This practice is, in a way, a retranscription of the pleasure of surfing the waves on dry land (not as much as in surf skate, but the principle is there). Cruising means riding quietly, without pressure, and just riding to escape reality. The carving represents making these small tight turns, almost a reflex, with a bit of speed to increase the sensations and pleasure.
How to do basic carving on a longboard
When carving on a longboard, your goal is to carve nice imaginary curves in the asphalt – just like you would if you were riding on slushy snow – by making strong progressive curves that can be as wide or as sharp as you like.
You initiate these curves by alternately transferring your weight to each edge of the board, first pushing with your toes, then pushing with your heels to one rail, then moving to another. This is called rail transfer.
By pushing into the rail of your longboard, you tilt the deck to one side and angle the wheels away from the deck, causing your board to spin. The more weight and pressure you put on the rail, the more the wheels will turn and the sharper they will spin.
Toe-side and Heel-side Carving Turns
When you push your toe or heel into the rail, the direction of your turn depends on your stance, i.e. which foot you put forward as you ride.
Everyone has a natural surf/skate stance. To determine yours, simply stand with your feet together and ask someone to push you forward from behind, forcing you to take a step forward and throwing you off balance. Which of your feet will naturally step forward?
If it’s your left leg, you’re a “normal” rider. If it is the right, you are a “high roller”. Normal riders look to the right side of the board when riding (because the left foot is in front), while riders with “high-flying” feet look to the left.
If you are “regular” (again, left foot in front), leaning forward and pushing your toes into the bar, called a toe side turn, will turn your longboard to the right.
Leaning back on your heel, called a heel side turn, will turn your longboard to the left.
If you’re flying high, it’s the other way around: you’re riding facing left (right foot forward), so pushing your toe onto the left rail (toe side turn) will push your longboard to the left, while turning your heel side turn will turn your longboard to the right.
Weight Transfer: Smooth Carving Motion
When carving your longboard, you are again shifting your weight back and forth between your toes (forward lean) and heels (back lean) to get your board into a continuous turn.
However, you want these turns to not only be natural and beautiful, but to generate the energy to keep your longboard moving as you carve these beautiful “ace” turns.
In order to achieve this, it is not enough to exert force with your toes and heels; you need to create a full body movement. Beginners tend to use only their ankles and push into the bars with their toes and heels. At the other end of the spectrum are snowboarders, who tend to focus on their shoulders and forget about their feet because they are used to binding and riding.
In order to make efficient and powerful turns on a longboard, you need to get your head, shoulders, hips and legs to make a wave-like motion and achieve a smooth transition between toe and heel positions.
Finding the Right Longboard
- A rather significant length, often higher than 90cm (35″)
- A width (maximum) of 25cm (10″)
- A wheelbase that will vary according to your preference. The smaller it is, the tighter your turns will be.
- It a concave enough to accentuate the weight transfer for turns but not too much to stay comfortable. This is a non-essential point.
- A little flex will be welcome for comfort!
For its shape, the pintail is often used (the one a bit shaped like a surfboard, surely not a coincidence). For quality, I can recommend the Mission from Arbor, and for tighter budgets, the Core pintail from Mindless.
What is the best longboard for cruising?
Choosing the perfect longboard for cruising is one of the most complex decisions. The decision must come from your heart, and you must know which way you are heading.
We can show you a couple of questions that our environment had that might help you make your decision easy.
This question is one of the most critical questions to ask in the beginning; buying a longboard can be a significant investment for most people, so before buying a board, make sure you are making a smart purchase. Don´t buy a 500 dollars/euros downhill board to go to class; you can buy a cheaper option and save some money!
Knowing yourself and what you like can help you choose the perfect board. Do you prefer throwing yourself down a cliff on a shopping cart? Are you always jumping around and trying tricks? Maybe you like to flow and dance.
Here is the list that can help you make your decision
Cruising: calm people that like to enjoy life and relax
Dancing: People who want to flow and dance to enjoy life can do some tricks, but it is not the primary objective.
Freestyle: Energetic people that like to jump around and express themselves through tricks
Downhill: They are adrenaline addicts who want to go as fast as possible. They are always asking for more in life!
Freeride: They also like the adrenaline, but they respect speed, they also want to express themselves while going fast
It is essential to know if you have skated before since people who have skated but want to switch to longboarding tend to get smaller boards that let them still do some tricks. People who have never skated or stood on top of a board tend to have bigger pintails with flex due to the stability it can bring.
As we showed in the question about your background, you must tell yourself what you like the most about skating; if you like going fast, buy yourself a board that can help you do that, and the other way around. You will feel very frustrated if you buy a board that doesn´t let you do the discipline you like the most, and you don´t have the capability to get a different one.
Best carving board to evolve to each discipline?
If you have read everything that we have written priorly and are still reading this segment, you will buy your first board and already know that the pintail is the first step to start evolving into longboarding. We hope that this listing will help you find out what shape of the longboard is best for beginners,
Here we will list the best carving longboards to evolve into each discipline!
Best carving longboard deck for cruising
You are sure that you just one to chill; maybe some days you will try to do some cross steps, shove its, or 180 slides, but you know that you one to buy a pintail, which is the most comfortable for going to class and rolling around with your friends, it is perfect for you and that is the crucial thing.
Here you have four pintails options with the respective prices and links to the products to find out which one fits you the best.
Best carving longboard deck for tricks
You will buy your first longboard, but you are 100% sure you will do tricks. You like to jump, do flips, no comply and shove its, but you are also looking for something more comfortable that lets you roll for more prolonged and skate around with your friends, cruising on the sidewalk, the promenade, or just your way to class.
This means that you will need a board with kicktails so you can jump higher with your board but still have to have the characteristics of a longboard; here you have our best options:
Best carving longboard deck for speed
Here we will state that most puritan and strict downhill professionals might disagree. The information is that we believe that drop-through boards are good for getting started in downhill skateboarding. Still, we think that once you reach such a level and have such an excellent level, people tend to forget how it is when you start skating.
This statement might be controversial because you will no longer see a professional skater competing at the highest level. Every board you see is a top mount, super small with tiny trucks. Another thing that talks against drop-through are that these boards reduce the ability to make faster turns and can feel clumsy for more skillful riders.
All that said, remember this page, in particular, is focused on people that is looking for a cruiser that might want to try learning to go a little bit faster, there is another article about downhill boards (maybe when you read this, we haven’t created it yet), and we will talk about them there. A person buying a cruiser is looking to spend between 100 to 200 euros or dollars, and a downhill deck can cost from 400 to 1000 euros/dollars. A cruiser will never reach that quality. That’s why we believe that a drop-through board will give you the stability that any other cruiser will not help you get.
Disclaimer: Downhill skateboarding can be very dangerous; if you don’t have the skill or gear, don’t try to break any records or skate on an open road. Always be careful, try to slide according to your talent, and improve every day until you reach that level.
Best carving longboard deck for sliding
We don´t have an official statement about the best board for sliding; we believe it is possible to do it with every kind of board for sliding. You can turn more like a top mount can help you initiate the turn before the slide is much more accessible, but you can still slide with all of them as a beginner.
We believe it is much more essential to choose the right wheels for longboard sliding, and we will discuss them in the next section!
- A large diameter, between 70mm and 75mm
- A contact surface around 50mm and more
- A low hardness (for comfort!), so between 78A and 80A
- Right or sharp external angles
- A small offset core
- A rather shiny texture
As you can see, you’ll have to choose comfortable wheels that catch your path, so you don’t deviate from it. These are excellent examples. The diameter and duro will be the essential characteristics here. Even urethane quality does not matter as much as in other disciplines.
Of course, this configuration is only a personal preference, an opinion and not a generalization. To understand the consequences of each characteristic in order to best choose your own material according to your preferences, I refer you to this wonderful guide!
If you want to move, read this guide on the board to choose to start which could be decisive in your choice 🙂
If you want to combine cruising and another discipline, you should rather choose this other discipline, because if you can cruise with any board, it is not the case for dancing or going down the slopes !
You can find our article about longboard wheels on this website, but we will give you some information in advance; if you want to be fully informed about how the longboard wheels work and all the different varieties, you will have to read it!!
Disclaimer: remember that all the products that we suggest are examples of the best designs of products, we are not supporting any brand in particular, if you find a different brand with a similar design that we are recommending, we encorage you to try them, it is always good to try different brands a new things until you find what you like!
These wheels are great for sliding because they have a solid core, which makes the urethane more consistent and helps control the slides.
With bigger diameters and more extensive contact patches, bigger wheels will help you reach higher velocities and have better friction when griping a corner.
These kinds of wheels are the best overall because they are not the best at anything, but they still can do all of them, can slide, and have some grip and speed, but they are not the best at any of them.
These wheels are primarily suitable for tricks because they are light, which helps when trying to jump with your board. Also, they tend to slide better than other wheels because they don´t grip as much.
- A 150mm or 180mm size, knowing that the first one will increase your feeling in the curves, will grip the ground more but will be less stable in case of acceleration
- A 50° angle
- A top mount generally
- Soft bushings, a double cone with a good rebound, and cups will be perfect for us!
The trucks play a determining role in the sensations, so it is the part that will have to be neglected the least. The Paris V3 is undoubtedly an investment if you are a beginner, but they are worth it with the correct bushings! (the basic ones will do very well, though) A complete guide to trucks will give you more details
How to Carve
Putting lettering on a longboard is unfamiliar to beginners. However, to achieve a high level of comfort and skill, it is essential to practice, practice, and practice again and again. Carving is not only fun, but it is also necessary to control your speed. To curve, shift your weight to the toe edge and heel side. As you move your weight back and forth, carve so that the board forms an S. As you proceed in an S-shaped pattern, your speed slows down, making it easier to maintain control. Carving also gives you a sense of control over your longboard. It is easy to lose control of a longboard if you do not know how to carve correctly.
Practice on a street or parking lot with a slight downhill slope to learn to carve correctly. As always, always wear a helmet when riding a longboard. Start stronger and ride down the hill, gaining speed with your back foot. Then bend your knees slightly. Then shift your weight to your heels and start carving. You will see the longboard spinning in the direction it is leaning. When you get to the edge, stop. When you stop cutting toward the heel, now carve toward the toe. Carving toward the toe is a little more complicated, but you will feel more comfortable with some practice.
Remember to ride with your knees slightly bent and keep your balance. Keep your heels off the board to handle the board leaning under you. Now, you should face the other side of the road in this position. When you reach the other side of the path, stop. Now that you know how to cut off your heel and toes practice these movements repeatedly. Each time you walk to the side of the path, stop and go back in the opposite direction. This will help you master carving without going too fast.
@loadedboards The art of the carve. Learn the secrets with the Loaded Challenge Series! Visit our site to participate! #LoadedBoards #Longboarding ♬ Take My Breath Away (Love Theme from "Top Gun") - Berlin
As you get used to it, try combining heel and toe carving. When you reach one side of the path, move to the other and change direction without stopping. If you want to descend slowly, make your turns wider; if you want to go faster, make your turns narrower. With careful training, you can quickly master carving on a longboard.
Here is a video of Jin Learns To Skate that can help you learn how to carve!!
How to brake
If you have a longboard, you need to know how to brake with your feet! Also known as footbrake. This is an essential skill to start with. You cannot slow down or stop if you cannot use the “brake pedal.”
One of the most frequently asked questions* is, “How do I stop on my board? So we decided to put together a quick guide to foot braking that will help everyone who skateboards, from beginners to the world’s fastest skateboarders.
Skateboard training is a great skill to have when it comes to emergency stops. Carving abilities are great for speed control, but nothing beats foot braking for emergency stops. Both carving and skidding are effective in their own right, but they occupy more of the road surface than foot braking. When other skaters surround you on a freeride or are stuck in a narrow bus lane on your commute to work without gloves, the foot brake is precisely what you need.
Here is a video from Ogden Sikel that will help you learn how to footbrake!