• Stop Hammertime


    From skateboard sliders to concrete crush topped with a sweet aerial surprise, extreme sports will always be delicious. Watching the best athletes illuminate our beloved sport on Internet videos or even witnessing a young child hop on a longboard can make anyone stoked to be a member of the skate community.

    Even when big events like the X Games have concluded, an aftertaste of my excitement lives through the minutes added to my skate sessions and the sweat added to my clothes. The thrill that keeps me longboarding is progression. Once  I mastered kicking and pushing I learned to carve and then how to slide.  I am currently teaching my self how to dance my feet over my board in a Michael Jackson worthy fashion, because there is always something new to tackle. However, ironically, before you can progress with your longboarding magic tricks you must first learn to stop.

    Braking is the most essential skill to learn if you want to be a longboarder. It is actually more important than learning how to ride. This may sound insane to a beginner, but your “I love everyone” longboarding day can turn dark and twisty before you can say, “blood dripping out of my skin”.

    Your longboard will pick up speed very quickly and when you are ready to stop, jumping off your board is not a good option!     Here are some stopping and slowing down mechanisms that will help to keep your skin nice and sealed.

     

                Carving
    Carving is the most efficient way to control your ride. These wide turns will leave an invisible “S”  shaped path behind you while greatly reducing your speed.

     

               Foot Braking

    You must keep one foot balancing on board, while your free foot is cautiously lowered until the sole of your shoe is sliding along the ground, causing the reduction of speed.

    Depending on how much pressure you apply you can slow down or come to a complete stop.

    Be cautious when you foot brake! If you jump out of a car at 60 mph you will tumble and roll. The same will happen if you are longboarding and decide to slam your foot to the ground. I do not advise using the foot braking method if you are longboarding at extremely high speeds. If a car comes in your path unexpectedly sliding is more efficient for a safe quick stop.

     

               Sliding

     

    Sliding is the most efficient way to stop and it is definitely the most fun! It is the action of  rapidly turning your longboard at least 90 degrees, allowing your wheels to slide and your longboard to slow down or come to a complete stop. You will need to purchase or make a pair of slider gloves and use harder wheels, at least 80 A, because they have less grip on the road and will slide better. There are many ways to slide, but you only need to know the basic heel and toe side slides to brake.

    Initially I was afraid to slide because I was terrified of shedding blood. I began by getting used to kneeling down, then I proceed to add the degree turn with one or  both of my hands extended to slide along the ground.

    Breaking up the steps and sliding with the company of friends was both fun and very helpful. I suggest you figure out how you learn best and slide as much as you can in those conditions.

     

    The best thing you can do is watch video footage of different braking mechanisms, wear  a helmet and slider gloves and… practice, practice, practice!

    With hard work and determination all your longboarding wishes will be granted by you!

    Mia Legg

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