Looking to get started with longboard dancing? Look no further, today’s article is a longboard dancing guide to help you figure out what you need to do.
I’ll cover everything from the sorts of boards you need, and I’ll even direct you to some useful tutorials.
What is longboard dancing and how to get started?
Longboarding dancing is essentially stepping on your board in various ways, throwing in some flashy moves, and making it all flow in a graceful way. For a good example of what longboard dancing is, check out the video below.
Just to make the distinction, “freestyle” longboarding is more when the wheels leave the ground. Ollies, flip tricks, and grabs are all freestyle tricks. And yes, whilst they are different you can mix both the dance and freestyle styles. However, this article will focus on dancing primarily and will present boards better suited for dancing over freestyle.
So what do you need to get started? All you need is an appropriate board, a willingness to learn, some tutorials and you can get started easily enough. But most importantly, you need to make sure you get the right type of board, not just any will do.
Why you need to pick the right type of board
There are loads of different types of longboards and they’re all suited to certain types of disciplines. If you get an inappropriate board, you won’t have enough room to do footsteps, the deck might turn too suddenly, the wheels might roll too slowly, and it might not even have a kicktail. In short, you need to be careful about what you pick. Check out my guide below to find out more about the right type of deck for dancing.
What type of board do you need for longboard dancing?
The deck should be the right size
Most longboards come in sizes between 36-40inches. Longboards for dancing are usually much longer and tend to fall between 40-48inches in length. They tend to be this long so you can have enough room to do cross-steps and all sorts of moves on the deck.
Finally, this added length gives them a smooth turn. They aren’t very nimble, but they have a gentle sort of turn that makes them easy to balance on and ride.
For freestyle, most decks are about 40inches in length. This gives you some room to dance on them, but more importantly, makes them lighter and easier to pick up to flip and throw around.
The deck should have a bit of flex
Flex is when a board flexes under your weight. Most dance boards will have a bit of it.
How much flex you want in a board is down to personal preference, but most dancers favor flexy boards. This is what you should go for as a beginner.
Flex allows you to do a ton of footwork without really putting any input to your trucks. It allows the board to feel stable and not too twitchy when you’re doing quick footwork across the board.
Board manufacturers will often have different flexes for the same board. This is because flex varies depending on your weight. If you’re light, you’re going to want the softest flex. If you’re heavy, the stiffer flexes will be more suitable. Be sure to check the product guides when buying a relevant board.
How do trucks affect the ride?
The best trucks for longboard dancing are gonna be about 180mm wide and will have a baseplate angle of 50*. These two things will give the trucks a lively feel. They’ll be able to turn a lot but will have a very smooth lean. It will be easy to hold turns on these and the trucks won’t suddenly twitch when you’re doing quick foot steps.
What about the wheels? Will any do?
For dancing, you’re going to want a wheel that will roll quickly and that will roll forever. Wheels that can do this have two main features – they tend to have a large diameter and are made with a high-quality urethane (urethane is the rubbery material that the wheel is made from).
A large diameter means that a wheel can keep its speed and momentum. It will roll forever even after pushing it a little bit. This will allow you to do a ton of moves without your board slowing down too quickly. You’re going to want a wheel between 66-70mm in height.
Finally, a high-quality urethane will allow the wheels to roll fast and maintain their speed. Low-quality, low-rebound wheels don’t allow this. Low-quality wheels behave almost like flat tires, and this prevents the wheels from picking up speed and going fast. High-quality wheels are like tires full of air. They will pick up speed easily and maintain it.
Most wheels from reputable brands will be high-quality and good for dancing.
What about the components?
If you manage to buy high-quality boards, the components will likely be premium – you won’t have to worry about replacing anything. The only real customization you might have to do is upgrading the bushings – but that isn’t super important for most people. And though I’ve mentioned this, it isn’t something to worry about – unless you’re a super light rider.
What are some good tutorials for longboard dancing?
Now that you’ve got your board, you should get started learning to dance. But before you get too far, you should make sure you have the riding basics down first.
Check out the video below. Learning to push and carve are keys to skating. They’re essential building blocks to dancing.
Easy longboard dance tricks to learn
Once you’ve mastered cruising, an easy trick to move on to is the cross step. Check out Hans Wouter describing how to do it below.
Where should you practice?
What you need is a smooth flat space, that has enough room for you to turn and skate a considerable distance. Here are some good spots think about:
- Empty parking lot.
- Empty basketball court.
- Empty roads in your neighborhood.
- Empty school yards etc.
What are some good boards for longboard dancing?
Coming in at a price just under $80, this is an affordable board. It will be good for beginners getting into dancing on a budget. It will also be good for cruising and other types of riding too.
The deck is made from 9plys of Canadian maple. It is on the stiffer side of flex and will be better for heavier riders wanting a more sturdy ride. It has a length of 42inches and a width of 10inches. It has twin kicktails. This board will be good or both freestyle and dancing. It has a ton of room so footwork won’t be difficult to do on it.
It comes with 7inch trucks and 70mm wheels. The trucks are a bit on the narrower side, giving this board a quicker turn.
All in all, this isn’t a decent board. It is best for someone who wants a hybrid board good for other stuff (think freestyle) as well as dancing. I have to say the components aren’t the best, but you get what you pay for. If you want something affordable, it is hard to pass up. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
If you’re looking for a similar board like the one above, but in a different color, check out these versions here on Amazon.com.
You can get some in exotic colors ways with different geometric designs. If you’re looking for a board with simple, but eye-catching graphics, they are worth checking out.
Costing just shy of $80, this is the best budget board for dancing on my list. It comes in the traditional dance shape, with twin kicktails and an appropriate length.
With a deck 46inches long and 10inches wide, this board will have a ton of room. You’ll be able to pull off cross-steps with no problem as that length leaves nothing to be desired. What might hold it back is the 7plys of construction, meaning it won’t be super flexible. This is fine as it will probably flex under heavier riders (it has a max weight of 250lbs), but won’t flex at all for lighter riders.
When it comes to the wheels, this board has 85a hard 70mm wheels. These are quite appropriate for dancing, they’ll roll forever and will give a good feel when dancing.
Whilst the flex holds it back this board is quite good for the money. It is a great option for a heavier rider looking for a board on a budget but will be good for a lighter rider if they don’t mind the stiffness. Find out more about it here on Amazon.com.
Another board more suited for freestyle and cruising, this one comes in at 41.75inches in length and 10inches in width. It has a single kicktail and features a tiny bit of flex. It costs slightly more than $130 so it’s on the expensive side of the spectrum.
The board comes 6 inch wide trucks and 60mm tall, 80a wheels. These are great if you’re looking for a fast-rolling board that has a nimble turn. The wheels on this board light up when you roll them, so it’s a nice feature if you plan on skating at night or to stand out when you’re skating with others.
I would say this board isn’t worth the money. It is better suited to freestyle with the smaller 60mm wheels and smaller trucks, but you get about the same with the Seething above. The Seething is also better value for money I feel, where this is expensive. But this board has a better graphic and would be my pick if I was doing more cruising than freestyle. Find out more about it here on Amazon.com.
Coming in at just over $130, this is a great board for dancing. Unlike the AODI above, this one is made with bamboo and will have more flex. It will be good for a lighter rider looking for a flexy board, or a heavier rider looking for a REALLY flexy board.
The deck comes in at 46inches in length and 9inches in width. Whilst a bit narrower, this narrower width won’t hold it back – only people with really long feet might suffer but it should be good enough for most people. As I mentioned earlier this deck is made from bamboo, this gives it a nice bounce and flex which is pretty good for dancing. It will also be nice for cruising and will give a comfortable ride.
Component wise, the Magneto is pretty good. It has knock off Paris trucks, and whilst they won’t be as good as the originals, they will feel pretty good when skating. When it comes to wheels it has 70mm wheels, these are the best for dancing as they will roll for a long time and you won’t struggle when pushing them.
This has to be the best overall board on my list. It should fit most budgets and will work well for both heavy and lighter riders. If you’re on a budget and need something decent, this is hard to pass up. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
If you’re interested in cruising more than dancing, this is a good option. You’ll still be able to do some footwork and dance moves, but it will be limited. The deck on this isn’t very suited to dancing.
Coming in at 40inches in length, this board has a drop-through style of mounting. This means the trucks are mounted on top of the deck as opposed to underneath as they are on the other decks listed here. This mainly changes how they turn, making them turn a bit slower but smoother. This often feels a bit weird for dancing as the turning can feel delayed and awkward, but should be ok once you get used to it.
Finally, the drop-through mounting lowers the board to the ground. This makes pushing, foot braking, and just generally riding the board easier. It’s ideal for cruising.
If you want a board primarily for cruising, this is a good choice. The drop-through mounting makes it ideal. It will be stable and easy to ride. However, it isn’t the best choice for dancing. You’ll do better with the other options above.
Check out the Volador cruiser here on Amazon.com.
What do you think? Which board is best for you?
If you’re still mulling over which board to pick, I highly suggest the Magneto or the Aodi. The Aodi is great if you’re on a budget and if you want a stiffer board. The Magneto is the better option, but it will cost you a bit more. You can go wrong with either though.