Defining Longboarding by disciplines is quite hard since it can be very subjective, and every person can have their own opinion. But we love risks and will try to narrow and define them all the best way we can!
Let´s see the basics and introduce it a little to ensure everything and leave no space for doubts.
Longboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A longboard is a long board (as the name says) for riding and skating. Compared to skateboards, longboards have larger wheels and are less rigid, making them more stable and providing more traction and strength.
Skateboards are generally 28 to 34 inches long (71 to 34 centimeters) and 7 to 10 inches wide (18 to 25 centimeters). In comparison, longboards in the early days were 35 to 60 inches long (88 to 154 centimeters) and 8 to 11 inches wide (20 to 28 centimeters). Over time, longboards became faster, more technical, and more trick-oriented, with decks often smaller (30-42 inches, 76 to 14 centimeters), trucks and wheels narrower (wheel diameters shrunk from 2,9 inches/74mm to 2,7 inches/70mm, trucks 6-9 inches or 15-22 cm), and traditional skateboarding The boundaries between skateboards and skateboards were erased. Most longboards use trucks (axles) that are shaped differently than skateboards. Skateboards often use “traditional kingpin trucks,” and longboards often use “reverse kingpin trucks.
Longboards come in a variety of disciplines and types. Longboards are used in competitive downhill racing, where speeds of 60 mph (approx. 97 km/h) or more are achieved, called “downhill.” “Freeride,” which is skated at speeds of 20 to 50 mph (called “sliding”). This discipline is a style used to challenge riders to make fast, sharp turns and to help them control their speed. In another field called freestyle, the line between skateboarding and longboarding blurs. You may see people doing flips on longboards, but the skills of longboarding – riding and cruising – remain intact. Dancing” involves riding on, around, and over a longboard, doing dance-like tricks and maneuvers in high fashion. It does not require higher speeds than cruising and is often found on flatter terrain. Longboards are more suitable for city walking and commuting than traditional skateboards because of their larger turning radius and extended range.
All that said, we can dig a little bit more into each discipline:
Most famous longboard disciplines
When you think of longboarding, the first thing that comes to mind is cruising. When you start longboarding, your first goal is casually moving around town on your board.
What does it mean to cruise on a longboard? Cruising usually means riding a longboard lightly and smoothly, slowly on the road or around town, wandering around, and moving from place to place while having fun.
Cruising is a trendy longboard sport that can be enjoyed by many people regardless of age or fitness level.
Cruising on a longboard can also refer to any longboarding activity in general that is not aimed at downhill/speed or freestyle/skill. However, learning to longboard can vary from person to person.
Here are four common types of cruising, in order of skill required.
- Boardwalk cruising
- Long-distance cruising
- Urban cruising
- Flat ground carving
In a sense, this approach transfers the fun of surfing to land (it is different from surf skiing, but the principle is the same). Cruising is about running at a leisurely pace with no pressure. We are just cruising to escape reality. Carving is making small, sharp turns at low speeds, almost reflexively, to heighten the sensation and increase the fun.
It got popular in the 80s when they weren´t any waves, and the surfers had to improvise. It created skating as we know it today, not just longboarding but the concept of adding wheels to a piece of wood and creating what you feel in the moment.
Freeriding is for the creative longboarder. The following applies here: if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t exist. While downhill is about getting down the mountain as fast as possible, freeriding allows you to let loose on the route itself—the more unusual your ride, the better. No wonder there are now even freeride events to inspire the public.
Downhillers like to use this skating style to approach their limits and gradually discover their skills. Standing or crouching, fast or slow, with or without slopes, everything is allowed in freeriding. The only rule: is don’t do anything that threatens you.
Longboard dancing is a very intuitive and creative activity. It combines the technical aspects of freestyle with the aesthetics, rhythms, and movement repertoire of dance. In other words, longboard dance elevates skateboarding to the realm of performing arts. It combines longboarding and good old skateboarding and can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels. All you need is a skateboard with a longboard, and you can start expressing yourself on concrete.
One of the differences between longboard dancing and skateboarding, or longboarding, is the continuous left-to-right carving. In dancing, you move your body to the beat of the music, but in longboarding, you use your board to create your rhythmic movements.
Freestyle longboarding is the most stable and spectacular style of longboarding, with constant board flips and tricks. Freestyle longboarding is less aggressive and more stylish than aggressive shortboard but most similar to traditional street skateboarding.
Freestyle longboarding is a highly technical style of riding. Unlike freeriding, which involves sliding and controlling speed, freestyle is practiced primarily on flat surfaces, sometimes taking advantage of obstacles such as street curbs or stairs.
If you are a beginner longboarder, you are probably interested in this downhill discipline everyone talks about when they think of longboarding.
If you like extreme sports, downhill is for you. The goal of practicing downhill on a longboard is speed and speed alone. Downhill riders typically descend at very high rates of 50 to 65 km/h, with some records exceeding 80 km/h.
Skateboard slalom is a downhill skating sport that involves passing through cones of varying distances. Skaters usually use a pump to increase or maintain their speed, but are penalized if they touch one of the cones.
Skate slalom emerged in the 1960s and 1970s and was forgotten for a while after that, but regained popularity in the 2000s. It is a special style of skating that focuses on high-speed pumps and precision skating, high-speed obstacle avoidance, and skating on flats, inclines, and hills.