You’ve probably heard it all before, perhaps from a snowboard instructor telling not to lead forward so much or from me, telling you that if you want to pick up longboard quickly, there are a lot of ways you can cut that learning curve down for size.
1. Shoulders should be parallel to the ground.
2. Feet firmly planted on the board just below the trucks on either size. 1 inch should do it.
3. No need to bend your knees on most terrain, only do so if you’re bracing an obstacle (to absorb the shock) or if going down a hill (for added stability. Caution, start with a slight bend and increase as necessary. Don’t automatically start with your knees fully bent.
4. For added balance, stretch your arms out, parallel to the ground.
5. When tackling a crack or obstacle, putting slightly more pressure on your back foot.
All of this advice is related, and if you aren’t sure what to do, there’s a general rule of thumb in Longboarding (as with many sports). Symmetry in your posture, form and division of weight (relative to obstacles that reduce your momentum) is a consistent pattern.
The more symmetrical your posture is, the more control you will have. This is even true when bracing for obstacles, because things like small rocks, cracks and pinecones exert a force on your board- a shock that if you do not counter for, you will be shot in a direction not of your choosing very unexpectedly (often off of your board all together).
When absorbing an external shock, you need to provide a counter balance (thus maintaining the symmetry) by putting weight on your back foot or by simply bracing the shock with your legs (small shocks are easily absorbed by your body).
With practice, mostly everyone learns the simple ways to absorb shocks. One of the easiest ways is to simply avoid them all together. Most cracks can easily be countered by simply tackling them on an angle.