Beginners Guides

Downhill Skateboarding for beginners – Getting into it

Downhill skateboarding is easily one of the most rewarding sports out there. There is nothing quite like flying down a hill at 40mph+.

But how can a beginner actually get into it?

How can a beginner get started?

So if a beginner wants to get into longboarding, I recommend they follow the below steps:

Find your local crew

Simply finding out if you have a local crew. For beginner downhill longboarders, this is a big step. Your local crew would be able to mentor you, teach you about gear, talk you through and give feedback on techniques.

You can also get second-hand gear and the lowdown on where to get cheap beginner gear.

If you don’t have a local crew, don’t worry. Using Facebook, Reddit or google, you can find different longboarders from around the world. There are support groups such as #WhatGearShouldIBuy where the community gives feedback and advice on what you would like to buy for the type of riding or feel you would like from your board.

If you don’t have a crew you can build your own like I am trying to do.

Leeds downhill skateboarding crew
My homies, the Leeds Longboarding Crew

Buy your own gear

Sometimes easier said than done. There are a shit-ton of boards, trucks, wheels out there. You need to find what is good for a beginner.
The best advice I can give you is to dive in and get gear more experienced people say is good.

What decent beginner board should you go for?

A decent beginner longboard would be from a brand like Arbor, Landyachtz, Sp8boards, Prism skate co., Comet Skateboards, Madrid, Santa Cruz, Sanctum collective etc.

There are a plethora of them. In fact, if it has 8ply’s of wood its already a decent downhill skateboarding longboard. Check out my beginner longboard reviews to find out more.

Click here to check out my guide to downhill skateboarding decks here.

What trucks are great for beginners?

Decent beginner trucks would be Caliber, Paris, Bear, Gullwing, Randal, Sabre etc. Seeing as you want to do DH skating, trucks with baseplate angles of <40-47degrees are appropriate.

The lower the angle the more stable it will be, however too low and they won’t turn too well, and too high and they’ll turn too much making them unstable at speed.

If I had to suggest a truck for a beginner, my pick would be Caliber trucks. I started learning on these and I personally think they are great.

You can check some of my other trucks reviews out too as you consider buying these.

Click here to check out my guide to setup your trucks.

What wheels should you get?

Decent, cheap, easy to slide beginner wheels can come from companies such as Slide Perfect, Remember Collective, Cloud ride, Powell Peralta, Cult Wheels, Sucrose initiative etc.

Ideally, these wheels should have “round lip” so they are easy to slide when you are learning.
(The above links all lead to Amazon and you can check out their pricing there).

Check out my guide on the best slide wheels for learning to slide here.

How to actually get better at riding?

Check out all my tips for beginner riders here.

Practicing makes perfect.

This is the hardest part. It takes months and months to get good at skating.

Simply what you need is a good guide with good instruction, then you have to hammer away until your body gets used to the techniques and they become muscle memory.

The one thing people don’t realize is they need to be consistent and time will do the rest for them. The body has to adjust to these new movements and positions. It has to figure out how to shift its weight to initiate a slide, which is the most comfortable position on board, and what to not do so you don’t fall off your board.

Soon I’ll release a guide to getting good the fastest way possible. You’ll have to put in work, but you will see progress as a reflection of your hard work.

It’s well worth it

The best part. Once you’ve got a good foundation you can skate down roads and be in control. Downhill skating gives a unique feeling and there is nothing like it in the world. There is nothing like soaring down a road, doing a badass slide and taking a corner at speed

.There no better feeling than conquering roads that scare you, skating them from the top and stopping at the bottom unharmed, stoked and ready to do it again.

Where can you skate downhill super safely?

Some communities get together and organize closed road events. These are pretty sick as the road will be entirely at your own disposal and you can skate in both lanes.

These events allow you to push your limits in a safe environment. They often have hay bales to protect you and stop you from sliding off the road if you make a mistake.

At these events, there will also be LOADS of advanced skaters. You can get valuable information, tips and even gear hookups from them. I definitely recommend you go.

The gear used in this video

Deck – Sp8boards Bullet
Trucks – Caliber II trucks, with 158mm hangers.
Wheels – Divine road rippers
Griptape – Vicious grip
Bushings – Venom bushings 87a barrical and 90a barrel bushing. Flat washers all round
Bearings – Generic bearings (that actually work decently)
Helmet – Triple 8 
Slide Gloves – CTD Pucks

(The above links all lead to Amazon and you can check out their pricing there).

Are you ready to take the plunge and become a master of gravity?

I was never the most talented longboarder, I had to put a lot of effort in to get where I am, and still have a lot to do to get where I want to go. Buts its all 100% worth the effort.
If you choose to become a part of this community, you will definitely reap rewards that you didn’t expect. It’s pretty crazy how welcoming everyone is. I don’t think there is any family better than my downhill family.

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