When it comes to longboarding, there are a few things that are essential for riders of all levels. One of those skills is how to stop on a longboard. Here are five techniques that you can use to help you stop quickly and safely. Plus, a few bonus tips to make sure you stay in control while coming to a complete stop.
1. The Coleman slide
The Coleman slide is a longboarding technique for riding downhill. It was developed in the 1970s by skateboarder Steve Coleman and since then it has become an essential skill for longboarding.
The key to doing a Coleman slide is positioning your board and body so that you are sliding the longboard sideways, in a controlled manner, instead of going downhill to reduce speed.
To accomplish this, the longboarder tilts their board slightly, bending their knees and keeping their feet far apart. This angle helps catch the road, allowing the board to slide smoothly with minimal effort, even on sharp turns or curves.
Doing a Coleman slide requires practice and patience as you adjust to finding the right balance between speed and control. Once you get comfortable with the technique though, it’s a great way to move quickly while staying safe. Just make sure to wear protective gear and good sliding gloves when doing Coleman slides!
2. Heelside standup slide
The heelside standup slide is one of the quintessential longboard tricks and a great way to control your speed when going downhill. It's also a great transition from regular turning to sliding, so it's worth mastering if you haven't already.
To start with, make sure your longboard is set up properly by checking the trucks and wheels. This will ensure that your board has the right grip and is stable enough to start with.
Once your longboard is ready, ride at a slow but increasing speed until you can build up some momentum, then crouch down with both feet on the board and apply more pressure to the heel edge of your longboard. You'll want to maintain even pressure across both feet until you're comfortable initiating a turn-slide with the weight of your back leg alone.
As you glide sideways, bend your knees while keeping your back foot pushed into the longboard for leverage - this move will take some practice but it's very important in helping control speed and adding some flair!
With practice and dedication, you'll be mastering heelside standup slides and doing deep carves on steep hills in a few months!
3. Foot brake
Foot breaking is a longboard technique that requires skill and practice before getting the hang of it. It allows longboarders to stop quickly when going downhill without relying on their hands, which can make longboarding more enjoyable but at the expense of your shoe soles.
To execute this foot breaking technique, riders must drag their back foot on the ground while their front foot is placed firmly on the board with their weight evenly distributed across the longboard and both feet. The friction created by dragging your back foot will slow you down significantly, allowing you to make stops without having to use your hands.
This is especially important for longboarders who are reaching high speeds or going downhill as they may not have enough time to keep one hand on the longboard to safely slow down or stop.
With some practice, anyone can master this longboarding trick and enjoy longboarding downhill with added confidence! Just make sure to practice on a flat surface before hitting the hills.
4. Toeside hands-down slide
The toeside hands-down slide is one of the more innovative and advanced techniques that can be used for downhill longboarding.
The move requires the rider to start in a crouched position with their feet and inner knees just inside the longboard truck bolts. They then need to take their back foot and place it firmly above the longboard bolts onto the truck top before quickly dropping both hands in between the longboard bolts. From here, the longboarder cruises along in a crouching position, maintaining balance by moving their hips from side to side over the top of the longboard truck bolts.
This technique requires practice and dedication, as it may feel unnatural at first. Once a longboarder gets the hang of it, however, they will find that they can reach greater speeds on longer and steeper runs than ever before!
5. Toeside standup slide
The toeside standup slide is an essential longboard skill for skaters who like to carve and bomb hills.
To perform it correctly, begin by gaining speed by longboarding downhill from the top of the hill. Then, shift your body weight farther onto the board's nose while searching with your toes for a grip on the pavement. Keep your front shoulder forward, arm extended, and inside hand turned out so that you can easily maneuver your longboard throughout the slide.
For safety reasons, always keep your back shoulder pointed down the hill and your outside arm tucked in tightly against you - this will help to lower your center of gravity while you perform a toeside slide down the road.
Furthermore, make sure to keep both hands in a ready position on the longboard at all times, and don't forget to wear good quality slide gloves!
Bonus Tips for Beginners
How to use your body to help you stop
There are two main ways to longboard safely: knowing how to stop on a longboard, and learning how to use your body weight to help control your longboard.
To effectively stop on a longboard, start by gradually leaning back and crouching down while gripping the longboard firmly with both hands. Next, you'll want to slowly apply pressure slightly downhill in the direction of travel. This helps shift the longboard's center of gravity and increases friction between the wheels and the ground and stops speed wobbles from happening.
As you keep doing this and gain more confidence, you'll also want to practice using your body as a counterbalance when going downhill or around turns. Keeping your hips back will slow down the longboard's speed without shutting off power from the back wheels and give you more control over sudden turns or stops and you wont lose traction.
The power slide - how and why you should do it
If you longboard, learning how to do a power slide is an important skill to have, especially if you're into downhill racing.
A power slide is a maneuver that can help you slow down, do very tight turns or turn around quickly on your longboard. It involves shifting the weight of your longboard to turn the board sideways so that one side lifts off the ground and slides on the pavement below.
Power slides work best when going downhill, as it gives you more momentum for executing the turn, but makes sure to practice with slow speeds until you feel confident with this maneuver.
To perform a power slide, first get into position by placing both feet at 45-degree angles – one foot in front and one to the side of your longboard. Make sure that your arms are away from your body so that they don’t catch you in case you lose balance.
As you start accelerating down a shallow hill, lean back while lifting both arms and away from the longboard.
This should cause the longboard to tilt onto its side, with one edge lifting off the ground. Adjust the power slide so that your longboard glides smoothly along the pavement as it slows down and stop sliding when you’ve finished turning or braking.
With practice, not only will professional longboarders be able to execute this maneuver even on bumpy roads but beginners will also acquire confidence in balancing their longboards using power slides as well.
Advanced braking methods
For longboarders and downhill skaters, advanced braking methods can be a lifesaver. Traditional longboards tend to rely on long kicktails for long slides and quick stops. But for longboarders who are looking to move faster and perform daring tricks, there's a whole new world of brakes out there.
One of the best-known forms of advanced braking is toe stopping, a technique similar to the foot brake.
This technique requires you to drag your foot across the ground while keeping it planted on the board. You can also use your toes to pivot while stopping, allowing you to slow down quickly in tight turns.
Some longboarders like to use their heels instead, but this technique is best left to experienced boarders as it takes more skill and precision than toe braking.
Then there’s another foot braking method, heel-toe braking—a hybrid of both techniques that involve using pressure from one heel and one toe to control speed when turning or sliding downhill. No matter which method you choose, having a handle on advanced brakes will not only make longboarding more fun but also allow you to do higher-velocity tricks with confidence and safety in mind!
Additionally, these skills can help prevent dangerous spills or impacts due to extreme speeds during excursions. Knowing how to execute advanced brakes can take longboarding from an everyday ride through town into true high-velocity thrill-seeking! So whatever level boarder you may be, knowing how to brake correctly is always an essential skill worth perfecting.
Have fun out there and happy shredding!