How to Longboard for Beginners

If you’re wondering how to longboard for beginners, you’re in for a treat. In less than 20 minutes, you can grasp the basics of riding a longboard. You can learn how to balance on a longboard, how to move forward, how to steer the board, how to foot brake, and even how to bail if things go wrong.

Also read: Best longboards for beginners

We created this beginner longboarding tutorial to help you out. And for anyone who prefers video over the written words, the video below should be adequate.

Also read: How to skateboard for the first time

How to Longboard for Beginners Video by Skating Magic

Bujie teaching Peter to longboard

In the video above, Bujie is teaching me how to ride a longboard for the first time ever. He’s telling me what to do, and I’m trying to do precisely that as you watch.

Below are things to pay attention to before you start the learning session.

What’s the Right Beginner Longboard to Learn On?

You can learn to ride a longboard on any kind of board. Don’t overthink length and width. Just get a decent one with reasonably big and soft wheels and let’s show you how to get tons of fun out of it. The longboard below has like 70mm wheels, and Peter learned on it just fine.

tall longboard for beginner
You can even learn to ride a longboard on a really long longboard like the one Peter’s hold above

Also read: Best beginner longboards

Bujie will teach me how to longboard on a really long board. It’s BIG. Look at this longboard; it’s half my height. I’ve read that longboards that are too big are harder to steer, but this is what we have here and it’s what I’ll learn from.

Stay Safe While Learning to Ride a Longboard

Before stepping on any longboard as an absolute beginner, wear a well-fitting helmet to protect your head from potential falls or collisions. Knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards are also highly recommended to prevent injuries while learning.

Someone on Reddit highly recommends Fleximeter wrist guards claiming that they protect the wrists without restricting finger mobility. I’m thinking of getting these ones but until then, let’s have fun!

Determine Your Stance

how to determine stance when longboarding

There are two stances when it comes to skateboarding and longboarding, you either ride in the goofy stance or ride regular. Figuring out your stance is crucial before you start the lesson.

So how do you determine if you’re a regular or goofy longboader? If you naturally feel comfortable with your left foot forward, you’re regular-footed. If you prefer your right foot in front, you’re goofy-footed. And if you prefer the left foot, you’re definitely regular-footed.

To confirm your stance, stand with your feet together and your arms behind your back. Ask someone to give you a small forward shove. The foot that steps forward is your stronger or dominant foot. I just found out I like the regular stance better, and that’s progress already guys!

Choose a suitable location for learning to longboard

If you’re a first-time longboarder, find a flat, smooth surface with minimal traffic and obstacles. An empty parking lot or a quiet residential street would be ideal. Avoid busy roads or crowded areas until you feel more confident on the longboard. The last time a vehicle passed by this road was 15 mins ago, so definitely a safe road for a first timer to get on a longboard.

How to Learn to Longboard for Beginners

peter riding a beginner longboard

If you follow these steps, you’ll learn to longboard in less than 20 minutes! Even if you have never longboarded before.

  • Position your longboard on a flat surface with the wheels parallel to the direction you want to ride.
  • Place your front foot on the longboard, near the top of the front trucks. This foot is pointing forward.
  • Shift your weight to this foot on the board and push off with your back foot to gain momentum. This step might take a while, but you’ll soon master it. I’d say this was the most challenging step for me, but it’s not difficult.
  • Once you’re comfortable riding with the front foot on the board while pushing with the other foot, you’re ready for the next step.
  • Push the longboard for a while and then lift the back foot and step on the deck. Place this foot near the back of the board, and as you do this, quickly change the position of the front foot to face to the side, similar to the backfoot. To maintain balance and stability, keep your knees slightly bent with most of the weight on the front foot. If you place the toes or heels too close to the edges of the deck, your board will lose
  • How to stop on a longboard: Put your pushing foot down gently and drag it on the ground. This wasn’t hard to do for me. There are other stopping techniques but this is a beginner tutorial, you know.
  • How to steer a longboard: To steer the longboard, apply some pressure on the toes to turn to the right. To turn to the left, apply pressure with the heels. Do the opposite of this if you’re a goofy rider.
  • How to bail on a longboard: If the longboard starts speeding really fast for you, you can jump off the board and leave it rolling on its own. To get off a longboard, simply put the pushing foot down and then the front foot and run in the same direction as before. Don’t step in front of the board. Instead, step a decent distance to the side.

I was able to ride this longboard in under 20 minutes. Other guys I was with were also able to get the hang of it in a matter of minutes. I feel like basic longboarding is pretty easy, easier than rollerblading, and safer. Not once did I fall while learning to longboard, but I fall from time to time when blading.

At the end of the lesson with Bujie, I could get on the board and maintain balance, steer the board perfectly, foot brake, and even ride down this hill. It seems like dude is a good teacher, or I learn things fast, or both.

Beginner Longboarding Tips

longboard drill riding with one foot
Most of the weight should be over the front leg

Start with the Basics

Don’t feel pressured to head to a skatepark on your first day. It’s perfectly okay to practice elsewhere until you feel comfortable to go ride in a skatepark. Once you’ve grasped the basics, you can venture to the skatepark with newfound confidence.

Watch and Learn

Watching longboarding videos made by skilled instructors can be beneficial to understand the right techniques and tricks. Observe their foot positioning, balance, and movement to get a sense of how to ride the board effectively.

Consistent Practice is Key

Dedicate regular time to practice and be patient with yourself as progress takes time. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become on the longboard.

Ride with a Friend

Finding someone to learn with can be helpful and motivating. Practice together, share tips, and support each other’s progress. Having a buddy can make the learning process more enjoyable and less intimidating.

Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind when learning to skateboard for the first time:

Wear Protective Gear

Always wear a properly fitting helmet to protect your head from potential falls or collisions. Also, put on knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards to safeguard against injuries to your joints and hands.

Start Slow

Begin with the basics and take your time to get comfortable on the skateboard. Avoid attempting advanced tricks or maneuvers until you have mastered the fundamental skills.

Choose the Right Terrain

Stick to flat and smooth surfaces with minimal traffic and obstacles. Avoid busy roads or uneven terrains that could lead to accidents.

Maintain Control of Your Speed

Avoid going too fast for your skill level. Also, practice slowing down and stopping smoothly.

foot braking to stop a longboard

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Pay attention to your surroundings and be cautious of pedestrians, cyclists, and other skaters. Always yield the right of way when necessary.

Don’t Longboard in Inclement Weather

Wet or slippery surfaces can lead to accidents. It’s best to avoid boarding in rainy or icy conditions, especially when you’re new to the hobby.

Stay Visible As You Learn Boarding

If boarding in low-light conditions or at night, consider wearing reflective clothing to make yourself visible to motorists.

Skate with others if possible

Skate with a friend or in a group as they can provide support if needed. In case of an emergency, they can call for help. Longboarding is quite safe and unless you’re riding too fast when new to it, odds are you won’t fall. Besides, you can always bail.

Listen to Your Body

If you’re feeling fatigued, take a break. Boarding requires physical effort, and pushing yourself when exhausted can lead to accidents.

How to Ride a Longboard for Beginners

Longboarding is an enjoyable outdoor hobby that requires practice, determination, and a passion for learning new things. Start with pretty much any longboard, determine your riding stance, and understand the correct stance. From there, practice persistently to get better.