Freeride longboarding has always been one of the most popular disciplines of longboarding. As the name says, it is Free Riding, which consists in letting yourself be free and do whatever you feel like doing on top of the boards.
Longboards are designed to move longer distances and to make it easier to roll around and to go faster. To understand precisely what you can do in freeriding, we must understand what you can do on a longboard. The typical evolution was going into hills and finding a way to control speed.
It means that the things are generally done in freeriding are tricks or maneuvers that will help you surpass all the obstacles you can find on a hill; these include slides, drifts, hippie jumps, and early grabs. We can say that freeride is the discipline that belongs between freestyle and downhill. Why? Because freestyle´s goals are to do tricks, which can include flips and downhill goals are to go as fast as possible.
Freeride is not as trick oriented as freestyle because it is mostly done in hills (and it is hard to do a flip going fast), and it is not as speed oriented as downhill; even if you can go fast, the goal is to enjoy the ride and show some style. For example: trying to do stand-up slides instead of pre-drifts.
@dylhep The car was drifting with me 🔥💀🤙🏽 #downhill #longboarding #freeride #skateboarding #1way #sk8 ♬ original sound - Dylan Hepworth
How to start longboard freeride?
It is easier to say that to start doing it, but starting longboarding freeride is more accessible than you think. After the Tiktok that we shared on top, you might probably guess this is crazy, these people are nuts, and it is impossible to do that. Don´t worry. Dylan is a professional skateboarder who has been doing it for years. But we all started in the same place, and we will show you that you can begin freeriding too!
You only need a few things to start freeriding in a longboard: a longboard, a hill, Sliding Gloves, and protective Gear. It is that easy.
- Longboard: for starting freeriding, you don´t need to buy a top-tier board; you can start with the one you already have. As long as it has wheels to slide, it will work! If you don´t have a board, check out this guide about buying the best board!
- Hill: A hill is significant since you need a peace of pavement with some inclination to learn the basic movements. You don´t try on a road with cars. Your local park or parking lot can work perfectly for you. Just ensure there is no traffic because it can be a huge risk being next to cars without being able to control the longboard.
- Sliding Gloves: We could add them to the protective gear section, but we want to ensure that you have these. Since you are learning to slide and go faster, you will most likely learn slides with your hand on the floor. To achieve this, you will need a set of sliding gloves since they have specific pucks that will help you learn the basics without burning your skin.
- Protective Gear: It is essential to be protected since you are learning a new skill that can be dangerous since it has some movements that are not natural when you are starting and can lead to many falls. You always have to wear a helmet to prevent yourself from getting a contusion, and you should also use knee and elbow pads to prevent yourself from getting burned by the pavement.
Longboard Freeride Tricks
There are a few tips that will help you improve your freeriding skills. We have brought you all of them and will help you learn more tricks!
First things first, let’s start with the basics. We won´t throw you down a hill without knowing how to stand on the board!
- Stands: the stand is where you put your feet on top of the longboard. If your board has concave, micro drop, drop, etc. You should put your feet where they feel more comfortable. But if you don´t have any of that, you must use your bolts as a guide. Try putting your feet between them, and don´t let them cross the bolts.
- Precarve: if you are going to start freeriding, it is crucial that you know how to carve since it´s required for learning to slide. Pre-carve is the carve you must do before any slide since it will help you make it easier.
- Weight: remember to put your weight on the front foot always. It is the opposite of regular skating, where you have to put your way on the back. You must put it on the front since it will help you control your slides.
- Weight while sliding: weight is significant in freeride. When trying to slide with a glove, remember to place your weight on your hands; this will take so much pressure from the board and make the wheels slide easier.
- Gloves usage: using your gloves are crucial for sliding since it is the most helpful tool. But remember, gloves are essential because they have a puck. Learn how to raise your fingers while sliding and try only to place the puck on the pavement
Once you understand the basics it is time to start learning how to slide, here are the first tricks that you can learn to start freeriding on a longboard. Remember that to do your first slides you won´t need to go fast, you just need a bit of speed.
Push up slide: this slides is called that way because it seems like you are doing a push on your board. You have to lean on your toeside and put both hands on the ground. You and your toes have to face the ground. When both of your hands (the pucks) are touching the ground you can start sliding on a 180 angle, pushing a little with your back feet. Once you have perfected it, you can rise your front hand, this will help you learn the toeside slide in the future.
Heelside slide: for doing it, you have to lean to other side. This time, we recommend to just place one hand on the floor, you will have to place it on the your back side of your board. It is important that in this slide, you place your hands in front of the bolts of your front truck.
Here we have an example of how you should try to do it.
Coleman and pendulum Slide: these variants are helpful when you are going faster, you attempt to do the same slide, but since you have more speed and are sliding for longer when you end up the 180, you stay in the same position and try to come back to the original place where you started the slide. Coleman is for the heelside variant, and pendulum is for the push-up variant.
Stand-up slides are a bit more complicated than hand-downs, but the 180 are still considered beginner tricks. To be able to make them, you will have to do movements similar to the ones we taught you earlier, but you will have to guide it with your shoulders, this way, the rest of your body and your board will follow them.
Frontside 180 (also called heelside): you have to turn to your heelside, right if you are regular and left if you are goofy. Remember to pre carve, start the turn with your shoulders put the weight on your front feet and push with the back one( right if you are regular and left if you are goofy).
Toeside 180 (also called backside):We can call the opposite of the frontside, you lean to your toeside, right if you are regular and left if you are goofy, put the weight on your front foot, start turning with your shoulders and push with your back foot.
@tristanrespress Replying to @mykdmshxtbox how to stand up heelside 180° slide on a longboard 🛹 #longboard #longboarding #slide #trick #tip ♬ original sound - Tristan Respress
Once you know the basics, it is time to go to the next level. Until now, the tricks you have learned are valid for learning in a park, a straight line, a parking lot, or easy spots. But if you want to start killing it at the corner sessions with your friends or even trying to attempt an entire run on a road, you will have to master drifts, pre-drifts, and powerslides both frontside and backside.
These slides are very usefull to break speed before getting into a corner. The right way to do them is with the front wheels ahead of the back wheels. This way you can reduce your velocity without loosing control. It is really important to not make your board on a 90º angle with your direction, because this will make your wheels stop rolling during the slide, this will reduce the friction, make you loose control of the slide and also leave a flat spot on your wheel. Flatspots are the main thing that you have to avoid because they can make the wheel useless after they arrive.
They work the same way the pre-drifts work, but the only difference is that you do them without touching the road with your pucks.
Be careful to have a correct form while doing them because stand-up slides tend to spend your wheels faster; if you flat-spot a wheel, it will be much worse. The good thing about stand-ups is that if you have a wheel that leaves thane lines, you can see how you are skating.
Always attempt to leave four thane lines with the same intensity. If you see that you are putting more weight on one wheel or only leaving two thane leans, that means you are not putting the weight correctly. Try correcting it to make the perfect stand-up slide. Controlling your weight on top of the board will help you make better slides and prevent you from falling into risky situations.
Switch skating consists in skating on your bad stance. It means if you are regular and you normally skate with your left foot on front, skating on switch will be consider trying to skate with your right foot on front, it works the same way for goofies. To be able to ride on swicht, you have to set up your trucks simetrically, it means that if you have different size trucks, different busing set up or different rake set up, it will be very complicated to ride switch.
It is also normal that people when they attempt to do slides on switch, have different style and normally do not look as stylish, but the right way to do it is to attempt to do the slides exactly the same way you do them on your normal stances.
Here is a video of Dylan Hempworth doing slides over 100ft long on four stand up slides!
This is the most skilled discipline of longboarding, mostly only professionals are able to do this. It consist in going downhill while freeriding. I know I know… worst explanation ever, let me try again. This discipline contains two disciplines, downhill, where riders try to go down a road the fastest way as possible, tucking, predrifting and trying to loose as few velovity as possible, but they are also freeriding, what means that they are trying to do stand up slides in every corner instead of using hands down pre drifts.
To be able to do this you will most likely need a downhill board, very important to have precission trucks, since some riders can go over 80 hm/h while doing stand ups and they need as much stability as posible and also a freeride wheel that has grip or downhill wheels that have been used and have lost the last grippy layer.
Here you have a video of patrick lombardi downhil freeriding and even doing on switch enjoy!
Gear/ Set Up
As we always say, having the right board for each discipline can make it easier to improve at it. Here you have the perfect guide to find the best freeride set up.
Board / Deck
Choosing a board is very personal; finding the perfect one will depend on each riding style. In this section, we will only talk about the boards that some of the best freeride riders around the world are using now. We know that there are great riders that outstand with different shapes of boards, but we will only write about the most common types of boards since they have proven to be the best overall freeride options. If you want to read about different options of boards, you can read this guide about every kind of longboard deck.
The perfect deck shape for Longboard Freeride
Watch hundreds of pros and skilled freeriders. The best shape for freeriding is the rocket shape board. Why do we choose them? Because they are the best option overall!
As you can see in the picture we have added, you will know that they are the more balanced option. At their right, you can see that flared brick and drop double kick cutaways tend to be shorter boards, making them an excellent choice for a 360 more style or freestyle. On the other hand, we have dropped boards and drop-through boards. They have the truck going through the board, which makes that setup lose a lot of maneuverability, which is not ideal for freeriding.
This is why we chose missile-style boards. It doesn´t matter if they have tails or not; they will only help to do tricks such as flips and ollies but won´t influence your freeride riding; as we mentioned earlier that the best thing to do for freeriding is keeping your feet between the bolts.