress once you have one or two basic slides.


Also, freeride-specific skating events are called “slide jams”.

  1. Downhill

Ah, yes. The ultimate form of longboarding that requires freeride skills, slashing skills and just general skating mastery. This is where people reach speeds of 80 km/h, doing long slides and drifts around corners. However, downhill starts off being something that many people fall in love with. In a previous article, I said that I fell in love with longboarding through a shallow downhill run. Many races are shallow downhill runs, and so you don’t need to be extremely fast and fluent in order to enjoy downhill.

Magneto longboards come with grippy, giant wheels with scrubbable urethane, so your complete Magneto longboard is able to perform all three of these styles out of the box.


Longboarding safety

Longboarding safety

Helmets and gear

I’ve always signed off at the end of my articles with the phrase, “WEAR A HELMET”. I mainly say this to encourage general safety. I wouldn’t want anyone crashing into the ground or into a tree and becoming paralized after reading my articles, would I? So, in this article, I will discuss different helmets and their uses. Also included are pads.


  • The Classic Half-Shell



(Pictured: Watermelon S1 Lifer)

This is a classic half-shell helmet. Helmets like these are widely available in pretty much every sports store ever, whether it be your local one or a big-name store at your mall. They’re usually available in a huge selection of colors and styles, but they all accomplish one thing: comfort and convenience. The thing about these half-shells are that they are very good for pretty much every low-speed application, whether it be freeride, or cruising. There are light-weight models which you can put on your head and forget about, but there are also very heavy-duty ones that you can take down a hill. They also boost your confidence as you don’t have to be very scared about falling, as you won’t get badly hurt.

For longboarding, make sure that the helmet you buy has a hard EPS foam, with skateboarding certifications such as CSPC or CE-1078.

(Pictured: Predator DH-6 Full-face)


  • The Full-face


(Insert picture of a full-face, Predator dh-6)

This is the downhill longboarding full-face helmet, engineered for aerodynamics and full head protection. The primary difference between a half-shell and a full-face is the protection it offers to the chin. Obviously, a half shell will not protect your jaw or your chin from any kind of impact from below, and especially if you are going downhill, an impact from below can really mess up your face. For those high speed applications, a full-face is good.

These full-face helmets can be quite expensive. In the case that you don’t particularly have the cash for a downhill helmet, a regular sub-$100 BMX helmet will do. They are a little heavier, but they’ll get the job done. Make sure the BMX helmet has CSPC and CE-1078 certifications for longboarding, as anything else has the chance of failing. As well, insurance companies will watch out for whether you had a good helmet on or not.

(Pictured: G-form safety pads)


  • The Safety Pads.


(Insert pic of safety pads, G-form)

These are longboarding safety pads. They’re great for saving the skin on your joints when you fall! I’ve always found these to be more of a confidence booster than safety, since they safe your pants and skin from getting shredded when you fall, but they have very real uses. Personally, I’ve always gone with my front leg with a knee pad, just one. This is because my front knee is the most likely to hit the ground when I fall, and that will save me most of the time. If you are skating for the first time, use full pads, and always wrist pads or slide gloves.

WEAR A HELMET. Ryan L. Longboarder. 

Longboards- Not giving up


Giving up – Learning to Longboard

In previous articles, I have many times said that media coverage contributes possibly the most out of any factor to the image of longboarding.

That being said, it’s worth noting that most official longboarding-oriented skating videos contain not much but the best of the best, going the fastest, doing the smoothest tricks and all of that. In this article, I’m going to speak a little bit about the fickle things in longboarding, such as practicing and getting good, really important parts to becoming a master at riding a longboard, whether your style is dancing, free ride, or just plain downhill. Heck, maybe even your weapon of choice is the cruiser board!

Like I said above, when people see videos of people longboarding before they start, they think, hey, this is going only going to take me a few hours, walking up and down a board doesn’t seem too hard, these people really make it look effortless. However, I must warn you, it isn’t. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pick up longboarding because it’s too hard for people, I’m saying that longboarding takes an immense amount of practice to pull off, but when you do pull it off, you will have to most satisfying feeling.

For example, I remember when I did my first coleman slide. A coleman slide is the most basic slide, one that is used to slow down swiftly at the end of a fast run, when foot braking is no longer an option. This slide, even though it is the most basic slide, took me around 2 weekends to pull off, watching countless videos in between and practicing my stance on a board in my living room. Even then, when I stepped out onto the pavement to get sliding, I found a lot of roadblocks and it took a lot of effort to really get my wheels to unhook that first time. Sure, I got frustrated and angry at myself, but I kept working at it and soon I had a whole quiver of slides to show off.

Now, as an experienced longboarder and having seen my own improvement, it makes me sad to see people picking up their first longboards and the shop, really nice ones too, and getting out on the boardwalk, trying their first steps and going home because they can’t pull it off in the first few minutes. It doesn’t make me angry or annoyed, it just makes me sad, because if that person could have just kept at it for a few more days, they would have an arsenal of dancing tricks up their sleeve that they could bust out at any given time. So what I’m saying is, when you pick up your first board, don’t be afraid to suck. Because we all suck in the beginning, and as time goes on, you suck less and less. Even more intriguing, people respect how much you suck, as long as you have a large desire to get better. People will step off their boards to help you get better. Never give up.

WEAR A HELMET. Ryan L, Longboarder.

Longboard cruising ethics and manners

The Ethics and Manners of Cruising on a Longboard 

Okay. So you just bought your first Longboard, and you can’t do much more than cruise. You might think, hey, I’ll just push all over the road and have fun! And you are correct. However, you must do this politely in order not to make anyone angry. Because I’m telling you, people get angry at skateboarders incredibly intensely and it isn’t something you will enjoy seeing.

So here, I present to you, 4 things you can do to preserve your dignity on a longboard. (And not get killed)

One. Know when to go fast.

Yes, yes, I know, going fast is incredible and it’s honestly the only thing that rustles your jimmies when you get better. I know that feeling. However, the feeling of running into people’s shins and squashing into their backpacks isn’t a great one either. Plus, they’ll probably start spitting in your face as soon as they get up. You don’t want this. Instead, go fast when there aren’t many people, or when everyone is staggered at different distances. As long as you know that you can weave around them, don’t worry about slowing down too much.

Two. Make hand signals.

The thing about longboarding is that people don’t know to just stay put. They always try to get out of your way, which is quite ironically incredibly annoying and dangerous when it comes to it. One of my greatest pieces of advice to offer is to point in the direction that you will be going in the next 10 seconds. When you do this, people will either move in that direction or they will assume you are going in that direction and just stay in the same place. Make your decision here and move in whatever direction you think is right.

Three. Don’t hog the road.

Many times, you will be on that path or road with a lot of other longboarders. Namely, freestylers and freeriders. These riders demand a lot of space to do what they do. They’re flying and sliding all over the place, and really, you don’t want to be in their way when they get into it. My advice is to always stay on one side of the road. Don’t unpredictably carve all over the road, that may get you hit in the shin or have your board smashed against another. That isn’t good.

Four. Enjoy the sights!

Pushing down a random road is no fun. Cruising is best when you go see things. Skate from store to store, restaurant to restaurant. Hold a burrito in one hand, hold your phone in the other. This is why you chose a longboard over a bike! Have a conversation with a friend while cruising. These are all great things to do when boarding. My personal favorite is urban exploring. Go follow weird roads and bike paths as far as you can take them, and you will eventually come to a place nobody really goes. Spread a cloth, have a picnic.

-Ryan L, Longboarder.

Improving the perception of Longboarding

Improving/Morphing the image of longboarding.

In my experience in the community, I’ve quite often noted the light that longboarding is portrayed in as a sport and activity by the general population.

To start off, it’s worth noting that downhill longboarding isn’t nearly as official as many people would like it to be. It isn’t recognized as an X-Games sport, nor is it all that recognized as a mainstream sport that is able to be competed in a civil manner. Longboarding is seen more as a hobby or pastime to most people who are largely uneducated about the sport, which is unfortunate. After some intense thought, I have come to build an explanation as to why this is the case.

Much of this situation stems from the way that longboarding is portrayed in the media.

We can compare the media coverage of longboarding to the coverage of skateboarding events. There are indeed skateboarding events on television, where skateboarders do tricks and competitions in closed environments, where there doesn’t seem to be any perceivable dangers to threaten the safety of the skateboarders themselves. Because of this, most people who watch these events on television or on the internet don’t think too far into the safety aspect of skateboarding.

However, the coverage of longboarding is actually much more direly ignorant. Usually, longboarding ends up on local news as a dangerous extreme sport that reckless kids do and get hit in the process.

None of the safe aspects of the sport are broadcast at all, it’s usually videos of uneducated long boarders racing down busy highways and public roadways without spotters and proper safety equipment, which is understandably met which much anger and hate from populations around the area.

There is also a plethora of longboarding crash videos which show people being bodied by cars and curbs, which doesn’t help the situation at all.

What they don’t realize is that longboarding is actually as educated as skateboarders and other extreme sports, such as BMX biking and downhill cycling. Spotters are used by smart people wanting to ride smart, safety gear is worn, and the skaters themselves don’t push themselves beyond their abilities.

Races are always held on closed roads, EMS and medical staff may be on scene as well. The point is, longboarders take many safety precautions as well, but the media turns a blind eye to these precautions.

There are great ways to prevent your local longboarding community from being shown in a bad light.

One community at a time, it is absolutely necessary that we improve in image and reputation if longboarding is to become recognized as a viable sport for anyone.

Wear a helmet, wear protection. The less people get hurt, the more people will appreciate the way we go about bombing hills and cruising fast. Don’t show people getting hurt. If you get a video of a friend crashing, don’t show it. But most importantly, make sure you enjoy the sport. Saying good things about longboarding out of your heart will make people want to try it out. We want new friends! We want new ride buddies! Don’t be afraid to teach them how to longboard.

Ps Peace and love Magneto – the best longboard brands ever!

WEAR A HELMET. Ryan L, Longboarder.

A quick guide for the beginner longboarder.


Things you need to know before you longboard:

Looking for a detailed guide on how to start longboarding? Look no further.

The first thing you’ll need is a board.

Your first board should be something easy to ride, and relatively inexpensive, such as a Magneto Long board.

Having a cheap, but sturdily build board will ensure that you are not afraid to thrash it and wreck it, however have a relatively easy time learning how to ride it.

Having a relatively large standing platform will help as well, anything from 38-40 inches long will give you enough room to stumble and explore.
For your first board, aim to buy a pre-built complete, as you can hop on and start riding right away!
Learn to push.
It may look easy, but learning to push well can be a chore. However, this is a fundamental skill that you must absolutely learn. Without pushing, you will not get anywhere, and without getting anywhere, standing on a longboard will be, well, literally standing on a longboard. You don’t want that. You want to be gliding over sidewalks at speeds exceeding a jogger! Some tips:

Bend your knees! Bending your knees will help you reach the ground and get a stronger push. Practice riding with one foot on the board! This will help you balance as you push.
Push from the front of your board, all the way to the back of your board. Having a strong, full stride will have you going much further than you would if you hadn’t had a strong, full stride.

Learn to bail.

Falling off your board is something you’ll be doing all the time as a longboarder, beginner or not. So, it’s a good idea to learn how to bail. Now, everyone bails differently. Some people aim for grass, some people deck themselves out with full pads, but I always find that rolling is the best way to bail. (Only at low speeds, of course.) This means that when you fall, you roll as soon as you reach the ground. This makes sure that you don’t get any road rash, and that all your skin stays intact throughout the bail, which is always a nice thing. And as always, wear a helmet!
Learn to stop.

Footbraking seems simple; you put your foot down on the ground and drag, right? But it isn’t as simple as you might think. It takes practice.

First, start by practicing riding your board with your front foot on your board and nothing else. The foot should be facing forwards. Just balance on your board, up to a decent rolling speed. Think about how ast you’ll probably be going when you’re cruising.

Second, bend the knee of the leg that is on the board. Remember to keep your foot facing forward and your other foot next to this foot, hanging in the air. Bend it so that your upper body is moving straight up and down, and not forwards or backwards. Think that you are doing squats.
Third, place the heel of the foot that is off of the board on the ground, and let it drag. Don’t apply any pressure, but make sure to keep your foot up and parallel to the ground.
Fourth, start applying a bit of pressure to stop better. Now you can stop!

Learn to turn.

This is the last and most complicated step, as learning to turn impulsively and getting familiar enough with the board to think of it as an extension of your own body is quite hard. For this, you will just need tons of practice and experience. Remember, G-force and leaning are your best friends!

Go and get a board! You’ll have fun. Always wear a helmet!


The best day out on a Longboard ever!


The best day Longboarding!

This is a story of the day, or rather, the best night I’ve had to date.

This is in the very, very beginning of my career as a longboarder. Before you know, all the gnarly high speed runs and the standup slides, even before I did my first coleman slide to slow down! Actually, if I do remember correctly, this is even before I learned to sufficiently footbrake.

Anyways, so this was about one and a half months into my longboarding career, I haven’t fully embraced efficient, full pushing yet, and I was still doubting myself on my capabilities. However, one day, my friend messaged me on Facebook, insisting that I go with him to a mellow downhill run to the local burger joint. I was hungry and always willing to challenge myself, I accepted. After this, I tuned up my bearings, cleaned my trucks, and even though I had some pretty bad bushings back then, I cleaned those too. And so I went and met them at the station. It wasn’t just him; it was a whole group of people! There were downhillers, there were freeriders, some groms with no experience on cruisers, and I believe there was also a rollerblader there. (No idea how he got in!) And so we went. The downhillers went in the front, absolutely ravaging the slope, miles ahead of us, and then the freerides went, and then we went. Surprisingly enough, I stayed with the freeriders, it must have been the fresh bearings! This was an almost 15 minute long run. It wasn’t fast, and it wasn’t threatening at all, in fact I had enough composure at that speed to have conversations with people. Tuck and move up, get a chat with this guy, maybe fall back a bit and talk to this girl. It was an eye-opening experience, really.

Like I said, this run was about 15 minutes long. So 15 minutes later, we all landed at an A&W (A Canadian burger chain, delicious), and we all ordered our own meals. We all put the tables together into this huge mile-long thing and sat around it, getting rowdy at 10:30 at night at this burger chain. It’s dark outside, but nobody seems to be tired at all! We’re talking about gear, girls, boys, dreams, university, it just went on and on and on in this seemingly neverending energy-filled conversation between 10 people all brought together by longboarding. Everyone was incredibly friendly, and I’m just sitting there thinking, “Wow, I need more of this.”.

At that point, my head just went from aiming for a casual, cruising kind of longboarding career into pursuing what all these people had; something to improve on daily and show off at meetups. I started giving to the community, donating gear, donating money to hold competitions. And that’s how I am here now. That fateful night 2 months after I picked up my first board at the shop, when my friend invited me, an unknowing grom, to a skaters’ hangout. You can do it too. Pick up your first board, have fun.

-Ryan L. Longboarder.


Ten things you are missing out on if you don’t longboard



Longboarding is better than you may think it is. In fact, I can list off 10 things that you are missing out on

Check out our electric skateboard blog post.

10 things your missing out on if you don’t Longboard, right off the top of my head. Ready?

One. Longboarding is efficient.

If you don’t have any interest in going into the hardcore longboarding sports such as freeride or downhill, you can rest easy knowing that longboarding is probably one of the best ways to get around town and from point A to point B. They’re fast enough to travel in bike lanes (once you get good at pushing), small enough that you can carry them into cafes and into your workplace, and fashionable enough that you won’t be sneered at on the street. Why walk when you can travel 30 steps in one push?

Two. Longboarding is exercise.

Pushing a longboard 4 miles will tone your legs, your core, and your brain. After 7 months of longboarding, I have toned, muscular calves and legs that can outrun a moderate runner. Furthermore, I have more patience with myself now as I know that I can endure 4 miles of rhythmic pushing. It’s really good exercise and training.

Three. Longboarding opens up new doors.

Personally, I’ve never been good at any of the athletic sports. However, ever since I started longboarding, I have picked up and been absorbed into the competitive community where I now race alongside many others. Don’t want to play football or soccer? Try longboarding. You can get the same experience but with more fun and more community.

Four. The community.

Unlike many boarding communities, the longboarding community is absolutely filled with angels. Need help with something? They’ll help you out. Don’t have enough money for new wheels? I’ve been straight up handed a fresh set just because the other person wanted me to be able to board at the meetup. They will help you with new setups, come out just to help you learn to slide. We are welcoming, and that’s rare these days.

Five. It’s great for your social life!

Longboarding is quite surprisingly a great conversation starter. If you walk into a room with your longboard, chances are high that someone will want to stand on it, maybe even ask you to teach you how to ride it! If you put on some funky light up wheels, you can increase this factor tenfold. But don’t do that. They’re slow.

Six. It’s something to work on.

For someone like me who has way too much free time, longboarding has been a great way to spend my
time. Whether I’m out learning new slides or boarding around the city exploring, I’ve always found longboarding to be the epitome of enjoying quiet time.

Seven. It’ll make you love the outdoors.

If you ever thought you needed an excuse to go outside, longboarding is one. Since much of the longboarding action happens on bike paths and homey streets in your neighborhood, you’ll come to love rushing by trees and looking up at the sky at 20 km/h. Remember when your mom said “Take in the green”? This is a great way to do it.

Eight. You’ll make connections.

Believe it or not, longboarding opens up huge career opportunities! Being a longboarder and being in the community really loads you up with information that will let you work at skateshops and maybe even become sponsored in the long run! Why work at a job you don’t like when you can be surrounded by the culture you love, and get paid for it?

Nine. It will give you motivation.

Personally, I’ve always been super lazy with the things I have to do, such as schoolwork. However, when I think, “If I get this done, I can go out and longboard.”, I always get this huge burst of energy from which I can complete my schoolwork in no time at all. And then I go out and go fast. Just send it.

Ten. Adrenaline.

This is the most important aspect of longboarding. I didn’t enjoy adrenaline before, but now I do, immensely. No longer am I afraid of rollercoasters or fast cars, no longer am I afraid to try new things, because longboarding gives you all of that. Longboarding teaches you to override your fear of going fast because going fast is so enjoyable on a longboard. In the end, I highly recommend longboarding as your favorite pastime.

I hope to see you at my next race.

Ryan L. Longboarder.