The Beginner’s Guide to Longboarding



Afraid of biting concrete and bones broken on ramps but still in love with skateboarding? Give longboarding a go! 

Words by Caroline Nieuwenhuis, photos by Matthew Griffiths and Paul Nieuwenhuis

My knees were covered in cuts and bruises and my jeans were ripped to shreds. I had finally accepted that I simply wasn’t cut out for skateboarding. In the five years that I had owned skateboards, my body simply refused to progress to any tricks past an ollie. As the five-year-olds skated rings round me, twirling and popping on their boards with ease, I decided it was time for a change.

It was not until last summer when I took a trip to Southern California that this miraculous change would take place. I was sitting in Santa Monica, sipping my way through ‘Snapple’ when something caught my eye. A tall man in a business suit went flying by, almost hovering motionless above the sun-beaten ground. Something about the way in which he was moving attracted me enough to stare at him disappearing into the distance. It wasn’t until he had disappeared that I learned he was riding a longboard. His body seemed to flow with the board like a gentle wave lapping the shore, without even breaking a sweat. This was something I just had to try for myself.

After doing some longboarding research on the web, I learned that they were originally based around surfboards. This gave surfers something to do when there was no surf. I decided to take myself along to the home of surfing, Santa Cruz. It didn’t take me long to pick out an elegant-looking longboard that didn’t break the bank. It was a ‘Sector-9’ board that sat proudly on bright yellow wheels, decorated with a curling wave sparkling in the sun. Even if I never managed to ride it properly, at least it would look nice on my bedroom wall! I took myself and my board to a nearby car park where I would introduce myself into the world of longboarding.


Standing on it couldn’t have felt more different to a skateboard. This board was soft and springy and turned with the slightest of movements. As I pushed off for the first time, I felt the power and freedom straight away that I had seen flowing through the man in the suit. I felt as if I was flying above the trees and shops, shooting through tunnels of waves on the pacific and I was still in a carpark! I couldn’t help thinking that everyone should put down their skateboards and hop on a longboard to share the experience. Why wasn’t this a mode of transport worldwide? Within minutes I had got the hang of riding my longboard and took to the streets of Santa Cruz, flowing through the town under the beating sun.

During my time in California I longboarded along the beach in Pacific Grove, through the city of San Diego and straight down Sunset Blvd, becoming more and more at ease with my longboard.

Arriving back home in Cardiff, Wales, I took to the streets on my new best friend. As I flew by, people would stop and stare, with cries of ‘What’s that?’ and ‘Nice board!’ hollered my way every couple of blocks. As I weaved in and out of the skateboarders, they too would stop in their tracks, sweat dripping off their faces and blood dripping down their legs from bails and falls.
I have now been longboarding along the streets of Cardiff for a year and I’m still stopping people in their tracks. Unlike California, longboards are a rarity and not once have I bumped into a fellow longboarder, someone else who has found the light at the end of the tunnel. Cardiff isn’t quite California, but if I’m on my board and close my eyes, sometimes I can imagine flying down the streets of Santa Cruz with the pelicans circling and sea lapping the shore…

So, in order to convert you to the wonders of the longboard, here’s my Beginner’s Guide to Longboarding, with all the essential info and inspiring advice to get you on your way…

Beginner’s Guide to Longboarding

Longboarding is becoming increasingly popular among surfers and skateboarders. Invented during the 1950’s, longboards were built for racing downhill or general transportation. Longboarding is often described as ‘surfing on concrete’ because the big wheels and thin board allow quick turns and carves, just like surfing waves.


What kit to buy

The kit needed to start longboarding depends on how you intend to use your longboard. When people use them to race down steep hills they often wear protection similar to that of skateboarders, including a helmet, knee and elbow pads. Sometimes riders wear ‘slide gloves’ which allow them to use their hands to turn more sharply.

The great thing about longboarding is that if you intend to longboard purely as a mode of transport or for fun, the only piece of kit you’ll need is the board itself, so you won’t break the bank!
Most longboards measure between 90 and 150cm and come in lots of different shapes. Mid-length boards are the most versatile, whereas shorter boards are better for downhill racing.

Different shapes of longboards include pintails and flatnose riders. Pintails generally have looser trucks and a wider diameter which gives more or a ‘surfing’ feel when riding. Some boards have a ‘camber’ which is where the board is bent up slightly in the middle. Longboards that have cambers are bouncier and allow the board to turn harder, whereas flat boards will lower the centre of gravity and allow it to turn easier.

The best way to choose a longboard is to try a few out. Try standing on different longboards in the shop and see what feels the most comfortable. Remember that if you are used to skateboarding, a longboard will feel quite weird when you first try one. If you want your board to be practical, choose a small to medium length board to make it easier to carry around.

Most longboards will come as a set up in the shop. This will include the deck, trucks, wheels and bearings. As you learn more and more about longboarding, you can customise your board to suit your needs. Wheels, trucks and bearings can all be bought separately to allow you to do this.

Tricks to master


Unlike skateboarding, longboarding isn’t based around doing different tricks. Instead it is about flowing with the board and is generally more laid-back and relaxing. However, you can still pop longboards which allows you to ‘ollie’ and I’ve seen people ‘kickflip’ them. If you do try to attempt these tricks on a longboard, bear in mind that because the board is thinner than a skateboard, landing hard on it may cause it to crack.

There are a few tricks that are dedicated to longboards, I’ve listed a few below to try out…

Slalom – This is where you manoeuvre your longboard between obstacles using sharp turns and curves. Try using obstacles quite far apart to begin with and move them closer together once you get the hang of it.
Dancing – This is where the rider moves up and down the longboard while moving. You can use this to control the speed and direction of the board, similar to longboard surfing. Standing near the back of the board will speed it up and near the front will slow it down.
Hang Ten – This phrase originates from surfing. To ‘hang ten’ on a surfboard is when the surfer puts all ten toes on the edge of the board. This is exactly the same in longboarding. The rider moves up the board and balances on the front edge, sending the back end into the air. This is also called a nose-manual. It’s a very hard trick to master but looks impressive once you can do it. The best way to practice this trick is to do it on carpet without the board moving. This way you can find the balance needed to do the trick and then try it out while moving along.


Good places to practice

The good thing about longboarding is that you can do it pretty much anywhere. In America the curbs are flattened between roads to allow skateboards and longboards to get up and down the curbs with ease. We don’t have this luxury in Europe but I find that roads along the beach are great for practicing because they are long and straight and don’t tend to have lots of curbs that get in the way. However, if you don’t live near a beach, any flat surface or smooth hill is ideal for longboarding. Due to the bigger wheels on longboards, they can roll over bumps and ridges that a skateboard would get stuck on. I’ve even managed to longboard along a wooden pier. Unlike snowboarding or surfing you can take your longboard out anytime and anywhere.

Longboarding events

Unfortunately there aren’t as many longboarding events in Europe as there are in America, but with more and more people starting to longboard this side of the pond, there should be more events organised in the next couple of years.

UK Events

GoFast! Speed Days, IGSA World Cup Series (sponsored by Lush Longboards)
Where: Beachy Head, Eastbourne, England
What’s on: Downhill skateboarding, Street Luge, Inline Board Races, Slalom.

Bude Downhill Skate Championships
Where: Bude, Cornwall, England
What’s on: Slalom, Street, Downhill


European Events

IGSA French National Championship
Where: Normandy, France
What’s on: Downhill Skateboarding

Almabtrieb World Cup
Where: Starting in Austria, finish in Germany
What’s on: Downhill Skateboarding

Rock & Roll 2008
Where: Thalgau, Austria
What’s on: Downhill Skateboard, Classic Luge, Street Luge, Gravity Bike and Dirt Surfer

Useful Tips
• Although you’ll want to take your longboard out whenever you can, try not to take it out in the rain. The board will absorb moisture and after a while it will start to feel damp, soggy and less responsive.
• You’ll notice that a longboard will go a lot further and faster with less effort than a skateboard. To keep it this way make sure you clean out the bearings every month or so to remove any dirt and grit that may be slowing it down.
• Be prepared to answer lots of questions about your longboard. Most people in the UK especially have never seen one before and will take it upon themselves to hunt you down and ask exactly what it is you are riding.

Useful Websites

  1. Cass

    Hi! im looking to get into longboarding as well, however, i have no precious experience. This has helped me so much!
    i live in Canada and there are a few longboarders, however havent seen a girl cruising along in awhile! i’ll start a trend tehe
    THANKS for your help :)

  2. Cooler

    Hey Cass, yeah go for it and inspire the rest of the girls! glad we could help you ;)
    keep on riding!

    1. Jim

      Do u have any suggestions for me to get back into it? I have riding for 2 years but after breaking my hand in 4 places and having a rock the size of half a marble in my chin I have been really tentative to go out. Help!

      1. Mat-Bomb hills not countrys~S/9~

        Hey ive been long boarding for about 2 years now. i know im not the best but i am pretty good.if anyones got any questions im like a walking longboard encylapedia (i know i spelt that wrong) but shoot me an email anytime if youve got questions.

  3. LostSouls

    Damn this post really pushes me to get a long board, there aren’t any longeboarders heren in Zwolle ( netherlands ) either so i’m gonna have to learn it with a friend.

    Any tips on getting a solid/affordable longboard inside europe ?

    Love from holland

    1. mitch

      hey you should order off a website so you can see what they look like and get it customized

    2. Jack

      You can order from they ship worldwide get a sector nine drop through board it will help!

  4. Joanne Belkwell

    I would like to get a longboard for my son-He is 10 years old approx 85lbs. What would you recomment

    1. Cooler

      Hi joanne, best would be to go into your local store and speak to an expert there who can take into account his size, height, ability & experience – it’s really hard to give buying tips without knowing more specifics. but we’re sure you’ll find nice staff somewhere that is happy to help you out!

      have fun in the waves :)

  5. Ilyas Sadreyev

    Hi, thanks for the advice. i live in boston and i haven’t seen a single lonboarder though i have seen quite a few people who ride shortboards. if you are a begginer i reccomend getting a complete longboard first, and then, if you want to, grab a shortboard and start doing both. at first, before i bought a longboard, i wantedto do shortboarding, but then i asked myself, “why get a shortboard, if the best trick i would be able to do is an ollie?”, so i went ahead and bought a longboard. the thing i like about longboards is that when you ride them, you feel, for once, actually free, like as though you can do almost anything you want. you just effortlessly cruise the streets without a single push, it’s amazing. and also, you can do a lot more tricks on a longboard than you might think. if you want a daring challenge, you might want to try downhill bonbing, where you go straight down a hill, all the while gathering speed. Or you could try carving, where you kind of snake down a hill, sometimes with some gloves that allow you to touch the ground without hurting your hands to get more stability. these are pretty much work gloves with some plastic attatched at certain points. you can try racing with a friend, or simply cruise the streets, where you give a few kicks and you are off. Or, like cooler said, you could also try slalom. there are so many different things you could try, what i listed are only some. and every one of these could give you a different experience, because of all the different boards there are. and all the different boards will also give you a different experiance, because of all the combinations of trucks, bearings, boards, wheels, and in some cases, grip tape. the shorter boards aren’t as stable but can turn like crazy. the longer boards are very stable, but don’t turn as well. the turning also depend on how well the trucks themselves turn. but you don’t want trucks that turn too much or you will get wheel bite. this is where you are riding your board, and you turn so much that the wheel hits the board and suddenly stops. this will cause you to fly off your board. these are some of the things that can help prevent this. Have you ever seen boards that have the material that it is made from, cut out where the wheels are? this is one of the most reliable and cheapest options. you could also get a board where it is simply thinner where the wheels are, but this can be a bit more expensive and not as reliable. you could attatch some risers between the board and the trucks, but this will cause the board to not be as stable, as they obviously rise the board. another option is to get trucks that are simply wider than regular, like Independant 215′s, or you could get trucks that don’t turn past a certain point. my last option, which i don’t reccomend, is to simply get trucks that don’t turn as much. Another thing that could happen with wheels is called getting a flatspot. it’s pretty much just what the name is, where you get a certain spot on the wheel that is flat, causing the board to kind of bump every time the wheel turns (which can get VERY annoying). this happens when you get a wheel with a low durometer and you slide with it a lot. durometer is the hardness of the wheel. the lower the durometer is, the softer the wheel. but there is an advantage of gettiing a softer wheel, it gives you a smoother ride and will absorb shock. it will also go over obstacles easier. a harder wheel gives you a bumpier and rougher ride than a soft wheel, but reduces the chance of getting flatspots by a lot. now, back to boards. a board can be convex, flat, or concave. convex is where, if you look at the board from the front or back, the right and left edges turn upwards a bit. this is useful because it gives you a better grip when you turn. flat is just what it is,…flat. and concave is simply the opposite of convex, where the edges turn down. you could also combine one or those with one of these, camber, flat, and rocker. camber is where, if you look at it from the side, the front and back of the board go down. this is useful because the board then has a lower sense of gravity, and this helps you keep stable when you carve or turn. flat, again, is just that which is that the board is flat, and rocker is the opposite of camber, where the front and back of the board are pointing slightly upward. another inportant thing about boards is flex. flex is how much the board bends. some boards are stiff as a cracker while others can bend all the way to the ground with a good jump. flex is useful because it will give you a smoother ride, because it absorbs some of the shock, but you don’t want your board to be too flexible. now, to bearings. most bearings have a rating system called abec, which is an acronym for Annual Bearing Engineers Cimmitte. this really just means that there is a group of people who rate bearings, depending on how well they spin. the lowest rating is abec 1 and the highest is abec 9. they are listed like this- abec 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. the smaller the abec rating, the worse and louder they spin, while the higher the abec rating, the better and quieter they spin. i personely reccomend an abec 7 or 9, though abec 5′s aren’t too bad. you can buy some pretty cheap abec 9 bearings from Rush for about 10-15 dollars. so, that’s about it. and Joanne, Cooler is right, try going to a store and asking them. they will probably let him jump on different boards to see if he feels comfortable on it, and maybe even let him ride it around the block a few times. if you live close to Boston, MA, then a really good shop is called Ocean Frog, in Malden, MA. they don’t even list a fifth of their shop stock online (i’m not joking) so you could go over there. it is a really good shop witha very helpful crew. unlike in wal-mart or something, these people are really into skating, especially long-boarding. they love it and will be happy to give you some great advice and help your son pick out his board. they will also let him ride the board around a bit to see if it fits him and he likes it. not only all that, but they have a gigantic selection of everything to do about boards. i hope this was helpful, and, if you have any questions then please coment and let me or cooler know. Bye!

  6. Orranguh

    Heyy, I’d like to know what board would you recommend me, I have a not much history of skating I mostly liked “cruising” on the board, that’s what got me into longboarding. so I’m thinking on getting a Loaded board sinds they are good for well alot of things, and I can’t decide on what board to get. I was thinking maybe a Loaded Dervish but alot of people have one where I’m from (Aruba). Then I thaught I’d go witha Loaded Tan Tien but I find it too stiff, so I was thinking “I’m going with a Dervish !!”, but I’m the kind of person that likes to stand out so I’m back to square 1 rtying to decide. Can you help me decide ?? I like a board that’s lightweight, has enough Flex (Less Flex more stable, but I like it “Flexy”), Is good for some sweet “Carves” and is long enough for dancing.

    1. Cooler

      Caroline, the author of this piece, would recommend you to have a look at and go for something around 35″ which should give the best of both worlds. She also says that it’s hard to recommend a certain style of board as everyone is different and it’s what feels most comfortable to them.

      Have fun!

    2. Mike George

      I have been longboarding for about 10 years and found that any of the major board makers have great boards that you cant go wrong with. You have to get the proper board for what your riding style is. You seem to like the carving/pumping style so you could get away with a more flexiable board or a stiffer one…the trucks that you put on the board can make or break a riding style. The bushng that you put in the truck also affect ride of the trucks. Most top boards that are specific to one rideing style…ie carving, pumpimg, downhill will come with the correct trucks and them. I suggest also buying a bushing kit and try differant bushing to see what you like…
      Hope this helped, keep pushing and Ride More Talk Less

  7. JRG

    I’d also like to pick up longboarding as a beginner, but I’m unsure of what type of board that would best suit me. It would be great if someone could help. I’ve got size 13 feet (US) and I way 150 lbs. When riding, I would be more of a cruiser than a carver/hill bomber. I would mainly be riding on streets and sidewalks.

    Any help would be great and thanks in advance!

    1. Cooler

      For your very first board it’s probably the best idea to hit up your local skate shop to get the proper low down on all the options and which would be the best for you. If you can’t wait for a little preview, check out Sector 9 or Lush Longboards, Caroline found these to be the most comfortable to ride, taking in maneuverability, weight and quality, after having tried several longboards. And they have some sweet designs as well. We hope that helps!

  8. Sandra

    I’m a female who too just got a longboard. Your article was great! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m just getting the hang of it in a parking lot, having never been on a sport that requires so much balance!

    I’m in Vancouver Canada – many people are on longboards up here!

  9. uneksija


    Great article! I just bought my first longboard. Here in Kuopio, Finland I often see people longboarding as well as shortboarding.


  10. Frank

    I skated (skateboarding) for 5 years and just stopped because it was the same stuff over and over, is long boarding pretty much the same concept (balance wise) just without the tricks and flips?

    1. lexi

      yes its like skateboarding withiut the tricks, but you go faster and its easier to ride, :)

  11. Caroline Nieuwenhuis

    Hey guys, I didn’t realise how much feedback my article was getting! So good to hear about everyone wanting to start longboarding, and believe me, once you start you won’t be able to stop! I just came back from a trip to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and California and realised just how popular longboarding is getting worldwide. As they say….if you can’t beat them, you may as well join them!

    Keep riding!

  12. Francesca Pedersen

    Hi this helped alot. All the boys in my grade longboard and i always thought it seems really cool. and plus my crush longboard and this will give us another thing in commen tht we can talk about.

  13. fazlin

    Hi there your article really helps me to try out longboard someday! Im still reading and doing research on longboarding now and bump into your article. I may want to get a longboard when im ready because here in Singapore i dont think many people especially girls are really into it. Your article really have help me to know more about longboard and what kind of board that is suitable for first timers like me! Thanks for sharing (:

  14. Joe

    My son really wanted a longboard for Christams. We just bought him an arbor pintail longboard skateboard 46″.
    But now that I’m reading more online I’m not sure this was the best board to buy for a beginner.
    any other ideas for a beginner?

  15. Bowie

    Hey I was just curious if you brought your longboard on your carry on? Or did you have it shipped or something?

  16. Jonny

    Hey thanks for all the info. What are loaded longboards like? I have read good things about them also sector 9 like you have. I have a pintail but find it needs a wide road and feels quite stiff. It was alright while I was in America but I live in cardiff like yourself and have found it tough because of our narrow roads and bumpy pavements. Thanks all

  17. Evan

    haha, i really wanna get into longboarding. is that Penarth in the background?? i used to live there, i now live in barry. anyways the problem is that longboards are just too expensive. I was maybe thinking of a skateboard deck with the longboard trucks and wheels

  18. mr.shank


  19. moonspinning

    Great article! Thanks Caroline

  20. mayra!

    I have a longboard, got it a month ago, and i looove it! I’m from Sweden, and longboards are very common here! In my shool 20 out of 100 students in my grade have a longboars. It’s mostly guys, me and my friend are the only girls! But longboarding is really fun!

  21. stubbie-q-nation

    i love this articule you rock and teaching is off the chain now peoplr everywhere can join together and longboard for freedumb

  22. mr.muffin

    OK so im looking for a long board that is good for tricks but also can get around. what would you recommend for a 120 weight range? also i love your artical it is the best i have found

    1. steve

      Awe look into somthing like the loaded dervish, look at somthing with good flex that’s not too long as well as decent cut outs so u gont wheelbite hope this helps, but its all down to your preference. Also try get somthing with kicktails

  23. Joann

    Hey, I’m looking to buy my first longboard soon but I’m wondering what type I should get. I’m a thirteen year old female and I’m bout 155cm tall and approximately 50 kgs. Also I’ve never had any skating experience whatsoever.
    Thanks so much,

  24. brody

    hi i’m a new longboarder in america. i’m the only one in my town and cooler my story was just like yours only i was inspired by surfers. when i read that i said “this chick stole my past”. its only a mater of time till you become a pro. i expect to invite you to the next event i have here we love new people especially ones from other countries.

  25. Caroline Nieuwenhuis

    Hey guys, I didn’t realise that my article was still receiving feedback so I apologise for not answering any questions sooner. I’ll try and answer as many as I can…

    1. Bowie – You used to be able to take longboards and skateboards as carry on luggage when flying, however this is not an option any more as they are classed as ‘weapons!’ The best way to transport your board is to remove the trucks and wheels and wrap the deck in bubble wrap and send it separately as oversized luggage. Make sure you get a fragile sticker put on it as well, or it may arrive in a ‘different’ condition to when you parted ways!

    2. Jonny – I have tried a couple of ‘Loaded’ boards and found them great fun to ride, but I always favour my sector 9. I agree, Cardiff isn’t the most longboard-friendly of places but there are a few great runs around. The best I’ve found is a road that comes down near Coryton roundabout.

    3. Evan – Yeah that is Penarth, well observed! I can guarantee a skateboard will not react or feel the same as a longboard, even with the bigger trucks and wheels on. I’m afraid my advice would be to bite the bullet and splash out on a loangboard. I promise you won’t regret it but if you do there’s always Ebay!!

    4. Mr Shank – Larger wheels will generally decrease your speed but depending on what you go for it might not be that noticeable. The best thing to do is just to try loosening and tightening the trucks. Getting a sharper turns from your board should be as simple as tightening the bolts.

    5. Mr Muffin and Joann – Great to hear you’re both joining the world of longboarding. The type of board you should choose generally doesn’t depend on your weight unless you’re extremely heavy. Again, the best advice would be to go to a shop and try and bunch out. See what feels right for you personally and get out there!
    If by tricks you mean ‘dancing’ on the board then a longer one, more towards the 130cm length would be a better choice.

    6. Moonspinning, Stubbie-q-nation and Brody – Thanks for the awesome feedback, couldn’t have asked for more!!

    Thanks everyone for all the great feedback! It’s great to hear that this info has helped a lot of you to start longboarding! Keep shredding!!!


  26. Lai0z

    If Caroline or anyone else could help me out it would be greatly appreciated…I have barely, if at all, skateboarded but I am really interested in longboarding for transport and leisure but also fairly good handling for a beginner. I am 6’1 and looking for a nice cruising longboard. I see that you suggested Sector 9 but I was hoping for some advice on what the length of deck I should get.

  27. Lai0z

    and by cruising I mean just easy riding, not deck style.

  28. Caroline

    Hey Laioz! I’d say go for a longer board, more around the 130cm length as you’re quite tall. That should balance out your height and keep your centre of gravity low!

  29. al

    great write up, only change i would make is you generalized all of america has flat curbs, this isnt even true for california (though trust me i really really wish it was).

  30. Donnie

    Major props to and cool article :D Also have you even ridden at UCSB because in one of your pictures it looks like our schools bell tower haha

  31. Caroline

    Hey Donnie, yeah that is indeed UCSB…..well observed!

  32. Jay

    lol if your just gonna cruise around longboarding is really easy just grab a board and carve down a hill or something wats really fun is doin slides and stuff like that :D

  33. Jon

    Hi Caroline,

    Great site! I live in Cardiff but I’m in San Diego at the moment. Last night at sunset, I saw longboarders cruising down Pacific Beach Boulevard and I knew right then I had to have one!!!

    I spend a lot of time down Cardiff Bay and I can’t wait to cruise around to Penarth and back over the barrage. Maybe see you there :)

  34. Seb

    Hey Caroline
    Iv’e been looking at some longboards online to start off on. Some of my friends got me into it and now doing some research I am completely stoked to get my first board. I am a 14 year old boy and weigh about around 55-60kgs. I live in Australia and I’m not sure that they sell very good quality boards around here so thats why I was looking online. But I want to be able to stand on my future board and test some others out until I know what suits me best. And this is only possible if i go to a local store or something. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do?
    Cheers Seb :D

  35. Ethan

    Hi im new to lonboarding and im wondering ehat type of longboard i want im wanting one for cruising and im about 5 feet

  36. Caroline

    Hey guys,

    Completely stoked that this article has had so much feedback but I’m afraid I can’t reply to everyone’s messages. The best thing to do if you’re looking for a board is to go into your local skate shop and have a chat with the guys there. They will be able to give you a good board for your height and what you intend to use your board for. Again I recommend Sector 9 or Lush Longboards if you’re looking to buy online but it’s always risky if you’re not too sure of the best board for you.

    Great to hear so many people are joining the longboarding family, keep on shredding!

    Peace out, Caroline :)

  37. Dylan

    This was really well-written, thanks!

  38. Julien Wu

    This is a neat article, I have recently shown interest in wanting to start and this helps explain a little more to someone who had no idea. It’s also nice to see one of the first links to have been written by someone around the Cardiff area, more accurately Penarth as seen from the images. I do wonder however whether riding down the pier road is something of a hazzard? If not then I will definitely want to go down on some of those slopes. Do you recommend any shops around the area?

  39. Marena

    This was a great article! I just got a longboard for my birthday! I’m having a problem though. I’m really afraid to push off. I don’t know why. I bought a helmet and some pads so maybe that will help put me at ease that if I fall, I won’t get hurt. I guess I’ll have to fall a few times in order to not be so scared.

  40. Jon

    Hey, Im from Cardiff too; and have been long boarding for nearly three years, got my first board in city surf by the castle.. Just wandering if you know any good spots to pick up some speed that are pretty safe from cars and downhill, been a long time since I last took my board out but looking to get back into it again, any good locations would be appreciated thanks

  41. Gav

    Hey, nice post, just ordered my longboard for cruzing to work, so was looking for some starter tips (I surf badly and snowboard better).

    Cant wait to get out on it in Belfast :)

  42. cody

    I live in Mississippi United States and have never seen a longboarder before, but I am inspired and would like to get started. here in Mississippi however there are more flat surfaces than anything. I guess what I am trying to ask is, can you longboard on flat surfaces or do you have to be going down hill?

    1. steve

      Hi cody, of coarse you can longboard on flat ground, you’ll just want to get yourself a nice set of super loose bearings, go for abec 9 if you can and you’ll be cruzing like crazy. Flat ground is no problem what so ever. And its loads of fun

  43. Alex Cav

    Hey! I just got into longboarding myself and it’s definitely a new sight around New York. This helped me tons!!

  44. babeemonsta

    i have been skateboarding for @5 months now and i can’t believe how cool and fun it is. I own four other setups including a peralta pool light board with 215s and some 68mm bomber wheels–which i love for cruising down by the beach–manhattan beach strand, soCali–and it is also great for bombing ramps at the local community college–til we get kicked out–and i like it for commuting on streets and sidewalks.
    of course after i tried my friend’s Sector 9 Marley ‘Revolution’ board, i fell in love with it. it is a great longboard for mostly just cruising and carving and at 9.1 x 40.5, it feels great.
    i am a 4′ 9 3/8″ tall female.

  45. Erik

    Brand new to longboarding and don’t know what kind of board to get im 5 10 and 125 pounds and im going to be using it to hill bomb carve and just cruise what do you recommend?

  46. Leisurely lady longboarder

    Enjoyed reading your article! Glad to see other women on boards.

  47. Tina

    This helped a lot! I was wondering what kind of board you would recommend for a beginner. I would like to use it for traveling. :]

  48. advice

    Just find a longboard you feel good on and RIDE. you don’t need a specific type JUST DO IT

  49. James Orchard

    Hi. I am doing a project for GCSE Design and Technology. I have designed a folding longboard that can be put in a back pack and I am now looking to refine the concept prior to building the finished article.

    The portability of the board allows the user to transport it easily, including taking on board an aircraft and the structural integrity hasn’t been compromised because it folds. Once unfolded, the board is rigid and the weight penalty will be minimal due to alloy being used .

    The shape is based on a Twin Tip 45 inch drop through design and it will be 7 ply Maple. I would be massively grateful if any one who has any comments on the idea and list any design features that any of you would like to see in a finished board?

  50. Jeremy

    When I first started longboarding I started with a really long pinhead,later on I started to customize and ended up making my Own deck and bearings. So far the only trick I can do are short drifts.

  51. olivia padin

    hey this was really helpful !!! i just wanted to know a few things you have to go down a slope or hill to get speed?
    2. what do you recommend for stoping?
    3. and what dose the difference in the bearings the trucks and wheels? thanks:) email me when you can!

    1. steve

      Hi I hope this answered your question, you don’t have to go down hills but it helps, otherwise you just have to push. Second is you’ll want to learn how to foot brake, its the easyest and safest way to stop, orherwise you can slide or run off. Thirdly there are a few types of trucks, kingpin revese kingpin and doublekingpin are most popular. Regular kingpin is like a skateboard truck just longer and hevier set and made to cruze, revese kingpin is really popular, they are good for just about anything and double kingpin is basicaly a truck ontop of a truck so there super good for carving and comuting. Whith your wheels, the smaller the more acceleration but the slower they go, the bigger the faster and the longer they roll. The harder the more they slide out the softer the more grippy and forgiving they are. Also with bearings, the most comon have abec ratings, they go 3-5-7-9-12 3 bieng slowest, 12 bieng insanely fast, most comon for cruzing and starting are abec 7 or abec 9

  52. ApeFace

    You’re a kook. A



  54. Motion Boardshop

    Really helpful article! Funny how people who don’t enjoy skateboarding really dig longboards, and vice versa. Guess everyone just has to find their niche in the “board world”!

  55. That Awkward Girl without a board

    Just the other day it hit me, right in the face:
    99% of my friends (people I hang out with) are boys, and they can ALL skate. they make fun of me because I can’t.
    A very small amount of them have penny boards, about 5 people in the whole of my town have longboards and then the rest have skateboards (or bikes) (and then theres the scooterers), they’re all pretty familiar with riding each different board and I felt a little left out.
    In my mind I figured there was no way I would be able to do any tricks, with the fear of falling off. My friend told me that longboarding is easier than riding a skateboard or a penny board so hopefully I’ll be able to get one soon, probably from

  56. Ben

    Longboarding sounds pretty cool! I got an email from a friend back in South Carolina (I currently reside in Prague) telling me that I should give it a try. Prague has an excellent public transport system, but it gets boring always taking the trams and metros, and longboarding seems a good way to get between short stretches. Maybe somebody could suggest me some boards? Prague is a city with a lot of turns, and some downhill (although not in the areas I usually go) so I will need a lot of control more than everything, also it will certainly have to be able to glide along smoothly with little effort since Prague is mostly cobblestone (so big wheels will probably be good.) I have a fair amount of experience with skateboarding (although the best I can do is an ollie and that was just a fluke when I did manage one)… I have also had some experience with surfing (once, off the coast of France) Skimboarding (pretty much every time I can get to a beach) and I am also fairly adept at snowboarding and skiing. I really like the idea of a “Surfing” feel. Any good suggestions on the board, or any general tips on longboarding?

    1. Xander

      Look into cruiser set ups, soft wheels for more control and 70mm and up wheels for the bumps and rocks. You can’t go wrong with a pintail deck! For control and tight turning you might wanna get a shorter deck (38-40 inches) but if you want stability and balance you go bigger. For trucks I suggest 180 Randalls with a 50 degree baseplate! Have fun, hope this helps!

  57. Alex D

    My best friend just brought a longboard (Santa Cruz Pintail). He’s 29. Everyone thought he was going thought some sort of pre-mid-life crisis. 2 weeks later he gave that board to his god daughter and brought another longboard (Sector 9 Eye Dropper). I really did think he was insane.

    On my way home from work, I was stopped by a red light at a pedestrian crossing. 2 girls walked passed holding their longboard in their hand. I have seen plenty of girls skate before, and they did not look like your typical skaters, especially with the their attire they we wearing. BUT…as soon as they hit the sidewalk the dropped their boards and they started rolling. A couple more pushes and there out of sight. They were just cruzin’…effortlessly. Reading the Caroline’s story made me think and feel exactly how she did in Santa Cruz watching the guy breeze past, in a SUIT.

    A few rides on my friends board and I was hooked. I now have a Landyachtz Battle Axe on order. Cant wait to tear through the beaches. I’m 28yo and I love longboarding.

    Melbourne, Australia

  58. Keelie Joe-Lynne

    Hey, i’m a 15 yr old girl and im not the skinniest i weigh 175lbs and i was wondering what type to get?

    1. Xander

      Weight isn’t an issue (within reason..) Depends on what you want to use it for. Just cruising you can start with any generic board and then customize from there.

  59. rideroarding

    Hey, I really like longboarding, but my mom refused to get me a longboard because she said its too dangerous, but is it true that longboarding is dangerous?

    1. steve

      Sup dude, I’ve been longboarding for about a year and the worst ove bought home is a little road rash. As with everything its ALL about ur style. Expect road rash if you like sliding or when u start out. The real accidents happen is when your stupid. Ie you don’t wear your protective gear or you bomb a hill that’s too big for toy. Know your limits and take it slow even if all your frinds are bombing this awesome hill or whatever and you know you can’t do it then don’t, or just ride it down on ur ass. Ur friends won’t diss you for bieng smart. Also ALWAYS wear a helmet, I wear mine even if I’m popping down to the shop, fair enough you look like a doos but when you have 7 stitches I’m your head….. Trust me I’ve seen my friend bail and hit his head. Its not pretty. The main thing is, take it slow, don’t be stupid, wear your gear and don’t push yourself. It all comes with time. I hope this helped. And believe me its not as dangerous as skateboarding. Because your lower to the ground you don’t impact as much with the concreat, you basicly slide to a stop and got a bit grazed but nothing life threatening. Hope this helped….. Good luck

  60. jon

    whats the best way to stand on a longboard skateboard

    1. Xander

      Left foot forward beneath the truck and back foot set. Whatever is comfortable! Keep a wide stance for better balance, you’ll naturally adjust the more you ride. Hope this helps

  61. Amanda

    Hi! I live in alabama in the u.s. and I wish I could get a longboard but I don’t know if there are any shops around here to sale longboards:(

  62. Xander

    If there are no shops around you order off the web!! You can get some pretty cool stuff! I started with an Atom Pintail longboard and have upgraded the trucks and wheels to fit my style of riding better! Don’t be disheartened by no local shops! Sidewalk Surfing <3

  63. TeaganBickford

    Ive been boarding for 7 years, some stuff you say is true but not all of it, and longboards are for tricks, just diffrent tricks, mainly SLIDING, not ollies and kickflips, longboards are there own breed…btw Longboardings not cheep, my board cost me about 550$

  64. TeaganBickford

    I have a Stella Double Dose, Surf Rodz, Bonse Swiss Ceramic Bearings, and Abec 11 Electric Flywheels.

  65. Celia Duggins

    Hi, I have no idea what board to get. I weigh around 105lb and im a girl, I’ve seen loads of my friends longboarding and have tried it and it was so much fun. Now, it’s my birthday in around a month so I really wanted to get into the sport. I really don’t want to be spending too much and I would probably want to do both tricks and cruising on it. What board is highly recommended? I do have a skate shop near me but I just wanted research first. Thank you :)

  66. Carissa

    Great article.Thank you for posting this.Almost all of my friends skateboard/longboard and it really got me interrested in it.

  67. Ashley

    Even though I just noticed that this article was published in 2010, I just heard about longboarding at my school in Michigan a few months ago! I have snowboarded for years but in Mi we only get a solid 2-3 months of snow so I really want to take up longboarding for the summer months. This article really makes me want to give longboarding a try, thanks!

    1. steve

      Hay man, seeing as u snow board try get yourself a flow board, I think that’s what there called. They are literaly designed to snowboard on the street and have a different style altogether. Youtube some vids, see what u think

      1. steve

        Sorry I’d like to correct what I sayed. Its called freeboard not flow boarding, sorry about that mistake

  68. Cara

    I love that this blog came up in my search. I’m hoping to find a fun longboard for riding…well, wherever. Regular skateboards…well, I suck at them. But I think it’s great that you wrote this being from Wales and I live in So Cal. :)

  69. steve

    Hay I really like ur article but I just wanted to say, down hill and sliding boards are generally quite long. The longer the board the more stable. Also the harder the deck the more stable, flex decks are comfortable and give more flow but stiff decks are responsive and stable as to reach higher speeds. Sliding is probably the only way to slow down fast and that’s where slide gloves come in, its not just turning sharply but when u slide u literally… Slide, ur wheels loose grip and ur board swings out infront of u and this slows u down, the harder the wheel the more slide it has to offer. Carve and race wheels are usualy softish and large to keep grip, although some wheels are harder and smaller for sliding, the smaller the wheel the faster it accelerated but the slower the top speed. The bigger, the faster. Oh and leaning on your front truck or your back truck won’t make a difference to your speed at all, some good youtube vids are: Lonboard SLIDE, swirling samas (spelt like that) origional pintail longboards, Lonboards of trogledites and men

  70. Bea Albino

    hey caroline!! great article. I wanted to surf, but i don’t really have lots of opertunities to surf. I just recently went longboarding with my friend and thought it was super fun!! I was wondering if you could give me tips about choosing my first longboard! thanks! email me:

  71. Cin

    I am also a beginner and I am just wondering if my board is too long for me.Iam 4′ 10″ tall.Ijust want a board to cruise around town,go to work or store and just have fun on.the skate/surf shop didn’t have much in stock so he set me up with a 44″ kick tail.Ifeel it is way to long for me?opions?

  72. Cin

    I just bought oone from a skate surf shop.he didn’t have much in stock so he set me up with a 44″ kicktail lonboard.Irode on few tiimes but find hard to control manuver..I am 4’10″ tall..about 125 lbs..should I go with maybe a 4o” pintail instead..any. suggestions.thank you!

  73. Chloe Stout

    I’m also a longboarder in Cardiff, Wales and there is a whole bunch of us that board around the city together. So to say there are few of us in Wales is kinda inaccurate. Loads more tricks other than a kick flip and a hang ten. Buying slide gloves will take longboarding to a whole new level of intensity/ fitness and speed. Great type of transport, put on a helmet and cruise along the bus lanes that run throughout the city! Alot of possibilities with such a varied style of board, something for everybody. Chloe x

  74. Mark Parr

    Just brought a Sector nine boeard back to England from the US and its awsome. Im hopeless on a skate board but took to my longboard with ease carving within minuits. Makes a good change from my mountain bike and skiing. Only problem is keeping my seven year old off it.
    I seriously doubt you would regret trying one.

  75. Fionna

    This was super helpful. I’m looking to get into longboarding, because even as a rookie skater, I’d rather just go places than do tricks. There’s only one other female longboarder in my city, and she isn’t even serious about it.
    Guess theres gonna be a new challenger for her!

  76. Wesley

    Im going to get a longboard sometime.
    My friends ride regular boards and I tried one once and coulden’t get the
    hang of it. So i’m looking forword to it.

  77. neil

    Just bought a 40 inch pintail after discovering longboards by accident a month ago and becoming obsessed with them. Live near Cardiff and had to buy off the internet. Got my mate hooked too so we will be making some videos despite being novices. Cant wait!
    Loved the article.

  78. J.p. Hancock

    I don’t have much experience boarding, just about 2 years (skateboarding) and wanted to try long boarding. I live in a very hilly area and wanted to know if it was easy to learn and what accessories i would need for it

    1. Ride More Talk Less

      Hello J.p.

      If you have been skateboarding for 2 years you should be able to transition to longboard easy. No much differance in the two…just loangboards are more stable, but roll much faster. Hills can be a blessing or a ending to a bad day. Dont skate over your ability find someone who is better to skate with so you can lear from them. Any more questions please feel free to to e-mail at

      1. Ride More Talk Less

        sorry…type o….have been boarding for 10 years

  79. Ride More Talk Less

    just came across your article Caroline and it was great to read. I live in Maryland and have been longboarding for 10 years. If anyone who reads the articles here live in Maryland or just has questions and are new riders please contact me at would love to help, teach or just give advice on the sport….. didnt see anything in the article about long distance skating!!! Also down hill, commuting on the board or just putting around you should always protect your noggin…… wear a helmet!!!!

  80. Mike

    Go longboard! I am a 46 year old high school teacher and I just got back in to skateboards since my early teens. I have recently bought six longboards different styles, brands and setups to see what I like. The sport is addictive and could cause you to buy everything you think you might want to try. So far I am partial to the drop thru boards for pushing, carving and commuting. They are low to the ground and the Abec 7 and 9 bearings seem to roll effortlessly down beach bike paths here in Los Angeles. I am finding that the better bearings wheels and trucks need less maintainence. Just check and tighten screws before you begin to bomb hills and wipe dust off bearings and wheels for a smooth ride. Most of my boards have sick artwork on them and I proudly keep at least three different boards in the trunk of my car if I spot a sweet hill or some smooth pavement in a parking lot. The more you ride, the more you will understand your preference in equipment and what you want the board to do. My students say I have an illness because I buy a new board at least once every couple of months. Running out of room in my beach condo, but this stuff is so fun, I can’t stop riding and sliding. Good to see so many people wanting to join in on the fun. Get out and shred some pavement and GO LONGBOARDS!
    Cheers :)

  81. true

    Hello i am 11 and im looking to buy a longboard but im not quite sure where to look or which to buy. please reply with advice. :)

  82. ryan

    Hi, great article. Can anyone recomend skate shops around cardiff that stock longboards? We’ve only got free style in newport snd they only stock regular skate boards. Cheers

  83. brett johnson

    hey what you are doing is great… sadly I dont think that we will ever meet but if you are ever in Colorado, there are some great hills, and long board paths. email me if you want

  84. Benjamin

    Hi there! I am just getting into the hobby of Longboarding. Many of my friends own longboards and they ride them on some of the paved trails in our suburbs, and some of them even ride them to school as a means of transportation. I have ridden some of theirs, and I think I want a 38″ Drop-Thru. Globe makes a nice one, but i found a generic board on eBay for, like, half the price. What I want to know is- Do you recommend this for a starter like me? Thanks for your thoughts!


Next up in Features

Rachel Atherton Interview