Precision Turns: How to Turn Longboard

Do you want to learn how to turn your longboard like a pro? Well, you’re in the right place! Turning on a longboard is a crucial skill that every rider needs to master. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced longboarder, knowing how to execute smooth and controlled turns will not only enhance your riding experience but also improve your overall performance.

In this guide, we’ll break down the art of turning a longboard into simple steps that anyone can follow. From the basics of weight shifting and foot positioning to advanced techniques like carving and sliding, we’ll cover it all. So, grab your board, put on your helmet, and get ready to dive into the thrilling world of longboard turning!

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let’s take a moment to understand what makes turning a longboard different from turning a regular skateboard. The longer length and wider deck of a longboard require slightly different techniques to initiate and control turns. But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, ensuring you have a solid foundation before you hit the streets or cruise down hills. So, let’s get started!

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How to Turn a Longboard: Mastering the Art of Maneuvering

Longboarding is a thrilling sport that offers riders the opportunity to carve through turns and cruise down hills with style and grace. One of the most fundamental skills every longboarder needs to learn is how to execute smooth and controlled turns. Whether you’re a beginner looking to master the basics or an experienced rider wanting to improve your technique, this guide will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to turn your longboard like a pro.

The Basics: Understanding Body Positioning and Weight Distribution

Before diving into the different turning techniques, it’s crucial to understand the importance of proper body positioning and weight distribution on your longboard. When turning, your body should face the direction you want to go, with your shoulders aligned parallel to the board. Keep your knees slightly bent and maintain a low center of gravity to enhance stability.

As you initiate a turn, your weight distribution plays a vital role. To execute a smooth carve, shift your weight onto your heels or toes, depending on the direction of the turn. For a heelside turn (turning towards your heels), put more pressure on your heels, while toeside turns (turning towards your toes) require more weight on your toes. Remember, practice makes perfect, so spend time experimenting with different weight distributions to find your balance.

Incorporating fluid body positioning and weight distribution will set the foundation for executing various turning techniques on your longboard.

The Carving Technique: Effortlessly Glide Through Turns

The carving technique is the bread and butter of longboard turning. It involves making a series of smooth, flowing arcs with your board while maintaining control and balance. To execute a carve, start by shifting your weight to one side and leaning slightly into the turn. This action initiates the motion.

As you begin the turn, bend your knees and extend your arms outward, providing a counterbalance. Apply pressure to the corresponding edge of your board to carve into the turn. Throughout the motion, maintain your body posture, ensuring your shoulders face the direction of the turn.

While executing a carve, envision yourself drawing an S-shape on the ground with your board. Focus on your body coordination and fluid motions, gradually increasing your speed as you become more confident. The carving technique is versatile and can be used for gentle turns, tight corners, and even larger sweeping arcs.

The Sliding Technique: Add Some Style to Your Turns

If you’re looking to spice up your longboarding skills and add an element of style to your turns, the sliding technique is for you. Sliding involves deliberately breaking traction with the road surface, allowing your board to skid sideways. This technique is commonly used during fast descents and can enhance your ability to navigate tight turns with precision.

To execute a slide, approach the turn at a moderate speed and shift your weight towards the back of the board. Point your front foot in the direction you want to slide and apply downward pressure to your back foot, forcing the wheels to lose traction. As the board begins to slide, drag your front foot across the ground to control the speed and direction of the slide.

It’s important to note that sliding requires specialized wheels designed for enhanced grip and slidability. Additionally, wearing appropriate safety gear, such as slide gloves and a helmet, is crucial to minimize the risk of injury.

Choosing the Right Longboard Setup for Optimal Turning Performance

Along with mastering the techniques, having the right longboard setup can significantly enhance your turning performance. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a longboard:

1. Deck Shape and Flexibility:

Opt for a deck shape that suits your turning style. Longer and wider decks offer stability and control for smooth carves, while shorter and narrower decks provide greater maneuverability for tight turns.

Deck flexibility can also impact turning performance. Stiffer decks provide better stability and responsiveness, making them ideal for fast descents and high-speed turns. Flexier decks, on the other hand, offer more fluidity and are suitable for riders who prefer a surf-like feel.

2. Trucks and Bushings:

Trucks are crucial components in turning as they allow the board to pivot. Choosing trucks with a responsive turning radius and adjustable tightness can greatly improve your ability to execute precise turns.

Additionally, consider the type and durometer (hardness) of your bushings. Softer bushings offer more carve-oriented turning, while harder bushings provide stability and control for higher-speed turns.

3. Wheel Size and Shape:

Wheel size and shape affect how your longboard handles turns. Larger wheels provide more roll speed and stability, making them suitable for longer, sweeping turns. Smaller wheels offer quicker acceleration and are ideal for executing tight and quick turns.

Choosing a wheel shape with rounded edges, known as a “square-lipped” or “round-lipped” wheel, can enhance sliding capabilities, allowing for more controlled drifts during turns.

Perfecting Your Turns: Tips, Tricks, and Safety Measures

Now that you have a solid understanding of the different turning techniques and the optimum longboard setup, here are some additional tips and tricks to help you perfect your turns and enjoy a safe riding experience:

1. Start with Small Turns:

If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with small turns and gradually progress to larger turns as you build your confidence and skill. Mastering the basics and developing muscle memory for proper body positioning will contribute to your overall turning ability.

2. Practice on Different Terrains:

Switch up your practice locations and explore various terrains to enhance your adaptability. Practice turning on flat ground, hills of varying inclines, and even skate parks to develop a well-rounded turning skillset.

3. Ride with Experienced Longboarders:

Riding with more experienced longboarders can provide valuable insights and allow you to observe their techniques. Learning from others’ experiences and receiving guidance can accelerate your learning curve.

4. Emphasize Safety:

Longboarding can be an exhilarating experience, but safety should always be a priority. Wear a helmet, pads, and gloves to protect yourself from potential injuries. Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations regarding longboarding to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.

5. Explore different turning techniques:

Don’t limit yourself to just one turning technique. Experiment with different styles and techniques to find what suits you best. Incorporating a variety of turns in your longboarding repertoire can bring versatility and excitement to your rides.

6. Maintain and Check Your Equipment Regularly:

Ensure your longboard is properly maintained by regularly checking the trucks, wheels, bearings, and deck for any signs of wear or damage. Faulty equipment can affect your turning performance and compromise your safety.

By following these tips and techniques, practicing consistently, and staying dedicated, you’ll soon master the art of turning on your longboard. Remember, it’s all about finding your balance, adapting to different riding styles, and most importantly, having fun while riding.

Key Takeaways: How to Turn a Longboard

  • Keep your body weight balanced and centered on the board.
  • Shift your weight to the heels or toes to initiate the turn.
  • Use gentle pressure on the toes or heels to guide the board in the desired direction.
  • Lean your body slightly in the direction of the turn to maintain balance.
  • Practice regularly to improve your turning technique and gain control.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section on how to turn a longboard! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, mastering the art of turning is essential for a smooth and enjoyable ride. Here are some common questions and answers to help you improve your longboarding skills.

How can I improve my turning on a longboard?

Improving your turning on a longboard requires a combination of technique and practice. First, make sure you have the right setup. Use trucks that are suited for your riding style and tighten or loosen them to adjust the responsiveness. When turning, shift your body weight towards the direction you want to turn and use your upper body to initiate the movement.

Another important tip is to carve your turns. Instead of making sharp, angular turns, try carving wide arcs by leaning into the turn and using your body weight to guide the board. This will help you maintain balance and control while turning. Lastly, practice regularly in open areas with ample space to develop your turning skills gradually.

What should I do if I’m having trouble turning on my longboard?

If you’re having trouble turning on your longboard, there are a few things you can try. First, check your trucks. Make sure they are properly adjusted and not too tight or too loose. Adjusting the trucks can significantly impact the ease of turning.

Next, work on your body positioning. Make sure you’re shifting your weight in the right direction and using your upper body to initiate the turn. Practice your turns in a controlled environment with plenty of space until you feel more comfortable and confident. You can also seek advice or take lessons from experienced longboarders who can provide personalized guidance to help you improve your turning skills.

What are some turning techniques I can use on a longboard?

There are several turning techniques you can use on a longboard. One popular technique is called the carve turn. This involves leaning into the turn and using your body weight to guide the board in a smooth arc. Carving turns allow for more fluid movements and better control.

Another technique is the kickturn, which is useful for making tight turns or changing directions quickly. To perform a kickturn, you lift the front wheels of your board off the ground slightly while pivoting on the back wheels, then quickly swing the board in the desired direction.

Can I turn on a longboard without leaning?

While leaning is a crucial component of turning on a longboard, it is not the only method. If you’re riding at higher speeds or on steeper slopes, leaning alone may not provide enough control. In these situations, you can also use your foot position to initiate turns.

By shifting your feet towards the toe or heel edge of the board, you can apply pressure to one side, causing the board to turn. This technique, known as foot steering, can be particularly useful in situations where leaning alone may not be sufficient or safe.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when turning on a longboard?

When it comes to turning on a longboard, there are a few common mistakes to avoid. One is overcompensating with your body weight. It’s important to find the right balance and not lean too much or too little when turning. Overcompensating can throw off your balance and make it harder to control the board.

Another mistake is not looking in the direction you want to go. Your body tends to follow your eyes, so if you’re not looking where you want to turn, it can affect your body positioning and the overall fluidity of your turns. Lastly, avoid making sudden and jerky movements, as these can lead to loss of control. Instead, focus on smooth and gradual movements to ensure stability and control when turning.

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#4 Turning With Your Longboard


So, to summarize, turning a longboard is all about shifting your weight and carving. Make sure to lean in the direction you want to turn and use quick, controlled movements. Practice on flat surfaces before tackling hills or more challenging terrain. Remember, safety comes first, so always wear protective gear and start slow. With practice, patience, and a little bit of confidence, you’ll be cruising and turning on your longboard like a pro in no time! Keep shredding!

That’s it! You’ve learned the basics of turning on a longboard. Now, get out there and have fun exploring this awesome sport, while always being mindful of safety. Don’t forget to share your newfound skills with your friends and family too. Enjoy the ride!

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