How to Slide on a Longboard – Learn the Right Way!

How to sliding on a longboard

If you want to take your rides to another level, then learning how to slide on a longboard should be one of your topmost priorities.

There’s so much you can accomplish when you know how to slide – do a quick stop, drift around a curve, do a speed check while moving downhill, and a lot more. It all depends on how creative and dynamic you are.

Unfortunately, like any other advanced technique, sliding is not simple.

In fact, it’s one of the most difficult advanced techniques you will ever learn either as a beginner or as an intermediate rider. But once you get the hang of it, your riding will never remain the same.

Why Learning How to Slide Is Often Difficult?

When you slide, you turn the board sideways, which in turn reduces the traction on the wheels, causing them to lose their grip on the pavement.

The major challenge with this technique is that it requires you to maintain balance on the free-moving wheels while putting in all your effort to initiate the slide. A little distraction can cause you to fall or prevent the slide altogether.

In other words, to successfully carry out a longboard slide, speed plus full commitment is required on your path.

Luckily, with the invention of the Coleman slide, even beginners can now easily learn this technique.

The Coleman Technique for Longboard Slide

The Coleman slide is basically a 180o heel slide. It is one of the most established and easiest ways to carry out a longboard slide. In this article, we are going to focus on the Coleman slide.

Just in case you didn’t know, the Coleman slide is named after Cliff Coleman, who came up with this technique in the 1970s.

Of course, there are other ways to learn how to longboard slide, but the Coleman technique simplifies it for beginners.

According to Coleman, “if you can crouch down and ride a skateboard, then you can learn how to slide.”

Although Coleman mainly used this technique on steep hills, it is advisable as a beginner to start on a leveled ground – preferably, in a parking lot with a lot of space. It should be somewhere you can practice without bumping into a vehicle or pedestrian.

Even if you must ride on a hill, let it be somewhere shallow with much space. This is important for your safety.

What Gear Do You Need?

Padding up before you carry out a longboard slide is vital to mitigate the risk of injury and ensure you have a comfortable experience.

Below are the four major gears you need –

  • Longboard
  • Helmet
  • Knee and Elbow Pads
  • Sliding Gloves

How to Choose a Longboard?

The longboard is without doubts the most important gear you need to do a slide. So, it’s extremely important you choose the right one.

If you are yet to pick a longboard, then you should focus on choosing one that will make things easier for you. While it may not be obvious at first, but the type of longboard you use can go a long way to influence the quality and ease of your slide.

You want to choose a longboard that is stable and has smooth wheels. Usually, the lower the board, the more stable it will be.

The deck should be long enough to accommodate your shoes. In addition, you want something that makes it a lot easier to secure your position.

If you feel your existing board is good enough but needs some upgrading, then consider changing the wheels.

Unfortunately, wheels are generally less durable. They wear down quickly, especially when used continuously.

As a result, we advise purchasing a wheelset just for the purpose of sliding.

In other words, if you skate a lot, then consider buying separate wheels for this purpose and also buy another set for your longboard sliding.

How to Do a Coleman Slide?

Once you have all the necessary gear, it’s now time to start sliding. Below are the steps to successfully carry out a Coleman slide –

  1. Pick a good stance that is comfortable for you. Get on top of the slides longboard with feet and shoulder wide apart. Now position your back toe at 1AM while your front is facing 11AM. To become more comfortable standing this way, try riding on a smooth leveled surface for a start.
  2. Next, begin riding the longboard going at a decent speed. Then, with one foot, pedal the board until you achieve a stable and comfortable stance. You can do up to 8 or 9 pushes.
  3. Now you can place both of your feet on the board with your toes on the edges. After that, with your knees bent and weight in front, crouch down and get ready to do the slide. At this point, you must be careful not to raise your back heel as this can lead to a backward fall.
  4. Now, place your hands on the ground – ideally, one backward and the other in front. This is where your sliding gloves come to work, providing you traction as the wheels on the board now move freely.
  5. Then drift the board at a 90-degree angle as you come to a stop.
  6. In case you don’t get it the first time, keep on practicing until it becomes second nature to you.

You now know what to do the next time you want to stop short when moving downhill.

Once you get the hang of the Coleman slide, then you can take a bolder step by learning how to powerslide on a longboard.

Final Words

Sliding is a hard technique that requires a lot of practice and patience to master. But once you get the hang of it, so many possibilities lie in front of you. It is difficult to ride the same way again.

The Coleman slide is your best bet to learning how to slide on a longboard as a beginner as it makes the difficult job look easy. It is a lot easier when you practice with a few friends.

Remember to practice somewhere with a lot of space. Let us know about your experience.

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