Want to get into longboarding but not sure how to begin? We speak to Lennat Mak, ambassador and co-founder of Longboard Girls Crew Singapore about how to buy your first longboard, what are the tricks you can learn and skating tips to get you started.
So you have seen the skaters cruising down the streets and want to know what it is like to ride a longboard with the wind in your hair and the world at your feet. You even vicariously devour the amazing longboarding videos online and probably dream of carving a mountain or embarking on a road trip of your own. But how do you get started? Is longboarding safe? With so many choices out there, how do you even choose your first longboard?
Let’s start with the basics! So what exactly is a longboard? Simply put, a longboard is longer, bigger and heavier than a skateboard. Hence, longboards offer more stability than skateboards and allow you to cruise longer distance and speed downhill with ease. The wider, softer longboard wheels allow the rider to maintain speed and deal with pavement cracks and other street obstacles better than those of a skateboard. All these aspects lead to a ‘surfy’ ride, making it a great commuter board for longer distances.
Over at Tomboy Tarts, we have put together an essential longboarding guide with the awesome Lennat to get you started. If you have any other questions about skating, do share with us in the comments below!
TT: Which brands/longboards are good for beginners?
Now this is a question that is really hard to answer and how good a board feels is really subjective to the person riding it. When I bought my first longboard, I asked the same question, and the shop owner replied, “You can skate on anything.” I cheekily retorted, “What? Even with just a plank and four mangosteens?” On hindsight, you can if you really want to!
And there are so many brands out there with so many different options and make, so it’s really hard to tell a person which board is the best. But personally, I’d say go for a symmetrical drop-through, with just a bit of a nose and tail. After you learn how to cruise, carve and up for learning more tricks, you will be able to determine your next board to ride.
TT: How do you know which longboard is right for you?
What feels good under your feet! It takes a lot of experimenting and experience with difference boards for you to find “the one” really. That is also one of the reasons to skate with a bigger group – you get to test out different boards!
TT: Where can you learn to ride in Singapore?
I would say through friends who are already skating! Skate culture is as street as it gets and it’s not something to be institutionalized by going for proper lessons or taking a class. I started out with a bunch of friends who don’t really know how to skate, and we just picked it up by…falling a lot. And that’s how you really learn.
TT: What is the difference between longboard and skateboard?
At their core, it’s all about skating. Skateboarding is a lot more tricks based while longboarding can be further divided into different disciplines – downhill, freestyle, dancing, sliding etc. Personally, I think a longboard with its bigger board size and bigger wheels are more forgiving on the feet for cruising and long distance skating.
TT: Can you ride on a longboard if you have never skated before? Do you need to know how to skate before you can ride on a longboard?
You can skate anytime you want, whether you have prior experience or not. It’s very, very easy!
TT: Is it difficult to learn?
Most definitely not. Cherie, my bandmate in Obedient Wives Club, recently starting longboarding and in just two weeks, she was already skating better than me. It all depends on the person. Like the saying goes, the more you skate, the better you get.
TT: Can you do tricks on a longboard?
You can do tricks and so much more! Here are a few videos that would rock your world.
TT: Any tips for beginners?
Always skate safely so you can skate another day. And most importantly, skate because it’s fun too and always spread the stoke!
ABOUT LENNAT MAK AND LONGBOARD GIRLS CREW SINGAPORE
Together with Wana Zainal, Lennat Mak co-founded the Singapore chapter of Longboard Girls Crew in 2011. The Longboard Girls Crew Singapore welcomes all female skaters of any level of stoke and steez as long as you are passionate about longboarding. If you are staying or traveling to Singapore and want to skate with these girls, hit them up at their Facebook page.