My First Experience with a Longboard

My First Experience with a Longboard

Now this is a real story about my first experience with a longboard. It's kind of a funny story, because it is my fathers board; he bought it for himself.

So, there was this board that I knew nothing about, just resting on the wall standing still, doing nothing much just chilling, but yet somehow it called to me and I responded.

I will just tell the story how it went, nothing fancy.

My father and I were at a big sports store and I was searching to buy wheels for my inline skates. While I was looking around trying to find the correct size my father was also browsing through the store. At one point he called my name, raised a wooden board and asked me what do I think of it. I said: "What would I want to do with that, that's for jackasses. It hasn't even got brakes." to which he replied: "It's not for you, but for me.". I immediately told him that he is being crazy and that there is no way that he is going to buy that thing, but he got all almighty and at that point I told him that I will tell mom what he is up to. That gave him even more courage...

I must clarify something at this point. My father and I started snowboarding at the same time when I was still in elementary school, so he had almost the same amount of experience driving a snowboard as me. He had no previous experience with a skateboard or any kind of a board except a snowboard. He doesn't even know how to ride inline skates.

So I called mom while he was at the checkout and told her what he was up to, but by the time she arrived, he had already bought the board and was being pretty smug about it. Walking through the store with it, acting cool and stuff. It somehow made sense to him to buy a board with wheels, that goes on concrete, has no brakes and no way of attaching your feet to it.

We arrived home and had a huge laugh about it all over lunch, joking that he should return the board and tell that cashier that he "changed his mind"; haha :) it's still funny. My mother and I were rolling on the floor laughing; it was a real life ROFLMAO. Tears rushed to my eyes and my belly started hurting from laughing.

After lunch I took the board in my arms, briefly inspected it and came to the only logic conclusion: "This thing is made for jackasses with a death wish". My father tried to stand up on the board, he even jumped on it ... then he realized that it is so unstable that he had to hold onto me just to stand in place. Now the board gained momentum and started rolling .. THERE ARE NO BRAKES ON THIS THING .. (Keep in mind that this was the speed of a snail at which the board was moving) so the board crashed into a chair that was near and stopped, at which point my father took his feet of the board. He lifted the board as he was the coolest there is and rested it against a wall near the entrance to the house.

The board stood there for one day without being touched. The next day during lunch we were talking about the board and I said that that was not a skateboard, because it is too long for a skateboard and has bigger wheels. The conversation got me intrigued and I googled it and found out that it was a longboard made for cruising and carving; Whatever that means anyway. I went to my place to write a new lesson for my website. Once I did my days work I started thinking about my current situation: "I have a longboard in my house and I am here doing nothing. The board is just standing there, not being used. It would be a shame that nobody gave it a try. It might be good. After all, the website said that it's almost like driving a snowboard. I can drive a snowboard. I can sure give this thing a run for its money." So, I went to the house, took the board and laid it on the floor. Then I placed my foot on it and climbed on top of it. Then I tried going forward and backward on it. Seems pretty easy, but there must be a way to brake.

I went to Youtube and started watching videos about longboarding and braking and sliding and downhill riding. I think that an hour passed while I was watching videos. Enough fun for today. I leaned the board on the wall and went to sleep. In the morning I woke up with a sudden desire to drive that board on the street in front of my house. The street has a small angle so it seemed like a great starting point. Because I watched videos on youtube for beginners and read articles I noticed that everybody had a helmet, gloves and knee and elbow pads for protection. Of all those things I only had my motorcycle helmet, but there is no way that I am using it for this. So I wore my least favorite jeans pants, my old running shoes and took three shirts one over another just in case something happens.

First I tried the braking techniques from the videos I watched. So far so good. I could stop the board on very low speeds. This gave me courage to take the board for a spin to see it is really like a snowboard. I managed to drive half the distance of that street on it and then use a stomping braking technique to stop myself. It felt good. It took it for a few more runs (there are videos of me doing my first longboard drive on youtube) and then I wanted more. I went higher up the street to where the street had a bigger angle (bigger angle = more speed). It went nice, the speed was much faster, but I liked the sensation and I managed to drive it all the way to the end of the street with no stopping. It is similar to driving a snowboard, but you are higher, your feet are free and it turns so much faster than a snowboard. At that point I was starting to sweat and decided to leave the board be for now and go back to work.

I finished my work and had some time before lunch, so I decided to give it another try. I started where I left off on my previous attempt. Once I've seen that I can do that, I wanted it to last longer so I went to the start of the street and started going from side to side of the street like you would drive a snowboard. The speed was great, turning was fun and exciting and I managed to stop with a run the speed off technique and the sliding feet technique. Great. I have done that a few more times. I think that I was going up and down the street for like half an hour or so. Then I started being tired and decided to leave it for today.

It was huge fun and the fact that it got no brakes and that you could wipeout very easily, gave me a nice adrenaline kick.

My father still doesn't know that I rode on his board today :D My mother was very scared saying that I should be careful not to break my arm or leg, but I assured her that I am doing it the right way by saying: "Don't worry, you can only fall once. Nobody gets back up alive to do it again ;)". I'm planning on working on my braking techniques whenever I can, so that I can conquer some slightly longer and steeper streets on the island. Maybe even buy a board of my own, since this one has an owner :)

I had so much fun learning to longboard and now I want more...

Mario Bašić

About Mario Bašić

Sometimes backward to move forward. Always.