Guest Post by Ryan from Magneto Longboards |
I remember when I first started snowboarding; it was actually this winter, and I found it quite easy to learn because I had prior experience with longboarding and wakeboarding
So I wasn’t exactly new to board sports and the whole dynamic of balancing on a plank to go fast and do tricks and all that.
Why I Started Snowboarding
I picked up snowboarding because I can’t longboard in the winter; the roads are icy, gravely, full of dirt and gunk and it’s just nowhere near what a road should look like for a decent longboarding session.
In snowboarding terms, it would be instead of decent powder and snow, it would be little patches of dirt and grass peeking out on the hill. Winter for longboarders is like summer for snowboarders.
I write this article because through my short experience in snowboarding, I’ve found that snowboarding and longboarding can very much have a very symbiotic relationship where both sports complement and build on each other to improve abilities in both. This would have been a huge driving force in my motivation if I had known this beforehand.
So, I reversed some of the logic and experience that I have picked up during my time snowboarding to give you a look at what longboarding can do for a snowboarder.
How Longboarding helps with Snowboarding
First off, longboarding builds strength. I remember when I was first taking lessons, the instructor remarked about how strong and stable I was when I was stopping on the hill or doing little checks to slow down. He said it’s not common to have someone with such thigh and ankle strength when first learning to stop.
As I progressed higher and higher, I did see that I was able to bust my board sideways much quicker and crisper than my other counterparts were able to achieve.
This is because, from my experience, snowboarding and longboarding require incredibly similar muscles. When you’re sliding on a longboard, you use your ankles and lower thigh muscles to really drive that board across the pavement, across the grain.
This was incredibly similar to the kind of strength and muscular technique required to put my snowboard sideways when I was going a substantial speed. I believe the muscular strength that I have developed from longboarding really helped me support myself when I do need to stop on a dime on the hill.
A little quirky thing that I found when I was snowboarding was how bad the snowboard boots were at keeping my ankles locked into the board. I found myself slipping out of my boot a bit when I was doing incredibly hard toeside carves, and even worse when I was trying to stop with my toeside edge. However, I found that it was easy to apply some longboard logic to it and get it fixed by really bracing my ankles to a right angle when I was carving. I believe that my experience from longboarding helped me do this, as it’s a similar technique when you have to do any strong toeside carves on a longboard.
Tranisitioning from Snowboarding to Longboarding
Now, you may ask at this point: “How easy is it to transition into longboarding from snowboarding?”
The answer is that it’s incredibly easy.
Longboarding is much like snowboarding without bindings! The turning techniques are similar, the sport uses similar muscles, it takes a similar mentality to try new things and the scene is similar as well.
Another thing that helps is that snowboarders seem to have a very fast natural learning ability. As with any extreme sport, it’s extremely important that one is ready to learn and apply in a very short amount of time. Since snowboarding is similarly fast-paced and learning-oriented as longboarding, the mentality that a snowboarder has is very helpful and crucial to the birth of a successful longboarder!
The Differences between Longboarding and Snowboarding
There are a few differences between the sports though that can be corrected quite quickly. For example, the stance on a longboard is slightly different than on a snowboard. You don’t ever use a duck stance like some snowboarders do. Your feet are always in a position where your feet are slightly pointed forwards relative to the direction of travel. Like a forward stance in snowboarding.
Also, most of your weight should be shifted to the front of the deck, rather than pressing on the back of the board. This is because the steering mechanism requires it to behave more like a car than a double-edged knife.
A quirky thing that you can do on a longboard is that you can relax! Differently than from a snowboard, which is a platform with two edges, a longboard is a platform with four wheels. This means that you don’t actually have to stay on either edge at all times. On a longboard, you can relax and just stay centered without any additional effort. I found this a bit hard to learn on a snowboard, staying on one edge or the other, but I’m sure it’s extremely easy when it’s turned the other way around.
Longboarding Gear and Customization
Another big, fun part of longboarding is customization. I’ve heard from a lot of my snowboarder friends that usually in the downtime in the summer, they swap parts and research new board shapes and bindings and boots and such, and that customizing their parts to really dial in their setups is an incredibly pleasurable part of the sport.
Personally, as a longboarder, I understand this sentiment greatly. Longboards are extremely customizable, very easily, in fact.
I’ve seen myself that snowboards aren’t the most affordable things to play around with. Boards range anywhere from 300 dollars to over 600 dollars, and just “trying it out” isn’t really a thing in the vocabulary of many snowboarders.
However, longboarding is different. Because of the simpler constructions of most longboards, most boards range anywhere from 100 dollars to maximum 250 dollars. Trucks are maybe around 70 dollars, and wheels are extremely affordable at mostly 40 dollars a set.
This allows you to buy multiple setups and parts, and spend your days when you can’t skate constantly switching them around and having fun. This is what I do when I can’t skate or when I am injured. So that’s a plus, having a whole other part of the sport that is bent on customization!
Which Longboard is the Best to Transition to?
Many snowboarder friends ask me what boards they should get that would feel most like a snowboard, and I’ve done a lot of research on this to give them a very specific answer.
A snowboard has a very openly lean-y feeling. You lean one way, you get a very linear turn that way. You lean the other way, and you get the same very linear turn that way. The way to emulate this feeling on a longboard is through a drop through longboard.
Drop through longboards keep the truck height at the level of the board, making the leverage go through the bottom of the truck baseplate, making the deck feel like it is being lifted up, rather than pushed down. It keeps the center of the longboard’s height constant, much like a snowboard on the mountain. It also moves much of the g-force of a carve into the feet of the rider, making it extremely responsive when it counts.
A drop-through longboard is many times also designed to be easily slid, so with extremely slidey wheels, it will be very possible to surf and slide all over the road like you would with a normal snowboard. Trust me, I’ve done it before.
So in conclusion, if you’re a snowboarder, and you yearn to be on a board all year, yet you don’t quite have the weather nor energy to be snowboarding all year, longboarding is an incredibly viable choice for you that you should definitely pick up.
And always wear a helmet!
Ryan from Magneto Longboards
Big thanks to Ryan and Magneto Longboards for the writing this post and sharing it on Snowboarding Profiles. This definitely has me wanting to try to longboarding! Sounds like a great way to compliment snowboarding in the summer. Don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before!