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.