Longboard racing might seem extreme or challenging to some, but it is actually a really fun sport to others. Due to the rising popularity of longboarding content on social media, both young and mature enthusiasts have been on the task of becoming good longboard racers. Today we are sharing with you lots of insider info regarding the world of longboard racing, so if you've been wondering yourself whether this hobby is a good idea for you, keep on reading.
What is a longboard?
If you yet don't know, longboarding is a hobby (and, for others, a sport) that looks similar to skateboarding, but the board is a little bit longer, wider, and more balanced. The wheels are also wider, more flexible, and softer, which makes them perfect for more extreme boarding. The method of "driving" is almost the same - you thrust yourself by prompting your leg on the ground, and then you stand on the board with both while you drive. You can do tricks, learn how to be faster and more balanced, and use the board for your daily commuting. You'll have to build up some stamina, though, as it can be challenging for those who have not done any cardio in the past few years.
Better longboard drivers know how to shift their weight from back to front (and vice versa) and move without prompting themselves on the ground. This is called pumping or gyrating. However, if you want to be a professional, you will have to learn much more than that and switch up your whole boarding style.
What is longboard racing?
Longboard racing might seem like a gag to some, but this is a bill-paying job for many professionals. Red Bull is one of the most popular companies that motivate young racers to become better, win races, earn money and enjoy the process. There are even betting systems that the loyal and knowledgable audience engages in, as this sport has gained popularity lately.
Longboard racing is a sport, and it's something you have to train for before you are drafted into pro races. Unfortunately, there aren't that many professionals out there since this is such a particular sport, and many companies or organizations have not yet funded it.
The point of a longboard race is to finish first, obviously, but what differentiates these races from car races or sprint races is that you have to consider your longboard and the compatibility with the driver - you have to know it very well. You have to work perfectly with it.
Simply pushing yourself to the finish line won't work, as these professionals use many drifting techniques, pumping techniques, and gyrating rules to be faster. It's all about calculations since you need to know when you're going to make use of a turn or the wind change. One's body structure, or at least the way they work with it, can also play a major role - smaller drivers usually have more success.
Where do longboard races happen?
The race tracks are usually made by closing down particular roads, and sometimes the organizer even places obstacles in the way. The organizer of the event usually looks for roads with enough space and enough interesting turns. One of the most popular longboard races happens in Osilnica in Slovenia, the "Red Bull No Paws Down" event. It usually occurs in August! Another popular one is the "Feel The Wheel," which occurs in Prague, the capital of the Chech Republic, during June.
It is safe to say that Europe truly popularized longboard racing while America is still catching up. There are local races everywhere. In bigger cities, you can surely find at least one group of enthusiasts in one place, which means there might be some local longboarding events nearby. This is a really good starting point for most people if you want to become a notorious longboard racer.
Who can be a longboard racer?
Many think that anyone can be a racer, but this is not true. Everyone can be a longboarding enthusiast, yes, but a racer, no. You have to be built a certain way - a typical longboard racer is athletic and a little bit on the skinnier side. This gives you a speed advantage.
Longboard racers have to get special equipment, such as leather suits, specific wheels, and sturdy boards made specifically for extreme boarding. In addition, many successful racers are women, as they are usually smaller in size, and this gives them an advantage when it comes to physically fitting on the surface of the board. This is especially important in events such as the "Red Bull No Paws Down," where you can't touch the floor with your hands and have to balance your weight well.
How do I learn longboarding?
Longboarding is going to be a little bit easier for those who have roller-skated or ice-skated before. You can start by learning some of the basics, such as finding your stance and learning how to balance while pushing, braking, and turning... And then you get into the tricks, which are the part that is the most fun. Once you learn enough tricks and become comfortable with balance, shifting your weight, controlling your driving route, and falling (yes, you need to learn how to fall safely), you can think about potentially being a part of a local race. This is where most people begin.
Can I be a longboarding enthusiast without the racing part?
Absolutely! Becoming a longboard racer is surely not for everyone - some people enjoy the everyday stroll to the town or their workplace. However, you don't need to like the extreme version of boarding to be good at it. You can still do things for your private pleasure, and keep in mind that learning tricks and getting out of your comfort zone is still a fantastic way to be healthy, active, and pursue a growth mindset.
Make it fun and enjoyable for yourself! You don't need to do the dangerous part of it! Longboarding for your private purposes is cheaper, more practical, and safer. It's also healthier for your body in general, as you will not bruise yourself as often, and your joints surely do stay healthier.
Longboard racers are really cool people, and racing with a longboard is an interesting hobby. However, it is not for everyone. Although Europeans seem to prefer it more than Americans, it's still not something you should put on your daily schedule if you're not interested. Local races might be more fun and enjoyable for you than the international Red Bull organized ones. If anything, you can still watch the races and place bets! Enjoy this thrilling sport!