In this article, we'll look at the attitude, skills, gear, preparation, competition, safety, and downhill longboarding recommendations for downhill longboarding. My hope is that after reading this, you'll have a better understanding of what downhill is and whether it's right for you, as well as a better understanding of how to downhill longboard.
Longboarders who enjoy downhill riding are in for a rush. It's similar to how surfers ride massive ocean swells all the time and snowboarders shred unridden, steep, craggy powdery mountains. All of these riders share a common goal: to experience intense moments worth living and to make them feel alive.
Longboarders, on the other hand, usually move far faster than surfers or snowboarders.
The rush you get from speeding down a hill on a longboard is really addicting. Downhill skiing becomes a major feature in some people's lives, a way of life, rather than just a sport.
Riders form a close-knit community that is frequently referred to as a family because of their shared passion, emotional moments, and emotions. Longboard speed riders, like ocean surfers, form bonds spanning age groups, social class, and cultural backgrounds. Their common denominator is speed.
The difference between downhill and freeride is that freeriders are more concerned with creating fluid turns and technical, sophisticated slides while they ride down a hill. Here's where you can learn more about freeriding.
Well, I'll tell you who it isn't for: it ain't for wimps! However, while downhill longboarding is frequently misunderstood as a sport for irresponsible hotheads with a death wish, this is far from the case.
Serious downhill riders, like most large wave ocean surfers, are dedicated, technical, and typically responsible sports enthusiasts who aim to test their boundaries without taking needless risks.
Despite the dangers, some new longboarders are lured to downhill riding right away. Getting into the sport as a novice rider is doable, despite the fact that it involves mastering some difficult techniques. However, you'll need to first learn some prerequisite abilities (see next section).
Downhill may be your thing if you're the serious, committed, focused kind with emotional control, a desire for excitement, and aren't afraid of a high learning curve.
Finally, when bombing down major slopes, many downhill longboarders are "older" riders in their 30s and 40s who mix in effortlessly with the younger guys and gals. There are also a lot of middle-aged riders who regularly skate more gentle hills with their kids.
You must first master basic speed control skills on your longboard before attempting to speed up a hill. Foot braking is a simple method that you should be familiar with, however it's only beneficial at moderate speeds. It entails lowering your rear foot and dragging it across the ground in order to slow down through friction.
Before hitting the hills, you'll need to master simple turning, which involves leaning onto one edge and rotating your board wheels, and therefore your board, to the left or right.
To lower velocity, carving entails making deep turns with more leaning and weight shifting. When longboarding downhill, it's a must-have talent to keep your board from reaching harmful speeds. For more information on carving in general, see here.
Finally, the most hardest technique to master is sliding, which involves pulling your longboard sideways down a slope while travelling fast enough for your wheels to skid, severely slowing you down. Before attempting to slide down actual hills, you should practice on level surfaces and modest slopes. The principles of sliding can be found here.
Once you have the basics down, let’s look at the more advanced techniques used in downhill longboarding.
Downhill longboarding is an extreme sport, regardless of what the fans claim. Wiping out on asphalt at speeds of 40 mph or more will almost surely land you in the emergency room.
Serious downhill riders, on the other hand, can greatly reduce danger by taking the necessary precautions, beginning with wearing appropriate protection gear.
When riding downhill at high speeds, a failing board can be the most dangerous hazard. Before diving onto a major hill, like like kitesurfers and extreme snowboarders, you should inspect your board thoroughly:
Check your truck's kingpins and bolts.
Make sure your bearings are lubricated.
Check and adjust the bushing's tension.
Examine your wheels for any flat places and general wear and tear.
So, in this section, we've gone over the dangers you'll face while downhilling, as well as the safety equipment you'll need to assist mitigate them. The type of longboard you'll need to get started as a downhill skater is discussed in the next section.
Crashing due to going too fast into a turn or messing up a rapid slide is the most obvious and prevalent hazard. You'll have road rash in the best-case scenario, but things can become a lot worse. You should never ride downhill without wearing high-quality safety equipment:
Helmet: For modest hills, start with a simple helmet like the 187 Pro Skate. Get a full-face, CPSC-certified aerolid like the Predator DH-6 Gloves for serious downhill speed. You'll also need highly robust sliding gloves with UHMW / Delrin plastic pucks from a top brand like Loaded – see these Loaded freeride gloves on Amazon – Gravity, Sector 9, or Lush.
Kneepads: when you fall it’s often on your hands and knees, so unless you prefer less padding for some reason, get heavy duty pads such as the 187 Killer pads (Amazon) – you can use them for practicing tricks on flat as well.
If you want to ride at record-breaking speeds and hairpin curves on wide open highways in the future, a complete leather suit is your best bet. These are pricey, but they give excellent general body protection.
Longboard gear for downhill
Downhill wheels and bearings
If you're drawn to the extreme world of downhill longboarding, fasten your seatbelt, gear up, and enter with a healthy dosage of humility, openness, and dedication.
You're about to go on a journey filled with bravery, sound judgment, friendship, and respect. With the same mix of terror and awe that surfers feel towards the ocean, respect for others, but also for the plummeting road you dream of dropping into one day.
Only by adopting this mindset and putting in a lot of effort will you be able to tame the beast.