A longboard ( Engl. Longboard , long board ') is a predecessor of the skateboard . It is usually longer than street skateboards with their ends curled up. It is between 90 and 150 centimeters long, but can also be over 190 centimeters long - and accordingly has a larger center distance ( wheelbase ). The main difference to the street skateboard are the larger rollers made of softer polyurethane , so that shocks from uneven ground are better absorbed , and the reverse king pin trucks. The classic axis (TKP) is also used on the longboard. Together with the extended center distance, they enable improved driving stability at higher speeds.
Longboards are available in different versions for different riding techniques. Their driving characteristics can also be adapted to the individual needs of the driver by changing components.
The first longboarders were surfers who came up with the idea of mounting rollers under their boards in order to experience the fun on the board on the street. (This is why pintails - asymmetrical longboards with a point that is pointed backwards - are so similar to surfboards.) Larry Stevenson is considered to be the inventor of the longboard. As early as 1965, he and his company Makaha Skateboards in California were selling 1.5 million skateboards before the legal situation prohibited skateboarding in the USA. The second wave of popularity built in 1972 when Frank Nasworthy, with Cadillac Wheels, developed wheels made of polyurethane. Previously castors made of iron, later claywheels (composite plastic) were used. The wave of popularity ended in 1978 with massive problems with insurance as injuries soared.
Well-known brands include Sector9 (founded in 1994) Madrid Skateboards (founded in 1976). Popular brands from Germany are Pogo (since 1983) and Hackbrett.
The young sport was strongly promoted in Europe and individual disciplines such as B. Downhill. The sport enjoyed great popularity especially in France, Switzerland and partly also in Germany. The sport quickly returned to the States and Canada and enjoyed great popularity there. The first longboard companies began to start events to promote competition in sport. The winners were rewarded with new products or prize money. In 1998, one of the participating disciplines in the X-Games was “Downhill stand-up skateboarding”. The participants protect themselves with helmets that completely cover their face (full face) and with resistant leather suits. The sides of the road were also covered with bales of hay to prevent serious injury. Street skateboarding developed rapidly from 1984 with the invention of the iconic deck shape and is viewed as a completely different sport.
The majority of all boards are made of horizontal wood or vertically laminated (so-called VLAM) bamboo. There are also other VLAM combinations, for example aspen and mahogany and even boards made of metal.
Maple decks are usually quite stiff and have little flex. The bamboo VLAM is used for both flexible and stiff decks. Due to its design, however, it is quite susceptible to torsion and is therefore preferably reinforced with appropriately aligned fiber-plastic composites.
The word "Flex" originally comes from the English word "flexibility". It describes the ability of the deck to bend. Many manufacturers offer different flex levels, depending on the weight and preference of the driver. Heavier boarders are advised to choose a board with less flex, lighter boarders a board with more flex. If boards with a lot of flex are preferred, make sure that the deck does not bend to the ground when standing on or driving. The flex of a board significantly determines the area of application of the deck. Soft decks are more suitable for a slower driving style, as they offer good cornering and are easier to control. Harder decks are suitable for very high speeds because they don't wobble (dangle) as quickly. The material of the deck also plays a major role here. When cruising and carving, the effect that the deck bounces is very desirable because it supports cornering. The force that acts on the board does not fizzle out completely, but is taken away again by the spring effect.
In general, there are two different types of rollers in longboarding, the grip roller and the slide roller. A third type of roller is the aqua roller. This has circumferentially milled grooves in the running surface to prevent aquaplaning by absorbing water and to increase grip ( static friction ) on wet surfaces.
The grip roll is characterized by the fact that it primarily provides grip on the driving surface. They are mainly used in downhill and carving areas. It is also well suited for fast cruising. The rollers are usually equipped with a smooth running surface and are sharp-edged at the edge in order to prevent slipping on the asphalt. They are driven with a soft rubber compound so that the roller can interlock with the road surface. This also reduces slipping off the road surface. In addition, soft rollers have a shock absorber effect and in this way cushion small bumps. Grip rollers tend to have a larger roller diameter (e.g. 78 mm) and a wide running surface.
The rather narrower, smaller and harder slide roller does not adhere so strongly to the road surface, which makes it easier and more controlled (because there is less gap between static and sliding friction and less slip stick ). The rollers have rounded edges and a roughened running surface. This makes it possible to slide the board for a long time without losing control. A harder rubber compound is chosen for slide rollers, which makes it easier to slide on the surface.
There are various mixed forms for both types, which favor different properties. The driver can adapt the setup to his individual preferences and the area of application.
One of the most commonly used degrees of hardness is 80A. Soft rollers have numerically lower degrees of hardness from 73A, hard rollers are manufactured up to material type 105A.
The longboard is steered by shifting the driver's weight to the inside of the curve. Tilting the board causes the axes to turn in so that the axes are parallel to the curve radius. The pivot point of the axis is also called the pivot.
So-called turns , carves (alternating turning of the board over both edges, with the skater moving down the slope in serpentine lines as in snowboarding) and slides (movements in which the skater is perpendicular to the original direction of movement with all four of them ) are used to control the speed of longboarding Rolling over the asphalt).
When downhill or speed boarding, speeds of over 100 km / h can be reached. Depending on the setting, the axes can tend to wobble ("wobble") at high speeds, which is why speedboards (downhill boards) occasionally have a lower platform. As a result, the pressure point that the driver exerts on the board moves below the axis pivot point. The rider's weight helps to stabilize the board at higher speeds. The center of gravity also moves down, which is particularly noticeable in a more stable cornering position. However, dropped boards show reduced road adhesion, which is why this type of construction was not able to establish itself sustainably.
In addition to longboard riders, there are also “Luge” riders who ride their equipment while lying down.
In 2016, the then reigning longboard downhill world champion, the Swede Erik Lundberg , set a world record with 130.63 km / h in Quebec . At the end of August 2016, Canadian Kyle Wester improved the world record to 143.89 km / h (89.41 miles).
When carving , attempts are made to control the speed on sloping stretches by means of tight turns ("turns"). In contrast to sliding , however, the board does not slide , but drives on a line. This is made possible by particularly non-slip rollers and special axles that allow a tight curve radius. Often a board with cutouts, similar to the slide boards, is used, as wheelbites can end dangerously due to the mostly soft axes, especially when carving quickly.
The so-called cruising describes simple, comfortable driving through the area. It is possible with every board and does not require any special features on the board or the associated setup.
Dancing has its origins in boardwalking , a technique of surfing . It includes a variety of running and turning movements that are performed on the moving board. These movements resemble a dance, which led to the name of this discipline. Purpose-built for the Dancing longboards, called Dancer , usually have a weaker Concave than other boards, are very long called (roughly average 120 cm) and often have extended ends ( "Nose" on the front and "tail" at the back) for a better execution of tricks.
Long distance pumping
With long distance pumping (LDP) you cover long distances with the longboard on flat stretches without setting foot on the ground. This is done by transmitting dynamic body movements to the axes of the board. In a slalom or snake-like movement, you can ideally even manage uphill stretches.
For Freestyle includes several components of the individual driving techniques. Freestyle is one of the most difficult riding techniques in which - similar to skateboarding - you perform tricks and stunts.
Similar to freestyle, several riding techniques are combined in freeride. While freestyle tricks are more likely to be performed on flat terrain or in a skate park, the focus in freeride - as the name suggests - is more on driving. Often slides and other freestyle tricks are performed.
During the "Hippie Jump", the rider tries to jump over a pole from his moving longboard. The jump is considered passed if the rider lands on his longboard after the jump and can continue driving. Steffen Köster holds the current world record in the hippie jump on the longboard with 1.51 m.
Moving on a slalom board is called slalom boarding, slalom boarding or slalom skating. For example, lengths between 60 and 90 cm are referred to as a slalom board; what goes beyond that is called a longboard. With a slalom board you can reach much higher speeds with little effort than with a freestyle skateboard. Slalom boards allow you to increase the speed by applying pressure in the curve or on the straight road with small curves (pumps). Experienced riders can also overcome slight inclines with slalom boards without pushing their feet off the ground.
A large slalom board scene has developed particularly in Switzerland. The slalom boards can be driven faster than street skateboards (boards with which you can do tricks), on the other hand they are an ideal means of transportation as a supplement to public transport. A globally active slalom and longboard industry has developed in Switzerland, which is also due to the fact that Switzerland offers terrain that is very suitable for downhill skiing thanks to its many mountains and slopes .
Shortboard / mini longboard
A shortboard or mini-longboard is a modified skateboard deck in which the axles are set outwards as far as possible in order to obtain the largest possible wheelbase. The name is made up of “short” and “board”. Another colloquial term is "Schlongboard". By mounting longboard rollers, you get an almost longboard-like feeling when driving. It becomes problematic if the rollers touch the deck while steering (“wheelbite”). This can be fixed with cutouts in the deck.
A penny board connects a plastic deck with longboard trucks and rollers. A leading manufacturer gave its boards the name of its sister "Penny". This is how the generic name came about. Penny boards are very resilient. They can be ridden barefoot as they have no grip tape on the surface. The history goes back to the 70s of the last century. The boards were originally a waste product from the plastics industry. The Spanish company Sancheski was the first European company to produce such boards. In Spain it was customary to ask for a "Sancheski" in a sports shop. However, the name Penny has become naturalized. These boards are now available in all price ranges from countless manufacturers.
Penny boards are typically 22 inches (56 cm) or 27 inches (69 cm) tall. Both variants have less weight compared to classic longboards. The shorter version is suitable for taking z. B. in backpacks, while the longer version (nickel) offers more driving comfort and stability due to the larger footprint.
Surf skating takes up the original idea of bringing surfing to the streets. It has been attracting increased attention since 2011. The special axle construction enables strong steering angles, which enable classic surfing maneuvers on land. This is made possible by the combination of the special front axle with a mostly rigid classic skateboard axle (TKP). Such boards are therefore also used as surf trainers. Surfskates are usually between 29 and 34 inches (73 to 86 cm) long and have a slight kicktail and very little concave, so that the position on the surfskate is as similar as possible to that on a surfboard. A distinction is made between full-fledged front axles and adapters. The latter are screwed under the board and regular skateboard axles (TKP) or, if required, Reverse King Pin (RKP) axles are mounted on them. Available surf skate brands are YOW (Spain), Carver Skateboards (USA), Smoothstar (Australia) Waterborne (USA) Slide Surfskateboards (Spain), Swelltech (USA) and Curfboard (Germany).
World championships in park and street skateboard are held as part of the World Roller Games (WRG).
In 2017 Sebastian Hertler secured his sixth victory in a row at the German Longboard Downhill Championships in Hohenstaufen near Stuttgart and Sabine Schneider won the women's title.
In 2018, the German Championships were held in Bruschied in June . Jan Brebeck and Susan Heine secured the title in the standing category.
In 2019 Sebastian Hertler from Stuttgart became German champion in longboard downhill for the seventh time .
- Stokedmagazin (the only German longboard magazine)
- Homepage of the German Roller Sports Association
- Surfskate-World (comprehensive portal for surf skating)
- longboardz.de (largest longboard forum in the world)
- New longboard world record 2016: Downhill at 143.89 km / h. In: longboards.net. September 21, 2016, accessed December 5, 2018 (German).
- WORLD RECORD BY ERIK LUNDBERG - 130.63 KMH (June 9, 2016)
- New longboard world record 2016: 143.89 km / h in downhill (September 21, 2016)
- German Longboard Championship 2017 (August 7, 2017)
- German Longboard Championship 2018 (June 29, 2018)
- German Longboard Downhill Championships 2019 (July 8, 2019)