The first rollerboards have been in the fifty years, when American surfers, bored during the calm on the ocean, attached wheels to the boards and began to cut the asphalt of city roads. It was the longboard that became the first type of boards with wheels; later, in the mid-seventies, jumping and tricks on skateboards became fashionable. In the 2000s, longboards gained momentum again – and every year they become more and more popular, and they ride them regardless of age.
The most versatile option is a longboard, a longboard with large diameter wheels and wide suspension. A longboard has a smoother ride and is easier to control than a skateboard. The materials from which such a board is made – maple, bamboo, or carbon fiber – in combination with the special bends of the deck, allow it to pick up speed faster and absorb road bumps. Longboards come in several types – and not all are actually longer than a skateboard. The most common is the so-called cruise lines, they are good for beginners, they are easy to ride and perform the simplest stunts. It is these boards that are usually used for driving around the city as a vehicle – and this is a great opportunity to diversify your trip.
In addition to the cruise, there are also unusual longboards: for example, the same version invented by surfers is called a surf-style longboard – these are boards up to three meters in length. Due to the large inertia, they can only be skated along an arcuate trajectory, and this requires significant outdoor space (however, at home too – such a board needs to be stored somewhere). On surf longboards, you can lie, sit, ride together and even dance. Downhill boards with a special design are made for downhill slopes.
When choosing a board, you need to proceed from your own goals – for example, skating around the city or fast descents; shortboards are more maneuverable (that is, they turn easier and faster), but less stable. Long ones, on the contrary, are less maneuverable, but much easier to cope with speed. Beginners are advised to start with longer boards. It’s best to feel free to go to specialty stores and ask sellers questions – but there are plenty of good models to be found on eBay or Amazon.
To start rolling, you need to determine which foot is your lead. How to do it? Ask a friend to push you off the back when you don’t expect it (just gently, please). The leg that you put forward to maintain balance is the leading one. Those who push off with the left foot are called “goofy”, and the right – “regular”. First, they learn the basics of riding: board control, turns, and braking. To do this, you need to ride in a flat area and feel the movement of the longboard. At this stage, balance is mastered and the ability to turn and the brake is developed – and then there is carving (arcs), the main and most enjoyable way of driving around the city. On the Internet, you can find instructions on YouTube and many skiing courses, including for beginners, in English, and in major cities longboarding schools offer free lessons in the summer.
The skateboard is perhaps the most famous wheeled board; it has a short wooden deck, curved upwards in front and behind. Skateboards have stiff and narrow suspension and small diameter wheels. These boards are also used to move around the city, but their main purpose is to perform tricks; spectacular and technically difficult jumps require serious physical training. If you decide to learn how to skate, be prepared for falls and repeated repetitions – it’s not easy, but you shouldn’t despair either. Now you can find many free courses online or sign up for a lesson with a trainer – the second option is suitable for those who do not dare to buy a board and want to try out the rental first. Well, or do, as has been done since time immemorial – go to a skate park and make friends with the local community, so that those who have been skating for a long time will help you.
Skateboarding promotes balance and is believed to help keep fit for those who snowboard in winter. According to skateboarders, including professional ones, now there are more and more girls skating, and this no longer surprises anyone. It is important not to forget about safety: do not ride where the car can suddenly leave, and protect yourself from the consequences of falls with equipment, and do not care what it looks like. If knees, elbows, and palms usually suffer from the “asphalt disease”, then with serious jumps and tricks you can even get a concussion – so a helmet will not hurt. And, of course, with any activity in the fresh air, you must remember to drink plenty and use sunscreen.