By Natasa Popovic
Have you ever been dragged to hang out with your boyfriend’s friends who longboard? Have you ever skateboarded and felt as if there should be something more that could be done? Then listen up… Four wheels, the smell of danger in the air, the sound of sliding wheels… here it is, the infamous sport of longboarding and why you should want to tag along.
Longboarding is similar to the traditional idea of skateboarding, but the deck of the board is a bit longer, with different shapes that cater to each boarder’s individuality, and large, round wheels that allow the boarder to slide, slow down or even hit a gnarly* toeside standy. This hobby is not for the faint hearted but is one that anybody can master with some practice and a sense of bravery. The longboarding experience calls to everyone interested in learning a new and exciting skill and includes participants from all ages starting from 10-year olds and ranging up to adults in their forties. Whilst physically demanding, the reward makes it worth it and the sport doesn’t take a lifetime to master.
Different types of longboarding exist too, and both females and males compete. The main one to look out for is downhill longboarding, which begins at the top of a relatively steep hill and lets gravity do the rest. Long boarders begin their descent by moving into a tuck* position with one knee locked in behind the other and their bodies curled in with their heads looking forward; the goal to be as aerodynamic as possible while blasting* down a hill reaching speeds from as little as 20km/h to 85km/h and more, depending on the hill and level of experience. This is accompanied by mass amounts of adrenaline and the ‘feeling of flying
If you find longboarding interesting but are too afraid to take part, be a spectator, an observer who can follow these fellows from the comfort of the safety car behind them. If this sounds a bit too heavy for you, what follows after this hectic start, is a session of freestyle longboarding where people show off their tricks such as squatties, puck-down slides, toeside stand up 180 slides, heelside sitdown check as well as pivots, shove-its and many others.
When it comes to longboarding, the community is fun, free and well established. People from all different walks of life come together, encouraging one another, teaching newbies as well as each other and faffing* along the way. Whether you’re an interested participant or a roadside observer, these talented ladies and gents will amaze you with their skills.
Long boarder Lingo:
*gnarly = totally wicked
*faffing = chilling and hanging out with friends
*tuck = Compressing your body aerodynamically in order to blast
*blasting = to go really really really fast