Five Sweet Longboard Tricks You Need To Learn Today

Guy doing longboard trick and wearing flag

​Longboarding and skateboarding can be fun outdoor activities used for both getting around in an urban setting and showing off for your friends. Although we often think of longboards as easier to master than skateboards, longboarding tricks are usually quite a bit more complicated. The reason for this difficulty is the size of the board. It's harder to maneuver into trick positions. 

Although the general consensus in the boarding community is that it's relatively difficult to do tricks on a longboard, there are plenty of people who enjoy doing them and coming up with new and creative styles. Along with tricks, there are also longboard dancing and boardwalking to consider. All of these things can add excitement to your daily board sessions as you learn them. 

What Should I Know About Longboarding Before Learning Tricks?

Longboard Stand in front of a wood

​Image Source: Unsplash

It's vital that you understand the basics of longboarding before you start to invest your time in learning tricks and dance moves. Although we often think of longboarding as the simpler big brother to skateboarding, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its challenges. You still have to understand balance, positioning, pushing, and braking, all of which can take time. 

It’s also vital to understand that the way you push can affect which tricks will work best for you. If you push mongo instead of regular, which means you are pushing using your front leg, then you may not be able to turn yourself back to your standard position in time to do some flatland tricks or dance moves. 

In addition to your stance and pushing style, you may also want to consider the type of longboard you have before you begin learning tricks. Certain styles of longboards are better for particular trick styles. For instance, freeride longboards are great for slides because their wheels are made from a harder urethane compound, but otherwise, they come in all shapes and sizes.

Another example of a longboard that is better for a specific trick style is a dancing longboard. These boards are massive compared to most other boards to provide extra room for crossing feet or spinning around. These boards are usually mostly flat but may feature a bit of a camber. Dancing longboards are excellent for dancing, obviously, but also great for flatland tricks.

If you began longboarding for the commuting ability but are looking to get into tricks or dancing now, you won’t necessarily have to buy a new board right away. First, you’ll want to try a few tricks and see what you like to do. We recommend starting with slides and flatland tricks before you head to the skate park, but again, how you start is up to you. Just don’t be afraid to fail. 

The Basics

Foot with a grey socks attemping to do longboard tricks

​Image Source: Pixabay

Before we get into the “real” longboard tricks, we want to touch on two fundamental skills that will help you to learn tricks and to dance more smoothly. The two necessary skills are carving and foot braking. Both carving and foot braking will help you to stop your board, and they will also help you to learn to balance more effectively on your board. 

Foot braking is usually the best way for a beginner to learn to stop their board. It involves dragging your foot on the ground to use friction to slow your board. You’ll have to learn how much pressure to put on your dragging foot to come to a stop without throwing yourself forward on accident, which is where a lot of the skill to this “trick” comes in. 

Carving is not limited to longboarding. Surfers and snowboarders also carve, so if you participate in either of those sports, you’ll probably be familiar with the concept and catch on rather quickly. Carving involves leaning forward and backward on your board to turn the board slightly, which helps you to slow down and sets you up for more complicated tricks like slides. 

Carving is an important skill to learn if you will be riding downhill often and want to keep your speed in check. It is also a fun thing to do that helps you to feel free and adds excitement to your daily commute. 

Once you master those two moves, you’re ready to start adding some more complicated longboard tricks to your rides. You can start with whichever tricks you want, but we recommend looking at a variety before you begin, so you aren't learning a harder skill before an easier version of it. For instance, you’ll want to learn hands down slides before learning standup slides. 

Five Longboard Tricks You’ll Want to Master ASAP

Now that you know the basics, let's talk tricks! Despite our initial title, please keep in mind that you may not be able to master every one of these tricks in a single day. Some will be easier than others, but practice ultimately makes perfect.

For each trick that we feature, we’ll explain how it works and link to a video of a rider performing the trick so that you can see how it’s supposed to look before you attempt it for the first time. 

Wheelie

A wheelie is a beginner trick that is easy to recognize because it’s done across many different sports. Just like on a motorcycle or bicycle, a wheelie involves lifting the front or back end of your board off of the ground, so you’re only on two wheels. You’ll need to get going at high speed to perform this trick correctly, and you’ll also need excellent balancing skills. 

To perform a wheelie, you’ll get going as quickly as you feel comfortable on your board. With two feet in normal riding position at first, you’ll move one of your feet closer to the edge of your board. Move your front foot forward if you'll eventually want to lift the back of your board or your back foot towards the rear edge if your goal is to raise the front of your board. 

Once your first foot is in position, you'll want to shift your weight toward that foot until the opposite end of your board is off of the ground. To keep your balance, make sure that your upper weight distribution is still reasonably even by holding out your arms. You should continue to move throughout the trick, although you will likely slow down unless you are heading downhill. 

Here is a video li​​nk to check out this trick in progress. 

Ollie

An Ollie is a common trick on both skateboards and longboards. It’s a great starter trick because many other tricks use it as a base and then add on additional elements like grabs. This is a trick that you can probably master with a single day of practice, but if you only have an hour or two, it may take a bit longer. Don’t worry if it takes you a minute to get the hang of it. 

 

Your foot placement for an Ollie is similar to your placement for the wheelie, with your back foot on the tail of your board and your front foot in the center or toward the nose of the board. You'll use this position to put pressure on the rear of the board and pop it up in a similar way to starting a wheelie, but instead of remaining in that position you will jump with both feet. 

You should practice standing on the tail of your board with your front foot in the proper position to practice and get a sense of how your body should feel. Once you’re comfortable in that position, practice popping the back end down to gain height in the front end. Once you’re in the air, press down on the front of the board with your front foot to even out the board in the air. 

Once your board is leveled out in the air, you’ll want to do your best to keep your weight distributed evenly and your legs bent so that you will be less likely to crash when you land the trick. If you can, try to land over the bolts on your board. This helps to keep the board in better shape and also helps to ensure your balance on landing.

Here is a video l​​ink to check out this trick in progress. 

Kickflip

The first of many tricks that start with an Ollie and evolve from there is the kickflip. This trick involves doing an Ollie, but then kicking the board mid-air to flip it over, then catching the board on the way down and landing regularly. It sounds simple, but there are a few steps you'll want to take to get this trick down. 

First, make sure your rear leg is on the edge of the board, and your front foot is on the opposite side with the sole of that foot clutching the edge of the board. Once you’re in that position, squat down and jump up while shifting your weight toward your rear leg, similar to the Ollie. The foot placement will help to turn the board in the air. 

The board should spin around before you land back onto it, preferably over the bolts again for balance. You will probably have to practice this a few times from a still position before you will be able to do it moving or on a hill. 

This trick is considered a freestyle trick, but you can do it on almost any type of longboard. It is a beginner’s trick, but may take a few days to get down, and will take even longer to get proficient at while moving. 

Here is a video​​ link to check out this trick in progress. 

Pivot

Another excellent beginner trick is the pivot. This is a simple flatland trick that you can likely learn in a day or less. For this trick, your foot positioning will be almost precisely the opposite of your positioning for an Ollie and kickflip. You will also keep at least one end of your board on the ground at all times. The trick still requires lots of balance, though, and a good feel for the board.

A pivot changes your riding position from normal to switch. You’ll start with your front foot on the nose of the board and your rear foot near the center. From there, you’ll begin turning your frame. While your frame is turning, shift your weight to your lead foot. This will cause your rear wheels to rise off of the ground and cause your board and legs to follow your frame. 

At the end of the trick, you will be in switch position already, so you can simply transfer some weight back to what is now your lead foot and ride off in that position or you can perform another pivot to get back to the normal riding position. 

Here is a video link to check out this trick in progress. 

Coleman/Pendulum Slide

The Coleman or pendulum slide is a sliding trick that is great for beginners. This trick might take you longer to master than the others we’ve featured so far, but it’s worth the work if you want to get into harder tricks or just want something fun to do when you’re bored on your daily commute. 

In this slide, you place your palm on the road while in a controlled drift with your board at a 90-degree angle to the way you’re traveling. You’ll want a glove on for this trick if you don’t want to wind up with all kinds of cuts and scrapes on your palm. 

To start, you’ll want to get into a tuck position. To do this, place your front leg at roughly a 45-degree angle to the axis of the board while your back leg should be parallel to the board and leaning on the edge. To execute the slide, bend your front knee, making your leg parallel to the ground, and turn the back foot onto its toe. 

You’ll know you’re in the correct position if your back leg’s knee is in front of your front shin and is almost laid out on the board, while your front leg is parallel to the ground. Once you’re in the right position, place your hand on the ground, but keep most of your weight on your front leg. Turn your chest and shoulders perpendicular to your movement and push your back leg forward. 

You’ll notice your wheels begin to lose their grip and your board will turn sideways into the slide. Make sure you don’t let the shoulder of your support arm draw back, because that will pull you back and change the trick, but also add to the danger of learning a beginner slide. 

Once you’re done with your slide, you’ll want to tuck your back leg and return your shoulders to their normal position. This will draw the board back to a normal riding position and allow you to continue on your way. Make sure you keep your body over the board throughout the trick to ensure you will maintain control throughout the process. 

Here is a video link to check out this trick in progress. 

Final Thoughts 

A guy riding a longboard

​Image Source: Pixabay

There are hundreds of tricks you can learn on your longboard, and all of them have various levels of difficulty. It's essential to understand your skill level before taking on any of these tricks for the first time. Start slowly and work your way to the harder tricks. You can do this by focusing on a specific facet of tricks like slides or by learning all beginner tricks first. 

You’ll want to consider which type of longboard you have before you start working on tricks since some are more conducive to specific styles than others. You may also end up wanting additional styles of boards for the various types of tricks you want to perform. That part is up to you. Most beginner tricks you can do on almost any board. 

Longboard tricks add excitement to a simple commute and can be both elegant and freeing when you perform them. You can learn all kinds of tricks by checking out boarding blogs, YouTube, or longboard manufacturer’s websites. Just make sure you look to see what level a trick is before you attempt it.

You should also ensure you understand the fundamentals of the trick. For instance, if you’re doing a trick where the basis is an Ollie, make sure you know how to do that before you begin to try and learn the harder trick. This will not only help you to master the trick faster, but it will also prevent unnecessary injuries or frustrations in the process. 

We hope you head out to learn one of these tricks tonight or over the weekend to increase your longboarding skills. Even beginners will be able to master at least one or two of these tricks within a day or two, which is what we love about them. 

​Featured Image Source: Unsplash

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