You must learn how to turn sharply on a longboard if you want to ride safely on busy paths and steep hills.
Pulling ninja maneuvers in a split second isn’t easy thanks to the length of longboards versus traditional skateboards.
Luckily it gets easier with enough practice and some cool secrets under your belt.
How To Turn Sharply On A Longboard
To turn sharply on a longboard lean back on your heels or forward on your toes with maximum pressure depending on which way you want to turn. Softer wheels, looser trucks, and a lower center of gravity helps too. If your longboard has a kicktail you can bring the front wheels off the ground.
When learning how to turn on a longboard remember you’ll basically go in which direction your feet are pointing. Here is a quick way to remember the direction your board ends up traveling:
- Leaning on your toes
- Leaning on your heels
Leaning on your toes – When learning forward on your toes the longboard will turn in the direction your toes are pointing.
Leaning on your heels – When leaning backwards on your heels the longboard will turn in the direction your heels are pointing.
After a while this will become second nature to you, but it’s always nice to drill it into your subconscious mind so you don’t end up in trouble when under pressure. When learning how to turn corners on a longboard more sharply it can be broken into two different things:
Equipment – Loosening your trucks will allow you to apply a lot more pressure to the side of your board when turning corners. Tighter trucks make it harder to turn sharply on a longboard. Adjust your trucks using the kingpin nut until you find the right tightness based on your needs.
Softer wheels allow you to have better traction on the road when you’re turning. Extra traction if crucial when you’re turning sharply on a longboard at speed. The best wheels for tight turns are graded at 75A to 85A, so hopefully the wheels on your longboard fall within this range.
Technique – How do you make a longboard turn sharper using technique? Improve your balance first by placing your front foot near the top of your longboard and your rear foot close to the trucks. Keep your center of gravity low and shift most of your weight onto your front foot.
Your knees should be bent and upper body positioned over your thighs. As you go into the turn, place your dominant hand towards the front of the longboard while keeping the other one close to the ground to help with balance. Face the direction you want to turn and your body will fall into line.
How To Kick Turn On A Longboard
Longboards come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It’s easier to turn sharply on longboards with a kicktail because you’ll be able to spin the board around a lot quicker. A kick turn involves putting pressure on the tail to lift the front of your board before turning.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to kick turn on a longboard correctly:
- Don’t lift the board too much or your tail will hit the floor
- Bend your front knee and keep most of your weight on the rear leg
- Use your arms to help pivot the board to stay balanced
Why Learn To Turn Sharply On A Longboard?
Once you’ve been longboarding for a while you’ll discover there are three main reasons why it’s good to learn how to perform sharp turns on a longboard. In fact, there are more but we’ll discuss the top ones to give you an idea why it’s something you must practice:
- Turning corners
- Controlling speed
- Avoiding obstacles
Turning corners – When you’re longboarding around town or downhill you’re going to come up against corners. Who knows what speed you’ll be moving? Once you know how to turn sharply it won’t matter because you’ll be able to continue on your journey without running into trouble.
Controlling speed – Depending on the speed you’re going and the width of the road you might find yourself turning sharply while carving down a hill. It gives you the ability to control your speed so you don’t end up going too fast. To hit slower speeds you’ll need to perform sharper turns.
Avoiding obstacles – Sometimes obstacles like cars or people come out of nowhere. If you don’t expect them there is no telling how fast you’ll be going. Unlike corners you won’t be able to prepare for them. If you can make sharper turns on a longboard it could save you from pain.
How To Turn On A Longboard Safely
When you start practicing to turn sharply on longboards you should be wearing the correct safety equipment. Going ahead without longboard gloves and pads could result in a few cuts and bruises. When you start hitting high speeds it’s very important in case you come off the board.
Hopefully everyone knows equipment is essential, but there are a few things beginners tend to overlook. Let’s discuss a few basics you should keep in mind before you’re ready to attempt death defying turns:
- Practice on a level surface
- Practice on a smooth surface
- Build up your speed slowly
Is It Hard To Turn On A Longboard?
To be honest, it’s not exactly rocket science. At least in the beginning when you won’t be skilled enough to do anything too crazy, so stick to the basics and don’t forget it’s not a race. How do you steer on a longboard that isn’t good quality?
If you’re riding the best longboard for beginners it will make your life easier.
Powersliding Around Corners On A Longboard
Powersliding is one of the quickest ways to turn sharply on a longboard when you’re traveling at speed. If you’ve seen riders sliding I’m sure you’re desperate to follow in their footsteps. But powersliding isn’t the best way to turn sharply on a longboard no matter how cool it looks.
It’s the ideal way to brake on a longboard more than anything else. And it’s an excellent trick to learn with numerous variations. It will help you slow down to turn corners when you’re thundering downhill at high speed, but don’t slide around everyone in the middle of the street.
How To Turn Sharply On A Longboard
Now you should know exactly how to turn sharply on a longboard no matter what situation you find yourself in. It’s a crucial technique you’ll need to master at some point. As time goes on you’ll find yourself being able to hit sharper turns at speeds you can only dream about at the moment.