The first slide to master is the 180 Coleman slide. From there, you can add your own style and tweak it to make it your own. Before attempting slides, get comfortable carving on hills with some decent speed. You’ll need enough speed to get the board around 180 degrees. Check out all the tools you’ll need to get sliding…
What You Will need for Longboard Slides
- Slide gloves
- Knee and elbow pads
- Longboard experience – Walk before you run. Or in longboard terms, carve before you slide.
How to Longboard Slide
- Get some speed by pushing 6-8 times with one foot. It’s scary at first, but enough speed is necessary to slide a full 180 degrees. Place your pedaling foot back on the board and bend your knees. Your feet should be wider than your shoulders. Prepare to slide.
- Initiate a toe side carve. Bend your knees at the point where you’re crouching on the board. Place one hand on the side of the board positioned between the legs. Another option is to reach one hand up toward the sky to maintain balance. Place the other hand on the ground, reaching backward, opposite to the way in which your toes are pointed.
- To get the slide going, carve heel-side. This is the most difficult part of the slide, but practice it and soon it should come naturally. There are many ways to perform the actual 180, but the simplest way is to look backward and turn shoulders and hips to 180 degrees. Put most of your weight on the front foot, about 60%. Use your back foot to force the back of the board outward with the shoulders. It might take several tries of only making it 90 degrees, but commit to 180 degrees and you’ll get it before too long.
Tips for a 180 Coleman Slide
- Loosen trucks – Looser trucks will allow you to carve into your slide.
- Go Faster! – A little more speed gives you the necessary momentum to complete a 180 degree slide.
- Find the Right Spot – Look for smooth, clean pavement free of cracks and gravel. A good, steep hill will help you gain speed. Most importantly, secure a spot with very little traffic!
- Properly distribute weight – There should be more weight on the front foot (about 60%), while the back foot is used to force the back of the board outward.
- Check your wheels – Small, round-lipped wheels make it easy to break traction and start sliding. Also, keep in mind that wheels will slide more easily after they’re broken in than when they’re brand new.
- Keep Center of Gravity Low – Bending your knees will make it easier to push out into a slide. Should you bail, the distance between your body and the pavement will be smaller!
- Tag along with the good guys – Find some mates who are more skilled than you at sliding. They can give you tips and help you progress.
- Wear Safety Gear – A helmet and longboard slide gloves are a must. Knee and elbow pads are highly recommend for all skill levels. You’ll be more comfortable pushing yourself if you feel more comfortable falling.