If you just purchased your first longboard and want to get started riding, you may not be quite sure how to begin. As a beginner it won't be safe just yet to do all those cool tricks and take those steep hills you see on YouTube videos, but you have to start somewhere. Here are three tips for getting your start as a longboarder.

Start with Good Safety Equipment

Longboarding is a fun but risky sport, especially for beginners. Until you learn to properly control your speed and the board's movements, plan on crashing and falling from time to time. In order to prevent serious injury if you fall, you should always wear knee pads, wrist guards, and perhaps most importantly, a helmet that fits well. It's best to buy these items in person at a skate shop so someone more experienced can help you find the best fit.

Practice Falling

Falling on purpose might sound crazy, but the truth is you will lose your balance or crash into objects sometimes and you need to know how to fall safely in a way that minimizes injury and damage to you and your longboard. The safest way to fall is typically to roll off your board sideways with your arms and hands tucked in close to your body, which protects both your face and your wrists. You can practice falling on a soft surface like wrestling mats or your backyard instead of on asphalt.

Learn Speed Control

Even experienced skateboarders have trouble controlling their speed when they first switch to a longboard, because longboards tend to gain speed very quickly. In order to control your speed on a longboard, you will need to master "carving" which involves shifting your weight and riding in a wavy or curved pattern instead of in a straight line. This helps you gain control and slow down.

You can read about carving online to get a basic understanding of how it works, but the best way to learn is to watch other skaters (in person or in videos) and then practice as much as possible. Be sure to practice carving in a safe, empty parking lot or other area without traffic until you master it.   

By following these tips, you will safely gain practice, confidence, and new skills as a beginner longboarder. Before you know it, you will have the basics down and be ready to tackle stunts and hills. For more information, contact local professionals like Orlando Longboards.