A Beginner’s Guide to Longboarding



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Nataila Portman – Blogger/Designer

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I realized this post was relevant as I am now in crunch time of planning, since I somewhat changed the route once again. I will now be leaving in two weeks by train to Atlanta, Georgia where I will skate the Ladiga trail to Alabama and then head to Miami for Ultra-Skate. After Ultra, I’ll begin on the East Coast Greenway from the start. Doing all this on my board just shows how longboarding is an awesome sport that you can use as great form of exercise, as well as gain some great thrills.

These are probably two of the main reasons I do longboard. I love pushing for miles, coming to some good downhill section and bombing it at 40mph (at the same time pushing up some big hill you can only hope is just as good on the other side). It’s an awesome feeling cresting that big hill.

So, if you’re just getting into longboarding, then first things first:  you’ll need a helmet. And if the thrill factor is what you’re going for, then I’d recommend some slide gloves too. Knee pads and elbow pads are always a good idea if you’re just learning how to slide, but they can be bulky and unnecessary once you learn to fall properly.


Setup-wise, there are so many different options, especially depending on what style of riding you choose to do. For better help on this, check out some of these links that have helped me in the past. Or better yet go to your LOCAL shop and get some advice from them. It’s always good to support the local stores so maybe one day they’ll support you too!


Muirskate’s Longboarding FAQ

Muirskate’s Longboard Buying Guide

Daddies Board Shop’s Longboard Buyer’s Guide

But, if you’re on here to push mile upon mile I’d recommend these sites for much more personalized advice.

Adam Colton’s Advice (My personal favorite – I even followed Adam Coltons pack choice)

Pavedwave Distance Skateboarding Forum

SkateFurther’s Long Trek from St. Jude


A little advice from my perspective though:

Find a board that you are comfortable with – this goes for trucks as well. It can take some time to find this stuff too, as you’re going to have to experiment. “It’s part of the game” as I like to say. Wheel-wise, I think that is a solely personal opinion, granted there are better wheels for certain things, but it’s all preference as well.

Gear-wise, if you’re going long distance, you have to go light because not only is it more stress on your legs, but you have less control when you’re tired. This can lead to becoming off-balance, which is not safe on a road way with cars (this is an always present danger you must be aware of as well). As for knowing exactly what you need for your desired trip, it just comes down to research and remembering that you don’t need a whole lot. Base your initial gear list off minimalist camping setups – this will give you a good idea of what you truly need to survive.

This is one of the main reasons I chose to stay in an ENO Hammock System for my trip. They offer a setup for any climate and have so many benefits. The weight saved in carrying an ENO system is substantial compared to a tent, sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad. Some may argue that they can get lighter setups through some type of tent combo; but if so it would be very little difference, and my pack would still have more room than the tent-filled one. All that being said, you can’t beat ENO’s great prices and even better customer service.

Now my last little bit of info is on conditioning. I feel like everyone has their own type of conditioning, especially for distance skating. I personally prefer just skating wherever I can, making loops around cities, etc. Open roads are key because the terrain plays a great factor in building leg strength. As far as distance goes, just find out some good routes with low traffic roads at first and work your way up – it’s all about muscle memory. When the end of the workouts starts getting tough, you just have to find that will from within and the desire to complete your goal – and you will make it. Lastly, the one thing that should be stressed the most is to make sure to stretch – before, during, after – and if you don’t know which are good for you, here ya go:

6 Stretches Every Runner Should Do


Author Bio:

Drew Lewis is a longboarder and adventurist who is embarking on a journey from Atlanta, GA down to the East Coast Greenway with the goal of breaking Rob Thomson’s World Record of Longest Journey by Skateboard – 7,555 miles. With his longboard as his only form of transportation, Drew will embark on this trip to promote the sport of longboarding and living a healthy lifestyle. Keep up with Drew on his website. We wish him safe travels on his awesome journey!

@SwitchKickinUSA #BeTheMotor #SwitchKickAmerica


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