Mechanics of Downhill Skating

by Francesca Rosario

4 mins read

Hey guys and gals! Here are some tips to get you started on the hills. If you are an adult teaching a little one, these steps apply to both child and adult. Everyone is different, so try to keep it simple and take it slow. Let’s get started!

First and foremost

– Make sure you have the equipment you need.

Safety gear

– *Accidents happen, it’s better to be prepared. And remember if the pavement and your head gets into a fight, the pavement always wins. Wear a bucket!

Triple 8 Helmet
Helmet
Slide Gloves with Pucks
Slide Gloves with Pucks
Elbow Pads
Elbow Pads
Knee Pads
Knee Pads
Longboard

– *It’s just a plank of wood on four wheels. Always look beyond the hype, do your research to find out which board is for you.

A wide board that you are comfortable to stand on
A wide board that you are comfortable to stand on
Longboard trucks that are wide and tuned properly
Longboard trucks that are wide and tuned properly
Standard Longboard wheels size 70mm 78a
Standard Longboard wheels size 70mm 78a

*Parts most people overlook but very important – Decent bearings, grip tape, and hardware.

DOUBLE CHECK YOUR SAFETY GEAR AND BOARD SETUP.

Step Two

Now that you’re all set up, practice skating around your neighborhood, parking lot or anywhere there is no traffic. Also, look for smooth surface, this eliminates distractions from looking out for concrete cracks, pebbles, rocks etc. You will eventually have to practice avoiding them later on.

Once you are comfortable with riding your board, find a a mellow hill or large parking lot with a slight incline to practice carving.This will help you get the basic control of turning your board from side to side. Carving wider turns helps with losing some speed.

It is also necessary to learn how to do a shutdown slide to stop at higher speeds .

Step three

Carve until you master it. After you’re comfortable carving at a medium speed, start carving either to the right or left and change direction slowly, crouch downward and grab the side of you deck with one hand and hold your rail through the turn.

Try to place your other hand on the ground and use your pucks to help stabilize your movement. You’ll notice that your weight shifts from your front foot to your back foot, vise versa. As you get the hang of this then you can start making tighter turns.

Grab the side of you deck with one hand and hold your rail through the turn
Grab the side of you deck with one hand and hold your rail through the turn
Step four

Your next step is learning to initiate a slide. Start out by carving down a mellow hill that you’re comfortable with. Make sure you check for debris or cars before skating downhill.

Start carving, using the same technique on step three, making your turns tighter, this will naturally allow the rear of your board to release and slide through the turn.

This will naturally allow the rear of your board to release and slide through the turn
Step Five

If you practice and master controlled slides, you can apply it and start learning the tuck stance and gain more speed. We’ll save that for the next one.

Wear your safety gear, build the foundation, learn the mechanics and start challenging yourself with more speed, controlled skating, and automatic speed check or stop.

Practice and master controlled slides
Practice and master controlled slides

Now it’s your turn! Go out and shred! Bring a friend or two.

Francesca Rosario - Competition Mode

Thanks for reading!
If you have any further questions, DM me on instagram: @francescarosario


*abooard notes

Thank you Francesca Rosario for sharing your expertise with the community.

Francesca is a member of the Longboard Girls crew, International Downhill Federation(IDF), and a business partner at the Grind Skate Shop.

abooard is not a partner or affiliated with any of the products mentioned on this post. The images are for illustration purposes only. However I have experience using them and personally I find them good to have.

Please do your own research to find out what best suits your needs.