High speeds bring new elements into skateboarding. For one, you want to use proper hardware and setup on the right.
If you’re learning to bomb hills wear the proper gear. You absolutely have to have a helmet and gloves in case you catch a bad slide and catapolt yourself into the street! Recommended safety gear:
- Helmet (round & full, not a stupid bike helmet, it should cover the back of your head!)
- Gloves (with pucks)
- Knee Pads
- Elbow Pads
- Spotter to watch for traffic / cars (ok this isn’t gear, but it’s critical!)
Downhill Longboarding 101
First thing’s first, if you don’t know how to slow down, don’t go fast. Here’s a great tutorial on how to carve, foot-brake, and slide to control your speed:
Longboards for Downhill
NOT ALL BOARDS ARE MEANT FOR DOWNHILL! For true downhill and high speed boarding you want to use a longboard that is meant for downhill and can handle high speeds. Typically this is a board at least 35 inches long or more, with a width of at least 9 niches, so it can be nice and stable without speed wobbles.
GET THE RIGHT SETUP: Trucks and Wheels for Downhill
Your trucks and wheels are important, too. Make sure you have nice big soft wheels for cracks and nice wide trucks for good balance, and make sure their tightened on properly to avoid wobbling. Before trying high speed or downhill skateboarding, make sure you’re already an advanced skateboarder with pushing, foot-braking, bailing. Some wheels are for sliding, and some are for gripping, so know what you wheels are for!
Foot Braking and Sliding on Downhill Longboards
Deville has a nice video explaining how to slide a downhill longboard with puck gloves, and they also cover foot-braking.
Bombing Hills on Short Boards
If you are trying to bomb hills on a park-deck you will need hard wheels to powerslide to speed-check frequently to keep your speed under control without footbreaking. Do not try to powerslide and speedcheck with the wrong wheels!