How to Start: Longboard Dancing

I’m coming for you, Hyo Joo!

It at all began with a viral video:

The second thought that came to mind was, “Hey, that looks like a lot of fun and not that crazy.” After doing a lot of research on the silver fish forums and reddit/r/longboarding, I’ve ventured into longboard dancing.

Gear

Any longboard can be danced on, but it is easier to learn on ones that are dancing focused. They are longer and wider, giving you more room to showcase your moves. Check out your local store for longboards. If not, here’s a couple good, online options:

Loaded Bhangra

Highly recommended dedicated dancing board. Only knock is the price and that it’s a bigger brand name (which some forum goers hate on).

$325 on miurskate (recommended setup).

Liqwood Skywalker

This is a cheaper solution from a smaller builder. I have not dealt with them, but they’re highly regarded in the silverfish forums.

They can build a complete board for $180, just email them.

And of course, safety first

Helmet

Best to get one in person so you can make sure the size is right. Check to make sure they are properly certified for skateboarding/bicycling.

~$50

And style…

Socks

Go retro to add some flavor. If Hyo Joo approves, I approve.

$12 on amazon.

Learning

Begin by getting comfortable skating around. This is best done in an empty alley or a parking lot for your safety and the safety of others. Turning on longboards takes getting used to because of their long wheelbase.

The Basic Tricks

Here are the best videos and best tips I’ve found to execute 2 of the most basic dancing tricks.

Cross Stepping

Tips:

  • Face your shoulders and angle your feet in the direction you’re going.
  • Carving makes cross stepping easier so practice that instead of going straight.
  • Bend your knees.

Peter Pan

Tips

  • Hands up in the air to maintain balance.
  • Practice on grass/carpet while balancing on one leg. My legs and balance are pretty weak so this exercise helped me most.

My Experience

I rate myself as average to below-average in balance. I can barely manage blue runs while snowboarding and have never skateboarded before.

It took me a good 30 minutes to be decently comfortable pushing the board and carving. Sometimes I’d lose my balance and had to bail and/or the board would get away from me.

Then came the cross stepping. It took another good session just to get mentally prepared to commit to it and bring my back leg across my front. Once that started happening, I realized it was not that difficult and kept practicing. I fell on my hip and back a handful of times, but that’s unavoidable.

Just like Hyo Joo

It took me four 30–45 minute sessions before I got the hang of a semblance of a cross step. I have to go pretty slowly and I am not always smooth. I’m still working on peter pan. Overall, I’m still psyched about it and really enjoyed the experience. I want to at least learn a few more tricks (shuvits and switch cross step) and try to look more natural.

Movement Verdict

  • Strength: 0/5
  • Coordination: 2/5
  • Fun Factor: 4/5
  • Cost: ~$240 for gear that should last for years.
  • Who it’s for: Anyone that wants to cruise around on a skateboard while having a little fun with it. The tricks are not as serious nor dangerous as normal freestyle skateboard tricks.