After learning the secrets to riding a longboard, you're already itching to add more spice to your game. Well, it's natural, and we want to help you out a bit. There's nothing hard in sliding on your longboard, but you have to master the techniques to nail it once. Sliding is one way to stop while riding, and one of the simplest ways of doing it is what we call the "Coleman Slide." This sliding style is the best start for beginners, and once you learn it, it's going to help you during a quick stop.
There are other types of slides, such as the standing slides, the pendulums style, etc. But it's best if you do it like Cliff Coleman for the first time and graduate to the others. We always recommend this slide because it's easier than the rest. So, as a beginner, the Coleman Slide or the 180-degree heel slide is your first choice.
Let's do it now!
1. Gather your gear
This is the first thing to do before you think of sliding. As a beginner, you must pick some must-have items to ensure a good experience. You'll need a helmet to protect your head, of course. Then the knee pads must be there, especially if you're still a newbie. Also, grab a pair of slide gloves to protect your palm in the event of falling off your sideboard. With a glove, you can have a smooth contact with the ground and keep your balance instead of worrying about scratches.
2. Pick a suitable sliding longboard
The longboard you have will determine how easy or difficult it will be to slide on it. So, it's best to ensure that your longboard is set for sliding. Our recommendation is that you go for a longboard that has a lowered deck. Also, make sure there are spaces where you can easily jam your feet during your sliding. If you don't know how to select, you can consider some at thrill appeal. You can easily find a suitable longboard for this adventure.
3. Make sure the wheel is suitable
This is another part of your longboard that affects your sliding results. Make sure the wheel of your longboard features a narrow contact patch of about 60-65mm and 80-100A durometer hardness. When you get any brand with these specs, you're sure of a smooth slide. Also, you can keep two sets of wheels for skating and sliding, respectively.
Mastering the Coleman Slide
Now that you have everything ready let's learn how to slide like Cliff Coleman. But first, we recommend starting at the parking lot or choosing a flat surface since you're still a beginner. Just make sure that you don't start on a very steep hill.
Start riding at a moderate speed. Pedal up to 8 pushes using one foot. Make sure that your posture is relaxed, weight is centered, and your knees bent. Place each foot at one end of the board and make sure they're shoulder-width apart.
Try bending your knees and carefully crouch down. Now lean forward and transfer your weight from the center towards the front of the board. Get ready for the slide.
Place a hand on the side of your longboard and keep the other one backwards on the ground. Prepare for the slide by stretching and extending your body as the board start to carve. The plates of the gloves you're wearing will help to stop your board.
Look backward from your front shoulder, and as the wheels drift on the surface/pavement, the board will drift too at angle 90 degrees.
It's never easy the first time, but after a while, you can do much better. The few more techniques you need for further improvement include:
Going faster instead of a moderate speed
Sliding wide enough to achieve a 180 degrees angle
Avoiding to reach too far backward with one hand
Keeping each foot at one end of the longboard
Trying to slide as much as you can until you master the technique.
To wrap it up
When you're learning how to slide on a longboard for the first time, it all appears complicated. The truth is that there's no magic to achieving a smooth slide besides practicing. So, I think one of the best tips we can give you is practice a lot.
With a regular sliding no matter how imperfect it is, you're going to nail it big time. The best part is that once you do, there's a whole lot of styles you can practice to spice things up. But as a beginner, don't forget your gear.
Make sure you have a suitable longboard above anything else. That's one of the best things you can do for yourself.