10 longboard tricks every beginner should know
So, after you bought your longboard, got used to cruising, are you now ready to learn some tricks? Search no further, we’ve partnered with local longboarder Cavan to bring you our tutorial series.
Cavan has been longboarding for over 5 years, trying his hand at freestyle, dancing and freeriding. He also provides a series of longboard lessons on his instagram. His vast experience in coaching is the reason why we chose him to conduct our series of online tutorials. Cavan, together with other longboarders from different backgrounds, come together weekly as part of DockSession Singapore’s group.
He will be teaching with the Nahoa Longboard. The 41 inch bamboo-maple deck was designed for freestyle and dance tricks. It provides a comfortable flex to absorb shock as you hop on and off. This longboard is also beautifully designed with a wave underneath, to represent its ability to ride concrete waves.
As a safety disclaimer, we’d recommend you put on protective gear (helmet and joint guards) and have a skate tool ready to adjust your board if necessary.
Before we jump into the tutorial, let’s set the definitions for some of the terms we will be using.
Regular vs Goofy:
The nose refers to the kicktail in front of you and the tail refers to the kicktail behind you. For stances, regular means you have your left foot in the front and goofy, the right. In this video we will be teaching in regular stance. If you’re goofy, just switch the words left with right and vice versa.
Toeside vs Heelside:
The easiest way to understand this is to think of where your heels and toes are in your permanent stance. The toeside edge of the board refers to the right side of the deck if you’re regular (left if you’re goofy). On the other hand, heelside refers to your left side if you’re regular (and right if you’re goofy).
This style of riding involves a significant deal of flipping and popping your deck. It’s definitely a set of tricks to add into your arsenal if you’re a proud owner of our Nahoa Longboard!
This is one of the easiest flips in the dictionary of freestyle tricks. First you shift your front foot to the middle of your board. Bring your back foot over your front and onto the ground. Then, bring your front foot off as well. In one jumping motion, use the outer side of your back foot to flip the heelside of your deck; then you land on your deck back in your regular stance.
Frontside 180 No-comply
Ironically you’ll have to comply with these instructions to do the no-comply. This trick serves as a foundation for you to build many more variations of in the future! You start with your front foot in the middle with your heel dangling off slightly. Your back foot is placed on the tail.
Next, carve heelside slightly and put your front foot onto the ground. The shift in weight to your back foot will automatically pop your board. Here’s the key portion: Use your back foot to pop the board diagonally anticlockwise (clockwise for goofy). Follow the board with your back foot in the air to guide its 180 degree rotation, so it doesn’t fly out too far. As the board lands, hop back on in switch position.
Fakie Backside Shuvit
You should get your fakie backside pivots down before you attempt this. In switch position, put your front foot on the nose of the board and back foot on the middle. Shift some weight towards the front foot and pivot the board forwards using your back foot. As the pivot reaches 90 degrees, hop slightly and let the momentum complete the 180 degree rotation of the board. Land in your original switch position.
This will be your solution to pesky curbs when you’re commuting on your longboard. If you haven’t checked out our commuting guide yet, what are you waiting for? You start with your front foot in the middle and back foot on the tail. Reach down and grab the right side of your board with your right hand. Place your front foot on the ground and pop the board. As the board reaches the peak, jump back on and ride away.
There is a possibility that this trick is Joe Exotic’s favourite. This trick involves some arm strength, so it isn’t advisable if you’re currently nursing a wrist injury. To start, place your front foot in the middle and back foot on the tail. As you shift your front foot off the board, pop the board up with your back foot. With your left hand, grab the top right side of your board. Use the momentum of the board to spin it 360 degrees horizontally - let go as it’s about to complete a full circle. As it lands, jump back on with your front foot leading.
Get ready to groove on the move with your longboard. Dance tricks are elegant and classy. Compared to freestyle tricks, dancing involves little to no flipping of your board. Instead, it involves moving gracefully on your longboard.
This trick involves hopping off your board and back on, but in a stylish manner. You start with your front foot in the middle, pointing to the front. Bring your back foot over and across the front, landing it on the ground. As you shift your front foot off the board, bring it over and across your back foot. Hop back on to the board in your original position.
The Cross Step is a useful trick to spice up your carving. You start by bringing your front foot to the back of the heelside edge. Then, you cross your back foot over your front, again stepping on the heelside. After this, bring your front foot to the top and back foot to the back. Proceed to carve toeside. It is important to keep your head slightly forward so you don’t fall backwards. You should also be shifting your hips and arms in different directions to maintain your balance!
We suggest getting comfortable with riding switch before attempting this dance move. First, you bring your front foot to the middle of the toeside edge. Then, you bring your back foot to the topside pointing to the left of the board. Bring your front foot to the back, also pointing to the left of the board. Viola! You’re in switch position! You can repeat these steps again to get back to your original stance.
In this trick, you’ll walk criss cross across your longboard. Bring your front foot to the backside of the toeside edge. Then, cross your front foot over to the heelside edge. Repeat these steps as many times as you want before returning to your original position.
Ever wanted to be a ballerina? Now’s your chance! Place your front foot on the middle of the board, pointing forward. With your weight on your front foot, spin 360 degrees on the ball of your foot. Land in your original position and ride away gracefully. Remember, you should be rotating on the ball, not your heel!
Putting the pieces together
At Odyssey Boards, we believe in being more than just a transactional longboard shop. We want to create a holistic longboard experience, taking you from the start to wherever you choose to go. This is our non-exhaustive list of beginner tricks to get you started. Feel free to put together your own mix of freestyle and dance moves to create your signature longboarding style. Ultimately, longboarding is a freedom of expression - let your creativity run wild.
If you feel like taking this tutorial a step further, join our Longboard School. We have small focused group classes (2 students to 1 instructor), where you'll get undivided attention to maximize your progress.