Besides freeriding and cruising, another interesting longboarding discipline that has gained much traction over the past few years is called longboard dancing.
Longboard dancing involves performing graceful body-spinning movements and even actual dancing while keeping the board rolling on a flat surface. Learning this longboarding technique requires patience and skill but results in an exquisite riding style where balance, agility, and coordination play a key role.
If you’re looking to get started with this longboarding style, look no further, as today’s article is a longboard dancing guide that will help you figure out what you need to do.
Who Invented Longboard Dancing?
Longboard dance began in the early 2000s when Adam Colton and Adam Stokowski included fluid footwork into their skateboarding style. Also, this riding style has its roots in the old-school surfing technique known as board walking.
When he made movies for Orangatang Wheels and Loaded Boards, Colton experimented with improving the film quality, which ultimately helped to redefine the longboard film scene. With his unbeatable balance and crisp moves, Colton was one of the first to really make longboard dancing a thing.
Colton’s skating partner, Stokowski, participated in freestyle more than Colton, easily pulling off balance-based stunts and old-school flip flips. Together, they formed longboard dancing forever.
Longboard dancing is typically done on flat surfaces and at slower speeds than other longboarding techniques so the rider can have more control over the longboard.
Larger the deck allows the rider more room for their feet, resulting in a better dancing experience. Also, riders who like to dance should look for boards that have more flex and trucks and wheels made for carving.
Is Longboard Dancing Easy?
For many beginners, longboard dancing is an approachable longboarding style. It is a natural progression from cruising, and it’s not dramatic like downhill or freeriding. Longboard dancing is a friendly and easy approach that will help improve your balance and carving skills before progressing to more extreme techniques.
Longboard dancing isn’t as conspicuous as standard freestyle since you don’t need to know how to execute some more extreme movements to dance. As you strive to include your tricks into a smooth and continuous movement, your maneuvers get generally less violent.
Dancing is often done on flat terrain, making it less intimidating than downhill riding. A peaceful parking lot or a nice broad boardwalk is all you need for longboard dancing.
What Gear Do You Need For Longboard Dancing
As is the case for most longboarding styles, longboard dancing can be done on any longboard. However, there’s an increasing number of boards specifically crafted for dancing found on the market.
Dancing Deck Size And Flex
Most longboards come in sizes between 36 and 40 inches. Longboards designed for dancing are typically much longer, falling between 40 and 48 inches in length. These boards tend to be this long so the rider can have enough space to do all sorts of moves on the deck.
Bonus: Read more about best longboards for dancing here.
Furthermore, most dance boards will have a bit of flex. Simply put, flex is when a board flexes under your weight. How much flex you want in your longboard is down to your personal preference. Generally, dancers prefer boards that have more flex to them, and this is what you should go for as a beginner.
Flex allows the board to feel stable when you’re doing footwork across the longboard. It allows you to do plenty of dance movements without putting any input into your trucks.
Longboard manufacturers generally have different flexes for the same board model. This is because flex varies based on your weight. So, if you’re light, you’ll want the softest flex. On the other hand, If you’re heavy, the stiffer flex would be more suitable for you.
Trucks And Wheels For Dancing
For longboard dancing, you generally want reverse kingpin trucks that are more turnable than your typical cruising trucks, as these offer a more elegant carving. Also, higher angles (50º+) and open bushing seats are desirable since they allow the rider to turn faster despite the long wheelbase of the board.
As for the wheels, you’ll want ones that will roll quickly and forever. Wheels that can do this have a large diameter and are made with high-quality urethane.
With a large diameter, the wheels can keep their speed and momentum. Even after pushing them a little bit, they will roll forever. This allows you to do plenty of moves without your longboard slowing down too quickly. Generally, a wheel between 66-70mm in height is what you’ll want to aim for.
Finally, a high-quality urethane enables the wheels to roll fast and maintain speed. These types of wheels are tires full of air - they can pick up speed easily and maintain it.
Dancing Deck Shapes
Dance longboards typically feature a symmetrical cutaway shape with kicktails, providing the wheel clearance you’ll need for the carving and weight shifting you’ll be doing while dancing.
Just like standard freestyle longboards, most dance longboards are top mounted, offering more leverage over the trucks and control. Top mount decks are also more rigid and better withstand continuous stepping and jumping.
In addition, dancing longboards usually have relatively flat decks with a subtle concave that will allow your feet to move around the deck freely. Unlike when downhill racing and freeriding, you don’t want your dance board to have deep deck pockets that will lock in your feet while cruising and dancing.
Helmet And Protection Pads
If you’re looking to get into longboard dancing, you should wear appropriate protective gear before trying to dance around on your longboard while moving.
Even though you’ll most likely dance on flat pavement, chances are you will fall several times while learning how to cross-step and spin on your board. So, until you get it right, get yourself a decent helmet and some knee pads, at a minimum. You could at least get some wrist guards.
Basic Longboard Dancing Steps And Tips
Some of the most basic longboard and easiest longboard dancing moves include:
- 180step/Switch 180step
- Peter Pan
Firstly, you must get used to carving when you dance and also tilt your feet while doing it. As you learn how to do this, you can add more speed to your routines and moves, making them look more fluid and dynamic.
Be sure to stay true to yourself - don't copy others. You should develop your style, moves, and transitions between steps and tricks. Keep in mind that improvisation is part of the game - try out something new and free yourself from normalized patterns.
Hopefully, this article has offered you a good taste of what longboard dancing is and what to look for if you want to start with it. It’s a trendy longboarding style that continues to attract riders around the globe.
If you’re new to longboarding, no matter your gender, age, weight, or fitness, longboard dancing is one of the best ways to get started and begin a groovy and less injury-prone riding style.