You fall, you learn. It is that simple. And anyone who knows their way around riding a longboard is very well aware of this fact. Now, although inevitable, there are a handful of precautions and measures that you can take to minimize the potential damage and pain from these experiences. Better safe than sorry, right? And we are therefore dedicating this article to educate you on How to Prevent Longboard Accidents with just a few smart and efficient steps. Let’s start!
Longboards are amazing. They are one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to get from point A to point B. However, one thing you have to understand here is that your commute on a longboard is very much “open”. In other words, you are not protection inside and under a shield of steel and metal like you would in a car. And when there is furthermore speed involved in the process, there are bound to be some terrible falls, trips, scratches, and bruises.
The first and foremost ways to prevent and minimize this is through wearing the right gear while you are longboarding. This includes wearing a helmet to protect your head; a pair of knee and elbow pads; and probably a pair of gloves as well. Now, we know that dressing like you are going to war isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is nice to have a whole set of teeth. And anyway, you can always eliminate the gear after you become a pro at longboarding.
One more tip is that you wear thick clothes instead of on thin, flowy ones that sway with the wind. Thicker, heavier clothes will remain as if against the speed, and furthermore, keep you warm out in the open. This is, of course, subjective to the weather and season, but you get it.
One of the things that makes a longboard so amazing is that does not need fuel. Your body, mostly your legs, is its working force.
Now, before you jump on the deck and speed right away, the smarter thing to do is take a minute or two to flex and stretch your body. Do a squat o two, bend over, work your biceps and calves. You know, some basic PT stuff. Like it is with any physically demanding activity, like running, sprinting, dancing; you need to “condition” and warm up the body for the work ahead. This process, though short and quick, plays a huge role preventing accidents. Flexing and stretching will warm up your muscles, especially in the morning when you are up from sleep, and get them ready for work. As a result, you are drastically less likely to experience muscle spasms, hamstring injuries, muscle pull, etc.
We never thought we’d have to cover this point, but people can be extremely dumb and stupid so yeah… . . . .One of the best ways to prevent the worst of longboard injuries is by following traffic rules.
We cannot even begin to stress on the statistics of the number of people who have incurred some serious and even fatal injuries due to them not abiding by the rules. First of all, always try and use the pedestrian walk for your cruising. This is especially true when it is rush hour and the streets are teeming with vehicles.
Don’t break the red light in case you are on the vehicle street. Speaking of which, one thing we strongly advice is to avoid using a longboard altogether on the highway, especially at after dusk. That is an absolute no from us. It is like playing with death.
Apart from this, cruise slow nears schools, look left and right before crossing. And for god’s sake, stop competing with the cyclists. Be smart. Don’t let natural selection do its thing, ey?
Whether you are a leaner who is just starting on the board, or a very pro level boarder who knows their stuff; it is absolutely instinctual and almost a given that you will try to scoot out to your destination on a rocket speed……and that is not okay.
See, we understand the love of speed. The wind blowing through your face and hair, and well…. wanting to reach work or college or home faster. But speeding from the get-go is just a bad idea. This is how to invite accidents. Always start the journey at a low speed, and then slowly begin to work your way up. It is much more efficient, won’t wear you out physically as fast, and is furthermore safe.
One thing you MUST know about is the dangers of speeding on downhill roads. Don’t accelerate at all, in fact. It is a downward road and the law of gravity will do its job just fine. Don’t push it or you’ll fall face first on the hard concrete.
Alright. Let’s face some facts. No matter how religiously you try not to get hurt, or not get into accidents; or follow rules and laws and precaution; the truth is, you WILL get into some trouble at one point or the other. This, by no means, reflects your competence. It just means you are learning! But what do you do in a situation like that?
Well, the first thing to do is stay calm. Do not panic. We know it is easier said than done when the fear and adrenaline rush in pumping through your streams after a bad fall or accident, but panicking will make things only worse from there on.
The second most import thing to do is to just lie back for a while. Do not try to sprint up or get back up on your knees immediately. You could be terribly injured and not even know it. So, lie on your back and try to take deep breaths.
And finally, if you think your injury is too bad to brush off, then try and call (or get someone to call) 911 or your local distress number, right away. You want to get medical attention as soon as possible after an emergency to make sure the matter does not get out of hand.
One very big mistake most people make while choosing a longboard is that they will buy without considering the proper size to get. People have this misconception that any size board will do for them, and consequently often end up buying them based on appearance and looks. As a result, you compromise on the proper user experience. With the wrong size, you trip, stumble over, fail to maintain balance and stability, and the list of errors goes on and on and on. We are therefore on a mission today to educate you on How to choose the Right Longboard Size for yourself!
Before we even begin to guide you to pick the perfect longboard size, we think it is very important that you know why picking the right size is important in the very first place.
First of all, it is really just common sense. It isn’t your “one size fits all kind of thing”. Like it is with clothes, shoes, bags, etc, the board size will vary person to person. And there are many factors which will manipulate the size you should get. We will get to that later, but for now, let’s understand the hazards of getting the wrong size! If you get a board that too small, it won’t be able to take on your weight and it may eventually break or even snap in half! If it is too small, you won’t get enough leg space. On the other hand, getting a longboard that’s too large for your means you will need more strength to push it forward. It will wear on our and you will not be able to make proper turns and curves.
Well, where do we even start with this? You will regret not checking the size from the very moment to step on to the board to the moment to throw it out your window.
One of the most prominent reasons behind this is that you won’t be able to push the board too far due to its odd size. You will fidget, stand in awkward positions, try various speeds, and then, you will give in to the frustration of all your failed attempts.
Apart from these, getting the wrong size also means more than usual frequency of falls, stumbles, and injuries due to misbalance and instability. Proper longboard size ensures less injuries and discomfort. So, yes. Don’t just walk into the buying the flashiest longboard without even judging its compatibility with you. Be a good noodle and follow some very basic yet significant steps to choosing the perfect size of longboard for yourself.
One of the nicest things about longboards is that it can be enjoyed by almost all age groups. Toddlers as young as 6 to 8 can use them, and adults as old as their legs can bear! However, what you have to make sure is that you get a size that complements your age and growth.
Fortunately, to make things easier for us, longboard manufactures and designers produce them in various sizes and scales.
You have sizes from Junior, Youth, and Adult. However, you can also choose from XLs, XXL, Small, Large, etc. Now keep in mind that, despite the concept of universal sizing, sizes will still vary from one company to the next. So we always advise checking with the brand beforehand. Do not assume what work for an adult should also work for a teen. Now, what exactly decides the candidate of each of the classifications?
Shoe size, of course! Your feet are going to be running the longboard, and so needless to say, the size of the board should more or less vary with the size of your feet. But relying on just shoe size isn’t enough to make a good “guess”. If there is any factor you want to correlate with shoe size, it is the width of the deck on your longboard. The bigger the foot, the wider the deck, and vice versa. Check out the formula below for a quick idea!
And of course from here on, as you age and your shoe size changes, so should the width of the deck of your longboard. But, now that the width is covered, how do we know which length to get?
When you think about the size of your longboards, ask yourself, “What am I buying it for?” This question in itself is the answer to half of our issue today. The type of activity you use your longboard for will massively affect its shape and size. Are you a college student looking for a cheaper commute? Is the longboard for some leisure fun at the skate park? Do you need it for a child? Well, here are some things you need to note down.
If you are looking for a longboard for daily commute from point A to point B, then we recommend getting a cruiser. They may offer less speed and thrill factor, but they are perfect for some heavy duty traveling to and from. Cruisers are far more stable and make smoother turn and curves. They are therefore ideal for kids and people who are just starting out. The ideal size for a cruising longboard is from 28 inches to 46 inches in length.
If you are someone who lives in a hilly area with lots of slopes, then go for a downhill longboard. This type of boards have decks that are specially made to cruise through angular, elevated and downwards roads. Downhill longboards can reach high speeds but are the tad unresponsive in terms of balance and stability. Not recommended for kids, for alright for teens and adults. The ideal size of a downhill longboards above 36 inches in length.
Freestyle longboards are the ones that you would use for tricks and funs. It is usually the most lightweight one since there is usually a lot of maneuverability going on with them. The best part about freestyle longboards is that they can be used both for leisure and more commuting. And therefore, these types of boards do not come with any specific recommendation for size. You can pick whatever you feel and works best for you. However, just in case you get confused, we recommend getting something that is somewhere along the lines of 38 inches or above in length.
And then comes one of the most common and known factors of choosing the perfect size: the user’s height and weight. The height of the user is playing a very prominent role in deciding the size, and more importantly, the length of the deck of your board. Similarly, you weight also plays a very significant role here. The taller you are, the more stability you need. On the other hand, the heavier you are, the wider the deck should be. Getting the right size of longboard according to your height and weight will means a more balanced center of gravity and even weight distribution.
The thing about weight is that it never truly directly affects the size of a longboard. However, it does affect the thickness of the deck. The heavier you are, the thicker the deck should be. This is, of course, to make sure that the deck does not snap in half.
If you are a clumsy person, we recommend you look for stability over speed. When the difference in size of a deck and its truck is low, you enjoy more stability and balance. Perfect for rough, uneven and pebbly roads and streets.
On the other hand, if it is the speed that you are more interested in over stability, then get a board with trucks that are substantially smaller than its deck. This type of longboard is the most ideal for smoother, more even roads.
Ollie is one of the most basic and fundamental longboard tricks. It is the step one of everything and knowing how to do it right is important if you want to step up to doing more advanced and complex tricks. Now, the thing about an Ollie is that they look effortless and fun, and they are! But, mastering the technique to executing the whole performance is a bit of a work. However, you don’t need to look any furthermore from here because today we are going to disclose the steps and secrets on How to Ollie on a longboard, the smart way!
We always believe in the saying, “you fall, you learn”. And anyone who is an expert at longboarding knows that this sport, like it is with all sports, comes with its fair share of falls and injuries. And to learn an Ollie, you must first of all prepare yourself for a few failed attempts and a lot of injuries.
We want to remind everyone to know that some of best professional skaters and boarders in the world today, Tony hawk for instance, were once just as inexperienced and lost as you are now. Their journey to the hall of fame once started with one single step on to the deck of their longbord. What distinguishes them from others is motivations and perseverance. If you are a pansy snowflake, then we recommend sticking to just cruising the board instead of learning to Ollie. Because, boy, are you going to trip and fall! The secret here is getting up and rising from a fall with a lesson each time. So yeah, be prepared for balance and stumbling over many times, be prepared to fall face first, and be prepared for some scratches and bruises here and there. It is all a part of the process. But just acknowledging pain and practicing perseverance isn’t enough. You have to stay motivated to do a better job after every failed attempt. Observe, concentrate and execute. Remember: Victory and defeat is something you decide in your mind prior to even starting a game. Hold tight.
To be able to kick out some truly amazing Ollies, you first need to understand the understand and identify the anatomy of your longborad. And while there are various different types of it, we can still break down the construction into 2 simple parts:
The deck is exactly what it sounds like. It is the plank body you stand on while cruising and free styling. Before all and everything, check if the size of the deck is right for you. You should be able to get the proper size checking from your age, weight and height, and shoe size. However, if you don’t want to risk getting the wrong kind, then be sure to ask the sales assistant to help you find the right size of deck for you. The deck has the tail, which is the back, and a nose, which is the front end. It can be blunt or pointy depending on the purpose, but for doing executing a near perfect Ollie, we recommend getting a wider kick, which are the elevated ends of the deck. Kicks, play a huge role in Ollie-ing and we will cover its importance soon. We furthermore suggest looking into flat-cave decks over concave ones since they will be easier to work with in the air.
The trucks are everything under the deck. You have 2 truck under your board, and this construction consists everything from axles, bolts and screws, king pin, and of course, the wheels. Trucks are of 2 kinds: drop down and drop through. A drop down truck system will have it bolted and screwed under the deck, while the drop through truck system will go through the board via cutouts. For Ollie, we recommend getting a drop through deck since they offers less height and more stability over a drop down system.
And then, finally, Step up on your longboard! But before you start trying to pull tricks and moves, there’s little something we recommend doing: try and understand your board.
No. We are not talking about you getting emotionally invested with a wooden plank, although that wouldn’t be too shabby. Neither are we implying you to be its therapist. What we mean by understanding your longboard is that you observe and get good feel for it. When you step on it, we suggest you pay close attention to a few details like the balance, stability, and control. Does it wobble too much? Are the trucks to tight too let you move freely? Is the deck too narrow? Is it too wide? The bottom line is: you need to be VERY comfortable on your longboard to be able to pull off a proper Ollie. You can have the best, fanciest and most expensive longboard in the world, and will still not mean a thing if it isn’t comfortable to you. You should be very familiar with and how it feels and works. Your board should almost feel like a second pair of feet.
When comes to pulling off an Ollie, the magic is more in the technique and the foot of the user, than it is in the longboard itself. Needless to say, knows the does and don’t and how to’s of foot once it is on the deck of the board is essential.
First of all, begin by establishing the right position. Put your front foot near or around the centre of the deck of your boards while the back foot rests on the rear tail or rear kick. Now let’s get the positions right. The ball of your front foot should be in sync with the deck’s center while the ball of the back foot is half hanging off the edge of the rear kick or tail. Although these seem like very easy positions, they can take a while to come to you naturally and instantly so practice, practice, practice! Keep in mind that this is the absolute basic guideline to foot positioning. You can of course go a little outside the lines, however, going a little off the parameters will affect how your overall Ollie turns out. For instance, the wider the distance of the 2 feet, the more intense the Ollie turnout should be. But, this is of course, is a difficult to do since it requires a lot of trial and error due in the department of stability. Not for rookies. On the other hand, for mediocre hops, you do not need to space your feet too wide from each other. It is all in the feet, lads!
Now that the initial foot work is out of the way, let’s move on to the role of your upper body. Yep. In an Ollie, your upper body, your weight, your force and inertia- all matter! It’s a full body process.
After you have positioned your feet in the right way, you need to bend and crouch. What we mean by is that you will need your and crouch your torso just enough to form and harbor a good amount of pressure onto your deck with your feet. Now, keep in mind that you shouldn’t bend too much, nor crouch too much. The knees should bend just a under 90 degrees. As for the crouch, don’t overdo it either. Keep the motions very natural and effortless. Try to stay on the balls of your feet even while crouching. One other very important point here is your shoulders. Try and keep your shoulders level with you feet as much as possible. That’s is all for the upper body for now. When you do this, make sure that your upper body remains loose and relaxed, and not nervous and stiff. Keep your hands relaxed and wilted. People have this reflex of lifting their hands up while crouching down so it will take some practice. The only pressure buildup should be on your legs and nowhere else.
Now with your feet in positions, your knees bent, and body crouched, you have built up enough pressure and positional energy on your feet to make the jump for your Ollie. However, there is an art and technique to the jump as well.
Don’t just jump like a frog with all legs up. This way your feet lose all its potential energy at once and you will land too hard, possibly hurting yourself. While jumping for your Ollie, the trick is to jumping one foot at a time. First your front foot jump up, and then your second foot. While the front foot is up in the air and off the deck, make sure the side of that foot brushes against the front kick. And ideally at the same time, your back foot will be forcing down the rear kick so that it touches the ground while the front kick flips up. Pop is what we call the sound the back tail makes when it hits the ground after your kick it down with your back foot. Essentially, you are forcing down of the back tail with your back foot so that it flips up and your front foot gets to brush against the front tail.
There is a little technique involved while you are coming down from the jump or descending. And learning how to master this will make sure that you not only have a smoother landing, but it s furthermore safer for you and easier on your board.
That said, when you descend from the jump of your Ollie, make sure you immediately level both your foot on your way down. This, in turn, will of course also level up the board. To make it easier for you to understand, we want you to see your board as a straight line. When you jump in the air, your board isn’t straight and level no more. It has an angle to it, right? Now, here’s the thing you have to do while landing. You have to make sure that you level up your feet and therefore you board until it lands it the same straight position. This will ensure that your body weight hits the deck more evenly while also making sure that your board doesn’t snap in half from excessive pressure and force from either foot. One other thing you have to make sure of is that you keep the position of your feet in the same position when it lands as it was when you jumped. One on the centre, the other near on the rear kick.
And that, folks, is How to Ollie on a longboard! We must admit, an Ollie is a tough job. But it isn’t impossible. Once you analyses and dissect the steps and technique of the entire of the trick, it is all apple pie from there. With hard work and perseverance, you can wow yourself.
One last tip we have for you is that your wear proper safety gear throughput practicing. Referring back to our first step, there are going to be heaps of falls and injuries. And although we want you to acknowledge that, we don’t want you to succumb to them. Put on a pair of elbow pads, knees pads and most importantly, a helmet. Many smart learners will even wear a pair of gloves for safety so yeah, gear up! With all said and done, now all you have left to do is practice, practice and practice! Try and maintain a daily or regular routine. This will help you learn faster and better. And finally, remember, it takes years to perfect and master a proper the Ollie so be patient and stay motivated.
Best of luck and we will see you next time. Cheers!