Now that you are comfortable with starting and stopping, practice carving left and right doing “S” turns. Alternate between pushing your your heels downward and turning your shoulders forward, to pushing your toes downward and turning your shoulders backwards. Practice turning around a corner and be ready to slow down to a stop if you do not have enough space. Be sure to keep your weight forward while you are turning to make a tighter turn.
The Boosted board acts like a normal longboard so you can do most of the things you would do on a normal longboard, including pushing if you want. This will increase your range, give you some exercise, and allow you to ride an unpowered longboard. To push, start stepping forward with your rear foot and go for one big push or several smaller pushes. Then put your foot back on the board and slowly roll the throttle wheel forward. Try to keep your body loose as you push to keep your balance. Some beginners will push with small steps never extending their foot out in front of their front foot. This is alright to start, but it is not as powerful. As you get more comfortable, you will want to step further forward so you have more power as you are pushing.
Use your peripheral vision to watch out for obstacles. The key to avoiding obstacles is not to focus on them, since you will steer towards whatever you are focusing on. If there is an obstacle, find a course that avoids the obstacle and focus on that path.
The best racecar drivers are smooth and not constantly braking hard. The key to this is seeing what is coming up and have your speed under control before the obstacle. For instance, if you come into a turn hot there is little that you can do while in the turn. You need to slow down before entering the turn and then you can coast or choose to accelerate in the turn. If you are in a turn and find you have to slow down, you are more likely to lose your balance or traction.
It is essential to understand how to footbrake before attempting hills. Emergencies happen (broken belts, remotes losing power, and other malfunctions) and you want to be comfortable doing this before you need it.
To start, you can reduce some speed by “air braking”; stand tall and stretch out your arms to catch the wind. Then take the weight off your back foot by shifting your weight to your front foot. Move your back foot to the toe edge of the board so that it is in line with the board and hanging over the edge. This foot is usually slightly behind the front foot. Bend your front knee so that the your back foot gently rests on the ground. Avoid stomping the rear foot on the ground or it can jerk you off the board. The heel of the foot should contact first for a smooth brake. Keep the rear foot on the ground and put more weight on that foot to come to a complete stop.
Other ways to control speed
In an emergency you may find other ways to come to a stop. We mentioned air braking. Carving hard will also slow your speed. Experienced longboarders will slide the board. The Coleman slide where you have gloves and plant a hand is the most useful slide to come to an emergency stop. You can also do stand up slides and with the power we’ve found new ways to do powered stand up slides.
Before riding uphill, you will want to master the push start, and getting your rear foot off the board quickly while stopping. You need to have these mastered because as you attempt steeper hills the board will roll downhill quicker when you are in neutral. To practice uphills, start with less steep inclines and gradually get steeper. You can either find different locations or sometimes you can use one location, but approach the incline at different angles to make them less steep. You can also just do a small portion of the incline such as the bottom or top where the incline might be less. Also choose locations with lots of space and not a lot of traffic. Parking garages can sometimes be a good location, but be careful about visibility, traffic, and security chasing you out.
The easiest trick to stopping uphill is to not. If you are able to ride out to an area that flattens out it will be much easier for you to stop. Or if you are able to get the board turned even slightly sideways to the slope of the hill, it will decrease the effect of the hill.
The key to stopping on a hill is to get your rear foot on the ground before the board stops moving forward. Once the board has slowed down enough, you can stop it with your foot, quickly step forward with your rear foot, release the throttle wheel, and bring the board to a stop. When you step forward, you want to make sure it is a good step in front of your front foot on the board to prevent doing the splits.
A second method is to start a footbraking as you are slowing down until you come to a stop (if you are comfortable footbraking).
To practice this you will want to start on a flat area and then climb the hill and come to a complete stop. Then walk back down the hill to go again until you are comfortable coming to a stop.
You want to make sure you are comfortable stopping on the hill before you try starting on the hill, because you may be forced to stop on the hill and you want to be comfortable with that.
Starting on an uphill can be tricky because if you just stand on the board it will start rolling in the wrong direction, so you’ll want a method get the board started. The best way is to give the board a good push start and as you are coasting uphill gradually roll the throttle wheel forward.
A second method is to stand with your rear foot on the ground, but ahead of the foot on the board. Gradually roll the wheel forward. As the board rolls forward, pick your foot off the ground and put it on the board and continue rolling the throttle wheel forward. It is important to keep the wheel moving forward when you do this, because while the board is moving slowly it has more of a risk of coming to a stop and rolling backwards down the hill.
WARNING: Do not accelerate the board forward while you are rolling backwards down a hill. This will cause a strong jerk. You should quickly get one foot off the board to stop the board from rolling backwards.
These are some other tricks that you can do to start uphills, but you should not rely on them.
- Turn the board sideways to the slope so that it is not as steep uphill. You will need enough room, then turn the board once you have started
- Chock the rear wheels. Sometimes you can find a curb or something to rest the rear wheels against to prevent the board for rolling backwards as you get on. Be careful though, because if the chock suddenly gives away you will be rolling backwards.
WARNING: Before riding downhills, you will want to be comfortable footbraking. Always plan for emergencies, because someday it will happen. If there is a mechanical failure your emergency brakes are footbraking.
Riding down hills can be hard for several reasons. Most people find it intimidating looking downhill (ie roller coasters). Also, when you are moving downhill and go into neutral the board will continue to accelerate forward, which is not what you might expect since the board slows down when you are on level ground or up hills.
WARNING: When you are moving downhill and go into neutral, the board will continue to accelerate forward, which is not what you might expect since the board slows down when you are on level ground or up hills.
You want to start by getting comfortable stopping downhill. Same as for the uphill, you want to start on less steep downhills and gradually work your way to steeper downhills.
Similar to stopping up hills, the key is to get your rear foot planted on the ground so it won’t keep rolling downhill. For the downhill, you will pull back on the throttle wheel to slow down the board. You should be able to slow the board down to the point it comes to a complete stop. Then you will want to quickly get your rear foot off the board and on the ground.
WARNING: You will want to keep your weight shifted back on the board when stopping downhill otherwise the rear wheels could lose traction.
The second method is to use footbraking. You should practice this also, because you will need it someday; plus, you’ll look like a legit skater.
WARNING: Before practices starting downhill make sure you are comfortable stopping down the hill using the powered brakes as well as footbraking.
When you start downhill, you just have to remember the board will accelerate without your command. The steeper the hill the faster it will accelerate. Since you are trying to get moving down the hills this sometime is not a problem. You just step on the board; it begins to move and you roll on the throttle to begin controlling the speed. If the hill is steep you will want to have some brakes applied before you step on the board so that it does not quickly accelerate. To do this you will start with your rear foot on the ground and the other foot on the board. Slowly roll the throttle backwards until you start to feel the board moving backwards. Hold the throttle in that position and get on the board. It will start moving downhill, but at a slower speed.