What is carving on a longboard? – How to choose the best longboards for carving

Longboard carving is such an artistic skill but requires a lot of techniques. So, what is carving on a longboard? Via this article, we will discover the answer.

What Is Carving On A Longboard? – How To Choose The Best Longboards For Carving

Skateboarding is an icon of street sports. No matter what you think about it, it is undeniable that our eyes always follow the graceful silhouettes with the skateboard when caught. Their curves are beautiful and fluid as if they were flying. It is a lovely sight that seemed to last forever.

This elegant style of sliding is called carving. So, what is carving on a longboard?

Carving is a riding style that simulates surfing. To build and maintain momentum and speed, often, a player must chain spins in quick succession and back and forth in an S-shape.

Carving is one of the most famous longboard skating disciplines. If you’re interested in learning more about it, read on with Skateboard Cast.

The Purpose Of Carving

Carving is the primary discipline in skateboarding
Carving is the primary discipline in skateboarding

When it comes to longboarding, there are many disciplines. They range from the usual moves like cruising, freeriding and freestyling to more complex movements like dancing or downhill. However, one common feature is that you need to master basic carving skills before learning them.

Why does carving play such an important role?

The most important factor when learning carving is speed control. If you can’t control yourself and the skateboard, you will end up hurting yourself. More than that, it will make you lose motivation with this sport.

When you master carving, you will know what to do with your deck. You can slow it down, turn around, and even perform some technical tricks.

Also, as we outlined in the definition, carving allows you to create more significant momentum and speed.

Let’s say you’re sliding downhill from the top. The altitude combined with the wind will create tremendous speed, and you will have a lot of trouble if you want to control the speed.

However, with carving skills, you can easily slide down at a speed of only about 3-4 km/h. This number is highly safe and will certainly protect you from the risk of injury.

Impressive, right? So how to be able to carve correctly?

Longboard Carving Guide: Basic Techniques

The main move of carving is to create beautiful imaginary curves down the asphalt. To put it more simply, think of sledding on white snow. At that time, you need to make solid and sharp curves in succession to move.

A few things to start with is learning how to shift your weight into each edge of the board.

The first essential skill is called railway shifting. It will help if you lift your toes, then heels into a board rail. Eventually, you move to another rail.

If you still think it is difficult to understand, you should watch the video for a more intuitive view.

When you put your weight on a longboard, you will tilt it to one side and turn the wheel around an angle. That way, they make your board spin.

With more weight and pressure placed on the track, the more the wheel will spin. As a result, you will get sharp redirects.

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A Detailed Longboard Carving Guide

You will need to practice hard for proper carving
You will need to practice hard for proper carving

The above are just the basics of longboard carving. We still have a lot of elements to dig into details. There are two basic things that you need to master to perfect your carving skills. They are toeside and heelside carving and weight shifting.

However, you can’t jump straight into learning those actions right away. One thing to remember deeply is that your stance will significantly affect the direction of the turn. Tell us, are you a regular or a goofy rider?

If you still don’t know which category you are in, check with the tips below.

First, you need to stand straight with your feet on the ground. Then have a friend push you forward with just enough force to cause you to lose balance. At this point, observe the leg that you used to balance your body.

You would be a regular rider if they were left foot. Conversely, taking the right foot forward will make you a goofy rider.

This confirmation will affect your entire carving practice. After all, carving will involve a lot of changing direction. If you do not know the posture, you will make mistakes when turning left and right.

Toeside And Heelside Carving

We will repeat, you will be a regular rider if the natural stance is left foot forward. So you’ll have to work with the right side of the deck. Sounds easy to understand, right?

Imagine yourself moving your toes. And then, how do you do the heel part? Slowly you will get a clear picture of the pose in your head.

To explain, you will turn right if applying a toeside turn and turn left if using a heelside turn.

In case you are goofy riders, you will experience opposite directions. Therefore, you will turn to the left side of your longboard deck if you put pressure on your toes. If you want to bounce to the right side of the board, lean your heels back.

Easier said than done. You should start testing and practising now. With perseverance, it will gradually form a habit in you and develop naturally.

Our next exercise is weight shifting. Are you ready?

Weight Shifting

You already have the basic ideas about toeside and heelside carving, but that’s not enough. Pressing the toe and heel will only change the direction of the longboard. If you want the smoothest movements, you need to master the technique of weight shifting.

By coordinating the entire weight of your body, you will achieve a wave-like motion. Start with a toeside turn, always remembering to turn your head towards the finish line. At the same time, rotate your shoulders by moving your front shoulder toward the curve.

It feels pretty much like smoothly throwing yourself around the corner while bringing every part of your body together. And right after that toeside carving, brace yourself for a heelside carving to perfect the beautiful S-shaped movement.

After that, everything will happen naturally. You press again, rotate your head and direct your shoulders to the destination in the opposite direction.

Don’t be afraid but imagine you are going with the wind. Open up your ribcage so you can move more freely.

Alternatively, you can improve your balance by slightly spreading your arms and keeping your knees bent.

This video will sketch you out in real-life weight shifting for a better view.

Of course, you can’t master it immediately after the first few attempts. Losing balance and falling off the board is inevitable, even for professionals. The critical factor is that you have to practice a lot to form a habit for yourself.

Choosing The Best Longboards For Carving

Of course, to do longboard carving, you need to equip yourself with a suitable longboard. There are many types of longboards on the market. However, not every deck will give you the best carving experience.

You can read more about Skateboard Cast’s best carving longboards related article for more insight. However, we also summarize for you a few important notes below for an overview.

The Junli 41-inch is one of the best choices for carving longboards
The Junli 41-inch is one of the best choices for carving longboards

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How To Choose Carving Trucks?

The most important factor when choosing carving trucks is turning. There are a few characteristics that you should keep in mind when choosing the right truck:

The Truck Width

The width of the shaft will directly affect the way you carve. A deck with a more extended width will provide more stability and less wheel bite. In contrast, a narrow deck will help you better grip the road and provide flexible navigation.

Usually, the standard width for longboards used for carving is 180mm. However, some professional players still choose narrower boards to increase speed (e.g., 150mm).

The Distance Of Wheelbase

Your longboard needs to have an extended distance to make carving more manageable and prevent things from getting too rushed.

Usually, the minimum size for this distance is around 25 inches.

Another purpose of this distance is to provide a sense of stability when carving takes place on a hill. As a result, your board can become faster for specific purposes.

The Baseplate Angle

The truck’s angle is the corner between the pivot shaft and the base plate (which is screwed into the deck). Usually, it will fall between 40+ and 50+ degrees for most trucks.

You will have to choose between lean and turn. Your deck can lean more without relying on the spinning wheel with more lean.

As a result, it maintains stability when moving. With more turns, the wheel will spin more while the floor tilts less. The result you get is more responsiveness.

Usually, carving longboards will have a higher angle of 50+. It provides more turn and less lean so you can rotate and move smoothly.

Bushing And Bushing Seats

We call those little rubber pads in trucks bushing. When carving, you will need to use soft bushing for a right turn.

The part of the space in the truck where the bushings stay fixed is the bushing seats. It can be flat or round. One will add more or less bushing depending on the seat’s shape to compress the effects of riding feel.

Usually, round bushing seats are the most suitable shape for carving.

The Truck Height

When choosing wheels, first of all, you need to pay attention to the truck’s height. It is the distance between the base plate and the wheel hub.

Usually, longboards with lower trucks are more stable and have better pushing capacity than higher trucks. Naturally, it will come with a hefty price tag. However, rest assured that your investment will pay off.

High-end trucks can spin more without fear of wheel bite, thanks to the ability to loosen. As a result, these sophisticated trucks are the best choice for those who love carving.

The lower boards are also straightforward to manage on the total slide. After pushing it aside, you may notice the inevitable and progressive grips over time.

How To Choose Carving Longboard Decks?

Depending on your personal preferences, we can choose the appropriate longboard decks. There are many types of decks suitable for carving on the market today. However, you will also have to keep a few things in mind:

The Mount Type

There are two common mount types for carver boards: top mount and drop through. For the top mount deck, they will screw the truck under the board. In the case of a drop-through deck, the truck liner will be on top of the deck.

Often the top mount type will give the deck more height than the other options. They make the longboard more reactive. But on the contrary, it is not very solid.

Top mount decks are the first choice for riders because of that ability. However, one more note is that its price is relatively high.

Deck Length And Flex

The carver longboards are not too large in length. The number is only about 35-40 inches.

With this short length, it offers a faster spin than cruiser longboards. Also, it needs to be flexible to power your carving vibrations.

Therefore, manufacturers often use bamboo or hybrid bamboo material for carving boards.

Deck Concave/Camber

The longitudinal curvature of the deck is called camber. Its center point will be higher than the mounting holes.

Camber longboards are very suitable for carving. It helps turn your deck into spring and recharges it to release at the top of the turn.

On the other hand, the concave is the curvature of your longboard in width. Usually, carver boards have a fairly deep concave to create comfort for the foot.

How To Choose Carving Wheels And Bearings?

You will need wide wheels for better grip but soft to absorb impact when choosing carving wheels.

For better turn-based feedback and grip, choose square (aka racetrack) trim over rounded trim.

Buy good ABEC 7 or 9 bearings if you like smooth, low-friction rolling.

Tips For A Safe Carving

The above are the most basic instructions to be able to practice longboard carving. But you can hack them with a few tips. Mastering these tips will save you the trouble of starting to practice appropriately.

Always keep yourself safe when carving
Always keep yourself safe when carving

Keeping Yourself Safe

As with other sports, safety is always the most critical factor you have to stay prepared for.

Not only do you need a helmet to protect your head from injuries, but you also need a complete safety suit. Please ensure you have fully equipped knee and elbow pads and gloves before carving.

Location selection is also crucial when carving. If you are new, stay away from crowded places like parks or streets. Otherwise, you will endanger yourself and those around you.

A hill is also a suitable place for carving. Look for areas with smooth and paved surfaces for better control of your board.

Pro Tips When Carving

One trick is to avoid letting your heels come in contact with the floor too far when flexing your toes. Conversely, it would be best if you let your toes touch the base when your heels are bent.

This action keeps you from falling while moving. In addition, it helps you to sense the change of direction of the board to create a connection.

Also, as you rotate, keep your center of gravity low and then stand tall immediately after. Although it seems trivial, it will increase the momentum and speed off for a seamless carving board.

Wrapping Up

You need to remember that practice makes perfect. You will not be able to master carving after just a few times of trials. However, keep trying, and the results will be highly worth it.

You will be so proud of yourself when you find yourself able to glide skillfully and smoothly down the street. When it comes to safety gear and the right longboard carver, you’re unbeatable.

Hopefully, through our article, you have answered the question “What is carving on a longboard”. Thank you for reading!

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About The Author


Obinna is a fiction writer from Lagos, Nigeria, and grew up loving comic book characters and superheroes. He watches lots of action films and writes entertainment and technology articles. He is also interested in science and how things work.

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