You must learn how to slow down on a longboard downhill because you can reach breakneck speeds easily.
If you can’t slow down you’ll either come flying off your board or hit something hard.
It’s a toss up which one is worse so let’s look at some of the best ways to stay safe when longboarding downhill.
How To Slow Down On A Longboard Downhill
Footbraking is the best way beginners can slow down when longboarding downhill because you can come to a complete stop fast. If you only want to slow down a little you can use your body to create wind resistance. Sliding is a fun technique advanced longboarders can use.
There are four main ways to slow down on a longboard and the technique you use will depend on a number of different variables. Some are a lot more effective than others and some can only be performed once you reach a certain level of experience:
- Wind Resistance
Now we’ll discuss each one in a bit more detail so you’ll know how and when to use them when longboarding downhill.
1 – How To Footbrake On A Longboard
Your foot is the best longboard brake in the world, but it’s not as easy as just scraping your shoe along the road. Everyone should take the time to learn how to footbrake properly before going too fast on a longboard. Let’s discuss some of the main talking points right now:
- Learn on a flat surface
- Start at slower speeds
- Don’t push too hard
- Front foot facing forward
- Lean slightly forward
Learn on a flat surface – Before you start speeding down a steep hill you’ll need to learn how to brake with your foot on a flat surface. Footbraking while longboarding up a small incline would be even better. Make sure there are no obstacles in your way and you’ll be good to go.
Start at slower speeds – You don’t need to be going fast when footbraking even if you’re on a flat surface. Build up speed gradually as you gain confidence. Once you eventually start going downhill it will feel slightly different footbraking on a decline so repeat the same process.
Don’t push too hard – Don’t try to stop instantly by pushing down on the ground with too much pressure. You’ll come flying off your longboard. Apply a small amount of pressure and you’ll feel yourself slowing down. After you build up more experience you will know exactly how hard to push.
Front foot facing forward – Your life will be so much easier if you remember to keep your front foot facing forward. You will feel a lot more balanced especially when you’re moving fast. In an emergency, you don’t need to position your foot properly before braking.
Please Note: You should shift the majority of your weight (60-70 percent) onto your front foot when footbraking on longboards.
Lean slightly forward – When you’re footbraking on a longboard your rear foot will be pointing backwards leaving you in a slightly unbalanced position. You can counteract this by leaning forward ever so slightly. Use your arms to increase your balance on the longboard when slowing too.
2 – Powersliding Slows Down A Longboard
Powersliding is a skill every keen longboard rider will eventually want to test out, but it’s extremely advanced. It involves sliding along the ground on the wheels of your longboard while turning. You will need to reach a certain speed before your wheels will begin to slide in the first place.
Once you’ve built up some experience sliding is a good way to slow down, but there is a way to make it even more effective. If you wear longboard gloves and knee pads you’ll be able to come into contact with the ground to stop quicker without hurting yourself.
Powersliding on a longboard should never be attempted without gloves, pads, and a helmet.
Please Note: Powersliding is actually the best way to slow down on a longboard when you’re going as fast as possible. Once you reach a certain speed footbraking is less effective due to stability issues Luckily, by the time you can do power slides you’ll know exactly how to slow down under any circumstances.
3 – Carving On Wider Roads To Slow Down
Perform a sharp turn when you’re going downhill and your longboard might end up traveling uphill slowing you down. In theory, this sounds like the easiest way to slow down when you’re longboarding downhill. Unfortunately most roads you ride on won’t be wide enough to turn.
When carving from one side of the road to the other you will be able to keep your speed under control. It’s not a great way to stop if you’re already going pretty fast. Stick to footbraking until you master carving and sliding on your longboard.
4 – Slowing Down Using Wind Resistance
Wind resistance has more to do with physics and less to do with technique, but it still works. It can slow you down enough to the point where you feel more comfortable flying down a hill. All you need to do is stand up and spread your body out to catch as much wind as possible.
If you want to build up speed you crouch down in a tuck position to reduce wind resistance and increase momentum. To slow down a little you essentially do the exact opposite. Even if it only reduces your speed a bit it could be enough for carving and footbraking.
Jumping Off Your Longboard Is A Last Resort
If you’re in extreme danger you always have the option of jumping off your longboard, but it should only be done as a last resort. For starters, it’s pretty dangerous landing on the ground with lots of momentum. Who knows how many rolls you’ll do before coming to a stop?
Once you leave your longboard without braking there is no telling where it will end up. It could go flying into traffic, tumble off a cliff, or smash into a wall. Not only can you hurt yourself by abandoning your longboard, but you could seriously hurt other people too.
How To Slow Down On A Longboard Downhill
Now you know exactly how to slow down on a longboard downhill, so use the best technique depending on your needs. Just make sure you’re confident enough to use them all before going crazy. Longboarding at high speeds is only enjoyable if you know how to stop safely.