Knowing how to slow down your longboard skateboard is an important part of knowing how to ride it. Longboards usually have larger, softer wheels than short boards and therefore require less power to keep them rolling. On hills, or even flat ground, longboards can easily reach high speeds. Various techniques for braking will help you stay safe and maintain control of the board if you feel you are going too fast, or if you have reached your destination and it's time to stop the board. Certain techniques will slow you down more abruptly than others, and it's a good idea to be comfortable with more than one method of slowing down so you can adapt your skating to any situation.
Stand up straight and extend your arms out from your sides. By taking this upright position, you create wind resistance, thereby slowing yourself down.
Balance on your front foot and slowly place your back foot on the ground. As you continue to roll forward with your back foot flat against the ground, you will create friction, which will slow you down. Begin with light pressure and as you slow down, press harder on the ground until you have slowed as much as you want to.
Carve. Carving refers to turning the board by leaning in the direction you want to go. If you are rolling in a straight line, perhaps down a hill, and you carve back and forth, you will slow down. Carving wide and turning hard against the direction you are traveling, as opposed to just weaving from side to side, will slow you down more quickly.
Slide. Sliding requires skill, practice and gloves. There are different ways to slide, but the basic idea is to crouch down and place a hand against the pavement while twisting your body so that the wheels of the longboard slide against the pavement instead of rolling along it. Sliding will cut your speed very quickly.
Ride off the road or pavement. This may not be possible in all situations. If you urgently need to slow down or stop and do not have time to set up another braking method, ride off the road (into the grass, for example). This will slow or stop the board abruptly and you may be thrown from the board or have to bail out quickly. Your body will continue its forward momentum, so if it's possible, be prepared to run and you might not fall down.
Tips & Warnings
- Practice various braking methods at low rates of speed.
- Wear shoes with wide, flat soles. They will enhance your stability.
- Wear safety gear whenever you skateboard.
- Do not skateboard where skateboarding is not allowed.
- Do not skateboard in highly trafficked areas.
- Do not attempt to go too fast too soon. Build your speed gradually to avoid finding yourself in a situation for which you are unprepared.
- Photo Credit skateboard image by Rusty McCloud from Fotolia.com