Welcome to a guide full of everything you need to know about the awesome sport of longboard dancing. Get familiar with what it is, what types of boards are best for this style, and how you can get started.
What Is Longboard Dancing?
This style of skating has blown up on social media in the past couple of years.
It’s really a form of visual art that requires a ton of coordination.
Longboard dancing combines the technical magic of freestyle skating with movements and rhythms familiar to dancers.
If you’re a surfer, you’ll recognize some of the flowy movements that have inspired this type of skating. It’s a wonderful way for people of all ages to express themselves.
Many different styles exist within the world of longboard dancing.
Getting started requires riding a longboard at medium speed.
Some longboard dancers perform elegant tricks (think cross-stepping, hanging ten) and others focus on dancing movements with their bodies—many mix both.
A popular maneuver you’ll see many longboard dancers perform is dismounting their skateboard, doing a dance move, and getting back onto it.
Types of Boards to Use
What’s the best type of skateboard for practicing and progressing in longboard dancing? Look out for these specs.
The general rule of thumb is the larger the board, the easier it will be to balance and practice moves on. Any standard longboard between the lengths of 42 to 48 inches will be great. As for width, you won’t want a board below 12 inches.
Another spec to consider when shopping for the right board is the flexibility of the deck.
Your specific style of longboard dancing will influence how flexible you should go.
Stiff decks are great for those looking to perform classic and technical tricks. If you’re planning on focusing more on cruising and dancing with your body, a deck with more flexibility is a great fit for you.
Next to consider is the shape. Typically, longboard dancers go for relatively flat, symmetrical decks with subtle rockers.
Lastly, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. The best way to set up your longboard for dancing is to include reverse kingpin trucks and open bushing seats.
Both of these setups will allow you to skate smoother and faster.
You’ll also want to go for wheels between 70-74 mm to carve and step with ease.
If you’re wanting to focus on sliding, smaller wheels are better because of their smaller contact area.
How to Longboard Dance
Anyone with enough patience to practice can get into longboarding. It takes time to master balance, coordination, and agility to perform this creative art.
The best way to express yourself is to stay true to your own style rather than copying what others are doing.
Listening to and flowing with music is a great way to get moving. Have fun, enjoy improvising, and don’t be afraid to try a bold new move.
Keep reading to get familiar with some of the most popular foundational longboard dancing moves.
The first move to acquaint yourself with as you’re getting into longboard dancing is carving.
This move is completed by using your body weight to lean towards your front side or back side, which will move your board in whatever direction you are leaning.
Carving involves completing several S turns in a row by leaning towards the toeside of your board, then the heelside of your board, and repeating this over and over. This move is key to handling speed.
Cross-stepping is a popular longboard dancing trick that is done by crossing one foot over another.
Begin this maneuver in a wide stance and carve toeside.
Slide your front foot back at a 45-degree angle, as close to your back foot as you can without losing your balance. Put the weight onto your front foot to carve heelside.
Step your back foot over your front; put your weight on the back foot.
Keeping both feet at a 45 degree angle will help you stay balanced. Lastly, step your front foot around to return to your normal stance.
The 180 step dancing trick involves rotating 180 degrees into your switch stance while the board is moving. If you normally ride with your left foot in front and right foot in back, you would perform this move by switching your step to put your left foot in front and right in back. You can learn more about skateboard stances here.
To begin, move your front foot to the middle of your board with the inside edge against the toeside rail, use your weight to complete a toeside carve, and swing your back leg around to the front of the board. Turn your upper body into the new direction you’re spinning towards. Pro tip: practice this with our board upside down to get used to the feeling.
The Peter Pan longboard dancing trick is completed by criss crossing your feet while they are parallel and in the middle of your deck.
To do this trick, start with a heelside carve, bring your foot to the middle of your board and carve toeside, and step your back foot in front of (and parallel) to your front foot. With your back leg crossed in the front, step your front foot back to return to your typical stance.
Once you’ve mastered these four foundational longboard dancing moves, you can explore others.
The world is your oyster, one day you may be able to master intermediate tricks like the pop shuvit and sliding. Whatever you do, have fun with it!